Statement on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on global counter-terrorism efforts

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the Arria formula meeting on The impact of unilateral coercive measures on global counter-terrorism efforts

Madame Chair,

Allow me to express our deepest condolences to the Russian people and families affected by the heinous terrorist attack last Friday.

Restrictive measures are one of the tools in the toolbox of political, diplomatic, and legal measures that can be taken with the aim to preserve peace, support democracy, rule of law, protect human rights and international law.

That being said, my country believes they should be used in combination with other means.

In this connection we would like to emphasize the following:

1.       Restrictive measures are usually a part of a wider comprehensive policy approach that start with attempts at resolving the situation through political dialogue and other peaceful means of settlement of international disputes. They are used restrictively and usually in response to armed conflict, widespread violence or serious violations and abuses of international law or human rights. Let me be clear – violations are the cause and not the effect of sanctions.

2.       Sanctions are also an important part of the counter-terrorism architecture – at the UN level through 1267/1989/2253 sanctions regime, as well as at the level of different regional organizations, such as the EU. They are aimed at preventing the ability of terrorists and terrorist groups to engage in terrorist activities, to execute attacks, obtain weapons, and finance their operations. Financing of terrorism and access to weapons are particularly worrisome and require decisive and timely measures.

3.       While there may be some legitimate questions about the impact of sanctions, it is important to note that all measures need to be adopted in full conformity with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law. They need to be proportionate, targeted at those responsible for harmful policies or actions and carefully calibrated. For example, restrictive measures of the EU fulfil all of these requirements, including judicial oversight. Potential unintended adverse effects of sanctions need to be tackled through systematic exemptions and waiver procedures and the humanitarian carveout, such as in the case of resolution 2664 which has also been transposed into different autonomous and national sanctions regimes.

Madame Chair,

It is the role of the UN to act in prevention of crises through different methods and tools. However, sanctions remain an important tool available to states and international community, to strengthen efforts at prevention, mitigation and resolution and are warranted by the situation on the ground.

I thank you.

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