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Statement by Estonia at the United Nations Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting on Enhancing the Design Process of UN Sanctions: Perspectives from All Stakeholders, 5 July 2017


Mr. Chairman,

Thank you for convening today’s timely and important meeting. UN Security Council sanctions are an important foreign policy instrument that supports the implementation of wider policies. They are an integral part of conflict resolution and the maintenance of international peace and security. 

UN sanctions have evolved over the years to become broader in their scope and more finely targeted, yet the key to the sanctions regimes’ effectiveness is their successful implementation. One of the possible ways of enhancing sanctions’ effectiveness could be the fostering of more horizontal cooperation in the work of different Security Council sanctions committees; Where possible, utilizing the same agreed language and its interpretation for identical sanction mechanisms throughout all relevant documentation. This would among other things simplify and expedite the sanctions integration process to individual member state’s legislation. 

It is important to put more emphasis on outreach activities, as a significant burden of the implementation of sanctions, for instance economic sanctions and trade bans on certain goods, lies on private sector entities. A few of the Security Council sanctions committees have created clear and instructive outreach materials that can be used in UN member states, and this has been deemed highly useful. We welcome this initiative and encourage widening such outreach activities to all the Security Council sanctions committees.

Another important aspect in outreach activities is the use of easily accessible and user friendly digital information channels. In this regard, we note with appreciation that the Security Council sanctions committees’ website has been significantly improved over the past years and allows for easy access to relevant information.  

Lastly, while most UN sanctions are focused on a specific conflict, there are also issues, one such example being terrorist acts, where a horizontal approach has been proven more appropriate. In this regard, it might be helpful to consider using sanctions as one of the supporting instruments in the implementation of wider policies that are cross border in nature and involve both state and non-state actors. 

Mr. Chairman, 

Estonia as a member state of the European Union is implementing UN Security Council sanctions in a coordinated manner with other member states of the Union. The EU has integrated UN sanctions in its common foreign and security policy and continues to work on further sanctions’ implementation process. We also welcome the deeper cooperation and quick communications between the EU’s institutions and the Security Council sanctions branch.


Thank you!


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