For many years, the United Nations (UN) regularly uses sanctions to intervene in situations that threaten international peace and security. The arms embargoes are one of the sanctions used by the UN as an alternative to the use of force.
It has always been difficult to enforce an arms embargo. The media and non-governmental organizations regularly report cases of illegal shipments of weapons to countries under an arms embargo. These violations contribute to the proliferation of weapons in conflict areas that they continue to fuel and exacerbate.
This report of GRIP provides an overview of the system set up by the UN to control the arms embargoes. This system is based on monitoring the implementation of the embargo as well as verifying it. The author shows that governments, the UN, international and regional organizations, the media, organizations of civil society, or the peace soldiers have a role to play in ensuring the enforcement of arms embargoes and therefore contribute to international peace and security. The control system established by the UN has already contributed to improve the implementation of arms embargoes. However, it remains dependent on the one hand on means and capacities that the UN is willing to grant to the actors of the control and on the other hand on the political will and institutional and technical capacities of States to implement arms embargoes. It also remains dependent on their collaboration to the control mechanisms.