For a long time, there hasn’t been any adequate procedure for removing listed individuals from the sanctions list. In particular there was no mechanism for enabling affected individuals or entities to have their listing reviewed by an independent and impartial body.
On 17 October 2009 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1904, establishing the Office of an Ombudsperson whom individuals and entities that are included in the UN Security Council's Al-Qaida sanctions list can contact. The Ombudsperson is entitled to receive requests from individuals and entities seeking to be removed from the sanctions list and makes appropriate recommendations to the Sanctions Committee.
Removal from the sanctions list, known as delisting, requires first of all a consensus decision by the Sanctions Committee. Since 17 June 2011 (Resolution 1989) the Ombudsperson has been able to recommend to the Committee that an individual or entity be removed from the Sanctions List. The requirement for a consensus decision was thus inverted: the removal of an individual or entity as recommended by the Ombudsperson automatically enters into effect if the Sanctions Committee does not decide otherwise by consensus. In cases where consensus does not exist, any member of the Committee may demand that the request for delisting be referred to the Security Council.
Switzerland welcomes the improvements to the procedure, which takes better account of the rights of individuals at the international level and strengthens the legitimacy of the UN's sanctions system. Switzerland continues to advocate together with like-minded states for improvements of due process in sanctions regimes that do not have access to the Ombudsperson. Recent proposals submitted to the UN Security Council on 11 June 2021 with the Group of Like-Minded States aim at the creation of an independent review mechanism for these other sanctions regimes.