What is UN Sanctions List And what happens when a person is designated a Global Terrorist?

In what is considered as a massive victory for India’s diplomacy, the UN has designated Masood Azhar as a global terrorist on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The present move by the UN follows after China was made to lift its hold on the proposal that would blacklist Masood Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief based in Pakistan. India has succeeded in its mission after its decade long efforts with the UN fighting for the said case. Earlier China had thrice opposed the UN’s proposal to designate Azhar as an international terrorist on the grounds of lack of enough evidence against him.

Syed Akbaruddin, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations wrote in his tweet, “Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support.”

Here we try to understand what ‘UN sanctions List’ is and what it implies when a person is designated as a global terrorist.


As per what is stated by the United Nations, when a person is designated as a global terrorist under the UN 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, a travel ban is imposed on the subject. The other obvious implications are assets freeze and an embargo on arms. Many other things also come with the designation which are worth exploring.

The UN Security Council is responsible for maintaining International Peace and Security. With its 15 members enjoying one vote each, the Charter of the United Nations makes it obligatory for all the Member States to abide by the Council’s decisions. Sanctions List provides a powerful tool to the UN to enforce its decision on the participating states.

An assets freeze as per the UNSC (United Nations Sanctions Committee) will require that all the states freeze the funds and financial assets of the designated individual with immediate effect.


The clause of travel ban will require all the states to prevent the subject(s) to enter or transit through their territories.

The clause of arms embargo will need the participating states to avert both the direct and indirect supply of arms to concerned subjects. The member countries are also prohibited from selling, supplying, transporting the materials, spare parts, technical advice, any kinds of assistance or training related articles and military activities to the designated individuals.

Via Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) with regard to ISIL (Da'esh) Al-Qaida and all the individuals connected with them and the groups, undertakings and entities connected with Jaish-e-Mohammed were banned by the UN in 2001.


However, the move to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was repeatedly unsuccessful even after the Mumbai terror attack since China was using its veto power to block the said proposal. Azhar has been the mastermind behind a long list of terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the gravest one being the Pulwama terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 40 army personnel. The present victory to India’s efforts can be considered as a decisive and momentous move against terrorism by the sub-continent.