Updated on 11 January 2016
Chapter 8: SUBSIDIARY BODIES
Section 5(e): Subsidiary bodies concerned with sanctions
Expansion of the mandate of the Al-Qaida sanctions committee to include ISIL
On 17 December 2015, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2253 (2015), by which it decided that the list of individuals and entities affiliated with Al-Qaida and subject to targeted sanctions would be expanded to include individuals and entities affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh). Reflecting this expansion, the Sanctions List of those subject to the relevant assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo was renamed the “ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List”. In parallel, the related Committee – the only Security Council subsidiary organ which is both a sanctions committee and a counter-terrorism committee – was renamed the “Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities”.
This marks the fourth time that this Sanctions Committee has been renamed. Upon its establishment in 1999, the Committee was originally named the “Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Afghanistan”. This was at a time when the Taliban governed Afghanistan and had failed to implement Security Council resolutions which required the closure of Al-Qaida training facilities on Afghan territory and demanded that Osama bin Laden be turned over to authorities in a country where he would be brought to justice.
After a military coalition led by the United States, acting in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of 11 September 2001, removed the Taliban from power, the phrase “concerning Afghanistan” was deleted from the Committee name, and it was known simply as the “Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999)”.
Then in 2003, as Taliban elements continued to fight against the new Afghan government and against coalition forces still present in Afghanistan, and as Al-Qaida continued to carry out acts of terrorism, the Committee was renamed the “Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities”.
As mentioned in the book on page 537, “on 17 June 2011, the Security Council decided to restructure the sanctions committee. By its resolution 1988 (2011), the Council created a new sanctions committee to oversee the sanctions imposed on individuals associated with the Taliban. One impetus for this was developing negotiations between the Afghan Government and more moderate representatives of the Taliban. By its resolution 1989 (2011), adopted the same day, the Council decided that ‘henceforth the Al-Qaida Sanctions List shall include only the names of those individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida’.” Accordingly, the phrase “and the Taliban” was deleted from the Committee name, and it became known as the “Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities”.
Thus the new title of “Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities” is the Committee’s fifth name.
Technically ISIL had already been subject to the relevant sanctions since 30 May 2013, when the Sanctions Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) added “Al-Qaida in Iraq” to its Sanctions List, with the notation that this entity was, inter alia, also known as “Islamic State of Iraq” and “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (UN press release 11019). However, placing ISIL on a parallel and equal footing with Al-Qaida confirms that ISIL has for some time been organizationally independent from Al-Qaida. It also promotes a more precise focus, by both the Security Council and UN Member States, on listing specific individuals and entities acting on behalf of ISIL, and on implementing the sanctions imposed against them. In this connection, resolution 2253 (2015) requested the Secretary-General
“to add up to two new experts on the [Analytical Support and Sanctions] Monitoring
Team along with the additional administrative and analytical support resources needed
to increase its capacity and strengthen its ability to analyze ISIL’s financing, radicalization
and recruitment, and attack planning activities, as well as support the resulting increased activities of the Committee by the Secretariat”.
Overall, placing the name of ISIL before that of Al-Qaida, in the names of both the Sanctions List and the Committee, implies a prioritization by the Council and adds symbolic weight to the seriousness with which the Council is focusing on the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security. (This update supplements pages 529-530 and 536-538 of the book.)