Canada Eases Sanctions Against Libya

September 30, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada is amending its Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2095.

Under the amended regulations, suppliers of non-lethal military equipment will no longer be required to obtain prior approval from or provide notice to the UNSC for certain types of exports to Libya, including equipment:

  • intended solely for humanitarian or protective use and related to technical assistance or training; or
  • intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government and related to technical assistance, training or financial assistance.

“Canada is proud to have supported the Libyan people and their quest to secure a better, brighter future for themselves,” said Baird. “Canada is committed to supporting the Libyan authorities in order to strengthen stability and security during this critical transitional period. This amendment supports the people of Libya and the stability of the country, and brings Canada in line with its international legal obligations under the UN Security Council.”

Sanctions were originally imposed by the UNSC in February 2011 in response to the Qadhafi regime’s violence, use of force against civilians, and gross and systematic violations of human rights in its efforts to suppress the revolution that erupted in Libya at that time.

Since then, through the adoption of a number of resolutions, UN sanctions against Libya have been modified to reflect improved conditions in Libya and to support its people and the stability of the country.

For more information, please visit Canada Economic Sanctions - Libya.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Amendment to Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya

Purpose of the Amendment

Canada is amending the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya in order to bring Canada in line with its international legal obligations under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2095.

UNSC Resolution 2095

On March 14, 2013, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2095, which stated that suppliers of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use and related technical assistance or training in Libya would no longer be required to obtain prior approval from or provide notification to the UNSC sanctions committee on Libya for the provision of such equipment. The UNSC also decided that prior approval from or notification of the committee would no longer be required before providing the Libyan government with technical assistance, training or financial assistance intended solely for security or disarmament.

History of the Regulations

On February 26, 2011, the UNSC adopted Resolution 1970, imposing sanctions against Libya in response to the violence, use of force against civilians and gross systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the Qadhafi regime in its efforts to quell the revolution that erupted in Libya on February 17, 2011. These sanctions included a prohibition on the sale, supply or transfer of arms and related material to Libya, with exceptions for non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use and related technical assistance or training.

Canada implemented these measures with the adoption, on February 27, 2011, of the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya and Taking Special Economic Measures, enabled by both the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act.

The UN sanctions regime was also modified by the adoption of a number of resolutions to reflect events on the ground, such as the intensification of the conflict, the establishment of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and the NTC’s eventual success over Qadhafi’s forces. Once the NTC was recognized as Libya’s official government, the UNSC eased the sanctions regime to reflect the international community’s resolve to support the stabilization of the country. In particular, UNSC Resolution 2009 amended the sanctions regime so that the supply of arms and related material—including technical assistance, training, financial and other assistance, intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan authorities—would be allowed, provided that the Committee was notified in advance and did not oppose the transactions. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya and Taking Special Economic Measures (as they were then known) were amended accordingly, on August 31, 2011.

On August 31, 2011, Canada lifted its unilateral sanctions against Libya in order to support the Libyan people and Libya’s new governing authorities. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya and Taking Special Economic Measures were amended accordingly and became known as the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Libya.

Provisions of Canada’s sanctions regulations are enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency.

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