The independent resource on global security

Developments in 2010

On 9 June 2010 the UN Security Council widened the scope of its sanctions on Iran related to transfers of conventional arms. This was a reaction to Iran's failure to comply with demands in earlier UN resolutions that it suspend its activities related to nuclear reprocessing, heavy water and uranium enrichment. While UN sanctions imposed in December 2006 prohibited the supply of technology related to nuclear weapon delivery systems, the 2010 sanctions included a ban on the supply of major conventional weapons as defined by the UN Register of Conventional Weapons.

On 29 September 2010 the Security Council lifted the remaining UN sanctions on Sierra Leone, which had first been imposed in June 1998. While the sanctions had mainly targeted the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group, they also required the Sierra Leonean Government to mark, register and notify to a Sanctions Committee all imports of arms and related materiel. The Security Council decided to lift the embargo because the government had established full control over its territory.

On 14 October 2010 the Security Council strengthened the UN arms embargo on Sudan by requiring states to ensure that any sale or supply of arms and related materiel to regions of Sudan other than Darfur are made conditional on end-user documentation stating that the arms will not be used in Darfur.

On 15 October 2010 the Security Council extended the arms embargo on Côte d'Ivoire until 30 April 2011 and altered it to allow 'supplies of non-lethal equipment intended solely to enable the Ivorian security forces to use only appropriate and proportionate force while maintaining public order, as approved in advance by the Sanctions Committee'.

The European Union did not impose any new arms embargoes of its own. In order to implement the UN arms embargo on Eritrea of 23 December 2009 it did impose an arms embargo on Eritrea on 1 March 2010.