The official tasked with helping to decide which names of individuals or entities to remove from the list of those subject to Security Council sanctions measures against Al-Qaida and the Taliban said today that petitioners can be assured of receiving a fair and effective hearing of their cases.
Kimberly Prost, the Ombudsperson for the so-called 1267 committee, said the objective of her position is to provide individuals, organizations and entities affected by the sanctions regime “with an avenue for recourse in order to provide fundamental fairness to the process and for the overall efficiency, effectiveness and enforceability of the sanctions regime.
“My aim is to turn that objective into a reality over the coming weeks and months,” she told her first news conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Ms. Prost, who most recently served as a judge with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was appointed last month by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to assist the 1267 committee as it considers requests from individuals and entities seeking removal from the committee’s Consolidated List.
Individuals on the list are subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo imposed under Council resolution 1267 of 1999, and related resolutions, by which all UN Member States are required to impose sanctions on Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and those associated with them.
Petitioners seeking de-listing can now present their case to the Ombudsperson, who, after a period of information gathering and dialogue with the petitioner and relevant States, will present a comprehensive report to the Committee laying out the arguments concerning the de-listing request, having analyzed all the available information.
This is in line with the mandate given to the Ombudsperson by the Security Council in resolution 1904, which created the position.
“Thanks to resolution 1904, for the first time, petitioners seeking a de-listing can do this with the support of an impartial and independent institution – that is the Ombudsperson,” said Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting of Austria, who serves as Chairman of the 1267 Committee.
He noted that Ms. Prost – who brings to her new post experience in international law, human rights and counter-terrorism, having worked in the department of justice in Canada and with the legal advisory section of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – is “perfectly suited” for her position and that her appointment comes at a “sensitive point” in the review of the list.
Ms. Prost said there is a lot of work to be done to make the office of the Ombudsperson a reality. “It is already evident to me from reviewing the resolution which created it, as well as the historical resolutions leading up to it, that there are two attributes the office must have to be successful and effective, and that is independence and accessibility,” she stated.