05/06/2001
Press Release
SC/7069



Security Council

4325th Meeting (AM & PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL PONDERS ESTABLISHMENT OF SANCTIONS-MONTORING MECHANISM


FOR AFGHANISTAN


Widespread support was expressed in the Security Council today for the recommendation to create a mechanism to monitor the implementation of sanctions against Afghanistan.


Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia), Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, said that the Committee of Experts appointed pursuant to Council resolution 1333 (2000) on the monitoring of the arms embargo against the Taliban and the closure of terrorist training camps in the Taliban-held areas had recommended the establishment of a sanctions-monitoring mechanism.  That mechanism would include the establishment of small teams designed to strengthen the existing mechanisms in each of the six neigbouring countries, and support teams, which would verify allegations of sanctions busting. 


The six countries, referred to as the “six plus two”, are China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation and United States.


Mr. Valdivieso stressed that the participation of the six neighbouring countries in enforcing sanctions against Afghanistan was the essence of those sanctions, and the best way to monitor the arms embargo against that country and the closure of its terrorist training camps.


Haile Menkerios (Eritrea), Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Afghanistan, said that there was real value in the arms control measures recommended in the Committee's report, given the need to create more effective monitoring of the illicit movement of small arms.  Also, the efforts of the proposed support teams needed to be seen within the context of the greater political, humanitarian and economic support provided by the United Nations.  Most of those teams would be working with the customs offices, border services and interior ministries of the concerned countries to increase the capacities of those countries to control their borders more effectively.


Afghanistan's representative said that foreign intervention remained the main cause of the conflict in his country and the sufferings of the people.  Pakistan’s direct involvement in Afghanistan and its aggressive policies in the region were not addressed properly by the Council.  Thousands of Pakistani fighters were recruited and openly sent to Afghanistan.  The United Nations had confirmed that fact by the mere stereotypical phrase of “deeply concerned”, which


appeared in United Nations documents without determining that such action by Pakistan constituted an aggression, requiring appropriate measures against the aggressor. 


That indifference by the United Nations, he continued, encouraged Pakistan to pursue its hegemonic military adventure in Afghanistan, in blatant violation of Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000), by continuing to supply arms and ammunition for armed conflict there.  Pakistan remained engaged in providing the Taliban with planning, mobilizing, logistical and recruitment support.


Pakistan's representative said his country categorically rejected the baseless allegations in the report of the Committee of Experts.  He also reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue to comply with Council resolutions 1267 and 1333 even though it was not in favour of sanctions as matter of principle.


He said sanctions were unjust instruments that hurt people.  There were no smart sanctions, he stressed, only dumb ones.  Sanctions had achieved precious little, but had destroyed much.  The victims of those measures had been the peace process and the humanitarian situation.  According to a report of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 250,000 had become refugees since the enactment of resolution 1333 in December last year.  Sanctions had to be lifted and replaced with a bigger system to address the entire problem of Afghanistan.


At the outset of today's meeting, the Council expressed condolences and observed a moment of silence for the passing of Nepal's King Birendra, Queen Aishworya, King Dipendra and other members of the royal family.


Statements were also made today by the representatives of Ukraine, China, Tunisia, Russian Federation, United States, Mali, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Jamaica, Mauritius, Norway, Singapore and Colombia.  The representatives of Iran and Uzbekistan also addressed the Council.


The meeting, which began at 11:22 a.m., was suspended at 1:14 p.m., resumed at 3:13 p.m. and adjourned at 4:10 p.m. 


Background


When the Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Afghanistan, it had before it a letter dated 21 May from the Secretary-General transmitting to the Council President the report of the Committee of Experts on Afghanistan appointed pursuant to Council resolution 1333 (2000) (document S/2001/511).


On 15 October 1999, the Council adopted resolution 1267 (1999), in which it demanded that the Taliban hand over Usama bin Laden and cease the provision of sanctuary and training for international terrorists and their organizations.    The Taliban took no steps to comply with either provision.  Consequently, on

19 December 2000 the Council adopted resolution 1333 (2000) to strengthen enforcement of resolution 1267 and impose further measures on the Taliban.


The Council decided, in paragraph 15 (a) of resolution 1333, to establish a committee of experts to make recommendations on how to monitor the arms embargo and the closure of terrorist training camps.  A five-member committee, which was asked to report within 60 days, was formed and commenced its work on 19 March 2001.


In order to fulfil its mandate, the Committee undertook a series of fact-finding and information-gathering meetings with those States neighbouring Afghanistan or which have a specific involvement concerning the resolutions, that is, the countries referred to as the “six plus two” group -– China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation and the United States. 


The Committee recommends that the arms embargo and the closure of the terrorist training camps can be best monitored by making use of the mechanism which each of Afghanistan’s neighbours has in place, and by enhancing those countries’ efforts with the establishment of sanctions enforcement support teams in each country.  Those support teams, made up of customs, border security and counter-terrorism experts, should form the basis of a United Nations Office for Sanctions Monitoring and Coordination-Afghanistan. 


The Office, headed by a Director and staffed with specialist officers, will support the work of the teams in the field, as well as task the teams to verify and report to the Sanctions Committee on allegations of sanctions-busting and progress being made, in each of the countries, to improve the effectiveness of their border control and counter-terrorism services.  In the interest of safety and security and speed of implementation, the Committee recommends that the proposed sanctions enforcement support teams be based with the existing United Nations offices in the countries neighbouring Afghanistan.


Statements


ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia), Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, said this public meeting was closely related to the importance and participation of the six neighbouring countries in enforcing sanctions against Afghanistan.  That participation was the essence of the sanctions and the best way to monitor the arms embargo against Afghanistan and the closure of terrorist training camps.  He said while the Committee of Experts had set out recommendations on the best way of verifying compliance with the sanctions, there was also reference to other related matters such as sources of funding, particularly drug trafficking, trafficking in goods and illegal flights.


He said the Committee of Experts was not called upon to investigate or establish responsibility.  Their mandate was concrete and specific.  They compiled data, analysed information made available by countries and official and unofficial documents. They also assessed the various alternatives for the draft which was now before the Council.


The Sanctions Committee and the Committee of Experts had now met three times.  From an operational point of view, the Committee of Experts had recommended the establishment of a sanctions monitoring mechanism that was both novel and interesting, and which included the establishment of small teams designed to strengthen the existing mechanisms in each of the six neigbouring countries.  Those support teams would verify allegations of sanctions busting.  The other element of the mechanism was the setting up of offices made up of specialists on arms embargo issues, counter-terrorist activities, and the prosecution of other international crimes such as drug trafficking.  There would also be experts who could provide legislative and legal support.


He said the Group of Experts had also highlighted the need to monitor the movement of the chemical precursor used in the production of heroin.  What had emerged from the report was the fact that the commitment of the six neighbouring countries was required to implement Council resolutions 1276 and 1333.  The need for stability in Afghanistan had also been highlighted.


He said that, according to the report, there was no military solution to the conflict.  The report had also stated that no monitoring mechanism could work without the cooperation of the six neighbouring countries.  It would also be effective to set up a coordination mechanism in the six countries.  According to the report, he continued, the sanctions must be seen as a way to induce the Taliban to seek out political outcomes to end the conflict.  The Council now had the report of the Committee of Experts before it, and it would have to take a decision.  The Council must act now, as six months had elapsed since the adoption of resolution 1333.


VALERY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) thanked the Committee for its report and noted that it had fulfilled its mandate and provided a thought-provoking document.  He was sure that the specific recommendations in the report would be of practical value to the Council in restoring peace to Afghanistan.  He supported the establishment of an international monitoring mechanism.  Also, it was important to take into account the views of the neighbouring countries, whose cooperation was essential.  No monitoring body could be successful without the full support of States in enforcing sanctions.  In addition, enhancing the control of the borders of the neighbouring States was essential.  The consideration of that issue within the “six plus two” group would be a logical step.


He said that the issue of the arms embargo was of utmost importance to the Afghan conflict.  Establishing an effective mechanism to prevent arms trafficking into and out of Afghanistan would be the most challenging task before the Council. International cooperation would be crucial to finding a solution to that issue.  He believed that the conclusions of the Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons would be of practical use to the Council’s deliberations on Afghanistan.  Finally, he believed that the other recommendations in the report needed to be promptly addressed. 


WANG YINGFAN (China) said it “is our obligation and duty to comprehensively implement the Council’s resolutions on sanctions against the Taliban”.  He said the boundary between Afghanistan and its neigbouring States was nearly 50,900 kilometres.  In light of that, he wanted to know what was the proposed size and scale of the monitoring mechanism and how monitoring would be guaranteed.  In devising such a mechanism, he did not want to see excessive haste spoiling the end result and the proposed mechanism being a mechanism just in name.


The establishment of a mechanism would require the close cooperation of neighbouring States, he said.  The boundary between China and Afghanistan was in a cold mountainous region, with naturally harsh geographic conditions and hardly any trace of humans.  Access to that region was also difficult.  In the face of those facts, he wanted to know what the mechanism would do at that border.  That needed further clarification.


NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) said that the detailed information in the report demonstrated the commitment of the experts in providing a thorough picture of the situation in the field.  He was gratified to note the commitment of the countries in the region and their willingness to abide by the provisions of resolutions 1267 and 1333.  He agreed that finding a political solution, as well as humanitarian and economic initiatives, must be part of a comprehensive strategy to bring peace to Afghanistan.  It was important to note that the countries visited by the Committee had shown their willingness to accept the assistance of the international community.


The proposed office, to be situated in Vienna, would benefit from the support of sanctions enforcement teams working with the customs and border services of the neighbouring countries, he said.  The setting up of that mechanism would depend on the cooperation of Afghanistan’s neighbours.  It was necessary to discuss with the countries concerned all the modalities involved to ensure the success of its implementation.  On the report’s conclusions, he recalled that certain issues related to light weapons were still under review in the General Assembly.  It would, therefore, be useful to follow the upcoming Conference on that subject and wise to await its conclusions.


SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said he agreed with the report's recommendation to set up a monitoring mechanism.  It was clear that the Taliban were making no effort to comply with the directives of Council resolutions; they had not extradited Usama bin Laden, nor had they closed the terrorist training camps. The labelling of minority civilians was also similar to methods used in the ghettoes during the Second World War.  An important step, therefore, would be for the Council to support the report of the experts.


He said no monitoring mechanism would be effective without the cooperation of the neighbouring countries.  Among the main issues to be addressed by the mechanism were compliance with the arms embargo and the closure of terrorist training camps.  The monitoring mechanism should be set up in New York at Headquarters, so it could be closer to the Council.  There was a need for a thorough examination of the options available for its financing.  It was also necessary to concentrate on preparing and adopting a resolution that would ensure a quick start up for the monitoring mechanism.  In addition, sanctions against Afghanistan should be intrinsically linked to other measures aimed at bringing peace and security to that country.


CAMERON HUME (United States) said that the challenges and threats presented by Afghanistan were immense and multifaceted.  The Council had stated repeatedly that the Taliban must cease its support for terrorism and had taken an unambiguous stand in its resolutions.  The Committee of Experts had informed the Council that, for the resolutions to have an impact, it was necessary to have a body to monitor the implementation of relevant resolutions.  He supported a resolution to establish such a mechanism, which would serve to augment the efforts of neighbouring States, especially to cut off the flow of weapons. 


Such a body, he continued, could provide accurate information to the Sanctions Committee, among other things, on sanctions busters, which would serve as a deterrent.  The mechanism should be put together carefully and could not replace the work to be done by customs agents or the border services.  It should also not aim to duplicate the work of other agencies, such as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention.  The mechanism should be established in New York, where it could have close links with the Council.  The United States favoured the establishment of a trust fund to finance the establishment of the mechanism.  He looked forward to the adoption later this month of a resolution to establish the monitoring mechanism.


MAMOUNOU TOURE (Mali) said sanctions should not punish but amend behaviour. They should also be applied through mechanisms that would monitor how resolutions on sanctions were being implemented.  There could be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and those who fuelled it should put an end to such action.  The international arms embargo should be enforced and activities in terrorist camps should be stopped.  As funds from the drug trade fuelled the conflict, his delegation supported the ban on contraband drugs coming out of Afghanistan.  It was also ready to take an active part in looking for a consensus document.


STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said that the report was a thorough, inventive and useful document.  He agreed with the key recommendation, that of moving towards the establishment of a monitoring mechanism.  There would also be benefit in having field teams on the ground to assist neighbouring countries.  He was pleased to note the willingness of the neighbouring countries in implementing the relevant resolutions.  On the next steps, he said that it was necessary to have an assessment of the specific needs of those countries.  Also, it was important that those teams have both a monitoring role and an advisory role.  That was one of the best ways to achieve a truly cooperative effort. 


He said that the establishment of a mechanism for Afghanistan should not preclude the establishment of a global monitoring mechanism to monitor all sanctions regimes.  The team should be established within or closely related to the sanctions team of the Department of Political Affairs, which implied that it would probably have to be established in New York.  On funding, he said that it must be ensured that the mechanism was adequately funded and that no unnecessary expenditures were incurred.


DAVID COONEY (Ireland) said  that in order for the monitoring mechanism to be successful it must have sustainable funding.  Ireland would be prepared to provide funds when the mechanism became available.  His delegation also agreed with a two-pronged approach to end the terrorist camps.  In addition, the restrictions on flights should be carried out so that they applied to military craft and had no impact on humanitarian flights.


PASCAL TEIXEIRA DA SILVA (France) said whatever Afghanistan's neighbouring States said must be taken at face value.  Those States must also be helped to overcome their obstacles.  The structure of the monitoring mechanism should be light, flexible and capable of evolving.  He expressed full support for the recommendation that the proposed monitoring mechanism should become the seed for a more general mechanism to monitor peace and conflict resolution efforts.


Addressing financing of the mechanism, he underscored that predictability of funds was important.  That was why funding from the regular budget of the United Nations was preferred.  Any interruption to the funding would be damaging to the future of the mechanism.


CURTIS WARD (Jamaica) said that the ideas and recommendations of the report provided concrete measures for the implementation of resolutions 1267 and 1333.  The responsible parties must take appropriate action to prevent the trafficking in arms and the closure of terrorist training camps.  The report provided guidelines for action at the national, regional and international levels, which required the cooperation of the concerned States.  At the regional level, the neighbouring countries must coordinate their efforts to effectively monitor their borders.  It was commendable that the neighbouring States had stated their willingness to cooperate to effectively implement the necessary measures. 


At the international level, he said that the necessary support, both financial and technical, must be provided to assist those States.  He noted the observation of the Committee that any measures proposed must be seen in the larger context of arms controls measures to be adopted elsewhere.  He looked forward to further discussion on the modalities and funding of the monitoring mechanism.  The Council must examine carefully how that recommendation could assist in the implementation of the relevant resolutions.  There could be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and only a political settlement by the Afghan people could achieve peace.


ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius) said the situation in Afghanistan was worsening, the latest development being the edict issued by the Taliban against minority groups.  Today's discussion had to focus on observations and recommendations in the report, which he proceeded to outline.  The provisions in the report were important guidelines for the development of sanctions in general. He also appealed to the neighbouring countries to cooperate fully with the international community.


In addition, he called for the monitoring mechanism to be financed from assessed contributions with assistance from donors.  He hoped the scheduled open meeting on Afghanistan later this month would allow members of the international community to elaborate a more comprehensive mechanism to deal with the situation in Afghanistan.


OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said that the report and the recommendations contained therein were an excellent basis for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism.  He supported the realistic approach taken in the report.  The mechanism should be established on the basis of the border services of the neighbouring States and supported by the international community.  He felt there was a sound basis for establishing the body in New York, as that could assist in forging close links between it and the Council.  It was necessary to see such a body in connection with the establishment of a permanent mechanism to monitor sanctions elsewhere.  As for financing, the mechanism needed secure and stable funding, which could come from assessed contributions, as well as voluntary contributions.  He was prepared to consider other materials to be included as part of the sanctions as long as they did not negatively affect the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. 


ZAINAL ARIF MANTAHA (Singapore) said that while making its recommendations the Committee had emphasized that the monitoring mechanism should be effective and affordable.  Now, it was important to look at how the parties could move forward. Any decision by the Council on the mechanism should be based on consensus.  In addition, the Council could not proceed with the implementation of the report’s recommendations without the cooperation of the neighbouring countries.  It must work with them to ensure that they implement the will of its resolutions.  The Council should also not impose measures that would impede the efforts of humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan.


He said the proposed mechanism, if adopted, should be a template for other situations.


ANDRES FRANCO (Colombia) said that he had carefully read the report and its recommendations as to the manner in which the arms embargo and the closure of training camps should be monitored.  It was essential that the Council appropriately involve all the neighbouring countries, whose cooperation was required to render the monitoring mechanism effective.  He was gratified at the willingness of those States to cooperate with the Council and the United Nations.  That was indispensable for the effective monitoring of illicit activities on the border.  In addition, such a mechanism could enhance both horizontal coordination among the neighbouring countries and vertical coordination between them and the United Nations as a whole.


On border activities, he said that effective and integral controls on the trafficking of arms, chemical precursors and certain goods were indispensable. Further, the decisions of the Council must be taken carefully in order to avoid any inconsistency with the efforts of the international community designed to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. 


RAVAN FARHADI (Afghanistan) said that foreign intervention in Afghanistan remained the main cause of the present conflict and the sufferings of the Afghan people.  Despite the international community’s outcry about Taliban policies and actions, the safe haven given to an international terrorist in the occupied parts of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the presence of thousands of Arabs and central Asian fighters and their training camps in Afghanistan, as well as the narcotic trade engaged in by the Taliban, Pakistan continued to cherish its infamous “offspring and puppet” called the Taliban.

Unfortunately, he said, Pakistan’s direct involvement in Afghanistan and its aggressive policies in the region, which were a threat to international peace and security, were not addressed properly by the Council.  Thousands of Pakistani fighters were recruited and openly sent to Afghanistan from different segments of Pakistani society, including its military.  The United Nations had confirmed that fact by the mere stereotypical phrase of “deeply concerned”, which appeared in United Nations documents without determining that that action constituted an aggression, requiring appropriate measures against the aggressor.


That indifference by the United Nations, he continued, encouraged Pakistan to pursue its hegemonic military adventure in Afghanistan, in blatant violation of Council resolutions 1267 and 1333, by continuing to supply arms and ammunition for armed conflict there.  Pakistan remained engaged in providing the Taliban with planning, mobilizing, logistical and recruitment support. 


He was firmly convinced that there was no military solution to the present conflict in his country.  The Pakistani military junta should withdraw its military personnel and so-called volunteers from Afghanistan.  All foreign fighters should leave Afghanistan immediately and the Afghans should be left to resolve their problems through negotiations.  The Islamic State of Afghanistan had already expressed its readiness to attend the Japanese-proposed peace talks and had also responded positively to the Kazakh-proposed peace negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. 


It had, he added, also positively responded to the appeal of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, for the holding of a ceasefire.  All of those proposals were systematically rejected by the Taliban.  It was high time for the Council to discharge its duty to save the people of Afghanistan, to end their suffering and to maintain the peace and security of the region.


President Suspends Meeting


The PRESIDENT of the Council then suspended the meeting, which he said would reconvene at 3:30 p.m.


Upon resumption of the meeting, HADI NEJAD HOSSEINIAN (Iran) said it was unfortunate that the continual efforts of the international community had not yet brought about any practical change in the bellicose and intransigent policy pursued by the Taliban.  The report of the Committee was released at a time when the disregard of the Taliban for the demands of the international community had become more evident.  To bring the military machine of the Taliban to a halt, it was essential to put an end to the trade in narcotics in Afghanistan.  Although he welcomed the ban on opium poppy cultivation, ordered by the Taliban leadership, he doubted that it was driven by religious reasons, as claimed, especially since the order was issued following a few years of rich crop.


Moreover, he said, the order did not cover the stockpiling, transit and processing of and trade in opium and heroin.  According to his information, the stockpiles of drugs in Afghanistan were large enough to feed the market for about 10 more years at a steady rate.  Therefore, he emphasized the conclusion of the report on the need for monitoring the flow of drugs from Afghanistan as an integral component of the arms embargo.

He said that most of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, which faced various difficulties emanating from the civil war and lawlessness in that country, needed assistance from the international community to cope with the situation.  In that context, the report rightly emphasized the need for training and equipment support from the international community to modernize the border services of Afghanistan’s neighbours. 


Also, he believed that the eventual stationing of the Sanctions Enforcement Support Teams in the region should be compatible with the sovereign rights of the receiving countries.  Moreover, some aspects of the proposed mandate of those teams and the Office for Sanctions Monitoring and Coordination needed further clarifications, and more details should be known to enable the relevant governments to comment.  There was no doubt that consultations between the countries concerned and Council members, prior to any Council decision, could pave the way for the smooth implementation of any final decision.


ALISHER VOHIDOV (Uzbekistan) said that despite a limited time frame to carry out its mandate, the Committee of Experts had done an enormous amount of work.  The effectiveness of sanctions monitoring would depend on direct involvement of all the neighbouring countries, including his own.  Financing for terrorism was integral to the whole problem in Afghanistan.  The flow of arms into that country was a major cause of instability in Central Asia.  Uzbekistan was, therefore, ready to participate in the discussions on the draft to establish a monitoring mechanism.


He also agreed that there was a direct link between funds obtained from the production and sale of drugs and the funds for training and arming terrorists.  The flow of drugs should be monitored as an integral facet of the arms embargo.  He supported the proposal to establish a United Nations office for sanctions monitoring.  Such an office would promote respect for the arms embargo.  He also stressed that existing internal mechanisms for combating terrorism should be strengthened.  His delegation supported the idea of establishing a data centre on terrorism and related training camps in Afghanistan.


SHAMSHAD AHMAD (Pakistan) said his country categorically rejected the baseless allegations in the report of the Committee of Experts.  He also reaffirmed on behalf of his Government that Pakistan, as a responsible and law-abiding Member of the United Nations, would continue to comply with Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000).


He said Pakistan would adhere to resolution 1333 (2000) on Afghanistan, even though it was not in favour of sanctions as a matter of principle.  They were unjust instruments that were never productive, never produced the desired results, and hurt people.  There were no smart sanctions, he stressed.  There were only dumb ones.


He said resolution 1333 (2000) was enacted on the anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.  So much had happened since that invasion.  The appearance of the world had changed and the Soviet Union had gone. Yet, while old enemies were now new partners, in Afghanistan the victims remained the same.


Afghanistan had been the last battlefront of the cold war.  With the end of Soviet occupation, the Afghan people had rightly expected a climate of peace and cooperation.  Unfortunately, the international community had not responded to the legitimate expectations of those people, who were left by the wayside.  The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was followed by a fratricidal civil war.  Warlords who had fought the Soviets now started to fight each other.  Obviously, the plight of the Afghan people could not be attributed to the Taliban, who only emerged on the scene some six years ago.  Also, the Afghan problem was not about drugs, but about 25 million people who were suffering even as the Council sat here today discussing the application of punitive measures against them.


He said sanctions had achieved precious little but had destroyed much.  The victims of those measures had been the peace process and the humanitarian situation.  According to a report of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 250,000 had become refugees since the enactment of resolution 1333 in December last year.  Innocent children had died in the cold of winter and the scorching heat of summer.  Sanctions had to be lifted and replaced with a bigger system to address the entire problem of Afghanistan.


Efforts must be made by all concerned to re-engage the Taliban and bring them back from isolation and intransigence.  There were 2 million Afghan refugees in his country, which was now losing its patience.  In addition, one-sided arms embargoes were not the answer.  He also did not want a monitoring mechanism created that would unjustly discriminate against Pakistan.


Comments by Chairman, Committee of Experts


Responding to questions, HAILE MENKERIOS (Eritrea), Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Afghanistan, said that the Committee had held consultations with the neighbouring countries on their willingness to place people on the ground.  Due to shortage of time, the Committee had been unable to visit China.  It did, however, hold discussions with the Chinese Government.  The Committee understood that all of those countries had technical support from the United Nations and others and had some personnel on the ground.  Consequently, the Committee did not feel that there was any reason why they would reject the Committee’s recommendation.


He noted that concern was expressed at the fact that the arms control measures recommended in the report in the overall context of international arms controls had not been discussed by the international community at large.  They had, however, been seen in a generally positive light and would be presented at the upcoming Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons.  The Committee saw value in them, given the need to create more effective monitoring of the illicit movement of small arms.  The measures suggested in the Committee’s report would be positive if adopted on a wider scale.


On whether those fuels restricted for military purposes were not harming humanitarian efforts, he said that some of the fuels, particularly the lubricants used for military hardware, were not used by humanitarian flights.  Those could easily be identified.  If there were fuels that could be used by both military and humanitarian flights, those fuels could be banned for both with special permission given for humanitarian flights.

He said that the efforts of the support teams needed to be seen within the context of the greater political, humanitarian and economic support provided by the United Nations.  Most of those teams would be working with the customs offices, border services and interior ministries of the concerned countries to increase the capacities of those countries to control their borders more effectively.


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