HEARING BRIEFINGS FROM COMMITTEES COUNTERING TERRORISM, SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS PROGRESS MADE, WAYS TO INCREASE EFFECTIVENESS
HEARING BRIEFINGS FROM COMMITTEES COUNTERING TERRORISM, SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS PROGRESS MADE, WAYS TO INCREASE EFFECTIVENESS
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5538th Meeting (AM)*
HEARING BRIEFINGS FROM COMMITTEES COUNTERING TERRORISM, SECURITY COUNCIL
CONSIDERS PROGRESS MADE, WAYS TO INCREASE EFFECTIVENESS
Topics Addressed Include Listing, Delisting Procedures; Transparency; Outreach
Activities; Reporting by Governments; Respect for Human Rights, International Law
Following a briefing by the Chairs of three subsidiary bodies -– the Committees on Counter-Terrorism, Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Al-Qaida and the Taliban -- speakers in the Security Council today welcomed the progress achieved in the past four months and focused on the means of further advancing their work, including clarification of listing and delisting procedures, improved transparency, outreach activities and encouragement of reporting by Member States.
While applauding the recent adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly, which could foster enhanced cooperation and coordination throughout the United Nations system, several speakers insisted that legitimate action to counter that phenomenon should be carried out with respect for international law and human rights.
Marking significant progress in work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and led by Cesar Mayoral of Argentina, several Member States displayed great interest in the listing and delisting of individuals and entities on the Committee’s consolidated sanctions list. Mr. Mayoral said the Committee had worked intensely on the revision of its guidelines, and had been very close to achieving consensus at the end of July on the suggested listing procedures. The Committee was well aware of numerous calls for the adoption of “fair and clear listing and delisting procedures”, which would facilitate sanctions implementation. He urged all Committee members to make additional efforts to achieve that objective as soon as possible by demonstrating compromise.
Japan’s representative said his country intended to contribute actively to the discussion, in order to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the Consolidated List, and the United States representative pointed out that her country was working hard with other Member States, both on and off the Council, to revise listing and delisting guidelines.
Japan also believed that it was necessary for all three committees, as the end of the year approached, to consider ways for the Council to realize a better counter-terrorism policy. The comprehensive review of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the review of the mandate of the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee would be a good opportunity in that regard.
On the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee’s work, the United States representative said that it had taken important actions to sanction Al-Qaida associates and entities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. That geographic diversity highlighted Al-Qaida’s global reach and underlined the importance of a truly international effort to combat it. She called on all Members of the United Nations to become active participants of the 1267 process by submitting names for the Committee’s sanctions list and encouraged the Committee to focus on the dangers posed by increased activity of Al-Qaida networks and associated groups in the Sahel and Sahara region and in South-East Asia.
As pointed out by Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), Chairperson of the Counter-Terrorism Committee -– formally known as the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism -– the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been addressing the problem of incitement to terrorism through its dialogue with Member States on their efforts to implement resolution 1624 (2005) and assistance in capacity-building and promoting exchange of information. [By its resolution 1624, adopted during the Council’s meeting at the level of Head of State or Government in conjunction with the World Summit at Headquarters last year, the 15-nation body called for strengthened steps against terrorism, condemning in the strongest terms “all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation” and the incitement of such acts, and repudiating attempts at their justification.]
Despite a low level of reporting on the implementation of that text, with only 69 countries having submitted their reports as of 7 September, the Committee had conducted an extensive analysis of the information available, she said. According to the reports, 21 of the reporting States had informed the Committee that incitement to commit terrorist acts was expressly prohibited in their criminal laws. Thirteen others reported that they were considering adopting similar legislation.
The representative of Finland, who spoke on behalf of the European Union, strongly supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to guarantee full implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624, in particular as far as financing of terrorism and denial of safe haven to persons involved in terrorist acts were concerned. The European Union itself had launched a Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Strategy for Combating Radicalization and Recruitment to Terrorism.
The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania was among the speakers who were encouraged by the fact that the Counter-Terrorism Committee intended to continue enhancing its tools, including by revising the reporting regime, the facilitation of technical assistance for States in need and enhancing relations with international, regional and subregional organizations. The Committee’s decision to upgrade its website regarding basic indications of best practices accumulated so far had provided another milestone in its work. He pointed out, however, that more coordination was needed among the three Committees “if we are to fully maximize our resources in terms of expertise and other financial resources”.
Debate participants also stressed the important role of the so-called “1540 Committee” in promoting States implementation of their obligations under Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which addressed possible use of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors. The Chairman of the Committee, Peter Burian ( Slovakia), emphasized the importance of the Committee’s outreach activities and efforts to facilitate reporting by States. As of 20 September, 132 Member States and 1 organization had submitted their first reports to the Committee. In the future, the Committee would continue to identify national practices in implementing resolution 1540, which could prove useful for providing guidance to States, upon request. A draft programme of the Committee’s work was currently under consideration.
The representative of France said, in that connection, that the Committee had spent much time elaborating a work programme, and it was important that it cover all aspects of resolution 1540. The question of the delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction should not be artificially excluded. Resolution 1540 was unique, in that it dealt coherently with the three types of weapons of mass destruction, and he asked all States to fully shoulder their responsibilities in that regard.
Also addressing the Council today was the Foreign Minister of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, who emphasized his country’s condemnation of all forms of terrorism in all its manifestations, in particular State terrorism. Venezuela also firmly believed that the international community could not equate terrorism with legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. His country had submitted reports to the Council’s subsidiary bodies and continued to develop a broad set of standards to fight terrorism. Firm in its approach, it condemned, with the same firmness, those who used the fight against terrorism to justify violence against countries and peoples for political and economic purposes, including control of strategic and natural resources. That resulted in the loss of innocent lives and generated a vicious circle, where violence led to more violence and terrorism led to more terrorism, as a report just released in the United States showed.
Also taking the floor today were the representatives of Ghana, China, Congo, Peru, Russian Federation, Qatar, United Kingdom, Greece, Switzerland and Cuba.
The meeting was called to order at 10:12 a.m. and adjourned at 1 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist attacks.
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, CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina), said the Committee, through placing individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban on its Consolidated List and monitoring the implementation of the established sanctions measures by States, with the Monitoring Team’s support, had played an indispensable role in the fight against international terrorism. Since his last briefing, six individuals and one entity had been added to the List and one individual had been removed. The Committee had also approved a number of technical changes to the List in its efforts to improve its quality. The Committee had also acknowledged five notifications pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002) for the release of frozen assets.
On the issue of dialogue with States, he noted that, on 26 July, he had held an open briefing for Member States, during which he had informed their representatives of major developments in the Committee’s work. In October or November, he intended to visit several countries that the Committee would identify as important for an exchange of ideas. His last trip to the Middle East had been very instructive regarding the implementation of sanctions in those States that had accumulated valuable knowledge and experience in the fight against terrorism. The Committee had also benefited from information received from experts of the Monitoring Team, as a result of their trips to selected States and international organizations.
The consideration of the Monitoring Team’s reports provided the opportunity to reflect on how to further improve the sanctions regime, he said. On 31 July, the Monitoring Team had submitted its fifth report, which the Committee was currently considering. The Committee had also requested the Monitoring Team to advance the submission of its sixth report to 7 November, as its mandate would expire by the end of 2006. The Committee’s expanded website now contained general information on its work, a check list and a standard form for listing submissions. The Committee had, on 25 July, approved further improvements to the List, including the assignment of permanent reference numbers and the addition of original script.
Regarding partnership in sanctions implementation, he noted that the Committee had continued to enhance and coordinate its efforts with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1540 Committee” through, among other things, the harmonization of relevant activities of experts, such as trips to selected States. In that regard, the Monitoring Team experts had undertaken another joint visit to a State together with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) experts earlier this month and other similar joint visits to other States later in the year were currently under consideration. The Monitoring Team had also continued to work closely with CTED and the experts of the 1540 Committee to identify ways to assist the 31 States that had not reported, or had fallen behind with their reporting obligations to all three Committees, under relevant Council resolutions.
With the Monitoring Team’s support, the Committee had continued to develop the Interpol-United Nations Security Council Special Notices, issued for individuals on the Committee’s List, he said. The Committee had recently accepted Interpol’s proposal to publish posters of persons who were both “wanted” by Interpol and subjected to United Nations sanctions. The cooperation between the Committee and Interpol had inspired the Council’s adoption of resolution 1699 (2006) on 8 August, in which the Council had called on the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to increase cooperation between the United Nations and Interpol. The Committee had continued to build up its links with international and regional groups, such as the European Union, the Organization of American States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Concerning the Committee’s future work, he said it had worked intensely on the revision of its guidelines, and had been very close to achieving consensus at the end of July on the suggested listing procedures. That would allow the Committee to fully focus on intricate delisting procedures. The Committee was well aware of numerous calls for the adoption of “fair and clear listing and delisting procedures”, which would facilitate States’ sanctions implementation. He urged all Committee members to make additional efforts to achieve that objective as soon as possible by demonstrating compromise.
He added that the List’s completeness and accuracy were essential for the success of the established sanctions measures. States were encouraged to submit the names of individuals and entities that should be included on the List because of their association with Al-Qaida and/or the Taliban, as well as additional and updated information on the names already on the List. The Committee would have to deal with such issues as the misuse of the Internet for criminal purposes by Al-Qaida or how to better assist States in their implementation of efforts in cases when the identity of an individual was not certain, owing to a lack of sufficient identifying information on the List.
Concluding, he said that his role as Committee Chairman was not easy, but was facilitated by the support he had received from Committee members. The success, or failure, of the sanctions regime rested with States and their effective sanctions implementation. The Committee needed to hear from States to identify areas where further improvements to the sanctions and their implementation were necessary. He appealed to members to submit their checklists and encouraged them to engage in more in depth discussions of relevant sanctions issues. He repeated those appeals, in light of the recent adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in which States had unequivocally reiterated their firm determination to prevent and combat terrorism.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ ( Denmark), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373(2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said that the Committee had submitted its report to the Council on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) on 14 September. The report described steps taken by States to implement resolution 1624. As of 7 September, the Committee had received reports from only 69 States on implementation of the resolution. While that total included States from all regional groups, the limited number of responses had inevitably restricted the scope of the Committee’s report on the implementation of the resolution. Nonetheless, she wanted to present to the Council the conclusions that the Committee had been able to draw on the basis of the information available.
The Committee’s report first addressed the provision in resolution 1624 calling upon all States to adopt “such measures as may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with their obligations under international law”, in order to prohibit and prevent incitement to commit terrorist acts. The reports received by the Committee so far showed that States had “a range of understandings of the steps that may be taken to prohibit and prevent incitement”. In that connection, 21 of the 69 reporting States had informed the Committee that incitement to commit terrorist acts was expressly prohibited in their criminal laws. Thirteen others had reported that they were considering adopting similar legislation. Most of the States that had reported expressly prohibiting incitement had provided additional information to the Committee on such issues as the type of conduct that was considered to fall within the scope of such laws and the legal criteria that needed to be satisfied in order to achieve a conviction. A smaller number of States had also provided information on the prohibition within their laws of the justification or glorification of acts of terrorism. Information had also been received about provisions in national laws that prohibited an array of widely recognized accessory offences in connection with any serious crime, which would apply to attempted commission of terrorist acts.
The resolution called upon all States to deny safe haven to any persons suspected of incitement to commit a terrorist act and to cooperate to strengthen the security of their international borders, she continued. The Committee’s report reflected a range of steps taken by States in that respect, such as processing claims to refugee status, handling of extradition requests, strengthening of international cooperation and adoption of new technology to prevent travel document fraud. In connection with other requests contained in the resolution, the report also described steps “to continue international efforts to enhance dialogue and broad understanding among civilizations”, in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures. The document also recounted a number of international obligations by which States considered themselves bound, in many cases relating to the right to freedom of expression and the right to seek and enjoy asylum.
The Committee would, along with its Executive Directorate, continue to engage actively and constructively with Member States, she said. She strongly encouraged States that had not yet done so to report to the Committee, to ensure that it had the best possible basis for discussing with States their implementation of the resolution. Reporting would also strengthen the Committee’s foundation for fulfilling the task of spreading the best legal practices and promoting an exchange of information.
Turning to the Committee’s activities to enhance States’ implementation of resolution 1373, she said that the guidepost for the Committee’s work in that regard remained the comprehensive review of December 2005, in which some priority areas had been highlighted. The Committee continued to focus on enhancing its tools, including by revising the reporting regime, facilitating reporting through technical assistance for States in need and deepening relations with international, regional and subregional organizations. The Committee had reached agreement on an update of its website with indications of best practices. She encouraged States to use the information contained there as a source of inspiration in their efforts to implement the resolution. The Committee was also continuing its visits to Member States upon their consent, she said. In all, it had now visited 10 States and was working on ensuring the necessary follow-up to those visits. The Committee had continued coordination of its activities with the 1267 and 1540 Committees.
Five years after the adoption of resolution 1373, implementation of that text remained as crucial as ever in the international community’s fight against terrorism, she said in conclusion. The Committee’s main task remained vital and urgent. She welcomed the recently adopted United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which reiterated the international community’s strong determination to fight terrorism. Support from and cooperation with Member States remained invaluable.
PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said that, as of 20 September, 132 Member States and 1 organization had submitted their first national reports to the Committee, and 59 States had yet to submit one. Facilitation of reporting and outreach activities to promote States’ implementation of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006) would remain among the Committee’s top priorities. The Committee intended to again approach all Member States that had yet to submit a first report through a letter, with the attached matrix and respective legislative database. Also, in response to the request by the Committee following its examination of first national reports, 84 States had so far provided additional information.
With the support of Member States and the Department for Disarmament Affairs, the Committee had continued its outreach activities to promote implementation of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006), he said. The first seminar on the implementation of 1540 (2004) in the Asia-Pacific region had been held in July in China. It had been attended by 70 participants from 23 countries of the region, Security Council members and international organizations.
The Chairman said that he had addressed the eighteenth United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues, held in Yokohama, Japan, from 21 to 23 August, and had provided a broad overview of the Committee’s activities. Regional seminars would be organized in November on the implementation of resolution 1540 in Africa and Latin America. In addition, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would hold a workshop on the same subject on 8 November in Vienna. The Committee would continue its practice of informing intergovernmental organizations outside the United Nations about its work, at relevant meetings and conferences. As part of the Committee’s efforts to promote information sharing, a database had been developed to provide additional information on the laws, regulations and other measures related to the implementation of resolution 1540. It was available on the Committee’s official website and contained links to public sources and to relevant information.
He said that the 1540 Committee and its experts had continued to maintain close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee. As part of those efforts, groups of experts of the three Committees had submitted to their respective Chairmen a joint paper on a common strategy dealing with reporting and non-reporting States, based on the useful experience gained from the New Zealand assistance programme. The Committee would continue to interact and cooperate with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations to facilitate the implementation of the resolution. It would also continue to act as a clearinghouse on assistance, collecting up-to-date information on that issue and informally contacting States to enquire whether they might be interested in receiving information on offers and requests for assistance.
In the future, the Committee would also continue to identify national practices in implementing resolution 1540, he said. That could be used in providing further general and specific guidance to States upon request. A draft programme of the Committee’s work was currently under consideration. It would reflect the recommendations contained in the report of the Committee to the Security Council of 25 April.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE ( France) said terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction posed major threats to international peace and security. The Council’s open meetings were particularly useful, making it possible for the Council to ensure smooth interaction of its three Committees. Regarding the 1540 Committee, he said that Committee had spent much time elaborating a work programme, and it was important that it covered all aspects of resolution 1540. The question of the delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction should not be artificially excluded. Resolution 1540 was a unique, in that it dealt coherently with the three types of weapons of mass destruction, and he asked all States to fully shoulder their responsibilities.
When the Council had decided in resolution 1673 that the Committee should report back to it on States’ implementation, it had assigned the Committee with an ambitious objective, he said. It was now up to the Committee to acquire the necessary tools to complete its work. The Committee must reconcile offers and demands for technical assistance. That would require updates to its matrix, which had not been set in stone, but designed to be an evolving tool. A new group would be assisting the Committee in implementing its work programme. By adopting a cooperative approach, he hoped that States would take on the broad objectives of non-proliferation.
The 1267 Committee had done important work to improve the sanctions regime, including efforts to make it more effective and transparent, he said. France welcomed the adoption of resolution 1699, which endorsed cooperation with Interpol. Such innovative cooperation had enabled the Committee to acquire information about individuals and entities on the List and to mobilize Interpol’s network to implement sanctions. That cooperation should be further intensified. A review of the Committee’s guidelines needed to be speedily completed, particularly concerning procedures for listing and delisting and the issue of humanitarian exemptions. Increased transparency would enhance fairness and make it possible to improve the credibility of the Committee’s work.
He added that the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate had also done important work, including the analysis of initial reports received by States. The Committee had the mandate of including efforts to implement resolution 1624 and to help develop States’ capacities in that area. He thanked the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee for its 15 September report, which clearly represented a point of departure. The Committee needed to assess the status of the implementation of resolution 1624. France attached great importance to that resolution, which, among other things, called on States to act on the issue of terrorist propaganda, including the adoption of criminal law to punish incitement to commit terrorist acts. Resolution 1624 also called on States to develop a broader political approach and strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding.
While counter-terrorism involved police, judicial and intelligence work, that work could not succeed, unless it dealt with factors that led to the recruitment of terrorists, he said. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate should continue their efforts. France was pleased with the Assembly’s recent adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which would strengthen the effectiveness of the United Nations work to help mobilize States against the scourge of terrorism.
NANA EFFAH-APENTENG ( Ghana) said it was more effective to enact specific anti-terrorism laws to implement Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) than to rely on often vague provisions of existing criminal codes concerning harm to persons or property. He called on the Counter-Terrorism Committee to continue, in consultation with donor countries and organizations, to assist in building capacity and providing technical assistance to States that were slow to draft legislation and enforce laws. He expressed concern over the extent to which terrorist and extremist groups were using information technology tools to further their murderous objectives, thus opening a new front in the war against terrorism. The proliferation of websites disseminating hate propaganda further exacerbated efforts to contain incitement.
Noting that all States were vulnerable to the threat of nuclear terrorism, he said that the international community’s collective strength should be harnessed to prevent non-State actors from acquiring and distributing weapons of mass destruction. He lamented that, as of January, only three countries had submitted their first national reports, and he called on the remaining 59 States to follow suit. Moreover, only a few more States had provided additional reports. The outreach programme, which created a discussion forum among regional groups concerning implementing the resolution, was essential for encouraging States to meet their reporting obligations. In that regard, Ghana would host a seminar for Africa in November. International cooperation and assistance was key to enable developing countries in particular to implement national programmes in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1540 and 1673.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said the 1267 Committee’s work had resulted in enhanced dialogue with Member States. He noted that the Committee had updated its website and enhanced its cooperation with Interpol. The Committee had also made some progress regarding the listing procedure. Its future focus should be on reaching an early consensus on the listing procedures, so as to ensure transparency and the List’s quality. The Monitoring Group’s fifth report contained many recommendations for improving the sanctions regime.
With its rich mandate, the Counter-Terrorism Committee was carrying out its work as scheduled, he said. Since its establishment, it had played an important role. Stopping incitement of terrorism was a new and challenging aspect in that fight, and that work should continue. More States were encouraged to report to the Committee, and he welcomed the package of best practices, which would facilitate States’ implementation of the resolution. He also hoped that the Committee’s Executive Directorate would improve its work. The next stage of the Committee’s work should be the stepping up of its twentieth work programme, so as to achieve greater progress by the end of the year.
On the work of the 1540 Committee, he noted that members had exchanged views on the one-year work programme. He hoped that the parties would narrow their differences by demonstrating further flexibility and enable the Committee to come up with a balanced work programme. In July, China had hosted the Asia-Pacific workshop on the implementation of resolution 1540. China would take an active part in the Committee’s work, as terrorist acts had been rampant around the world. As the international community’s common enemy, terrorist activities constituted a grave crime, regardless of motivation. China was against all kinds of terrorist activities and stressed the need to attack both the root causes and symptoms of terrorism. He welcomed the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and supported enhanced cooperation among the three committees.
JACKIE SANDERS ( United States) welcomed the recently adopted Counter-Terrorism Strategy, expressing hope that it would foster concrete improvements, enhanced cooperation and coordination to maximize synergies and avoid duplication of work, both within the Council and throughout the United Nations system. The United States remained committed to working with the United Nations and like-minded States to build counter-terrorism capacity and ensure that States complied with their obligations under Security Council resolutions. It strongly supported the efforts to the Council’s counter-terrorism subsidiary bodies to achieve those objectives.
On the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she welcomed the progress achieved during the past quarter and said her country was pleased that the Committee had adopted a set of best practices relevant to the implementation of resolution 1373, which States should rely on for guidance. That directory referred to standards established by international technical organizations and referred to the financial action task force’s 40 recommendations on money-laundering and nine special recommendations on terrorist financing. She also welcomed the Committee’s recent report to the Council on the implementation of resolution 1624.
As the Committee continued its dialogue with States and considered what might be done in spreading best legal practices, consistent with its mandate, it would need to continue to reflect appropriately on two aspects of the text. Significantly, the resolution had been constructed carefully to reflect both the international community’s sense that incitement to terrorism was an important issue to be addressed and the importance of respecting free expression as protected by diverse constitutional systems. She was also pleased that the Committee and its Executive Directorate were continuing their State visits and important capacity-building work. The 10 visits completed since 2005 marked an achievement, but their success would be measured by the results achieved. Follow-up to the visits was essential.
On the 1267 Committee, she said that, over the last 120 days, that body had taken important, concrete actions to sanction Al-Qaida associates and entities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. That geographic diversity highlighted Al-Qaida’s global reach and underlined the importance of a truly international effort to combat it. She encouraged all Members of the United Nations to become active participants of the 1267 process by submitting names for the Committee’s sanctions List. She was pleased that the Committee had approved a new coversheet that would make it easier for States to prepare requests for listing. The Committee was fortunate to have a highly professional and capable Monitoring Team, which had recently held productive meetings with the heads of intelligence and security services from various regions. The networks formed and the intelligence gleaned from such meetings contributed significantly to the fight against Al-Qaida. She encouraged the Committee to focus on the dangers posed by increased activity of Al-Qaida networks and associated groups in the Sahel and Sahara region and in South-East Asia.
The United States also supported the Team’s recommendation to begin regional meetings with heads of financial institutions to make financial sanctions more effective, she said. Looking ahead, she urged the Committee to continue to focus on the issue of States’ compliance with the 1267 sanctions regime and looked forward to the Monitoring Team’s upcoming paper on that issue. She also highlighted progress on fair and clear procedures for listing and delisting individuals for sanctions. The United States had been working hard with other Member States, both on and off the Council, to revise listing and delisting guidelines. She was optimistic that the Council would reach agreement soon, as all its members approached the matter with the seriousness it deserved.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, she stressed its important role in promoting States’ implementation of their obligations under the resolution. The threat of a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction or related materials could not be discounted. She urged the Committee to adopt a programme of work without further delay, so it could carry out its responsibilities under resolution 1673 more fully. To fulfil its responsibilities, the Committee must review and examine States’ reports and then draw conclusions. That was essential to permit the Committee to work with individual States or groups of States to facilitate delivery of technical assistance. Its purpose was not to make judgements about whether States were “good” or “bad” in relation to implementing resolution 1540. Based on its review of reports, the Committee could provide useful information and recommendations to States that might be seeking assistance or to donors that might be able to provide it.
In conclusion, she welcomed the Committee’s successful outreach activities during the past 120 days. In support of those efforts, the United States was pleased to co-sponsor, together with Slovakia, Denmark and Greece, a workshop of OSCE on 8 November. That event would focus on how to develop a national action plan for implementing resolution 1540. The United States was also proposing that the Organization of American States devote a special meeting in December to the issue of the implementation of the resolution.
PASCAL GAYAMA ( Congo) said he welcomed the Assembly’s recent adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which had sent a clear message that the scourge of terrorism was unacceptable. In adopting the strategy, Member States had expressed their determination to refrain from participating in or encouraging terrorist acts. The issue was, however, the need to ensure the Strategy’s implementation. With respect to the 1373 Committee, he welcomed that Committee’s efforts, including those to implement resolution 1624, which prevented the incitement of terrorist acts. Some 69 States had provided reports by 7 September, 21 of which had included in their criminal codes a ban on incitement to commit terrorist acts. The results to date did not necessarily indicate a lack of political will, but the States’ perception of measures needed to implement the resolution. Regarding the denial of refuge for terrorists, he said immigration and border controls could serve as the basis for refusing a person who had committed terrorist acts. He appreciated measures by States to give effect to the resolution, namely in the area of human rights of refugees and humanitarian law.
On the activities of the 1540 Committee, he was pleased with the report on its implementation of the resolution with respect to its work programme, including the promotion of dialogue. He also thanked the 1267 Committee for its work. The proposals to restructure the delisting procedures had, in particular, captured his attention. He welcomed those efforts, as well as improvements to the Committee’s website. On the whole, the Council should be pleased with innovations of the three committees to improve their working methods, including by sending visiting missions, cooperating with Interpol and holding regional seminars. He was convinced that the Council was on the right track and the assistance that many States provided needed to be recognized. Greater technical assistance should be given to States or regions that were under-equipped when it came to fighting terrorism.
He said it was possible that a large number of African countries were among those who had not sufficiently reacted to the resolution. That should, however, not be seen as indifference or a lack of interest, as it was often due to technical reasons or the setting of priorities. That did not mean that terrorism was not capable of striking them. Individuals in African countries had been both victims of and involved in reprehensible activities. There were still too many people who were vulnerable and capable of being seduced by ideologies or behaviours to incite them to terrorism. The international community should take a global approach that would integrate preventive measures, including those related to development and education. He stressed the need to provide consistency to the Council’s approach vis-à-vis the scourge of terrorism.
LUIS ENRIQUE CHAVEZ ( Peru) said that the revision of listing and delisting procedures by the 1267 Committee should be completed as soon as possible. A delay in reaching an agreement in that regard would affect the credibility of the Committee and the counter-terrorism regime as a whole. Any action in the fight against terrorism must be based on respect for international law and respect for human rights.
Regarding the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said the transition to preliminary implementation procedures should make it possible to ensure implementation of resolution 1373 by Member States, and would also allow for better understanding of national realities and cooperation among them. It was essential that the Committee’s analysis of the implementation of 1373 be shared with the States in question. It was crucial to have a common understanding that would promote trust and cooperation among States. In connection with resolution 1624, he said that, in Peru, for several years now, penal legislation had been in place, which envisioned sanctions for those who incited or committed any acts of terrorism and who publicly justified terrorism.
Turning to the work of the 1540 Committee, he said that, as proof of Peru’s commitment to stopping proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, his country would host a seminar on the implementation of resolution 1540 in Latin America and the Caribbean in November. The event would benefit from the support of the Department of Disarmament Affairs and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Latin America. The seminar would complement the event that had already taken place in Beijing and the forthcoming seminar in Vienna. He encouraged States to provide assistance to others in the implementation of resolution 1540, information exchange and improving the legislation in that regard.
In conclusion, he said that the General Assembly had taken a major step in adopting by consensus a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Peru had zero tolerance for terrorism and hoped the implementation of the strategy would strengthen international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. He also reiterated Peru’s hope for an early conclusion of work on the draft global convention on international terrorism.
KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) noted an improvement in the ability of Member States to fight terrorism. But the sober reality was that terrorists had become more audacious and sinister, and the threat of terrorism had “not abated at all”. The Council, therefore, had to bear in the mind that the Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the General Assembly had called for improvements in the work of the three counter-terrorism related Committees.
While Japan welcomed “with great interest” the Counter-terrorism Committee’s report, approximately two thirds of Members States had not yet reported to the Committee on the prohibition of incitement to terrorism at their national levels, he said. If they could do so at their earliest convenience, it would provide a better understanding of the implementation status of resolution 1624. All three Committees also had to consider ways to ease the reporting burden of some Member States. One possibility would be to provide assistance to those States that wanted to report, but lacked the capacity to do so; another would be to create a single consolidated questionnaire for all Member States.
He said that many Member States, including Japan, had a great interest in the listing and delisting of individuals and entities by the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, and that the Committee was very close to reaching a conclusion on the listing issue. Japan intended to contribute actively to the discussion, in order to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the Consolidated List. It was also necessary for all three Committees, as the end of the year approached, to consider ways for the Council to realize a better counter-terrorism policy. The comprehensive review of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the review of the mandate of the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee would be a good opportunity in that regard.
ILYA I. ROGACHEV ( Russian Federation) welcomed the Assembly’s adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which had significant potential for strengthening the international community’s efforts to combat terrorism. Commending the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, he noted that the five years since the Council’s adoption of resolution 1373 had shown how complicated it was to implement that text. He hoped the Committee’s dialogue with States would be improved, and he supported, in particular, the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s initiative for targeting interactions with regional and subregional organizations. He welcomed also the preparatory work to organize the Committee’s fifth meeting, and stressed the importance of visiting missions.
Unfortunately, with only 69 States reporting, the implementation of resolution 1624 had not met the expectations or spirit of that text, he said. The low level of reporting had not brought the Council closer to an objective picture of the situation. In that regard, he called on countries that had not reported to do so as soon as possible. At the same time, the Committee should think about a plan for future interaction with States on the implementation of resolution 1624. The Russian Federation continued to view the 1267 Committee and the Monitoring Team as effective means to meet the challenges posed by terrorism. The Consolidated List remained the main instrument in implementing the anti-Taliban sanctions regime, and he welcomed efforts to improve it. Progress in that area would help strengthen the sanctions regime itself. Most important, however, was the need to improve national mechanisms.
On the work of the 1540 Committee, he noted that one of its main tasks was to provide assistance to States in submitting their national reports. Russia, as chair of the Group of Eight (G-8), had initiated the idea of sending States a collective demarche on behalf of the Group. For its part, Russia was prepared to provide assistance to States if they had difficulty in completing their reports. A significant body of non-proliferation information and experience had not been assimilated by the Committee. Streamlining national systems was a key component of the 1540 Committee’s work, and closer contact with control regimes should be a priority. He stressed the importance of ensuring the resolution’s full implementation, which would, among other things, make it possible to create national systems to monitor goods and technologies. All States needed to create a solid barrier to non-State actors that sought to gain access to weapons of mass destruction and related materiel. States must pool their efforts in that regard. He commended interaction between the three Committees, noting that that must continue in the future.
AUGUSTINE MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) said he took satisfaction with the current work of the Counter-Terrorism, 1267 and 1540 Committees. The three Committees were sharing information and making arrangements to avoid duplication, as well as working together to develop practical measures to grapple the lack of capacity found in non- and late-reporting States. Because the Committees were important tools in the fight against terrorism, Security Council cooperation and guidance was important. He particularly appreciated the work outlined by the 1540 Committee’s Chairman, and hoped that seminars on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 in Ghana, Peru and Vienna would be successful and well attended.
He then said the review of the Counter-Terrorism Committee had increased understanding of its activities, and he took particular note of implementation of resolution 1624 regarding the outlawing of incitement to terrorism. The update of the 1373 Committee’s website had yielded valuable assistance to Member States in their implementation of Security Council resolution 1373, and he shared the view that more coordination was needed between the 1373 Committee and the 1267 and 1540 Committees.
Saying that the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee had made remarkable progress, he noted also that Tanzania was implementing resolution 1373 in spite of some delays, and he warned that the confrontational approach of naming and shaming could sometimes be counterproductive. He pointed to the instance of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation slipping through the net in Tanzania, and urged a new modality in the Committee’s listing of entities with tentacles worldwide, to prevent delays in the freezing of assets. He appreciated the work between Interpol and the Committee, and hoped that other avenues of cooperation could be explored. More effort needed to be exerted in the area of informal financial transactions, which were thriving in the developing world and provided the infrastructure for terrorist activities. Finally, he highlighted the enrichment provided by regular meetings of regional chiefs and senior officials of national intelligence and security services, and called for the Monitoring Team to encourage interregional cooperation.
MUTLAQ MAJED AL-QAHTANI ( Qatar) said that the work done by the Committees was an important part of international efforts to combat terrorism. Sanctions remained an important tool in that regard. Those needed to be targeted, however, to guarantee precise results and to have effect. Sanctions were a useful political process that the Council possessed, but they needed to be clear. The Council needed to take into account the legal procedures, human rights and principles that should not be violated. It should guarantee the legality of the sanctions and ensure that they were effective.
Many players had reaffirmed the importance for the Council and the Al-Qaida Committee to follow legal procedures and be transparent in listing and delisting of entities and individuals, he continued. Some cases in that regard had been described as unfair, and several legal cases had been initiated. That could lead to the collapse of the sanctions regime. It was important to establish an effective regime and periodically review its effectiveness and evaluate results, lifting sanctions once the effect had been achieved. Exceptions should be provided for religious and humanitarian reasons. Accountability was also important. He called upon the Monitoring Team to be transparent, objective and specific when elaborating recommendations and submitting reports to the Committee.
Stressing the importance of respect for human rights, he said that States must comply with their commitments in that regard. The United Nations must adopt an overall strategy to guarantee observance of human rights when dealing with terrorism. It was also necessary to study the relation between terrorism and occupation. Resolution 1624 stipulated the need to make international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations, in order to prevent indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures. It was important to create an environment that would not lead to incitement to terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should encourage States to criminalize religious or cultural hatred.
He also expressed appreciation for the fact that many States had submitted their national reports on the implementation of resolution 1673. However, he also noted that, since the extension of the mandate of 1540 Committee, the number of States that had not submitted reports had not dropped significantly.
He added that, while it was important to guarantee non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international measures must be non-selective in nature and not be taken at the expense of freedoms and human rights. Combating terrorism at all levels should be in keeping with international law, and there should be no double standards.
KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said the sense of the Council today was to stress the common threat that all faced from terrorism, and several speakers had referred to the importance of the General Assembly Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Security Council resolution 1624. She saw resolution 1624 as part of a conscious strategy to take on those who encouraged others to commit acts of terrorism and who encouraged the hatred and murder of others. That resolution was a step forward in the international community’s rejection of terrorism and, among other things, called for the Counter-Terrorism Committee to help Member States develop capacity, including through spreading best legal practice.
She welcomed the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s report on the implementation of resolution 1624, which provided a clear snapshot of measures taken by Member States. It was not a complete report, however, in that not all Member States had reported. The report was the beginning of a process and not the end. The next step was to share information on best practice in that area. There was much work still to be done. She hoped that help could be found for States needing assistance in developing their legislation. The Committee also needed to think about how to develop partnerships with civil society, as Governments alone could not defeat terrorism. The United Kingdom would stress its commitment to promoting consistent analysis of implementation of resolution 1373 and tailored dialogue with States.
On the work of the 1267 Committee, she thanked the Monitoring Team for the fifth report and looked forward to the Committee acting on the Team’s recommendations. She also welcomed efforts to improve the implementation of sanctions measures, welcoming in that regard the Committee’s cooperation with Interpol. The United Kingdom looked forward to the introduction of practical tools, and expected the Committee to finalize its guidelines.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, she said the United Kingdom attached importance to outreach efforts to explain the provisions of the resolution and to ease the passage of assistance for States who needed it. Every part of the United Nations and the international community had had something concrete to contribute to the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to defeat terrorists. The United Kingdom intended to play its part.
The Council President, ADAMANTIOS VASSILAKIS (Greece), speaking in his national capacity, welcomed the progress made by the 1267 Committee, relating to Al-Qaida and others, in improving the Consolidated List by adding new information with respect to the names of several entries. He said the assignment of a permanent reference number to each person on the list and the inclusion of the original script of the name had enhanced the effectiveness of the List. The fourth and fifth reports of the Monitoring Team had also contained recommendations the Committee had already adopted to greatly contribute to improving the sanctions regime. Progress in cooperation between the Committee and Interpol was also welcome.
Also important, he continued, was the revision of the Committee’s guidelines on listing and delisting procedures. However, although extensive discussion had led to revised draft guidelines now ready for adoption, the Committee had not yet addressed concerns about the need for fair and clear procedures for listing on sanctions lists. Concerns about humanitarian exceptions had also not been addressed. Those two issues should be considered at the earliest possible date, taking into account the proposals submitted by Denmark and France, as well as the options offered by the Watson Institute in its study on strengthening targeted sanctions. As stated repeatedly, ensuring fair and clear procedures would ultimately strengthen the effectiveness of targeted sanctions.
He commended the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate for continuous active engagement with States in pursuing implementation of resolution 1373 relating to sanctions on terrorist groups. He said visits were useful tools that enhanced interaction with Member States, and the Committee should focus on better preparation and follow-up. The Committee’s report on implementation of resolution 1624 on incitement contained useful information on domestic practices and legislative measures. The Committee had also made progress in integrating human rights concerns into policies, but should do more on integrating them in dialogue with States on implementing those two resolutions.
On the 1540 Committee report, he said the priority was to complete the first cycle of national reports, and he called on the 59 States with reports outstanding to submit reports as soon as possible. Also, he said he supported the Committee’s outreach activities, the updating of the database, cooperation with the other terrorism-related Committees and its acting as a clearing house for technical assistance to States.
NICOLAS MADURO MOROS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, said that his country would continue to cooperate with all three Committees. One of the fundamental aims of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was to adopt effective measures to eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. No State should be immune from the application of those measures. There should be no double standards or selectivity. A true struggle against terrorism should be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy in that respect, which could not neglect giving due attention to such important questions as eradication of hunger, poverty, aggression, foreign occupation, discrimination and religious intolerance.
He emphasized his country’s categorical condemnation of all forms of terrorism in all its manifestations, in particular State terrorism. Venezuela also held a firm position that the international community could not equate terrorism with legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. His country had ratified several conventions on the matter, and strictly complied with all United Nations resolutions, including those of the Security Council. It had submitted reports to the Council’s subsidiary bodies and continued to develop a broad set of standards to fight terrorism. Demonstrating its responsible approach, it had also created a national authority on the matter.
With the same firmness, his country also condemned those who used the fight against terrorism to justify violence against countries and peoples for political and economic purposes, including control of strategic and natural resources. That resulted in the loss of innocent lives and generated a vicious circle, where violence led to more violence and terrorism led to more terrorism, as a report just released in the United States showed. The so-called collateral damage, which included loss of civilian lives and massive destruction of the infrastructure by bombings, made it possible to qualify those acts as State terrorism.
In its resolutions, the Security Council had affirmed that no State should provide support to entities or individuals who participated in terrorist acts or provide refuge to those who instigated those acts. No State had valid reasons to deny extradition of terrorists, but there were many examples of non-compliance with the decisions of the Security Council. The international community was aware that the Government of the United States was offering protection to one of the most famous terrorists, Luis Posada Carriles, who was sought by Venezuelan courts for his participation in the explosion of a civilian airliner with 73 passengers on board. His country had encountered “surprising delays” after it had initiated an extradition process with the United States, which had treated the monstrous act as a simple emigration case. Venezuela had also made a request for extradition of Jose Antonio Pulido and German Varela Lopez, who were accused of having planted bombs in Caracas in 2003. The current Government of the United States had not responded to the request. Those individuals, who had confessed to terrorist actions before Venezuelan courts, had been released and had freedom of movement in the United States.
PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) welcomed the establishment of open briefings by the chairpersons of the three counter-terrorism and sanctions committees, which gave an opportunity for non-members of the Security Council to be briefed and have comments about the Committees’ activities. Satisfied with the Monitoring Team’s efforts to strengthen the sanctions system within the 1267 Committee, Switzerland believed there was a need to strengthen sanctions regimes with the introduction of fair and clear procedures on how individuals and entities were listed and delisted from the sanctions lists, as well as how humanitarian exemptions were granted. The need for clearer rules was reflected in the 2005 World Summit Outcome document, and again emphasized as a priority in the recently adopted United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
As the 1267 Committee’s discussion on guidelines revisions continued, Switzerland endorsed the recommendations on minimum standards for listing and delisting of individuals and entities on sanctions lists, which were included in a letter from the Secretary-General to the Council presidency. Switzerland was also pleased that the study “Strengthening of Targeted Sanctions through Fair and Clear Procedures” that had been commissioned by the Governments of Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, and had been undertaken by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, had been published as a United Nations document (A/60/887 and S/2006/331) and was available in all six languages of the United Nations.
KIRSTI LINTONEN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, applauded the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly, and said that efforts should continue to reach agreement a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. However, while the European Union condemned all acts of terrorism, it believed that legitimate action to counter terrorism should respect international laws on humanitarian situations, human rights and refugees.
She went on to say that, given the Security Council’s pivotal role in acting against terrorism, the European Union strongly supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate to guarantee full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1373, on the suppression of the financing of terrorism, and 1624, on the denial of a safe havens to terrorists. The European Union itself had launched the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Strategy for Combating Radicalization and Recruitment to Terrorism in December 2005, which highlighted the need to disrupt activities of individuals who drew people into terrorism, among others. It also welcomed the extension of the mandate of the Committee to oversee implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 on the prevention of support for non-State actors attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
She said that the European Union recognized the progress achieved in improving the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime and making the information on the Consolidated List more accessible to Member States. It took keen interest in the Committee’s discussions on listing and delisting procedures, and was itself holding a joint workshop with the United States on the European Union’s current work on listing and delisting, in Helsinki, Finland. In view of the importance of full and timely reporting by Member States on their compliance with Council resolutions relating to terrorism, the European Union was providing financial support to regional seminars in Beijing, China; Accra, Ghana; and Lima, Peru, in addition to several hundred million euros to 80 countries in fields such as border management, counter-terrorist financing and police cooperation.
RODRIGO MALMIERCA DIAZ ( Cuba) said Cuba had informed the Counter-Terrorism Committee in detail about terrorist acts against Cuba, carried out by several individuals or organizations, and the protection of them by the United States. There was, however, no evidence that the Committee had taken any steps to even assess the information submitted or that it had begun an investigation on compliance by the United States with its obligations under resolution 1373. Cuba once again reiterated its request that the Counter-Terrorism Committee undertake an assessment of the information submitted, as it would contribute to efforts to halt the impunity enjoyed by those who had carried out, and were still planning, terrorist actions against Cuba. It was impossible to eradicate terrorism if some terrorist acts were condemned, while others were tolerated or justified.
Noting that 6 October would mark the anniversary of the terrorist act against a Cubana de Aviación commercial airliner, which had resulted in 73 deaths, he said the Council had done nothing when Cuba had requested action. One of the persons responsible for the midair bombing was Orlando Bosch, who not only walked the streets of the United States freely, but also made frequent television appearances and statements to the press. Another individual responsible for the crime was the international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. In spite of the fact that the United States Government acknowledged him as a dangerous terrorist threat, Posada Carriles was detained in Texas under illegal immigration charges. Cuba firmly condemned the possible release of the international terrorist. If impunity prevailed, the entire responsibility would fall on the United States Government.
He added that 11 September also marked the anniversary of the assassination of Felix Garcia, a diplomat at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations. The assassin, Pedro Crispin Remon, two decades later had made an attempt against President Fidel Castro at the University of Panama, with Luis Posada Carriles’ complicity. That terrorist also walked freely the streets of Miami. Paradoxically, those who threatened the entire world in the name of a campaign against terrorism were the same who kept five Cuban youth hostage, who were the “true counter-terrorism fighters”. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez had only been trying to get information about the Miami-based terrorist groups in order to prevent their violent acts and save the lives of Cuban and United States citizens. Despite some of the Council’s arbitrary methods and decisions, Cuba would continue to strictly abide by the resolutions adopted by the Council and would maintain cooperation with the Council’s subsidiary bodies.
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* The 5534th through 5537th Meetings were closed.