Libya I - EP 1

Duration: 31-Mar-1992 to 11-Nov-1993

The UNSC made an implicit threat to impose UN sanctions, in UNSCR 731 (21 January 1992). Two months later, after little substantive response from the Libyan government, the Council passed UNSCR 748 (31 March 1992), imposing targeted sanctions.


Coerce Libyan authorities to cooperate with investigations of Lockerbie and UTA bombings (provide a full and effective response to requests for information from 3 Permanent Member of the UNSC) and to renounce the use of terrorism.


Constrain the Government of Libya from engaging in international terrorism.


Signal (reinforce) the norm against state terrorism.


Aviation ban (including maintenance servicing and insurance), arms imports embargo on the government forces, and diplomatic sanctions (reductions of personnel and limits on the mobility of those remaining, denial of entry or expulsion of previously denied or expelled Libyan nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism).

No individual sanctions imposed.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions are likely to have significant impacts on the general population, since they include restrictions on the import of widely used commodities (such as oil), major commodity exports, and/or the transportation or financial sectors that affect the entire economy.

Sanctions imposition deliberately delayed by 15 days. Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Enforcement authorities not specified.



Policy outcome

Libya initially offered to turn over suspects to a court monitored by the Arab League or the UN in June 1992, a move rejected by the US and the UK; later, in late September early October 1993, the Government of Libya stated its intent to encourage those charged in the Lockerbie bombing to appear for trial in Scotland and expressed willingness to cooperate with French authorities.

Sanctions contribution

US and UK sanctions were also present, but UN Targeted Sanctions appear to have been necessary for Libya counter-proposals.



Policy outcome

Statements of Libyan official regarding costs of sanctions and decision to offer suspects indicated a change of strategy away from previous non-response.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions were probably necessary for the outcome, but co-existed with unilateral sanctions.



Policy outcome

Norm was well-articulated, but target's ability to mobilize external support (from Morocco and Zimbabwe, both UNSC members at the time) limited its degree of stigmatization.

Sanctions contribution

UN sanctions were the primary mechanism through which the norm is being enforced.



Resource diversion, humanitarian consequences.



  • Imposes aviation ban (including supply of aircraft or aircraft components, provision of their engineering and maintenance servicing, certificate of airworthiness, new direct insurance or new payments against existing insurance) and specifies humanitarian exemption (pending Committee approval).
  • Decides MS shall prevent operation of Libyan Arab Airlines offices.
  • Imposes arms imports embargo to Libya (including provision of any equipment, supplies and grants of licensing agreements, for their manufacture or maintenance, as well as any related technical advice, assistance, or training, and withdrawal of any advisers on military matters).
  • Decides MS shall reduce the number and level of staff at Libyan diplomatic missions and consular posts, restricting the movement of those who remain.
  • Decides MS shall deny entry or expel Libyan national previously denied entry or expelled from other MS due to their involvement in terrorist activities.


  • Delays sanctions implementation (until 15.04.1992).
  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Sets periodic sanctions review (every 120 days).
  • Requests MS reporting.