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Un Arms Embargoes

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to encourage national legislatures, with particular reference to countries which produce military or paramilitary equipment, to increase the number of UN arms embargoes that they enact at a national level. [131135]

The UK fully supports UN sanctions. We try to ensure that other States follow suit. The UK has lobbied countries believed to be involved in embargo breaches both unilaterally and multilaterally. Lobbying regarding sanctions enforcement often occurs during high-level ministerial visits.In addition, officials from the FCO, MOD, DTI and HM Customs and Excise undertake regular Export Control Outreach visits to raise awareness about responsible export controls, licensing and enforcement. Since 2001, the UK has held bilateral talks with Bosnia, China, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Israel, Macau, Malta, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro and the Ukraine.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has taken steps to encourage the UN Security Council to develop a list of (a) military, (b) paramilitary, (c) police and (d) dual-use equipment to which UN arms embargoes will apply. [131148]

The Bonn-Berlin process (a German initiative involving the UN Secretariat and supported by the UK) on the design and implementation of arms embargoes and travel and aviation related sanctions in 2001, considered the question of whether the UN Security Council should adopt lists of military goods to which UN arms embargoes would apply. The participants concluded that it was important to agree a list of goods prior to the introduction of a UN resolution with the assistance of the UN Secretariat. If there were divergent views on the list, arbitration should be provided by the UN Secretary-General.However, due to lack of consensus among Security Council members, these proposals were never adopted. UK sanctions policy focuses upon and encourages the use of sanctions that are appropriately targeted and effectively implemented and enforced. The UK therefore continues to support the adoption of lists of military equipment to which UN arms embargoes would apply.