Vlcek, William. (2007) Hitting the right target: EU and Security Council pursuit of terrorist financing. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
Targeted sanctions originated as a more refined tactic in response to humanitarian concerns over the unintended consequences connected to comprehensive trade embargo sanctions. Extending targeted sanctions to include terrorism produced further unintended consequences, in particular the faulty identification of sanction targets. This paper looks at one specific case of targeted sanctions against the financing of terrorism in order to study the position of the European Union at the United Nations Security Council. The listing of the Somali money transfer firm al Barakaat raised a number of issues involving the use of sanctions against non-state actors. It also provoked a legal challenge against the EU’s implementation of these targeted sanctions, which in turn has been portrayed as a challenge to the use of targeted sanctions by the Security Council to maintain international peace and security. This paper considers first the development of targeted sanctions, then EU Presidency statements at the United Nations concerning terrorism followed by a brief summary of the al Barakaat case, which motivated a number of changes in the sanctions process. Following the discussion is an assessment of the damage incurred from the misidentification of al Barakaat as a source of terrorist financing and several concluding thoughts on the location of the EU in the use of sanctions against terrorism. The central point here is the same as that frequently stated by the EU Presidency, that targeted sanctions must ensue from due process and the rule of law, whatever the venue, in order to protect human rights.
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