Washington, D.C., Dec 9, 2022 — The Charity & Security Network (CSN) applauds the vote taken today at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that establishes broad protections for life-saving humanitarian aid and programs in regions subject to UNSC sanctions. CSN urges the United States government to follow this momentum and implement a global General License across its own sanctions regimes.
“For too long sanctions designed to punish or persuade bad actors to behave differently have instead punished the world’s most vulnerable people – children, refugee communities, and women, and those most traumatized by the ravages of war,” said Ashleigh Subramanian-Montgomery, the Associate Director of Policy & Advocacy of the Charity & Security Network.
CSN advocates on behalf of humanitarian, peacebuilding, and human rights organizations and has worked for years to raise awareness of and call for changes that would facilitate needed aid to these populations. Such aid is too often blocked by sanctions.
Today’s resolution on a standing humanitarian carve-out was put forward by the governments of the United States and Ireland and we appreciate their leadership and efforts to build the necessary support for the full UNSC vote.
“Now that the UN has recognized the need and taken action, it is critical that the United States follow suit and apply a similar approach to its national sanctions regimes,” Subramanian-Montgomery stated.
CSN and our community of NGOs has consistently advocated on behalf of humanitarian, peacebuilding, and human rights groups to the United States government on issues related to sanctions and the need to allow for legitimate, life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations. One clear approach would be to apply a global General License across existing and future US sanctions regimes. CSN and our colleagues stand ready to engage with the Biden administration to discuss and design an appropriate and effective approach.
A global General License would proactively provide important exemptions for future sanctions rather than responding after the fact to each crisis with a different license. These allowances would not risk supporting bad behavior or terrorist goals, but would rather provide life-saving support and critical capacities to innocent populations in conflict zones or sanctioned areas.
The United States is the most influential economic power and its sanctions regimes have outsized influence around the world. By implementing a global General License it would send a strong signal to nations around the world to echo the UN action, and it would bring rapid and significant relief to millions of people suffering the devastation of conflict, starvation, and disease.
The Charity & Security Network is a resource and advocacy center working to promote and protect the ability of nonprofit organizations to carry out peacebuilding, humanitarian, and human rights missions and to advance national security frameworks that support rather than impede this work. Learn more about the Charity & Security Network’s work at www.CharityAndSecurity.org, and follow us on Twitter: @CharitySecurity.