The Stockholm Process

Table of contents:

The Stockholm Process - a Swedish initiative for more effective sanctions

The Stockholm Process was the third step in an international process dealing with targeted sanctions. It is based on proposals presented by Switzerland via the Interlaken Process and by Germany in the Bonn/Berlin Process.

The previous processes have focused on drawing up models for financial sanctions, arms embargoes and travel and aviation related sanctions. The Stockholm Process has focused on how these targeted sanctions can be implemented and monitored.

The Swedish Government Offices have assigned Uppsala University and its Department of Peace and Conflict Research to lead the scientific and practical work. The Stockholm Process has achieved a broad global participation. States with experience of work on sanctions in the Security Council, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, academics and other relevant parties were taking part.


The Meetings

The Stockholm Process contains different types of international meetings. At the plenary meetings the entire network of the Stockholm Processes is conved, on the invitation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (the first one was in Gimo, Sweden, in April 2002). Then there are meetings where the core of all the working groups meets (normally in Uppsala) on the invitation of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research. In addition there are meetings of a working group and experts with particular competence, often also under the auspices of the Department or in a more informal way.

Read more about the working groups

View list of participants

Read the discussion papers from the meetings during the Stockholm Process.


Security Council panel on sanctions recognises the results from the Stockholm Process

18 December - After two years of deliberations, the Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions informed that they had reached consensus on many issues but remain unable to agree on recommendations for how long sanctions should be in place. Despite failures to reach a consensus on the duration and termination of sanctions the members of the Working Group agree to continue working towards achieving a consensus on these issues.

The Group has met over the past two years to consider a draft outcome document concerning the Council's use of sanctions as a policy instrument.

Group members have familiarized themselves with the results of the Interlaken, Bonn-Berlin and Stockholm Processes and find the ideas and recommendations generated in the three processes very useful as they contribute to the fine-tuning and effective implementation of sancions, said the Council President Ambassador Tafrov of Bulgaria. 


The Stockholm Report in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General.

The Secretary-General discusses the issue of sanctions in his latest report on the work of the organization. Read document

Implementation report of the United Nations Millennium Declaration for 2003.

Summary (in Swedish)


The Report

The report has emerged during a year-long process involving some 120 experts. Professor Peter Wallensteen and the research team at Uppsala University are responsible for the Report. It is a non-binding document for all other participants in the Stockholm Process. The Stockholm Process has dealt with improving the application of targeted sanctions, i.e. sanctions that are directed at certain decision-makers and at particular goods and services.

The Final Report includes recommendations on increasing the effectiveness of the UN system and on improving Member State capacity in sanctions implementation. It also suggests measures to be taken in cases of sanctions evasion. The report has specific recommendations for arms embargoes, financial sanctions, travel and aviations bans, and for targeted trade sanctions.

Download the report.


Introduction of the Stockholm Report

The Stockholm Report was presented at a workshop on sanctions reform at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, May 2-3, 2003.

April 15, 2003 the Stockholm Report was introduced to the Committee for the Common Defense and Security Policy of the European Union by Prof. Peter Wallensteen.


The UN Security Council and the importance of targeted sanctions

The Charter of the United Nations empowers the Security Council to take various measures in order to exert influence on states and actors and thus safeguard international peace and security. As a rule when peace is threatened, the Security Council first tries to use non-military sanctions, such as arms embargoes or breaking off economic, diplomatic and other relations. The Council's demands may be presented in the form of binding decisions, resolutions or recommendations. It is therefore essential that sanctions are both effective, humane and targeted.
Read the initial document.

The result of the Stockholm Process was presented to the UN Security Council on February 25, 2003.

View Press Statement.
View Minutes from the UNSC discussion.  


Page updated 19-Maj-2004 

Recent resolutions by the UNSC

North Korea

30 November 2016 – With Resolution 2321 the Security Council decides that Members of the Government of DPRK and vessels believed to be related to nuclear- or ballistic missile-related programmes or activities prohibited Security Council resolutions, shall be prohibited from entering Member States’ territories and ports. Member states shall prohibit DPRK from using real property in their territory for any purpose other than diplomatic activities and take necessary measures to close bank accounts in DPRK within 90 days.

A ban on DPRK’s selling, and Member States’ procurement, of copper, nickel, silver and zink is imposed.

The mandate of the Committee set out in resolution 1718 shall apply also to the measures imposed in this resolution.


10 November 2016 – With Resolution 2317 the Security Council decides to renew the provisions set out in resolution 2142 (2014) stating that the arms embargo on Somalia shall not apply deliveries of weapons, ammunition or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training, intended solely for the development of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia to provide security for the Somali people. 

More UN Sanctions