Security Council takes steps to shore up arms embargo against Somalia

Seeking to shore up the international arms embargo against Somalia, the Security Council today requested a report on the establishment of a panel of experts to improve enforcement of the sanctions against the country.In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to name two specialists to prepare the report – due in 30 days – which should include “an action plan detailing the resources and expertise that the Panel of Experts will require to be able to generate independent information on violations and for improving the enforcement of the weapon and military equipment embargo.”The Panel would be charged with pursing “any sources that might reveal information related to violations, including relevant States, intergovernmental organizations and international law enforcement cooperation bodies, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and intermediaries, other brokering agencies, civil aviation companies and authorities, members of the Transitional National Government, local authorities, political and traditional leaders, civil society and the business community.” The resolution also called on all States, as well as the Transitional National Government and local authorities in Somalia, to cooperate fully with the Chairman of the Security Council sanctions committee and the team of experts. All other individuals and entities contacted by the Chairman or the team were urged to cooperate fully as well.The Council requested Mr. Annan to “enhance the administrative and judicial capacities throughout Somalia to contribute to the monitoring and enforcement of the arms embargo.” All aid agencies working in Somalia were invited to reinforce this objective in a coordinated manner.States were asked to report to the sanctions committee within 60 days on measures they have in place to ensure the full and effective implementation of the arms embargo, according to the resolution. All States, particularly those in the region, were called on to provide the committee with information on violations.