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Office of the Ombudsperson

PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTS FOR DELISTING SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSPERSON


An application for delisting will be considered in accordance with the detailed process outlined in Annex II to Security Council resolution 2161 (2014).

Procedural Chart

PRELIMINARY DETERMINATIONS

The procedure for delisting begins with a preliminary determination by the Ombudsperson that the request properly addresses the designation criteria applicable to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List. Specifically, the request should set out the reasons/justification for delisting, taking into account the acts or activities which indicate that an individual or entity is associated with Al-Qaida. These include the following:

  1. participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, or on behalf of, or in support of;
  2. supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to;
  3. recruiting for; or
  4. otherwise supporting acts or activities of Al-Qaida, or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof.

The Ombudsperson must also determine initially whether the request constitutes a new or repeat request. In the latter case, the Ombudsperson must be satisfied that additional material is being provided on this occasion. This requirement is only applicable to repeat requests to the Ombudsperson. Where a previous request has been made through the Focal Point or otherwise, the request to the Office of the Ombudsperson will be considered as an initial one.    

PROCESS FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE REQUEST

Unless the request is returned on either of these grounds, it will proceed to be assessed in a three-phase process.

Information Gathering

The information gathering phase is designed to allow the Ombudsperson to collect as much detailed information of relevance to the delisting request as possible. This is essential to ensure that the Committee has before it all pertinent material in deciding on the request.

The Ombudsperson will distribute the request to the Sanctions Committee, the Designating State, State(s) of Nationality/Residence (or Incorporation/Operation for entities), the Monitoring Team (a group of experts which assists the Committee) and other relevant states or UN bodies, and follow up by engaging with these states and bodies in an effort to assemble all relevant information about the request. The initial period for information gathering is four months, which period will be calculated starting from the date on which the request is transmitted to the Committee.

While the aim is to collect the information as expeditiously as possible and within the four month period, the Ombudsperson can extend the period for up to two additional months. This will be done where the Ombudsperson determines it is necessary in order to ensure that all germane information is gathered.

Dialogue and Report

The information gathering phase is followed by a two month period during which the Ombudsperson will facilitate engagement and dialogue, with the Petitioner and, by relaying questions and responses, between the Petitioner, relevant States, the Committee and the Monitoring Team.

This critical phase provides an opportunity for the Ombudsperson to explore in detail with the Petitioner the various aspects of the case. It gives the Petitioner an opportunity to be heard, to address issues and answer questions with the goal of ensuring that his or her position is fully explained and understood.

In addition to putting his or her own queries or requests for clarification and additional information, the Ombudsperson will pose any questions or convey requests from the Committee, relevant States and the Monitoring Team and coordinate with them with respect to replies, to be satisfied that the salient issues are thoroughly canvassed and examined.

The time period for dialogue can also be extended for up to two months. Again the decision to extend will depend on whether the Ombudsperson determines that further time is needed to ensure a comprehensive dialogue and exchange on the relevant issues of the case.

During this same time period, the Ombudsperson will prepare a report on the delisting request. While in accordance with resolution 1989, the Ombudsperson can seek the help of the Monitoring Team in preparing the report, by policy decision the report will be prepared independently by the Ombudsperson.

This report will provide a comprehensive review of the case and the Ombudsperson’s recommendation on delisting of the individual or entity for the Committee’s consideration. The Ombudsperson will either recommend the individual or entity remains on the list, or that the Committee consider delisting. The report will summarize the information gathered, specifying the sources of it, as appropriate, and describe the interaction and activity undertaken by the Ombudsperson with respect to the request. This will include a description of any interaction with the Petitioner. The report will set out the principal arguments concerning the delisting request, based on an analysis of all the available information and the Ombudsperson’s observations. It will contain as well a recommendation.

Committee Discussion and Decision

After the Committee has had 15 days to review the Ombudsperson’s report in all official United Nations languages, it will be placed on the Committee’s agenda for consideration. The Committee’s review of the report will be completed within 30 days of its submission by the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will present the report in person to the Committee and answer questions regarding the same. After consideration, the Committee will decide on the delisting request.

Where the Ombudsperson recommends retaining the listing, the individual or entity will remain on the list and subject to the sanctions measures, unless a Committee member submits a delisting request which the Committee will consider under its normal consensus procedures for delisting requests from States.

Where the Ombudsperson recommends that the Committee consider delisting, the individual or entity will be removed from the list unless within 60 days, the Committee decides, by consensus, that the individual or entity should remain subject to the sanctions. Where consensus does not exist, the Committee Chair, on request of a Committee Member can refer the question of delisting to the Security Council. The Security Council then has a further 60 days to make its decision. While the Committee and the Security Council are considering the delisting question, the sanctions measures remain in place.

COMMUNICATION OF DECISION 

If the Committee grants the delisting request, this decision will be communicated to the Ombudsperson who will inform the Petitioner. The Petitioner’s name will be removed from the Consolidated List.

If the Committee rejects the delisting request, that decision will be conveyed to the Ombudsperson, setting out the Committee’s reasons for rejecting the request, and including any further relevant information about the Committee’s decision, and an updated narrative summary of reasons for listing. Within 15 days of the Ombudsperson being so notified he or she will send to the Petitioner a letter which communicates the Committee’s decision and describes, to the extent possible and drawing upon the Ombudsperson’s report, the process and publicly releasable information gathered by the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will also forward all information provided by the Committee to the Ombudsperson, to the Petitioner.

CONFIDENTIALITY 

In accordance with the procedure established under Annex II of Security Council resolution 2161 (2014), a delisting request submitted to the Ombudsperson will be shared with the Committee, relevant states and other UN bodies. In addition, some additional disclosure of the request may be necessary as part of the information gathering process. Further, the Ombudsperson will provide information as to the existence or status of a particular request where there is pending litigation and information is sought for the purpose of apprising a relevant Court. Aside from these operational matters, as a general policy, the Ombudsperson will treat the requests submitted as confidential.

Petitioners are obviously not bound by any confidentiality restrictions with regard to their applications and they may therefore choose to publicly disclose and discuss a delisting request. Should a Petitioner choose to make his or her request public, the Ombudsperson will thereafter treat the existence and status of the request as a public matter. However, the Ombudsperson will not publicly comment on or discuss the details of any pending case.  Once a case is completed, if the decision is taken to delist, the name of the individual or entity will be disclosed. In the case of a decision not to delist, the name of the individual or entity will not be disclosed and will remain subject to the same confidentiality restrictions outlined above.