UNITED NATIONS In a significant move, the Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution with specific aim that UN sanctions target the right people, companies and organisations having links with al-Qaeda and Taliban including a new Ombudsperson. The 15-member council took the unprecedented step of creating an avenue for such complaints amidst a growing rebellion by courts, some of which have lambasted lack of transparency in the rationale behind assets freeze and other sanctions. Numerous countries have balked at adding to -or even respecting- the list of more than 500 people or entities singled out for sanctions, arguing that the demands of the Security Council were at odds with national laws granting legal redress to anyone who felt unfairly prosecuted by the government. The ombudsperson will analyze the available information and assist a UN committee charged with creating the list address requests for de-listing a person. Once removed from the list, a person will not fall under the sanctions regime imposed by the council. Human Rights organisation and sanctions experts generally applauded the resolution, which among other things creates an ombudsperson to hear complaints from those who believe they have been singled out erroneously. But some critics expressed reservations that the resolution did not empower the ombudsman to recommend whether a name should remain on the list or not. More than 30 court challenges have been brought against the list-including in Europe, Pakistan, the United States, Canada and Turkey. It remains to be seen whether judges will accept the ombudsman as sufficient redress given that the office is not a legal process. In 2008, the European Court of Justice annulled the sanctions in two cases because of the lack of an appeal process before an independent body. The ombudsman has to report to the sanctions committee twice a year. The team is reviewing all the 396 individuals and 107 groups on the list, a process that should be completed by next June, including removing some 40 people believed dead. The new resolution also calls for a more open process in publishing the reasons behind the listings, which in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks basically followed the American model of containing the entire process inside a black box.