SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS PROPOSAL TO REVITALIZE COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE

4 March 2004
SC/8020

SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS PROPOSAL TO REVITALIZE COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE

04/03/2004
Press Release
SC/8020


Security Council                                           

4921st Meeting (AM & PM)                                    


SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS PROPOSAL TO REVITALIZE COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE


Committee Chairman Stresses Need

For New Procedures, Structures to Support More Proactive Role


During a day-long session convened by the United Nations Security Council on revitalizing its anti-terrorism committee to adapt to the evolving nature of its mission, nearly 30 speakers voiced support for a plan that aims to enhance the Council's ability to help countries implement a landmark resolution -- adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States -- to fight that worldwide scourge.


Briefing the Council on the work of its Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the panel's Chairman, Inocencio Arias, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, stressed that his proposal to rejuvenate the Committee’s work had originated from a dual conviction:  that terrorism was one of the major threats to international peace and security, and that the United Nations must play a central role in the fight against that threat, with the Council, through the CTC, leading the effort.


In mid-February, he had presented a plan for revitalization “by giving the CTC further means to fulfil its mandate of monitoring the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373”, which had called on Member States to cease support for terrorists, deny them safe haven, freeze their financial assets and prevent their movement across borders.  A newly structured CTC would consist of a plenary –- made up of the Security Council's member States and the Committee’s Chair and Vice-Chairs -- and be supported by a new Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.  The Directorate would be headed by a new post of Executive Director and comprise up to 20 experts.


Ambassador Arias noted that the CTC's present procedures and structures needed to be reconsidered, particularly since the Committee had evolved to assume a more proactive role in evaluating the implementation of resolution 1373.  In addition, the Committee had stepped up its efforts to facilitate technical assistance to countries and to promote closer cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations.  Noting that a resolution was needed for the proposal’s full implementation, he stressed that a new text would not modify the provisions of resolution 1373 or other existing relevant resolutions.  He appealed to all Member States to continue and strengthen their support in the fight against terrorism.


John Negroponte of the United States told the Council that terrorism has continued to spread, raising the spectre of further deadly attacks.  “The Security Council must act with a renewed sense of urgency, as though 9/11 took place yesterday, not more than two years ago.”  Once the proposed restructuring became a reality, the CTC would be able to work more closely with States in identifying the gaps in their counter-terrorism capacities and in finding the necessary technical assistance to fill those gaps.  The Council and its CTC must never forget that so long as a few States were not acting quickly enough to raise their capacity to fight terrorism, “everyone remains vulnerable”, he added.


The Counter-Terrorism Committee had proven its worth:  it had organized international solidarity in the face of the mounting terrorist threat, declared Edouard Aho-Glele of Benin.  And while there was a need to enhance its ability to carry out its work, the overall struggle to combat terrorism must not blind nations to the scourge’s precursors, such as the deepening clash of cultures, poverty, conflict and occupation, and the proliferation of small arms -- which was destabilizing entire regions.  With that in mind, the international community would do well to ensure that efforts to enhance its anti-terrorism regime should go hand in hand with implementation of the Millennium Declaration and the outcomes of other major development-oriented conferences of the past decade.


Besides strengthening the Committee’s internal working structures and procedures, Gunther Pleuger of Germany said the reforms must contribute to further enhancing the Committee’s legitimacy as perceived by Member States.  Among other things, that meant including an appropriate human rights perspective by appointing a human rights expert to serve in the new support structure.  Most important of all, the CTC should improve its capacity to deepen its continuous dialogue with all Member States on key issues under resolutions 1373 and 1456.  Committee experts could, with the help of the enhanced structure, form joint teams with members of specialized international agencies and actively assist countries in key areas, such as in professionalizing their financial control, border protection, weapons control or law enforcement sectors.


But Munir Akram of Pakistan warned that the Council might be in danger of “losing the substance by focusing on the form”.  And while his delegation supported the Committee and the thrust of the proposals to rejuvenate its work, that important body must be more than filing reports or adopting laws.  Revitalization should focus on concrete actions to be undertaken by States and, above all, address the current and mutating nature of the terrorist threat by focusing on information-sharing, prevention of terrorist financing, and capacity-building within States to combat terrorism and extremism.


Israel’s Dan Gellerman said that steadfast political will would constitute a potent instrument of power ensuring a united front of international anti-terrorism cooperation based on two essential components:  the adoption of a zero-tolerance attitude towards all forms of terrorism, and the elimination of safe havens and a support infrastructure for terrorists by any government.  States that continued to harbour terrorists and abet their activity must be “named and shamed”.  He also noted what he saw as a troubling contradiction in the letter and spirit of resolution 1373 and the ability of the CTC to take the necessary actions to implement its objectives.  Whereas the resolution had been adopted unanimously, it seemed that its implementation depended upon the consensus support of CTC members.  Decisions should be taken by the majority and not by consensus, for the requirement of consensus vote could impede crucial actions by the Committee.


Also expressing some concerns was Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, who expressed concern about perceptions reflected in unsubstantiated statements or advisories by other governments and the media regarding the potential of terrorist activities in third countries.  Such actions could not only negatively impact a country’s standing, but its security situation, as well.  There was a danger that terrorists and terrorist networks might exploit such advisories or view them as opportunities to conduct terrorist activities.  States should stop issuing general warnings and other statements, including travel advisories about unsubstantiated threats of terrorism in other countries.  In instances where States obtained information about potential terrorist activities, they should alert the governments of the countries involved.


Other Council members speaking today were the representatives of Algeria, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Brazil, Romania, Angola, Philippines, Spain, China, Chile and France.


Also participating in the debate were the representatives of Ireland (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries), India, Switzerland, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Japan, Ukraine, New Zealand, Cameroon, Cuba, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Liechtenstein, Argentina (speaking on behalf of the Rio Group), Mexico, Syria, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Canada.


The meeting was called to order at 10:12 a.m., resumed after a short suspension from 10:13 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and suspended at 1:14 p.m. The afternoon session ran from 3:12 p.m. to 4:27 p.m.


Background


The Security Council met this morning to review the work of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), which was established by resolution 1373 (2001) following the 11 September 2001 attack on the United States.  It is not a sanctions body, but rather monitors steps taken by States, through the adoption of laws and regulations and the creation of administrative structures concerning terrorist finance, customs and border control, among others, to combat terrorism.


The Council had before it a letter dated 19 February from the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, which contains the Committee’s report on its revitalization (document S/2004/124).  The report follows up on a 14 November 2003 report (document S/2004/70) outlining the obligation of the Committee to present to the Security Council a package of measures that would contribute to meeting challenges for the full compliance with resolution 1373 by States, the effective operation of the Committee itself and the strengthening of the Council with respect to the resolution’s implementation.


The report states that it does not propose a modification of resolution 1373 or an increase in the budget and resources already allocated to the Counter-Terrorism Committee in “a disproportionate way”.  It does, however, propose structural and operational changes to the Committee to be presented, with the approval of Committee’s member States, in the form of a draft Council resolution.


The changes to be contained in the proposed draft, according to the report, would include the consolidation of the group of experts and the support staff from the Secretariat, to enhance the Council’s ability to encourage implementation of the resolution and to monitor implementation on the part of Member States. 


The new CTC structure proposed by the report would consist of a plenary composed of the Security Council’s member States, who would focus on strategic and policy decisions.  The Bureau would include the Chair and Vice-Chairs, as well as the consolidated expert and Secretariat staff, known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).  The new CTED would be headed by an Executive Director.


The report proposes, in addition, that limits be established on the number of personnel allocated to the Committee.  The proposed draft resolution would also provide for a comprehensive Council review of the Committee by 31 December 2005 and include a sunset clause set for 31 December 2007.


The report states that the draft resolution should include a request to the Secretary-General, within 30 days of its adoption, to appoint the Executive Director.  Within two months, that Director would prepare an action plan for the revitalization of the CTC, following the guidelines of the present report.


Statement by CTC Chairman


INOCENCIO ARIAS (Spain), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, informed the Council about the Committee’s activities at the end of last year, saying that the programme of work for October-December had included a review of  70 Member States’ and others’ reports.  The CTC had approved 44 reports and the subcommittees had reviewed 37 reports.  On a monthly basis, the Committee had also continued to circulate the matrix with a view to identifying assistance needs and offers and to update its Web site.  The Chairman had sent to the Council the list of States that had been late in submitting their reports.  And last but not least, on 14 November, the Chair had sent a letter on the problems encountered by States and the CTC in implementing resolution 1373 and the challenges ahead.


Another important aspect of the Committee’s work was that it had continued to expand its contacts with international, regional and subregional organizations, he continued.  For example, a meeting organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee on 7 October in Washington, D.C., had reaffirmed the commitment of all participants to pursue further coordination among their programmes to avoid duplication and better assist States in their efforts in implementing resolution 1373.  The next follow-up meeting was scheduled for 11 and 12 March in Vienna.  It would be hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  During the period under review, the Chairman had also made a trip to meet with some of the regional and subregional organizations headquartered in Europe, during which he had visited four capitals and had met with representatives of eight organizations.


Turning to the Committee’s tenth working programme, he said that it would continue to study member States’ reports.  It was also expected to approve a report about the measures to be taken to tackle the problems identified in its 14 November report, which he was presenting today.  It was also important to review the conclusions of the meeting between international, regional and subregional organizations in Vienna next week.  A final joint declaration was being prepared, to be signed by all participants, which would include concrete ways to enhance the fight against terrorism.  The Committee would also announce the establishment of a Joint Assistance Matrix, which would be the responsibility of the CTC and give both States and international organizations a general picture and a practical tool to make better use of the technical assistance programmes available.


Regarding the Committee’s revitalization, he stressed that the proposal had originated from a dual conviction: that terrorism was one of the major threats to international peace and security; and that the United Nations must play a leading role in the fight against that threat and that the role of the Council, through the CTC, must be maintained and reinforced.  The revitalization of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was urgent and absolutely necessary to strengthen the fight against terrorism and give the Committee further means to fulfil its mandate.  Present procedures and structures of the CTC needed to be reconsidered, particularly since the Committee had evolved to assume a more proactive role in the dialogue with member States, evaluating the implementation of resolution 1373, facilitating technical assistance to Member States and promoting closer cooperation and coordination with international, regional and subregional organizations.


Revitalization measures, which were described in the 19 February report, gave the Counter-Terrorism Committee the proper means to fulfil its task within the existing United Nations structure, he continued.  The revitalized Committee would maintain its present structure of the plenary –- composed of the Security Councilmember Sates -- and the Bureau.  Also, the CTC Executive Directorate would be created which would reorganize the present staff of experts and secretariat.  The plenary would focus on strategic and policy decisions, while the new CTED would be the executive branch and would be part of the Secretariat. 


The revitalization proposal was consistent with previous Security Council practice, while following the Charter and other rules and regulations of the United Nations, he said.  The CTED would not be a permanent structure and would not be setting a precedent for other bodies of the Council.  According to a sunset clause, if by the end of 2005 the Council would not have approved the continuation of the new CTC, it would come to an end.


For full implementation of the revitalization, a resolution of the Council was needed, he said.  It would not modify the provisions of resolution 1373 or other existing relevant resolutions.  In the work ahead, he appealed to all representatives of Member States to continue and strengthen their support in the fight against terrorism.  In the words of the Secretary-General, “the work of the CTC and the cooperation received from Member States had been unprecedented and exemplary”.  To keep it that way, it was imperative to revitalize the Committee.


Other Statements


EDOUARD AHO-GLELE (Benin) said the magnitude and cruelty of the horrendous 11 September 2001 attacks showed everyone the insidious nature and breadth of terrorism.  Since that time, sporadic attacks had been occurring, as terrorist networks were finding ways to get hold of dangerous weapons, which made one fear the worst for humanity.  The international community had rightly vowed to fight terrorism within the framework of multilateral cooperation.  The United Nations was playing a coordinating role in that regard, with the Council leading the way.  In light of the strong will of States to pool their efforts to fight this scourge, resolution 1373 (2001) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee it had established were now the basic instruments guiding those efforts.


The Counter-Terrorism Committee had proven its worth:  it had organized international solidarity in the face of the mounting terrorist threat.  The need to enhance its ability to carry out its work had led the body to consider a number of proposals, which were before the Council today.  He added that while all States mobilized to fight terrorism, the overall struggle should not make one blind to its precursors, such as the clash of civilizations and cultures.  That must be overcome through a dialogue among cultures.  Poverty, the Palestinian conflict, the proliferation of small arms -- which was destabilizing entire regions –- were all issues that needed to be addressed.  With that in mind, the international community would do well to implement the Millennium Declaration and the outcomes of the other major international conferences of the past decade.


ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said the difficulties in implementing resolution 1373 (2001) had been highlighted time and again by the CTC Chairman.  If they were not remedied, the work of that important body could soon be stymied.  As it was, the Counter-Terrorism Committee seemed to be “running out of steam”.  That could only be countered by generating political will and refocusing broader efforts to confront the international scourge.  Proposals for rationalizing the Committee’s work and setting up new executive arrangements were timely, he said.  Algeria also believed in streamlining the Committee’s work and creating an executive branch to focus on strategy.


As efforts to revitalize the CTC’s work moved forward, Algeria would note that the international community must begin a thorough study of extending the body’s mandate beyond what had been envisioned in 2001.  States must also examine their policies on the right of asylum and those on monitoring of funds belonging to individuals of organizations. He also urged States to consider the finalization of a proposal to set up an international fund to support the combat against terrorism, which would provide aid and technical assistance to developing countries.


Here he noted that the vast majority of States that had been late in submitting reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been from the developing world.  It was time to adopt a global approach, which included judicial assistance and cooperation on information and technology exchange.  The Committee must evolve to address the multifaceted nature of the threat.  Efforts must also recognize the link between development and security.


SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee remained an important tool in pooling and coordinating international anti-terrorism efforts and implementation of resolution 1373.  The Committee had consistently continued its policy aimed at creating security mechanisms responding to the new demands in the fight against terrorism.  Despite existing difficulties, States were adopting important anti-terrorism legislation in implementation of resolution 1373.  The important outcome of the Committee’s work was a significant momentum in coordinating the implementation of the 12 anti-terrorism conventions.  The mechanisms for close regular interactions with regional and subregional organizations were acquiring significant importance.  He hoped the meeting in Vienna next week would give an additional impulse to the regional dimensions of the CTC’s work.


At the same, time, it was important to be aware of important problems in the Committee’s work, he continued.  Now, the CTC was moving to a new phase in its work, in which the practical measures by States in implementation of 1373 acquired central importance.  That alone already placed new tasks before the Committee.  It was clear that the multifaceted nature of the anti-terrorism agenda and evolving threats had increased the demands on the Committee. 


He welcomed the fact that the Committee had showed a responsible approach and had adapted to the changing demands.  Of particular importance was the structural reform, strengthening the organizational and expert capacities of the Committee.  He deemed timely the creation of the Executive Directorate, which could provide important operational support to the Committee.  He was prepared to work on a resolution on the matter on the basis of the proposals contained in the report.


JOHN D. NEGROPONTE (United States) said that through its capacity-building and global coordination initiatives, the Committee had become a significant element of the worldwide campaign against terrorism.  While the Committee had performed admirably, much work remained to be done.  In the two-and-a-half years since the adoption of resolution 1373, despite the global effort, terrorists and their supporters had continued to strike.  Terrorism had continued to spread, raising the spectre of further deadly attacks on innocent victims and continuing threats to international peace and security.


The Security Council must remain at the forefront of the international community’s campaign to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism, he continued.  To do so, it must act with a renewed sense of urgency and a commitment to a sustained and determined effort to defeat the global scourge.  It must act as though 9/11 had taken place yesterday, not more than two years ago.  The Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee must never forget that so long as a few States were not acting quickly enough to raise their capacity to fight terrorism, everybody remained vulnerable. 


The Committee had initially responded to the challenge, he said.  It had identified not only the difficulties the States were having in implementing resolution 1373, but also its own internal structural problems that were preventing it from performing more effectively.  The proposals presented by Chairman Arias not only reflected the views of all 15 Committee members, but also incorporated those of the Secretariat, as well.


Once the proposed restructuring became a reality, the Counter-Terrorism Committee could become more effective in fulfilling its mandate, he said.  It would be able to work more closely with States in identifying the gaps in their counter-terrorism capacities and in finding the necessary technical assistance to fill those gaps.  In addition, it would expand its efforts to galvanize organizations worldwide to adopt and implement best practices, codes and standards and ensure that their members were implementing the requirements of the resolution.  Of course, it would do that while respecting what had become its hallmarks:  transparency, cooperation and even-handedness.


The CTC’s restructuring proposal should be viewed as a continuation of the Council’s extraordinary response to the threat of terrorism and as essentially a managerial reform after the experience of 30 months of work, he said.  The Committee had fulfilled its responsibility by studying the problem and proposing a solution.  The Council must now do its part and take the necessary action to make the proposal a reality.


EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) began his statement by expressing condolences to recent victims of terrorist attacks the world over.  That long list of names and places where “chilling attacks” had taken place was a sobering reminder of why the Council was meting today.  Those cruel attacks proved that terrorism knew no boundaries or limits, and proved that terrorist actors were united only in their disdain for human life.  It was, therefore, imperative for all States to face the terrorist scourge together, in a sustained, efficient and concerted manner.  Wide-ranging action might be necessary, including military action.  Defence systems needed to be improved; financial flows to terrorists needed to be cut off; and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction must be addressed.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had been successful by, among other things, delivering momentum, ensuring accountability and providing guidance to Member States in many of those regards.


But there was no room for complacency -– it was time for a new dynamic, he continued.  It was essential for the Committee to be strengthened so that States could be provided with the tools they needed to combat terrorism.  The United Kingdom supported the proposals set out be that body’s Chairman, particularly as they would provide guidance on a range of issues and situations that had arisen since the CTC had been established.  It was necessary to enhance and reorganize the support structure of the Committee to help it achieve its objectives.


The proposed changes were not merely “change for the sake of change” or an attempt to undermine the Secretariat, he said.  The proposals had been discussed at length and with great care.  He stressed that the overall substance and working methods of the Committee would remain the same and its mandate would remain unchanged.  The new structure was not meant to be permanent.  If terrorists were indefatigable in their endeavours, then so must the United Nations and the international community must match them.  He urged the Council to fully support the proposals, which, if completely implemented, could contribute in no small measure to making the world a safe and stable place.


HENRIQUE VALLE (Brazil) said the first issue to be addressed on revitalizing the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was the creation of the new structure itself.  To that end, the Council must work to ensure that the alterations proposed to revamp the Committee be strictly of a procedural and operational nature, and that the decisions adopted in that regard be consistent with such an approach.  Secondly, the proposal to create an Executive Director addressed several areas of concern.  Creation of such a post would allow for better coordination of work with the executive structure of the Committee itself, and better interaction between the structure and the Committee.


The appointment of an Executive Director would also allow for better coordination with the work under way in other relevant bodies within and beyond the United Nations system.  Finally, Brazil was satisfied that the proposals before the Council clearly established that one of the functions entrusted to the new structure was to establish a link to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant human rights organizations in matters related to counter-terrorism.  That was a most positive step towards ensuring that measures adopted at the national level strictly adhered to the extensive body of international legislation dedicated to ensuring the promotion and protection of fundamental rights.


MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) described global terrorism, in all its manifestations, as a new and “most dangerous threat” to international peace and security.  Combating special threats required special measures, adopted at the global level and universally implemented.  Active participation by all members of the international community in that regard was crucial, he said, adding that it was also the primary responsibility of the United Nations and the Security Council to act as a catalyst in those efforts.  As the Counter Terrorism Committee was the Council’s specialized subsidiary body in that area, it must be given the most adequate means to enable it to carry out its responsibilities.


Enhancing the Committee’s ability to monitor implementation of Council resolution 1373 (2001) was at the heart of the revitalization process currently under way.  Romania noted with deep concern that many States continued to face difficulties in implementing that resolution, including elaborating and submitting required reports to the Committee.  That trend highlighted the need for granting Member States the necessary technical assistance.  He acknowledged the important role being played by the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and its terrorism-prevention Branch in that regard.


Romania considered the signature, ratification and full implementation of all relevant United Nations conventions relating to terrorism as essential elements towards fulfilling resolution 1373, he continued, urging all States to become parties to those instruments as soon as possible.  Concerning the future activities of the Committee, he said that increased cooperation and coordination with other relevant United Nations bodies and relevant international, regional and subregional organizations were necessary.  The goal of combating the global scourge of terrorism could not be accomplished without the joint efforts of the world community as a whole.


ISMAEL ABRÃAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) took note of the Committee’s work in implementation of resolution 1373 and said that the period under review marked an important change in the “short, but rich life” of the Committee.  The report on the problems in implementation of resolution 1373 had identified a number of important issues.  Those problems needed to be tackled in a comprehensive way, taking into account the urgency of the tasks.  He took note of the Committee’s strategic direction in finding the best means of forging ahead and launching the revitalization of its work.  The Chair had outlined the main thrust of the reform.  Like all reforms, it would take some time before results were felt.  It was important that a sunset clause was established to define a trial period for the effectiveness of the reform.


A large number of developing countries had joined with confidence the fight against terrorism, he continued, but their limited resources impeded the implementation of new legislative frameworks.  Moreover, they lacked the executive machinery and capacity to deal with such issues as proper border controls and illegal movement of small arms.  It was not the lack of political will, but the shortage of means that hindered their implementation of anti-terrorism measures.  He hoped that the Committee would continue its efforts to effectively fill that gap with the provision of technical assistance to developing countries.  He welcomed the fact that strengthened technical assistance had been identified as a priority by the Committee.


A more proactive approach of the Committee was also welcome, he said.  The African Union had established a convention, by which the African countries pursued joint action to fight terrorism through the exchange of information on movement and activities of terrorist groups in Africa.  International cooperation would allow those States to work more effectively against the financing of terrorism, apprehending terrorists and bringing them to justice.  It was important to reinforce the Committee’s links with international, regional and subregional organizations.  He hoped that the Committee would be able to adopt the proposed reforms as presented by its Chairman.  That was the way to forge ahead in implementing resolution 1373 and staying on course in action against terrorism.


LAURO L. BAJA, Jr. (Philippines) said that there was broad agreement that terrorism was one of the main threats to international peace and security in the twenty-first century.  The international community was beginning to understand the full extent of the challenge presented by terrorism, which required a united response.  Terrorists were adapting to the developments of the modern world, taking advantage of modern technology and means of communication.  The response to terrorism should be as creative and advanced as the threat.  International efforts must be based on the commonality of views and cooperation among all Member States.


Improving the methodology and structure of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was important, and he hoped the Council would adopt a resolution on the matter.  The founders of the Organization might not have foreseen the threat that terrorism presented today.  As the Council deliberated on improving the working methods of the Committee, he hoped the Member States would embrace the proposals.  The Council should uphold the principles of the Charter to ensure cooperation of everyone in overcoming the scourge of terrorism.  The Security Council and the rest of the Organization’s membership must remain partners in eradicating the threat.


JORGE ROMEU (Spain) said he would take the floor to reiterate support for the report presented by Mr. Arias.  The international community could not and should not spare any effort when it came to combating terrorism.  The flexibility, visibility and effectiveness of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the wider United Nations must be enhanced in order to mount a concerted battle against the scourge.


WANG GUANGYA (China) said his country supported the Counter-Terrorism Committee in its coordination and cooperation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations in the fight against terrorism.  It hoped, nonetheless, that the Committee would enhance its technical assistance to States as they attempted to implement resolution 1373 (2001).  China believed that the Committee’s efficiency needed to be improved to address, among other things, the lack of coordination among experts.  He hoped that existing problems would be addressed as soon as possible.


GUNTHER PLEUGER (Germany) said that his country’s internationally recognized contributions to the fight against terrorism were well known.  His delegation supported the Committee’s new work programme as it had always supported its work, and would remain committed to close cooperation with it.  Several weeks ago, Germany had submitted its fourth report under resolution 1373.


Turning to the efforts to improve the Committee’s effectiveness, he said that the reform must be undertaken in an open and consensual atmosphere, in close cooperation with the Secretariat and the General Assembly and with full respect for the United Nations Charter.  In that context, the views expressed by the Secretariat in its letter to the CTC Chairman of 3 March must be carefully analysed and duly taken into account. 


Besides strengthening the Committee’s internal work structures and procedures, he continued, the reform must contribute to further enhancing the Committee’s legitimacy as perceived by Member States.  That also meant including an appropriate human rights perspective by appointing a human rights expert as a staff member of the new support structure.  Most important of all, the CTC should improve its capacity to deepen its continuous dialogue with all Member States on key issues under resolutions 1373 and 1456.  The quality, impartiality and intensity of that dialogue were unprecedented in United Nations history and remained a valuable asset that could be built upon.


In that respect, he repeated a suggestion that his country had made during the last open debate:  CTC experts could, with the help of the enhanced structure, form joint teams with members of specialized international organizations and actively assist countries in key areas, such as in professionalizing their financial control, border protection, weapons control or law enforcement sectors.


HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that his country decisively supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.  He welcomed the Committee’s achievements, including the fact that it had continued to broaden its cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations -– an important aspect of the fight against terrorism. 


As Chairman of the Council’s other anti-terrorism body –- the 1267 Sanctions Committee -- he emphasized the importance of the links between the two Committees.  A recent opportunity for the Committee on Sanctions against Al Qaeda and Taliban and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to strengthen the ties in the fight against terrorism had presented itself when they attended a regional ministerial meeting on counter-terrorism in Bali last February, organized jointly by the Governments of Indonesia and Australia.


The report on the revitalization of the CTC contained concrete proposals to improve the Committee’s structure and procedures, and he supported them, he said.  The document had also adequately addressed the concern of his delegation regarding the obligation of States to ensure that measures they adopted were in compliance with all their obligations under international law, including norms on human rights, refugees and humanitarian law.


Returning to the links between the Al Qaeda and the Taliban Sanctions Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he added that the Chairmen had held regular meetings, and there were contacts between the two bodies’ groups of experts.  Such contacts would continue under resolution 1526, which had been recently adopted by the Council.


He concluded that it would be naive to think that the war against terrorism had been won.  It was important to adapt to the evolving threat, and he hoped that the reorganization of the Committee would help to advance the fight against that scourge.


MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that, for the past 25 years, Pakistan had been a principle victim of terrorism, and, after the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001, it had been at the forefront of the fight against that scourge.  Pakistan believed that that with determination, cooperation and wisdom, the war on terrorism could be fought and won.  Even as the Council met, efforts were under way throughout Pakistan and in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to search out and eradicate the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  Never had the country’s military been deployed in such numbers.  It was important to remember that Pakistan had paid high costs for its efforts, including the loss of life and several recent attacks on the life of its President.


With all that in mind, Pakistan supported the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the proposals to revitalize that important body, he said.  But such efforts should focus on substance rather than form -– on concrete actions to be undertaken by States rather than on reports and documents.  The Committee must be made to address the current and mutating nature of the terrorist threat by also focusing on information-sharing, prevention of terrorist financing, and capacity-building within States to combat terrorism and extremism.


It must also address the root causes of terrorism, which included conflict, poverty, occupation and extremism, he said.  In all its efforts in that regard, the Security Council should create structures that conformed to the tenets of the Charter and respected the guidelines set out by the Secretary-General and the General Assembly.  Pakistan would be prepared to consider the creation of a special body to help the CTC undertake its work.  Such a body should not set a precedent and should exist only for a limited period.  He hoped that discussions on a proposed draft resolution on reform of the CTC would take into account not only the views of the Secretariat, but those of non-Council members who were taking the floor today.


JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France), President of the Council, speaking in his national capacity, said his country believed that the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been playing a central role in monitoring the implementation of 1371 (2001).  At the same time, it must be acknowledged that the Committee should be revitalized and enhanced so that it could fully carry out its duties.  It should be in a stronger position to address measures taken by States to comate terrorism.  It could now no longer merely consider reports in New York.


France supported the proposal for field visits in order to intensify dialogues with States.  It also supported enhanced cooperation with regional and subregional organizations in order to root out terrorists or terrorist networks.  The fight against terrorism required an increased effort on the part of the international community.  It was, therefore, important to give the CTC the tools to discharge the mandate given to it by the Council.  France would work actively to make revitalization and strengthening of the body a reality.


RICHARD RYAN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Iceland and Norway, welcomed the CTC report, including the recommendation to establish a Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.  He said the revitalization report made clear that proposal did not modify resolution 1373 (2001) and that the reform mainly concerned structural issues.  The proposal also had a “sunset” and review clause to prevent the Directorate from becoming a permanent arrangement.


Noting that the Directorate would involve both the Council and the Secretariat, he said such a structure should not set a precedent for other Council bodies, emphasizing that the integrity of the Secretariat and the role of the Secretary-General as chief administrative officer of the Organization must at all times be preserved.  He was gratified to see a provision for direct liaising between the proposed Directorate and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other human rights organizations, and recommended recruitment of a human rights expert, saying “There can be no trade-off between protecting human rights and effective counter-terrorism measures.”


He said the Executive Director, as envisaged, would be responsible for numerous important tasks.  Facilitating the provision of assistance programmes to States in order to further implement resolution 1373 continued to be an essential challenge.  He welcomed recognition of the need to strengthen contacts with States and other bodies of the United Nations system, including the 1267 Committee, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and relevant international, regional and subregional organizations.


V.K. NAMBIAR (India) said that the most important impact of the measures against terrorism had been the growing perception that terrorism could not be condoned or supported as a legitimate activity.  Justifications of support for terrorism on diplomatic, political, religious or any grounds remained untenable.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had been the focal point of international counter-terrorism efforts.  In his own region, the seven member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), at its twelfth Summit in Islamabad in January, had signed the Additional Protocol to the SAARC Regional Convention on Combating Terrorism, which would update the instrument in order to meet the obligations in terms of resolution 1373.  The Islamabad Declaration condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations and recognized that it constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.


Returning to the work of the Committee, he said that it could increase its effectiveness by going beyond building legislative capacity to improving the operational and administrative capabilities and cooperation among States in their counter-terrorism efforts.  India was fully committed, in principle, to any proposal that would enable the CTC to improve its effectiveness.  The Committee’s effective monitoring of Member States’ compliance with the provisions of resolution 1373 was an objective that India had supported since the adoption of the resolution.  At the same time, new systems did require a certain amount of introspection and clear articulation before they were instituted.  Those that could have long-term implications on the functioning of the Council and the United Nations, as well as MemberStates themselves, could not be considered the sole preserve of the Council.


He went on to say that among the questions that came to mind in that respect was the issue of what kind of a precedent was being created by the establishment of an enhanced mechanisms such as the CTED within the Security Council.  Was there sufficient rationale for a separate structure within the Secretariat?  How did the Council propose to ensure the accountability of the Executive Directorate and its institutional accessibility to and appropriate consultation with Member States on their concerns and priorities?  Another question concerned the financial implications of the establishment of the CTED over a period of three years and the need for its consistency with regular budgetary, administrative and financial practices.  Other issues that needed to be considered concerned the recruitment of experts in terms of geographical representation, credentials, objective selection and diversity of background; and avoidance of duplication with other United Nations bodies.


JENO C.A. STAEHELIN (Switzerland) said that the fight against terrorism concerned the entire international community, and it was, therefore, essential that all States should be given an opportunity to express their views.  Switzerland hoped that the same concern for transparency would guide the future work of the Committee, in particular, the discussion of the action plan that the new Executive Director would present on strengthening the role of the Committee.


Regarding the revitalization proposal, he said there should be closer cooperation between the Committee and other international bodies concerned with terrorism.  The CTC’s activities should not duplicate what was being done elsewhere.  Instead, synergies needed to be created both with regional organizations and specialized bodies, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.  As for visits to Member States, he welcomed the fact that clear directives would be adopted.  The Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee and experts from the monitoring team were also carrying out such visits.  It was vital to exploit more effectively the possible synergies between the two Committees.


He said the fight against terrorism could and must be fought without sacrificing respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  It its resolution (document A/RES/58/187), the General Assembly had emphasized respect for human rights and the definition of measures to combat terrorism.  It had also called for a great emphasis on existing instruments and mechanisms in the human rights area.  In that connection, he stressed that in relation to improved possibilities of collecting information by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it was necessary to gather such data in compliance with international rules to protect both the individual and the data.  It was also important to strengthen collaboration between the CTC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  He welcomed the fact that it was one of the proposals before the Council.


As the fight against terrorism and its financing was a long-term task, it was now necessary to think in terms of long-term structures rather than emergency measures, he said.  The re-examination of the structures of the CTC would provide an opportunity to reflect on the more long-term role of the Committee.  The crucial question was whether the fight against terrorism within the framework of the United Nations should continue to be the responsibility of a subsidiary body of the Council.  A possible alternative would be to establish a central office under the authority of the Secretary-General.  In any event, a new formula should be found to enable all States to participate more fully in the current efforts to combat terrorism.


ALEG IVANOU (Belarus) said his country supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, but also recognized that its work could use some improvement and could be enhanced by the proposals set out before the Council today.  Belarus hoped that the creation of a new structure would, among other things, increase that body’s ability to provide technical assistance to States.  For its part, Belarus supported the existing format of the CTC as the body’s overall work was having a positive effect within the country.


Belarus, nevertheless, expected concrete recommendations on how to bring legal systems into conformity with international counter-terrorism measures, he continued.  In meetings such as the one being held today, Belarus had also repeatedly drawn attention to the need to provide assistance to help countries address issues such as the lack of information on terrorist groups and networks, as well as tightening customs, migration and border controls.  Belarus would welcome such assistance in resolving those tasks within the context of previous requests for technical assistance.


YERZHAN KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) said that, along with other nations, his country recognized the leading role of the United Nations in erecting effective and secure anti-terrorism barriers.  And while it was encouraging to note that an overwhelming majority of Member States had acceded or were about to complete accession to the 12 major international conventions against terrorism, it was time to elevate to a new level joint action to develop and enhance international norms and universal arrangements in that area.


He said that, while Kazakhstan strongly supported the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s efforts to pursue open dialogue with Member States and the capacity-building assistance provided to countries, it was important to underscore that the overall effectiveness in combating terrorism would depend to a great extent on further revitalization of the Committee.  It was vital to step up CTC initiatives to provide technical and expert assistance to Member States in order to strengthen their counter-terrorism capacities.


Since modern-day terrorism had easily melded with illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and people, he said, the strengthening of border guards, customs and law enforcement agencies of States located along drug-trafficking routes from Afghanistan had become a top priority for the Central Asian region.  He encouraged the CTC to intensify cooperation with international regional and subregional organizations.  Closer interaction between the Committee and regional groups would go a long way to build on its accomplishments and revitalize its work.


KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) stressed the importance of coordination among existing structures within the Organization, thereby strengthening the United Nations as a whole.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee would be further strengthened, should it succeed in analysing a large body of information with the help of the services of well versed experts.  With their assistance, the Committee would be able to propose common measures by the international community and individual countries.  Since technical support was already provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, however, the Committee should fully coordinate and cooperate with other United Nations bodies to avoid duplication of work.  Under its new structure, the CTC should also continue to facilitate appropriate technical assistance, for example, by sending experts to the countries concerned.


Japan had held a variety of seminars with a view to assisting in capacity-building for counter-terrorism, primarily for Asian countries, in the areas of immigration and export control, transportation security, customs cooperation, police and law enforcement and measures against terrorist financing.  It was also conducting seminars with a view to enhancing crisis-management capacity in the event of terrorist acts involving the use of biological or chemical weapons.  Some 280 officials from various countries had been invited to such seminars during the current fiscal year.


Japan also continued to attach high priority to the need to cut off the sources of funding that made terrorist activities possible and to prevent the outflow of arms to terrorists, he said.  For that purpose, importance should also be attached to the coordination of activities with the Committee established concerning resolution 1267.  Japan had taken measures to freeze the funds and financial assets of well over 400 individuals and entities implicated in terrorist activities.


Regarding the efforts to revitalize the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that Japan supported the recent report on the matter.  However, that did not mean that the expenditures for that purpose could be allowed to grow without restraint.  As pointed out in the report, all measures taken, including reinforcement of the CTC structure, “should not increase in a disproportionate way the budget and resources already allocated to the CTC”.  He also welcomed the inclusion in the proposal of a sunset clause terminating the new structure on 31 December 2007.  The CTC was now well into its third year of work, and the time had come to verify once more whether the anti-terrorism measures were functioning effectively.  Actual work conducted by the CTC should be reviewed continuously and seriously with a view to verifying whether it was fulfilling its goals effectively.


VALERIY KUCHYNSKY (Ukraine) praised the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work in combating terrorism.  Expressing appreciation for its reform efforts, as well, he agreed that its support staff should be reorganized within the existing United Nations structure, that an Executive Directorate should be established and that technical assistance should be facilitated for those countries that required it.


He said that the scope of technical assistance, however, should be extended to cover various activities related to counter-terrorism.  In particular, he urged assistance in securing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, where nuclear waste and contaminated materials were vulnerable to removal by potential terrorists.


In addition, he emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Committee and regional and subregional organizations.  He also stressed the importance of combating money laundering, noting that Ukraine had recently been removed from the Financial Action Task Force list of Non-Cooperating Countries and Territories, due to its efforts in that area.  He concluded by hoping that the Council followed the recommendations of the CTC report.


Speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Group, MARIAN HOBBS, New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, said that no State was immune from acts of terrorism.  The threat of terrorism had increasingly assumed an international character, including the frightening prospect of terrorists obtaining access to weapons of mass destruction -- an issue that would be considered tomorrow at a seminar on weapons of mass destruction and the United Nations, organized by the InternationalPeaceAcademy with her Government’s support.


Action against terrorism was required at the national, regional and international levels, she continued.  Therefore, the Forum supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee established under resolution 1373, which brought a significant new element to the existing multilateral counter-terrorism framework.  The objectives of the resolution required full and meaningful implementation of all its requirements.  That, in turn, required the Committee to take a proactive role in consultation with Member States in evaluating the implementation of the resolution, focused and directed at increasing and improving the capacity of States in the fight against terrorism.  She welcomed the Council’s analysis of the work done so far and the road that lay ahead, as well as its determination to see the Committee take a clear and pragmatic direction in its future work.  The clarification of the roles of the Council, the CTC and the new Executive Directorate should be useful in that regard.


As a group made up of primarily developing States, including many small island States, the Forum placed particular emphasis on capacity-building, she said, welcoming the report’s renewed focus on strengthening direct dialogue with States and relevant organizations.  The task of the new Assessment and Technical Assistance Office in following up on the technical assistance needs of Member States would be particularly important.  Continued efforts at the regional and subregional levels would remain critical to translating the terms of resolution 1373 into effective action.  Within the Pacific Islands Forum, with the assistance of its secretariat and regional donor partners, work was ongoing to ensure a robust and consistent framework of anti-terrorism measures across the region.  A Pacific Round Table on Counter-Terrorism would be held in Wellington, New Zealand, in early May to further that goal.


MARTIN CHUNGONG AYAFOR (Cameroon) said terrorism was unjustifiable and unacceptable, and the fight against that scourge should never let up.  To that end, the CTC’s record had been, broadly speaking, a positive one.  It had reviewed a record number of reports, had established global guidelines on the threat posed by terrorism, and had created a true counter-terrorism information centre.  Those efforts must continue, and the various problems encountered by States in implementing resolution 1373 (2001) must be addressed.


Addressing some legal concerns, he noted that the international counter-terrorism instruments tended to be sectoral, which allowed for gaps in coverage.  There was also the question of strengthening the capacities of States such as his so that they could more effectively combat terrorism.  Owing to a lack of such capacity, legal, technical and logistical gaps existed, which could, at any time, be exploited by terrorists.  He had been pleased to see that the CTC and the Council were still considering the notion of creating an international fund to provide support for developing countries in that regard.


It was also important to ensure that legal instruments and efforts were fully implemented, he said.  Establishment within the CTC of an Executive Directorate would give that body a true mechanism to monitor and review its work.  Within that body, an assessment office would liaise with Secretariat and relevant human rights agencies to address the concerns of many Members.


ORLANDO REQUEIJO GUAL (Cuba) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee could be more effective in its work.  Unilateral acts of any State under the pretext of fighting terrorism were unacceptable and warranted condemnation.  Unilateral acts of war, aggression or revenge would only engender more violence.  Nor would there be progress if laws were promulgated that allowed extrajudicial arrests and prosecution of foreign citizens, if civil rights and humanitarian law were violated.  It was necessary to carry out the international struggle against all forms of terrorism with the participation of developing countries as equals.


Cuba had been one of the first three countries to ratify the 12 conventions against terrorism, he continued.  In December 2001, it had adopted laws against acts of terrorism.  Additional non-legislative measures had also been taken and three exhaustive reports had been submitted to the CTC.  Cuba had never allowed its territory to be used as a base for terrorist acts against any State.  It had never carried out, financed, or tolerated terrorist acts, even in self-defence.


However, terrorist mafia in Miami had been organizing and carrying out with impunity terrorist acts against his country from United States territory, he said.  For example, on 15 March, a trial would start in Panama against four terrorists of Cuban origin who -- based in the United States -- in total impunity, had planned an attack on Cuban President.  The Cuban people hoped that justice would prevail in that case.


Cuba flatly rejected inflammatory statements by the United States’ officials, who had referred to the alleged plans of Cuba to develop weapons of mass destruction, he continued.  By those statements, the United States was trying to step up its policy of aggression against Cuba.  He also objected to the placement of his country on the list of countries which supported terrorism.  Cuba was prepared to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.  It had presented to the United States drafts for three bilateral cooperation agreements, which that country had refused to even consider.


One should not condemn some terrorist acts, while being silent about others, he stressed.  Terrorist acts against Cuba must stop. Cuba had provided information to the CTC and had condemned violations committed in the proclaimed struggle against terrorism.  His country had presented evidence of terrorist activities against Cuba in flagrant violation of resolution 1373.  He wanted to know what the Council was planning to do in that respect.


KIM SAM-HOON (Republic of Korea) said that delegation fully concurred with the need for the CTC’s revitalization to strengthen the international legal framework and establish benchmarks for States.  In that context, his country had recently ratified the international conventions on the suppression of terrorist bombing and of financing terrorism, respectively.  The Republic of Korea was now a party to all 12 terrorism-related conventions and protocols.


Recognizing the potential for regional efforts to supplement and reinforce international efforts in the fight against terrorism, he said his country also believed that the CTC should be revitalized in a way that would enhance cooperation and coordination at the international, regional and subregional levels.  The Republic of Korea also supported the proposed new structure of the CTC, which would include a plenary, a bureau and executive directorate.  Finally, he stressed that the facilitation of technical assistance should remain one of the key objectives of a revitalized CTC.


Opening the afternoon meeting, AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said that his country remained in the avant-garde of countries that had called for a unified fight against terrorism without targeting any particular culture, and was totally committed to following up on its cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee.  While supporting the actions of the Security Council, he stressed that the General Assembly also had an important role to play in politics, legal systems and social and economic realms. Integrated and unified strategies were needed to coordinate the work of the two bodies.


In making the CTC more effective, he said that an important area was technical assistance to countries which have had problems in complying with their obligations.  Proposals regarding reform of the CTC must also follow the proper processes.


CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that it was important that the proposed reform would not alter resolution 1373.  On the other hand, the new model would replace the previous ad hoc character of the group of experts with another ad hoc structure involving the institutional balance within the United Nations.  He expressed confidence that future reviews of the reform would address that question.


He welcomed the intention to increase the CTC’s ability to coordinate technical assistance.  The strictly consensual nature of technical assistance needed, however, to be underlined as did the role of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as the prime United Nations body for delivery of such technical assistance.


He stressed that in implementing the reform measures, the CTC should work within human rights parameters and the rule of law.  For that purpose, it was crucial that the staff of the Assessment and Technical Assistance Office possess the necessary qualifications in that area and that the liaison with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights be put into practice.  Such concerns should be reflected in the forthcoming resolution.  Finally, he wished the new CTC success.


CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, reiterated the Group’s support for the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, saying that in the less than three years since its establishment, the Committee had achieved unprecedented success in implementing resolution 1373.  The struggle against terrorism encompassed all the organs and agencies of the system, including the General Assembly and the Vienna Office on Drugs and Crime.  Important initiatives had been taken at the regional level.  The Organization of American States, for example, was directing its efforts at improving coordination of national anti-terrorism focal points and training of relevant national officials.  International action should be uniform and coordinated at every level.  The fight against terrorism could not affect the importance of other priorities of the Organization, including the socio-economic development goals and protection of human rights.


The measures designed to facilitate the work of the CTC, including the establishment of the new structure, were important.  Supporting the plans to institutionalize the links between the Committee and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant bodies, he said that the next step should be to add to the Committee an expert to deal exclusively with human rights matters. 


Of course, the fundamental role of the Committee was technical assistance, and that essential function should improve and expand, he said.  The reform was an appropriate opportunity to adopt proper measures to address the gaps that existed in that respect.  Supporting the creation of the Executive Directorate, he said that creation of structures within the Secretariat warranted particular attention.  In order to ensure transparency and legitimacy of the initiative, it was necessary to respect the provisions of the Charter in appointing staff to the new structures.


ENRIQUE BERRUGA (Mexico) supported the statement made by Argentina on behalf of the Rio Group.  Fighting terrorism required international cooperation in the widest sense, and he was pleased that the proposals for reform of the Committee proposed strengthening international cooperation and technical assistance.  He was also pleased at the measures to ensure that the fight against terrorism was conducted in cognizance of human rights. 


He stressed that experts in human rights and small arms and light weapons should be placed in the technical assistance section.  In addition, appointment of staff and experts should take into account regional representation, and budgetary aspects of revitalization should be transparent.  It should finally be considered whether the CTC processes should fall under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.


DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) said that since the Council’s debate on the threat of terrorist acts last October, Israel had witnessed the murder of 57 Israelis and the injury of 224 in a continuous onslaught of terrorist attacks.  Homicide bombings had orphaned the country’s children and widowed its wives.  What Israel faced today in its most potent and sustained form had shown itself to be nothing less than the First World War of the twenty-first century.


Steadfast political will would constitute a potent instrument of power ensuring a united front of international counter-terrorism cooperation, he continued, based on two essential components:  the adoption of a zero-tolerance attitude towards terrorism in all its forms and the elimination of safe havens and a support infrastructure for terrorists by any government.  The States that continued to harbour terrorists and abet their activity must be named and shamed.


Said he saw as a troubling contradiction in the letter and spirit of resolution 1373 and the ability of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to take the necessary actions to implement its objectives.  While the resolution had been adopted unanimously under Chapter VII of the Charter, it seemed that its implementation depended upon the consensus support of the members of the CTC.  That stipulation could present a serious obstacle to the current direction of the Committee’s work.  Decisions should be taken by the majority (relative or absolute) and not by consensus, for the requirement of consensus vote could impede crucial actions by the Committee.


It was in that spirit that Israel continued to support the ongoing efforts to strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation and the work of the CTC, he said.  His delegation agreed with the current direction of the Committee’s work, which sought to move from formulating guidelines to practical implementation with a view to attaining tangible results on the ground.  The existing agenda -– gleaned from the landmark Security Council resolution 1373 –- already rested on critical pillars, which included enhanced capacity-building and the pooling of resources, implementing national legislation, information exchange and combating terrorist financing.  On the latter, he drew attention to the comment in the CTC’s report regardubg the use by terrorists of “certain non-profit associations”.  He hoped that Member States would act on those words.


He concluded that there was a continuing need to update the international counter-terrorism agenda to deal with emerging threats.  Among the items that deserved increased attention, he listed blocking the financing of terrorism, suicide terrorism, use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists and the nurturing of a culture of violence and hatred.


DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa) said his delegation was encouraged by the efforts to make CTC more proactive in facilitating the provision of technical assistance to Member States and promoting cooperation with relevant international organizations.  At the same time, it would be important for the Council to acknowledge the great lengths that many governments had gone to in bringing their national legislation in line with the requirements of the Council.  Those factors should be taken into account when considering any counter-terrorism measures.  The long-term sustainability of the effort against terrorism would also depend on the Security Council taking into account the differing capacities of Member States.  It was necessary to avoid placing unachievable administrative, technical and financial burdens on countries.


South Africa supported the CTC’s practice of adopting decisions by consensus and promoting cooperation and dialogue between sovereign and equal Member States, he continued.  One of the challenges was to offer cost-effective and financially transparent service to the Council and MemberStates as they sought to implement resolution 1373.  The proposal to create one centralized structure for the expert and secretariat support staff -– the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate -- could help to address that challenge.  Any decision on that matter should, however, be in accordance with the Charter and the financial rules and regulations of the United Nations.  In that connection, he noted that the CTC anticipated that the establishment of the new structure should not increase the budget and resources already generously allocated to the CTC in a way that would be detrimental to the other priority programmes and initiatives of the Organization.


His country was concerned about perceptions reflected in unsubstantiated statements or advisories by other governments and the media regarding the potential of terrorist activities in third countries, he said.  Such actions could not only negatively impact on a country’s standing, but on its security situation, as well.  There was a danger that terrorists and terrorist organizations might either exploit such statements or advisories or view them as indications of opportunities to conduct terrorist activities.  States should desist from issuing general warnings and other statements, including travel advisories about unsubstantiated threats of terrorism in other countries.  In instances where States obtained information about potential terrorist activities, they should alert the governments of the countries involved.


His Government had made significant progress in further refining and improving its national counter-terrorism capabilities, and related legislation was currently before the Parliament.  However, the country was well aware that terrorism was a complex global phenomenon that could often be linked with other forms of organized international crime, which could only be addressed effectively through sustained international cooperation, including in the field of intelligence sharing, police action and technical assistance.  Such a comprehensive approach necessitated understanding the root causes of terrorism, including the need to resolve conflicts in all parts of the globe and a joint commitment by the international community to eradicate poverty and under-development.


FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) expressed satisfaction that the report on the revitalization of the Counter-Terrorism Committee included many suggestions contributed by his country.  He stressed the importance of maintaining the legal framework of the Committee within resolution 1373.  Reform should be considered in that light, in line with the United Nations Charter, as well as financial considerations and the medium-term plan.


Syria, he said, was committed to the fight against terrorism and eradication of its root causes.  It renewed its readiness to work with the CTC.  He added that any party that kills innocents and destroys the roofs over the heads of children carries out terrorism.  In addition, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction must be fought in tandem.  Early in the year, Syria had submitted a draft for a Middle East zone free of such weapons, on behalf of the Arab Group.  He hoped the draft would come before the Council and be adopted as soon as possible.


BRUNO STAGNO UGARTE (Costa Rica) supported the statement made by Argentina on behalf of the Rio Group.  He welcomed the efforts by the Council to revitalize the work of the CTC.  The Committee must take into account the proposals to make its work more effective.


He stressed that both technical and operational assistance should be provided simultaneously to States that required them.  It would also be desirable for the Committee to work with existing standards in various States when requiring certain types of reporting.  Human rights, finally, should be a cornerstone of the fight against terrorism.


On the establishment of a Directorate, he said it should be a temporary measure, pending a permanent body for fighting terrorism within the United Nations, such as a United Nations High Commission against Terrorism which could report to both the Security Council and the General Assembly.


REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia) said that the current challenges faced by the CTC in implementing its mandate had to be addressed comprehensively.  The proposal for the establishment of a Directorate and the appointment of its Executive Director need to be considered in the context of strengthening the effectiveness of the Committee in combating terrorism, along with any additional burdens on the United Nations budget.


He appreciated the report’s statement that no such budgetary burden would ensue and that the reforms would be subject to review by December 2004, with a sunset clause set for December 2007.  In view of those provisions, he endorsed the proposed revitalization in principle.  He stressed that terrorism was the problem of every nation and would be best fought through employment of a comprehensive approach that addressed its root causes.


ALLAN ROCK (Canada) said that, while his delegation appreciated the progress the Counter-Terrorism Committee had made during the past two-and-a-half years, it was, nonetheless, concerned about the sustainability, effectiveness and continued relevance of that body to fight against terrorism.  Canada agreed, therefore, that revitalization was necessary and would urge the Council and the Committee to take the necessary measures to move beyond assessments to action so that gaps identified could be filled, and required follow-up activities could get under way.


Some of those measures related to the structure of the Committee, he continued, noting that the concept of creating an Executive Directorate within the CTC was a worthy consideration and might provide critical expert support to its Chairman, as well as continuity when that post changed hands.  Measures that streamline decision-making, facilitate communication and enhance flexibility should be welcomed.  As in any bureaucracy, the Council needed to ensure that people with the appropriate expertise were hired and retained.  That meant job packages with benefits and clear and equitable work terms that would attract the right people for the job.


In all this, Canada hoped that the Committee’s restructuring would not disproportionately increase the budget and resources that had already been allocated to it, but rather facilitate a more effective use of those resources.  He said that making the CTC more action-oriented could be accomplished by further enhancing its joint activities and interactions with other organizations and relevant United Nations bodies.  Canada would particularly welcome the CTC’s greater interaction with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights.  Also, the CTC should do more to ensure that it was the central clearing house for the many needs assessments, evaluation mechanisms and counter-terrorism action plans that were being conducted in regional and functional organizations.


In his concluding remarks, Mr. ARIAS (Spain), CTC Chairman, warmly thanked all the speakers who had supported the Committee’s report and stressed the absolute necessity of the reform.  He was firmly convinced that, without serious revitalization, the Committee ran the risk of becoming ineffective.  The reform would not modify the philosophy and substance of resolution 1373.


He said the goals were to enhance technical assistance and increase the effectiveness and visibility of the Committee, adding that the new unit would be temporary in nature.  The revitalization would help to avoid duplication of effort, and it was not expected to become an economic burden to Member States.  Revitalization would be carried out with respect to the Charter of the United Nations. 


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For information media. Not an official record.