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UN Week – 3/11/13

April 13, 2013

This blog entry is written by members of our blogging community and expresses those experts’ views alone.

John and Douglas Carey, Editors

Contents of this issue: Security Council achieves unanimity; Susan Rice on Women’s Day; US Senate gets a nudge.

 Security Council achieves unanimity.

The Security Council on March 7th passed unanimously a resolution strengthening and expanding the scope of United Nations sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by targeting the illicit activities of diplomatic personnel, transfers of bulk cash, and the country’s banking relationships, in response to that country’s third nuclear test on 12 February.

Acting under the Charter’s Chapter VII, through resolution 2094 (2013), the Council strongly condemned the test and maintained the sanctions it first imposed on the DPRK in 2006 under resolution 1718, deciding that some of those, along with additional restrictions, would apply to the individuals and entities listed in two annexes of today’s text.

In that connection, a travel ban and asset freeze were imposed on the Chief and Deputy Chief of a mining trading company it deemed “the primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons”, as well as on an official of a company designated by the Sanctions Committee to be the main financial entity for sales of conventional arms, ballistic missiles and goods related to assembly and manufacture.

The Council also froze the assets of a national-level organization responsible for the research and development of advanced weapons systems, and a conglomerate, designated by the Sanctions Committee in 2009, to be specializing in acquisition for the country’s defense industries and support to related sales.  Further, it added to the list of prohibited equipment and technologies, and included a list of luxury goods that cannot be imported.

States are directed under the resolution to enhance their vigilance over the diplomatic personnel of the DPRK, in a provision aimed at halting any activities that could contribute to the country’s weapons program, or which would violate any prohibited activities ban.

More specifically, States are directed to prevent the provision of financial services or the transfer of any financial or other assets or resources, including “bulk cash”, which might be used to evade the sanctions.  They are also called on to prohibit in their territories the opening of new branches or offices of “DPRK” banks and to prohibit such banks from establishing new joint ventures.

Moreover, in the effort to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to or from the DPRK or its nationals of any banned items, States are authorized to inspect all cargo within or transiting through their territory that has originated in the DPRK or that is destined for that country.  They are to deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have reasonable grounds to believe the aircraft contains prohibited items.

States were also asked to supply any information on non-compliance and to report to the Council within 90 days, and thereafter, at the Committee’s request, on measures they have taken to implement the text.  The Sanctions Committee is directed to respond to violations and is authorized to add to the list.  The expert panel, under the Committee’s auspices, was extended until 7 April 2014.

The Council promised to keep the situation under continuous review and stated it was “prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the measures as may be needed in light of the DPRK’s compliance”, or to “take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test”.

The fact that the meeting began at 10:11 a.m. and ended at 10:14 a.m. shows that Security Council resolutions are usually not drafted and negotiated in public meetings, but rather by exchanges of texts in private after the texts have been approved in the capital cities of the Member States.

One amusing feature of the resolution is paragraph 23 which “reaffirms the measures imposed in paragraph 8 (a) (3) of resolution 1718 (2006) regarding luxury goods, and clarifies that the term ‘luxury goods’ includes, but is not limited to, the items specified in annex IV of this resolution.” Here is how annex IV defines “luxury goods”:

1.    Jewelry:

(a)   Jewelry with pearls;

(b)   Gems;

(c)   Precious and semi-precious stones (including diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds);

(d)   Jewelry of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal.

2.    Transportation items, as follows:

(a)   Yachts;

(b)   Luxury automobiles (and motor vehicles): automobiles and other motor vehicles to transport people (other than public transport), including station wagons;

(c)   Racing cars.


When asked by a reporter, “how would you make sure that it’s going to be enforced,” US Ambassador Rice replied that, “We are of the view of course that every member state is legally obliged to fulfill to the letter the terms of this resolution and the prior resolutions with respect to North Korea and every other binding sanctions regime. And we and our partners having unanimously passed this resolution are committed together to ensuring its effective implementation.”

Susan Rice on Women’s Day.

On March 8th, US Ambassador Susan Rice said that, “as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we applaud the progress and achievements of women all across the world. From the announcement that combat positions would be open to the women bravely serving in the U.S. military to the record number female members of the U.S. Congress currently in power, the U.S. has made real progress towards leveling the playing field for American women and empowering them to live up to their full potential.

“But today is also a day to acknowledge the progress we as Americans and international community have yet to make. One in three women worldwide will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetimes. More than 30 million girls worldwide do not receive the benefit of any schooling, and more than 280,000 women die each year from childbirth complications that can be anticipated and treated.

“Our societies are not truly free, if we do not uphold our fundamental ideals of fairness and equality. We as a people are not free when women and girls still struggle for their survival and safety or find their reproductive rights blocked. When women around the world still face discrimination and even death because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, our values are compromised.

“Yesterday, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act, which launches new programs to help survivors of rape and assault, strengthens tools to hold offenders accountable, and offers increased protections for Native American women and the LGBT community. The U.S. is working to improve girls’ access to education and to ensure that all women have access to reproductive health services as well as maternal, newborn and child health services.

“On this International Women’s Day, I applaud the dedication of all who work to ensure that every girl and every woman can realize her fundamental right to live free from violence and fear and to reach her full potential. Let us step up the fight to protect and support our sisters, mothers and daughters.”

US Senate gets a nudge.

The “advance unedited version,” A/HRC/22/52,  of a report of the Special Rapporteur, Ben Emmerson, on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, included this at 17: “45. In March 2009 the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence began a comprehensive investigation into the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program, chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein. * * *

“46. The Special Rapporteur calls on the United States to release the full Senate Select Committee report as soon as possible, subject only to the specific redaction of such particulars as are considered by the Select Committee itself to be strictly necessary to safeguard legitimate national security interests or the physical safety of persons identified in the report.”



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