MIL-OSI United Nations: Security Council Extends Mandate for Ombudsperson, Monitoring Team of Sanctions Regime against ISIL (Da’esh), Adopting Resolution 2374 (2024)

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Source: United Nations 4

Extending the mandates of the Ombudsperson and the Monitoring Team of the sanctions regime against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Da’esh, and Al-Qaida, the Security Council today also updated the criteria for designating individuals, groups and entities on the regime’s list to include the committing of acts of sexual and gender-based violence. 

Council resolution 2734 (2024) (to be issued as document S/RES/2734(2024)) was adopted by a recorded vote of 14 in favour to none against, with one abstention (Russian Federation).

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the 15-member organ extended the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson, established by resolution 1904 (2009), for a period of 36 months from its date of expiration in June 2024 and expressed its intention to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding the further extension no later than 17 May 2027.

The text also affirms that the Ombudsperson shall continue to receive and review requests from individuals, groups, undertakings or entities seeking to be removed from the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List in an independent and impartial manner and shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any Government.

Further, the Ombudsperson shall continue to present to the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, observations and recommendations regarding the delisting of those individuals, groups, undertakings or entities that have requested removal from the Sanctions List.

Also extended was the mandate of the current New York-based Monitoring Team and its members, established pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 1526 (2004), for a further period of 36 months from the expiration of its current mandate in June 2024.  The Council directed the Team to report on relevant thematic and regional topics and developing trends and to identify, gather information on and keep the Committee informed of instances and common patterns of non-compliance with the measures imposed in this resolution.

Under listing criteria, the Council decided to recognize that planning, directing, or committing acts involving sexual and gender-based violence including rape, enslavement of persons, and cases of abduction and trafficking in persons may be eligible for designation in the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List, when such acts are being used by ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups and entities as a tactic of terrorism.

As in 2021, the resolution covers a wide range of measures, including asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.  The terms on asset freeze instruct States to freeze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of listed individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including funds derived from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly, by them or by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction.

The travel ban calls on States to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of these individuals, while the arms embargo prevents the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to listed individuals, groups, undertakings and entities from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical advice, assistance or training related to military activities.

The Council has tended towards unanimous adoptions on this topic and in statements after adoption, its members welcomed the extension of the mandates.  However, they also cautioned against politicizing those mandates, and notably, they expressed divergent views on the amendment of listing criteria to include sexual and gender-based violence.

The representative of the United States, who sponsored the text, said that provision reflects the Council’s recognition that “sexual and gender based violence is a tool terrorists utilize to further their aims.”  Noting the “devastating frequency of this horrific tactic”, from ISIL’s use of sexual slavery against the Yazidi community to Al-Shabaab’s use of abduction, rape and forced marriage, she said the text is a critical step in the global campaign to end sexual and gender-based violence.

China’s delegate pointed out that according to the resolution, when sexual violence is used as a terrorist tactic, such acts may be eligible for designation on the basis of current criteria.  This phrasing is more appropriate till the international community “reaches a clear consensus on the link between sexual and gender-based violence and terrorism”, he said.  It is necessary to “abandon ideological biases and double standards” and consider listing requests objectively, he said, stressing that the Monitoring Team and Ombudsperson must continue to perform their duties impartially.

The representative of the Russian Federation, who abstained from the vote, noted that the 1267 sanctions regime is one of the most effective and cautioned against dilution of its mandate.  If there is proof that terrorists associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida use sexual violence to achieve their goals, then the Committee must act accordingly; however, this must not result in watering down its counter-terrorism mandate and distracting it with secondary questions.  “It is unacceptable to automatically tie the question of SGBV [sexual and gender-based violence] to terrorism,” he said, adding that such cases should be considered only if there is reliable information.  Further, such violence should not be used as an independent criteria for listing, he underscored, expressing regret that the United States delegation “did not think it valuable to preserve the consensus spirit of the counter-terrorism agenda”.

Algeria’s delegate also expressed regret that the resolution was not adopted by consensus, because the 1267 sanctions regime derives its effectiveness from the unity of the Council. Some matters in the text deserve further consideration, he said, stressing the importance of the “Member-State driven nature” of the listing and de-listing process.  Politicizing the mandate of the sanctions regime will undermine it, he cautioned.

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