SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CALLS URGENTLY ON STATES TO SUBMIT TIMELY REPORTS ON ACTIONS TO COUNTER TERRORISM
SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CALLS URGENTLY ON STATES TO SUBMIT TIMELY REPORTS ON ACTIONS TO COUNTER TERRORISM
5113th Meeting (AM)
Security Council, in presidential statement, calls urgently on states
to submit timely reports on actions to counter terrorism
Council Also Notes Importance of Enhancing States’ Capacities
To Fight Terrorism, Encouraging Accession to Relevant International Treaties
The Security Council, after learning in a briefing today of delays in reporting by 75 Member States on national efforts to defeat terrorism, issued an urgent call to States that had not reported to do so in order to maintain the universality of response which the threat of terrorism required.
In a statement read out by Council President César Mayoral (Argentina), whose delegation holds the presidency for the month, the Council noted the importance of continuing efforts in several key areas, among them enhancing the capabilities of Member States to combat terrorists and encouraging the largest possible number of States to become parties to the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism.
The Council invited the Committee to pursue its agenda as set out in its fourteenth work programme for the next 90 days, and to ensure that the Committee’s Executive Directorate became fully operational in the shortest possible time. It also invited the Committee to take additional measures to enhance cooperation with the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee and the “1540” Committee, and to initiate contacts with the working group established under resolution 1566 (2004).
Prior to issuing the statement, the Council heard a briefing by Audrey I. Denisov, Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, formally the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism. He said that the priority tasks in the next three months would be implementation of the Committee’s first visits to Member States and the holding of its fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations. The goals of the work programme could be achieved on the condition that the Executive Directorate became fully operational as soon as possible.
He said the Council’s counter-terrorism-related resolutions and decisions of 2004 had created a new and more comprehensive and multifaceted counter-terrorism agenda, and had also put additional challenges before the Committee, which required additional efforts to accelerate its revitalization, build its capacity to more effectively monitor implementation by Member States of Council resolution 1373, and maintain a regular dialogue with States. He also highlighted the need to implement the decisions that would likely emerge next week from the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations.
Addressing the Council in today’s public meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, the United States’ representative stressed that every effort should be made to ensure proper coordination among the counter-terrorism bodies now entering an important phase. While there had been some progress, including the first-ever meting among the chairmen of those bodies, there needed to be more sharing of information and consultation, in order to ensure the Council’s most effective contribution to the global terrorism fight. In the coming weeks and months, his delegation would strive to improve coordination among those bodies as part of a larger effort to make the United Nations a more effective player in the international counter-terrorism effort.
Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Luxembourg’s representative called for the development of a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism. At its summit meeting in Brussels in December, the Union had reiterated its determination to combat the continued terrorism threat through a comprehensive and integrated approach, reinforcing both internal and international cooperation. It also reiterated its conviction that, in order to be effective in the long-term, the Union’s response to terrorism must address its root causes. At the same time, it was convinced that efforts to combat terrorism must respect human rights and freedom and must, at all times, be accompanied by respect for due process and the rule of law. There could be no trade-off between human rights and effective security measures.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Council members Denmark, China, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Philippines, France, Brazil, Romania, Benin, Algeria, Greece, Japan and Argentina (in his national capacity). The representatives of Kazakhstan, Paraguay and Liechtenstein also spoke.
The meeting began at 10:39 a.m. and was adjourned at 1:02 p.m.
Following is the full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2005/3:
“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 by whomsoever committed.
“The Security Council recalls the statement by its President on 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/37), which indicated the Council’s intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC, resolution 1535 (2004) on the revitalization of the Committee and resolution 1566 (2004) emphasizing the urgent need to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism.
“The Security Council invites the CTC to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for the CTC’s fourteenth 90-day period (S/2005/22). It invites the CTC in particular to ensure that the Counter–Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate becomes fully operational in the shortest possible time, and to take additional measures to enhance cooperation with the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and to initiate contacts with the working group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
“The Security Council notes the importance of continuing the CTC’s efforts in the following key areas: to enhance 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 and cooperation adjusted to the recipient 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 sub-regional organizations acting in the areas outlined by resolution 1373 (2001).
“The Security Council welcomes the intention of the CTC to hold its fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations from 26 to 28 January, 2005 in Almaty (Kazakhstan).
“The Security Council invites the CTC to accelerate the preparation of assessments of Member States’ assistance needs, so that these can be shared with the relevant States, and in due course with interested donorStates and organizations. The Council invites the CTC to conduct the first of its visits to Member States in March 2005 in order to enhance the Committee’s monitoring of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and to facilitate the provision of technical and other assistance for such implementation.
“The Security Council notes that, as of 16 December 2004, 75 States had not submitted their respective reports to the CTC in time as set out in resolution 1373 (2001). It calls on them urgently to do so, in order to maintain the universality of response which the threat of terrorism and the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) require.
“The Security Council invites the CTC to continue reporting on its activities at regular intervals.”
When the Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, it had before it a letter dated 13 January 2005 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism addressed to the Council President (document S/2005/22).
The letter transmits the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s fourteenth 90-day period, which covers the months from January to March 2005. The Committee would continue to work with Member States on monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). It would remain focused on: strengthening the consensus within the international community on the importance of combating terrorism, undertaking practical measures designed to enhance the counter-terrorism capacity of States; helping to identify and address the problems faced by States in implementing the resolution; and contributing to the process of increasing the number of States that are parties to the relevant international conventions and protocols.
Also during the period, the Committee would continue its efforts to complete the revitalization process, in particular, to ensure that the Committee’s Executive Directorate became fully operational. In accordance with Council resolution 1566 (2004), the Committee would enhance cooperation with the “1267” Committee concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). The effective facilitation of technical assistance and enhancing cooperation with international organizations would remain a major area of activities. The Committee would also hold the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 26 to 28 January and conduct its first visit to one of the Member States.
Briefing by Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairman
ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, recalling the Council’s relevant resolutions and decisions in 2004, asserted that they had created a new and more comprehensive and multifaceted agenda for the Council in the area of counter-terrorism. Those actions had also put additional challenges before the Committee. The developing agenda required additional efforts to accelerate the revitalization process, particularly in terms of making the executive directorate fully operational. The Committee was also focused on building its capacity by developing new practical methods and means to develop more effective monitoring of implementation by Member States of resolution 1373 (2001). Maintaining a regular dialogue with States was among the primary ways the Committee had monitored implementation and built the capacities of States in the area of counter-terrorism.
He said that, by December 2004, 551 reports had been received from MemberStates and other entities, including the first reports from 191 Member States and six from other entities. The Committee, in the coming months, would receive from a number of Member States the reports from the fifth series. Two problems in reviewing the reports had been identified. The first concerned the shortage in the number of experts. Hopefully, with the Executive Directorate becoming fully operational, that problem would be resolved. Another concern had been the increase in the number of Member States failing to submit their reports on time. On 16 December 2004, the Committee Chairman presented to the Council an official list of 75 Member States that had not implemented their obligation in terms of the timetable for the submission of reports. The Committee was prepared to provide Member States with the necessary assistance and guidelines on issues related to implementation, including assistance in ensuring timely submission of reports.
The Committee had begun to review that problem in a broader context, he said. Effective monitoring of implementation of resolution 1373 called for more than a review of reports, but for additional means and resources. The Committee also continued to work out new approaches for providing technical assistance. In that context, it was beginning to carry out analytical work, and the Executive Directorate’s experts had already prepared the first draft letters with assessments to several Member States. The Committee would also continue to update the directory of counter-terrorism information and sources of assistance. In accordance with resolution 1556 (2004) reaffirming the Council’s appeal to all Member States to accede to the 12 relevant international conventions and protocols, the Committee had continued to undertake, as a matter of priority, measures to attain that aim.
In the last three months, he said that the Committee had essentially completed preparations for its first visit in 2005 to several Member States. It had accelerated its work to prepare for that first visit in March. Since November 2004, the Committee had been holding preliminary consultations with Member States to develop deeper and direct dialogue with national governments and enhance monitoring of implementation and to assure accurate assessment of any difficulties. The Committee had also attached great importance to the burgeoning cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations. In that regard, it would maintain the existing practical thrust of its measures to implement the decisions emanating from the meeting next week in Kazakhstan, aimed at strengthening the global counter-terrorism network.
He noted that the Committee had continued to maintain transparency in its work, regularly updating and improving its Web page. That was now accessible in all official United Nations languages. In accordance with resolution 1566 (2004), the Committee fully resolved to broaden its interaction and coordination with other United Nations structures involved in fighting terrorism. One example had been the Committee’s participation in the United Nations’ work on drugs and crime and in the area of human rights at the seminar last October in Paraguay. In the next three months, two practical tasks were becoming priorities: implementation of the first visits to Member States; and the holding of the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations. The goals of its work programme could be achieved on the condition that the Executive Directorate became fully operational as soon as possible.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark) said her Government generally supported the recommendations on counter-terrorism contained in the report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Terrorism, in its cruel and despicable ways continued to remind everyone of the serious threat it posed to peace and security. Much had been done to confront the threat in individual countries, as well as through multilateral international and regional cooperation. But all must realize that all this was only a beginning: the battle against the scourge would be a long and arduous one, requiring sustained attention. In the long-term, it was essential that the United Nations take the lead role, she said.
On the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Denmark was greatly concerned that countries were falling behind in their reporting obligations. And while it was true that reports alone did not stop terrorists, those country reports remained the backbone of the Committee’s ability to monitor the actual steps taken on the ground. It was, therefore, of particular concern that 31 countries had not submitted their second reports. In fact, those countries were losing touch with the Committee, she added. Denmark realized that reporting could be a strain on already limited administrative resources, but in light of the potential risk posed by terrorists exploiting such loopholes, it would urge governments to seek assistance in meeting their obligations, rather than simply giving up.
In addition, while the responsibility of reporting and implementation of obligations under resolution 1373 lay with States, the Counter-Terrorism Committee should also be creative in helping countries overcome possible constraints in order to get on track. The establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) provided a much-needed infusion of resources to Secretariat support for the Committee. Indeed, it was already in the starting blocks and would soon be up and running. Denmark was hopeful that that initiative would pave the way for more substantial dialogue with States on implementation of their obligations. Much had been said about the need to make it easier for countries to access the technical assistance they needed to fulfil their obligations. Denmark hoped a fully staffed CTED could ensure that needs were efficiently identified and prioritized. Better cooperation with regional organizations was also key to the efficient use of resources.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee should continue its efforts to put into practice all revitalization, including the start-up of the Executive Directorate, as agreed by the Council. The Committee should also continue to assist and promote the creation of a comprehensive global counter-terrorism strategy, particularly because its proficiency and legitimacy was widely recognized. It should continue to play a lead role in that regard, particularly to help Member States fulfil their counter-terrorism obligations. It should also continue to improve its work in counter-terrorism assistance, and serve as a bridge between donor and receiving countries.
He went on to say that it was important for the Committee to promote the integration of resources and competencies among United Nations agencies and regional organizations so that counter-terrorism assistance could produce greater results. In addition, the Committee should carefully plan its scheduled country visits, to better assess the needs of those countries. China also welcomed the upcoming visits with regional organizations and hoped it would further promote cooperation with such groups.
ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom) said the delays in establishing the Executive Directorate had been frustrating. Nevertheless, the situation was now on the threshold of the functioning of the new structure. He very much hoped it would be fully operational by the time of the next open meeting on that subject. It was important that it be staffed with experts able to bring a real understanding of counter-terrorism issues. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had an ambitious agenda, including dialogue with States, regional and subregional organizations, and other parts of the United Nations system. The Committee had been able to develop its role in identifying technical assistance needs and compiling best practices. Highly qualified experts would help to take such work forward.
He welcomed the deepening of the Committee’s relationship with States and encouraged all of them, not least through their New York missions, to get to know the Committee and the staff of the Executive Directorate. The Committee was very keen to understand the particular circumstances and challenges of each country in developing its approach to counter-terrorism and in implementing its obligation under resolution 1373. In that context, the Committee’s visits programme to States was extremely welcome. He looked forward to those becoming a regular part of the Committee’s work, as those were a very direct way to help countries tackle terrorism, and they offered an unparalleled opportunity for the Committee to understand in depth the challenges on the ground. Also part of its outreach programme was dialogue with international, regional and subregional organizations. Between them, those organizations had a more specialized and detailed knowledge of the challenges of implementation of resolution 1373 than the Committee could ever have. He looked forward to next week’s meeting in Kazakhstan.
A second key area would continue to be technical assistance, he said. The developing, direct relationship with States, both donors and recipients, would be key to that, as would the relationship with the organizations that could provide specialist advice. As Chairman of the Group of Eight’s counter-terrorism action group, the United Kingdom would also work to ensure that that body continued to develop its role in support of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and he looked forward to greater cooperation between those two instruments.
His country would also work through the Committee to support a more proactive and targeted approach to assistance, he said. It was vital that the Committee consider not only whether States were meeting their responsibilities, but whether it was meeting the greater responsibility to help States tackle terrorism nationally and internationally. Unless States engaged with the Committee, it would be impossible for it to analyse accurately what States needed. For that reason and many others, he added his voice to the call on States to meet the reporting timetable, and if that posed difficulties, the States should get in touch with the Committee.
Noting that the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change had recommended a comprehensive pan-United Nations strategy on terrorism, he said he fully supported that proposal. The Secretary-General had already said that he was acting on it, preparing a strategy that would bring together a range of tools and organizations across the United Nations. He was sure the Counter-Terrorism Committee would be a key part of the United Nations’ approach. Nevertheless, the issue of how to really make a difference against terrorism went further than the Committee’s work alone. He looked forward to engaging in that broader debate.
AUGUSTINE P. MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) said that, as one of the increasing number of countries with first-hand experience of a major terrorist attack, Tanzania’s resolve in the war against the scourge had never been stronger. Tanzania also believed that the fight against terrorism could best be coordinated and fought effectively through the United Nations. That was where the importance of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was appropriately evident. He said that, while the Committee’s work over the past three months had been commendable, it was clear that the crucial issue was that the shortage of expert capacity should be promptly addressed. He hoped that the full establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate would solve that problem.
His delegation had been interested to learn that the Committee was still undertaking efforts to elaborate a new approach to facilitating the provision of technical assistance, and was looking forward to the outcome of the efforts undertaken by the Committee and Executive Directorate experts in that regard. In addition, such technical assistance could be immensely helpful to developing countries in their efforts to prepare and submit the proper reports in a timely manner. He also expressed support for the Committee’s intention to conduct country visits, as they would be useful for exchanging information on the exact technical requirements and assistance needed to fully implement Council resolution 1373 (2001).
He went on to commend the efforts of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in the area of terrorism, particularly that body’s proposal of a definition of terrorism, a matter that had been eluding the General Assembly for almost 10 years and had stalled the process of concluding an international convention on terrorism. The definition proposed in the report was similar to Council resolution 1566, he said, adding that that definition could be useful as a guide as the Assembly sought to build consensus on the matter, with the hope of adopting such a convention as soon as possible.
LAURO L. BAJA, JR. (Philippines) said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee served a central role in fulfilling the Council’s mandate to maintain international peace and security. He noted with satisfaction the steady progress in its work and evolution, including the formation of the Executive Directorate. Cooperation with regional and subregional organizations was flourishing, and coordination with other Council bodies dealing with terrorism was expanding. Interaction with Member States was also being enhanced and deepened, mainly through the submission of reports. In the fight against the terrorism mandate, the Committee had pursued its mandate vigorously. The working group under resolution 1566, which he chaired, would start its work before the end of the month. There was still plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully, the Executive Directorate would be activated early in the coming 90-day period.
He said that the transition period was undercutting the Committee’s full review of reports and its ability to carry out its other tasks. Thus, he encouraged the expeditious hiring of experts and personnel for the Executive Directorate. On its composition, he stressed that competent individuals should be hired across the gender and geographic spectrum. The experts would lend a greater measure of legitimacy and provide a solid source of intimate knowledge in all areas of the world. The face-to-face interaction between the Committee and MemberStates was qualitatively better than letter-writing and the submission of reports, and could improve international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. If the matter of late reports was not resolved, however, the Committee’s credibility would be called into question in the short-term, and in the longer-term, the Council’s credibility could be questioned. Other counter-terrorism committees seemed to be similarly plagued by delays. It was important for all such bodies to establish close coordination and cooperation in pursuing their mandates. Synergistic approaches would help solve the problems.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) said that terrorism was one of the gravest threats to international peace and security, and France had been actively working to ensure that the Organization’s efforts to combat the scourge were comprehensive and forward-looking. On the Committee’s programme of work, he said that France was gratified that the body was pressing ahead with country visits and hoped that they would help experts more closely asses how States were handling their obligations under resolution 1373. The first such visit was expected to take place in the coming months and would include, among other things, advice on technical assistance. The programme of work also highlighted cooperation with the Al-Qaida sanctions committee and other relevant subsidiary Council bodies, he added.
In addition, France was glad the Committee had begun to focus on the number of tardy reports. The Committee and the Council must remedy that situation by identifying the exact requirements needed by specific States. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Prevention (UNODC) had begun operating an advisory service on that matter. Cooperation between the Committee and regional and other United Nations institutions had also been highlighted in the programme of work. France hoped the Committee would be able to cooperate more with the terrorism component of the G-8 in order to avail itself of that body’s capacity and expertise.
Over and above the Committee’s work, everyone had in mind the recommendations of the High-Level Panel, and France awaited with interest the global implementation strategy on terrorism and other threats to peace and security to be presented by the Secretary-General. The September sixtieth anniversary summit would lead to a great deal of progress, in that regard, he added. In the meantime, the Council and the wider United Nations must get down to work without delay, in order to provide new momentum to the Organization’s counter-terrorism activities. France also believed that the working group on the matter would provide important input in that regard.
STUART W. HOLLIDAY (United States) said that the counter-terrorism bodies were entering an important phase, and every effort should be made to ensure proper coordination. The working group established under resolution 1566, which would start meeting later this month, had an important mandate, which included making recommendations to the Council on practical measures to be imposed on those involved in or associated with terrorist activities other than those on the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee’s consolidated list. In carrying out its mandate, the Group should take special care to coordinate with existing Council counter-terrorism bodies. The “1540” Committee experts would soon arrive in New York to begin their work of reviewing and analysing reports.
By early spring, he said he expected the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate to be fully staffed and ready to start visiting States in on-the-ground efforts to implement resolution 1373. With those visits under way, the Committee would be moving to its next phase and a step closer to being able to identify those States that were not meeting their obligations under resolution 1373. Resolution 1566 had explicitly called on the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, and the 1540 Committee to enhance cooperation with each other. While there had been some progress in that area, including the first-ever meting among the chairmen of those bodies, there needed to be more sharing of information and consultation, in order to ensure the most effective Council contribution to the global fight against terrorism.
A number of concrete steps should be taken in that regard, he said. First, there should be regular meetings among the experts assigned to support each of the Council’s terrorism-related bodies. Second, the Chairman of each Committee should hold a joint meeting for the wider United Nations membership on a regular basis to report on their work and to allow Member States to ask questions. Third, their work programmes, including the proposed travel, should be drawn up in tandem. Finally, the Executive Directorate, the Monitoring Team and the experts of the 1540 Committee, once they began their work, should share a common database of information. Although there were three committees and now a working group involved in the global counter-terrorism campaign, they were all Security Council bodies. In the coming weeks and months, his delegation would strive to improve coordination among those bodies as part of a larger effort to make the United Nations a more effective player in the international counter-terrorism effort.
He said that the gathering next week in Kazakhstan offered an opportunity for representatives of international, regional and subregional organizations to discuss challenges, share best practices, and improve coordination between and among the different players in the growing counter-terrorism industry. Yet, that gathering must be more than talking and exchanging information. It must lead to action and results. While the discussions in Almaty were important, the follow-up was more important. Too often, such meetings did not lead to the follow-up action needed to advance the international counter-terrorism effort. For example, there were still too many regional and subregional organizations that had yet to adopt or implement counter-terrorism action plans. He still had not seen enough organizations develop and disseminate counter-terrorism best practices.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said his country was firmly committed to the fight against terrorism and would reaffirm that, since terrorist acts targeted non-combatants, that scourge deserved the strongest international condemnation. The United Nations should have the primary responsibility of fostering a broad and integrated response to international terrorism. Such a strategy should not be restricted to punitive measures, but should also address the root causes. It was well known that dire situations such as poverty and inequality often led to conditions that were favourable to breeding extremism, he stressed.
On the work programme of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that Brazil welcomed the convening in Almaty next week of a special meeting of the body with other regional and United Nations and international organizations. Brazil also welcomed the upcoming country visits scheduled by the Committee to begin in March. He stressed that the Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate should not be likened to a sanctions committee although its work with such Council subsidiary bodies should be enhanced.
He also warned that Council resolution 1566 should not be seen as providing a definition of terrorism. Indeed defining the scourge fell under the purview of the Assembly. Brazil was not sure that the Council should undertake such duties, particularly because it feared the work of the Committee might become politicized. Like others, Brazil expected that the Secretary-General’s global strategy to counter terrorism would help the Council overcome existing difficulties on that matter.
MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) said that countering the ominous scourge of global terrorism required the continuous review and reinforcement of the mechanisms at the United Nations’ disposal, as well as the consolidation of the institutional dimension of efforts undertaken in that field. Visits by the Counter-Terrorism Committee contributed much to strengthening the monitoring of implementation of resolution 1373, while also giving important indications about States’ need for technical assistance. Nevertheless, close coordination and cooperation between the counter-terrorism bodies in preparing those visits was needed in order to avoid overlapping of efforts. Of particular concern was the significant number of States, which were late in submitting their national reports. Non-reporting -- regardless of motivation, a lack of willingness or lack of capacity -– was a highly worrying situation that had to be addressed on a priority basis. Further measures, therefore, should be sought for boosting the level of reporting.
He said that the Council, in carrying forward its leading role in the global fight against terrorism, was benefiting from the work of all of its relevant bodies. Their mandates and activities were closely linked, as terrorist acts and proliferation of mass-destruction weapons were “two faces of the same coin”. Cooperation among their chairmen, as well as among their experts, therefore, was essential for ensuring the Council’s coherent approach to defeating terrorism. The informal tripartite consultations mechanism should be further consolidated, as that offered new dimensions. Regular exchange of information and collaboration in analysing and responding to Member States’ reports could bring added value. Interactions should also reach out to the new Working Group established under resolution 1566. In the same vein, it was crucially important that the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate enter swiftly into full operational mode and receive all necessary support in so doing.
JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said that no country could believe that it might be spared from terrorism. Likewise, no country could face the threat alone. Therefore, the international community should pool its efforts to combat the scourge. With that in mind, the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee should continue apace, particularly the objective of monitoring and assessing work on the ground to meet obligations under resolution 1373 (2001).
He went on to say that efforts to support the Committee’s important work should also be enhanced. For its part, the Committee needed to be more proactive in its efforts to identify needs and provide targeted assistance, particularly technical help to States. He also stressed that it would also be helpful for States that had not done so to ratify or accede to the relevant international anti-terrorism conventions and adopt the appropriate national legislation to meet their objectives as required by the Committee.
In addition, he urged States to address social inequalities and causes of conflict that could often lead to violence and extremism. The international community must also do all it could to avoid the collapse of vulnerable States so that they would not become safe havens for terrorists and terrorist networks. Finally, he urged all to do more to promote understanding among all peoples and cultures in order to deprive terrorists of a means and venue to continue promoting their despicable causes.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria) said that the number of reports received had been considerable. As the Committee headed into the fifth series, he hoped it had the necessary resources to meet its mandate. So far, 75 Member States had not provided their reports on time, which was of concern for his delegation, particularly since most of those were developing countries, particularly in Africa. The Counter-Terrorism Committee was able to provide them with the necessary advice and assistance for implementation. He hoped for a proactive approach to undertaking a direct dialogue with those States. Implementation of resolution 1373 was not limited to reviewing reports, but had also called for tools and additional resources. He commended its analytical efforts to determine the assistance needs of States.
He said his delegation had worked on the Committee in the past, and he welcomed its visits to States as a means of direct dialogue. They were also useful in determining technical assistance needs. The Committee had already elaborated guidelines and procedures for visits to countries, which would better enable it to meet its obligations. Also welcome was the convening next week of the fourth special meeting with international, regional, and subregional organizations in Kazakhstan, as well as the informal consultations that had taken place between the Chairmen of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee and the “1540” Committee. Their coordination should be given particular attention. He especially hoped for greater interaction between those bodies, as well as with the various United Nations structures involved in the fight against terrorism.
ADAMANTIOS VASSILAKIS (Greece) said that as a new Counter-Terrorism Committee member, his country was determined to actively participate in the body’s important work. Indeed, by ensuring that all States had taken effective steps for the full implementation of Council resolution 1373, enhancing their counter-terrorism strategies and promoting universal adherence to anti-terrorist conventions, the Committee had proved that the fight against the scourge required both internal and global action and cooperation. At the same time, Greece believed that counter-terrorism activities must at all times conform to the principles of the Charter, as well as human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws.
In addition, Greece welcomed the relevant recommendations contained in the High-Level Panel’s report, including those relating to the need of all Member States to ratify and implement the 12 United Nations anti-terrorism conventions and protocols, to rapidly complete negotiations on a comprehensive convention on terrorism, for the Assembly to achieve consensus on a definition of terrorism, and to institute a process for reviewing cases of individuals and institutions claiming to have been wrongly placed or retained on the watch lists of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee.
Greece had been encouraged by the Council’s continued efforts to make the Committee more efficient, competent and pertinent to global action against terrorism, and to accelerate the revitalization process, particularly by ensuring that the Executive Directorate was fully operational. Greece also believed that the provision of technical assistance to States was a key element for the effective implementation of the resolution (1373). In that connection, he said that an updated assistance matrix was an important tool for interested States to identify and obtain such assistance. He welcomed the Committee’s decision to begin visits to Member States as a way to create a better dialogue and provide a more accurate picture of situations on the ground.
KENZO OSHIMA (Japan), expressing support for the first quarter’s programme of work, said the Committee should be focusing on three points now. First, the Fourth Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee with international, regional and subregional organizations next week would be important in developing closer links between the Committee and those organizations. For the Committee to be able to facilitate full implementation of resolution 1373 and other relevant Council resolutions it must strive to enhance dialogue and cooperation with the many counter-terrorism-related organizations at all levels. Also important was to avoid a duplication of efforts, as well as gaps in the work of such organizations covering a variety of counter-terrorism activities. Hopefully, setting best practices in relation to financing terrorism, as requested under resolution 1566, would facilitate the consultation process with the relevant organizations. Beyond compiling best practices on the financing of terrorism, the Committee should gradually be able to extend its work to other counter-terrorism policies.
Turning to visits to States, he said that, given their limited number, the Committee and its Executive Directorate should also concentrate on informing and bringing benefits to States not visited through a sharing of information and experience, in order to assist them in their efforts to enhance their counter-terrorism capacity. He also hoped the Committee would share its findings on States’ needs assessments.
He had high expectations for the analytical work to be done by the Executive Directorate, and its new expert team should eventually be able to submit to the Committee its comprehensive analyses, views and recommendations regarding the technical assistance requirements of Member States. Above all, the Committee must ensure that sacrifices made by the victims of terrorism were not in vain. It carried a heavy responsibility in that regard, and the international community expected it to continue its work with the “unflinching” determination to pursue the best practically attainable measures to prevent and work towards the elimination of the terrorism scourge. Towards that goal, the Committee should cooperate fully with other related bodies.
Council President CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina), speaking in his national capacity, said that combating terrorism was one of the Organization’s main priorities. His country shared the belief that the United Nations was key to a comprehensive and unified international response to the scourge. Argentina hoped that the Counter-Terrorism Committee would deepen its dialogue with Member States in order to solve problems related to delays with and inefficiencies in the presentation of reports, among other things. With the help of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, everyone should search for ways to streamline those activities so that States could better meet their Council obligations. Argentina would actively support the Committee’s country visits, he added.
In addition, he said it was essential to promote and support the Committee’s further cooperation with relevant regional and international groups and organizations. Argentina would also stress the need to prioritize cooperation within the United Nations, whether between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, or the Committee and the Council’s relevant subsidiary sanctions-monitoring bodies. He hoped that when the Executive Directorate became fully operational, the Committee’s work would subsequently be enhanced. He added that action against terrorism by the United Nation must be effective and serve as an example to the wider international community. It must be seen to be delivered in an equitable, non-selective manner and to be respectful of the Charter and of international human rights laws.
JEAN-MARC HOSCHEIT (Luxembourg), on behalf of the European Union, said that, while the Union supported the Council’s call on all States to submit their reports on time, it felt that certain aspects deserved particular attention, among them the development of a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism. At its summit meeting in Brussels in December 2004, the Union had reiterated its determination to combat the continued terrorism threat through a comprehensive and integrated approach, reinforcing both internal and international cooperation. It had also reiterated its conviction that, in order to be effective in the long-term, the Union’s response to terrorism must address its root causes. As radicalization and recruitment were closely connected, the Union would establish by June a long-term strategy and action plan on both of those issues. In that context, it welcomed the recommendations by the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.
He said that the Union was convinced that efforts to combat terrorism must respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Counter-terrorism actions must, at all times, be accompanied by respect of due process and the rule of law. There could be no trade-off between human rights and effective security measures; indeed, respect for human rights must remain an integral part of any global counter-terrorism strategy. In that context, the Union welcomed the fact that a human rights expert would be one of the main advisers of the Executive Directorate. It also welcomed the recommendation of the High-Level Panel to institute a review process for those cases claiming to have been wrongly retained on the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee’s watch list. Such a process could also benefit the other sanctions committees.
The third point related to a more proactive role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in its global outreach, he said. The Union welcomed the fact that the Committee and its Executive Directorate would enhance and broaden their dialogue with Member States and with international, regional and subregional organizations. It also welcomed the scheduling in March of the Committee’s first visit to a Member State, as well as the Committee’s upcoming special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations. Development of a set of best practices, as well as the provision of technical assistance would be better tailored to the Member States’ needs through direct dialogue. The Union, for its part, was actively pursing outreach to third countries, in particular, through visits and direct dialogue, including the possibility of technical assistance.
YEZHAN KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) said his delegation been encouraged with the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work over the past three months, and would note that, despite the existing difficulties in getting the Executive Directorate up and running, the Committee had been able to achieve considerable progress towards the revitalization of its working methods and activities. Kazakhstan noted with satisfaction that the Counter-Terrorism Committee was about to start preparations for visits to Member States in compliance with resolutions 1535 (2004) and 1566 (2004), the first of which was set for March. Such visits represented a qualitatively new and practical instrument designed to develop cooperation and dialogue with Member States and to provide much-needed technical support and expert assistance in the fight against terrorism, he added.
He went on to highlight the upcoming fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations, which would be hosted by his Government. That meeting, to take place in Almaty next week was being convened jointly with the Commonwealth of Independent States, he said, stressing that counter-terrorism activities in the region were closely linked to efforts to prevent drug trafficking, as well as the illegal arms trade and trafficking in persons. In particular, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization had successfully set up and operated specialized anti-terrorist centres and carried out other relevant tasks. Kazakhstan believed that the experience gained throughout that process might be useful to the Committee, he said.
JUAN A. BUFFA (Paraguay) said his Government had energetically condemned terrorism in all its aspects as a scourge of all humanity. To fight it, the world must act in a coordinated and committed fashion. He reiterated his firm support for the Council’s global fight against terrorism. In keeping with resolution 1373, Algeria had ratified and acceded to the 12 relevant international conventions, and had incorporated their provisions into its domestic legislation.
A high-level workshop to follow-up the recommendations of the resolution and analyse national legislation in order to bring it in line with resolution 1373 had been held in December in Vienna at Paraguay’s request. The meeting had brought together the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States, which had become a core element in bringing the domestic legislation into conformity.
He said that, upon the return of the National Congress on 1 March, it was expected to receive the draft law on terrorism. The attendance at the workshop of an expert of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had been very important in seeing to it that the relevant legislation was consistent with humanitarian law. The participation of an expert from the terrorism committee of the Organization of American States, and of others from the Counter-Terrorism Committee was also very useful. Paraguay was not in any way delinquent in bringing its legislation in line with requirements to combat terrorism globally. It had also established a national committee among the three branches of government to continue that battle. Subregionally, it belonged to “Three plus”, which aimed at cooperation and the creation of counter-terrorism mechanisms.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that the year ahead offered a number of opportunities for the United Nations to step up its efforts in the fight against terrorism. The High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change had identified the scourge among six categories of threats with which the world must be concerned in the coming decades. He concurred with the Panel’s findings that it was imperative to develop a global strategy to combat terrorism that addressed root causes and strengthened responsible States and the rule of law, as well as fundamental human rights.
The most important and complex aspect of such a strategy concerned efforts to reverse the causes of terrorism, he continued. Pointing out such causes was often seen as an attempt to justify terrorist acts, and so such factors were subsequently neglected in the global community’s overall response. With that in mind, he urged all States to fight all aspects of terrorism with resolve, including root causes -– phenomena ranging from major political grievances or differences to failed States and poverty –- which were often threats to common security in and of themselves.
Liechtenstein hoped that the process leading up to September’s sixtieth anniversary Summit would bring about strong new measures aimed at combating those phenomena and, thereby, contributing to the fight against terrorism. Countering extremism and intolerance was another important pillar of such a strategy, as was the development of better instruments aimed at promoting State cooperation in counter-terrorism initiatives. He said that practical cooperation between States in law enforcement and intelligence-sharing and relevant assistance and capacity-building need to be improved. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate should continue to play and further strengthen its leading role in the coordination of such assistance, he said.
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