By Richard Nephew and Jonathan Brewer

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Authors Jonathan Brewer and Richard Nephew identify key issues and obstacles faced by United Nations sanctions committees, panel members, and member states, and offer recommendations for how to solve some of these challenges, in light of the importance of sanctions as part of the UNSC policy-making process.

Following an informal survey of UN committee members and experts in late 2015 and early 2016, the authors have identified three core themes to be addressed: absence of proper training; shortage of proper analytic support, including access to technical capabilities and laboratory equipment; and inadequate education for sanctions committee members, panel experts, and member states.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of UN Security Council sanctions regimes--which offers immense international policy value given the application of sanctions in a variety of hotspots around the world--Brewer and Nephew recommend funding and implementing the following six programs:

  • Provision of regular, specific training courses on sanctions topics
  • Provision of facilities and opportunities for dedicated, off-site informal discussions among sanctions committee chairs to promote information sharing on best practices, problems, and solutions
  • Establishment of a regular mechanism for the provision of ad hoc funding of specific requirements for sanctions implementation, similar to member state support programs for other specialized agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Establishment of “matchmaking” facilities between potential donors and recipients for specific, identified projects
  • Development of a guidebook for member states on implementation of UNSC sanctions resolutions and, in time, dedicated training resources
  • Analytical papers on specific aspects of UNSC sanctions, intended to explore best practices, problems to avoid, and solutions to frequent implementation issues.