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12 - Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2016

Thomas J. Biersteker
Affiliation:
Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
Marcos Tourinho
Affiliation:
School of Social Sciences at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil
Sue E. Eckert
Affiliation:
Brown University, United States
Thomas J. Biersteker
Affiliation:
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Sue E. Eckert
Affiliation:
Brown University, Rhode Island
Marcos Tourinho
Affiliation:
Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo
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Summary

UN targeted sanctions, our subject of analysis, is a moving target. Throughout the five-year period of this research project, five new country case regimes and eleven new episodes were added to existing regimes, based on actions taken by the UN Security Council. Beyond the sheer number of cases, however, UN targeted sanctions as a policy tool and an instrument of global governance have changed in significant ways over the past quarter century. The instrument has been used for a growing variety of threats to international peace and security, beyond its initial focus on armed conflict and terrorism. The Security Council has subsequently added nuclear proliferation, non-constitutional changes of government, support for R2P, international criminal justice, and the maintenance of peacebuilding processes to its list of objectives in the use of sanctions.

Through these twenty-five years, new types of targeted sanctions have been developed. Since the early 1990s, when the Council relied most heavily on arms embargoes, broad trade restrictions, and occasionally on comprehensive sanctions, it has now refined its use of sanctions to focus largely on the targeting of individuals and entities, as well as on the specific economic sectors that support proscribed activities (often minerals or commodities). Relatively non-discriminating measures such as aviation bans and oil embargoes on an entire country have not been imposed by the UN since 1998. Arms embargoes continue to be utilized regularly and more frequently than any other type of targeted sanction, in spite of their overall ineffectiveness in constraining the use of violence by the targeted parties when used alone.

In the last two decades, substantial institutional learning by the UN and Member States with regard to sanctions design and implementation has taken place. Sanctions resolutions now routinely require the creation of a sanctions committee, committee guidelines, clearly articulated designations criteria, Member State reporting, the formation of Panels of Experts to monitor implementation, and most recently, articulated enforcement authorities. The UN Security Council has become more precise in its resolution language, with greater clarity in the resolution structure, more standardized use of terms, and greater detail in describing target groups and identifying information for individuals designated. Particularly in the non-proliferation cases, an enhanced focus on enforcement through the provisions authorizing inspection, seizure, and destruction of goods seized has been developed.

Type
Chapter
Information
Targeted Sanctions
The Impacts and Effectiveness of United Nations Action
, pp. 265 - 279
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

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