Working for free trade
A Foreign & Commonwealth Office case study

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Page 6: Conclusion

In the case of countries like Iraq or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), sanctions are sometimes imposed by international agreement in the United Nations or other groupings. The sanctions on Iraq are because of its development of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (e.g. nuclear and chemical weapons) and other issues resulting from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and those on the FRY are because of its violent repression of Kosovo in 1999.

As one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Britain has a key role in such issues. (The UK Mission to the UN is staffed mainly by FCO personnel.) The aim of legally binding UN sanctions is to persuade the target country to alter its behaviour, bringing it into line with international standards.

Businesses that trade overseas need to be aware of major political issues around the world. As well as promoting their own prosperity and contributing to the economy of the UK they can – to a smaller or larger extent – spread the benefits of free trade widely throughout the world.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Working for free trade