Critique of United Nations Sanctions as an Effective Means of Ensuring International Peace and Security

ABSTRACT 

The quest for an international body authorized to regulate the conduct of states in international law and prevent war and aggression was long and arduous; and was seemingly achieved with the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919. International euphoria was short-lived however, as the League’s existence was truncated by World War 2 following which the United Nations (UN) was created in 1945 to maintain international peace and security. The UN via its mandate is empowered to take effective collective measures – including the imposition of sanctions, to prevent and remove threats to and breaches of world peace, and to suppress acts of aggression. Sanction measures include the complete or partial interruption of economic relations, the various means of communication and the severance of diplomatic relations between the target state and UN member states. Sanctions became prominent after the demise of the Cold War and have been increasingly employed by the UN in executing its global mission. UN sanctions are aimed at altering the objectionable policies of the target state or entity in conformity with international law. This research investigates the effectiveness of UN sanctions in eradicating threats to world peace by appraising its sanctions regimes imposed from 1945 to 2014. The inquiry is inspired by the unrelenting proliferation of international crises and the current precarious state of global peace and security, in spite of the UN’s prominent use of sanctions. The review adopts both doctrinal and empirical approaches and exhausts the expository and analytical methods in achieving its objectives. The findings establish first, that UN sanctions have limited effectiveness in addressing threats to international peace and security; and second, that the impediments to UN sanctions effectiveness are not intrinsic to or inherent in sanctions, but reside in current UN practices concerning their formation and deployment. The study then identifies and scrutinizes the factors responsible for the poor record of UN sanctions, and concludes by proposing a comprehensive blueprint for their effective imposition in international law enforcement.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page - - - - - - - - - - - i

Certification - - - - - - - - - - - ii

Dedication - - - - - - - - - - - iii

Acknowledgements - - - - - - - - - - iv

Table of Contents - - - - - - - - - - v

Table of Cases- - - - - - - - - - - viii

Table of International Legal Instruments - - - - - - - ix

Table of Resolutions - - - - - - - - - - xii

Table of Abbreviations - - - - - - - - - xvi

Abstract - - - - - - - - - - - xviii

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study - - - - - - - - 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem - - - - - - - - 2

1.3 Research Questions - - - - - - - - - 2

1.4 Objectives of the Study - - - - - - - - 3

1.5 Significance of the Study - - - - - - - - 3

1.6 Research Methodology - - - - - - - - 3

1.7 Scope of the Study - - - - - - - - - 3

1.8 Literature Review - - - - - - - - - 4

1.9 Organisation of the Study - - - - - - - - 7

CHAPTER TWO

CONCEPTUAL DISCOURSE OF CENTRAL TERMS

2.1 Concept of Sanctions - - - - - - - - - 8

2.2 Concept of International Peace - - - - - - - 10

2.3 Concept of International Security - - - - - - - 11

2.4 Concept of Effectiveness - - - - - - - - 13

CHAPTER THREE

THE SANCTIONS DEBATE AND THE UN SANCTIONS POLICY

3.1 History and Evolution of Sanctions - - - - - - - 14

3.2 The Sanctions Debate - - - - - - - - 17

3.2.1 The Debate Concerning Effectiveness - - - - - 17

3.2.2 The Humanitarian Impact Debate - - - - - - 21

3.2.3 The Debate on the Limits of the SC’s Powers - - - - 22

3.2.3.1 Charter-Based Limits - - - - - - - 23

3.2.3.2 Customary International Law / Jus Cogens Limits - - - 24

3.2.4 Limits to Sanctions under Article 41 of the UN Charter - - - 25

3.3 The Legal Basis for UN Sanctions - - - - - - - 26

3.3.1 Identifying Threats to the Peace - - - - - - 28

3.3.2 Types of UN Sanctions- - - - - - - - 29

3.3.2.1 Economic Sanctions - - - - - - - 29

3.3.2.2 Financial Sanctions - - - - - - - 29

3.3.2.3 Arms Embargoes - - - - - - - 30

3.3.2.4 Diplomatic Sanctions - - - - - - - 30

3.3.2.5 Travel and Aviation Sanctions - - - - - 30

3.3.2.6 Sporting, Cultural and Scientific Sanctions - - - - 30

3.3.3 The Targets of UN Sanctions - - - - - - - 31

3.3.4 UN Sanctions Objectives - - - - - - - 31

3.3.5 Addressing the Unintended Consequences of UN Sanctions- - - 32

3.3.5.1 The Exemptions Process - - - - - - 32

3.3.5.2 “Targeted” or “Smart” Sanctions - - - - - 32

3.3.5.3 Humanitarian Impact Assessment - - - - - 33

3.3.6 Administration, Implementation and Monitoring of UN Sanctions - - 34

3.3.6.1 UN Sanctions Committees - - - - - - 34

3.3.6.2 Disarmament Commissions and Commissions of Enquiry - - 34

3.3.6.3 Bodies of Experts - - - - - - - 35

3.3.6.4 Monitoring Bodies - - - - - - - 35

3.4 African Union Collaboration with the UN on International Peace and Security- 35

3.5 The Case for Positive Sanctions - - - - - - - 38

CHAPTER FOUR

UN SANCTIONS CASE STUDIES

4.1 Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) - - - - - - - 40

4.2 South Africa - - - - - - - - - - 41

4.3 Iraq - - - - - - - - - - - 42

4.4 Former Yugoslavia (FRY) - - - - - - - - 43

4.5 Somalia - - - - - - - - - - 44

4.6 Libya - - - - - - - - - - - 45

4.7 Liberia - - - - - - - - - - - 46

4.8 Haiti - - - - - - - - - - - 47

4.9 UNITA (Angola) - - - - - - - - - 48

4.10 Rwanda - - - - - - - - - - 49

4.11 Sudan - - - - - - - - - - - 49

4.12 Sierra Leone - - - - - - - - - - 50

4.13 Afghanistan / Al Qaida / Taliban - - - - - - - 51

4.14 Eritrea and Ethiopia - - - - - - - - - 52

4.15 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - - - - - - 52

4.16 Cote d’Ivoire - - - - - - - - - - 53

4.17 Hariri (Lebanon) - - - - - - - - - 53

4.18 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) - - - 54

4.19 Iran - - - - - - - - - - - 55

4.20 Guinea Bissau - - - - - - - - - - 56

4.21 Central Africa Republic - - - - - - - - 56

4.22 Yemen- - - - - - - - - - - 57

CHAPTER FIVE

IMPEDIMENTS TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF UN SANCTIONS

5.1 The Humanitarian Impact of Comprehensive Sanctions - - - - 59

5.1.1 International Human Rights - - - - - - - 59

5.1.2 International Humanitarian Law - - - - - - 59

5.2 Nature of Target Economy and Regime - - - - - - 60

5.3 Impact on Third States - - - - - - - - 60

5.4 The Blunt Edges of Smart Sanctions - - - - - - - 61

5.4.1 Current Practices of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees - - 61

5.4.1.1 Designation or Listing Procedures - - - - - 61

5.4.1.2 Procedural Operations- - - - - - - 62

5.4.1.3 De-listing Procedures - - - - - - - 62

5.5 Improper Conception, Design and Implementation - - - - - 64

5.6 The Ad Hoc Nature of UN Sanctions Committees - - - - - 65

5.7 Unilateral Sanctions - - - - - - - - - 65

5.8 Lack of Transparency and Consistency in the UN - - - - - 66

5.9 US Hypocrisy - - - - - - - - - - 67

5.10 UN Veto, Consensus and Reform - - - - - - - 68

5.11 Absence of the Means of Enforcing Compliance - - - - - 69

CHAPTER SIX

FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION

6.1 Findings - - - - - - - - - - 70

6.2 Recommendations - - - - - - - - - 70

6.3 Conclusion - - - - - - - - - - 73

Bibliography - - - - - - - - - - 75

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APA

Consults, E. & ERIC, E (2022). Critique of United Nations Sanctions as an Effective Means of Ensuring International Peace and Security. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/critique-of-united-nations-sanctions-as-an-effective-means-of-ensuring-international-peace-and-security

MLA 8th

Consults, Education, and ECHA ERIC "Critique of United Nations Sanctions as an Effective Means of Ensuring International Peace and Security" Afribary. Afribary, 30 Nov. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/critique-of-united-nations-sanctions-as-an-effective-means-of-ensuring-international-peace-and-security. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

MLA7

Consults, Education, and ECHA ERIC . "Critique of United Nations Sanctions as an Effective Means of Ensuring International Peace and Security". Afribary, Afribary, 30 Nov. 2022. Web. 20 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/critique-of-united-nations-sanctions-as-an-effective-means-of-ensuring-international-peace-and-security >.

Chicago

Consults, Education and ERIC, ECHA . "Critique of United Nations Sanctions as an Effective Means of Ensuring International Peace and Security" Afribary (2022). Accessed May 20, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/critique-of-united-nations-sanctions-as-an-effective-means-of-ensuring-international-peace-and-security