14 December 2009
Security Council
SC/9814

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

Security Council

6238th Meeting* (AM)


Departing Committee Chairpersons Brief Security Council Fellow Members


on Work of Subsidiary Bodies over Past Two Years

 


The outgoing members of the Security Council -– Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Libya and Viet Nam –- delivered briefings today on the work of subsidiary bodies they had chaired during their two-year tenure.


Council President Michel Kafando (Burkina Faso), briefing on the activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), said it had been established to follow up on the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990) concerning Iraq and Kuwait.  Its mandate included identifying individuals and entities whose funds were to be frozen or transferred to the Iraq Development Fund; entities and individuals associated with the former Iraqi regime; funds of the prior Iraqi Government outside Iraq; and reviewing the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1483 (2003).


He also briefed on the activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005), mandated to monitor travel bans and asset freezes against individuals designated by the International Independent Investigation Commission, or by the Government of Lebanon, as suspects in the bomb attack of 14 February 2005, which had killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other individuals.


Costa Rica’s representative reported on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly the prevention of their falling into the hands of non-State actors.


Croatia’s representative described the activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) -- better known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee –- as well as those of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) regarding threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.


Libya’s representative reported on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, mandated to monitor implementation of a number of measures concerning the diamond trade, the arms embargo imposed on that country, as well as timber, frozen assets freeze and travel restrictions.


Viet Nam’s representative briefed on the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.


As the meeting concluded, the Council President thanked the outgoing Committee Chairs for their work over the past two years.


The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 11:03 a.m.


Background


The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings from the outgoing Chairmen of the Council’s subsidiary bodies.


Briefings


LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam), briefing on the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, said that, since the resolution’s adoption, the country had achieved tangible progress on peace consolidation, socio-economic reconstruction and international reintegration, as well as in the fight against corruption, among other things.  Despite the still-fragile security situation, which required sustained attention, the parties remained committed to a cessation of all acts of political violence and to consensus on important national policies.


He said cooperation between Sierra Leone and the United Nations country team, the Peacebuilding Commission and other development partners had been further strengthened within the framework of the United Nations Peacebuilding Strategy for Sierra Leone and the Joint Vision of the United Nations Family for Sierra Leone.  However, the country was facing the emerging threats of piracy, drug trafficking and illegal trade in natural resources, in addition to uncontrolled migration to urban centres and other adverse effects of the global financial downturn.  The Committee’s work had, therefore, evolved and was now confined to tasks relating to the embargo on the export of weapons to non-State actors and the travel ban imposed on the six individuals still included on the Committee’s list, he said.


Although there had been no violations of the sanctions regime during the period 2008-2009, he continued, there had been a number of notifications of arms exports to Sierra Leone.  The Committee had exempted from travel restrictions the travel of any witnesses whose presence was required at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  In June 2008, 24 individuals had been removed from the list of individuals affected by travel restrictions.  Although the Committee had held no meetings in 2009, he said, it continued to maintain positive cooperation with the Special Court and had issued the waiver for the travel ban against five former members of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) so they could serve their sentences in Rwanda.


In conclusion, he said Sierra Leone was now at a critical juncture of post-conflict peacebuilding, with many challenges ahead.  However, the spirit of targeted sanctions should be fully preserved in order to avoid adverse impacts on civilian livelihoods.  All sanctions regimes should be reviewed and ultimately lifted once the underlying reasons for their imposition were no longer valid.  The Council might wish to initiate that process after the trial of Charles Taylor.


RANKO VILOVIC (Croatia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism and of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004), cautioned that his remarks would be a personal rather than official account of the work of those bodies, adding that his basic approach was to keep the momentum going, based on the work of previous chairs and with the benefit of the support of Member States and the members of other Security Council bodies.


He recalled that, when his country had taken over the Chair, it had been presented with a revised organizational plan of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), which charted the Committee’s way forward and called for briefings at regular intervals, the last of which would be given this coming Wednesday, together with the CTED’s Executive Director.  In the past two years, the Committee had devoted a significant part of its operations to analysing and adopting, through its subcommittees, the Preliminary Implementation Assessments, which had greatly enhanced dialogue with Member States on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).


Taking stock of the state of implementation of the resolution had been a complex and lengthy exercise, which was testing the Committee’s resources and those of CTED’s, he said.  However, the cooperation of Member States was the crucial ingredient, and the Chair called on them to remain committed to the dialogue.  The survey of the resolution’s implementation -- the second report on which would be considered in consultation after the present meeting –- should become a principal outcome of the Committee’s work, useful for its outreach not only to counter-terrorism practitioners, but also to the wider public.


He said efforts to keep the Committee’s work more relevant and interactive were pursued through the organization of a series of interactive discussions on all major areas of implementation, as well as by intensifying dialogue with international, regional and subregional organizations.  For example, at the final meeting, on 17 December 2009, a representative of the Council of Europe would brief the Committee on major developments in the counter-terrorism efforts of that partner organization.


As for the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004), he reported that it had neither held any meetings nor submitted any documents to the Council in the past two years.


Council President MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso), speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), established in turn to follow up on the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990) concerning Iraq and Kuwait, said the body was mandated with identifying individuals and entities whose funds were to be frozen and transferred to the Iraq Development Fund; entities and individuals associated with the former Iraqi regime; and funds of the prior Iraqi Government outside Iraq.  The Committee’s mandate would also be kept under review with respect to the arms embargo against Iraq.


He said that since his country had been Chair, the Committee had monitored actions regarding the repatriation of certain funds.  According to a note verbale dated 28 May 2008, the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations had confirmed the third transfer of funds to the Central Bank of Iraq.  The Committee had held no meetings, but its members had communicated regarding the listing and de-listing of some individuals, and to consider States’ communications with respect to two requests for de-listing by one individual and one entity.  The Committee had decided to keep the individual and entity on the list, which now contained 89 individuals and 208 entities.


In 2009, he recalled, the Committee had received a letter from a permanent member of the Council expressing concern about difficulties in implementing Council resolutions, as well as a letter from a permanent member concerning decisions taken by the 661 Committee, whose work had been ended by resolution 1483 (2003).  Since 2007, one request for listing and one for de-listing remained pending.  The weapons embargo imposed by resolution 1483 (2003) remained ineffective because of the new situation in Iraq and the lack of a monitoring mechanism.


Mr. KAFANDO then spoke in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005) concerning Lebanon, saying that the body had been mandated to monitor travel bans and asset freezes imposed on individuals designated by the International Independent Investigation Commission or the Government of Lebanon as suspects in the bomb attack of 14 February 2005 that had killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other individuals.  When Burkina Faso had taken over the Chair in January 2008, no individuals were listed, and the Committee had not held any meetings as the Commission and the Lebanese Government had not designated any suspects.


The administration of justice in the Hariri case was important to the consolidation of peace, he said, emphasizing that the transfer of confidential information between the Committee, the Commission and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would play a more important role in the future, in particular when judicial proceedings regarding the terrorist attack of 14 February 2005 entered a decisive phase.


JORGE URBINA (Costa Rica), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said it was crucial that the Council devote more energy and resources to implementation of that resolution, if it really wished to prevent the possibility of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-State actors.  It was necessary to reinvigorate the instruments contributing to reaching that goal.


Certainly, better results could have been achieved in the past five years, he said.  Two changes in the Committee’s mandate significantly increased its workload to include outreach, review, technical assistance and lessons-learned activities, but did not provide it with new tools or resources to carry out a large number of concrete tasks that exhausted the capabilities of the Committee and its team of experts.  It had attempted to deal with the increased workload by creating three subcommittees and four working groups, but the tasks were still too great for the means provided.  The Committee should not build a much larger structure, nor become a direct provider of assistance.  Rather, it should give itself the means to become the centre of a network that shared the general purposes of the resolution.


He said he had attempted to pursue that vision through meetings with a number of international and regional organizations.  In concert with the creation of that network, the Group of Experts should be expanded to 10 members, and mechanisms should be created to facilitate the voluntary financing of activities to speed up the resolution’s implementation.  In addition, the legitimacy of the Group of Experts could be strengthened if they worked under the regular procedures of the Organization through the Office of Disarmament Affairs.  As of now, they were the only experts supporting a subsidiary body of the Council who were not selected by the Secretary-General.


On the positive side, he said, the questions initially posed about the resolution’s legitimacy, as well as the initial doubts as to the need for the Committee, no longer existed.  It was now up to the Council to build on that perceived legitimacy by adopting documents that further favoured national ownership of the implementation process.  Regrettably, the Comprehensive Review of the Status of Implementation did not provided all the answers it was supposed to provide, although it did suggest alternative approaches to facilitating implementation, which was important because one strategy did not fit all countries.  A broad process of international cooperation was needed, including regional arrangements.  In addition to strengthening such arrangements, the Committee could be instructed to assess and monitor the evolution of the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-State actors.


ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMED SHALGHAM (Libya), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, said members had visited that country in May 2008 and witnessed first hand the challenges faced by its people.


The Committee was charged with monitoring the implementation of a number of measures concerning the diamond trade, the arms embargo, timber, assets freeze and travel restrictions.  Progress had been achieved on timber.  As for the arms embargo, due to instability in neighbouring States, such as Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, weapons were still being moved by individuals.  The assets freeze was being monitored, as were the travel restrictions on certain individuals, a number of whom had been allowed to travel by a decision of the Committee.


He said the Group of Experts had submitted to the Council a comprehensive and detailed report which noted that, although the Government was trying to achieve transparency in its exports, imports and taxation, it was facing difficulties beyond its control.  The report included some practical recommendations which the Council should consider.


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*     The 6237th Meeting was closed.



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