The United Nations Security Council adopted two Resolutions, 2134 (2014) and 2136 (2014) on 28 January and 30 January 2014 respectively, on UN sanctions targeting armed groups in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo financed by the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including poaching and illicit wildlife trade.
Individuals or entities involved will be subject to travels bans and asset freezes.
The CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon welcomed the two Resolutions that he said “further demonstrate the involvement of armed groups and organized criminal networks in these serious crimes, the need for harsh sanctions against those who are involved in these highly destructive illicit activities, and the importance of enhanced regional cooperation.”
The UN has been warning that ivory has become a major source of finance for armed groups and has led to the depletion of elephants in Central Africa.
According to an UN experts' report S/2014/42 on the Democratic Republic of the Congo dated 23 January 2014, the slaughter of elephants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo "is one of the most tragic consequences of years of war and poor governance. Driven by growing demand in Asia and increases in prices, poaching by armed groups and criminal networks has decimated elephant populations throughout eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo''.
In Resolution 2136 (2014), the Security Council also reiterates its call to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and States in the Great Lakes region to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including wildlife poaching and trafficking.
At its 16th meeting (Bangkok, 3-14 March 2013), the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to CITES took decisive action to tackle the disturbing spike in the illegal killing of the African elephant and smuggling of their ivory.
The International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), a collaborative initiative of the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, UN Office of Drugs and Crime, World Bank and World Customs Organization, is assisting in building the capacity of States and regional networks in combating serious wildlife crime.
- UN Security Council condemns devastation of natural heritage and notes that poaching and trafficking of wildlife are a factor that fuels the crisis in the Central African Republic
- Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking – A multidimensional crime and a growing challenge to the international community
- Remarks by Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General at High Level Event on Illicit Wildlife Trafficking
- Wildlife crimes and punishments
- UN Security Council urges regional cooperation to tackle Lord’s Resistance Army threat, including alleged involvement in elephant poaching and related illicit smuggling
- UN Secretary-General’s report on Central Africa links illegal ivory trade to the Lord’s Resistance Army
- CITES Secretary-General calls for urgent action to protect elephants in the Dzanga-Sanga National Park from armed groups
- CITES welcomes United Nations Security Council call to investigate links between elephant poaching, ivory smuggling and illicit financing of the LRA
- Demanding that Lord’s Resistance Army End All Attacks, Security Council, Calls for Full Implementation of Regional Strategy in Central Africa (document SC/11018)
- Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas (document S/2013/297)
- Statement by the President of the Security Council (document S/PRST/2012/28)
- Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army, (document S/2012/923)
- CITES Secretary-General expresses grave concern over reports of mass elephant killings in Cameroon
- CITES CoP16, Bangkok 2013: A ‘Watershed Moment' for Combating Wildlife Crime