Security Council welcomes targeted sanctions as useful tool

In a statement to the press following the Council’s open meeting on the so-called Stockholm Process, the President of the 15-nation body, Ambassador Gunter Pleuger of Germany, said that members urged further work to refine the tool of targeted sanctions.They also welcomed Sweden’s initiative to launch the Stockholm Process, the third step in an international course of action dealing with targeted sanctions based on proposals presented by Switzerland and Germany, the Council President said. The initiative “has provided a valuable contribution to the debate on how to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations system and of Member States to implement targeted sanctions,” he added. “A number of concrete recommendations have been put forward to this effect.”Speaking at the outset of the Council’s meeting, Hans Dahlgren, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, presented the Stockholm Process’s final report. He said sanctions were “something between words and war,” and that like other tools, they could be truly effective only if they were sharp enough, focused enough, and designed for the particular operation they were intended to perform.Targeted sanctions were designed to focus specifically on the individuals, or other entities, that are responsible for threats to, and breaches of, international peace and security, Mr. Dahlgren said. Ideally, they would leave other parts of the population unaffected, as well as international trade relations.There had been growing concern over the negative effects of economic sanctions on vulnerable populations and overall societies, he added. The collateral effects of sanctions on third States had been highlighted, and rightly so. At the same time, many key actors intended to be the targets of sanctions have evaded and circumvented those measures by different means. The Stockholm process recommended different strategies, depending on the type of sanctions, to counter sanctions evasion and maintain the accuracy of sanctions.UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Danilo Turk, stressed the need for enhanced monitoring accompanied by other ways of ensuring that States have the capacity to effectively implement targeted sanctions.”There are a number of key elements that need to be addressed,” he said, “including, among others: improving coordination among all relevant actors; organizing the design and use of sanctions lists; and studying ways by which to probe the deterrent value of targeted Security Council sanctions and their integration into an overall strategy for preventive diplomacy. read more

Guatemala UN chief pledges support for rescue effort after deadly volcano eruption

According to UN-partner, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC), news reports, at least 25 people have died and news reports suggest that more than 40 are missing.In a statement issued by his spokesperson on Monday, the Secretary-General said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and significant damage caused” by the Fuego volcano, located in the south of the country, around 40 kilometres from the capital, Guatemala City. Mr. Guterres also offered his condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the Government and people of Guatemala and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.The volcano also resulted in what are known as pyroclastic flows: deadly fast-moving currents of hot gas and volcanic matter. Ash spewed across a 15-kilometre radius, and as many as 1.7 million people are likely to be affected.