Implementation of U.N. Economic Sanctions

NSIAD-93-174: Published: Apr 22, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the implementation of the United Nations' (UN) economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, focusing on: (1) sanction violations; and (2) options to strengthen the economic sanctions.

GAO found that: (1) the sanctions have achieved their first objective of signaling the international community's condemnation of Serbia-Montenegro's aggression against the other former Yugoslavian republics; (2) although the Serbian economy has suffered significant disruption, the international community's enforcement of the sanctions is inadequate, since Serbia has not stopped its aggressive policies; (3) the UN sanctions committee is not actively monitoring the implementation of the sanctions, following up on requests for shipments through Serbia-Montenegro, regularly receiving reports on suspected sanction violations, or making recommendations to the Security Council on actual or suspected violations; (4) the sanction committee's staff is overwhelmed with its work load requirements; (5) most countries have not blocked Serbian fund transfers between other countries and Serbia is able to engage in commerce which circumvents the sanctions; (6) the countries that border Serbia-Montenegro have the major responsibility for enforcing the sanctions, but they lack the resources and authority to do so; (7) the international community has provided little assistance to enforce sanctions despite repeated requests from border countries; (8) the sanctions have adversely impacted the border countries' economies; (9) sanction violations are frequent; (10) options for strengthening the sanctions include better monitoring of transit goods, increasing the resources and technical assistance to border countries, tightening financial sanctions, and increasing investigations and prosecutions to deter violations; and (11) most countries favor strengthening existing sanctions, but do not support additional sanctions or a full blockade.

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