Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the UN Security Council Open Debate on General issues relating to Sanctions: preventing their humanitarian and unintended consequences

New York, 07 February 2022

Mr. President,

Let me congratulate Norway for an excellent Presidency in January and wish you and Russia the best in presiding over the council during this month. Thank you, USG DiCarlo and USG Griffiths, for the briefing.

Sanctions are an important tool as part of common efforts to maintain international peace and security without recourse to the use of force.

The UN Charter is very clear on the necessity of using sanctions to prevent further violence, address threats to the peace, breach of the peace or any act of aggression.

As such, targeted sanctions represent a tool that needs to be used with utmost care and precision, as a deterrent and as a means of accountability when human rights violations and gross atrocities are committed.

Let’s be clear: No one wants to impose sanctions merely for the sake of sanctions. They are used to prevent greater harm. Their strength rests with their compatibility with international law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law, as part of a comprehensive strategy and actions to preserve peace and security. When this Council puts its full weight behind sanctions and when Member States respect them, sanctions contribute to the intended results, as we heard also by the briefers.

Albania fully supports targeted sanctions that respond to specific situations. They need to be measured and proportional in order to be effective and avoid any eventual collateral damage or unintended consequences. Targeted sanctions do not harm the + economy, they do not hurt the population or affect essential needs such as food and medicine.

Horrible acts such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, sexual and gender-based violence, acts that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, require a swift and targeted response.

We cannot accept that fortunes often amassed by stealing from country’s natural resources are hoarded in obscure accounts abroad;

we cannot contemplate individuals who openly violate peace processes to leisurely travel around the world and amass more wealth;

we cannot accept strong men who starve civilians by hindering humanitarian efforts or those who openly breach national and international law to just illegally grab or stay in power. This is why sanctions serve as a means of accountability.

Mr. President,

We very much agree with the view that targeted sanctions need to be regularly and properly monitored. Monitoring should be an integral part of the sanctions’ regime throughout, including at the stages of formulation and implementation, and evaluation. It should strengthen the effectiveness of sanctions but also establish binding exemptions when needed and relevant, or carve-outs on specific sanction regimes to minimize unintended consequences.

For this, the Council should be more attentive and supportive of the Sanction Committees and of the Panels of Experts to mitigate the adverse consequences of sanctions while monitoring their full implementation as mandated. Resolution 2615 on Afghanistan did precisely this: it provided a timely response making way for the much-needed humanitarian assistance to the country.

Mr. President,

Regrettably, there are times when the Council fails to address and hold accountable those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses, and even acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. In such situation, regional organizations or individual countries step up. In this respect and as a matter of principled position.

Albania supports the EU sanctions, which are carefully calibrated, aimed at those responsible for policies or actions in clear violation of human rights law, and they are also preventative, reversible, and gradual, as well as proportionate to the objectives they seek to achieve. We have also expressed support for the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, convinced that they are measures meant to address and help redress important pressing issues. In concluding, I would like to emphasize once again the importance that Albania attaches to a robust implementation of the sanctions’ regime as part of overall efforts while remaining fully committed to ensuring that sanctions are effective and in full compliance with our commitments under the UN Charter and the International Humanitarian Law.

Thank you.

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Albania remains committed to uphold the charter of the UN, convinced that a rules-based international order with effective multilateral institutions is the best way to ensure peace, security, and respect for human rights, development and prosperity.

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