September 13, 2018
This week, a report from the UN’s independent Panel of Experts on the implementation of UN North Korea sanctions was submitted to the Security Council. The report submitted to the Council was not the same independent report that was submitted to the UN’s North Korea sanctions committee last month. This version of the report was amended at the request of Russia. In recent weeks, Russia pressured the Panel to alter its independent report, which included sanctions violations implicating Russian actors. It is the latest example of Russia covering up cases where it has been implicated in violating Security Council resolutions related to North Korea, including by blocking UN designations of Russian and Chinese companies, individuals, and ships involved in sanctions violations.
“Russia can’t be allowed to edit and obstruct independent UN reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don’t like what they say. Period. We’re disappointed in the Panel for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should be an independent report. This is a dangerous precedent and a stain on the important work of the Panel. We’ve seen the original report and we know the truth – the Panel should do the right thing and release it. The full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all Member States – including Russia,” said Ambassador Haley.
UN Panel of Experts reports are supposed to be independent to provide the Security Council – and the international community – with crucial details, information, and impartial analysis on the state of global implementation of sanctions on North Korea. They exist to provide objective information on efforts by North Korea and its partners to undermine sanctions, as well as information on countries or entities that are violating sanctions. Russian interference sets an unacceptable precedent that damages the sanctity of the UN independent panel reporting process.