Cairo, Egypt – In cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (department of UN Affairs) and the United Nations (UN) Secretariat, CCCPA organized a first-of-its-kind training workshop on the implementation of UN Sanctions. The training, which took place on 11–12 July 2017, brought together national focal points covering UN sanctions regimes, including representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior, Trade and Industry, Finance, Justice, Supply & Internal Trading, Transportation, Civil Aviation, Investment, as well as officials from the Central Bank of Egypt, the Suez Canal Authority, and Damietta Port Authority.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Amr Aljowaily, Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for UN Affairs, highlighted Egypt’s interest in addressing the issue of UN sanctions and their implementation, specifically during Egypt’s non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2016-2017 term. Egypt currently presides over the sanctions committees for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq.
Ambassador Aljowaily referred to the deliberations of the informal ‘Arria’ meeting organized by the Permanent Mission of Egypt, on 5 July 2017, in New York, entitled "Improving United Nations Sanctions: Perspective of all Parties". According to him, the meeting provided an opportunity for African countries affected by sanctions to voice their concerns, and was well received by other member states. The meeting also reflected interest in restoring the focus of sanctions as a tool of peaceful settlement of international disputes, not merely as coercive measures. Aljowaily stressed the necessity to consider the humanitarian, economic and social dimensions of sanctions, even if they are smart and targeted. Egypt will continue to address the issue of sanctions during the remaining period of its UNSC membership, and also during its presidency of the Council in August.
Aljowaily referred to the establishment of the Egyptian National Coordinating Committee for the Implementation of Security Council Sanctions, following a decision by the Egyptian Prime Minister in 2016. The purpose of the Committee is to strengthen national coordination on sanctions. He called for providing capacity building to entities responsible for the implementation of those sanctions.
CCCPA’s Deputy Director, Hatem Elatawy, highlighted the importance of sanctions as a UN tool for the maintenance of international peace and security, especially in the context of the ever-evolving nature of conflict. “Today, UN sanctions adopt a targeted approach, that takes into account the multiplicity of today’s actors in conflict,” he said. Elatawy added that the development of UN sanctions regimes has been accompanied by an evolution in its mechanisms, especially with regard to the establishment of committees and bodies concerned with sanctions’ monitoring and implementation. He highlighted the importance of this training workshop as an opportunity to enhance the knowledge of national stakeholders on UN sanctions regimes, as well as to explore and overcome implementation challenges. The workshop draws on the UN mandate to support its member states in the implementation of UN sanctions regimes.
Experts from the UN Secretariat tailored the training workshop to Egyptian needs, providing an overview on UN sanctions regimes, lists and implementation, including sanctions related to counter-terrorism. Discussions during the two-day workshop touched upon the role of national entities in sanctions implementation; expert group mandates, safety, and consultations with member states; sanctions listing and delisting procedures, including timeframes and updates; and the effectiveness vs. limitations of ISIL and al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
Through practical exercises, the workshop provided participants with an opportunity to discuss and explore the challenges facing national stakeholders in domestic monitoring and implementation of UN sanctions, and national reporting on UN sanctions regimes. In this context, participants indicated a number of recommendations, most notably:
· the need for clear, precise, and realistic UNSC resolutions
· the importance of establishing permanent focal points within national stakeholders concerned with UN sanctions so as to achieve better implementation
· the need to strengthen national capacities, including through the provision of technical and logistical support
· encouraging member states to develop internal legal systems to cope with the evolution of UN sanctions
· the importance of adapting the language of expert group communications to member states, and the need to extend the deadline for response