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International sanctions

The issue of terrorism has been dealt with by international communities since the beginning of the 20th century. The first attempt of the League of Nations to come up with a universal definition of terrorism dates back to 1937. Since those times the fight against terrorism has overlapped with international and national development. After the 11 September attack on the United States, the phenomenon of terrorism acquired new dimensions. More attacks in Spain, Russia, and the United Kingdom followed and the issue, once marginal, suddenly came to the foreground. A national issue changed into an international one overnight. Local groups, such as the IRA or ETA, were replaced by supranational Al-Qaeda and its cells operating on a principle of a joint mark, ideology, as well as independent funding and minimum contacts. This has accelerated the historically lengthy processes of accession and ratification of international treaties covering terrorism. The Slovak Republic has become a party to each of them.

The objective of international sanctions is to maintain or restore international peace and security following the principles of the UN Charter and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. This includes, in particular, a change of the policy of the government and state with regard to individuals or groups which do not respect the fundamental principles of the rule of law, which violate human rights, international law, and jeopardise security. From the perspective of Article 41 of the Charter of the UN, international sanctions mean orders, bans or restrictions adopted by the UN Security Council, the decisions of which must be, pursuant to Article 25 of the Charter, adopted and implemented by the UN member countries. International sanctions also include decisions resulting from individual actions of the EU Council adopted pursuant to Article 28 of the Treaty on the EU, such as the EU Council Common Position passed based on Article 29 of the Treaty on the EU. Furthermore, international sanctions also mean an emergency measure adopted by the EU Council pursuant to Article 75 and 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Targeted financial sanctions:   The EU often imposes targeted financial sanctions which may go against specific individuals, groups or entities responsible for policies or activities which raise concerns. Such sanctions consist of the obligation to freeze all funds and economic sources of target individuals and entities, and of a ban on creating financial or economic sources directly or indirectly available or otherwise beneficial to such individuals or entities. Exceptions are possible under special conditions and employing special procedures (e.g. funds required for basic expenditures including payments for food, rent or mortgage, drugs and medical treatment).

Targeted sanctions of the EU as a tool in the fight against terrorism:   The EU implements sanctions in the context of UN SC Resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001). Measures are taken against individuals and groups included in the so-called "EU terrorist list". The EU also implements sanctions against Al Qaeda and the Taliban imposed by the UN. The difference between UN Resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001) is that each of them deals with different individuals and entities whose funds or other assets are to be frozen. UN Resolution 1267 (1999) imposes an obligation to forthwith freeze funds or other assets owned or controlled by Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and of the individuals and entities associated therewith as designated by the UN Sanctions Committee on Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in accordance with UN SC Resolution 1267 (1999), including funds derived from the funds or other assets owned or directly or indirectly controlled by them or by persons acting on their behalf or based on their authorisation, and to take care that neither those funds nor any other funds or assets be directly or indirectly made accessible to the benefit of such persons, whether by actions by their state officials or any other individuals on their territory. The UN Security Council acted in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN when issuing UN Resolution 1373 (2001). This is why its rulings are binding upon all UN members. UN Resolution 1373 (2001) imposes an obligation to forthwith freeze funds or other assets of individuals who commit, or attempt to commit, a terrorist attack.