SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT INVITES COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE TO ACCELERATE WORK ON ASSESSING ASSISTANCE NEEDS OF MEMBER STATES
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT INVITES COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE TO ACCELERATE WORK ON ASSESSING ASSISTANCE NEEDS OF MEMBER STATES
5006th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT INVITES COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE
TO ACCELERATE WORK ON ASSESSING ASSISTANCE NEEDS OF MEMBER STATES
Chair of Committee Briefs Council, with Focus on Revitalization Measures
The Security Council invited its Counter-Terrorism Committee today to accelerate its work on country assessments of assistance needs that could be shared with interested donor States and organizations, according to a presidential statement read out at the close of today’s meeting.
In the statement read out by its President, Mihnea Motoc (Romania), the Council welcomed the Committee’s initiation of preparations for its first visit to a Member State in order to enhance its monitoring of implementation of Council resolution 1373 (2001), focusing, in particular, on the assistance that might be available to address States’ needs.
The Council noted that, as of 30 June 2004, 71 States had not met the deadline set for submission of their respective reports to the Committee, as set out in resolution 1373 (2001). It called on them to do so urgently, in order to maintain the universality of response required by that resolution. The Council also invited the Committee to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for its twelfth 90-day period (document S/2004541), focusing on practical measures to implement resolution 1535 (2004) on the Committee’s revitalization, including by considering the organizational plan for the newly established Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.
According to the statement, the Council noted the importance of continuing the Committee’s efforts to increase the capabilities of Member States to combat terrorism; to identify and address their problems in implementing resolution 1373 (2001) to facilitate the provision of technical assistance adjusted to the countries’ needs; to encourage the largest possible number of States to become parties to the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism; and to strengthen its dialogue and cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations acting in the areas outlined in resolution 1373 (2001).
Before adopting the presidential statement, the Council heard a briefing by Alexander Konuzin (Russian Federation), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, who presented the twelfth work programme for the Committee’s next 90-day period, July to September 2004, saying that by 30 June the Committee had received 515 reports from MemberStates and others. They included 160 second reports from Member States and two from others, 116 third reports from Member States and 40 fourth reports from Member States. Nevertheless, by 30 June, 71 States had not met the submission deadline.
The Committee’s main task for the twelfth 90-day period was the implementation of resolution 1535 (2004), he said. On 29 June, Ambassador Javier Ruperez (Spain) had taken office as Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and was expected to submit an organizational plan in the next 30 days. He had also started consultations on the plan with members of the Committee, which expected to consider the draft in late July.
He said the Committee intended to begin preparations for the Committee’s first visit to a Member State, a mission that would be essential in creating a climate of cooperation and for providing technical assistance based on more accurate assessments of the country’s needs. The Committee intended to invite representatives of the appropriate international organizations to join the mission. That kind of monitoring mission would be instrumental in providing direct assistance adjusted to identified needs.
The development of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations would remain one of the Committee’s priorities, he stressed. The League of Arab States had proposed to host the Committee’s next meeting with international organizations in Cairo later this year, and the Committee had accepted that proposal and planned to start preparations for the meeting, to be held in November-December 2004. It would be open to all United Nations Member States for participation as observers.
In the ensuing open debate the Council heard statements by representatives of the United States, Chile, Philippines, Germany, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Spain, China, Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Romania, Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Syria, Liechtenstein. Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Côte d’Ivoire, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
The meeting convened at 10:54 a.m. and adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Following is the full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/26:
“The Security Council welcomes the briefing by the Chairman of the CTC on the work of the Committee.
“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and whomsoever committed.
“The Security Council recalls the statement by its President on 16 October 2003 (S/PRST/2003/17) and the resolution 1535 (2004), which indicated the Council’s intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC.
“The Security Council expresses its appreciation for Ambassador Inocencio Arias (Spain) activity as Chairman of the CTC and also expresses its confidence that the new Chairman, supported by the new Bureau of the Committee will continue the effective coordination of the CTC in the global fight against terrorism under the aegis of the United Nations, by monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
“The Security Council invites the CTC to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for the CTC’s twelfth 90-day period (S/2004/541) focusing on practical measures to implement resolution 1535 (2004) on the revitalization of the Committee, including by considering the organizational plan for the newly established Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.
“The Security Council notes the importance of continuing the CTC’s efforts aimed at increasing the capabilities of Member States to combat terrorism; to identify and address the problems faced by States in implementing resolution 1373 (2001); to facilitate the provision of technical assistance adjusted to the countries’ needs; to encourage the largest possible number of States to become parties to the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism, and to strengthen its dialogue and cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations acting in the areas outlined by resolution 1373 (2001).
“The Security Council invites the CTC to accelerate its work on country assessments of assistance needs that can be shared with interested donor States and organizations and welcomes the initiation of preparations for the first visit by the CTC to a Member State with its consent in order to enhance the monitoring of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), focusing in particular on the assistance that might be available to address States’ needs.
“The Security Council notes that, as of 30 June 2004, 71 States had not met the deadline for submission of their respective reports to the CTC as set out in resolution 1373 (2001). It calls on them urgently to do so, in order to maintain the universality of response which resolution 1373 (2001) requires.
“The Security Council invites the CTC to continue reporting on its activities at regular intervals and expresses its intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC in October 2004.”
The Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts and to hear a briefing by the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Briefing by Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairman
ALEXANDER KONUZIN (Russian Federation) noted that he had assumed the Counter-Terrorism Committee Chair at the end of May succeeding Ambassador Inocencio Arias (Spain). Meanwhile, Ambassador Javier Ruperez (Spain) had been appointed to head the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and had already started practical planning work aimed at consolidating the new structure.
He recalled that the adoption of Council resolution 1535 (2004) on 26 March marked the start of an important revitalization process. Since that time, the major challenge before the Committee had become the maintenance of an effective balance between reform efforts and short-term activities. During the new stage of its work, the Committee continued to monitor implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) relying on reports submitted by States in response to letters addressed to them by the Committee.
During thee transitional period, the Committee had not been able to avoid a slowdown in the review of the reports, he said. Of 65 reports planned for review from 1 April to 30 June 2004, only 25 had actually been completed. Nevertheless, the Committee had taken all possible measures to accelerate the process. At the same time, the Committee had detected that the approach to its work needed to be changed by integrating the analysis of the country assessments of assistance needs into the review process as one of its major elements. That task had been highlighted at the previous Committee’s eleventh work programme, but practical work had not begun until last month.
He said that encouraging States to become parties to the relevant conventions and protocols related to terrorism and to implement their provisions in national legislation had remained one of the priorities of the Committee’s work. Through its efforts, the number of States joining international conventions had increased, thereby making an important contribution to the strengthening of the international legal basis for the fight against terrorism.
In the area of technical assistance, the Committee had pursued its work with Member States in order to develop an approach better adjusted to their needs, he said. It had also continued to develop the Directory of Counter-Terrorism Information and Sources of Assistance as an information tool on best practices, model laws and assistance programmes. At the same time, the Directory alone could not properly meet the new requirements. The Committee intended to assume a more active role in coordinating the provision of technical assistance, particularly through the new format of direct dialogue with Member States, both in New York and in capitals, and information exchange with the donor community.
With regard to transparency, he said the Committee had resumed the practice of regular briefings by the Chairman for interested delegations, more than 50 of which had attended a briefing on the Committee’s current activities on 2 July. At the same time, it must be recognized that the Committee web page had not been updated regularly. Furthermore, practice had proven that the Committee’s outreach efforts were inadequate to its tasks at the current stage of revitalization. That lack of public awareness of the Committee’s activity may have led to some misperceptions of its work, adding to the problems of communication and practical cooperation with Member States.
The Committee had continued to develop cooperation and coordination with international, regional and subregional organizations, he said. During the eleventh 90-day period, its experts had participated in many international conferences and seminars on different aspects of counter-terrorism. Briefings to the Committee by some international organizations and structures (the European Union, the Anti-Terrorist Centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States) had provided it with very important information on their experience of and approach to international cooperation against terrorism.
Presenting the general features of the twelfth report, covering July to September 2004, he said that by 30 June the Committee had received 515 reports from MemberStates and others. They included 160 second reports from Member States and two from others, 116 third reports from Member States and 40 fourth reports from Member States. Nevertheless, by 30 June, 71 States had not met the deadline for submission of their respective reports. The Committee’s main task for the twelfth 90-day period was the implementation of resolution 1535 (2004). On 29 June, Ambassador Ruperez had taken office and, in the next 30 days, was expected to submit to the Committee an organizational plan for the Executive Directorate. He had started consultation with members of the Committee on the draft plan, and the Committee expected to consider the draft in late July.
He said the Committee would pursue closer coordination with United Nations structures dealing with the various aspects of the fight against terrorism. First of all, it planned to strengthen its cooperation with Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban. With regard to technical assistance, the Committee would continue to work on country assessments of assistance needs, bearing in mind the need to create an effective mechanism for sharing non-classified information with potential donors. The Committee intended to cooperate with the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) of the Group of 8 (G-8) industrialized nations, which would open the way for the most effective use of the resources of the donor community.
As provided for in resolution 1535 (2004), he said, the Committee intended to begin preparations for the Committee’s first visit to a Member State, subject to its consent, in order to engage in direct dialogue with its authorities as part of monitoring the effective implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Such a mission would be essential for the purposes of creating a climate of cooperation and providing technical assistance based on more accurate assessments of the country’s needs. The Committee intended to invite representatives of the appropriate international organizations to join the mission. That kind of monitoring mission would be instrumental in providing direct assistance adjusted to identified needs.
He said that the development of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations would remain one of the Committee’s priorities. The League of Arab States had made a proposal to host the Committee’s next meeting with international organizations in Cairo later this year. The Committee had accepted that proposal. Following the approach agreed by the Committee and the procedures followed in previous such meetings, the Committee planned to start preparations for that meeting, to be held in November-December 2004. It would be open to all United Nations Member States for participants as observers.
JOHN DANFORTH (United States) said the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was a watershed moment in the Council’s effort to address the most serious threat to international peace and security: terrorism. It would require a team effort to defeat the scourge, and the Committee had proved a valuable member of that team, particularly through its capacity-building efforts. Those efforts had energized States around the world to make the fight against terrorism a priority, particularly through the adoption of existing or new laws and treaties. Because of those and other efforts, more countries had joined the counter-terrorism team. But, more work needed to be done. While more States were joining the 12 treaties, many had not yet done so, and that weakened international solidarity.
He said that compliance with resolution 1373 required much more than the completion and submission of reports. It required that countries take operational and regulatory steps. The Committee needed to do a better job of promoting that point in New York and elsewhere. Simply put, the terrorist and their supporters continued to strike. Terrorism had not been defeated, which raised the spectre of further attacks on civilians and further threats to international peace and security.
The Council must work to ensure that the Executive Directorate became operational as soon as possible. That panel must be more proactive and reach out to States to ensure that more of them became part of the counter-terrorism team. It was also essential to find ways to move beyond the current focus on written reports, which was essential if it hoped to gather enough information to see which States had gone beyond just signing treaties and approving resolutions. The Council must remain at the forefront of the global campaign to rid the world of terrorism. The international community and the Council must act as if the tragic events of 11 September 2001 in New York and 11 March 2004 in Spain had just occurred, rather than years and months ago. The Council must be prepared to live up to its responsibility under the Charter to ensure international peace and security.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee had entered into a new phase, and the Council had supported the panel’s efforts at revitalization. He welcomed the Executive Director’s briefing, as well as plans to enhance cooperation between the Directorate and the Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Chile chaired that 1267 Committee and looked forward to even more cooperation, particularly in the area of information-sharing.
He said combating terrorism involved dedication and perseverance, along with coordination and pooling of resources. But, terrorism was still a major threat, which was made clear as new attacks occurred at an increasing rate. The Council must remain at the forefront of the international effort to combat that scourge, but that fight also required cooperation with Member States. In that regard, he would urge that all States ratify international ant-terrorism treaties as soon as possible and effect legislation to ensure that the principles and tenets of the instruments were fully implemented.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said that the report by the Chairman of the Committee had stated that 71 Member States had not met the deadline for submission of their country reports. That was a matter of concern, which the Security Council must examine as part of a possible larger problem. It must ask why those countries had failed to submit their reports on time and solve any existing problem.
Regarding the Committee’s plan to visit Member States, he welcomed the opportunity for a more direct dialogue, noting that some countries might have issues with the legitimacy of the Committee’s mandate. There was also a need to engage a human concern for issues relating to global terrorism. It was hoped that the Committee and the new Directorate would incorporate a human rights dimension into their efforts.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) said he would always be guided by the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s key objective, namely, to enhance the ongoing dialogue with all United Nations Member States in the spirit of cooperation, transparency and even-handedness. Besides improving the Committee’s operative structures, the ongoing revitalization must preserve and further strengthen its legitimacy. He looked forward to seeing an expert on human rights and the rule of law included in the senior staff of the Executive Directorate. That body would also offer increased possibilities to further intensify the Committee’s cooperation and coordination with others in the United Nations system, particularly the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee. The important steps already taken by the two Committees, both by the two chairmen and the present expert teams, deserved the Council’s full recognition.
AIZAZ AHMAD CHAUDHRY (Pakistan) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee was going through a transition phase, and he urged the panel to keep a proper balance between its emerging duties and its focus on reporting. While emphasizing the timely submission of reports, the panel should also consider matters such as reporting fatigue and capacity-building on report-completion efforts. Pakistan would also welcome more coordination between the Committee, the Executive Directorate and the United Nations other counter-terrorism bodies. It would urge the Committee to improve its information and communication efforts to ensure that its work was fully understood by the wider international community.
JULIAN KING (United Kingdom) said that terrorism was as acute today as it had ever been. Terrorists were united in their disdain for humanity and the rule of law. So, the international community must be united in its efforts to combat and prevent the scourge. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had done much, particularly through its capacity-building efforts. It had, among other things, made States accountable for their counter-terrorism efforts and had actively worked to assist them in those efforts.
But more needed to be done, he continued. The revitalization of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Directorate should be exploited to ensure that its effectiveness and efficiency was taken to a new level. The Committee should increase its cooperation and contacts with the wider United Nations, particularly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
He said the Counter-Terrorism Committee should look at the possibility of regional reporting so that some smaller States should focus on implementation, rather than reporting requirements. At the same time, a key issue for the next period would be finding innovative was to deal with those countries that had not reported or were late in their reporting.
JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) expressed the hope that that under its efficient leadership, the Committee would be able to accomplish the work expected of it. Spain also expressed its full support for Ambassador Ruperez as the new head of the new Executive Directorate. Spain attached extreme importance to the Security Council briefings on counter-terrorism, as they provided a forum for non-Council members to convey their feelings in that forum.
Endorsing the statement to be made by the representative of the Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, he called for the strengthening of the Committee’s role so that the Council could show its specific support for the fight against terrorism. The Committee’s efforts to promote its cooperation with international, regional and subregional bodies were in accordance with the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Spain had promoted a process of revitalization whose main result had been the establishment of the Executive Directorate.
WANG GUANGYE (China) said his country supported the reform of the Committee. China hoped that its proposed field visit to a MemberState would ease the burden of reporting, allowing more Member States to submit their country reports in a timely manner. The organization of the planned meeting with the Committee by the League of Arab States would be a sign by that organization of the resolve of the Arab nations to demonstrate their understanding that terrorism was a threat to all States and regions.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said he hoped the Counter-Terrorism Committee would be able to adopt the Executive Directorate’s organizational plan as soon as possible. Algeria also hoped for the panel’s enhanced cooperation with the Taliban Sanctions Committee. It also welcomed the upcoming first country visit by the Counter-Terrorism Committee and urged the panel to set clear priorities and preparations. He urged those countries that had not reported to the Committee to do so as soon as possible and urged the Committee to consider ways to assist those countries lagging behind. He welcomed the offer of the League of Arab States to host the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) later this year.
ISMAEL ABRAAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said the Executive Directorate would be a central part of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s ongoing revitalization. That revitalization was aimed at cementing the United Nations efforts and objectives to combat terrorism. It was also aimed at showing that the wider international community was committed to adapting to the ever-changing terrorism terrain. Angola also hoped that the Executive Directorate would go further in promoting closer coordination with regional and subregional organizations.
He went on to say that Angola welcomed the Committee’s efforts to enhance cooperation with donor countries, as well as its efforts to better adjust technical assistance efforts to address real needs at the country-level. That fact that the countries that were lagging behind in their reporting were overwhelmingly developing nations was a clear demonstration of the urgent need to provide technical assistances to those countries, which were also the most vulnerable to terrorists. Angola welcomed the innovative initiatives under way in the Committee to help with technical assistance, capacity-building and the upgrade of anti-terrorist measures. He said that the presidential statement that the Council would adopt at the end of today’s meeting squarely captured the tasks ahead for the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Executive Directorate.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil), noting that his delegation was a member of the Committee’s Bureau, welcomed the appointment of Ambassador Ruperez to head the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.
He said that until now the Committee’s potential for cooperation with Member States had been underused, mainly because of the lack of a stronger feedback mechanism. If the Committee’s work was to be carried out within the limits of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1535 (2004), Member States must have a sense of ownership over its work and a sense of belonging that was presently lacking.
Council President MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania), speaking in his national capacity and aligning himself with the European Union, said that following the adoption of resolution 1535 (2004), the Committee had entered a transitional phase that would end when the Executive Directorate became fully operational. As the Committee’s ability to monitor 1373 (2001) remained an essential prerequisite to effectively combating terrorism, Romania was deeply concerned that many States were still facing significant difficulties in fully implementing that resolution.
One relevant indicator in that respect was the continuously increasing number of States that were late in submitting their reports, he said. It was for that reason that addressing countries’ assistance needs, including through a more practical oriented dialogue with both the donor community and the interested States, should be one of the Committee’s top priorities.
DIRK JAN DEN BERG (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that his delegation considered the respect for human rights and the rule of law to be fundamental for fighting terrorism, and the Union hoped to see a human rights expert included in the Directorate when the organizational plan was submitted. It also welcomed the strengthening of further cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and hoped that such cooperation would extend to other parts of the United Nations system involved in counter-terrorism activities, particularly the Office on Drugs and Crime.
He said the Union called on all States that had not submitted their reports on time to do so as soon as possible; with 71 reports outstanding, one third of the membership was lagging behind. He went on to encourage the Executive Directorate to enhance its dialogue with Member States, with a view to approaching the common goal of the full implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). His delegation was squarely behind those efforts and had appointed a European Union counter-terrorism coordinator. Combating the scourge was now fully integrated into the external relations policy of the Union and was a key element of its political dialogue with other States. The Union placed particular emphasis on the speedy ratification of international anti-terrorism conventions and treaties.
The Union applauded the new energy the Committee was willing to put into the effort of making and promoting universal relevant conventions and protocols, particularly on non-proliferation and arms control. The Union understood that the Committee was in transition, which had led to a slowdown in its review of reports. It hoped that with an extended staff, among other thing, the panel’s work could begin to accelerate. The Union would welcome a more proactive Counter-Terrorism Committee in the field of technical assistance, as well as more dialogue and direct exchange with States in need of assistance, as well as the donor community.
He commended the fact that the League of Arab States had offered to co-host with the Committee the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations on implementation of resolution 1373 in Cairo later this year. He added that the Union’s presidency was planning to organize on 22 September in Brussels a meting on ways to combat the financing of terrorism. That meeting would concentrate on issues such as alternative remittance, money laundering and regional implementation of 1373.
MILAD ATIEH (Syria) commended the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s efforts during the previous reporting period and welcomed the panel’s capacity-building work, as well as it efforts at ensuring transparency and promoting dialogue with Member States and other organs of the United Nations and regional bodies. Syria welcomed the establishment of the Executive Directorate and hoped that Member States would be given the opportunity to debate the body’s organizational plan.
He said that the perils of terrorism increased with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Syria had worked to promote the notion of combating both. It had also promoted effort to ensure that the Middle East was free of dangerous weapons. A relevant draft resolution had been tabled and was still before the Council, and Syria hoped that the body would approve it as soon as possible. Syria would, meanwhile, reiterate its deep commitment to the fight against terrorism and would pledge its continued cooperation with the relevant organs of the United Nations working to eradicate that scourge.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said he hoped that the Counter-Terrorism Committee would soon be in a position to move from the transitional arrangements to the new structure, in order for it to deal with the considerable future challenges. The Committee’s greatest strength lay in the field of coordination of technical assistance, thereby complementing the substantial efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. While the Committee was preparing for a first State visit, it was important to underline the consensual nature of such technical assistance, as well as the need for a balanced approach, integrating human rights concerns. When assessing assistance needs of States and advising them on necessary action, the Committee and its experts should always raise awareness of the fact that, in the fight against terrorism, respect for human rights and the rule of law was not an impediment to success, but a necessary precondition.
Thus, he said, due consideration must be given to the relevant human rights experience of future staff members of the Executive Directorate. Hopefully, the new arrangements would also include an institutionalized liaison with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Recently, the Council had stepped up its efforts to deal with activities of non-State actors with the determination and capability to disrupt international peace and security. Evidence of the renewed commitment of Member States to prevent indiscriminate and terrorist attacks on their populations had included: the further strengthening of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, through the establishment of its new Executive Directorate, including a significant increase in expert capacity; the strengthening of the sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban; and the adoption of new Security Council measures on the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons. Those efforts should be met with improved coordination between the bodies involved. At the same time, he urged the Council to take the reporting constraints of some States into account when adopting new reporting requirements.
PRAYONO ATIYANTO (Indonesia), expressing support for the Counter Terrorism Committee’s measures to enhance the effectiveness and capabilities of States requesting aid, reiterated the importance of cooperation and coordination by Member States on capacity-building for States that needed such assistance. The establishment of the Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Jakarta was part of his country’s continuing efforts in combating international terrorism and was an important follow-up to the Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-Terrorism held in February this year. Indonesia co-chaired that meeting.
He said the key objective of that Centre was to enhance the operational expertise of regional law enforcement personnel in dealing with transnational crime, primarily focused on improving their counter-terrorism skills. The Centre sought to strengthen cooperation among regional police forces, drawing on the experience of Indonesia and Austria, in law enforcement cooperation. While conceived as a bilateral initiative, his country welcomed participation and contributions by other countries and international organizations supportive of the Centre’s goals, he said.
Another follow-up from the Bali Ministerial Meeting was the establishment of the two ad hoc groups of senior legal officials and law enforcement practitioners in the region, he continued. The first working group would report back to the ministers on the adequacy of regional legal frameworks for counter-terrorism cooperation and assistance; and would hold its first meeting on 4 and 5 August in Australia. The ad hoc working group of law enforcement practitioners was expected to formulate best practice models for fighting terrorism, develop a more effective information base, and facilitate a more effective flow of criminal intelligence. That group would meet from 12 to 13 August in Bali.
He stressed Indonesia’s conviction that terrorism was every nation’s problem, and the best way to fight and conquer the menace was through multidimensional, multilateral approaches based on international cooperation and dialogue among all States.
ARYE MEKEL (Israel) said that, while it had not been easy for the Counter-Terrorism Committee to formulate a clear standard for international activity in the fight against terrorism, the fruits of that panel’s labour were now becoming clear. Israel had likewise been challenged to find its place in global counter-terrorism efforts and to find ways in which its unfortunately extensive experience in combating that scourge could help benefit others. Israel was encouraged by the increasing numbers of countries seeking to ally themselves with it in that regard, and hoped to make a greater and more visible contribution to the Committee.
Like a disease, terrorism spread quietly and erupted with deadly effect, he continued. And like a disease, it could not be fought with half-measures. It must be combated as a whole and must be faced with steely resolve and unblinking determination. There was no cause to justify the scourge; there was no such thing as good terrorism and bad terrorism. Unfortunately, Israel knew that all too well, as it often found itself on the frontline of the international war on terrorism. So, along with all the success the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the wider global community had enjoyed in combating terrorism, the dangerous increase in terrorist activity could not be denied. Terrorism was not just a scattered collection of individuals, domestic organizations or regional networks; it was a “frantic octopus”, sending out its tentacles in all directions.
That creature was becoming increasingly sophisticated in initiating joint ventures, sharing methods and moving investments when and where it needed to be most lethal. “As this network adapts, so must we”, he said. “As terror changes, we must change with it.” He warned the international community not to underestimate terrorists and not to expect them to “play by the rules of civilized society”. One example of that concept was the continued threat of man-portable surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS), which Israel knew intimately. And while much progress had been made by the Group of 8 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on MANPADS, the Council needed to address the issue in a more operative manner. Another problem was the phenomenon of States harbouring terrorists. For its part, the Council should “name and shame” such States, and it should cooperate with international initiatives to fight terrorism in every incarnation and locality.
SHINICHI KITAOKA (Japan) said that there could never be any justification for terrorism, and Japan expected the newly reformed Counter-Terrorism Committee under the Executive Directorate to provide the international community with the leadership it needed to respond with effective counter-terrorism measures. He went on to emphasize the importance of capacity-building, adding that providing assistance to Member States in that regard not only helped prevent acts of terrorism on their own territories and contributed to security and development, but also contributed to maintaining peace and security in neighbouring States and whole regions.
He hoped that with its planned country visits, the Committee might actively promote concrete and appropriate technical assistance projects. Japan also believed that it was important for Member States to share information on terrorism. In the international travel initiative announced at the G-8 summit meeting last month, the members of that group pledged to raise standards, modernize procedures and exchange information in order to deter threats, reduce costs and help ensure safe and efficient movement of passengers and cargo. With that and other initiatives being considered, it might be worthwhile for the Committee to consider setting up a forum for that panel and Member States to conduct a joint study on effective counter-terrorism measures.
Japan provided counter-terrorism assistance especially to South-East Asian countries and intended to strengthen such effort, he said. Japan was placing particular emphasis on three priorities: capacity-building of law enforcement organizations; enhancing immigration controls to prevent movement of terrorists across boarders; and promoting accession to counter-terrorism treaties and conventions. Cooperation would continue, with the provision of official development assistance (ODA), among other things. Japan also believed that more emphasis needed to be placed on preventive measures. If terrorists today had any weakness, it was in the routes that were used to procure and move weapons and funds. Those routes could be cut off. To do that, it would be necessary to put preventive measures in place that were based on international cooperation.
In that regard, it was becoming more and more important to raise the standard of States’ capabilities to combat terrorism by providing assistance for capacity-building. Here, he said, Japan, along with the Malaysian Government, had earlier this month hosted the first programme of the South-EastAsianRegionalCenter for Counter-Terrorism seminar or the prevention of terrorism, focusing on the employment of chemical weapons. He also said that Japan had high expectations for the Directorate’s organizational plan and would urge the Director to create an efficient panel, avoiding waste. And while Japan welcomed the Committee’s revitalization, that did not mean that costs and expenditures should go unrestrained. Steps should be taken to ensure transparency in the financing of the panel’s activities.
PHILIPPE DJANGONE-BI (Côte d’Ivoire) said that the Security Council’s regular focus on the theme of terrorism attested to one universal fact: that terrorist acts represented one of the most important, cruel and savage threats to international peace and security. They spared nobody; no nation or people were immune. Terrorism struck at the heart and soul of humanity, undermining the peace of all nations and the security of all.
However, he said, the diagnosis of the disease and its correct treatment would only become a reality when the international community defined it and agreed on a description of its root causes and symptoms. The difficulties of defining it and the scope of a formal convention showed the lack of resolve. There was a need for appropriate action to conclude the two outstanding conventions in that regard, and without a consensus on their basic principles, terrorism would have succeeded in undermining democracy. The terrorists would continue to prolong their abuses of authority and to undermine sovereignty.
ALISHER VOHIDOV (Uzbekistan) said that, in recent years, the Central Asian region, like other parts of the world, had come across the brutal appearance of criminal terrorist schemes. Intensification of the forces of international terrorism, extremism and separatism had cast a shadow on the stability of the countries in the region. After a certain period of decline, international terrorism had now started to galvanize its capacities and exercise much more destructive means. Stressing factors important to repelling that phenomenon, he said that counter-terrorism was not only a fight against terrorist acts and their perpetrators, but against numerous radical and extremist centres that created and disseminated the ideology of hatred.
He noted that a “very serious” threat, not only to Central Asia’s stability, but to that of the entire world, emanated from the religious extremist organization “Hizb-ut-tahrir”. In dealing with such organizations, it was essential to take into account that peaceful extremist movements did not exist; by their nature, they were filled with hatred and intolerance, which eventually turned into violence. He urged the Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to pay serious attention to the danger of those organizations.
It was no secret that international terrorist organizations were trying to gain access to weapons of mass destruction components. In the last three years alone, the law enforcement bodies of Uzbekistan had confiscated 15 containers of radioactive materials trespassing the country. A solution to the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons was a vital element of his country’s foreign policy and an essential part of regional and global security. In that context, realizing the initiative to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia was not only in the interest of the region, but of the entire world community. Given the danger of illicit narcotics flows, which had become a main source of financing terrorism, Uzbekistan had established a regional information and coordination centre to combat the transborder crime connected with those illegal flows. Only a solid global system of counteraction, with the United Nations at its centre, would yield positive results in the terrorism fight.
YERZHAN KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) said international terrorism continued to pose a potent threat, and international cooperation was indispensable in order to eliminate it. The Committee’s proposed visits to Member States would ensure the success of the application of Security Council resolution 1535 (2004). Member States must implement an action plan to end the illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction and harmonize their respective national efforts with respect to the fight against terrorism. Regarding security in Central Asia, countries in the region had the will to act in concert with international organizations, as confirmed by a declaration by a regional heads of State meeting held in Kazakhstan on 18 June. One of the meeting’s most important outcomes had been the adoption of document containing a series of measures covering the multiple aspects of the war against terrorism.
Response of Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairman
Mr. KONUZIN (Russian Federation) thanked Council Members and other representatives for their active participation and suggestions. He was grateful for the criticism, and assured the meeting that the Committee had heard all their concerns. The face of terrorism was constantly changing and he would aim to ensure that the body did not become stagnant. Here, he drew the Council’s attention to a deadly terrorist attack that had taken place in Russia just this morning. All the points made today would be taken into account in the body’s work. He agreed with the need to revitalize the Committee’s work, largely through reform efforts. But, in carrying that out, the Committee would not halt its primary activities and would use its resources at hand to continue to press ahead with its mandate as outlined by the Council.
On promoting wider accession to international treaties, he said the Committee would closely consider that perhaps some States needed technical assistance in order to become party to such instruments. He also said the Committee would consider the idea of requiring regional reports. Also, he agreed with the importance of assessing the technical needs of States in order to help them comply with resolution 1373 (2001). In that connection, he appealed to all Member States to let the Committee know what those needs were at any time. He said that the Committee often meet with donors and was prepared to act as middle-man in establishing cooperation between donors and those States needing assistance.
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