5104th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL EXAMINES WAYS TO IMPROVE INTERNATIONAL
COOPERATION AGAINST TERRORISM
Amid the growing realization of the enduring threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban, which had instigated attacks in more than 10 Member States on 10 continents, there was a “significant dedication” among Member States to implement the sanctions measures imposed by the Security Council to counter that threat, the Chairman of the “1267” Committee, Heraldo Muñoz (Chile), told the Security Council today as it examined threats to peace caused by terrorist acts.
High on the agenda of the Committee (formally known as the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities) was encouraging States to be proactive in proposing names for inclusion on the Committee’s Consolidate List, he said. The Committee, which presently worked from a list containing more than 400 names of those suspected of involvement in terrorism, sought to intensify its dialogue with Member States and increase cooperation with other relevant bodies, including the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee. Another key objective was monitoring the enforcement activities by States, with the help of the Monitoring Team set up last August to guide the Committee’s work.
Mr. Muñoz said that the Committee was clearly aware that only result-oriented approaches, based on resolution 1526 (2004), by which the Council last January improved and expanded the world body’s 1999 sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban, would make its contribution to the fight against terrorism meaningful and tangible. The Committee had moved from focusing on States’ reporting obligations to active dialogue. He stressed that sanctions were mandatory, and not optional, but he also encouraged countries not to feel “outside” a group of States designing the sanctions and monitoring their implementation. Only through the involvement of all countries in the counter-terrorist strategies could that most challenging battle be won, he stressed.
Deploring the possibility of a “nuclear, chemical or biological 9/11”, Romania’s representative said only full implementation of the sanctions regime could counter the flexibility shown by Al-Qaida in its deadly terrorist plans. It was imperative, therefore, that the “1267” Committee received all inputs that would allow it to have as clear a picture as possible on concrete problems States were facing in implementing the sanctions. The risk of Al-Qaida and its associates, as well as other terrorists, acquiring weapons of mass destruction was a daunting possibility for the international community as a whole, as the world today confronted the dual spectrum of the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and terrorist activities.
The United States’ speaker, pointing to the recent terrorist attacks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said the global terrorist threat remained an ongoing battle that no State could afford to lose. As identifying, tracing and freezing Al-Qaida assets was not going to get easier, Member States would need to redouble efforts to identify those Al-Qaida and Taliban associates and to bring more nominations for listing before the Committee. When the Council invoked Chapter VII of the Charter, there could be no satisfactory outcome other than complete compliance. In cases where States were capable but unwilling to press the fight, further Committee investigation, and possibly, Council action, was warranted.
Asserting that the anti-terrorism campaign must be pursued with the full understanding of its nature and based on international cooperation, Angola’s representative hailed the progressive increase of targeted sanctions as a policy tool to meeting the objective of prevention. For its part, the Security Council had played an important role in filling the gaps in counter-terrorism strategies by imposing uniform counter-terrorism obligations on all States and establishing mechanisms to monitor compliance and facilitate the provision of technical assistance. Both counter-terrorism Committees had played leading roles in that extraordinary endeavour. The “1267” Committee should carefully consider the best way to build States’ capacities to defeat terrorism, especially with respect to customs and border controls, intelligence gathering, law enforcement and financing.
Statements in the debate were also made by the representatives of France, China, Germany, Pakistan, Benin, Philippines, Spain, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Brazil, Algeria, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning in an open meeting to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. It was expected to hear a briefing by Heraldo Muñoz (Chile), in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile), Chairman of the “1267” Committee, recalled that in September, the Committee had considered in great detail the first report of the Monitoring Team (document S/2004/679), in particular, the recommendations contained in the report. During the reporting period, the Committee received two specialized briefings. First, on 20 October, Professor Rohan Gunaratna, a renowned expert on counter-terrorism and an author of a book on Al-Qaida, had provided his insights into how Al-Qaida operations had evolved over the past few years and on the potential threat of terrorism, in general. On 4 November, Ronald Noble, Secretary-General of Interpol, had briefed on the work of the agency and outlined the areas in which practical cooperation between Interpol and the Committee could be enhanced, including through the participation in Committee meetings of the new special representative of Interpol, Dr. Ulrich Kersten, who was based in New York. Mr. Noble had also invited members of the Monitoring Team to visit Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon to discuss more technical issues.
He said that the Committee also continued its efforts to improve the guidelines for the conduct of its work. It put a lot of effort into elaborating its written assessment pursuant to resolution 1455 (2003) and had intended to provide that assessment prior to the adoption of resolution 1526 (2004) as an input for further improvements to the sanctions regime. Due to the limited number of implementation reports, however, its preparation had been postponed, with the expectation of an in-depth analysis from the Monitoring Team. Thanks to the Team’s high-quality analysis of all 130 reports provided in mid-October, the Committee had been able to arrive at its own conclusions. The analytical written assessment on States’ implementation, the first of its kind in that or any other sanctions committee, would soon be made available to the United Nations’ membership. He strongly recommended it to all States.
In terms of the Monitoring Team’s activities, he said it had regularly assisted the Committee in monitoring States’ implementation of the sanctions measures. The Team provided the Committee with a detailed analysis of the information contained in States’ implementation reports. In its analysis, the Team focused on the successes and challenges that States were facing in implementing the asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. In addition, the Team had submitted, for the Committee’s approval, a large number of technical corrections concerning 50 individuals and 10 entities on the List, which the Team had compiled through both approaching 80 Member States and extracting the relevant information from implementation reports. Earlier this month, the Committee accepted almost all of the suggested corrections, with the exception of a few whose consideration was still pending.
The Team had worked closely with the Committee and had been invited to attend almost all informal meetings, he went on. Among its other activities, the Team had visited several States in South-East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. In addition, it had provided expert support for the Chairman’s own trips; just recently, a Team expert accompanied him on his trip to Libya, Iran and Switzerland. The Team also continued to provide the Committee with informative visit reports shortly upon returning from those trips.
Regarding the Committee’s cooperation with Member States, he said that the Committee had sought a more active dialogue with them, adding that, in several public statements, he had encouraged States to take the opportunity to meet with the Committee for more in-depth discussions of relevant issues. The Committee had agreed to meet with representatives of one MemberState, hopefully early next year. That would be the first in a series of meetings with interested Member States. The Committee had much to learn from Member States, regarding both their concerns and their successes.
He said that the Committee had also obtained useful information on implementation efforts of States through the Chairman’s visits to selected States. He had visited the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, Libya, Iran and Switzerland. In all of those countries, he and his travelling companions had met with presidents, prime ministers, ministers and senior officials. He had found a significant dedication to the implementation of the sanctions measures, although unequal levels of implementation existed. At the same time, there was a growing realization of the enduring threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Some of the countries clearly needed further assistance from the international community, and he would strive to ensure awareness of that situation.
In most countries, he said, the quality of the Committee’s List had been discussed, about which States had continued to raise concerns. He always acknowledged the Committee’s understanding of those concerns and stressed that the List was only as good as Member States allowed it to be; States themselves were responsible for submitting any additions, changes or other relevant identifying information. He had also stressed the importance of the submission of additional names. Meanwhile, Sates continued to arrest individuals linked to Al-Qaida, submitting names to the List and taking action to impede the financing of terrorism. For example, among the countries visited in this period, the Philippines and Libya had announced the intention to submit, or were already preparing to submit of a significant number of names to the List.
He said Iran had frozen considerable assets in four separate accounts of an individual on the list, namely, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and had apprehended a number of Al-Qaida operatives. Also, Iranian authorities had warned that trade operations were being used to finance terrorism. An Iraqi had operated a company in Iran which had sold spoiled vegetables to clients in another country in the area who, in return, had paid unusually high prices to the suppliers.
Interlocutors in Switzerland had expressed concern about the due process standards applied by the Committee, and had raised other human rights questions related to the Consolidated List, he continued. They had expressed that there was a gap that gave possible targets enough time to remove their funds when a new sanctions regime was created by the Council. In that regard, they had explained sophisticated interdiction software used by banks to find and freeze assets that could be useful. They had also agreed to become a “point country” for cooperation in that area.
Some countries, especially in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, had expressed frustration with what they saw as Western double standards in the fight against terrorism, he said. Examples included the protection of perceived terrorists under the guise of refugee law, acceptance of dissemination of terrorist propaganda and sometimes even support of organizations which those countries considered terrorist groups. Regardless of whether those perceptions were real, it was something that the Committee would have to consider in the future.
The Committee had, when relevant, discussed both the need for technical assistance and the possibility to provide technical assistance, he said. In his view, there was a clear need for United Nations concerted concrete efforts in that regard, and he hoped that the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, once fully functioning, would be able to make an important contribution in that area. Regional and subregional cooperation to enhance capacities in the fight against terrorism had been underlined by many of the States visited. Member States had also provided a valuable assessment of the deficiencies in different aspects of the sanctions measures and their practical implementation. The selected States had found great use in the visits and, in many cases, the Committee had been invited to return or send representatives of the Monitoring Team for expert level discussions. He would, therefore, strongly urge his successor to visit selected States as mandated by the Council.
Regarding the Committee’s future activities, he said the tasks that continued to be high on the Committee’s agenda included: encouraging Member States to be proactive in proposing names for inclusion in the Committee’s Consolidated List; monitoring, with the assistance of the Monitoring Team, of sanctions enforcement activities by States with a view to detecting possible problems and suggesting actions to remedy those problems; further considering how to improve delisting procedures and exceptions pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002); further intensifying the Committee’s dialogue with Member States; and further increase of cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, the 1540 Committee and with all relevant international agencies and organizations.
The Committee’s priority, he added, remained its List, which currently contained more than 400 names, and the identification of possible improvements to the current sanctions measures, which should be forwarded to the Council prior to the adoption of the new resolution in mid-2005.
Concluding, he said the Committee was clearly aware that only result- oriented approaches, based on resolution 1526 (2004), would make its contribution to the fight against terrorism meaningful and tangible. The Committee had moved from focusing on comprehensive States’ implementation reporting to active dialogue with Member States. In that connection, he reminded States of the opportunity they had to meet the Committee and discuss relevant issues in more detail. Member States must not feel that there was a group of States that were designing sanctions and monitoring their implementation, but that all States were an integral part of counter-terrorist strategies, policies and implementation efforts. Only then could the most challenging battle of the current time be won for the benefit of each State and individual on the planet, and guarantee their right to live without fear of terrorist acts.
MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) said full implementation of the sanctions regime was crucial for countering the flexibility shown by Al-Qaida in its deadly terrorist plans. It was, therefore, imperative that the 1267 Committee received all inputs that would allow it to have as clear a picture as possible on concrete problems States were facing in implementing the sanctions. In that regard, submission of reports by all Member States coupled with enhanced dialogue, including through on-site visits, represented an obligatory prerequisite.
He pointed to recent experience that had shown that on-site visits by both the Chairman of the Committee and the Monitoring Team were invaluable means to learn about difficulties Member States encountered in implementing the sanctions regime and in determining their assistance needs. He further believed that better coordination and cooperation between the Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee in preparing those visits was needed in order to avoid possible overlapping. To that end, joint visits by representatives of the two Committees should be considered.
The risk of Al-Qaida and its associates, as well as other terrorists, acquiring weapons of mass destruction offered a daunting perspective for the international community as a whole. The world was today confronted by what he termed the dual spectrum of proliferation of both weapons of mass destruction and terrorist acts. Urging that increased cooperation should thus be sought by both the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee with the 1540 Committee and its newly appointed expert team, he stated, “We do not want to wait for a nuclear, chemical or biological 9/11 to happen.”
MICHEL DUCLOS (France) said that, as head of the Committee, Ambassador Muñoz had been tireless and resolute in strengthening that body’s operation, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the sanctions. He had identified the new nature of the Al-Qaida threat and its more diffuse nature and, thus, the new challenge posed by that network. The Ambassador had also worked remarkably to improve the Committee’s cooperation with Member States; there had been a stepping up of dialogue and information, both in New York and during the country visits. That cooperation, which was really a search for unity, should be maintained and further developed, if possible. In addition, the necessary steps had been taken to enhance the commitment of all Member States in implementing the sanctions. The obligation to cooperate, after all, was a crucial condition for the success of counter-terrorism efforts. Regrettably, the Monitoring Team’s report had been made available only in one language so far, which had reflected a lack of sensitivity to the multicultural nature of the threat and the necessary response.
He reaffirmed France’s commitment to strengthening the Committee’s effectiveness, as well as that of the sanctions. The current sanctions measures were useful, but he was also aware of their limits; consideration should be given as to how improve them. Progress could be achieved in many areas, including the freezing of assets, concrete implementation of the travel ban and assisting countries in the implementation process. The quality of the List also required improvement. Another line of action could be to strengthen the Committee’s relationship with all other bodies dealing with terrorism and non-proliferation. Above all, it was essential to fight extremism and intolerance in all their forms, in order to fight terrorism. There must also be respect for the rule of law. It was clear today that when it came to anti-terrorism strategies, those had to be more effective and their legitimacy had to be increasingly recognized and shared.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said the Committee had made effective efforts in promoting the implementation of resolution 1526. The Committee had provided written assessment of country reports and had conducted in-depth discussions on the implementation of sanction measures. It had also improved the accuracy of the List. The Committee had strengthened its exchange with Member States. The Chairman of the 1267 Committee had made a great contribution to the Committee’s work. The Monitoring Team had also performed its duties seriously
The fight against terrorism was a long and arduous task, he said. China supported the leading role played by the United Nations in fighting international terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee had made important contributions to the fight against terrorism. China would support the Committee as it continued its efforts for improving sanctions measures based on changing circumstances, thereby making it a more effective tool in the fight against terrorism. China would continue to implement the relevant Council resolutions and actively participate in the two Council committees.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) said that, as the threat posed by the expanding
Al-Qaida network was still on the rise, the 1267 sanctions regime needed to adapt itself to new challenges. Two points seemed essential for enhancing the Committee’s efficiency and credibility. The first was that the Consolidated List, the operative centrepiece of the sanctions regime, needed constant improvement. The List must become a meaningful tool for those who enforced the measures on the ground. The List was not a political document, but served as an operative tool for the enforcement of the assets freeze, the travel ban and the arms embargo. It should, therefore, not be burdened with non-operative data, such as incomplete entries of names or outdated information, which would complicate the task of proper enforcement and de-motivate the implementing agent.
He said the practice of “listing” names of individuals without adding necessary identifiers, moreover, was self-defeating, as law enforcement agents who were tasked with taking measures against non-identifiable persons would fail to do so, while those individuals themselves would be warned by seeing their names on the List. The lack of proper identifiers also increased the risk of innocent persons being wrongly targeted. Such issues were not new. In fact, the Monitoring Team had highlighted them on many instances, and had put forward useful suggestions, including subjecting the List to constant review.
His second point related to the issue of due process. As the European Court of Justice was expected to pass judgement on several United Nations sanctions-related cases early next year, the issue was highly important to his Government. International law stipulated that counter-terrorism actions must, at all times, be accompanied by respect for due process and the rule of law. There would be trade offs between human rights and effective security measures. Indeed, respect for human rights must remain an integral part of any comprehensive counter-terrorist strategy.
Germany fully supported the view of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change that current rules on “listing” and “delisting” fell far short of international legal standards and needed to be revised with a view to enhancing transparency. He said the ongoing review of the Committee’s guidelines should present a good opportunity to advance the key issue. The Panel’s recommendations, if implemented in good faith, were a valuable basis for strengthening worldwide consensus to counter terrorism.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said it was obvious that Al-Qaida posed a threat to international peace and security. The Committee should institute the process of regularly reviewing and updating the Consolidated List to maintain its efficiency and relevance. It should also improve its listing and delisting procedures, in accordance with due process requirements, to make them transparent and efficient and to ensure greater cooperation with Member States. The notion of associates of terrorists should not be interpreted too expansively, as that could dilute the focus and effectiveness of the Committee’s work. The Committee should help States to strengthen their national banking and financial mechanisms to prevent abuses. Care should be taken not to unduly discredit or penalize Islamic charities for some of the actions of some of their employees.
He said that visits to countries should be used to identify and facilitate the provision of long-term sustained technical assistance. The Committee should continue to look, not only at country reports, but also at their counter-terrorism actions on the ground, in practical terms, in order to evaluate the country’s performance in fulfilling Council obligations. Also, efforts to cooperate with other United Nations bodies should be pursued within the respective mandate of the Committee and other bodies. The Al-Qaida Committee was dealing with an issue which concerned all States and, therefore, ways and means should be explored to associate the larger United Nations’ membership with its work.
The threat of terrorism continued to confront the international community, and Pakistan had been no exception, he said. The Al-Qaida and Taliban threat was especially relevant to Pakistan because those organizations had targeted it and its leadership. His Government, therefore, had taken extensive measures to combat terrorism, even before “9-11”, and was working to further improve its financial mechanisms, among other measures. Pakistan had also extended international cooperation, both to multilateral and bilateral agencies dealing with terrorism, he noted. It had launched actions in the tribal areas of its western borders and had arrested more Al-Qaida operatives than any other country. But, everyone must bear in mind that there was a requirement for a broader strategies which truly addressed the challenge of terrorism -– a challenge that was “mutating in a comprehensive and effective manner”.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1267” Committee both had to play an active and cooperative role. He had noted the call in the High-level Panel’s report on threats, challenges and change for an anti-terrorism strategy. The Secretary-General had promised to suggest such a strategy in the near future. The Panel had also enumerated several elements for that strategy, including the rule of law and democratic reform, ending occupation, and reducing poverty and unemployment. Such a strategy must include a more direct approach to addressing the root causes of terrorism.
He noted that President Musharaf had outlined such a comprehensive approach. It was critical to incorporate ways to address the larger systemic and structural issues, including reform of the unequal international economic system. Suggestions had also been made by the Panel for a legal definition of terrorism. The Panel had rightly asserted that no cause justified the targeting of civilians, either by State or non-State actors. He added, however, that national liberation struggles for self-determination were not, in themselves, illegitimate.
JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) stressed the need for an attitude of vigilance in the fight against terrorism. Benin supported the Committee’s efforts to strengthen the sanctions regime. The Committee should pursue its efforts to make the List efficient and credible by introducing data that would allow for the easier identification of individuals. He understood the difficulty with interpreting resolution 1526 and asked the Committee to make proposals at the right time in that regard. Actions to help States strengthen their national legislation also needed to be strengthened.
Regarding reports on the implementation of resolution 1455 on measures taken by States, he said the lateness of certain States in submitting reports did not necessarily reflect a lack of political will. The Committee must maintain dialogue with those States to identify what obstacles they might have in that regard. The Committee must be more attentive to the logistical constraints facing a number of States in terms of expertise and general logistical support. He called on the 1267 Committee to pursue its coordination with other Council Committees, namely, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee, as well as well as other organizations for combating organized crime, not only to avoid overlap but also to perfect the actions it took on the ground.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said the adoption of resolution 1526 earlier in the year had provided new impetus for the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. That resolution had also created a new Analytical and Sanctions Monitoring Team which had been effective and had provided invaluable support to the fulfilment of the functions and achievements of the Committee’s objectives. Under that strengthened mandate, the Monitoring Team and the Committee’s Chairman had visited the Philippines twice on the technical and political levels last August and October, respectively. Those visits, he noted, had been mutually beneficial to his country and to the Committee, as they had heightened awareness among the implementing agencies in the Philippines of the global efforts against terrorism, including best practices adopted by other States.
In turn, the Committee had been informed of intensified enforcement actions taken by Philippine authorities against suspected terrorist activities, as well as the difficulties met in the implementation of the sanctions. The Committee’s technical visit had shown that some success, particularly in tracing movements of funds used for terrorist purposes, had been achieved in his country through its serious hard work in implementing the sanctions. Arising out of that was also recognition that regional and international support and assistance was need to further deal with the Al-Qaida threat, he said. Further, the anti-terrorism efforts by his Government focused not only on enforcement measures but also took into account the need to address the underlying causes of terrorism. Thus, the Philippines considered economic and social development concerns as an integral part of the counter-terrorism efforts.
He warned of many more challenges ahead and many more steps needed to be taken because the Al-Qaida threat was continuously transforming itself. In that vein, he was fully supportive of the enhanced dialogue between the Committee and MemberStates, pointing out that the reports required to provide information on individual situations or experiences in each country in implementing the sanctions were important and useful. Those reports provided valuable lessons to the international community as whole and to specific countries and could be the basis of a MemberState’s enhanced dialogue with the Committee. He further noted that the reports were not ends in themselves but were tools to make the global fight against terrorism more effective. He thus urged Member States to engage in greater interaction with the Committee, as well as with the Monitoring Team on a technical level.
ÍÑIGO DE PALACIO ESPAÑA (Spain) said that the contribution of the Committee and the Monitoring Team would make it possible to move forward in combating terrorism. With respect to the Committee’s cooperation with Member States, he believed that country visits were essential and should be enhanced. Those were not inspections, but rather opportunities directed at dialogue on the sanctions’ implementation nationally.
He had recently accompanied the Committee Chairman on his latest visit to Libya, Iran and Switzerland. Those visits had showed what could be achieved through cooperation between States and the Council’s subsidiary bodies. Among the priority tasks highlighted by the Chairman had been the continuing improvement of the Consolidated List. The Committee should ensure that procedures were established to prevent mistakes on the names included on the List, especially concerning individuals. It should also be ensured that inclusion on the List had contained all necessary data making it possible to identify the people on the List. Only then would it be possible to guarantee the credibility of the Committee’s work.
He also called for enhanced cooperation between the Committee and other bodies with experience in counter-terrorism. He had been pleased at the start of contacts with Interpol, from whom he awaited some concrete results. Another important aspect was the verification of implementation of sanctions. In that regard, greater emphasis should be placed on detecting possible problems, with a view to rectifying them. Ambassador Muñoz’ recommendations to correct implementation of sanctions in the financial sphere had been useful. Also important was much closer cooperation with the head of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. It should be recalled that resolution 1535 had attributed to that body the utmost responsibility for assisting States in combating terrorism. States should be able to have their needs met for technical assistance for the effective implementation of sanctions, and they should be assisted in developing national legislation in compliance with their international obligations, including those placed on them by the Security Council.
ALEXANDER KONUZIN (Russian Federation) said his delegation supported the developing of contacts by the Committee and the Monitoring Team with the Counter-Terrorism Committee for stepping up action by both organs. It also supported the establishment of contacts with the 1540 Committee and other agencies in the fight against terrorism. In that regard, he welcomed the meeting held with the representative of Interpol. He noted the substantial contribution of the Monitoring Team to the Committee’s work, including a written opinion on States’ submission of reports under resolution 1455. The success in combating terrorism depended on the unity of the international community’s efforts. In that regard, he stressed the importance of establishing dialogue between MemberStates and the 1267 Committee on all aspects of the sanctions file.
The Russian Federation attached great importance to the trips by the Monitoring Team and the Chairman to selected States, to ensure that States were committed to meeting their obligations and to assess the need for technical support. That goal could also be achieved by inviting States representatives to the Committee’s meetings. One of the Committee’s key tools was the Consolidated List. The List had been filled with new names and additional information for the proper identification of terrorists. He called on Member States to provide such information and supported the task set by the Committee in the future.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that terrorism remained a global threat requiring a coordinated international response. By carrying out terrorist attacks in more than 10 Member States on 10 continents, Al-Qaida had showed the magnitude of the threat it posed to all Member States and to the fundamental values of humankind, such as the right to live in peace and security, mutual tolerance, the rule of law, justice and social progress. The anti-terrorism campaign must be pursued with the full understanding of its nature and based on international cooperation. In recent years, the significance of targeted sanctions as a policy instrument to meet the objective of prevention had increased progressively. The Council had played an important role in filling the gaps in counter-terrorism strategies by imposing uniform counter-terrorism obligations on all States and establishing mechanisms to monitor compliance and facilitate the provision of technical assistance. Both counter-terrorism committees had played leading roles in that extraordinary endeavour.
He said that the Monitoring Team was also of vital importance in ensuring the long-term success of the Committee. In addition to analysing the increasing number of country reports, it was also important to assess the effectiveness of the relevant Council resolutions and national legislation in combating terrorism. He, therefore, encouraged the Team to further develop its working relationship with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the “1540” Committee, and all other relevant international, regional and subregional bodies, in order to avoid duplication. Building capacities in a large number of States remained an urgent task, for which assistance to States in need was critical, particularly for those emerging from armed conflict. The Committee should carefully consider the best means to build capacities in those States in the fight against terrorism, particularly in such areas as customs, border controls, intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and financing. Regional and subregional organizations, as well as the private sector and financial institutions, should also become more proactive. So far, the “1267” Committee had succeeded in turning a vision into reality.
STUART W. HOLLIDAY (United States) said the recent terrorist attacks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, were a sharp reminder that the collective effort against the threat to international peace and security posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban must be unrelenting. The global terrorist threat remained an ongoing challenge for all States, and it was a battle that none could afford to lose. Identifying, tracing and freezing Al-Qaida assets was not going to get easier. Existing measures continue in resolution 1526 must be strengthened, tightened and further refined. Resolution 1526 targeted those associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and Member States’ efforts needed to be redoubled to identify those associates, and quite simply to bring more nominations for listing before the Committee.
He said his Government had another concern that had been raised before in the Council. When the Council invoked Chapter VII of the Charter in response to threats against international peace and security, there could be no satisfactory outcome by Member States other than complete compliance in implementing the measures authorized by the Council. The Monitoring Team’s analytic efforts continued to show that not all States were fulfilling their obligations under resolution 1521 (2004). Nor were they adhering to mandated reporting requirements. In addition, the Team had noted that the quality of reports was wide ranging and, in extreme cases, unhelpful.
In cases where States were capable but appeared to be unwilling to press the fight, further Committee investigation, and possibly, Council action, was warranted, he said. He was referring to cases where States were both non-compliant and insufficiently compliant under resolution 1455, and were also listed by the Financial Action Task Force of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as being non-cooperative. While those were not the only candidates for further Committee review, they represented an obvious focus for additional attention. To get that far in the deliberation, however, even more work from the Monitoring Team and the very clear outcomes from their analysis would be needed.
He commended Ambassador Muñoz for his dynamic leadership and tireless efforts to support the Committee’s work. Equally deserving of praise in advancing the Committee’s work was the entire Chilean delegation, in particular Carla Serrazi, whose professionalism, persistence and dedication were key factors in moving a number of Committee projects to completion. The synergy of coordinated efforts among the Chairman and his delegation now provided a support mechanism to ensure oversight and close monitoring of the Council’s decisions.
SAMANTHA PURDY (United Kingdom) also thanked the Chairman of the Committee and his team. The Monitoring Team also deserved thanks for their dialogue with Member States, which was invaluable for the Committee’s work. Of central importance to that work was the List, and she welcomed the work done in improving the quality of the List, which was vital to the Committee’s ability to achieve its objectives. All must strive to ensure the List’s accuracy and completeness. Member States must continue to be encouraged to propose names for inclusion on the List.
The threat from Al-Qaida remained urgent, serious and common to all States, she said. By submitting names for inclusion on the List, Member States could demonstrate their clear determination to fighting terrorism and allow the international community to take concrete action in that fight. She welcomed the dialogue established with other expert organizations, such as Interpol. Such cooperation would benefit all Member States in ensuring the effectiveness of sanctions at an operational level. The relationship with States would be an important area for coordinating for the 1267 Committee and other Council committees, and the United Kingdom supported the importance of coordination between Council bodies. She hoped a draft programme of work could be agreed early next year. The discussion today demonstrated the collective commitment in the fight against terrorism.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said that the adequate processing of all inputs should allow for more thorough understanding of the ongoing terrorist threat, as well as identification of the most adequate mechanisms for proceeding in that fight, including the fine-tuning of sanctions, when applicable. The Monitoring Team had been highly instrumental in that regard, providing increased analysis of the threat and efforts to combat it. He emphasized the importance of the List, as well as the need for a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism. The List remained the Committee’s most important instrument of work. For that reason, it should be kept updated and relevant. Clear and more direct procedures for handling changes to it were necessary, as was improving the listing and delisting procedures, both of which should be linked to the assurance of due process for both persons and entities. By ensuring the credibility of the List and of the sanctions, the Committee would be in a stronger position to counter perceptions that combating terror was being guided by double standards.
He stressed the need to better use existing mechanisms to enhance international cooperation in combating Al-Qaida-related terrorism. The terrorist threat was often linked to other criminal activities, such as money-laundering, weapons smuggling, and international drug trafficking. Existing international mechanisms could further contribute to the common effort, as evidenced by the Committee’s interaction with Interpol. Perhaps a joint database would be feasible. Besides Interpol, enhanced cooperation with other efficient international mechanisms offered broad possibilities of synergy and of greatly improving the institutionalization of sanctions application. He also advocated strengthened cooperation with other terrorism-related bodies in the future work of the Committee. That body’s ability to combat the terrorist threat was directly related to the international community’s perceptions about its work. A genuine effort to incorporate Member States’ recommendations into its day-to-day work was the best way to ensure the greater effectiveness of sanctions.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said the Committee had become a dynamic and effective body in the common fight against terrorism. He also commended the Monitoring Team for the many topics it stressed in its second report (not yet issued as an official United Nations document). The written analytical evaluation of States’ implementation of sanctions had been the first of its kind in the practice of the sanctions Committee. He had also appreciated the quality of the Team’s analysis of 130 country reports. Besides written assessments on implementation, the Team had also contributed to certain technical corrections to the List. Regarding the visits to several countries on several continents, cooperation between the Committee and MemberStates would give the Committee more exposure. The recent visits to Asia, Europe and Africa had further informed the Committee about implementation of sanctions measures by States.
He said there was a growing awareness of the Al-Qaida threat, as well as the need of certain countries for sanctions implementation assistance. He hoped the Council would pay attention to that. It should also strive to eliminate the double standard in its treatment of the terrorist phenomenon. Among the other important aspects of the endeavour were: the exchange of information and intelligence, because without information it was not possible to effectively combat that scourge; the elimination of drug trafficking; aiding States requiring assistance; and avoiding confusion between Islam and terrorism. He shared Ambassador Muñoz’ opinion that the Committee’s future work should be guided by, among other efforts, improving the List and strengthening country visits and cooperation with the relevant bodies.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said his country remained resolved to maintain its determined posture in the fight against terrorism. Thus, regarding the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he stressed the importance of improving the quality of the Consolidated List as a valuable information source to enable individual Member States to take effective sanction measures against terrorists. Japan had recently submitted additional information for inclusion on the List. The country also concurred with the need to review existing information in light of changes in the circumstances of individuals and entities as indispensable to ensuring that the List constituted a reliable database.
It was also important further to strengthen cooperation with related organs within the United Nations system, he added, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Information must be shared with other counter-terrorism-related organs as far as possible. Moreover, in the year ahead, the most difficult and critical issue for the Committee would be to improve and strengthen sanction measures. Member States’ reports showed that no individual on the List had been stopped at any border, and that there were no instances in which the arms embargo had been enforced. The Committee must undertake a study to ascertain the problems confronting the international community, on the basis of the forthcoming analysis of measures by the Monitoring Team. Effective methods should be devised to deal with cases of terrorists opening financial accounts abroad by illegally assuming the identities of others.
LAXANACHANTORN LAOHAPHAN (Thailand) said her country attached great importance to the work of all the committees established by relevant Council resolutions. Thailand supported the Committee’s new approach in shifting the focus on reporting to active dialogue with Member States. The dialogue not only provided the Committee with valuable insight on States’ implementation efforts, but also provided the Committee with a better understanding of the problems Member States were encountering. In that regard, Thailand was pleased to have received a visit from the Committee’s Chairman in October 2004. The visit had proven successful in providing the Committee with on-the-ground information and in enhancing the level of understanding and cooperation between Thailand and the Committee. She welcomed the Chairman’s suggestion that Thailand provide technical assistance to countries in the region, which corresponded with Thailand’s willingness.
Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office had played an active role in tracking suspicious transactions and fund transfers with good cooperation from financial institutions, she said. Still, in certain cases, commercial banks faced difficulties in identifying whether the transactions were related to terrorist activities. There was, therefore, a need to enhanced commercial banks’ expertise in that respect. Thailand thanked governments and international organizations that had provided training and assistance in the area of terrorist financing methods and techniques to that Office.
She noted that Thailand had reinforced immigration measures in various respects, including installation of the Advanced Passenger Information/Processing system at the airport. In March 2004, Thailand had signed the Memorandum of Intent with the United States to put into motion the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System, which would enhance immigration measures and could serve as the nucleus of a nation-wide Terrorist Interdiction Programme Border Control System.
ADIYATWIDI ADIWOSO ASMADY (Indonesia) said the Committee had done extensive work during the period under consideration, including recent visits by the Monitoring Team to South-East Asia. Those visits had benefited not only the Committee, but also MemberStates by enabling them to share experiences and challenges in the implementation of sanctions. She hoped the information obtained by the Monitoring Team during its visit to Jakarta would be taken into account in its assessment of the sanctions regime. She commended the Committee’s recent submission on technical correction regarding 53 individuals and 10 entities on the Consolidated List. The technical correction would not only improve the quality of the list, but also enable its effectiveness and eliminate mistakes in the effort to apprehend individuals related to Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Turning to Indonesia’s efforts in combating terrorism, she said an International Dialogue on Inter-Faith Cooperation had been held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The main objective of the dialogue had been to promote understanding and harmony between various faith communities in the region and serve as a basis for regional and religious leaders to convey important messages to their communities concerning mutual understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. By promoting understanding and learning, the gathering would also foster a common regional resolve to meet challenges such as terrorism. Terrorism was the problem of every nation, and it could best be vanquished through multidimensional and multilateral approaches based on international cooperation.
Ambassador MUÑOZ said he had agreed with the many comments about the Committee’s “diagnosis”, namely, the importance of strengthening the List with new names -- continually improving its quality and quantity was important. Regarding cooperation between the Al-Qaida Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1540” Committee, it had been proposed that joint country visits be organized in the future, which was worth exploring. Attention should also be given to human rights issues, especially when it came to the listing process, to avoid mistakes and conduct the Committee’s work in a transparent manner. Another suggestion had been made to ensure that assistance to countries in need should be long term; very often, the problem was a lack of capacity and not of political commitment.
He said it should be recalled that the sanctions were mandatory and not optional, and countries should be aided in complying with them. The importance of country visits and dialogue had also been emphasized, and the point had been made that the reports received, although useful, did not replace concrete dialogue, which often caught nuances, problems and evolved suggestions. Cooperation with other United Nations bodies was also deemed valuable, as well as with organizations such as Interpol, with which an extraordinarily successful relationship had begun. There was a great deal of agreement right now with respect to the Committee’s work. He was certain that, in the upcoming period that work would not only be maintained, but could be further deepened.
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