posted on THU 9 JUN 2011 5:19 PM
Renewal of Iran and DPRK Sanctions Panel of Experts

The mandates for the Iran and DRPK sanctions committees experts expire on 9 and 12 June respectively. Council members at expert level have been negotiating resolutions renewing the mandate of these two panel of experts and expected to adopt them today (9 June) and tomorrow (10 June).

The first draft of the two resolutions renewing the panels of experts’ mandates were very similar to last year’s resolutions as most members were expecting a technical rollover of the mandates. However, some members raised concerns about the work of the panels of experts, particularly with regard to the credibility of the sources used, and the need to stay within their mandates.

It appears that agreement was reached on how to reflect some of these concerns in the two resolutions. Among the suggestions was to have a discussion with the Committee prior to the panel of experts submitting their reports to the Council. (These two panel of experts submit their reports directly to the Council rather than to the Committee.) This would provide an opportunity for members to voice their concerns about methodology or sources ahead of the reports being submitted to the Council. There may also be specific language included on having the programme of work of the panel of experts provided to the Committee.

Some members were concerned that these insertions could be interpreted as criticism of the panel of experts’ work. There was general agreement that the language should not undermine the independence of the panels.

Recently a number of panel of experts’ reports have been delayed as a result of China and Russia’s concerns. The new language seems unlikely to speed up the publishing of the reports but it may lead to more constructive discussions when the reports are submitted.