Small Steps Towards More Transparency and Fairness in the Al Qaida Sanctions Regime

by Kristen Boon

On December 17 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2083, which further details the listing / delisting criteria for the 1287 Al Qaida Sanctions regime.   This Resolution also extends the Ombudsperson’s mandate for another 30 months, guaranteeing some stability for those who seek delisting.  Simultaneously, the Council adopted Resolution 2082, applying the same measures to the Taliban sanctions regime.

Last week I blogged about the wider dynamics leading up to this resolution here, noting proposals by the Like Minded Group to strengthen the Ombudsperson’s powers and improve the listing procedures, by, for example, codifying the office’s practices.  I also flagged the due process concerns raised by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism.

Few of these proposals survived into the final text of the resolution.  Nonetheless, aspects are discernible indicating the conversation continues.  For example, in paragraph 36, the Ombudsperson may request exemptions to the travel ban so that petitioners can travel to another state to meet with the Ombudsperson.  Similarly, the resolution highlights the importance of providing reasons for listing, and strongly urges states to provide relevant information, even if confidential, and to allow the Ombudsperson to reveal their identities as designating States.

It’s not what advocates for a strong, quasi-judicial regime had hoped for, but critics of this vision note that neither listing nor delisting is a criminal process.  The march towards a Rule of Law applicable to the UN Security Council inches forward.

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