UN Report Urges for More Transparency During De-Listing Process

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March 6, 2011

On Feb 28, 2011, the United Nations (UN) Security Council emphasized the need for transparency and fairness in the process for persons or groups seeking to be removed from its list of designated terrorists. The statement came days after the UN’s Office of the Ombudsperson released its first report analyzing the de-listing process  and calling for additional cooperation by UN member countries and other changes throughout the process.  The Security Council said the Ombudsperson position is likely to be extended beyond its initial 18 month mandate and that a response to its report would be issued in June.

As part of UN Resolution 1904, the Ombudsperson position was created in 2009 and was charged with improving the process by which individuals or groups could be removed from the UN’s consolidated terrorist lists. Improvements for the de-listing process recommended by the Ombudsperson include:

  • Increasing cooperation from all UN countries in evaluating de-listing applications, including identifying the source that proposed the listing.
  • Ensuring persons or entities either de-listed or incorrectly included on a list (e.g. person with the same name as a listed person) are unburdened from financial and travel restrictions.
  • Improving notification process to de-listed parties, including providing a reason for the delisting

Resolution 1904 improves upon Resolution 1267, which created the “Consolidation List” of those suspected of being involved with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban. Sanctions imposed on those listed include the freezing of assets and travel restrictions. The listing process has been criticized for violating human rights, including the right to adequate notice and opportunity to defend. Resolution 1904 sought to cure these problems by making changes in the listing and delisting process, and by requiring periodic review of the list to remove deceased persons and others who should no longer be on it.