SECURITY COUNCIL REVIEWS WORK OF COMMITTEES ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION, COUNTER-TERRORISM, AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN

30 May 2006
SC/8730

SECURITY COUNCIL REVIEWS WORK OF COMMITTEES ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION, COUNTER-TERRORISM, AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN

30 May 2006
Security Council
SC/8730
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5446th Meeting (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL REVIEWS WORK OF COMMITTEES ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION,

COUNTER-TERRORISM, AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN

Main Issues Discussed Include Reporting Systems,

Coordination among Committees, Cooperation with Regional Organizations

The continuous monitoring of and support for implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons required a lasting effort by the Security Council, which had decided, therefore, to extend for two years, until 27 April 2008, the mandate of the Committee established under that text, its Chairman, Peter Burian (Slovakia), said today.

Giving a briefing on the Committee’s work during a public meeting this morning, he said the Council had also decided that the Committee should intensify its efforts to promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) by all States through a work programme that should include information on the status of States’ implementation of all aspects of that text, as well as on outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation.  In the resolution, the Council had adopted the first integrated and comprehensive international instrument dealing with weapons of mass destruction, as well as the means to deliver them, and related materials.  Its main objective had been to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to deter non-State actors from accessing or trafficking in them.

Giving an update on reporting, he said that, as of today, 129 States had submitted first national reports to the Committee, and 62 had yet to do so.  In response to examination of their first national reports, 83 States had provided additional information.  On 19 May, the Committee had decided to publish on its official website a legislative database containing links to public sources of relevant information about national legislative and other regulatory measures.  At the same time, the Committee would maintain close cooperation with the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.

Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), Chairperson of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee established by resolution 1373 (2001), said that the body had decided to focus its work on three areas:  revising the reporting regime; enhancing dialogue with Member States needing technical assistance; and deepening its relations with international, regional and subregional organizations.  Regarding the reporting regime, many States had raised the issue of “reporting fatigue”, and the seemingly endless requests for reporting on counter-terrorism had led them to ask what purpose the reporting served.  The point had been made that the extensive reporting requests took away essential resources that could otherwise have been spent on implementation.

Regarding cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, she said the Committee had begun efforts to strengthen its relationship with several African bodies, as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  The Committee was also thankful to the Pacific Islands Forum for having invited its chairperson to speak at the recent meeting of its Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, held in Auckland, New Zealand, at the end of April.

With respect to the challenges ahead, she said the Committee would spend some time testing its newly developed “Preliminary Implementation Assessment” as a tool for enhanced dialogue with States on implementation.  The goal was twofold:  ensuring systematic, transparent and effective monitoring of States’ implementation of resolution 1373 (2001); and ensuring that requests for further reporting would be targeted, with a view to easing the reporting burden on States.

In another briefing, César Mayoral, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, described his visit to Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the latter two of which had suffered attacks by Al-Qaida.  All three countries had made significant contributions in the fight against that group, and Qatar was actively engaged in the Committee’s work, offering insights into areas of specific concern to Islamic States.  The visit to Qatar had provided an opportunity to become more familiar with its efforts to fight terrorism and further improve the sanctions regime.  Yemen was another important country in the fight against Al-Qaida, given that several individuals from that country were on the list of suspected members.  Several other listed individuals and entities were from Saudi Arabia.

He said that officials from all three countries had expressed concerns about certain aspects of the Committee’s work, two of them being the need for greater consultation with relevant States before placing an individual on the Consolidated List, and Al-Qaida’s use of the Internet.  While officials in those countries regarded the Al-Qaida ideology as the greatest long-term threat to them, Saudi officials saw a direct link between the Committee’s work and efforts to dispel misconceptions in the West that equated Islam and terrorism, which should be addressed.

All three Committee Chairs made statements in their national capacities, as did the representatives of Greece, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Qatar, Japan, Ghana, China, United States, Russian Federation, France, Peru, Congo, Austria (on behalf of the European Union), Switzerland (on behalf also of Germany and Sweden), Cuba, Liechtenstein, Israel, Ukraine (on behalf of the GUAM participating States), Venezuela, Syria and Iran.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of Israel, Syria and Iran.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 2:10 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

Briefings by Chairpersons of Counter-Terrorism Committees

The Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina), described his visit between 28 April and 8 May to Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the latter two of which had suffered from Al-Qaida attacks.  All three countries had made significant contributions in the fight against Al-Qaida.  Qatar was actively engaged in the work of the Committee and offered insights into areas of specific concern to Islamic States.  The visit to that country was an opportunity to become more familiar with its counter-terrorism efforts and to further improve the sanctions regime.  Yemen was another important country in the fight against Al-Qaida, given that several listed individuals were from that country.  Several individuals and entities were also from Saudi Arabia. 

He said that officials from all three countries had expressed concerns about certain aspects of the Committee’s work.  One area discussed had been the need for greater consultation with relevant States prior to placing an individual on the “List”.  Such consultations would not only improve compliance by Member States, but also serve as a way to obtain sufficient identifiers.  Another area addressed had concerned Al-Qaida’s use of the Internet.  Many officials commended the Committee’s Monitoring Team for having organized meetings of Heads and Deputy Heads of Security and Intelligence Agencies to discuss the issue.  Recently, the Monitoring Team had submitted to the Committee a paper on Al-Qaida’s use of the Internet, which was currently under consideration.

Officials regarded the Al-Qaida ideology as the greatest long-term threat for those countries, he said.  He said he had learned about efforts to counter the Al-Qaida ideology and to draw people away from it.  In Saudi Arabia, that work was seen as directly linked to efforts to dispel misconceptions among some in the West that Islam and terrorism could be equated.  That misconception should be addressed, and he had invited the Saudi authorities to brief the Committee on that interesting subject.  Since he had last briefed the Security Council, the Monitoring Team members had also travelled to Africa, Asia and Europe to discuss issues regarding the effective implementation of the sanctions regime.  An expert member of the Team had also accompanied him on his recent trip to the Gulf and participated in further meetings with Heads and Deputy Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of a group of countries from the Muslim world.

Among its other ongoing efforts, the Committee continued to work to increase dialogue between it and Member States, he added.  It also had continued to strengthen links with global and regional bodies, and to work closely with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the experts supporting the “1540” Committee to identify ways to assist the 31 States, which were the common late reporters or non-reporters to all three Committees.

ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark), Chair, Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said that the body had decided to focus its work on how to revise the reporting regime, how to enhance dialogue with Member States needing technical assistance, and how to deepen its relations with international, regional and subregional organizations.  Regarding the reporting regime, many States had raised the issue of “reporting fatigue”.  The seemingly endless requests for reporting on counter-terrorism had led States to ask what purpose the reporting served.  And the point had been made that the extensive reporting requests took away essential resources that could otherwise have been spent on implementation.  The Committee would continue to discuss, in cooperation with the 1540 and 1267 Committees, how to enhance cooperation, including in respect of reporting.

Pointing out its recognition of the need to look into revising the reporting regime, she said the Committee had decided, as a first step, to base its discussions on a thorough analysis of individual States’ accomplishments in implementing resolution 1373 (2001).  To that end, the Committee had adopted the so-called “Preliminary Implementation Assessment” as an analytical tool to provide a systematic and transparent way to monitor the extent to which States had implemented the obligations and provisions laid down in resolution 1373 (2001).  The Committee had again contacted all States that were behind in their reporting and urged those needing assistance in preparing their reports to let the Committee know.  Without a report, it was not possible to identify priorities for further implementation, including possible needs for assistance, and to play a facilitating role in ensuring the fulfilment of such needs.

The Committee had prepared policy guidance and had adopted the CTED’s implementation plan on facilitating technical assistance, she said.  The CTED, in turn, was now working on creating results through the fulfilment of the implementation plan.  In the meantime, the Committee appreciated its outreach to potential donors to establish who would be willing and interested to provide assistance, and in which areas.  Besides discussions with potential donors in New York, the practice had also been established that the CTED would meet with potential donors specifically in connection with visits to States.  The Committee would continue to discuss what more could be done to strengthen cooperation with donors, including by organizing an informal meeting with donors and assistance providers.

Regarding cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, she said the Committee had begun efforts to strengthen its relationship with several African regional and subregional bodies and with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  It was also preparing for its next special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations, with the goal of ensuring that it was results-oriented.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee thanked the Pacific Islands Forum for having invited its chairperson to speak at the recent meeting of its Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, held in Auckland, New Zealand, at the end of April.  It had been interesting to hear the participants explain the successes and challenges they had encountered in implementing resolution 1373.  Also, it had been impressive to hear how much those States -– many of them numbering among the smallest members of the United Nations -– had accomplished in their fight against terrorism.

Taking stock of the challenges ahead, she said that, first, the Committee would spend some time testing its newly developed analytical tool, both in and of itself, and as a basis for enhanced dialogue with States on implementation.  The goal was twofold:  to ensure systematic, transparent and effective monitoring of States’ implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), leading to targeted and prioritized enhancement of implementation of its obligations and provisions; and to ensure that requests for further reporting would be targeted, with a view to easing the reporting burden on States.

Associating herself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of the European Union, she then addressed the Council in her national capacity, saying she wished to reiterate a point that was very important to Denmark -- due process guarantees in the 1267 Committee.  In the fight against terrorism, the sense was often given of walking on the razor’s edge in striking the right balance between preventive and swift action against terrorists and adequate safeguards for individuals, not least those unjustly targeted.  Getting that balance right strengthened the legitimacy of the sanctions regime and, thereby, its efficiency.  The Al Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime was as important as ever in the international fight against terrorism, but, occasionally, States had expressed concern that it did not meet fundamental due process standards –- thus indicating that the Council might not be getting the razor’s edge balance right.  That issue demanded the immediate attention of all Security Council members.

The Council could strike a better balance by taking a closer look at both its listing and delisting procedures, she said, adding that Denmark had presented a proposal to the 1267 Committee last year to establish an independent review mechanism –- an “ombudsman” -– to which individuals and entities on the Consolidated List would have direct access.  When petitioned or upon its own initiative, that mechanism would make independent recommendations for the Committee’s consideration.  The Council would maintain its prerogative to decide on any delisting, but, at the same time, Denmark’s proposal would provide listed individuals and entities with the right to access the mechanism directly, without a State as an intermediary, and provide for a review independent of the Committee.

PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1549 (2004), recalled that, with resolution 1540 (2004), the Council had adopted the first international instrument dealing with weapons of mass destruction, their delivery means and related materials, in an integrated and comprehensive manner.  The text’s main objective was preventing the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and deterring non-State actors from accessing or trafficking in such items.  It established binding obligations for all States regarding non-proliferation and was aimed at preventing and deterring illicit access to such weapons, their delivery means and weapon-related materials.  The resolution requested all States to report on measures they had taken or intended to take to implement the obligations under the text.

He said that continuous monitoring of and support to the efforts by all States to fully implement the resolution required a lasting effort by the Council, which, therefore, had decided to extend the Committee’s mandate for two years, until 27 April 2008.  It also had decided that the Committee should intensify its efforts to promote full implementation by all States through a work programme, which should include the compilation of information on the status of States’ implementation of all aspects of the text, outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation.  The Council also had decided that the Committee’s work programme should address, in particular, all aspects of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the resolution.

As of 30 May, 129 States and one organization had submitted first national reports to the Committee; and 62 Member States had yet to submit their first report.  In response to the Committee’s examination of the first national reports, 83 States had provided additional information.  Facilitating reporting and the conduct of outreach activities to promote reporting remained among the top priorities of the Committee’s future work.  The Committee would also assist national authorities in the preparation of a first report, and it would continue to reach out to the members of all regional groups to discuss related issues.  On 19 May, the Committee had decided to publish on its official website a legislative database, which contained links to public sources of relevant information about national legislative and other regulatory measures by States, which had supported reports.

At the same time, the Committee would maintain close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1267” Committee, and its experts would continue to work closely with their colleagues, making every effort to maximize synergies between and among the experts of those three bodies, he said.  The Committee would also continue to act as a clearing house on assistance, through collecting up-to-date information on the issue and by informally contacting States to inquire whether they might be interested in receiving information on offers and requests for assistance.  Through its experts, it would identify national practices in implementing resolution 1540, which might be used by States to provide specific guidance for legislative assistance in implementing the text.  A draft one-year work programme was currently under consideration by Committee members.  It was based on resolution 1673 (2006), and it also reflected the recommendations contained in the report of the Committee to the Council of 25 April (document S/2006/257).

Statements

ADAMANTIOS VASSILAKIS (Greece), noting the many devastating terrorist attacks that had inflicted thousands of casualties worldwide, stressed that those incidents would have been much worse if the perpetrators had had access to weapons of mass destruction.  That showed that only a global response could effectively defeat terrorism.  The United Nations should play a leading role in such a response, which should be accompanied by the adoption of a comprehensive and action-oriented counter-terrorism strategy.  To that end, Greece supported the Secretary-General’s latest report, which highlighted recommendations that could help the United Nations address and confront the scourge in a comprehensive manner.

He went on to say that beyond the loss of lives, terrorism’s other frightening aspect was that it undermined freedom, democracy and the rule of law -– the very values on which societies were founded.  Therefore, the battle against it should not further compromise recognized principles; counter-terrorism measures must be in conformity with international law, including human rights law, as well as international humanitarian and refugee law.  He welcomed the work of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee as a “critical tool” in the fight against terrorism, but stressed that the Committee should further address concerns regarding procedural fairness in its listing and delisting procedures.  He also believed that a review mechanism should be in place to consider requests for delisting in cases of wrongful application.

Turning to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its CTED, he said that Greece supported the three future areas on which the Committee had decided to focus:  revising the reporting system, enhancing dialogue with Member States, and deepening cooperation with international and regional organizations.  He added that visits to Member States were also an important way to meet the key objectives of Council resolution 1373(2001). Expressing firm support for the work of the 1540 Committee, he welcomed the recent launching of that panel’s website and stressed the importance of facilitating the provision of technical assistance to States which lacked the capacity to fulfil their obligations under resolution 1540(2004).

EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom) said that international terrorism remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.  While some progress had been made, the international community must continue to stand together and do more.  It was only by helping all States tackle terrorism that it would be possible to succeed in the medium and long term.  The work of the “1540” Committee was essential in the non-proliferation effort.  The analysis in the recent report had been particularly useful, and he had welcomed the Committee’s extension under resolution 1673 (2006).  The work of the Committee so far had been a major achievement, but much work remained to be done.  He welcomed the chance to tackle the issue of outreach.  Indeed, the Committee had an essential role to play in promoting bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes between States and international and regional organizations.  That would allow individual States to develop individual action plans and ultimately steer all States to achieve the total implementation of resolution 1540.

On the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that, following the Council’s recommendation last December, his country had welcomed the development and use of new analytical tools allowing States and the Committee to move away from the never-ending reporting cycle and shift towards analysis.  He also valued the country visits and attached great importance to accurate and timely follow-up.  There should be a strong focus on technical support, and now there was an opportunity to move more quickly in that regard, delivering substantial results in the form of assistance and improving the implementation of resolution 1373.  Assistance was critical to the success of international counter-terrorism efforts.

As for the Al-Qaida Committee, he said that the visits had been very productive.  The United Kingdom fully supported the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and hoped the Committee would do everything possible to aid that process.  He encouraged the Committee to maintain its progress and increase its work on listing and delisting.  That was an important and overdue issue, which the World Summit had asked the Council to address.  Now, rapid progress must be made in that regard.  He looked forward to the fourth report of the Monitoring Team, and he urged States to submit checklists to the Committee, as required, with a focus on the quality of each list.

He said he remained committed to working on the reporting issue, seeking to ensure the right balance between reporting requirements and the burdens placed on States.  Of particular importance was reporting under resolution 1644, concerning incitement to violence.  The United Kingdom had submitted its reply to the Counter-Terrorism Committee earlier this month; all States should do the same without delay, allowing that Committee to report to the Council in September, as requested.  Essential to his Government was tackling incitement to terrorism.  The Terrorism Act of 2006 had put in place a comprehensive package of measures designed to ensure all necessary tools to tackle terrorism and bring the perpetrators to justice in his country.

The Secretary-General’s proposals for a counter-terrorism strategy for the United Nations had his wholehearted support, he said.  Its operational focus was “absolutely right”, as it sent a strong message that terrorism could never be justified, no matter the context.  He welcomed, in particular, the fact that the whole United Nations membership was engaged in how to tackle a threat aimed at undermining the entire Organization.  He hoped that everyone could quickly agree on a strong strategy in that regard.  International terrorism had been, and would continue to be, a grave problem for the global community.  The best way to tackle that was together.  That required a real commitment from all, within and outside the Security Council, he said.

BEGUM TAJ (United Republic of Tanzania) said her delegation was delighted to see a typical example of the well coordinated modus operandi, interconnectedness and complementarities among the three Committees.  The United Republic of Tanzania noted, in particular, that the 1267 Committee Monitoring Team, the CTED and the 1540 panel of experts were pursuing a common approach on reporting to the Member States and had found ways to minimize travel costs by arranging joint trips to Africa, Asia and Europe and in working out the sanctions regimes and effective implementation measures, while, at the same time, helping reporting and non-reporting States and coordinating technical assistance to States.

Her Government commended the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s comprehensive Technical Assistance Implementation Plan, the 1267 partnership on sanctions implementation, and the 1540 decision to publish a legislative database on its website, she said.  The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee should also be commended for courageously addressing listing and delisting through the revision of its guidelines.  Of equal importance and concern was the lack of adequate identifiers on the Consolidated List, which should be refined.

She said the 1540 Committee should be encouraged in its plan to use its experts and in collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee to act as a clearing house, contacting Member States needing information, and inviting States offering assistance and those needing it to take a proactive approach on a bilateral basis or through international organizations in order to contribute to capacity-building.  The Committee should strive to increase the awareness of States regarding the availability of such bilateral and international assistance facilities in the implementation of resolution 1540.

JAMAL NASSER AL-BADER ( Qatar) said that during the Al Qaida and Taliban Committee’s visit to Qatar, it had taken up various legal and legislative matters, as well as the promotion of democracy and full respect for human rights and internal legislation on combating terrorism.  Sanctions remained an important tool in fighting terrorism, but there was also a need to move from comprehensive to targeted sanctions.  Some believed sanctions were a political tool, but the use of sanctions was clearly also a legal one on which the Security Council must take into consideration the legal aspects, as well as human rights, which could not be violated in any way.

He said States had pointed out the need for the Committee to ensure legality and transparency when listing or delisting individuals and entities.  There were many cases in which the United Nations had been alleged to be in violation of human rights when listing the names of such individuals and entities.  Qatar stressed the need for checks and balances when listing or delisting such names.  The listing and delisting must be fair and transparent, and the implementation of sanctions must be accountable.  Radicalism must be combated by creating societies that were free from hatred, extremism and incitement.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee must take up that issue firmly and without distorting religion.  The 1540 Committee must proceed cautiously to ensure that weapons of mass destruction did not spread, whether through the actions of State or non-State actors.  All three Committees should coordinate and cooperate in seeking the achievement of the best results.

KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) said that, in the context of the ongoing debate in the General Assembly on formulating a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, one area of rationalization in the work of the three Security Council Committees, about which many States had voiced concerns, related to easing the reporting burdens of States.  While emphasizing the central importance of reporting by Member States for the effectiveness of the Committee’s work, the three Chairs had expressed their understanding of the need to take action on that problem.  He supported consideration in the Council of the possibility of consolidating reporting to the greatest extent possible.  For those non-reporting States, which had the will, but lacked the capacity, to prepare reports, it was necessary to consider the possible provision of assistance.  In that regard, he appreciated efforts by Ambassador Løj in holding a dialogue with several regional groups, including the Pacific Islands Forum and CARICOM members.  He also encouraged the Committees’ expert groups to consolidate, into a single questionnaire, the questions that must be answered.

He said that another rationalization measure worth undertaking was consolidating Committee visits to Member States.  The three Committees -- the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee -- should be encouraged to coordinate the timing of their visits, so that they might be conducted jointly.  Such a step would enhance the effectiveness of the dialogue with the States’ authorities and improve information gathering and sharing.  When individual visits were required, it was indispensable to share with the other Committees the outcomes of those visits, so that the findings would be utilized to the fullest.  The rationalization of visits would relieve the burden of the visited States and also create a cooperative relationship between the Committees and those visited States.  In addition, the CTED’s responsibility to identify the specific assistance needs of States on the basis of information gained through State reports and State visits remained an important task.  Thus, the development of closer cooperation between it and the G-8 Counter-Terrorism Action Group should be achieved.

Japan expected the CTED to play a “clearing house” role to match the identified needs for assistance with actual donor support, he said.  The CTED had recently begun to engage in active dialogue with potential donors, and he hoped for concrete results in that regard.  In that connection, Japan had established a new funding facility -– grant aid for cooperation on counter-terrorism and security enhancement -- providing approximately $70 million for the current fiscal year, for the purpose of assisting States, beginning in April.

Regarding the “list”, he said it was essential that sanction measures be fully implemented and terrorist activities be effectively prevented.  Towards that goal, it was necessary to find a solution to the issue of listing and delisting, expeditiously, and to enhance confidence in the Consolidated List.  He hoped that the resumed Committee discussion on the matter would soon result in a fairer and more transparent procedure, taking into consideration the various proposals submitted by the Monitoring Team, Member States, think-tanks and others.

L.K.CHRISTIAN ( Ghana) noted with satisfaction that, for the first, part of the year the Counter-Terrorism Committee had decided to focus on revising the reporting regime, enhancing its dialogue with Member States needing technical assistance, and deepening its relationship with international, regional and subregional organizations.  Ghana supported the Committee’s introduction of the “Preliminary Implementation Assessment” analytical tool, but, at the same time, would reiterate its earlier call for the Counter-Terrorism Committee to work with the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee on consolidating the three reporting systems, a strategy that had been recommended in the Outcome of the 2005 World Summit.

On technical assistance to States, he expressed appreciation for the consultations under way between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Member States and potential donors.  He hoped the discussion would yield fruitful results and stressed that the focus should be on a regional and subregional approach, which seemed to be the most cost-effective method for channelling assistance to as many countries as possible.  He also stressed that cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations should be an integral part of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work.  In that regard, he hoped that the fifth meeting of that Committee set for later this year would focus on how best to utilize regional institutions as a medium for facilitating and strengthening the capacities of States, particularly in developing regions, to meet their obligations under the 1373 regime.

Turning to the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said his delegation believed that country visits by that panel’s Chairman and Monitoring Team were one of the key pillars by which the implementation of the sanctions regime could be implemented.  It was through that interaction between the Committee and Member States that implementation could be monitored and practical steps taken to correct weaknesses in the regime.  On the recent court challenges in some countries to the Committee’s listing procedure, he raised a fundamental question:  Is a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII subject to judicial review?  It appeared that there was an essentially political process conflicting with some countries’ judicial norms, and until the question was answered, the problem would persist.

On the 1540 Committee, he welcomed the recent decision that would extend that panel’s mandate for another two years and stressed that, with the current status of the submission of first and additional reports by States, there was merit in the effort to widen outreach activities to sensitize, encourage and offer them the necessary guidance for implementing the provisions of the Committee’s founding resolution 1540 (2004).  In that light, Ghana had offered to host such an outreach programme for Africa, which, regrettably, was the region with an appreciable number of countries that were yet to submit a first report.  He added that the Committee’s role in the provision of resources and assistance, so that States could implement their 1540 obligations, should also be strengthened.

ZHANG YISHAN ( China) said that visits by the 1267 Committee enhanced understanding between the Committee and Member States, as well as Member States’ understanding of the implementation of sanctions.  Hopefully, in its next phase of its work, the Committee would emphasis in-depth analysis of the quality of sanctions and the listing and delisting procedures, and refine the latter processes at an early date.  Efforts should be made to ensure that the procedures were fair and transparent, and double standards should be avoided.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had increased its technical assistance, and had coordinated and strengthened its dialogue with Member States.  It had also begun to discuss ways to deepen its relationship with regional and subregional organizations.  The representation of developing countries in the Financial Action Task For (FATF) should be increased; only that way could those countries play a greater counter-terrorism role.

The 1540 Committee had smoothly extended its mandate, he said.  Hopefully, it would evolve a comprehensive and balanced work programme at an early date.  In July, China would host a meeting jointly with the support of the United Nations and several other countries, including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway and Australia, on counter-terrorism efforts.  Hopefully, the three Committees would continue to do their part, through strengthened cooperation and coordination.  Regarding the consolidation of country reports, the three Committees had different responsibilities and focused on different areas of work, but they overlapped somewhat.  All had heavy reporting requirements, bringing pressure to bear on Member States.  He asked the respective Committee experts to adopt appropriate measures to streamline the work and support Member States to ensure effective implementation of the relevant resolutions.

In the past three months, terrorist activities had been rampant, he said.  Terrorism was a common enemy of the international community and humankind, regardless of the motivation, timing, location and identity of the perpetrators.  In that fight, therefore, one should not combat only those terrorist organizations and individuals that threatened oneself or one’s country.  Also, one should not “be soft and ambiguous” to those not threatening oneself or one’s allies and not responding to the legitimate requirements to other countries or setting up barriers because of other motivations.  In that case, it would be hard for those Member States to expect proactive cooperation on the part of others in return.

JACKIE W. SANDERS ( United States) said that cooperation among the Committees was essential and must be enhanced.  The Committees were the Council’s “public voice on terrorism”, regularly interacting with States, other parts of the United Nations system, as well as international and regional organizations.  For the Council’s counter-terrorism efforts to succeed, they must speak with one voice on terrorism and operate in a coherent and coordinated manner.  To do so, the CTED and the 1267 Monitoring Team must conduct more joint visits to States.  When the two expert bodies could not do so, they should coordinate their visits to produce the broadest impact, and the two Committees should share information from those visits and coordinate follow-up.  She also urged the Committees and their experts to consult each other more on engagement with other international and regional organizations to be sure that those efforts reinforced one another.  Finally, reporting requests also needed careful review to avoid reporting fatigue.

She said she welcomed the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s push to achieve concrete results and its recent accomplishments.  She applauded the Committee’s efforts to streamline reporting procedures and keep itself and States focused on the implementation of resolution 1373.  She had also been pleased to hear that the Committee was preparing its fifth special meeting with international and regional organization as part of its work to strengthen coordinate and highlight issues deserving further attention, namely restricting terrorist travel and denying terrorists safe haven.  To achieve the best results, all United Nations Members must be invited to participate as observers, as in previous meetings.  Also welcome had been the CTED’s outreach to potential donors on issues concerning technical assistance.  The United States, for example, provided $1.5 million for the Pacific Islands Forum to enhance existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance regimes in the region.  She also welcomed New Zealand’s programmes to help the Forum States fulfil their reporting obligations to the 1267 and 1540 Committees.

The 1267 Committee, with invaluable help from the Monitoring team, was working hard to strengthen the sanctions regime, address States’ concerns, and ensure that the global community remained energized and united in fighting Al-Qaida and the Taliban, she said.  The Committee had turned its attention to the Afghan Government’s request to delist former Taliban members who had completed the reconciliation programme.  The United States strongly supported Afghanistan’s efforts to reconcile former Taliban to the Afghan Government.  The trip to Qatar, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia was a further move to bolster dialogue, as all three States were important allies in the fight against Al-Qaida.  Her country had been pleased to join the delegation; meetings with Member States were often the most effective way to improve cooperation and resolve differences, and thus help to strengthen the sanctions implementation.  As for revising the listing and delisting guidelines, she realized that the task was difficult, but, hopefully, the Committee would remain flexible, in order to reach agreement in that regard.

She said that resolution 1540 was a vital step in the global effort to address the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and their delivery means, including to terrorists and States that sought to use proliferation of those items to threaten the civilized world.  The Committee had a crucial role in assessing States’ implementation of the resolution and ensuring that States remained focused on fully implementing its requirements.  It should continue to serve as a clearing house for information concerning technical assistance, and it should aim to establish concrete standards for measuring States’ compliance with their obligations under the resolution.  One vital mechanism to counter proliferation that had not been adequately addressed by the Committee was the need to “choke off” the supply of funds to proliferators.  In that context, the Committee must pay more attention to the provisions of 1540, which require States to take measures against proliferation financing.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that it was necessary to continue explaining the need for coordination and cooperation among the three Committees.  More effective monitoring was important, and everything must be done to find and build States’ anti-terrorism capacities.  Today’s meeting showed once again the importance of building upon results achieved.

He said his delegation had accepted the work programme proposed by the Chairman of the 1373 Committee and had welcomed its efforts to further enhance its reporting regimes and new arrangements to assess and take important steps towards equipping the Committee to carry out targeted work and help States to build their counter-terrorism potential.  The Russian Federation also welcomed the Committee’s plans to increase its cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations.  It was necessary to enhance the guidelines of the 1267 Committee, and the Russian Federation looked forward to an interactive and fruitful discussion.  To enhance the sanctions regime, it was most important to enhance national procedures while putting new names on the Consolidated List.

The Russian Federation attached great importance to the work of the 1540 Committee, he said, adding that the country, as one of the originators of the resolution establishing that body, welcomed the extension of its mandate.  The Russian Federation also supported the Committee Chairman’s proposal to provide necessary assistance to needy States by holding regional seminars and making more active use of the Committee to explain the importance of the timely submission of reports.  There was still a major and painstaking effort to strengthen the monitoring system on the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE ( France) said he welcomed the two-year extension of resolution 1540.  In the coming weeks, its Committee would draft a work programme covering all aspects of the updated text, and France would make proposals to the Committee in that exercise.  The resolution was the only multilateral tool for comprehensively dealing with proliferation of the triple threat of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery means and related materials.  The Committee’s mandate had now been extended; it must equip itself with the tools required to meet the resolution’s ambitious objective.  The greater objective must be to give great assistance to States to achieve improved implementation in the next two years.  The Chairman of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions Committee had reported on his very useful visits to Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.  That had reconfirmed the interest for that Committee, as well as for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, of visits to the field, if those were well well prepared, well coordinated and thorough.  He welcomed the fact that the Committee had decided to resume its review of its delisting procedures and humanitarian exemptions.

He said that, today, individual sanctions had become essential in combating terrorism and supporting various peace processes.  The Security Council had broken new ground by creating that new tool, but, like any new instrument, it must be improved upon.  It had become urgent to set up a mechanism, which, firstly, made procedures for individuals and States simpler and more legible, and ensured that all delisting and exemption requests were received by the Committee and dealt with accordingly.  France had suggested that a focal point be set up within the Secretariat for direct receipt of listed individuals’ requests for delisting or exemption.  That focal point would pass on the requests to the Committee and inform the individuals concerned about the response to their request.  Setting up a single focal point for various sanctions committees would make the procedures more accessible, clearer, and more standardized, and ensure that all requests were considered.

New ways should also be considered to deal with States that did not fully implement resolution 1373, he added.  That desire echoed one recommendation made by the Secretary-General in emphasizing the need to be united against terrorism by drawing a distinction between States lacking the means to implement their obligations in that regard and those lacking the necessary political will.  The Security Council must be firm with the latter.

OSWALDO DE RIVERO ( Peru) stressed the importance of improving the quality of the Consolidated List, noting that, while the recent approval of a procedure to respond to delisting requests concerning deceased individuals was a step forward, there were still other important issues that must be addressed.  It was indispensable to have as much information as possible regarding the identification of individuals and the justification for listing.  All requests should respect the standards required by INTERPOL to facilitate inclusion in its database.  Difficulties in identifying individuals and entities on the Consolidated List presented challenges to the implementation of sanctions, respect for human rights and to the Committee’s own efficiency and credibility.

In that context, the revision of the procedures for listing and delisting from the Consolidated List, which the Committee would be considering shortly, was of great importance, he said.  Peru recognized the expectations generated inside and outside the United Nations around that process and considered that it should take all possible opportunities to address the existing limitations in the current system, keeping in mind that every action regarding the fight against terrorism should be based on the full respect of human rights, including due process.  When States faced difficulties in implementing sanctions and requested the Committee’s assistance, it should be in a position to respond in an opportune and appropriate way, he said.  In particular, if the Committee was consulted by a State, it should be in a position to determine the identity of an individual, either using the information it had on file or, if that was insufficient, requesting the State concerned to provide additional information.

Turning to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said his country continued to follow with expectation the transition from the reporting regime to the “Preliminary Implementation Assessment” regime, the adequate application of which should give the Committee a deeper and more complete knowledge of the national implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), thus establishing a solid bases for a better understanding of national situations, better dialogue between the Committee and Member States, and the determination of the best approach to follow in each particular case.  And with regard to the 1540 Committee, Peru favoured the promotion of preventive measures, as well as disarmament measures, against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

BASILE IKOUEBE (Republic of the Congo) said that the three Committees had achieved a certain level of work, as the Council, for its part, was remaining vigilant with respect to the ongoing global terrorist threat.  That vigilance was legitimate.  Today’s meeting was being held in the wake of the worldwide commemoration against terrorism.  That day demonstrated -- as if there was any need to mark the day -- that the threat still needed to be taken very seriously, and that any solution to that threat could only be transnational in nature.  That was why his delegation noted with interest the ongoing efforts of the Committee on work with Member States to ensure implementation of the relevant resolutions.  The effort was long term and had yet to bear all anticipated fruit, but any progress, modest as that might be thus far, should be acknowledged.  He reiterated his appeal for more sustained assistance to States, which were late in presenting their reports or in acceding or ratifying anti-terrorism conventions.

Similarly, he said he welcomed strengthened dialogue with Member States, as advocated by the Chair of the 1267 Committee, as well as with regional and subregional organizations, in order to create active partnerships in the sanctions field.  He had also been pleased to learn that the Counter-Terrorism Committee would hold its fifth special meeting, at a venue to be determined, on preventing terrorism and effectively securing borders.  That awareness-raising effort would contribute to improving the performances of all parties involved in the counter-terrorism effort.  He highlighted the continued need for the 1267 Committee to update the lists, taking into accounts all areas of interest of the various parties, with a focus on human rights and legal protections.  The Committee should be in a position to provide Member States with the information to which they were entitled concerning individuals on the lists and anything else regarding the listing and delisting of such persons.

He also supported the efforts of the Chair of the 1540 Committee, whose present goal was to strengthen cooperation with regional and subregional organizations.  The work programmes of the three Committees had made clear the need to better coordinate their activities with their expert groups.  There was a need to identify best practices and make those available to Member States.  The Committees’ websites were often another effective tool.  Resolution 1673 (2006) had renewed the 1540 Committee mandate and given it new impetus, requiring the support of all Council members.  Hopefully, the donor conference to be held in a few days in Geneva would receive all necessary support.

GERHARD PFANZELTER (Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, called upon the 1267 Committee to continue its efforts to further improve the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime, especially the Consolidated List and the Committee’s guidelines.  The European Union expected that the Committee would expeditiously take up its work on the guidelines dealing with the listing and delisting procedures, taking into account the important recommendations in the fourth report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.  In that connection, the European Union noted the contributions of some Member States to that important issue, including an academic study on Strengthening Targeted Sanctions through Clear and Fair Procedures, sponsored by Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as initiatives by such Council members as Denmark and France.

Expressing the European Union’s full support for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he welcomed its goal of achieving concrete results regarding the revision of the reporting regime, the enhancement of dialogue with Member States and the deepening of relations with international, regional and subregional organizations.  The European Union noted with appreciation that the Committee intended to shift its focus from reporting to implementation and to start reflecting on additional means to address the case of States that did not meet the requirements of resolution 1373 (2001), based on the analysis of country reports provided by the CTED.  The European Union also supported the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s steps to encourage States to report on their implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) and reiterated its call upon the Committee to further intensify its efforts to streamline human rights through its entire work.

He said the European Union remained deeply concerned about the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including the means of their delivery, and of their acquisition by non-State actors, particularly terrorists.  The full implementation of resolution 1540 was a long-term task that would require continuous national, regional and international efforts.  In that regard, the European Union noted with concern that, as of today, 57 States had not yet submitted their reports to the Committee, and it urged all States which had not yet done so to submit those reports.  The European Union welcomed the Committee’s intention to keep the facilitation of further reporting and the promotion of the implementation of 1540 through outreach activities among the top priorities of its future work.  The European Union would adopt a joint action to support the three regional seminars in China, Ghana and Peru, to be organized by the 1540 Committee in the second half of 2006.

On behalf of Germany and Sweden, PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) recalled that he had earlier informed the Council of an initiative launched by the three countries in the field of targeted sanctions and human rights.  That was a continuation of the Interlaken, Bonn-Berlin and Stockholm processes and aimed at strengthening implementation of targeted sanctions by addressing due process concerns.  The three Governments had commissioned the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University to draft a report on how to strengthen targeted sanctions through clear and fair procedures.  Today, he shared the report with the Council, with a view to contributing ideas to its ongoing efforts to strengthen the targeted sanctions instrument.

Highlighting the main findings and recommendations, he said the report described the legal challenges against sanctions measures, which had been brought before various courts in Europe and elsewhere.  In the past, those courts had indicated their awareness of the primacy of the United Nations Charter and the special responsibility of the Security Council to maintain international peace and security.  Nevertheless, some courts had also expressed their willingness to ensure that the Council’s decisions complied with the compulsory norms of international law relating to the protection of human rights, from which neither the Member States nor the United Nations might derogate.

 The report also summarized the improvements made over time by the sanctions Committees, particularly the 1267 Committee, but concluded that shortcomings still remained with regard to listing, delisting, notification of individuals and entities and the right to an effective remedy.  It also described the lack of periodic review of those listed, the limited time to resolve delisting requests and the open-ended nature of the present sanctions regimes.  Finally, the report concluded that the aforementioned issues might infringe upon basic human rights principles.

The best way forward was on a step-by-step basis, he said.  The Council and its Committees could start with the most urgent issues where progress could be achieved within a reasonable time frame.  Among his recommendations were to:  further refine the listing criteria; establish standards for statements of case; find ways to notify targets; introduce a periodic review of listings, at least every two years; designate an administrative focal point within the Secretariat to deal with all delisting and exemption requests, as well as to notify targets of listing; identify a set of common standards and best practices applicable to the different Council Committees; and develop a review mechanism enabling individuals and entities to ask for a review of their listing.

ILEANA NUÑEZ MORDOCHE ( Cuba) said that, for more than 45 years the Cuban people had been the target of countless terrorist actions, most of hem masterminded and organized from United States territory with the support, protection and funding of that country’s successive Governments.  As a consequence, the Cuban people had paid a high cost in human lives, a total of 3,478 people having died and another 2,099 having been severely injured.  The economic losses had also been very high.  With full impunity, in Miami and other cities in the United States, funds to carry out terrorist actions were provided and collected; the bank accounts that financed terrorism were openly and regularly operate; terrorists were recruited; and the purchase of weapons and the use of territory were allowed for those who financed, masterminded and committed terrorist acts against Cuba.

She said that, instead of preventing and punishing terrorism against Cuba, the United States authorities held Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez hostage in that country’s jails, after the Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Circuit of Atlanta had decided unanimously to reverse their sentences and order a new trial, overturning the one upheld by a Miami-based crooked court, without the guarantees of due process.  Those five Cuban youths had only been trying to obtain information about terrorist groups based in Miami in order to prevent their violent actions and save the lives of Cuban, as well as United States, citizens.

New information had been revealed about United States double standards in its so-called international campaign against terrorism, she said.  The United States continued to fail to meet its international obligation of judging and extraditing the infamous international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, whose extradition had been requested by Venezuela.  That terrorist’s impunity was perpetuated by judging him as a “simple” illegal immigrant, despite the fact that the United States Government itself had acknowledged that he was a dangerous terrorist.

Cuba had informed the Counter-Terrorism Committee about the terrorist activities of that and other individuals and organizations, as well as about the protection provided to them by the United States Government, she said.  The Cuban Government reiterated its request to the Committee to carry out an evaluation of that information, presented in documents S/2002/15, S/2004/753 and S/2005/341, among others.  That would contribute to the halting of impunity that those who carried out terrorist attacks against Cuba enjoyed on United States territory.  It was impossible to eliminate terrorism if only some terrorist actions were condemned, while others were silenced, tolerated or justified, or if the issue was simply manipulated in order to promote certain political interests.  In order to advance, all manifestations of terrorism must be condemned and punished in any part of the world, without excluding State terrorism under any circumstances.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee should take a more tailor-made approach in monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and should deepen its dialogue with Member States beyond mere reporting.  The 2005 world Summit had given a clear mandate to ensure that fair and clear procedures existed for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists and for removing them, as well as for granting humanitarian exemptions.  United Nations organs must respect international human rights standards, as States would have to do.  Council action against terrorism, based on a contemporary interpretation of the Charter’s “maintenance of international peace and security”, must go hand in hand with an equally contemporary interpretation of international human rights law.

He said future listing and delisting procedures must, as an absolute minimum, grant targeted individuals and entities the right to be informed about the measures imposed and the reasons for their imposition, as well as the right to present information which might refute the case for listing.  He urged the Council to consider procedures which could be considered an “effective remedy”.  Any such improvement would be highly beneficial for both the accuracy and the legitimacy of the sanctions regime.  The improvement should also be extended to the humanitarian exemptions.

Expressing support for measures aimed at consolidating the work of the various subcommittees dealing with counter-terrorism, he said such measures should make the Organization’s response to terrorism more coherent and effective.  The measures should also be focused on building State capacity, as the chain against terrorism, that had been built over the past years, would only be as strong as its weakest link.

DAN GILLERMAN ( Israel) said that terrorism was World War Three.  No country was immune from international terrorism.  It lurked in dark corners and struck with a blow of destruction, death, indiscrimination, and chaos.  Terrorists had executed horrific attacks in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.  Terror had struck in Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Yemen.  It had devastated Algeria, Argentina, Colombia, Great Britain, Philippines, Spain and the United States.  It continued to strike brutally, ruthlessly, and daily in Israel.  Many, many more States were targeted, and yet foreigners, targeted in terrorist attacks, represented an even wider circle of victims.  They were Australians.  They were Dutch.  They were from each and every corner of the globe.  They were just unlucky to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  “We are all linked.  We are all in this together.”

He said that the world was no longer divided between rich and poor, and North and South.  It was divided between those who joined in that fight and those who did not.  It was divided between those who spread evil and those who did good; between those who incited violence and those who preached tolerance.  Those who stood idly and did not fight that plague were, in effect, joining in collaboration with it.  Unfortunately, even in this Council, there were members who, despite being victims of terror themselves, did not always show the courage and determination to condemn terrorism strongly and unequivocally.  He had called the Council to arms and sounded a wake-up call three months ago.  Yet, progress had been too slow and too little.  “We must join together and win this war.  We must mobilize in a unified, concerted effort.”

There could never be any justification for terror, no matter the motive -- period, he said.  He, therefore, supported the statement in the 2005 World Summit Outcome strongly condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as that constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.  The work of the Council’s counter-terrorism Committees was a welcome part of the international fight.  Hopefully, their efforts would lead to a significant reduction of global terror.  The people of Israel, unfortunately, had an intimate awareness of the need to fight international terrorism.  The “axis of terror” represented an unholy alliance of Iran, the greatest State sponsor of terrorism and the largest threat to international peace and security; Syria, which hosted the headquarters of terrorist organizations that had decided to wreak havoc in the streets of Israel; and murdered as many individuals as possible; and the terror organizations themselves.

He said that a dark cloud was looming over the Middle East.  Iran, Syria, and the terrorist organizations they financed, harboured, nurtured, and supported, did not discriminate between their victims, targeting innocents wherever they were.  It was a sad reality that the Palestinians who went to the polls seeking a better life and an end to corruption found themselves in the grip of a terrorist organization that was turning their dreams into nightmares.  Unfortunately, there were still elements that believed that terrorism was a tool to fulfil political aims.  To that suggestion, the international community should respond with a resounding “no!”.  That fanatic outlook was anathema to the principles of peace and human dignity, and all that the United Nations stood for.  The “axis of terror” was alive and active.  Leaders of Hamas met regularly with, and had been offered financial assistance by, the President of Iran -- the very same President who called for the annihilation of a United Nations Member State, denied the Holocaust, and was attempting to develop the nuclear capabilities to perpetrate the next holocaust.  As a result of the active collaboration between Iran, Syria, and “their terrorist cronies”, thousands of innocent people had died and many more lives had been changed forever as a result of wounds sustained from terror attacks.  More than 24,500 terrorist attacks had been perpetrated against the Israeli people during the current period.  The terrorism threat was real and pressing, and the Israeli people felt it every day, in every community.

VALERIY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine), speaking on behalf of the GUAM participating States (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), said that the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee should continue their efforts to increase the cooperation and coordination among them and their experts in monitoring the implementation of the respective Security Council resolutions and on information-sharing and country visits.

Describing the Counter-Terrorism Committee as unique, he said that its character and the scope of its mandate and working methods represented an important innovation and open possibilities for inter-State cooperation.  It was important that it continued to provide all possible assistance to the multinational anti-terrorist coalition by strengthening the capacities of the regional organizations and groups.  The GUAM had participated actively in the consolidation of international efforts in the fight against terrorism.  In particular, it had made its own contribution to the special meetings of the Counter-Terrorism Committee with international, regional and subregional organizations.

At the recent GUAM Summit on 22 and 23 May in Ukraine, the Heads of State had declared the establishment of the new International Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (ODED-GUAM).  By signing the Kiev GUAM Summit Communiqué, members had stressed the new organization’s priorities:  strengthening the values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms, stability and security; combating international terrorism, aggressive separatism, extremism and transnational organized crime; and deepening European integration and achieving sustainable development and the well-being of their peoples.

IMERIA NUÑEZ DE ODREMAN ( Venezuela) said that terrorism was a serious threat to international peace and security.  She reaffirmed her country’s position condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  Her Government, in its firm commitment to combat terrorism, had ratified several relevant instruments and, domestically, it had promulgated several legislative norms.  It had also submitted the relevant reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Inter-American Counter-Terrorism Committee.  With the same conviction, it rejected and condemned terrorism as a political instrument for killing and intimidating innocent, weak and helpless people around the world.  The international community had no other option but to work together and adopt policies to combat that scourge.  Double standards jeopardized the trust and good name of the State that used such methods, and that amounted to State-sponsored terrorism.  Acts committed by the armed forces of a State under the heading of so-called “collateral damage” was actually “primary damage”, in which innocent men, women and children were killed. 

She said that when a most powerful State was pitted against a vulnerable people, killing them without distinction, those acts were nothing more than State terrorism, such as that practised by the United States against Nicaragua, or the United Kingdom against the people of Iraq.  Also inadmissible was providing safe haven to anyone who committed such acts.  The United States Government was providing protection to one of the most infamous terrorists in the Western hemisphere -- Luis Posado Carriles and Jose Antonio Puliod y German Varela Lopez.  It must extradite those citizens accused of carrying out terrorist acts in Venezuela, but, on the contrary, it had protected them with some baseless arguments, she said.

AHMAD ALHARIR ( Syria) stressed his condemnation of international terrorism, including State terrorism.  Syria had been a victim of horrific acts of terrorism, and had been one of the first to warn of that looming danger.  It had called for national and international strategies to combat terrorism, and it had shared its experience in that regard with many countries of the world, helping to save the lives of many and breaking up several global terror cells.  Syria was implementing its commitments in terms of the Consolidated List.  The relevant authorities had included the names on the list in Syria’s electronic entry control systems at its borders, in addition to distribution in hard copy.  He appreciated the great efforts being made by the 1267 Committee to implement its mandate.  Despite those endeavours, however, the Council had yet to take seriously the reference made in the September Summit outcome for the need for fairness in the process of listing and delisting, and amending the Consolidated List.  In addition, there were numerous gaps in identifying the names on the list; many were similar, and the spelling was not standardized around the world.

He said that the time had come for a comprehensive review and update of the list, in order to eliminate all doubt about the information that contained.  Syria noted the efforts being made by the CTED in dealing with the backlog of State reports and called for further efforts to reduce that.  His country would soon present its fifth report to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, including its latest legislative developments aimed at combating terrorism and terrorist financing.  The reporting burden faced by States, including his own, should also be addressed.  Meanwhile, the work of the 1540 Committee was in no way a substitute for other disarmament mechanisms.  He had presented his report under the resolution and had responded to requests made by the Committee for clarification.  Syria was committed to cooperating with the various Council bodies on terrorism and was continuing its various efforts to update its national legislation.  He, meanwhile, called on the Committees, while implementing their mandates, to avoid duplication and streamline the reporting requirements.  He called on the Council, when dealing with global terrorism, to avoid intervening in matters that fell strictly under the Assembly’s jurisdiction. 

The Arab region had suffered from terrorism, in general, and State terrorism, in particular, by Israel, which continued to occupy Arab lands and was perpetuating a never-ending practice of killing, property destruction, and construction of the separation wall, he said.  Member States of the Council should avoid double standards when combating terrorism.  Their efforts in that regard must be based on strict, legal criteria, and not on any “flimsy political” considerations.  Israel was duty-bound to cease its “cheap blackmail” against the United Nations.  It was well aware that the international community knew of the terrorist activities it had perpetrated in the region.  Israeli gangs had also assassinated many international personalities, including some sent by the United Nations to investigate the situation in the region in the past.

He said that everyone was aware that the source of terrorism in the region was the continued Israeli occupation of Arab lands, confiscation of that land, as well as continued Israeli aggression against Arabs and the denial of their fundamental rights.  The representative of Israel had insisted on implementation of only a few Security Council resolutions, while it had failed to mention Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal.  Perhaps he should read the United Nations Charter, which had been drafted to save generations from the scourge of war and foreign occupation.  Perhaps those who were ignorant of such facts could not read, and perhaps they should not be here at the United Nations.  Israeli terrorism was known; it was known to all.  Israel could fool some of the people some of the time, but it could not fool all of the people all of the time.

MANSOUR SADEGHI ( Iran) said that, as a victim of terrorism, his country had always strongly condemned it in all its forms and manifestations.  Iran had demonstrated its strong conviction in fighting terrorism by all means, including through the arrest of one of the greatest numbers of Al-Qaida members apprehended by any single State and handing them over to the authorities in their respective countries.  In that context, Iran had intensified control over and security on its borders with a view to preventing entry into, or transit through, its territory by terrorists.

He said that, while the decisive stage in the war against terrorism was one of capturing hearts and minds, the abuse of that fight by some demagogues, in order to spread hatred and bigotry among various cultures and religions, and their efforts to demonize and define certain religions and cultures by unfair and unfounded attribution of terrorism, might prove to be no less serious than terrorism itself.  In its endeavours to fight terrorism, the United Nations should also consider proper mechanisms to rescue the much-abused term “terrorism” from those countries that unfairly and baselessly used it as a pejorative term for any other country that dissented from their policies.

Emphasizing the need to recognize the application of double standards in dealing with terrorism and terrorist groups was yet another important matter of grave concern, which seriously undermined the international community’s collective campaign against terrorism.  In the past 25 years, Iran had been the subject of different acts of terrorism by various terrorist groups.  A particular reference should be made to a terrorist group that had long been stationed in Iraq and which planned, financed and supervised terrorist operations in Iran, resulting in the killing of many civilians and officials, as well as damaging private and government property.  That terrorist group had long been supported and sheltered by the regime of Saddam Hussein and, ironically, continued to enjoy the protection of occupying forces in Iraq today.  During that period, it had staged more than 612 terrorist operations in Iran or against Iranian interests outside the country, including hijackings, abductions, bombings and indiscriminate terrorist attacks against civilians.

Referring to the allegations raised by Israel’s representative, he said that ever since its inception, that country had been suffering from a lack of legitimacy.  It was, therefore, not surprising that the representative of such a regime, ruled constantly by the perpetrators of various crimes against humanity and war crimes, would make such baseless and fabricated propaganda as a remedy for its own illegitimacy.  It had been an open secret that the Israeli regime had continuously and purposely violated many international laws and norms, let alone dozens of United Nations resolutions about which the response of that irresponsible regime had been complete defiance.

In that context, a particular reference could be made to the mischievous Israeli policy on nuclear issues, which was a showcase of its concealment and unabated pursuit of a nuclear arsenal during the past decade, he said.  Indisputably, that ill-intentioned policy had been threatening the peace and security of the volatile Middle East region and beyond for years.  In fact, Israeli’s missile capability, coupled with its wicked behaviour, presented a real threat not only to regional peace and security, but also to the whole world.  The only obstacle to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East was Israel’s non-adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its continued clandestine operation of nuclear facilities with the help and technological assistance of a certain State.

Statements in Right of Reply

The representative of Israel, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the Syrian and Iranian delegates were not supposed to speak during today’s meeting.  However, he thanked them for their “lectures” on international terrorism from “two of the world’s greatest experts”.

The representative of Syria said in response that by saying that he and the Iranian delegate were not supposed to have addressed the Council, he had shown his complete arrogance because they had spoken under Rule 37, which was clear to all.  As for expertise in terrorism, everyone knows that Israel was the expert and that the country had been established on the very basis of terrorism.

The representative of Iran added that, while his initial statement had not been a response to Israel’s delegate, the second one was.  The Israeli representative had uttered “a big lie” because the Security Council Secretariat had received Iran’s request to make a statement on Friday.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.