The independent resource on global security

Multilateral sanctions including arms embargoes

Multilateral arms embargoes
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Multilateral sanctions are policy tools that seek to coerce states and non-governmental actors into improving their behaviour in the interests of international peace and security or to limit arms transfers to a particular conflict. Sanctions commonly take the form of arms embargoes, travel bans, economic sanctions and restrictive financial measures. Beyond their coercive role, multilateral sanctions are also used for signalling and constraining purposes, including in the context of chemical, biological and nuclear proliferation, human rights violations and cyberattacks. Key actors imposing multilateral sanctions include the United Nations Security Council and the European Union (EU).

SIPRI’s work on sanctions includes a regularly updated public archive of all multilateral arms embargoes since 1950. Every year the SIPRI Yearbook describes and analyses the political processes surrounding the imposition, amendment and lifting of embargoes. In addition, SIPRI regularly publishes reports on specific aspects of sanctions.

SIPRI researches the design, implementation and impact of multilateral sanctions regimes, including the humanitarian impact of sanctions and efforts to mitigate such adverse consequences. A particular focus of the research is analysing the expansion and use of autonomous EU sanctions and their role as a key foreign policy instrument.

Research staff

Mark Bromley is the Director of the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme.
Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Kolja Brockmann is a Researcher in the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control programme.
Keith A. Preble is a Guest Researcher with the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme.