The lack of due process in the United Nations’ (UN) terrorist watch list has made some governments reluctant to enforce sanctions against those listed. Responding to these criticisms, and at the urging of human rights advocates, on Dec. 17, 2009 the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1904, which sets out an improved process and creates greater transparency. These improvements, supported by the U.S. in the Security Council vote, do not yet apply to the U.S. listing process.
Resolution 1904 improves upon Resolution 1267, which created the “Consolidation List” of those suspected of being involved with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban. Sanctions imposed on those listed include asset freezes and travel restrictions. The listing process has been criticized for violating human rights, including the right to adequate notice and opportunity to defend. In 2008 the European Court of Justice ruled the process violated is human rights standards in Kadi & Al Barakaat v. Council of the European Union and EC Commission.
Resolution 1904 seeks to cure these problems by making changes in the listing and delisting process, and by requiring periodic review of the list to remove deceased persons and others who should no longer be on it. It also provides for expedited consideration of humanitarian exemptions.