Friday, August 15, 2014

Economic Sanctions III – When can the UN impose economic sanctions?


As we have seen in the last two posts, economic sanctions can be taken by sovereigns against one-another. In addition, the UN can also impose sanctions on a single country.

This type of sanction is not only the most effective (“All UN countries against one country.”) but also the most difficult to obtain. The reason is that a UN sanction requires a Security Council resolution, decided either unanimously or by some UN member states.






UN sanctions intend protecting international peace and security. They can take the form of interruptions of economic relations, arms embargoes, travel restrictions, aviation bans, communication restrictions, and financial restrictions.

When elaborating sanctions, the UN Security Council must

  • duly consider the feasibility and the implications of targeted sanctions;
  • be clear about the behavior it intends to change;
  • clearly define the scope of the sanctions and how they can be eased or lifted;
  • put up a credible mechanism to monitor the sanctions regime.



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