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Finalization of the Handbook on Implementing UN Sanctions in the Gulf of Aden

Somalia, 11 May - To support the effectiveness of the Somalia Sanctions Regime, UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme, through its Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC), produced the first edition of the Handbook on the Implementation of United Nations Sanctions in the Gulf of Aden thanks to generous funding from the Kingdom of Denmark.

Like all sanctions regimes, the Somalia Sanctions Regime aims to promote international peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. In general, sanctions regimes focus mainly on supporting the settlement of political conflicts, nuclear non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism. In the case of the Somalia Sanctions Regime, the measures largely intend to counter terrorism by restricting al-Shabaab’s diversion of pre-cursor chemicals for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and sanctioning the export of Somali charcoal to disrupt the terrorist group’s revenues from the trade. Under the UN Charter, all Member States are obliged to comply with decisions made by the Security Council.

Regional Legislative Assessment on Trafficking in Persons in Eastern Africa 2021

That is why the Handbook is designed to assist maritime law enforcement, customs, and port authorities in detecting and investigating the maritime flow of sanctioned and restricted goods by outlining techniques for identifying suspicious vessels, detecting forged ship registrations, searching a vessel, and seizing evidence. The first edition covers contextual information on United Nations Security Council sanctions against the export of Somali charcoal and restrictions on pre-cursors used in the manufacture of IEDs. It also outlines the relevant Security Council resolutions and describes how port institutions are responsible for complying with such resolutions. Indeed, monitoring and enforcement are central mechanisms to counter terrorism and, by extension, to help advance efforts designed to promote peace and security.

The Handbook is part of a wider programme, funded by the Kingdom of Denmark, to support the implementation of a series of Security Council resolutions relating to Somalia, most recently resolution 2607 (2021). In paragraph 4 of that resolution, UNODC IOFMC, was requested to facilitate cooperation on responding to illicit maritime flows and disrupt all forms of illicit trade that might finance terrorist activities in Somalia.

Looking ahead, UNODC aims to deliver training on the Handbook and hopes to expand its scope to address further sanctions regimes, including the Yemen Sanctions Regime, to enhance its utility. Now more than ever, sanctions are crucial diplomatic tools to deter actions that undermine global security and UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme stands ready to support Member States in implementing sanctions regimes.

To receive a copy of the Handbook, please email Mr. Ulrich Haeussermann via the below email address.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Ulrich Haeussermann

Programme Coordinator, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea

Global Maritime Crime Programme

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa