17 December 2007
Security Council
SC/9204

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5806th Meeting (PM)


DEPARTING SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS GIVE BRIEFINGS ON ACTIVITIES


OF SUBSIDIARY BODIES OVER PAST TWO YEARS

 


The departing members of the Security Council -– Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia -– briefed members this afternoon on the activities of the subsidiary bodies they had chaired over the past two years.


Congo’s representative, speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, said the Working Group had concentrated on, among other things, the organization of a seminar on a global strategy to prevent and settle conflicts in Africa.  The seminar had focused on themes including cooperation between the Council and the United Nations system, and cooperation among the Council, the African Union and other partners.  Its recommendations included the institution of mechanisms to allow the Council to react rapidly to crisis situations, providing the Secretary-General with a clearer mandate in preventive diplomacy, paying particular attention to disputes that had the potential to threaten international peace and security, and addressing the root causes of conflicts.


Ghana’s representative, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) regarding Iraq, said the Committee was mandated to identify individuals and entities associated with the former Iraqi regime, whose funds and assets should be frozen.  The names of 89 individuals and 208 entities were currently inscribed on the Committee’s list and the Committee’s work had focused mainly on helping the Iraqi authorities seek information and clarification relating to assets frozen outside Iraq.


Peru’s representative, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2005) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that body was concerned with preventing all armed Congolese and foreign militia operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from being supplied with arms or engaging in military activities.  It had created a list of persons and entities violating those measures by illegally financing those on the list, particularly by trafficking natural resources, and since July 2006, the list included the names of those who recruited children or gravely violated the rights of children in armed conflict.  It had not, however, been possible to make substantial progress in monitoring the arms embargo, controlling the financing of illegal arms trafficking or prohibiting travel by persons on the list.


Qatar’s representative, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, said more than a decade had passed since the adoption of resolution 1132 (1997) and the country had since made great strides towards realizing political stability and security.  The ban on the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone had been lifted in 2003 and the Committee’s work was now confined to tasks related to the embargo on the supply of weapons to non-State actors in Sierra Leone and a travel ban imposed on the 30 people currently on the Committee’s list.


Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, he said the country had made great strides towards achieving security and political stability, the reason why the Council had amended the sanctions regime.  After lifting the ban on timber exports, the Council adopted resolution 1753 in April 2007, lifting the ban on diamond exports.  The Committee continued to play a pivotal role by coordinating with the Kimberley Process to ensure compliance with the terms for the lifting of the diamond-export ban.


Slovakia’s representative, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) regarding proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said implementation of the resolution was a long-term process requiring sustained effort and an imaginative approach, in which the broadest degree of international cooperation and interaction with other States and entities, including the private sector, was needed.  The role of regional and subregional organizations in raising awareness should be further strengthened and the Committee could also explore the possibilities of furthering cooperation with non-governmental organizations.  Engagement with parliamentarians and the private sector should also be intensified.


Speaking in his capacity as Chairman the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, he recommended that the Working Group focus on continuing its efforts to enhance transparency and openness in the Council’s work; enhance and widen interaction and dialogue between the Council and other Member States; and revitalize private Council meetings with troop-contributing countries.


Speaking in his capacity as Co-chair of the Ad Hoc committee on Mandate Review, he said the Council should continue examining ways to streamline its mandating work by taking wider regional or subregional approaches to mandates.  It should also continue its interaction with other relevant United Nations organs on the issues of mandate review, including by addressing potential areas of overlap or duplication.


The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 4:05 p.m.


Background


The Security Council met this afternoon to hear briefings by five non-permanent members due to end their two-year tenure on 31 December -- Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia –- on the activities of the subsidiary bodies that they chair: the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005) concerning conclusions by the International Independent Investigation Commission about its activities in Lebanon.


Council members will also hear briefings on the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa; the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) regarding international terrorism; the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions; and the Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review.


Briefings


JUSTIN BIABOROH-IBORO ( Congo), Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, said that, after a slow start, the Working Group had adopted a working programme focusing on interactive activities with various actors involved in conflict management in order to work towards a seminar on a global strategy to settle conflicts in the region.  Over the past two years, the Working Group had held 17 meetings.  The seminar had been organized in accordance with resolution 1625 (2005) and presidential statement PRST/2007/31, and it followed up on a meeting organized by Benin in June 2005 on building United Nations capacity in conflict prevention.


He said the seminar had focused on themes including cooperation between the Council and the United Nations system; cooperation among the Council, the African Union and other partners; and cooperation with the intergovernmental organs of the United Nations.  Recommendations included instituting mechanisms to allow the Council to react rapidly to crisis situations; giving the Secretary-General a clearer mandate in terms of preventive diplomacy; supporting the Secretary-General’s role in preventive diplomacy; paying particular attention to disputes with the potential to become a threat to international peace and security; sending fact-finding missions to areas with the potential to threaten international peace and security; strengthening and improving existing partnerships between the Council and regional organizations, pursuant to Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter; and addressing the root causes of conflicts.  It was to be hoped that the Council would pay close attention to the seminar’s conclusions and recommendations.


LESLIE KOJO CHRISTIAN (Ghana), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), said the body was mandated to identify individuals and entities referred to in paragraph 19 of resolution 1483 (2003) whose funds, assets or economic resources should be frozen and transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq.  That applied to individuals and entities associated with the former Iraqi regime, as specified by paragraph 23 of resolution 1483 (2003).  The names of 89 individuals and 208 entities were currently inscribed on the Committee’s list.


He said that, during his chairmanship, the Committee had continued to consider various requests to add and remove names, but no changes had been made to the list, and the Committee’s work had focused mainly on helping the Iraqi authorities seek information and clarification relating to assets frozen outside Iraq.  Since the Council remained seized of the situation in Iraq, its relevant subsidiary organs may continue assisting the Government and people of Iraq, while keeping the future work of the Committee under review as deemed appropriate.  However, his comment reflected his personal views as Chair and not necessarily those of the Committee or Committee members.


NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, said more than a decade had passed since the adoption of resolution 1132 (1997), and since then Sierra Leone had made great strides toward political stability and security.  The Committee’s mandate had been amended by resolution 1172 (1998) and the ban on the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone had been lifted in 2003.  The country’s security situation had improved, and free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections had been held last August.  The last milestone had been Sierra Leone’s inclusion on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission.  A few days ago, the Cooperation Framework for Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone had been issued as a document for partnership with the Government in order to meet the challenges of peace consolidation.


The Committee’s work was now confined to tasks related to the embargo on the supply of weapons to non-State actors in Sierra Leone and a travel ban imposed on 30 people included on the Committee’s list, he said.  The list had not been amended in the past year, but the Chair had sent a letter on 25 July to the country’s Permanent Representative asking for the Government’s views of those on the list and on updating it so it would better reflect the current situation in Sierra Leone.  The Committee was still awaiting a response.  During the past year, there had been no violations of the arms embargo or the travel ban.


He said the Committee had held an informal meeting on 4 December to consider communications received from the Registry of the Special Court for Sierra Leone concerning travel to The Hague by persons placed on the list for purposes related to the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.  He had replied by explaining to the Registry the established procedures for exemption from the travel ban.  It was appropriate that the Council adopt a resolution granting a comprehensive exemption to persons required to testify in court, similar to resolution 1688 (2006) on Liberia.  The Council had discussed, at the expert level this morning, a draft resolution in that regard.


As for the Committee on Liberia, he said it had held nine informal meetings this year, including two in December, during which the Committee had heard a presentation of the final report of the Panel of Experts.  The last report included specific technical recommendations to improve the regime of the arms embargo that deserved the Committee’s consideration.  The Committee should also continue to examine and update the list of sanctions to reflect developments on the ground, serve the broader objective of the sanctions and take due process into account.  On 12 June, the Committee had adopted revised guidelines that took into account the procedures for delisting from the sanctions committees’ lists, as contained in resolution 1730 (2006).  Pursuant to the new procedures, the Commission had already delisted one person last November.  This year, it had continued to receive requests for exemption concerning the supply of arms in accordance with resolutions 1521 (2003) and 1683 (2006) and requests for exemption regarding the travel ban in accordance with resolutions 1521 (2003) and 1532 (2004).  The Committee had also continued to consider those requests and receive State notifications on authorizing payments from frozen assets, in accordance with the exemption granted in paragraph 2(b) of resolution 1532.


Similarly to its subregional neighbour Sierra Leone, Liberia had made great strides toward achieving security and political stability, he said.  The President had been elected in free and fair elections and the Council had responded to those developments by amending the sanctions regime imposed on Liberia in order to reflect positive developments in the country.  After lifting the ban on timber exports, the Council had adopted, in April, resolution 1753 (2007), which lifted the ban on diamond exports, based on the commendable progress in the Government’s control over the diamond sector and the effective coordination of the Kimberley Process, as stated by the Kimberley Process representative at the 13 April Committee meeting shortly before adoption of the resolution.  The Committee continued to play a pivotal role by coordinating with the Kimberley Process to ensure compliance with its terms, based on which the diamond export ban had been lifted.  The Committee had received letters on 7 May and 23 July that together constituted the report of the Kimberley Process requested by resolution 1753 (2007).


PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) regarding proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said 140 States had submitted their first reports and about 90 had provided additional information.  The matrix originally devised in 2005 as a working tool for examining national reports had been developed further, and the Committee now relied heavily on outreach activities to encourage further reporting and promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), such as through seminars and workshops.  It was important that many States who needed the relevant assistance received it.  To that end, the Committee had prepared a template for such an assistance request.  He then described cooperation with other entities, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Taliban and Al-Qaida Committee.


He said implementation of the resolution was a long-term process requiring sustained effort and an imaginative approach, in which the broadest degree of international cooperation and interaction with States and other entities, including those in the private sector, was needed.  The role of regional and subregional organizations in raising awareness should be strengthened further, and the Committee could also explore the possibilities of furthering cooperation with non-governmental organizations.  Engagement with parliamentarians and the private sector should also be intensified.  The Committee should shift away from reporting on implementation of all aspects of resolution 1540 (2004).  To enable more active assistance by Committee experts to individual countries, the possibility of a trust fund for country visits by experts should be considered and the Committee’s mandate should be extended.


Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, he said priorities for 2007 had been promoting the full implementation of the 19 July 2006 note by the President of the Security Council (document S/2006/507) and tackling a range of other practical issues pertaining to documentation and procedures.  The Working Group had focused on, among other things, written reports of the Secretary-General submitted to the Council; statements by Council members and oral briefings provided by members of the Secretariat; preparing the so-called “areas of focus” for informal consultations; planning of subsidiary bodies’ meetings; and Arria-formula meetings.


He said the Working Group had also addressed participation of Secretariat representatives and members of individual Council delegations in informal closed consultations of the whole; circulation of documents and information to Council members; formats of Council meetings; and Council interaction and dialogue with other United Nations bodies, the Secretariat and Member States.  He recommended that the Working Group should focus on continuing efforts to enhance transparency and openness in the Council’s work; enhancing and widening interaction and dialogue between the Council and Member States; and revitalizing private Council meetings with troop-contributing countries.


Speaking in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review, he said it had been established in 2006 with the aim of conducting the review of Council mandates stipulated by the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.  The main objective of the mandate review was to assess and streamline the Council’s work in the areas that had not, for various reasons, been regularly on the Council’s agenda.  The Council should continue receiving update briefings from the Secretariat on mandates older than five years and not periodically renewed, and continue considering appropriate reporting cycles for individual situations.


He said the Mandate Registry prepared by the Secretariat in 2005 was a useful tool that should be updated and maintained.  The Council should continue examining ways to streamline its mandating work by taking wider regional or subregional approaches to mandates.  It should, furthermore, continue its interaction with other relevant United Nations organs on the issues of mandate review in addressing potential areas of overlaps or duplications.  As the Ad Hoc Committee had realized the main goals for which it had been established, the Council should find a adequate mechanism to make the best use of the lessons learned.


JORGE VOTO-BERNALES (Peru), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2005) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Working Group created pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) concerning counter-terrorism, said the measures established in accordance with Council resolutions 1493 (2003), 1596 (2005), 1698 (2006) and 1771 (2007) aimed to prevent all armed Congolese and foreign militia from operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the eastern part of the country.  The Committee had created a list of persons and entities that violated those measures by illegally financing persons on the list, particularly by trafficking natural resources.  Since July 2006, the list included the names of persons who recruited children or gravely violated the rights of children in armed conflict.  Those measures aimed to end the cycle of violence and to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate militias, support the reintegration of the Congolese armed forces and police, reform the security sector and help protect children.


It had not been possible to make substantial progress in monitoring the arms embargo, controlling the financing of illegal arms trafficking or prohibiting travel of persons on the list, he said.  The effectiveness of the measures appeared to be limited in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries.  It was important to take into account the difference between legal and illegal flows of arms or natural resources, which was exacerbated in the border areas of vast, porous territories such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The cooperation of States with the capacity to control the movement of persons and valuable raw materials, or to notify authorities in detail of shipments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, made it easier to monitor trafficking.  The Committee Chair had focused on encouraging States directly involved in the conflict to cooperate in implementing the measures and support the work of the Group of Experts, in addition to trying to build consensus.


That had taken place over a period of time when the Council and the main national, regional and international actors had joined forces to help establish an elected, efficient Congolese Government, he said.  That convergence of proposals constituted the Committee’s greatest efforts towards dialogue with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and other States outside the subregion.  The Committee had witnessed improved cooperation between border States and the Group of Experts during the past two years.  More people and entities subject to the Council’s measures had been added to the list.  The agreement reached in the Committee to transfer listed persons to the International Criminal Court in The Hague was perhaps the Committee’s greatest contribution to fighting impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and strengthening international law.


He said the Committee had been able to continue receiving experts and hearing briefings on their work in the field and the support received from the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and neighbouring countries.  The new Group of Experts, which was due to submit its report 15 January, would continue to contribute effectively to the Committee’s work.  The Committee had also discussed how to facilitate cooperation with INTERPOL, including through the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.  Measures were still under consideration in that regard.  The Committee was also considering the recommendations of the Informal Working Group on general issues regarding sanctions, contained in resolution 1732 (2006), particularly those that could be immediately applicable.


A year after the elections and several months after the formation of a new Congolese Government, he said, it was necessary to support the elected authorities in their efforts to restore internal order, protect the population, and establish control over the State’s natural wealth and resources, while controlling illegal armed groups that could provide arms and money, as well as attack civilians and cause regional instability.  Resolution 1771 (2007) was the first extension of amendments to measures adopted by the Council between 2003 and 2006.  The post-transition process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should continue to be based on a shared, unanimous vision by the Council, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and countries involved.


Turning to the activities of the Working Group created by resolution 1566 (2004), he said that, in April 2006, it had verified that the conclusions in the President’s current report had not changed and conditions were not favourable to advancement.  The President had opted for discussing the matter in bilateral talks and to continue with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  The rights of victims and the eventual mechanism to compensate them were recognized in the Strategy and the Working Group on Counter-Terrorism was continuing to work in that area.  The Council should take that into account when it discussed the issue.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record