NEW YORK, APRIL 1997
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ANTÓNIO MONTEIRO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE ROLE OF SANCTION COMMITTEES
Sanctions Committees are established to help Security Council to perform its functions. They are the instruments, that the Council, in a certain moment, considered most adequate to help it achieve its objectives. Their work is, therefore, extremely important to the maintenance of international peace and security and their degree of efficiency has a direct repercussion in the Council success in this area.
This is the reason why it is important to create the right conditions that will enable those Committees to function adequately.
Naturaly the first condition is determined by the consistency and coherence of the legal framework, which rules their activities. The experience of the Security Council, particularly during the last years , has given it sufficient knowledge to build more and more solid sanctions regimes, on the legal point of view, when establishing new Committees. That should enable it, by focusing on the existing models and the results achieved, to establish, in the future, sanctions regimes even more adjusted to their purposes.
From those examples some elements could be selected to be included, as modules, in future sanctions regimes. This is the case of humanitarian exemptions, medical evacuations and other predictable situations. In this connection it is possible and perhaps usefull to put together a list of questions that could be addressed by the Council, when establishing future sanctions. This would help it to address the problems raised by the imposition of sanctions, as an integrated solution.
Committees should not be envisaged as mechanisms that carry their functions isolated from the whole. Their relation with the Security Council is, by nature, very close.
On the other side, among the Committees themselves, cooperation should also be tight. Some of them perform similar tasks and aim to achieve identical goals. It is, therefore, most I mportant to have a better coordination among the various Committees, but also between them and the Security Council. This has, apparently, not been addressed, nor any form of cooperation has been, so far, established among the existing Committees.
Some reflexion is therefore needed in this regard. One could envisage the institution of an informal mechanism to allow an exchange of views on issues that are common to the various Committees. This mechanism should be in close connection with the Security Council, making the necessary bridge. This would help one Committee to take benefit from the experience of another, to rethink in a more uniform way their rules of procedure, and even try to rationalise the available resources put forward by the Secretariat to assist the actual Committees.
But the efficiency of the Committees is not only determined by the adequacy of its legal framework. Once again the Council should look at its recent experience and recognise the importance of the cooperation, in this field, with regional organizations. It should bare in mind the case of the former Jugoslavia, where the excelent cooperation with EU, OSCE, NATO and other regional organizations have helped the Security Council to achieve the main goals in that area. Burundi case is also a very impressive example of the importance of the role of OUA as it concerns the implementation of sanctions.
Therefore, in future sanctions regimes implementation, it should be usefully considered the possible cooperation between Sanctions Committees and competent regional organizations.
Moreover, in this context, it could be underlined the positive contribution, that in certain cases, Non Governmental Organizations, can make in achieving the objectives of the Security Council. They may, in fact, play a very important role gathering relevant information, that, subsequently, they convey to the Committes. This might be of crucial importance, in certain situations where, as during arms embargoes, it is difficult to the Committees to obtain that information from other sources.