United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the main deliberative UN organ for security issues and the only that can pass legally binding resolutions.
15 states – including five permanent members (also known as the “P5”): China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members that serve two-year rotating terms. In 2020 those members are: Belgium, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Tunisia, and Viet Nam. The presidency of the council rotates monthly, according to the English alphabetical listing of its member states.
Under Article 26 of the UN Charter, in order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee, plans to be submitted to the UN members for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.
Verification and Compliance
Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, Article 39, the Security Council can determine a “threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and may recommend, or decide what measures to take, whether economic, political, or use of force, to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
The UNSC has established two committees that act under Chapter VII of the UN Charter: the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the 1540 Committee.
The CTC prepares a preliminary implementation assessment (PIA) that provides an overview of the counter-terrorism situation in each Member State, which are then used to survey each country’s implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001). Since 2005, CTC has been carrying out on-site visits to follow up on countries’ implementation of the resolution and to determine what type of assistance a State may need to implement the resolution. The UNSC oversees the work of the Committee and hears briefings from the Committee Chairman at open meetings.
The 1540 Committee is charged with imposing binding obligations on States to establish controls to prevent non-State actors from “developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.”
In 1991, the Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq with Resolution 687 (1991) until Iraq was fully in compliance with its obligations under all relevant resolutions, treaties, and agreements to disarm its weapons of mass destruction. These sanctions were reinforced by Resolution 1441 (2002) which gave Iraq a “final opportunity to comply” with its disarmament obligations.
In 1993, the UNSC was notified that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) was in non-compliance with its nuclear safeguards agreement (INFCIRC/403). Although the DPRK announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), negotiations with the United States suspended the referral of non-compliance. However, when the DPRK re-announced its withdrawal in 2003, its lack of compliance with safeguards and NPT obligations was again formally referred to the UNSC.
In February of 2006, after a the breakdown of talks between the European 3 (Great Britain, France, and Germany) and Iran, the IAEA Board of Governors voted on a resolution calling for Iran’s referral to the Security Council. As of July 2010, UNSC has passed six resolutions demanding that Iran comply with the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and imposing sanctions for noncompliance.
A number of States, particularly those belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), have disputed the use of the UNSC for norm creation. With the use of Chapter VII and the power of the Permanent 5, NAM is cautious about the infringement on sovereign decisions. For example, when NAM judged that the Movement’s positions were not adequately reflected in Resolution 1887, NAM representatives insisted that references to UNSCR 1887 be excluded from the draft resolutions of the UNGA First Committee and the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
On August 14, 2020, the UN security council failed to pass a U.S. draft resolution calling for the extension of an arms-embargo provided under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the 2015 enshrining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Following the failed passage of the draft resolution, on August 20, 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unilaterally initiated the snapback of sanctions, beginning the process of reinitiating sanctions lifted in 2016. In a joint letter to the Security Council, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, argued that, as the US’ ability to invoke the snapback of sanctions was nullified on May 8, 2018 with the Trump administrations withdrawal from the treaty, “any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be devoid of any legal effect.” The United States maintains that as it is listed as a party under UNSCR 2231, it maintains the right to initiate sanctions snapback and circulated a six-page legal memo in the security council on August 13.
On August 25 Indonesian Ambassador to the UN and Security Council President for August, Dian Triansyah Djani, announced that the Security Council was “not in the position to take further action” due to a lack of internal consensus on the issue.
In August, the UN Security Council formally discussed the situation in Kashmir for the first time since 1971 after India announced that it was stripping the region of its autonomy, thereby provoking a harsh reaction from Pakistan. Although the UNSC has traditionally avoided listing the highly-controversial Kashmir as a topic of formal discussion, preferring to address it in less official circles, P5 member China brought it to the table after repeated requests from Pakistan. However, after 90 minutes of closed-door meetings, not even a brief statement could be agreed upon.
On 16 September, UNSC delegates stated that the 14 September attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities could “spark a regional conflagration” given the civil war and terrorist activity in Yemen.
From 18-20 September, the UNSC 1540 Committee participated in a seminar reviewing the past successes and future goals of the implementation of UNSCR 1540 (2004) in Pacific countries, particularly those who do not have nuclear weapons but may be used in nuclear materials transactions. Participants ended the seminar by agreeing to develop targeted approaches to helping Pacific countries fulfil their 1540 obligations.
From 21-25 October, the 1540 Committee held a training course in Xiamen, China for 1540 national points of contact in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the third such training focused on this particular region and the ninth overall. The goal of the training is to promote multilateralism in the face of global WMD security threats.
On 22 November, the UNSC reaffirmed its support for the OPCW and condemned the use of chemical weapons “anywhere, at any time, by anyone” following a briefing by the OPCW Director-General. The United Kingdom, which held the Security Council presidency for the month of November, urged Council members to “remain committed to the non-proliferation regime” despite disagreements on other security issues.
On 5 February, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, briefed the Security Council on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact Finding Mission (FFM) regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
On 14 March, the Security Council discussed the letter written by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the President of the Security Council regarding the chemical weapon attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. The U.K. claimed Russia was responsible for the attack. The Russian delegate called the claim “irresponsible.”
On 22 March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave a statement reiterating that the use of chemical weapons was inexcusable under all circumstances.
On 10 April, the Security Council failed to adopt three separate draft solutions investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The first draft allowing an “independent mechanism of investigation” into the attacks was vetoed by the Russian Federation and Bolivia. A similar draft put forth by Russia was also rejected with vetoes from France, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, the U.K., and the United States. The third draft focusing on forceful condemnation in response to the use of chemical weapons was also rejected by France, Poland, the U.K., and the U.S.
On 18 April, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council that the OPCW determined that a high-purity, toxic agent was used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Although this confirmed the U.K.’s suspiciouns that the nerve agent used was Novichok, Russia denied being associated with the attack.
On 23 April, the Security Council held its annual retreat in Sweden. There, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres congratulated the Council on achieving great strides toward peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. However, he expressed concern that the Council was not as unified when it came to resolving the chemical weapons crisis in Syria.
On 27 June, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, briefed the Security Council on resolution 2231 regarding the JCPOA.
On 27 September, the Security Council held a meeting to discuss the status of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Japan and the U.S. both expressed concern that the economic sanctions imposed by the Council have been “breached” regarding petroleum imports. China asked the Council to consider reducing the use of economic sanctions imposed on North Korea because of its compliance with disarmament agreements.
On 18 January, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the UNSC on Resolution 2231(2015). Feltman stated that the UN had not received information regarding Iranian ballistic missile activities or related transfers that were contrary to Resolution 2231. He also noted that Member States are using the procurement channel process set up by the Joint Commission to facilitate the transfer of nuclear-related items.
On 28 February, the UNSC failed to adopt a draft resolution imposing sanctions on individuals and entities involved with chemical weapons production and use in Syria. China, Bolivia, and the Russian Federation vetoed the resolution.
On 16 March, Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz (Bolivia), Chair of the UNSCR 1540 (2004) Committee, briefed the UNSC on the status of 1540 implementation and the 2017 programme of work.
On 23 March, the UNSC voted to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts monitoring sanctions on the DPRK until 24 April 2018. The Panel will submit its midterm report by 6 September 2017 and recommendations by 14 March 2018.
On 12 April, the UNSC failed to adopt a draft resolution condemning the chemical weapons attack on Khan Shaykhun, Syria. Bolivia and the Russian Federation voted against the resolution and China, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan abstained from the vote. The resolution would have called on Syria to comply with the recommendations of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission and OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mission. It also would have requested a monthly report by the Secretary-General on Syria’s Resolution 2118 (2013) implementation.
On 22 May, the UNSC condemned the DPRK’s most recent ballistic missile test in violation of its international obligations.
On 2 June, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2356, which extended the number of entities and individuals targeted by sanctions originally outlined in Resolution 1718. The extension of sanctions was in response to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities.
On 27 June, the UNSC held an open debate on non-proliferation of WMDs.
On 30 June, UNSC adopted its first ever resolution condemning the indiscriminate use of mine action in violation of international humanitarian law.
On 15 September, the UNSC issued a Press Statement condemning the launch of a ballistic missile by the DPRK which flew over Japan on 14 September 2017.
On 26 September, the UNSC updated the lists of items, materials, goods and technology whose supply, sale or transfer to the Islamic Republic of Iran require approval in advance, on a case by case basis, by the Secuirty Council.
On October 24th, the Secuirty Council failed to renew the mandate of the Joint Invesitgative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), formed to determine the perpatrators of chemical-weapons attacks in Syria, following a Russian veto of the renewal.
On November 7th, Edmon Mulet, Head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told the Secuirty Council that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had been identified as responsible for the use of sulfur mustard at Umm Hawsh and the Syrian Government as accountable for the use of sarin at Khan Shaykhun. This, according the Head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism’s seventh report.
On November 29, speakers in the UNSC called for urgent measures to be taken to prevent the threat eminating from the escalation of tension on the Korean Penninusla following the DPRK’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29th into the Sea of Japan. Speakers urged the Council to adopt harsher coercive measures against the DPRK.
On December 22, The UNSC adopted Resolution 2397 in response to the DPRK continued nuclear and ballistic weapons programme and the ballistic missile launch on 28 November. The New sanction decided all UN Member States shall “prohibit” the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of crude oil, refined petroleum products, and various types of equipment and raw material to the DPRK.
On 6 January, Council President Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay) issued a statement on behalf of the Council condemning the recent DPRK nuclear test.
On 7 February, in response to the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-3 space launch vehicle by the DPRK, the Security Council held emergency consultations where it condemned the test and announced the future adoption of a new resolution in response to violations of current UNSC sanctions.
On 25 May, the Security Council ended the 13 year sanctions regime on Liberia. Acknowledging the progress made by Liberia since the 1999-2003 civil war, the UNSC terminated the arms embargo against Liberia along with the sanctions committee and the expert panel.
On 1 June, the Security Council strongly condemned the most recent failed ballistic missile launches by the DPRK on 31 May and 27 and 28 April.
On 23 June. the Security Council strongly condemned two North Korean ballistic missile launches. The council reiterated its demand that North Korea halt all nuclear and ballistic missile activity.
On 28 June, the Security Council elected Sweden, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Boliva as new non-permanent members to the council for 2017-2018. After failing to reach a majority of votes to win the final seat, Italy and the Netherlands decided to split the term with Italy being on the council for 2017 and the Netherlands in 2018. These new members will be replacing Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela on January 1, 2017.
On 18 July, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman spoke before the Security Council where he called for implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The next report of the Secretary-General will be presented to the Council in January 2017.
On 26 August, the Security Council issued a statement condemning DPRK submarine-launched ballistic missile tests on 23 August and 9 July, as well as its ballistic missile launches on 2 August and 18 July.
On 6 September, the Security Council issued another statement condemning another DPRK ballistic missile launch on 5 September.
On 9 September, the Security Council held emergency consultations to address the DPRK’s fifth nuclear test on 9 September. The Security Council strongly condemned the test and announced that it would begin work immediately on an appropriate response via a Security Council resolution.
On 23 September, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2310 (2016) by a vote of 14 in favor and one abstention (Egypt). The Resolution urges all States that have yet to sign or ratify the CTBT do so immediately, and for States to uphold their moratoriums on nuclear weapons tests and nuclear explosions. It also called on all States to support the verification activities of the CTBTO.
On 17 October, the UNSC condemned the October 14th missile test completed by the DPRK.
On 31 October, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2314(2016), which extended the mandate of the UN- OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism until 18 November. The Mechanism’s mandate is to determine responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
On 17 November, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2319 (2016), which extended the mandate of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism for an additional year, following the 31 October extension. On 30 November, the Security Council voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2321 (2016) , which strengthens sanctions against the DPRK after the September nuclear test. Under the resolution, the DPRK cannot supply, sell, or transfer coal, iron, and iron ore, and that States should prohibit the import of these materials from the DPRK. The resolution exempts transactions in iron and iron ore intended for livelihood purposes. Resolution 2321 further prohibits the DPRK from exporting copper, nickel, silver, zinc, new helicopters and vessels, and statues.
Resolution 2321 also requires all Member States to limit the number of bank accounts held by diplomatic missions of the DPRK, and to suspend technical cooperation with persons or groups sponsored by, or representing, the government of the DPRK. Lastly, the resolution added several North Korean individuals and entities to a travel ban and asset freeze, as well as added items to the list of nuclear- and/or missile-useable items that Member States should prevent the supply or transfer to the DPRK.
On 15 December the UNSC unanimously adopted resolution 2325 reinforcing the need to halt the proliferation of WMDs by non-state actors.
On 26 January, the Secretary-General transmitted the 16th monthly report of the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the Security Council. The report summarized the progress in the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons program.
On 12 February, the Security Council held the meeting, emphasizing Member States’ obligations to prevent terrorist groups from getting benefits. Unanimously adopting Resolution 2199 (2015), the Security Council reminded Member States not to supply, sell, or transfer any kinds of arms and related materials to listed terrorist individuals or groups.
On 4 March, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2207 (2015), extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts that assists the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until 5 April 2016. The Security Council also requested the Panel of Experts to provide a midterm report to the Committee no later than 5 August 2015.
On 6 March, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2209 (2015). The Security Council, following recent findings by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW), condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, re-emphasized that no party in Syria should use chemical weapons, and stated that sanctions would be carried out, including possible military responses, against any further violation.
On 24 March, the Chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee (1737 Committee) made a quarterly briefing to the Security Council. In the briefing, the Chair Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi of Spain presented a report which covered from 18 december 2014 to 23 March 2015. He called on Iran to provide a response in relation to events investigated by Panel of Experts and said that the Committee assisted the implementation of relevant Council measures. In the following debate, several representatives expressed their hope. The representatives of China and Russia stated that the Committee should advance the process to reach an agreement with Iran. The delegate of France expressed concerns about the standstill of the process since Iran had not answered several inquiries.
On 13 May, the Security Council held an all-day debate on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
On 22 May, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2220 (2015), urging cooperation in addressing “the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.”
On 9 June, unanimously adopting the resolution 2224 (2015), the Security Council extended the mandate of the Panel supporting the 1737 Iran Sanction Committee until 9 July 2016.
On 23 June, the Chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee briefed the Security Council that the sanctions remains in full effect as the P5+1 and Iran continue negotiations. The Chair also reported that there is no new incidents from 24 March to 22 June. Participants expressed hope that a comprehensive nuclear deal can be reached.
On 20 July, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2231 (2015) and therefore endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna by E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and Iran. The resolution listed monitoring mechanisms and implementation details. It also issued plans of lifting sanctions against Iran.
On 6 January, the President of the UNSC stated that informal consultations on Syria’s chemical weapons would take place on January 8.
On 5 February, following informal consultations, the UNSC President stated that the Syria situation would occupy most of the Council’s time in February, pointing to chemical weapons consultations planned for 6 February with Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Mission, Sigrid Kaag.
On 5 March, the UNSC met to discuss the North Korea proliferation problem. Adopting Resolution 2141 (2014), the Council extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts that assists the Santions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
On 2 April, the UNSC president stated that on 3 April the Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would counsel the UNSC on the implementation of resolution 2118, which prohibits the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons in Syria.
On 7 May, the UNSC met to discuss the spread of weapons of mass destruction and to memorialize the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1540 (2004). In the meeting, the Council expressed its concerns about the risk that non-state actors might develop, acquire and or use weapons of mass destruction. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson summarized the achievements and setbacks of Resolution 1540 and called for global commitment and enhanced assistance to make the resolution work more effectively. At the end of the meeting, the UNSC issued a presidential statement highlighting the threat of proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery and the need to monitor the implementation of the resolution.
On 9 June, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2159 (2014), extending the mandate of the Expert Panel on Iran until 9 July 2015 and requiring the Panel to provide a mid-term report by 9 November 2014.
On 25 June, the UNSC met to discuss past and present questions concerning Iran’s nuclear program. The Chair of the UNSC Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (the 1737 Committee), Gary Quinlan, briefed the work of the committee. He emphasized, and member states agreed, that “only the Council itself could alter the sanctions regime.” The Chair presented the final report of the subsidiary body’s Panel of Experts, agreed upon by several states. However, Russia claimed that the experts’ information was not backed up by facts and would exert negative influence.
On 15 September, the Chair of the 1737 Committee noted that the Committee will continue its work on implementation monitoring and highlighted the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program among China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On 24 November, the 1540 Committee stressed that states must strengthen efforts to prevent non-state actors from getting weapons of mass destruction. The Security Council members reaffirmed support for the objectives and the work of the Committee.
On 18 December, in the 7350th meeting of the Security Council, the 1737 Committee on Iran’s sanctions briefed its commitment to the implementation of every resolution. The United States, China, Russia, and other countries made statements addressing the Committee’s work.
On 22 January, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2087 in response to the Democratic Republic of Korea’s satellite launch on 12 December 2012. The Security Council condemned the satellite launch, recalled its previous resolutions that prohibit any further development of nuclear or ballistic weapons technologies in the DPRK, and urged the DPRK to comply with these resolutions. The Security Council expressed “determination to take significant action in the event that the DPRK proceeds with a further launch.” The resolution strengthened sanctions against the DPRK that were included in Resolutions 1718 and 1874, including a clarification of a state’s right to seize and destroy material on its way to or from the DPRK for the suspected purpose on weapons development or research. The resolution also reiterated that persons suspected of any involvement with the DPRK’s nuclear program are subjected to travel bans. It added four more individuals, as well as a number of entities, to a travel ban/asset freeze list. This resolution does not have any new monitoring mechanisms.
On 21 February, the President of the Security Council circulated a Report received from the Director General of the IAEA previously requested in Resolution 1929. It examined Iran’s implementation of its NPT Safeguards Agreement, determining that the Iranian government had not ceased its enrichment activities or its projects related to heavy water. Additionally, the Report found that Iran had begun to install more advanced centrifuges at its FEP facility. The Report thus concluded that the IAEA could not be certain that Iran did not possess undeclared nuclear materials.
On 7 March, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2094 in response to the DPRK’s nuclear test on 12 February 2013, condemning the state’s third nuclear test and outlining new sanctions against the regime for continuing to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The resolution further restricted the DPRK’s access to bulk cash transfers and limited the country’s ties to formal international banking systems. The resolution called on states to use guidance from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to further combat the DPRK’s ability to finance its proliferation efforts. The resolution added three individuals to a travel ban and asset freeze lists, froze assets for two entities involved in financing the DPRK’s nuclear program, and expanded the list of prohibited luxury goods imports to the DPRK, including jewelry, yachts, and cars. Furthermore, it strengthened previous sanctions by expanding the scope of materials for weapons programs covered under the resolution. While there are no new monitoring mechanisms included in this resolution, it increased the enforcement and monitoring measures that states can employ for sanctions and the transshipment of materials to or from DPRK through their territories. The resolution called for a resumption of the Six-Party Talks, as well as the implementation of the September 2005 Joint Statement. Lastly, the resolution expressed concern that the recent satellite and nuclear tests by the DPRK, as well as any further provocations, represent a threat to nonproliferation efforts in the region, as well as international peace and security.
On 5 June 2013, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2105. It extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1929 to assist the Committee created in Resolution 1737 with monitoring the implementation of sanctions on Iran due to its failure to comply with the IAEA. A midterm report is due to the Committee from the Panel on 9 November 2013, and a final report to the Committee is due 9 May 2014. The Security Council will receive the final report by 9 June 2014.
On 27 September 2013, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2118. The resolution calls for a cessation of use, development and production of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government. Furthermore, the resolution requires that all parties within Syria comply with the work of the OPCW and the UN in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
On 11 October, the United Nations Security Council gave approval for a joint UN-OPCW mission to oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapon capability. This is the first time that there will be a joint mission of this kind. Up to 100 UN and OPCW experts will be deployed to ensure the destruction of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
On 4 November, Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China, assumed presidency of the UNSC. He commented on the “tight” schedule of the UNSC, including consultations with the OPCW in its ongoing work of the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. Liu was also questioned on “Iranian nuclear issues,” and responded that the UNSC had no intention to address these issues, pointing to ongoing efforts between Iran and the P5+1 to resolve the problem.
On 3 December 2013, Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France, assumed presidency of the UNSC. Araud cited a recent report that described progress in Syria as “extremely limited,” and declared that “there are many uncertainties regarding the way in which the disposal [of chemical weapons] will take place.” On the topic of Iranian nuclear development, Araud stated that the UNSC had dealt with the situation through sanctions resolutions and would return to the topic upon closure of deliberations between the P5+1 and Iran. Due to preexisting arrangements, no new sanctions were to be imposed in the coming 6 months.
On 1 January, Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo began their two-year terms as non-permanent members of the UNSC.
On 1 February, the Arab League called upon the UNSC to adopt a resolution to support the League’s attempts to end the violence in Syria. Russian statements signaled that it would veto any draft resolution aimed at removing the incumbent regime in Syria.
On 4 February, a draft resolution proposed to the Security Council was vetoed by China and Russia. The rest of the Council voted in favor of the resolution, which backed the Arab League plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria. Both China and Russia claimed a violation of Syria’s sovereignty as their basis for vetoing the resolution.
On 13 February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced her concern for the future of Syria. Specifically, she stated that the UNSC’s inaction has emboldened the regime to act even more oppressively against the Syrian people.
On 4 April, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, who is currently head of the Security Council, indicated that there would likely be action taken if North Korea undertakes a third nuclear test.
On 16 April, the President of the UNSC issued a statement condemning the satellite launch by the DPRK.
On 19 April, the President of the UNSC issued a statement entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security,” reaffirming that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems constitute a threat to international security.
On 4 May, the President of the UNSC issued a statement discussing the challenges the world faces at the hands of terrorists.
On 18 May, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2048, imposing a travel ban on leaders of Coup in Guinea-Bissau and demanded immediate steps to restore the constitutional order.
On 29 June, the President of the UNSC issued a statement condemning the ongoing attacks and continuing violations of the international humanitarian law carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Central African region.
On 31 August, the President of the UNSC issued a statement welcoming the progress made by Sudan and South Sudan in negotiations to fulfill their obligations under the Resolution 2046.
On 26 September, the President of the UNSC issued a statement encouraging the League of Arab States to “contribute their collective efforts in settling conflicts peacefully in the Middle East”. The UNSC seeks a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and reaffirms the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.
On 19 October, the President of the UNSC issued a statement condemning the military and other destabilizing activities of the 23 March Movement and demanded the cessation of all forms of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On 18 March, the UNSC adopted Resolution 1973, establishing a “no-fly zone” over Libya and to “take all necessary measures” to protect civilians within the state from “threat of attack,” excluding a “foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” The adoption followed several news reports warning that Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi may use chemical and biological weapons against rebel forces, which lead some to question the reliability of such reports.
On 20 April, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 1977, extending the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional 10 years until 2021. It also mandated a comprehensive review of the status of implementation of UNSCR 1540 after five years and just before the expiration of the mandate.
On 16 May, the UNSC heard briefings from three committees dealing with al Qaeda and the Taliban, counter-terrorism, and the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Ambassador Baso Sangqu, Chairman of the 1540 Committee, notified the committee’s continued awareness efforts on the revised procedures for processing assistance requests for adherence to Resolution 1540 (2004).
On 9 June, the IAEA referred Syria to the UNSC for its reported non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA.
On 9 June, the UNSC passed Resolution 1984, extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts (set forth by Resolution 1929) for one year. The body is responsible for assisting in monitoring state adherence to sanctions against Iran due to its nuclear activities.
On 10 June, the UNSC passed Resolution 1985, extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts (set forth by Resolution 1874) for one year. The body is responsible for assisting in monitoring state adherence to sanctions against North Korea due to its nuclear and ballistic missile activities.
On 28 July, the UNSC passed Resolution 2001, reaffirming the need for improved security and governance in Iraq and stressing the importance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq.
On 21 October, the General Assembly elected Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo to hold two-year seats on the UNSC from January 2012 to December 2013.
On 24 October, the General Assembly elected Azerbaijan to hold a two-year seat on the UNSC from January 2012 to December 2013.
On 21 December, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2028, noting that the situation in the Middle East is tense, and that a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem is needed to resolve the tension.
On 26 February, the UNSC stated the possibility of lifting trade sanctions on Iraq as a result of the steps taken by the Iraqi government to support the international non-proliferation regime and their adherence to global disarmament standards. The trade sanction set out in its resolutions 678 (1991) and 707 (1991) were imposed on Iraq following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and included restrictions related to weapons of mass destruction and civil nuclear activities.
On 4 March, the Security Council committee monitoring the implementation of sanctions on Iran issued statements that explored options garnering an effective response to Iran’s repeated violations of UNSC resolutions.
On 7 June, the UNSC passed Resolution 1928 strengthening sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The resolution extended by one year the previously passed resolution mandating an expert body for managing UN sanctions on the DPRK. The UNSC also urged all UN bodies to provide the committee with any information pertaining to the implementation of previous resolutions.
On 9 June, the UNSC passed Resolution 1929 imposing a new round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The resolution calls again on Iran to suspend enrichment activities and comply with other requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and previous UNSC resolutions. States are called upon to inspect all cargo going to and from Iran suspected of containing prohibited materials and items and to cooperate in inspections on the high seas. Furthermore, States can seize and dispose of materials and items the supply or transfer of which is prohibited by current and previous UNSC resolutions on Iran. The resolution additionally blocks Iran’s access to the international financial system by prohibiting states from providing financial services such as insurance or reinsurance and developing new banking ties with Iran, including the establishment of new branches of Iranian banks or joint ventures that could contribute to nuclear proliferation activities. The resolution also directs the secretary-general to establish a panel of experts for an initial period of one year to support the Iran Sanctions Committee (established pursuant to Resolution 1737) and to monitor states’ implementation of the sanctions.
On 13 October, the General Assembly elected Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa to hold two-year seats on the UNSC from January 2011 to December 2012.
On 15 December, the UNSC passed Resolution 1957 that lifts sanctions that were imposed on Iraq regarding weapons of mass destruction, missile, and civil nuclear-related programs. The resolution also urges Iraq to ratify the IAEA Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as soon as possible. Additionally, the resolution establishes a review will occur in one year that will examine Iraq’s commitments to the IAEA and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
On 13 April, the UNSC condemned the recent rocket launch by the DPRK and called for peace of the Korean Peninsula. The UNSC also stated that the 5 April launch was in violation of Resolution 1718, which demanded that DPRK refrain from any further nuclear testing of ballistic missile launches.
On 12 June, in response to the DPRK’s apparent nu-clear test of 25 May, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 1874. The resolution condemned “in the strongest terms” the DPRK’s nuclear test, and demanded that the DPRK stop all nuclear and missile-related activities. It tightened the sanctions implemented under Resolution 1718 to include “all arms and related materiel, as well as to financial transactions, technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of such arms or materiel,” with the exception of small arms and light weapons. It called on UN member states to inspect “all cargo to and from the DPRK” if they had any reason to believe that its content was weapon-related, as well as to stop providing any financial assistance to the DPRK not for humanitarian or developmental purposes.
The DPRK, which had previously declared that any sanctions against it would be regarded as an “act of war,” issued a response stating that it would “weaponize” all of its available plutonium and begin enriching uranium. A DPRK Foreign Ministry official said in a statement that “it has become an absolutely impossible option for North Korea to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons.”
On 15 June, the secretary-general renewed his appeal to all states that have not yet done so to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which has still not entered into force over a decade after it opened for signature.
On 6 July, the UNSC condemned the reported ballistic missile tests conducted by the DPRK on 4 July, stating they violate Council resolutions and pose a threat to regional and international security. Council members reiterated that the DPRK must comply with its obligations under all resolutions, including Resolution 1874, which was adopted unanimously last month in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test.
On 16 July, the UNSC imposed sanctions on five companies and five individuals in connection with the nuclear test carried out by the DPRK in May.
On 31 July, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urged greater progress towards achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. Mr. Ban highlighted his own five-point plan to achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
On 11 September, the United States released its draft UNSC Resolution on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament to the Security Council’s permanent five member states. The draft was subject to adjustments until the UNSC summit on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament on 24 September.
On 11 September, Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt sent identical letters to the President of the Security Council and UN secretary-general on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The letters, transmitted in relation to the 24 September summit, contained excepts from the Final Declaration of the NAM Summit held in July in Cairo, outlining the NAM positions on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.
On 24 September, the UNSC held a summit-level meeting on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama in New York. President Obama is the first U.S. president to preside over a Security Council session. Resolution 1887 was adopted unanimously by the Council and is the first comprehensive action taken on nuclear issues since the mid-1990s. This resolution calls on States to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the IAEA Additional Protocol. In addition, it promotes the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and calls for the universalization of the NPT, the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) and its 2005 Amendment as well as the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
On 17 December the UNSC adopted measures to modify the decade-old sanctions imposed on Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. The new measures considered the establishment of an ombudsperson to mediate requests from individuals, organizations, and companies to be removed from the sanctions list.
On 3 March, the Council adopted Resolution 1803 imposing a new round of sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment and to close down its heavy water facility. The preambular paragraphs of the resolution affirm the importance of states’ compliance to NPT obligations and stressed the importance of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue and realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. It also expressed concern over Iran’s non-implementation of Security Council resolutions.
The resolution furthermore welcomed the agreement between Iran and the IAEA to resolve all outstanding issues concerning Iran’s nuclear program and progress made in this regard. It also requested Iran to take immediate steps mandated by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14. The resolution required all states to exercise “vigilance and restraint” in denying entry or transit of individuals who could assist Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear weapon delivery systems. It further extends the freeze of the financial assets of persons or entities supporting Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear-weapon delivery systems.
The Security Council on 20 March adopted Resolution 1805 extending the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Directorate until 31 December 2010. The resolution affirms the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s (CTC) decision to support the recommendations contained in the revised “Organizational plan for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (S/2008/80).” It also required the CTC to submit an annual report on the implementation of the 1805 resolution.
On 25 April, the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1810 extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional three years and called for a comprehensive review of the status of implementation. The Security Council emphasized the need to enhance ongoing cooperation between the 1540 Committee, the CTC, and the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions committee.
On 27 September, the Security Council passed Resolution 1835 calling upon Iran to fulfill without delay its obligations under Resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
On 25 March, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 1747 tightening economic and political sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. While South Africa, Qatar, and Indonesia proposed amendments, including a South African proposal for a 90-day “time out” to allow more time for negotiations with Iran, no significant amendments were made to the resolution. In addition to measures related to Iran’s nuclear program, the resolution also includes a conventional arms embargo affecting organizations such as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Iran continued to insist that its nuclear activities were in compliance with the NPT and continued to call into question both the legitimacy of the UNSC and the legality of the resolution.
The resolution calls for a report from the IAEA within 60 days on whether Iran has complied with the resolution’s demands.
In May 2007, the IAEA submitted its report, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report deals with the developments since the IAEA director-general’s report of 22 February 2007 on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant Security Council resolutions by Iran. The report stated that the Agency was able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, but maintains its inability to verify the scope and nature of Iran’s nuclear program. In this regard, the report noted that as long as the long-standing issues are resolved and Iran implements the Additional Protocol, the Agency would not be able to determine the history of Iran’s nuclear program.
On 29 June 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1762, which terminated the mandate of UNMOVIC under the relevant resolutions.
In November 2007, the IAEA submitted its report, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report discussed the status of implementation of the working plan the Agency had concluded with Iran to resolve the outstanding issues related to its nuclear program. The report stated that while the Agency was able to verify the past activities pertaining to the centrifuge program it continues to seek further information to verify the completeness of Iran’s declarations. It further stated that Iranian nuclear activities related to enrichment and heavy water is contrary to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It also urged Iran to implement the Additional Protocol to enable the Agency to assure the international community of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
The Security Council on 10 December 2007 adopted Resolution 1787 extending the mandate of the CTC until 31 March 2008.
On 29 March, the Security Council agreed on a presidential statement that called upon Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. This statement marks the first time that the Security Council has directed Iran to address international concerns over its nuclear program. The council unanimously approved the statement requesting the IAEA director-general to report within 30 days on Iran’s compliance with its demands. The statement was issued after a flurry of negotiations among the Permanent 5. While there seemed to be agreement among the United States, the United Kingdom, and France regarding approaches to the Iranian issue, including strong support for sanctions under Chapter VII, China and Russia voiced their opposition to such action and stressed more diplomatic means to resolving the issue.
On 28 April, the IAEA director-general submitted a report to the Security Council pursuant to the 29 March presidential statement in which he detailed the IAEA’s findings on the implementation of safeguards in Iran.
On 27 April, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1673 (2006) thereby extending the mandate of the 1540 Committee by another two years until 27 April 2008. The Council endorsed several of the recommendations made by the 1540 Committee, including the requirement of Resolution 1540 and the importance of all states to fully implement the resolution; the call for all states that have not yet presented a first report on steps they have taken or intend to take to implement Resolution 1540 to submit such a report to the 1540 Committee without delay; and the decision that the 1540 Committee shall intensify its efforts to promote the full implementation by all states of Resolution 1540 through a work program, which includes the compilation of information on the status of states’ implementation of all aspects of the resolution, including outreach, dialogue, assistance, and cooperation. According to the resolution, the work program should address in particular all aspects of paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Resolution 1540, which encompasses (a) accountability, (b) physical protection, (c) border controls and law enforcement efforts, and (d) national export and trans-shipment controls, including controls on providing funds and services such as financing to such export and trans-shipment, and in that regard, the pursuit of the ongoing dialogue between the 1540 Committee and states on the full implementation of the resolution are needed, including further actions needed from states to that end and on technical assistance needed and offered. Resolution 1673 also invited the 1540 Committee to explore experience-sharing and lessons learned in the areas covered by Resolution 1540 with states and international, regional, and sub-regional organizations. The final recommendation in the resolution asks the 1540 Committee to submit to the Security Council a report no later than 27 April 2008 on compliance with Resolution 1540.
On 15 July, acting “under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and stability,” the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its ballistic missile program, while also condemning Pyongyang’s missile tests that occurred on 5 July. Resolution 1695 requires all UN member states to stop imports and exports of any material or funds relating to the DPRK’s missile programs or WMD. It also demands North Korea “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program,” and to re-establish a moratorium on the launching of missiles.
On 31 July, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1696, in which it expressed its serious concern over the continued inability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to provide assurances about Iran’s undeclared nuclear material and activities after more than three years. The council demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and set a deadline (31 August 2006) for Iran to do so or face the possibility of economic and diplomatic sanctions. The council expressed its conviction that such suspension, as well as full, verified Iranian compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor’s requirements, would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guaranteed Iran’s nuclear program was for exclusively peaceful purposes. The council also endorsed the proposals of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with the support of the European Union’s high representative, for a long-term comprehensive arrangement, which would allow for the development of relations with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution was adopted under Chapter VII with a vote of 14 in favor to 1 against (Qatar).
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted a nuclear test on 9 October 2006. In response, the Security Council passed Resolution 1718 acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter condemning the test and mandating that “all Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK of any materials relating weapons of mass destruction programs, including the immediate freezing of funds or other financial assets and economic resources which are being engaged in or providing support for, including through other illicit means, DPRK’s nuclear-related, other weapons of mass destruction-related and ballistic missile related programs.
On 23 December, after months of threatening action, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1737, imposing sanctions on Iran for refusal to verifiably suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing, and allow for further IAEA inspections and the resumption of negotiations. The resolution gave Iran 60 days to suspend “suspect activities” to the satisfaction of the IAEA.
During the first nine months of 2005, the Security Council seized itself of threats to international peace and security caused by instabilities in a number of countries around the world as well as by terrorist acts. Significant resolutions included Resolution 1583 in January on the situation in the Middle East, which extended the mandate of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) through 31 July, 2005, and re-affirmed the pressing need “to achieve, a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace” in that region. In July, resolution 1614 further extended the mandate of UNIFIL through 31 January 2006.
Resolution 1611, passed in July, again re-affirmed the role and position of the CTC in ending threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and condemned the terrorist bombings carried out in London on 7 July.
On 29 July, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council passed Resolution 1617. The resolution focuses on Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and associated individuals and groups, and reinforces the “Consolidated List” of suspected individuals and entities as created by Resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1455 (2003) by requiring states to freeze assets, to prevent entry into or transit through said states, and not to supply arms and related materials to any person or entity on the list. The resolution further broadens the scope of the Consolidated List by deciding that any person or group participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of; supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to; recruiting for; or otherwise supporting acts or activities of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or the Taliban, indicate that they are “associated with” Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the Taliban. It also extended the mandate of the New York-based Monitoring Team that assists the committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 for an additional 17 months.
During the Security Council Summit 2005 in September, the UNSC passed Resolution 1624, which calls upon states to adopt measures to further restrict terrorist acts, including prohibiting by law “incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts.”
During the month of January, the Security Council focused on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, the situation in the Middle East, the Western Sahara, the Democratic People’s Republic of the Congo, and Georgia. Two significant resolutions were passed: Resolution 1525 on the situation in the Middle East, and Resolution 1526 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Resolution 1525 focused on the UNIFIL in support of the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries. The council further stressed the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Resolution 1526 focused on the role of states, international bodies, and regional organizations in efforts to act under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to combat threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. This resolution centered around meeting the specific threat of Al-Qaeda and members of the Taliban and any individuals, groups, undertakings, or entities associated with them, by freezing their funds and other financial assets and economic resources. The council urged all states and relevant international, regional, and subregional organizations to become more directly involved in capacity-building efforts and to offer technical assistance in areas identified in consultation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
During the month of March, the UN Security Council reaffirmed the role and position of the CTC in the global effort to fight terrorism. In the aftermath of the 11 March 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid, delegates to an international conference on terrorism in Vienna adopted the “Vienna Declaration,” which acknowledges the need to give help to a large number of UN Member States to implement the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1373 and the 12 anti-terrorism treaties.
That landmark resolution, adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks against the United States, established the CTC and called on member states to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, and commit such acts.
On 28 April, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1540 by a vote of 15-to-0 to keep chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. The resolution seeks to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction being used by non-state actors. It calls on all 191 UN members to draw up legislation and strengthen laws to prevent terrorists and black market agents from being able to “manufacture, acquire, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.” The resolution asks countries to report on their compliance within six months, and it establishes Security Council monitoring for two years. It also recognizes that some countries may require assistance in implementing the provisions of this resolution within their territories and invites states in a position to do so to offer assistance as appropriate in response to specific requests from states lacking the legal and regulatory infrastructure, implementation experience, and resources to fulfill the provisions of the resolution. The measure seeks to criminalize the spread of weapons of mass destruction and to ensure that all countries have strong export controls and are taking steps to secure sensitive materials within their borders.
The Security Council met several times during the first few months of 2003, most notably with regard to the situation in Iraq. During this time, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the IAEA submitted regular reports of their inspections in the country. The council passed two resolutions that pertained specifically to this region, Resolutions 1461 and 1483. Resolution 1461, adopted on 30 January 2003, addressed “the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
On 7 March 2003, the executive chair of UNMOVIC, Dr. Hans Blix, reported that “no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found” in Iraq at that time. Referring to Resolution 1284, which called on the Security Council to “address unresolved disarmament issues and to identify key remaining disarmament tasks,” Blix noted that “a sustained inspection and monitoring system [was] to remain in place after verified disarmament to give confidence and to strike an alarm if signs were seen of the revival of any proscribed weapons programs.” At the same meeting on 7 March, IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaredei also submitted his report to the Security Council noting that the agency had “conducted a total of 218 nuclear inspections at 141 sites” and had found “no indication of resumed nuclear activities…nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.” In the weeks that followed, members of the Security Council voiced different views on the disarmament process and no consensus was reached on the use of force to disarm the country. Intense debate in the council between several delegations, most notably the United States and France, concluded in mid-March as negotiation on Iraq failed to bring about consensus. On 17 March 2003, the council ordered inspectors from the IAEA and UNMOVIC to withdraw from the country as “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” led by coalition forces from the United States and United Kingdom, began.
Resolution 1483, adopted 22 May 2003, confronted the situation between Iraq and Kuwait. It reaffirmed the importance of the disarmament of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and of eventual confirmation of the disarmament of Iraq. It also lifted all trade, financial, and economic sanctions against the country established by prior UN resolutions.
The council noted a letter of 8 May 2003 from the “Permanent Representatives of the United States of America and the United Kingdom to the President of the Security Council” (S/2003/358) that recognized the specific authorities, responsibilities, and obligations under applicable international law of these states as occupying powers under unified command. The resolution also called upon the authority and relevant organizations to continue efforts to locate, identify, and repatriate all Kuwaiti and third-state nationals as well as the Kuwait archives; the previous Iraqi regime had failed to undertake these efforts. The resolution also “vested the occupation forces in Iraq with broad powers in accordance with international law and international conventions” and included powers to search for weapons of mass destruction as well as new forms and methods of work done by UNMOVIC in Iraq. This resolution reaffirmed that Iraq had to meet its disarmament obligations in the aftermath of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” It encouraged the United Kingdom and the United States to keep the council informed of their activities in this regard, and underlined the intention of the Council to revisit the mandates of UNMOVIC and the IAEA as set forth in Resolutions 687 (1991), 1284 (1999), and 1441 (2002).
The council passed two other significant resolutions in addition to Resolution 1483: Resolutions 1472 and 1476. These resolutions call for the termination of the Oil for Food Program and request that the UN transfer $1 billion to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) as soon as possible. They also call on international financial institutions to assist in the reconstruction and development of Iraq and welcome creditors to seek a solution to Iraq’s debt problems.
During the month of October, the Security Council focused its discussion primarily on the Middle East and Afghanistan. Two significant resolutions were passed, Resolution 1510 on expanding the role of the international effort in Afghanistan, and Resolution 1511 calling for a strengthening of the UN’s “vital role” in Iraq.
On 5 October, it held a special emergency meeting to address an Israeli air strike against Syria.
With respect to the situation in Iraq, the council held an important meeting on 15 October at which it unanimously called for “power to be returned to the Iraqi people as soon as practicable.” Through Resolution 1511 (2003), and under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the council underscored the temporary nature of the Coalition Authority and determined that the Governing Council of Iraq embodied the sovereignty of that state until the establishment of a representative government was founded and assumed the responsibilities of the Coalition Authority.
The council urged member states and international financial institutions to make substantial pledges at the 23-24 October 2003 International Donors Conference in Madrid. It resolved that the UN should strengthen its vital role in Iraq by providing humanitarian assistance, promoting the economic reconstruction of and conditions for sustainable development in Iraq, and advancing efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions. The council further authorized a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including for the purpose of ensuring necessary conditions for the implementation of the timetable and program as well as to contribute to the security of the United Nations Assistance Mission for humanitarian and economic infrastructure.
In addition to the meetings on Iraq, the council met to discuss the situation in the Middle East between Palestine and Israel as well as Afghanistan. It called on the international community to assist the parties in the Middle East conflict to commit to confidence-building measures to stop the ever-worsening violence. With respect to Afghanistan, the council addressed the fundamental, structural causes of insecurity that remained unresolved. It noted that the trend toward targeting civilian personnel supported the view that the United Nations must also be seen as a target in the ongoing terrorist threats made by forces benefiting from instability in the country.
On 8 November, the council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441, holding Iraq in “material breach” of its obligations under previous resolutions, and decided to afford it a “final opportunity to comply” with its disarmament obligations, while setting up an enhanced inspection regime. The council also decided it would convene immediately upon the receipt of any reports from inspection authorities that Iraq was interfering with their activities and recalled repeated warnings by the council that Iraq would face “serious consequences” as a result of continued violations. UNMOVIC and the IAEA would have “immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access” to any sites in Iraq, including presidential sites.
On 25 November, the first inspectors arrived in Baghdad. On 7 December, one day before the deadline set by Resolution 1441, Iraq handed over to the United Nations the required declaration “of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and other delivery systems.” The executive chair of UNMOVIC, Hans Blix, and the director-general of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, briefed the council in closed consultations on their initial assessment of the declaration and progress of inspections on 19 December.
On 28 September, the UNSC adopted Resolution 1373, which established the CTC. In Resolution 1373, the UNSC called on all states to exchange information on the threat posed by the possession of WMD by terrorist groups, and to adhere to and implement relevant terrorism conventions. It noted with concern the close connection between international terrorism and illegal movement of nuclear materials. It called on states to report to the CTC on the implementation of Resolution 1373.
The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution S/1172 on 6 June in response to nuclear tests by India on 11 and 13 May and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May. The resolution called on the two countries to refrain from further nuclear tests, to halt their nuclear weapon programs, and to join both the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The resolution also implicitly denied the countries their claimed nuclear-weapon-state (NWS) status.
On 11 April, the Security Council adopted by consensus Resolution 984, which updated the security assurances announced by the NWS on 5-6 April 1995. It goes farther than Resolution 255 (1968) in that it recognizes that the non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) parties to the NPT want the Security Council, and more specifically the NWS, to act quickly should such states be the victim of an act of nuclear aggression. The new resolution also urged all states to pursue in good faith effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
According to the Summit Declaration adopted by the Security Council on 31 January, the proliferation of all WMD constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The members of the council committed themselves to working to prevent the spread of technology related to the research on or production of such weapons and to taking appropriate action to that end. They emphasized the integral role in the implementation of the NPT of fully effective IAEA safeguards, as well as the importance of effective export controls. They would take appropriate measures in the case of any violations brought to their attention by the IAEA. They recognized the importance of all states providing all the information called for in the General Assembly’s resolution on the UN register of arms transfers.
On 19 June 1968, the Security Council adopted Resolution 255 which recognized that aggression with nuclear weapons or the threat of such aggression against a NNWS would create a situation in which the council, and above all its NWS permanent members, would have to act immediately in accordance with their obligations under the UN Charter; welcomed the intention expressed by certain states that they will provide or support immediate assistance, in accordance with the charter, to any NNWS party to the NPT that is a victim of an act or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used; and reaffirmed the inherent right, recognized under Article 51 of the charter, of individual and collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a UN member, until the council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC)
The UNSC was established pursuant to Resolution 1373 adopted in 2001. This ad hoc committee consists of all 15 Council members, and seeks to monitor implementation of this resolution with the assistance of appropriate expertise. The current chair of the committee is Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India.
Under Resolution 1373 (2001), countries are requested to implement the following measures with the intention of enhancing their legal and institutional ability to counter terrorist activities domestically, regionally and globally: criminalize financing of terrorism, freeze funds related to people involved in acts of terrorism, deny financial support for terrorist groups, suppress the safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists, share information with other governments about groups practicing or planning terrorist acts, cooperate with other governments in the investigation, detection, arrest, extradition and prosecution of those involved in such acts, and criminalize active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic law and bring violators to justice. The resolution also calls on all States to become parties to all the relevant international counter-terrorism legal instruments.
Under Resolution 1535 (2004), the Security Council established the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to further assist the work of the Committee and thus to strengthen States’ capacity to combat terrorism. CTED’s mandate was extended until the end of 2010 by Resolution 1805 (2008).
CTED is comprised of approximately 40 staff members divided between two offices: Assessment and Technical Assistance Office (ATAO) and Administrative and Information Office (AIO). The ATAO is further divided in three geographical clusters that enable experts to specialize in specific regions. In addition to the two offices, five technical groups work across ATAO identifying issues regarding technical assistance, terrorist financing, border control, arms trafficking and law enforcement, legal issues, extradition and mutual legal assistance, and issues raised by Resolution 1624. In September 2005, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1624 on incitement to commit acts of terrorism, calling on UN Member States to prohibit it by law, prevent such conduct, and deny safe haven to anyone “with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering that they have been guilty of such conduct.”
In addition to calling on States to continue international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations, the Council directed the Committee to include in its own dialogue with countries their efforts to implement Resolution 1624 (2005).
On 31 January and 1 February, the CTED acting on behalf of the CTC conducted an assessment visit to Afghanistan. Led by Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, Assistant Secretary General and CTED Executive Director, the visit had three main objective: to asses compliance with UNSC Resolution 1373, to formulate recommendations on measure to be adopted and implemented. And to identify areas in which Afghanistan would benefit from technical assistance in order to fully implement Resolution 1373.
On February 10, the CTED and the Global Center published a joint publication on strengthening regional cooperation to prevent and counter violent extremism in South Asia. The report provides an overview of regional challenges and potential remedies, focusing on a multiyear project involving civil society and regional experts.
On 24 February, the CTED conducted a six-day assessment visit to the Republic of Tajikistan to discuss the country’s implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1373, 1624, 2178, and 2242. The meeting discussed a wide variety of topics with special emphasis on measures to mitigate the risk from returning ISIS fighters to Tajikistan, which saw almost 1,000 of its own citizens join the ranks of terrorist organization.
On 8 March, the CTED published its first Trends Report on the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructure Against Terrorist Attacks.
On March 27, the CTC held an informal open breifing on foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) for affected States of Western Europe and the EU. The meeting stressed the need to address the FTF issue through a comprehensive approach that engaged a wide variety of relevant stakeholders within the framework of human rights.
On 5 April, the UNSC-CTC organized an open briefing divided into two sessions. The topic of the first session was Denying safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe-haven. The second session was on Preventing terrorists from abusing the asylum system, in conformity with international law.
On 28 April, the CTC submitted its proposal for a comprehensive international framework to counter terrorist narratives to the UNSC. The CTC proposal is comprised of three core elements: (1) legal and law enforcements methods; (2) public-private partnerships; (3) the development of counter-narratives.
On May 31, the CTC held its second informal meeting on the counter-terrorism-related technical assistance needs of the Republic of Iraq. The meeting was also open to non-members of the CTC, such as Iraq, other UN Member States, and representatives of international organizations.
On 5-7 June, the CTED hosted the 12th Regional counter-terrorism workshop for judges, prosecutors, and police in South Asia.
On 21 July, the CTED and INTERPOL signed an accord aimed at leveraging expertise and optimizing resources to avoid duplication of effort in supporting Member States. The agreement formalizes the ongoing collaboration between INTERPOL and CTED.
On 21 August, the CTC submitted an updated version of the Technical Guide to the UNSC, an important tool to help Member states implement key SC resolutions on terrorism.
On 28 September, the CTED briefed the UNSC on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The meeting also offered Member States a chance to exchange views on the future role and responsibilities of the CTED.
On 27 October the CTC held a plenary meeting to discuss public and private partnerships in the fight against financing of terrorism.
On 31 October, the CTC organized an open informal briefing on “Developing national and regional comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism strategies (lessons learned).”
On 1-2 November, the CTED participated in the annual conference of the Regional Counter-Terorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The conference focused on strengthening the mechanisms of international counter-terrorism cooperation.
On November 8, the CTC held an informal open briefing that focused on legal issues and merging challenges relating to the treatment and prosecution of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), including returnees.
On 28 November the CTC held an informal meeting on priority technical assistance needs of Afghanistan. The aim of the meeting was to mobilize support for the Committees’s efforts to facilitate counter-terrorism related capacity-building activities for Afghanistan.
On 14 December, the CTC held its last Plenary Meeting which focused on terrorism financing and a future vision for the CTED.
On 27 January, pursuant to Resolution 1373 (2001), the CTED submitted its interim review report for 2014-2015.
On 1 February, the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the CTC held a joint meeting on the threats from foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and how best to disrupt FTF travel and terrorist attacks.
On 23 March, the CTC held its first ever informal meeting focused on Iraq’s technical assistance needs for counter-terrorism. The meeting was also open to non-nembers of the CTC, such as Iraq, other UN Member States, and representatives of international organizations.
On 21 April, the CTC announced that it launched a joint project with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) on private sector engagement in responding to terrorists’ use of information and communications technologies (ICT). The Swiss NGO ICT4Peace is also a partner in the project.
On 27 April, the CTED launched the third-party terrorist-asset-freezing request contacts database. The database’s intent is to facilitate and accelerate the process of making terrorist asset-freezing requests.
From 16 to 20 May, the WTED conducted a comprehensive assessment visit to Kazakhstan.
On 9 June, the CTC began a series of informal regional briefings on FTFs. Countries in or close to conflict zones in the Middle East were invited for the first briefing.
On 1 July, the CTED held a side event for Member States to discuss the challenges of prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration of FTFs.
On 22 September the CTED signed a memorandum of understanding with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The two entities agreed to enhanced information exchanges on counter-terrorism and the potential for CSTO to be an implementing partner for technical assistance recommended to Member States by the CTC.
From 17-21 October, CTED Executive Director Jean-Paul Laborde participated in the eigth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
On 25 October, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and the CTED held a joint meeting in Baghdad. The purpose was to strengthen collective efforts in support of Iraq’s counter-terrorism efforts.
On 30 November and 1 December , the CTC held special meetings on preventing terrorists from exploiting ICTs, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. The CTED hosted a series of preparatory technical sessions before the special meeting.
On 26 May, the Chair of the CTC submitted a report to the Security Council, addressing the use of advance passenger information (API) to “stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters.”
On 11 June, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the European Police Office (Europol) experts met in New York to pledge enhanced cooperation in counter-terrorism.
On 16 June, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the CTC held an open briefing on “strengthening emergency responses in the aftermath of terrorist incidents.”
On 29-30 June, CTED attended the Central and South Asia Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
On 16 December, the CTED delivered a keynote address at the 2nd Word Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China.
On 18 December, the CTED held a special meeting that discussed preventing terrorists from exploiting the internet and social media to aid in their recruitment efforts and abilities to conduct terrorist acts.
On 25 April, the CTC held a briefing at United Nations Headquarters on preventing the misuse of travel documents by terrorists and on terrorism prevention activities. The Secretary General Ronald Noble of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Secretary General Raymond Benjamin of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)made a statement on the meeting. The CTC encouraged its member states to use the tools of these organizations to strengthen security.
On 4 June, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Jean-Paul Laborde signed an agreement with the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. The agreement stressed the commitment to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism.
On 30 September, in the open briefing of the CTC, participating experts and representatives discussed “countering incitement to commit terrorist acts motivated by extremism and intolerance: the Kingdom of Morocco’s approach and experiences of other African States.”
On 24 November, the CTC held a special meeting with member states and other international organizations to discuss measures on preventing kidnapping and hostage-taking by terrorists.
On 8 February, 2013, the CTC held its first meeting under the leadership of Morocco as Chair.
On 23 February, 2013, CTED (Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate) and INTERPOL officials met in New York to pledge enhanced cooperation in combating the evolving tactics of terrorists.
On 24 May, the CTC held a special event to discuss “countering terrorism through the use of new communications and information technologies.”
On 2 October, a global initiative was launched on ensuring effective counterterrorism operations whilst at the same time respecting the rule of law and human rights. The initiative, a cooperative measure between the UNODC and CTED, is intended to support the CTC’s task of ensuring the full implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001), which requires that States bring terrorists to justice. Furthermore, on 2 October, a regional conference of the MENA region concluded regarding the implementation of Security Council resolutions, UN Conventions and international standards. Representatives of 13 member states of the MENA region joined to discuss the fight against money-laundering, the financing of terrorist and proliferation.
On 9 January 2012, the CTC Chair submitted a global survey of the implementation by the Member States of Security Council Resolution 1624 (2005).
On 22 October 2012, the CTC Directorate launched a global initiative aimed at helping Member States set up mechanisms to freeze terrorist assets in accordance with their obligations under UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001).
On 23 November 2012, the CTC met in New York to discuss preventing and suppressing terrorist financing. Members and intergovernmental organizations discussed the importance of Financial Action Task Force recommendations, the experiences of regional and national experts, and the abuse of the formal banking system to finance terrorism. The meeting was in accordance with one of the core mandates of Resolution 1373 (2001), which requires states to prevent and suppress financing for terrorism, including quickly freezing the assets of any persons found to be involved in acts of terrorism.
From 19-21 April 2011, the CTC held a Special Meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France to discuss the prevention of terrorism, including aspects of SC Resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 1963 (2010).
On 28 September 2011, the CTC held a Special Meeting at the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations in New York commemorating the adoption of the SC Resolution 1373 (2001) and the establishment of the Committee.
From 7-10 September 2009, the 9th Annual International Conference on Global Terrorism was held in Herzliya, Israel.
UNSC 1540 Committee
The UNSC 1540 Committee was established with a two-year mandate pursuant to Resolution 1540 (April 2004), this committee consists of all 15 members of the Security Council. It is charged with monitoring the implementation of the resolution, which seeks to prevent terrorist acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials, with the assistance of appropriate expertise. Its activities include examining national implementation reports, coordinating technical assistance to those countries requesting help in implementing the resolution, and conducting outreach and profile building around the work of the committee. The current chair is Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi of Spain.
On 31 January the 1540 Committee held its 76th formal meeting. The Committee welcomed the new incoming Chari, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorently Soliz of Bolivia. The meeting also discussed the adoption of the Committee’s Program of Work for 1 Febuary 2017- 31 January 2018.
On 16 March, the Chair of the Committee briefed the UNSC on the importance on National reporting to keep WMDs out of terrorist hands.
On 26 July, the Committee held its 77th formal meeting and shared updates on the progress of the works of the committee. The Committee designated Senegal and the United Kingdom, two of the vice-chairs of the Committee, to oversee the preparations of the report to the Security Council on the evaluation of the Special Political Mission supporting the Committee, which was mandated by resolution 2325 (2016).
On 4 May, the Chair of the Committee briefed the Security Council on the 1540 Committee’s work on overseeing the implementation of resolution 1540. It was part of a larger set of briefings by the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies on counter-terrorism and non-proliferation.
On 12-13 May, the Government of Spain and the UNODA sponsored an informal meeting for members of the 1540 Committee to discuss how to reach full and effective implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
From 20-22 June, the 1540 Committee held formal open consultations with Member States, international organizations, and relevant civil society on how to better the implementation of resolution 1540. The consultations are part of a comprehensive review of the status of the implementation of resolution 1540.
On 30 January, the Chair of the Committee submitted a letter to the Security Council. The letter briefed the program of work for the period from February 2015 to January 2016.
On 16 June, the Chair of the Committee briefed the Security Council on “progress about the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and the process for its Comprehensive Review.”
Also on 16 June, the Chair of the Committee reported the Committee’s cooperation with the Committee on Al-Qaida and the Counter-terrorism Committee.
On 22 December, Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi of Spain briefed the UNSC on the work of the 1540 Committee in its task to oversee the implementation of Resolution 1540.
On 28 February, at the open briefing to member states, the Chair of the Committee stated the priorities and recent activities of the Committee.
On 28 May, the Chair of the Committee reported the Committee’s cooperation with the Committee on Al-Qaida and the Counter-terrorism Committee.
On 24 November, the Chair of the Committee reported the Committee’s cooperation and development to the Security Council.
On 31 December, the Chair of the Committee submitted the Committee’s review of implementation for 2014 to President of the Security council.
On 10 May, the Chair of the Committee reported the Committee’s cooperation with Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) on Al-Qaida and 1373 (2001) on counter-terrorism.
On 18 November, the Chair of the Committee briefed the Committee’s developments at the joint open with the President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
On 27 November, the Chair of the Committee reported the Committee’s cooperation and development to the Security Council.
On 26 December, the Chair of the Committee submitted the Committee’s review of implementation for 2013 to the President of the Security Council.
On 1 February, the Chair of the Committee submitted the Committee’s annual review of implementation for 2011 to the President of the Security Council.
On 29 June 2012, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2055 (2012) expanding the group of experts monitoring the implementation of the 1540 Committee.
On 27 December, the Chair of the Committee submitted the Committee’s review of implementation for 2012 to the President of the Security Council.
On 20 April 2011, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1977, extending the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional 10 years until 2021. The resolution requires that the 1540 Committee undergo a comprehensive review after five years and just before the expiration of mandate. It also establishes an eight-member group of experts to assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate and encourages countries to increase cooperation with the 1540 Committee.
On 25 April 2011, chair of the 1540 Committee Baso Sangqu sent a letter to the UN Security Council, informing that the report of the Committee will be submitted by 24 May 2011.
On 31 January 2010 the results of the review were published, finding that nearly 160 Member States have reported their capabilities and gaps in stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and that cooperation has significantly increased between states through the coordination of the 1540 Committee.
In April 2008, the Security Council unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional 3 years by adopting Resolution 1810. The resolution required the 1540 Committee to submit a second report to the Security Council no later than 31 July and to complete a comprehensive review of implementation by 31 January 2009. The Committee submitted its second report on 8 July, at which point 155 countries and one organization had submitted at least one report. 102 countries had also submitted additional information. A third report was due by 24 April, 2011. The comprehensive review of the status of the implementation of Resolution 1540 occurred at an open meeting held from 30 September – 2 October, 2009.
The first report of the 1540 Committee to the Security Council was submitted on 27 April 2006. After considering the report, the Security Council in Resolution 1673 extended the mandate of the committee by two years and decided that the committee should intensify its efforts to promote the full implementation of the resolution.
Point of Contact
Organs Established by the Security Council
i. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) (1999-2007)
UNMOVIC was established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1284 (17 December, 1999) to undertake the responsibilities of the former United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). UNMOVIC is mandated to establish a reinforced, ongoing monitoring and verification system, address unresolved disarmament issues, and assume UNSCOM’s assets, liabilities, and archives.
Resolution 1284 was adopted by a vote of 11 in favor to none against, with 4 abstentions (China, France, Malaysia, and the Russian Federation). It required the suspension and lifting of sanctions against Iraq under certain conditions. Once UNMOVIC and the IAEA reported Iraq’s cooperation in all respects with the reinforced monitoring system for a period of 120 days, the sanctions would be suspended for 120 days, renewable by the council. If at any time the executive chair of UNMOVIC or the director-general of the IAEA reported that Iraq was not cooperating, or if Iraq was in the process of acquiring any prohibited items, the economic sanctions would be reimposed. According to the resolution, the government of Iraq would be liable for costs incurred by UNMOVIC and the IAEA for their work in Iraq.
On 27 January 2000, the UN secretary-general appointed Hans Blix (Sweden) to be the executive chair of UNMOVIC; he served through June 30, 2003. The executive chair reports every three months on the work of UNMOVIC.
The secretary-general was also asked to appoint experts to a College of Commissioners for UNMOVIC, to meet regularly to review the implementation of relevant council resolutions and advise the executive chair. The commissioners were named by the secretary-general in March 2000, as follows: Abigun Ade Abiodun (Nigeria), Reinhard Böhm (Germany), Ronald Cleminson (Canada), Cong Guang (China), Therese Delpech (France), Robert Einhorn (United States), Yuriy V. Fedotov (Russian Federation), Kostyantyn Gryshchenko (Ukraine), Gunterio G. Heineken (Argentina), Hannelore Hoppe (United Nations-Department of Disarmament Affairs), Takanori Kazuhara (Japan), Roque Monteleone-Neto (Brazil), Annaswamy Narayana Prasad (India), Marjatta Rautio (Finland), Paul Schulte (United Kingdom), and Cheikh Sylla (Senegal).
UNMOVIC’s inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in March 2003, though it maintains work in connection with those parts of its mandate that fall outside of Iraq, and preserves a certain amount of readiness to resume work in Iraq.
On 1 July 2003, the secretary-general of the United Nations appointed Mr. Demetrius Perricos (Greece) as acting executive chair of UNMOVIC. There are more than 300 experts on its roster, and the entity continues to respond to requests for training.
Members of the College of Commissioners as of September 2005 included: Adigun Ade Abiodun (Nigeria); Reinhard Böhm (Germany); Ronald Cleminson (Canada); Thérèse Delpech (France); Yuriy V. Fedotov (Russian Federation); Gunterio G. Heineken (Argentina); Hannelore Hoppe (United Nations – Department for Disarmament Affairs); Yongshou Lu (China); Takanori Kazuhara (Japan); Roque Monteleone-Neto (Brazil); Olga Pellicer (Mexico); Annaswamy Narayana Prasad (India); Stephen G. Rademaker (United States); Anatoliy Scherba (Ukraine); Cheikh Sylla (Senegal); and Bryan Wells (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
On 29 June 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1762, which terminated the mandate of UNMOVIC under the relevant resolutions.
ii. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) (1991-1999)
UNSCOM was established pursuant to Paragraph 9(b)(I) of UNSC Resolution 687 (3 April 1991), for the purposes of eliminating Iraq’s capabilities vis-à-vis WMD and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 km, and ensuring that Iraq does not reacquire these capabilities. In the nuclear area, UNSCOM provided assistance and cooperation to the IAEA. Both UNSCOM and the IAEA had extensive rights that enabled them to fulfill the mandate, emanating from Resolution 687 and elaborated upon in the exchange of letters between the UN secretary-general and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq in May 1991. Their rights also originated in UNSC Resolutions 707 and 715 (1991), which require the destruction, removal, and rendering harmless of Iraq’s capabilities proscribed by the UNSC, and provide for the long-term monitoring and verification of Iraq’s compliance with Security Council resolutions.
By the end of 1998, UNSCOM had fielded more than 250 inspection missions. In its operations, it had uncovered elements of Iraq’s biological weapons program, advanced chemical weapons capabilities, and missile production facilities. Among other things, it had destroyed 48 operational long-range missiles, 14 conventional missile warheads, 30 chemical missile warheads, 690 tons of chemical weapons agent, the Al-Hakam biological weapons facility, and other biological weapons production equipment and materials. Read the comprehensive list of UNSCOM’s achievements.
On 2 March 1998, the Security Council issued Resolution S/1154 stating it was determined to ensure immediate and full compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under Resolution 687 (1991) and the other relevant resolutions. In addition, S/1154 endorsed the memorandum of understanding signed by the deputy prime minister of Iraq and the UN secretary-general on 23 February 1998 (S/1998/166), in which procedures for the inspection of presidential sites were outlined in consultation with UNSCOM and the IAEA. On 9 September, the Security Council condemned Iraq’s decision of 5 August 1998 to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA, a development it considered as a contravention of the memorandum signed in February. The resolution (S/1194) also demanded full cooperation and reiterated the Security Council’s intention to ensure full compliance by Iraq with all the previous resolutions’ obligations. On 5 November, another resolution (S/1205) condemned the 31 October decision by Iraq to cease cooperation with UNSCOM and demanded that Iraq rescind both its decisions of 5 August and 31 October. The Security Council demanded that Iraq cooperate with UNSCOM and the IAEA immediately, completely, and unconditionally. However, following several more weeks of non-compliance, the Special Commission withdrew its staff from Iraq on 15 December 1998. The Security Council sought new ways to re-establish a cooperative relationship with Iraq, including plans for renewed monitoring and verification. Three panels were established in order to focus on the main issues surrounding Iraq: disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues, humanitarian issues, and prisoners of war and Kuwaiti property.
Find the semi-annual reports of the commission.
The bulk of UNSCOM’s expenses were met directly by supporting governments in the form of contributions in kind of personnel, supplies, and equipment. Operational expenses were met from cash contributions made from various countries and from unfrozen Iraqi assets made available to the UN. Security Council Resolution 986 of 1995 allowed for some funds from the sale of Iraqi oil to be used to meet UNSCOM operating costs. The cash requirements of the commission totaled approximately $25‑30 million per year.
The Special Commission consisted of 21 members: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.
UNSCOM had offices in New York, Bahrain, and Baghdad.
Richard Butler (Australia) completed his two-year tenure as executive chair of the commission on 30 June 1999. Deputy Executive Chairman Charles A. Duelfer (U.S.) served as officer-in-charge until UNMOVIC was established. On 17 December 1999, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1284 replacing UNSCOM with UNMOVIC.
iii. UNSC Military Staff Committee
Under Article 47 of the UN Charter, this committee can potentially advise and assist the Security Council on the maintenance of international peace and security, and on the regulation of armaments and possible disarmament. The committee has, however, never been constituted.
List of sanctions relating to nonproliferation and disarmament
Resolution 1887 (2009), maintenance of international peace and security: Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
Resolution 733 (1992), general and complete arms embargo on Somalia.
Resolution 751 (1992), an arms embargo on Somalia.
Resolution 1356 (2001), exceptions to the arms embargo on Somalia.
Resolution 1725 (2006), exceptions to the arms embargo on Somalia.
Resolution 1744 (2007), exceptions to the arms embargo on Somalia.
Resolution 1844 (2008), individual targeted sanctions (travel ban, assets freeze) on Somalia.
Resolution 1846 (2008), exemption to the arms embargo for efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Resolution 1851 (2008), additional exemptions on arms embargo for efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Resolution 2060 (2012), additional exemptions on arms embargo for efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, extends the mandate of the Monitoring Group until 25 August 2013.
Resolution 2072 (2012), authorized Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 7 November 2013.
Resolution 2073 (2012), additional changes to the deployment of AMISOM, authorized Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 7 March 2013.
Resolution 2093 (2013), additional exemptions to the arms embargo and authorization of the deployment of AMISOM until 28 February 2014.
Resolution 1132 (1997), an arms embargo on Sierra Leone.
Resolution 1171 (1998), an arms embargo on non-state actors and a travel ban in Sierra Leone.
Al-Qaida and the Taliban
Resolution 1267 (1999), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Resolution 1333 (2000), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1390 (2002), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1455 (2003), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1526 (2004), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1617 (2005), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1735 (2006), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1822 (2008), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.
Resolution 1904 (2009), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban that apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located.
Resolution 1988 (2011), stipulates that the sanctions list dealing with the Taliban (pursuant to Resolution 1267) will be known as the “Taliban Sanctions List.”
Resolution 1989 (2011), stipulates that the sanctions list dealing with Al-Qaida (pursuant to Resolution 1267) will be known as the “Al-Qaida Sanctions List.”
Resolution 2082 (2012), adopted the same measures as Res. 2083 for application to the Taliban sanctions regime.
Resolution 2083 (2012), updates the listing and delisting criteria for the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, and extends the mandate of the Umbudsperson responsible for hearing delisting requests by 30 months.
Resolution 1483 (2003), assets freeze and transfer measures on individuals and entities in Iraq.
Resolution 1518 (2003), an arms embargo and financial sanctions on specific individuals and entities in Iraq.
Resolution 1762 (2007), terminates the mandates of UNMOVIC and the Nuclear Verification Office of the IAEA within Iraq.
Resolution 1747 (2007), a proliferation-sensitive nuclear and ballistic missile programs-related embargo, an export ban on arms, a travel ban, a travel notification requirement, and an assets freeze in Iran.
Resolution 1803 (2008), a proliferation-sensitive nuclear and ballistic missile programs-related embargo, an export ban on arms, a travel ban, a travel notification requirement, and an assets freeze in Iran.
Resolution 1835 (2008), reiterating the demands of resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
Resolution 1984 (2011), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1929 to monitor sanctions on Iran.
Resolution 2049 (2012), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1929.
Resolution 2105 (2013), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1929 until 9 July 2014.
Resolution 2159 (2014), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1929 until 9 July 2015.
Resolution 2231 (2015), endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and allows for the cessation of earlier Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue.
(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
Resolution 1718 (2006), an arms embargo, assets freeze, and travel ban on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Resolution 1874 (2009), an arms embargo, a ban on the export of luxury goods to the DPRK, a travel ban, an assets freeze, and nuclear, ballistic missiles and other WMD programs-related embargo in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Resolution 1928 (2010), extension of the sanctions established in Resolution 1874 until June 2011.
Resolution 1985 (2011), extension of the sanctions established in Resolution 1928 until June 2012.
Resolution 2050 (2012), extension of mandate of Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1874 to assist the sanctions committee created in Resolution 1718.
Resolution 2087 (2013), condemns the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch on 28 December 2012; reaffirms travel bans and asset freezes set up in previous resolutions.
Resolution 2094 (2013), expansion and strengthening of sanctions from Resolution 1718; additional travel bans and asset freezes.
Resolution 2141 (2014), extension of mandate of Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1874 until April 2015.
Resolution 2207 (2015), extension of mandate of Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1874 until April 2016.
Resolution 2270 (2016), expansion of arms embargo, provisions to ban any item if related to prohibited programs, enforcement of new cargo inspection and maritime procedures, financial measures including asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, addition of new items to luxury goods ban, clarification of ban on hosting of DPRK trainers, advisors or other officials for police, paramilitary and military training, ban on specialized training or teaching for DPRK nationals in specific fields, expulsion of DPRK diplomats and foreign nationals involved in illicit activities from Member States, designation of additional 16 individuals and 12 entities.
Resolution 2276 (2016), extension of mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1874 until April 2017.
Resolution 2321 (2016) , expansion of economic and other sanctions in response to the DPRK’s nuclear test on 9 September, 2016.
Resolution 2345 (2017), extension of mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1874 until April 2018.
Resolution 2356 (2017), unanimous sanctioning of additional 14 individuals and 4 entities thought to have aided the DPRK’s illicit nuclear program.
Resolution 2371 (2017), strengthens existing sanctions of the DPRK in response to its two ICBM tests conducted 3 July, 2017 and 28 July, 2017. Introduces a full ban on coal, iron, and iron ore.
Resolution 2375 (2017), strengthens existing sanction while introducing a full ban on the supply, sale or transfer of all condensates and natural gas liquids to the DPRK.
Resolution 2397 (2017), strengthens existing sanction on the DPRK in response to the launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM.
Resolution 1572 (2004), an arms embargo on Côte d’Ivoire.
Resolution 1584 (2005), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and diamond sanctions on Côte d’Ivoire.
Resolution 1643 (2005), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and diamond sanctions on Côte d’Ivoire.
Resolution 1893 (2009), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and diamond sanctions on Côte d’Ivoire.
Resolution 1946 (2010) renews sanctions; extends the mandate of the Group of Experts created by Resolution 1584 to monitor the implementation of the sanctions.
Resolution 1980 (2011), extension of arms embargo, travel bans, and diamond sanctions.
Resolution 2045 (2012), extends the mandate of the Group of Experts created in Resolution 1643 to monitor the implementation of sanctions; modifies conditions implemented in Resolution 1572 on arms control.
Resolution 2101 (2013), renews and modifies sanctions; renews the mandate of the Group of Experts.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Resolution 1493 (2003), an arms embargo on all foreign and Congolese armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and Ituri, and on groups not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Resolution 1533 (2004), extended arms embargo scope to entire DRC territory, targeted sanctions (travel ban, assets freeze) on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Resolution 1596 (2005), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and criteria for designation by Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Resolution 1649 (2005), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and criteria for designation by Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Resolution 1698 (2006), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and criteria for designation by Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Resolution 1768 (2007), arms embargo for the entire DRC territory, targeted sanctions (travel ban and an assets freeze), broadened criteria under which individuals and entities could be designated as subject to those measures.
Resolution 1771 (2007), arms embargo for the entire DRC territory, targeted sanctions (travel ban and an assets freeze), broadened criteria under which individuals and entities could be designated as subject to those measures.
Resolution 1799 (2008), arms embargo for the entire DRC territory, targeted sanctions (travel ban and an assets freeze), broadened criteria under which individuals and entities could be designated as subject to those measures.
Resolution 1807 (2008), an arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze, and criteria for designation by Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, only applies to non-governmental entities and individuals operating in eastern DRC.
Resolution 1857 (2008), arms modified and only applies to all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Resolution 1896 (2009), extension of arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze.
Resolution 1952 (2010), extension of the arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze.
Resolution 2021 (2011), extension of the arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze.
Resolution 2078 (2012), extension of the arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze until 1 February 2014.
Resolution 2147 (2014) , extension of the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) until 1 March 2015.
Resolution 1521 (2003), an arms embargo on Liberia.
Resolution 1532 (2004), an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze on Liberia.
Resolution 1683 (2006), an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze on Liberia.
Resolution 1689 (2006), timber sanctions allowed to expire.
Resolution 1753 (2007), terminated diamond sanctions.
Resolution 1854 (2008), an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze on Liberia.
Resolution 1903 (2009), terminated the arms embargo with regard to the Government of Liberia for a 12-month trial period.
Resolution 1961 (2010), renewed an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze on Liberia.
Resolution 2025 (2011), extended arms embargo and mandate of Group of Experts created in Resolution 1903 to monitor implementation of the measures.
Resolution 1556 (2004), an arms embargo on all non-governmental entities and individuals operating the states of North Darfur, South Darfur, and West Darfur, Sudan.
Resolution 1591 (2005), strengthened arms embargo, adopted assets freeze and travel ban on the Sudan.
Resolution 1945 (2010), extended the arms embargo.
Resolution 1982 (2011), extends mandate of Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1591 to assist a committee created to monitor the implementation of sanctions.
Resolution 2035 (2012), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1591.
Resolution 2091 (2013), extends the mandate of the 3), extends the mandate of the Panel of Experts created in Resolution 1591 until 17 February 2014.
Resolution 2138 (2014), extends the mandate of the Panel of experts created in Resolution 1591 and calls upon Sudan Government to address the issue of arms control.