May 31, 2019

The UN Security Council has extended an arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan for a year, despite resistance from African countries, Russia and China. Resolutions in the 15-member council require a minimum of nine votes for adoption.


  • Background: The Security Council can take action to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

  • Types:
    • Security Council Sanctions measures, under Article 41, encompass a broad range of enforcement options that do not involve the use of armed force.

    • These range from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions.

  • Objective: The Security Council has applied sanctions to support peaceful transitions, deter non-constitutional changes, constrain terrorism, protect human rights and promote non-proliferation.

UN Security Council's Sanctions Committees:

  • Article 29 of the United Nations Charter sets out that the Security Council may establish subsidiary bodies (committees or working groups) as needed for the performance of its functions.

  • One of them is Sanctions Committees which comprises of the 15 members of the Council whose mandate is to impose sanctions.