To enforce the economic sanctions against States imposed by the UN, Liechtenstein created a Law on Measures concerning Economic Transactions with Foreign States (Sanctions Act) shortly after joining the UN in 1991. Against the background of Liechtenstein's strong links with the global economy, the Government decided to conduct a total revision of the Sanctions Act. This creates new possibilities for preventing a potential vulnerability of the Liechtenstein financial center.
The purpose clause of the new Law on the Enforcement of International Sanctions reads: "To enforce international sanctions adopted by the United Nations or by the most important trading partners of the Principality of Liechtenstein and for the purpose of compliance with international law, especially the respect for human rights, coercive measures may be enacted." The coercive measures may include restrictions on the movement of goods and services, payment transactions and capital, and persons. Sanctions are also possible that affect scientific, technological, and cultural exchange.
Since joining the UN in 1990, the Principality of Liechtenstein has enacted several ordinances to enforce international sanctions against States, persons, and organizations, based on the Sanctions Act: the States include Iraq, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Myanmar/Burma; the organizations include al-Qaeda and the Taliban; and the best-known person is Osama bin Laden. In the view of the Liechtenstein Government, continuing credible and sustainable implementation of international sanctions is important for several reasons. First, Liechtenstein's UN membership gives rise to an obligation under international law. Second, foreign policy considerations such as the perception of Liechtenstein in the international context, and third, domestic policy reasons relating to legal certainly speak in favor of implementing international sanctions. Finally, the Government considers that sanctions imposed by the global community also have direct consequences for the Liechtenstein financial center: all the more so given that the shift of international sanctions policy toward financial sanctions and person-specific sanctions has created a new emphasis. The Government leaves no doubt that Liechtenstein is willing to continue its joint action with the international community: "It is in Liechtenstein's interest to guarantee the requisite legal foundations and to create and institutionalize the requisite instruments and resources for the enforcement of sanctions, as well as to ensure cooperation on the international stage both legally and factually."
The Government is convinced that the implementation and enforcement of international sanctions must be carried out with the same insistence as the fight against other forms of abuse on the financial center. The Government believes that cooperation with foreign authorities, the United Nations, and UN bodies is of fundamental importance for the fight against abuse on the financial center. The new Sanctions Act will exclusively cover international sanctions of a non-military nature imposed in the interest of international law.
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