Emory International Law Review


Brian Wilson


Multinational action at the United Nations to combat illicit activity represents the most consequential sanctions period involving the maritime environment since the Athenian Empire¿s Megarian Decree. From its inception, the Security Council has authorized measures that have led to naval approaches or boardings of more than 50,000 ships, the destruction of 3,500 vessels, and the maritime rescue of 40,000 people in the pursuit of transnational security threats. The Security Council resolutions adopted since 2008 underscore a diplomatic renaissance in which decisions unfold with unparalleled frequency: Measures impacting naval engagements that were adopted about once every 1.7 years are now approved every 2.5 months. This Article surveys hundreds of Security Council decisions to identify six categories of resolutions that could involve the maritime environment, examines their influence and intersection with one another, discusses potential future focus areas, and concludes with recommendations to improve the utility of these mandates.