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Work in sanctions committees


1518 Sanctions Committee (Iraq)


The aim of the committee

The committee was established in 2003, after Saddam Hussein, the President of Iraq at the time, was overthrown in the Iraq War. The sanctions regime was introduced with the aim of bringing Saddam Hussein and his allies to justice for the crimes committed by the regime. The task of the committee is to identify the regime’s high-ranking officials and their family members, as well as entities controlled by them, which would make it possible to freeze their assets and transfer them to the Development Fund for Iraq.

The committee took over the previous list of individuals and entities compiled in 1990 by the sanctions committee and continues to update it. This previous sanctions regime was imposed after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, which was condemned by the Security Council.
In addition to freezing the assets of individuals and entities included in the list, the measures of the sanctions regime also include an embargo on the sale of arms and arms related materiel to Iraq with the exclusion of the government of Iraq or arms intended to be used by the international forces in Iraq. The goal is to enable a transfer of weapons to the new government to help maintain security in Iraq.

Committee activities

The sanctions list includes 86 individuals and 61 entities. In recent years, the activities of the committee have mainly involved removing entities from the sanctions list (according to applications submitted to the committee). The committee decides on the applications by consensus through a written procedure. The Chair of the committee is Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sven Jürgenson. Estonia took over the responsibilities of the chair from Poland on 1 January 2020.

In addition to written procedures, informal meetings of the committee are also held from time to time. In 2019, two meetings were held. On 9 January, the committee met with the delegation of the Foreign Ministry of Iraq to discuss issues related to the removal procedure of the sanctions list, and the return of Iraq’s assets that are located outside Iraq. On 12 February, a meeting was held with Emmanuel Roux, the representative of INTERPOL to the UN, to discuss cooperation between the committee and INTERPOL.



1591 Sanctions committee (Sudan)


The aim of the committee

In 2005, after a civil war erupted in Darfur, the sanctions committee was established to help restore peace in Darfur. The conflict in Darfur in western Sudan escalated in 2003 after long-term discrimination of the non-Arabic population of Darfur by the central government, which resulted in armed groups launching a fight against the central government. In response, the President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir created mainly Arab paramilitary forces (Janjaweed), and these forces committed atrocities in Darfur that are considered the first genocide of the 21st century.

The measures of the sanctions regime include assets freezes and travel bans, which have been imposed on four individuals who were involved in grave human rights violations in Darfur.

Darfur is also subject to an arms embargo, which is aimed at stopping the distribution and use of weapons in Darfur in order to protect local residents from attacks.

Committee activities

The main aim of the sanctions committee is to monitor the implementation of existing sanctions and continuously reassess the regime. In this task, the committee is assisted by a five-member panel of experts, which regularly reports to the sanctions committee. The panel of experts also submits recommendations to the sanctions committee for follow-up actions. Negotiations over follow-up actions are led by the chair of the sanctions committee. The work of the committee is based on consensus, which means that all statements and actions of the chair must be previously negotiated and accepted by all 15 members of the sanctions committee. One of the tasks of the chair of the sanctions committee is to talk to all individuals with relevance to the work of the committee, and, if necessary, travel to Sudan for this purpose. The chair must also present a report every 90 days to the Security Council on the activities of the sanctions committee and submit an annual report on the committee's work at the end of the year. From 1 January 2020, the committee is chaired by Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sven Jürgenson.

Last updated: 7 May 2020

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