1. Since the end of the Cold War, the international
community has increasingly resorted to the use of sanctions as
a middle way between non-coercive diplomacy and the use of force.
In 1999 alone, sanctions were imposed on Ethiopia, Eritrea, the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Indonesia by international
organisations of which the UK is a member, and existing sanctions
were maintained against a further 20 states.
However, this has led to growing concern about the developmental/humanitarian
impact of sanctions on civilian populations.
2. Such concern has led to a search for 'smarter'
sanctions regimes both at national and international levels.
Smarter sanctions are intended to reduce the impact of sanctions
on the civilian population either by targeting specific
goods, elites or individuals, or through improved exemption mechanisms
for humanitarian goods and supplies.
3. The UK Government has a particularly important
role to play in sanctions policy. It is a permanent member of
the United Nations Security Council and is a leading member of
other sanctioning organisations such as the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the EU. The Government has
recently completed a review of its own sanctions policy which
concluded that there was a need for better targeted, "smarter
We decided this was a useful occasion to conduct an inquiry into
the future of sanctions, to consider whether the Government's
sanctions policy is consistent with the commitments it made in
the Development White Paper to the elimination of poverty and
the promotion of human rights.
4. The overall purpose of this Report is not to
comment on the merits of sanctions as a tool of foreign policy,
nor to justify or condemn their use against particular regimes,
but rather to assess the impact of sanctions on target regimes
in humanitarian/developmental terms and to examine existing proposals
to reduce both unintended consequences and unwarranted harm.
5. We are grateful to all who gave oral evidence
to the Committee in the course of this inquiry: Peter Hain MP,
Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Tony Brenton,
Edward Chaplin OBE and Elizabeth Wilmshurst (FCO); Tony Faint
(DFID); Rita Bhatia, Mark Bowden and Chris Saunders (Save the
Children); Dr Sarah Collinson (ActionAid); Mikael Barfod (EC Humanitarian
Office); Claude Bruderlein (Harvard Centre for Population and
Development Studies) Marcello Casale and Jonathon Jones (HM Treasury);
Tony Gammon (Bank of England); Simon Goddard (National
Criminal Intelligence Service); Ambassador Robert Fowler (Canadian
Ambassador to the UN, Chairman of the Angola Sanctions Committee);
Dr Latif Rashid (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Britain), Hoshyan
Zebari (Kurdistan Democratic Party), and Dr Salah Shaikhly (Iraqi
National Accord), Members of the Iraqi National Congress; Jeremy
Carver CBE (Partner and Head of International Law Group, Clifford
Chance). We are also particularly grateful to Hans Von Sponeck,
the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq, who kindly agreed to
provide the Committee with information on the humanitarian situation
in Iraq. We would also thank all those who supplied the Committee
with written evidence and background briefings in the course of
1 As of 4 November. Source: DTI Website. Back
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