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Appendix 7-A:
Choice of Instrument, Approval and Diplomatic Initiator

From Chapter 7: Strengthening Regional Security through G7/8 Sanctions and Force, by John Kirton and Julia Kulik
In Accountability for Effectiveness in Global Governance
edited by John Kirton and Marina Larionova
available from Routledge, 2018

Sanctions Cases

Iran 1980. On November 4, 1979, 52 American diplomats and citizens were seized from the U.S. embassy in Tehran and taken hostage by a group of Iranian students (Putnam and Bayne 1984, 98–116, 130–131). The United States immediately banned oil imports from Iran. On 14 November, the United States froze all Iranian assets in the U.S. and those controlled by U.S. banks, companies and individuals abroad. On December 12, 183 Iranian diplomats were expelled from the United States. That same month the G7 was first mobilized. High-level U.S. officials visited the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan to discuss their possible use of sanctions. On January 13, 1980, the UNSC prepared to vote for sanctions but was stopped by a veto by the Soviet Union. On January 28, Canada suspended the operations of its embassy in Iran to facilitate the escape of six U.S. diplomats who had taken refuge there. On April 7, the U.S. suspended diplomatic relations with Iran and imposed trade sanctions. On April 17, it imposed additional sanctions and threatened military action. On April 23, Canada announced mild initial sanctions and promised to consider further trade sanctions if the crisis was not resolved by May 17. On April 25, the United States conducted a unilateral but unsuccessful military rescue mission. Other major allies had introduced sanctions just days before this mission. On May 22, during its promised second stage of sanctions, Canada placed controls on the export of goods to Iran, exempting only food, medical supplies and other humanitarian products. On June 22, at the Venice Summit, the first G7 summit after the hostage taking, the G7 issued its "Statement on the Taking of Diplomatic Hostages." It expressed grave concern about the recent incidents of terrorism and encouraged leaders to "take appropriate measures to deny terrorists any benefits from such criminal acts" (G7 1980). The G7 thereby approved the use of sanctions.

Afghanistan 1980. On December 27, 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan (Kirton 1987; Falkenheim 1987; Paarlberg 1987). On December 27, U.S. undersecretary of state Warren Christopher flew to London and Brussels to inform his allies of the intended U.S. response. On December 31, after a six hour meeting with his G7 counterparts (minus Japan), Christopher announced an allied review of relations with the Soviet Union and an approach to the UN. The following day, NATO agreed to take steps to show western disapproval of Soviet actions. On January 3, 1980, 43 countries called for a UN meeting. On January 4, U.S. president Jimmy Carter announced an embargo of grain sales to the Soviet Union, which all other allies would join. A UNSC resolution condemning the invasion on January 7 was vetoed by Russia, with only East Germany voting on Russia's side. Then on January 14 under the "Uniting for Peace" procedure from the Korean War, UNGA (1980) voted to "deplore" the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and call for the "immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan." The resolution passed, with 104 for and 18 against, for a winning margin of 85%. The non-aligned and developing countries voted 78 to nine for the resolution, overwhelmingly backing the West. These actions were endorsed at the G7 Venice Summit in June (Kirton 1987, 285). The G7 soon followed with further sanctions against the Soviet Union for its actions in the related but separate case of Poland in 1980 (Kirton 1987; Marantz 1987).However, the United States failed to secure G7 consent for the additional sanctions it imposed unilaterally, starting in December 1981, on the re-export of U.S.-originated goods designed for the Soviet gas pipeline to Europe (Wolf 1987; Putnam and Bayne 1984, 1987). Strong European resistance, including at the divisive G7 summit in Versailles in 1982, led the U.S. to lift its embargo in November 1982.

Sudan 2004. In early 2003 nongovernmental organizations reported widespread ethnic cleansing in the Darfur region of Sudan. At the 2004 Sea Island Summit, G8 leaders called for Sudan to respect UNSC Resolution 1593. G8 members also supported the African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan, working through the European Union and NATO, providing $370 million and promising $2.5 billion in humanitarian relief over the following three years. On September 18, 2004, the UN followed with UNSC Resolution 1564, invoking Chapter 7 on September 18, 2004. On March 29,  2005, the UNSC (2005) passed Resolution 1591, which imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on individuals "imped[ing] the peace process" in Darfur. The G8 leaders and their AU partners (2005) did not authorize the use of force, nor did their members participate in the UN-approved AU peacekeeping force. In February 2010 a ceasefire agreement was signed between the warring factions, after an estimated several hundred thousand people had died.

North Korea 2006. In 1990 G7 leaders first dealt with North Korea and continually addressed it themselves or through their foreign ministers. In 2006, the G7/8 first approved sanctions directly when it expressed support for UNSC Resolution 1695 of July 15, 2006, which condemned North Korea's launches of ballistic missiles on July 5 (G8 2006). That resolution represented a compromise between the U.S., Japan and France, which sought stronger sanctions, and China and Russia, which stood opposed. The resolution banned all UN members from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea or receiving from North Korea any missiles, banned weapons or technology (UNSC 2006). The resolution did not authorize the use of force.

Syria 2011. In 1995, the G8 first addressed Syria when, at its Halifax Summit it encouraged the conclusion of peace treaties among Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Syria stayed on the summit agenda until 1999, and reappeared following the Arab Spring of 2011. In Deauville, France, in 2011, G8 leaders called on Syria's government to stop using force and intimidation against its own people, to respect their demands for freedom of expression and universal rights and to release all political prisoners. The G8 (2011) stated, "should the Syrian authorities not heed this call, we will consider further measures," thereby endorsing sanctions. The UNSC was unable to pass a resolution on Syria due to vetoes by both China and Russia. However, Canada, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union imposed sanctions on Syria.

Ukraine 2014. In February 2014, when Russia moved to annex the Crimean region of Ukraine, G7 members cancelled their participation in the G8 summit that Russia was soon to host. They proceeded to hold a G7 Summit in Brussels in June and there endorsed the sanctions that the G7 members had put in place. At their G7 Elmau Summit in June 2015 they collectively agreed to sustain the sanctions and strengthen them if needed. While two members, the U.S. and Canada, were deploying military force by sending their soldiers to Ukraine to train Ukraine's security personnel, the G7 did not collectively endorse this use of military force.

Military Force Cases

Iraq 1991. In August 1990 after the invasion and annexation of Kuwait by Iraq, the UNSC imposed sanctions on Iraq. On November 29, 1990, the UNSC (1990) issued Resolution 678, authorizing member states to "use all necessary means" to bring Iraq into compliance with all previous resolutions. On January 16, 1991, U.S.-led coalition forces began an air campaign, followed by a ground campaign to liberate Kuwait. G7 members Canada, France and the UK joined the U.S. in using force. The G7 first approved the use of force at its subsequent summit in London in 1991. The diplomatic initiator for force, both before and at the summit, was Margaret Thatcher's UK.

Kosovo 1999. In 1998, after years of instability in the Balkans, war erupted in Kosovo between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In September 1998 after mass killings, forced expulsions and major human rights abuses led by Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, the UNSC passed Resolution 1199. It recognized the war in Kosovo as "a threat to international peace and security," but failed to recommend the use of force (UNSC 1998). On March 24, 1990 lack of UN-authorized support, widespread media coverage of the conflict and the massacre of 45 Kosovo Albanian civilians in the village of Ra?ak prompted NATO to activate Operation Allied Force. Under the umbrella of NATO, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the U.S. bombed Yugoslavia, leading to the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo (Manulak 2011). The diplomatic initiators of the move to use force were France, the UK and Canada.

Afghanistan 2002. On 12 September 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, NATO unanimously declared war on Taliban-led Afghanistan. Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien stated that Canada was the first to suggest invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty (Kirton 2007). Article 5 reads: "the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them … will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking … such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area" (NATO 1949). On September 12, Chrétien along with Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian president Vladimir Putin, looked to the G8 to define the American and allied response. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, France, the U.S. and the UK soon invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power (Kirton 2007). At Kananaskis in 2002, the first summit after the 9/11 attacks, the G8 (2002) stated: "We support the Transitional Authority of Afghanistan. We will fulfil our Tokyo Conference commitments and will work to eradicate opium production and trafficking." The move to use force, from the start, was initiated by Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Libya 2011.In February 2011 uprisings of civilians in Libya against the oppressive regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi soon led the international community to protect those citizens and allow local forces to overthrow Qaddafi. After a violent crackdown by the Qaddafi government and massive civilian causalities, the UNSC imposed sanctions, an arms embargo and an asset freeze on Libya. On March 17, 2011, Resolution 1973 authorized member states to "take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack" (UNSC 2011). On March 19, NATO forces, including those of Canada, France, Italy, the UK and the U.S., began a military intervention in Libya. The diplomatic initiator was France, led by president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mali 2013.In January 2013, French troops intervened in Northern Mali to fight armed groups with links to al Qaeda, which had taken control of Northern Mali in April 2012. The intervention was quickly supported by NATO and by the UNSC (2012) through Resolution 2085. The U.S., Canada, UK and Germany militarily supported the French intervention. Within months, the rebels were defeated. On 18 June 2013, at the Lough Erne Summit G8 leaders (2013) declared: "we support efforts to dismantle the terrorist safe haven in northern Mali. We welcome France's important contribution in this regard … we support the swift deployment of a UN stabilisation force in Mali, and encourage the Government of Mali energetically to pursue a political process which can build long-term stability." The diplomatic initiator was France, led by President François Hollande.

ISIS 2015. In 2014, ISIS began to seize control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. After invading Iraq in June, by October ISIS had killed and injured more than 5,500 people (Cumming-Bruce 2014). It had declared the creation of a caliphate, which erased state borders and made it the authority over the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014) estimated that as of August 2014 1.8 million Iraqis had been forced from their homes. The U.S. announced that it would send an additional 300 troops to Iraq. On 25 September 2014, G7 foreign ministers (2014) stated that they "recognize that military action as taken by the US and other countries represents an important contribution to helping Iraq to defend itself against ISIL and to deprive ISIL of safe havens." The diplomatic initiator in the G7 was the United States. The use of force was endorsed by the German-hosted Elmau Summit in June 2015.

Additional Cases

Cases where G8 members used force where only G8 foreign ministers and not the leaders themselves endorsed this include:

East Timor 1999. In May 1999, Indonesia and Portugal agreed to allow the UN mission in East Timor to administer a vote so the people could choose between autonomy or independence. In the period leading up to the vote, pro-integration paramilitary groups began to threaten and commit violence around the country killing East Timorese people. The result of the election was East Timor's independence from Indonesia. Paramilitary groups began attacking civilians and massacres were reported in and around East Timor. On 10 June, 1999, G8 foreign ministers (1999) welcomed "the agreement of the future of East Timor" and urged "all parties to bring about rapid end to the violence and an early deployment of UN observers." In addition, at their meeting on 13 July 2000, G8 foreign ministers (2000) commended "the assistance provided by the UN" and reiterated their "firm commitment to continue supporting the people of East Timor." On September 15, 1999, the UNSC issued Resolution 1264 to approve and deploy a peacekeeping force to East Timor, which included Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom.


Cumming-Bruce, Nick (2014). "5,500 Iraqis Killed Since Islamic State Began Its Military Drive, UN Says." New York Times, October 2.

Falkenheim, Peggy L. (1987). "Post-Afghanistan Sanctions." In David Leyton-Brown, ed., The Utility of Sanctions as a Policy Instrument, pp. 105–130. London: Croom Helm.

G7 (1980). "Statement on the Taking of Diplomatic Hostages." Venice, June 22.

G7 Foreign Ministers (2014). "G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement, Joint Action to Fight the Terrorist Organisation ISIL/DAESH." New York, September 25.

G8 (2002). "The Kananaskis Summit Chair's Summary." Kananaskis, June 27.

G8 (2006). "Statement on Non-Proliferation." July 16, St. Petersburg.

G8 (2011). "G8 Declaration: Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy." Deauville, May 27.

G8 (2013). "G8 Lough Erne Communiqué." Lough Erne, June 18.

G8 and African Union (2005). "Statement by the G8 and AU: Sudan." Gleneagles, July 8.

G8 Foreign Ministers (1999). "Conclusions of the Meeting of the G8 Foreign Ministers." Cologne, June 10.

G8 Foreign Ministers (2000). "Conclusions of the Meeting of the G8 Foreign Ministers." Miyazaki, July 13.

Kirton, John (1987). "Economic Sanctions and Alliance Consultation." In David Leyton-Brown, ed., The Utility of Sanctions as a Policy Instrument, pp. 269–293. London: Croom Helm.

Kirton, John (2007). Canadian Foreign Policy in a Changing World. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

Manulak, Michael (2011). "Forceful Persuasion or Half-Hearted Diplomacy? Lessons from the Kosovo Crisis." International Journal 6(22): 351–369.

Marantz, Paul (1987). "Economic Sanctions and the Polish Crisis." In David Leyton-Brown, ed., The Utility of Sanctions as a Policy Instrument, pp. 131–146. London: Croom Helm.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949). "The North Atlantic Treaty." Washington DC, April 4.

Paarlberg, Robert L. (1987). "The 1980-81 U.S. Grain Embargo: Consequences for the Participants." In David Leyton-Brown, ed., The Utility of Sanctions as a Policy Instrument, pp. 185–206. London: Croom Helm.

Putnam, Robert and Nicholas Bayne (1984). Hanging Together: Cooperation and Conflict in the Seven-Power Summit, 1st edition. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Putnam, Robert and Nicholas Bayne (1987). Hanging Together: Cooperation and Conflict in the Seven-Power Summit, 2nd edition. London: Sage Publications.

United Nations General Assembly (1980). "The Situation in Afghanistan and Its Implications for International Peace and Security." New York, January 14.

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014). "Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014." Geneva.

United Nations Security Council (1990). Resolution 678 (1990). New York, November 29.

United Nations Security Council (1998). Resolution 1199 (1998). New York, September 23.

United Nations Security Council (2005). "Security Council Imposes Travel Ban, Assets Freeze on those Impeding Peace Process in Darfur, Adopting Resolution 1591 (2005) by 12-0-3." New York, March 29.

United Nations Security Council (2006). Resolution 1695 (2006). New York, July 15.

United Nations Security Council (2011). Resolution 1973 (2011). New York, March 17.

United Nations Security Council (2012). Resolution 2085 (2012). New York, December 20. (April 2017).

Wolf, Bernard M. (1987). "Economic Impact on the United States of the Pipeline Sanctions." In David Leyton-Brown, ed., The Utility of Sanctions as a Policy Instrument, pp. 207–220. London: Croom Helm.

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