5168th Meeting (AM)*
SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFED BY CHAIRMEN OF ANTI-TERRORISM COMMITTEES;
CALLS FOR STRENGTHENED COOPERATION, ENHANCED INFORMATION SHARING
Presidential StatementRecallsMemberState Obligation to Report
On Implementation of Resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004)
Following a briefing this morning by the Chairmen of its three anti-terrorism Committees, the Security Council called for strengthened cooperation among the Committees through enhanced information sharing, coordinated visits to countries and other issues of relevance.
In a statement read out by Wang Guangya (China), President for the month of April, the Council welcomed the briefings by the Chairmen of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999); the Counter-Terrorism Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001); and the Committee on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
The Council stressed the different mandates of the three Committees and reaffirmed its call for enhanced cooperation among them in monitoring Member States implementation of the respective Security Council resolutions relevant to them. It also invited them to continue cooperation with the working group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
Reaffirming the responsibility of Member States for implementing the resolutions relevant to their respective mandates, including the preparation of reports to them, the Council also encouraged international, regional and subregional organizations to enhance their efforts to further their members’ implementation of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001 and 1540 (2004). It also encouraged those organizations, as well as States, to provide technical assistance to enhance the capacity of implement those resolutions.
The Council reaffirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constituted a threat to international peace and security, and recalled its grave concern over the risk posed by non-State actors that attempted to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use such means and related delivery systems.
The Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constituted one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism were criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed. It welcomed the General Assembly’s consensus adoption on 13 April 2005 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Briefing the Council on the work of the three Committees were their respective Chairmen, Cesar Mayoral (Argentina) of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee; Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark) of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC); and Mihnea Motoc (Romania) of the 1540 Committee.
At the outset of the meeting, the Council President expressed members’ profound condolences over the train accident in Amagasaki, Japan, which took the lives of at least 50 people and injured more than 400. The Council expressed its sympathy to the victims and their families, as well as to the Government of Japan, sentiments that the country’s representative was requested to convey.
The meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and ended at 1:30 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/16 reads, as follows:
“The Security Council welcomes the briefings by the Chairmen of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), the Counter-Terrorism Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the work of the three Committees.
“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 motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
“The Security Council also reaffirms that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security as stressed in resolution 1540. The Security Council recalls its grave concern of the risk posed by non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.
“The Security Council welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly on 13 April 2005 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism by consensus.
“The Security Council stresses the different mandates of the three Committees. The Security Council reaffirms its call for enhanced cooperation among the Committees, as well as their respective groups of experts, in monitoring States’ implementation of provisions of the Security Council resolutions relevant to the three Committees and invites the Committees, including their respective groups of experts, further to strengthen their cooperation through enhanced information sharing, coordinated visits to countries and other issues of relevance to all the three Committees. The Security Council also invites the three Committees to continue cooperation with the working group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
“The Security Council recalls the obligation of Member States to report to the three Committees in a timely manner on steps they have taken or intend to take to implement resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), and 1540 (2004) and related resolutions, and encourages the three Committees to consider, if appropriate, how to deal with late submission of reports to these Committees in a coordinated manner.
“The Security Council reaffirms that the responsibility for implementing the Security Council resolutions relevant to the mandates of the three Committees, including preparation of reports to the respective Committees, rests with the States. The Security Council encourages international, regional and subregional organizations to enhance their efforts to further their members’ implementation of these Security Council resolutions; and further encourages such organisations as well as States, where appropriate, to provide technical assistance to enhance the capacity of States to implement these resolutions.
The Security Council welcomes the important contribution made by relevant international, regional and subregional organizations in the fight against terrorism and to ensure that non-State actors do not develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery. The Security Council encourages the three Committees to further strengthen the cooperation with such organizations.
“The Security Council further welcomes the important contribution made to the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1526 (2004) in application of its mandate annexed to that resolution; to the work of the committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) by its experts; and, to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) by the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) established by resolution 1535 (2004), and notes with satisfaction the completion by the CTED of its first field mission to a Member State as contemplated by resolution 1535 (2004).
“The Security Council invites the CTC to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for the CTC’s fifteenth 90-day period (S/2005/266). It encourages all parts of the UN to do their utmost to ensure that the Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate becomes fully operational in the shortest possible time.
“The Security Council also invites the 1540 Committee to pursue its undertakings as provided in its first trimestrial programme of work approved by the Committee on 22 April 2005. The Security Council welcomes the submission by 113 Member States of reports so far on steps they have taken or intend to take to implement resolution 1540 (2004) and calls upon States that have not yet submitted such a report to do so as soon as possible. The Security Council welcomes the recruitment of experts of the Committee and notes that they have begun to support the Committee in the considerations of the first reports submitted by Member States pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
“The Security Council invites the three Committees to continue reporting on their activities at regular intervals and, where appropriate, in a coordinated manner.”
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the Chairmen of the three anti-terrorism committees: the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities (“1267” Committee); the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (Counter-Terrorism Committee); and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) (“1540” Committee).
CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina), Chairman of the “1267” Committee, said that since the Committee’s creation in 1999, it had accumulated a long and fruitful experience in dealing with its mandate: making Al-Qaida/Taliban’s operations more difficult worldwide. Today, its sanctions regime was being implemented globally, and thanks, in particular, to the submissions of Member States, its consolidated list of individuals and entities related to Al-Qaida/Taliban was updated periodically. During the reporting period, the Committee had worked on exemptions and delisting requests from Member States, having delisted one individual in December 2004 and accepted four exemptions pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002).
He said that during the reporting period, the Committee met 15 times. On 11 January, it met a senior United States’ delegation, and was informed in detail of current United States’ efforts to implement the sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. He encouraged Member States to follow the United States’ example and make use of the opportunity to meet with the Committee, since that was a very useful way for the Committee to evaluate the strongest and weakest areas of implementation. During the first months of the year, the Committee had been considering in great detail the second report of the monitoring team (document S/2005/83). The team’s recommendations provided a useful basis for discussion, which the Committee was analysing.
Several of those recommendations would have a “strong influence” on a new resolution to improve existing sanctions, pursuant to resolution 1526 (2004), he said. Among the most important, the Committee supported recommendations related to increased cooperation with Interpol. It would be of benefit in the fight against Al-Qaida and the Taliban if all Member States became members of Interpol. The Committee also supported the team’s recommendation that Interpol members make use of the Interpol database on stolen travel documents. The Committee recently held an informal meeting with the Interpol representative in New York, Dr. Ulrich Kersten, to discuss possible areas of cooperation.
He noted that the team had also continued its efforts to improve the quality of the Consolidated List. By contacting a range of Member States, the team had been able to propose more than 500 additional pieces of identifying information regarding individuals and entities already on the List. It had also been active in encouraging Member States to submit new names for inclusion on the List. The team had taken 11 trips, including to Africa, the Middle East and Europe, to discuss implementation of the sanctions, as well as how to strengthen the sanctions regime. Those trips had continued to raise the Committee’s profile and promote a proper understanding of the purpose and importance of the sanctions regime. The team had also established contacts with regional and other international bodies, including the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Further progress could be achieved in the next months, he said, by: introducing further quantitative and qualitative improvements to the Consolidated List; involving Member States in a fruitful dialogue with the Committee; increasing the level of cooperation with other counter-terrorist United Nations bodies, such as the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1540” Committee, as well as with specialized agencies; and revising the Committee’s guidelines for the conduct of its work. As mandated in resolution 1526 (2004), the Council would have to adopt a new resolution by July, in order to further improve implementation of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime.
He recalled that his predecessor had accurately told the Council last year that there were neither quick fixes nor easy solutions in the fight against terrorism. Rather, it required systematic and result-oriented work, persistence and patience, and an unyielding commitment. In the coming months, the Committee would examine States’ sanctions implementation, with the intention of identifying the areas in which additional efforts were needed to improve the current sanctions measures. The counter-terrorism sanctions regime was, in the first place, about the accuracy of targeting the right individuals and entities and the political will of all States to make it effective through strict sanctions implementation. It was difficult to envision a world completely free from terrorist threats, but a common mission sought to prevent such threats from materializing. The work of all three Committees on today’s agenda had distinct and crucial roles in that mission.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), said he had assumed the chairmanship on 1 April and much of what she would be reporting on today had taken place under the previous Chairman, Ambassador Andrey J. Denisov (Russian Federation). Security Council resolution 1535 (2004) had set the stage for revitalizing the CTC and improving the dialogue with Member States. Based on that, as well as other relevant resolutions, the Committee had more effectively discharged its mandate to monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The following key activities had taken place: a dialogue with Member States had been strengthened, including through a first visit to a Member State; new methods had been introduced for determining technical assistance needs; the dialogue with international, regional, and subregional organizations had been strengthened for the purpose of encouraging them to help their members implement resolution 1373 (2001); work had continued to strengthen the practical capabilities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); and work on a set of best practices related to the financing of terrorism had been initiated.
She said that, as part of its dialogue with Member States, the Committee had continued to respond to incoming national reports, of which more than 580 had been received so far. However, not all reports were equally comprehensive and 75 States were currently late in submitting their reports. That delay appeared to be due to lack of technical capacity available in the States concerned, but reportedly also due to “reporting fatigue”. While the responsibility for preparing reports, as well as the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), lay with Member States, the CTC had offered to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to help States in writing their reports.
Another part of the Committee’s dialogue with Member States had been to initiate country visits, which had helped bring the CTC and the CTED closer to States and allowed for in-depth dialogue on specific challenges, she said. The first such visit –- to Morocco -– had taken place on 14 to 18 March, and the World Customs Organization, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol and the European Union had taken part. The visit had permitted joint problem identification and a discussion as to how best to overcome the problems observed. A key to the success of that, and all other visits, was follow-up. Similar visits were planned to Albania, Kenya and Thailand.
With regard to technical needs assessments, she said a methodology had been developed and agreed for how they should be prepared and reviewed by the Committee. So far, 51 such assessments had been prepared and 11 had been endorsed and forwarded to Member States for their review. Unless a MemberState objected, the results of such assessments would be shared with potential assistance providers.
On the Committee’s further engagement with international, regional and subregional organizations, she said that from 26 to 28 January, the Committee and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had organized the fourth special meeting with those organizations in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It had been attended by 40 international organizations and 36 Member States. Over the past three months, the CTC had also received briefings from the Council of Europe, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In addition, the CTC had cooperated with the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) created by the Group of Eight, as well as with Interpol, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Recalling that the Secretary-General had referred directly to the central role of the Committee and the CTED in the fight against terrorism, she said that, for technical reasons, the latter had not become fully operational. That seriously limited the CTC’s ability to sustain the various types of dialogue with Member States on which it had embarked. Many reports from Members, for instance, still required a response from the Committee and a lack of experts had prevented the drafting of such responses. Further, the CTC had initiated the development of best practices to assist States in implementing resolution 1373 (2001) relating to the financing of terrorism.
Presenting the Committee’s work programme for the next three months, she said the Committee would continue its efforts to complete the revitalization process. It particularly looked forward to having a fully functional Executive Directorate in the shortest possible time, which would depend to a large extent on the timely finalization of recruitment for the CTED. The dialogue with Member States would be continued, guided by the principles of cooperation, transparency and equal treatment. That dialogue, based on MemberStates reporting and CTC replies, would be underpinned by the CTC technical needs assessments and visits to Member States. In addition, the Committee would continue to improve cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations and encourage them to seek to develop further ways to help States implement resolution 1373 (2001).
MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania), Chairman of the “1540” Committee, said that since his last report in December 2004, the Committee’s work had been concentrated mainly on shaping its methodology and “tool kit” for considering national reports by States. Committee experts had developed a matrix to be used as an internal tool in the process of examining the national reports. It was a “living document”, built on the provisions of resolution 1540. The Committee had already entered the substantive stage of its work; it had begun examining national reports, with a view to monitoring States’ efforts to implement the resolution. Additional information was required from States, however, in order to better determine implementation efforts, and the Committee would reach out to them.
He stressed that the process had to be pursued with the same sense of urgency that had contributed to adoption of resolution 1540. The Committee had been given a two-year mandate by the Council. It should consider at least 40 national reports in each remaining trimester programme of work, thereby concluding the reporting review process by the end of this year. In one year, the Committee would need to provide the Council with sufficient information about States’ implementation efforts to enable the Council to assess States’ progress. In considering national reports, the Committee would start examining possible sources of technical assistance of States that had requested it.
To date, he said that 115 States and one organization had submitted reports. He called on States that had not yet done so to submit their reports, thereby enabling the Committee to present to the Council by the end of its mandate an objective picture of what had been achieved in terms of implementation, as well as what should be done going forward. Some countries might encounter difficulties in drafting their national reports or in enacting legislation to fulfil the resolution’s requirements. Informing the Committee of such difficulties would help it to respond to requests for assistance from those States lacking the legal and regulatory infrastructure, implementation experience, and/or resources. As examination of national reports evolved, the Committee would interact and cooperate with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations.
He said that transparency was and continued to be an important objective. The Chairman and Vice-Chairmen would reach out on a regular basis to the Member States, including through common briefings with the Chairmen of the Counter-Terrorism and “1267” Committees. It would also keep its website updated. And, it would continue to inform organizations outside the United Nations about its work. He encouraged Member States, under the heading of transparency, to designate points of contact and make direct contact with the Committee’s members and experts to seek any necessary clarification on the issues covered in their correspondence with the Committee or on other matters related to the resolution. In addition, the Committee, with the support of its experts, might contact States to seek further clarification on issues arising from their reports.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said his country had reiterated its commitment to the fight against terrorism and its repudiation of all its forms and manifestations. The discussion on United Nations reform offered once again an opportunity to establish a definition of terrorism and to define coordinated, broadened and integrated efforts to fight it. Brazil welcomed the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and was considering the possibility of ratifying it as soon as possible. The threat of catastrophic terrorism, while very important, should not be the only consideration. Considering the sensitivity of the international terrorism question, working with Member States was more important than trying to force decisions that might not reflect the concerns of States.
Many States had doubts about the appropriateness of using lists to identify individual and groups involved in terrorism, he said. Questions relating to the inclusion or elimination of names on those lists had not been adequately resolved and there was a need for uniform and accurate means to improve such procedures. Brazil reiterated the importance of developing such procedures, in addition to periodic reviews of individuals and entities with links to Al-Qaida, with a view to delisting. Without a consensus decision, it would not be possible to consider practical measures against individual, groups or entities involved with terrorism, but not covered by resolution 1267.
The work of the 1540 Committee was entering an important stage, he said. It had recently begun considering reports with the support of a group of experts and that work should be done with the proper urgency owing to the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as non-State actors in possession of such weapons. However, the very existence of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons was in itself a serious threat to international peace and security, which could only be assured in the long term by complete disarmament. It was also vital to confront the roots causes of terrorism, which was the most effective way to combat it.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) said that, despite the different nature of the mandates of the three Committees, it was important to have a comprehensive vision of what the Council was doing in the area of counter-terrorism. Indeed, the entire Organization must act within a comprehensive strategy. The Secretary-General had outlined the key points of such a strategy in Madrid, which he approved. He also shared the Secretary-General’s sentiment that it was urgent for the international community to agree on a definition of terrorism. He hoped that agreements at the September summit would pave the way for a rapid adoption of the global anti-terrorism convention. The General Assembly would then put a new brick into the normative building, as it had just done through adoption of a convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism.
He said that the Security Council had contributed in some important ways to one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had recently taken some important steps. He had been particularly pleased that the first visit on the ground had fully met the expectations, thanks to fine preparation and the full cooperation of the Moroccan authorities. That Committee had also been developing some best practices to combat the financing of terrorism. In order for it to fully meet the expectations of Member States, it was more critical than ever that its Executive Directorate be given all the experts it needed, and as soon as possible.
With respect to the “1267” Committee, he said he saw two major thrusts for improvement. The first concerned the Committee’s list. All Member States should provide the necessary information to identify the individuals and entities and establish their links with Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The Committee’s procedures must progress, as well, to enable more effective delisting. The Committee must also begin to consider a draft resolution in a few weeks. It could also work on the proposals made by the follow-up team, which were interesting, including ways of strengthen anti-terrorism activities, such as better oversight of man-portable air defence systems or increased cooperation with Interpol.
The “1540” Committee was not a substitute for the responsibility of States, but it created an obligation for States to adopt the necessary legislation in many areas to combat terrorism, such as border and export controls, and the criminalization of proliferation. The Committee was “up and running”; States’ reports were being considered by experts, and soon information from those would allow progress in that crucial area. The three Committees and their experts must strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest and do a better job of exchanging information.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said there was much to be learned from the Al-Qaida Committee, which had the longest lifespan of the bodies briefing the Council today. Terrorist operations continued to evolve and terror organizations continued to mutate. Many of those groups were affiliated with Al-Qaida and followed its precepts. In drawing up a new resolution, it was more important to bear in mind changes in their modus operandi, as well as to address the root causes of terrorism.
Welcoming the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he stressed the importance of a fully operational Executive Directorate, upon which the Committee’s effectiveness depended. The Committee should also explore other creative means to monitor compliance with resolution 1373 (2001), particularly in light of the fact that it had to contend with reports fatigue and lack of technical capacity. One way to address reports fatigue would be a sharing and exchange of information in order to limit the number of questions to which States were required to respond.
He said that the 1540 Committee should facilitate the vital element of technical assistance as soon as possible in order to maximize its usefulness to Member States that could use such assistance. That was also true of technical assistance by the CTC, which had a wider overall relevance to the fight against terrorism. If countries were to win the war on terror, they must take into consideration the differences in the respective cultures cultural and deny the terrorists the support of local populations. They must carry out the all-out war on terror in such a way that it did not infringe upon the rights of local populations.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) said that terrorism and the risk of mass destruction weapons falling into the hands of terrorists remained an ever present threat -- the ultimate nightmare. The Council rightly continued sustained efforts in that area. The morning’s briefings had demonstrated the range of ongoing work. The three Committees shared important common themes, and it was worth ensuring that their work was a whole coherent effort of the Council and amounted to a single database of knowledge. The fight against terrorism required an effort from every MemberState. Terrorists preyed on States in both the developing and developed world. They moved their money, they moved themselves, in a search to acquire the deadly tools of their trade. They tried to identify the weak links. Protection of States or individuals must be effected nationally. Huge progress had been made in recent years, but “we must not let up -– the work of the Council and the Committees provide real assistance”, he said.
He noted that many States would need help in that long-term effort, which required changes in domestic legislation and procedures. The sense of urgency must be underscored to ensure that the provisions of all relevant Council resolutions were fully implemented by all Member States. There was no short cut. Those with the ability to do so must stand ready to help others. International, regional and subregional bodies were good places for the establishment of centres of expertise and advice. Many had specialized knowledge and were already helping Member States with the challenge. The Council and its committees had developed good working relationships with them. Regional organizations should also be building up their expertise, so that they, too, could help their members.
The Committees could only fulfil their monitoring mandates properly if the national reporting requirements were met, he stressed. Without information, key parts of the international architecture to defend against terrorism might never be implemented. Thus, Member States’ willingness to share information with the Committees was indicative of their commitment to fulfil implementation of Security Council resolutions. He had agreed unconditionally with the Secretary-General that terrorism was unjustified in any place, at any time and for any reason.
STUART HOLLIDAY (United States) said that without a fully operational Executive Directorate, it would be difficult for the CTC to fulfil its mandate, let alone the latest 90-day work programme. It had been more than a year since the Council had taken the initiative to establish the Directorate, but, regrettably, it was still not fully staffed. In the end, however, much of the success of the Security Council’s counter-terrorism programme depended on getting the Executive Directorate fully operational.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he emphasized the importance that his country attached to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. That was a national priority, and the Committee had an important role to play in that regard. Over the next few months, it would be seeking to develop as full a picture as possible of each State’s capacities in that area. Where that information was not contained in country reports, the Committee would be reaching out to missions to get that information. As it continued its work, the United States expected that the 1540 Committee’s hallmarks would be the same as those of the CTC: transparency, even-handedness and cooperation.
Regrettably, he said, some 75 States had still not submitted their first report to the Committee, despite the 28 October 2004 deadline. While reporting may pose many administrative difficulties in some States, they should so inform the Committee, which would help ensure that the necessary assistance was made available. The United States also stood ready to provide assistance in that area. Other States might feel that they did not need to provide information, given that they neither possessed weapons of mass destruction nor the capacity to develop them. That was not an excuse for failing to report. Those States should remember that if they did not have adequate border and other controls, they could find themselves being used as transit States for the illicit trafficking in those weapons. All States must report, so that the Committee, at the end of its mandate, could provide the Council with as comprehensive a report as possible on global efforts to implement resolution 1540.
With respect to the 1267 Committee, he said the United States Government continued to devote significant time and resources to the problems associated with terrorism finance, particularly as those matters related to the ongoing threat posed by Al-Qaida. The work of the Financial Action Task Force represented the best multilateral thinking and consensus on the terrorist financing problem. The United States welcomed the recent submission by a number of Member States of names to be included ion the 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List of individuals and entities having ties to Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) said there had clearly been a stepping up of information exchange and the coordination of planned visits to Member States. Steps had also been taken to develop coordinated methods of work, aimed at the timely submission of national reports. It was important, in principle, that the Committees focus on close cooperation with international and regional organizations, and that they used their experience and potential to strengthen the dialogue with States. Thanks to joint efforts, the Counter-Terrorism Committee had taken an important step in reforming itself, as well as in organizing new forms of dialogue with States. The Executive Directorate was working under a method it had developed, which, among other things, enabled country visits.
He also noted that new methods of expertly assessing States’ needs for technical assistance had also been undertaken, with donors’ active involvement. That had laid the basis for a qualitative expansion of dialogue. He had also welcomed the chairperson’s focus on enhancing those aspects of the Committee’s work. He shared her concerns, however, about the delay in staff of the Executive Directorate. That unfortunate situation should be remedied as soon as possible. He also attached great importance to the work of the 1267 Committee. He had a favourable assessment of the work of the monitoring team, whose second report had created a sound basis for the Committee’s further work and enabled the Council’s preparation of a new resolution in the near future. It was important not to underestimate the scope and degree of the threat of Al-Qaida.
The General Assembly had taken an important step on 13 April to strengthen the international legal basis to combat terrorism, when it adopted the international convention on combating nuclear terrorism. He favoured the assessment of the work of the 1540 Committee, which had all of the requisite authority and expert capabilities of implementing the resolution. The practice of holding such meetings as today’s on the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies should be continued, he said.
ADAMANTIOS VASSILAKIS (Greece), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said his country strongly supported the development of a United Nations capacity to address the factors contributing to terrorism, a task that would benefit from a resolution establishing a definition of terrorism. The General Assembly was the appropriate forum for such a legal standard.
He said Member States should cooperate fully with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, particularly by submitting their reports and the names of individuals and entities associated with Osama bin Laden or the Taliban. The CTC had undertaken new activities in the last three months, including the onsite visits initiated by the Executive Directorate. The country visits were important means to assess the technical needs of the visited States in implementing resolution 1373 (2001). Another positive development was the elaboration of new methods to determine the technical assistance needed by Member States. Regarding the 1540 Committee, the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, was among the most serious threats, and Greece welcomed the Committee’s recent recruitment of experts who would examine the first country reports submitted to it.
KENZO OSHIMA (Japan) said that the terrorism threat continued to grow, as did awareness of the need to fight it effectively -- hence, the importance of a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, as proposed by the Secretary-General recently in Madrid. Japan welcomed that strategy, as well as the adoption of the international convention against nuclear terrorism on 13 April. It also fully supported the work of the 1267 Committee and the activities being undertaken by the monitoring team. It had actively participated in the Committee’s work to find ways and means of establishing more effective sanctions measures. Also important was that the contents of the Consolidated List was expanded and improved, so that it could be of greater practical use for Member States.
He said that, one year after the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate was established, he hoped that the selection of experts would soon be complete and it would become fully operational as soon as possible. Visits to Member States represented progress in the Committee’s work. Such visits were useful in strengthening dialogue between the international community and the visited States, particularly for counter-terrorism capacity-building. The visits also demonstrated to the world community the political will of those States to take part in the fight against terrorism.
Preventing terrorists from acquiring mass destruction weapons and their delivery means must be tackled with urgency, he said. Member States should put in place or strengthen appropriate domestic legislation and law enforcement systems. National reports enabled the 1540 Committee to gauge the state of implementation in each State. With the addition of the newly recruited experts, its examination of reports should be accelerated. His Government was engaged in focused efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation system in the Asian region through various cooperation and dialogue initiatives, such as export controls seminars and the Asian senior-level talks on non-proliferation. It was important, meanwhile, that the three counter-terrorism Committees ensure great coordination among themselves in their respective activities. The joint briefing today had been a welcome step in that regard.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said his delegation adhered fully to the efforts of the three Committees. With respect to the 1267 Committee, Algeria agreed that States that had not submitted their reports should do so as soon as possible, and encouraged the Committee to continue its dialogue with Member States.
He noted that the CTC had taken positive actions, including determining new measures to assess technical assessment needs and initiating reference practices relative to the financing of terrorism. However, despite the sizeable number of country reports submitted, 75 States had not submitted their reports due to lack of technical capacity and reports fatigue. It was to be hoped that Member States would volunteer for visits, which were an important tool for monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Algeria also wished to see the Executive Directorate become fully operational as soon as possible.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, he said the most effective way to deal with the problem of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was to eliminate them completely. The Committee should begin to think about providing technical assistance and Algeria was pleased with its recruitment of four experts to consider the reports submitted. Algerian was also happy with the General Assembly’s adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and supported the statement to be adopted at the end of today’s meeting.
JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said that today’s meeting had clearly showed the cooperation existing among the different counter-terrorism Committees. That cooperation was necessary to coordinating the Council’s work. Sharing information and experiences was indispensable to ensure the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism. The briefings had shown that concrete action had been taken to combat terrorism. Sustaining and strengthening those actions would enable the United Nations to remain in the forefront of the fight against terrorism. Country visits were very productive. He highly appreciated the preparations made in coordination with Member States’ permanent missions. He urged the Committees and their expert teams to step up their work to enhance the effectiveness of measures to dry up the financing of terrorists and to prevent their acquisition of mass destruction weapons and their delivery means. There was no doubt that the acquisition and use of such weapons by terrorists could have incalculable consequences.
He said that all States must be involved in the Council’s anti-terrorism work, especially with regard to implementation of resolution 1540, whether or not they possessed mass destruction weapons. All States should contribute to preventing the acquisition or production of those weapons and their delivery systems by non-State actors. Regular contacts among the Committees should also facilitate the granting of assistance to Member States to strengthen their national counter-terrorism capacities and help them draft appropriate legislation and establish monitoring structures. Above and beyond the mobilization of individual States, the Council must also promote cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, such as Interpol, the IAEA, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), whose activities were decisive to implementation.
Adoption of the declaration and action plan by the fourth special meeting on cooperation with regional organizations in the fight against terrorism, held in January, had been welcome, he said. The global crusade against terrorism must not be conducted at the detriment to respect for human rights. The international community must also tackle the root causes of terrorism, such as injustice, poverty and violence. All debates on United Nations reform must give those root causes special attention, he stressed.
AUGUSTINE MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) said that the General Assembly’s adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was another giant stride in efforts to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction. However, the task ahead would be demanding, long and daunting. The United Republic of Tanzania agreed with the Chairman of the 1540 Committee on the need to hire more experts and with all three Committee Chairmen on the importance of cooperation.
He said it was gratifying that the 1267 Committee was exploring diverse ways to combat terrorism by employing the expertise of other organizations, such as Interpol, in dealing with the scourge of terrorism. Transparency was also vital and the Committees should continue their briefings, holding them jointly where possible. In the case of the 1267 Committee, Member States stood to benefit immensely from country visits. Its visit to the United Republic of Tanzania last February had been extremely important and helpful. Such visits should be encouraged in future for the purpose of building capacity. As a victim of terrorism in recent years, the country was committed to the fight against the scourge and supported the adoption of a set of best practices on terrorist financing.
Council President WANG GUANGYA (China), in his national capacity, said that in the last few months, the 1267 and 1540 Committees had made positive progress and played an irreplaceable role in ensuring implementation of the resolutions. The global fight against terrorism still faced an enormous task, and as the main mechanism of the Council’s fight against terrorism, the Committees were entrusted with important mandate, and the Council was the centre of the anti-terrorism fight. Regarding the next phase of work, the Committee’s mandates were different, yet they converged in some areas. Thus, their coordination and cooperation should be enhanced in such fields as information sharing. He encouraged the three bodies to continue with dialogue with the relevant international and regional organizations, and to improve their exchanges with the working group to enhance international cooperation against terrorism.
He said he welcomed the adoption of the fifteenth 90-day work programme of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and he expected it to conclude consideration of national reports as soon as possible, as well as to assist States in building their capacity. He also expected the Committee to formulate specific and practical measures and to take targeted actions to meet Member States’ needs. More than one year had passed since the adoption of the resolution, yet the Executive Directorate had not finished its preparations and become fully operational. That should be remedied as soon as possible. He urged the Secretariat to speed up the relevant processes. Resolution 1540 was of great significance for the promotion of international non-proliferation efforts. More than 110 countries had submitted their initial reports. He fully expected the Committee to accelerate consideration of the reports and study ways and means of providing assistance to States in need.
JEAN-MARCH HOSCHEIT (Luxembourg), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said it was a matter of great concern that countries were falling behind in their reporting obligations and called on the Committees to address in a coordinated manner the issue of technical assistance. The European Union was pursuing its own outreach to third countries, including in the area of technical assistance.
He said that in order to be credible, the 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List must be accurate and urgently review the delisting procedures with a view to improving them. The European Union particularly welcomed the fact that the first country visit, with European Union participation, had taken place in March and three more were planned. As terrorists had professed the desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the European Union recognized the importance of the 1540 Committee and welcomed its recruitment of four experts.
As the Secretary-General pointed out in his report “In Larger Freedom”, terrorism was a threat to all that the United Nations stood for and its approach to combating terrorism must be comprehensive and multifaceted. The European Union welcomed the recent adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and fully supported the Secretary-General on the need to adopt a comprehensive definition of terrorism. In addition, respect for human rights must remain an integral part of global anti-terrorism efforts, which must also address the root causes of terrorism.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) recalled that, with the adoption of resolution 1526 (2004), the 1267 Committee had been given a much more demanding substantive and conceptual structure for the performance of its tasks. At the same time, for the first time, it introduced new methods and a new “modus operandi” in the area of finances. The resolution not only established standards in the area of financial sanctions, but it provided definitions and strengthened the monitoring of implementation of sanctions. Among other things, it called on States to provide more identification data on individuals and entities included in the Committee’s list. Moreover, in the light of States’ concerns about how to safeguard the rule of law and respect due process while implementing the sanctions, it asked States to communicate to individuals when they had been included on the list and to inform them of the procedures for delisting and for the implementation of “humanitarian exceptions”, in accordance with resolution 1452 (2002).
He agreed with several speakers that visits to States provided opportunities for learning about the reality on the ground and for improving dialogue with countries, clarifying doubts, and establishing ties of confidence and communication. Notwithstanding the progress achieved with respect to resolution 1526, the Council would have to consider next June the future of the mandate of the 1267 Committee. When drafting a new resolution, the following points, among others, should be considered: States must be urged to observe international codes and norms for combating the financing of terrorism; more decisive action was needed to prevent the abuse of non-profit organizations, such as charities, and to monitor informal or alternative systems for sending remittances; new methods of financing for terrorist purposes, such as the transborder movement of foreign currency, should be addressed; due process should be strengthened with respect to persons on the list; and creative incentives to increase the number of individuals and entities on the list should be explored.
MOHAMED BENNOUNA (Morocco) said his country was mindful of the serious new threats posed by international terrorism and had committed itself to combat it in whatever form or manifestation. On 16 May 2003, Morocco had been the victim of a serious terrorist act that had cast a pall over the city of Casablanca and the entire country. Those who had wrought terror, whether in Casablanca, New York or Riyadh, were all kith and kin, and the extent to which terrorism had been organized transnationally meant that it must be tackled collectively. Every country must contribute actively, as only joint action and a multifaceted, comprehensive strategy would work. Morocco had decided to build on its national capacities by adopting a regional approach, strengthened by working alongside its Mediterranean, European, African and Middle Eastern neighbours.
The United Nations remained the appropriate venue and framework to express the coordinated response of all States in fighting against terrorism and could not be replaced, he said. Morocco, which chaired the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee (Legal), was pleased to have presided over the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and hoped there would be agreement soon on the definition of terrorism, so that a general convention on terrorism could be adopted as soon as possible.
Morocco adhered to all international legal instruments on terrorism and to Security Council resolutions, particularly 1267 and 1373, and had taken steps to incorporate them into national legislation, he said. Morocco had submitted four reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and others to the other two Committees. It had provided all the information requested and, on two occasions, had received experts from the Analytical Support and Monitoring Group reporting to the 1267 Committee. On the other hand, the Executive Directorate had conducted its first assessment visit in Morocco in March. By visiting the country, the CTC had been expressing its appreciation of the country’s efforts and to paying tribute to the country’s openness in that area. Morocco was satisfied with what the mission had said about the reliability of the country’s commitment to combating terrorism and had decided to improve the effectiveness of its legislative and administrative capacity.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ BARNUEVO (Spain) commended the three Chairpersons, who, for the first time in a joint session, had provided briefings on the excellent work they were accomplishing. Spain attached utmost priority to the anti-terrorism fight, in the framework of the United Nations. That priority had been underscored when it hosted the global summit in Madrid in March on democracy, terrorism and security. The conference had as its main objective the promotion of a democratic response to the global terrorism threat. The Madrid Agenda, adopted by the so-called Madrid Club, which had hosted the conference, constituted a call to action for democratic political leaders around the world. It also contained an action programme for Governments, political institutions, civil society and citizens based on the inalienable principles that lay at the very core of the United Nations Charter and democratic societies. The recommendations were a powerful tool for raising awareness, and constituted a commitment to counter-terrorism. They deserved to be incorporated into the international debate and action.
He said that the Madrid Agenda, which would be circulated as an official document, both for the General Assembly and the Security Council, had also been incorporated as part of the agenda of the Ministers’ Conference of the Communities of Democracies, to be held at the end of this month in Chile. It was precisely the Madrid Summit where the Secretary-General had chosen to outline the basic principles of the United Nations’ global anti-terrorism strategy, in line with the suggestions of his high-level panel. The Madrid strategy should be at the core of efforts to improve the effectiveness and coordination of agencies and organs of the United Nations system, making it possible to take an integrated approach in the fight against terrorism. The current efforts for United Nations reform should be used to take concrete and practical steps in that regard.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that the General Assembly’s recent adoption of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was but one sign that the counter-terrorism work of the United Nations had gained new momentum. There was much work to be done in the next 10 months to preserve and further develop that momentum in the intergovernmental process. At the same time, it was important to continue strengthening the operational capacities of the Organization’s bodies involved. While joining others in calling for greater reporting discipline by Member States, Liechtenstein underlined the need for that to be accompanied by quick and thorough expert analysis of those reports, in order to preserve the relevance of the dialogue.
While agreeing on the need for progress in negotiations on a comprehensive convention on terrorism designed to fill the gaps among the 13 sectoral conventions, he also expressed concern that due process, human rights and humanitarian concerns were not addressed in an equally urgent and thorough manner. Liechtenstein had consistently held that the procedures regarding the listing and delisting of individuals on sanctions lists, as well as procedures for humanitarian exceptions, must be reviewed in the light of international legal standard in the area of due process. That implied a minimum degree of transparency and independent review for decisions affecting the rights and obligations of individuals, depending, in particular, on the gravity of the deprivation of rights. Improvement of those procedures would greatly facilitate the implementation of Security Council sanctions by Member States and strengthen the legitimacy of sanctions regimes.
ORLANDO REQUEIJO (Cuba) said that, in the name of the “war on terror”, the United States’ Government had unleashed unilateral wars of aggression, in violation of the Charter and principles of international law. Thousands of people had died in those wars, including more than 1,500 American youths. Since last April, Cuba’s President had publicly provided abundant and reliable information on the criminal background on Luis Posada Carriles of Miami, one of the most hideous terrorists of the hemisphere. Since last April, the Cuban President had provided abundant and reliable information on the criminal background of that terrorist, on the means he used to enter United States territory, as well as on those who, in carrying out instructions from the terrorist Cuban American National Foundation, had facilitated his voyage from Mexico to Miami.
He said his Government could not understand why the United States Government had remained “motionless” and had not conducted an in-depth investigation into the most recent voyage of the ship, Santrina. United States legislation was clear: to provide entry into the country of an avowed terrorist, mainly someone as notorious as Posada Carriles, was one of the most serious crimes to be committed in the country that was victim of the atrocities of 11 September 2001. Resolution 1373 (2001) was also clear. It categorically established an obligation for all States to take effective measures to prevent the transit of terrorists and to deny refuge, not only to terrorists, but to those who protected them. He called on the United States Government to say whether or not it was aware of the presence of that terrorist and to inform the international community on the measures it was taking to locate his whereabouts in Miami. It would be very serious, both for the United Nations’ actions against terrorism and for United States’ credibility, if Washington harboured Posada Carriles. The United States faced a serious dilemma -– either it aligned with terrorism by protecting Mr. Carriles or it detained and extradited him.
NGUYEN DUY CHIEN (Viet Nam) said that, given the nature of terrorist acts, the fight against terrorism required more than ever a comprehensive approach, collective efforts and international cooperation, with the United Nations playing a key role and with due process paid to the root causes of terrorism. To be effective, the fight should be conducted in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
Noting that his country was a party to eight international instruments on counter-terrorism, he said it was taking the necessary steps in preparing for its accession to the remaining instruments. Viet Nam was continuing its cooperation efforts on counter-terrorism both bilaterally and multilaterally, including within the framework of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Europe Meeting and the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum. The country had joined the consensus in adopting the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism on 13 April 2005. In addition, Viet Nam had submitted four reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, one to the 1267 and one to the 1540 Committee, all containing information relating to its efforts in combating terrorism.
IMERIA NUÑEZ DE ODREMAN (Venezuela) said a clear distinction should be drawn between terrorists and those living under foreign occupation. Her Government had ratified many of the relevant multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements on terrorism, and had implemented the United Nations resolutions on that question. Domestically, it had developed broad legislation to combat terrorism and it had created a special institution at the level of vice-ministry, within the Ministry of the Interior and Justice. It had done all of that to fulfil its counter-terrorism commitments.
She said she was here today to underscore a case of terrorism that “moved the entire world”, particularly the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, namely, the downing of an aircraft in 1976 headed for Venezuela. That terrorist act had killed 70 young Cuban athletes, among others. Many years had elapsed, yet the Venezuelan who had been found guilty was still unpunished. The Venezuelan justice system had found the person guilty of qualified homicide, arms production and treason. He escaped from a Venezuelan prison and appeared sometime later in Panama. To date, Venezuela’s request for his extradition had been denied by the Panamanian Government, which later pardoned the perpetrator. He was now seeking political asylum in the United States. To grant him asylum would contravene Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), among others. Hopefully, her Government’s extradition request would be duly processed by the United States.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said the tasks facing the Committees reflected the challenge that the international community faced in addressing the threat to peace and security both from terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the very real danger of a terrorist attack involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) devices. The General Assembly’s adoption earlier this month of the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was a welcome and concrete response to one aspect of that threat and a further example of the important role that multilateral instruments and regimes played in underpinning global counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation efforts.
In the face of a persistent and evolving terrorist threat, it was absolutely vital that MemberStates, United Nations bodies and other international institutions work together, he stressed. In that context, Australia welcomed the Secretary-General’s comprehensive strategy on fighting terrorism and its recognition of the need to harness various elements of the United Nations machinery to address terrorism, including its CBRN dimension, in a coordinated and strategic way .
He said cooperation and capacity-building at the regional and bilateral levels were crucial to international counter-terrorism efforts, and Australia was active in its own region, including in taking forward the outcomes of he February 2004 Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-terrorism. The Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement, another Australia-Indonesia initiative, had opened in July 2004 and was already proving to be a valuable resource developing regional capacities to fight terrorism and transnational crime.
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* The 5167th meeting was closed.