CHAIRS OF COMMITTEES DEALING WITH SANCTIONS ON AL-QAIDA/TALIBAN, COUNTER-TERRORISM, WEAPONS PROLIFERATION BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL
CHAIRS OF COMMITTEES DEALING WITH SANCTIONS ON AL-QAIDA/TALIBAN, COUNTER-TERRORISM, WEAPONS PROLIFERATION BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5679th Meeting* (AM)
CHAIRS OF COMMITTEES DEALING WITH SANCTIONS ON AL-QAIDA/TALIBAN, COUNTER-TERRORISM,
WEAPONS PROLIFERATION BRIEF SECURITY COUNCIL
Improving the quality of the Consolidated List was a core assignment of the Security Council’s 1267 Committee, as both its completeness and accuracy were essential for the effective implementation of sanctions measures imposed under its mandate, Johan Verbeke ( Belgium), that body’s Chairman told the Council today.
In a joint briefing with the Chairs of two other subsidiary Council bodies, he said that the 1267 Committee –- formally know as the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities -– was always looking to improve the List and paid particular attention to its section on the Taliban. In that regard, Member States were encouraged to submit the names of individuals and entities that should be included because of their association with Al-Qaida and/or the Taliban.
Recalling that the Council had adopted two important resolutions last December, he said resolution 1730 (2006) requested the Secretary-General to establish a focal point to receive de-listing requests, adding that petitioners seeking to submit such requests could now do so. The focal point had been operational since 29 March 2007. Meanwhile, resolution 1735 (2006) reiterated the existing mandatory measures -- assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo -- extended the period for considering notifications of humanitarian exemptions to the assets freeze and renewed the mandate of the Monitoring Team.
He said visits to States, principally by the Monitoring Team, were a very important means of dialogue with a view to effectively implementing the sanctions measures. Since the last briefing on 28 September 2006, the Team’s experts had travelled to no less than 16 countries, including two joint visits with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and had participated in seven international conferences. The Chair planned to make two trips this year, one in early July and the other late in the year. Member States were invited to renew the Committee’s standing invitation for in-depth discussions on sanctions and related issues.
Peter Burian ( Slovakia), Chairman of the 1540 Committee, stressed the importance of outreach, noting that, since the last briefing to the Council on 28 September 2006, the Committee had held two regional seminars, the first in Accra, Ghana, and the second in Lima, Peru. The first event had been designed for the 35 African States that had not yet submitted a first national report on their efforts to implement resolution 1540 (2004), which deals with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Fourteen of the 21 African States attending the seminar had not submitted their first reports. The Lima seminar had been a follow-up to the Buenos Aires regional seminar held in September 2005, with the purpose not only to intensify awareness of their obligations with respect to resolutions 1540 and 1673 (2005), but also to discuss ways to achieve their full implementation and to explore possibilities for channelling assistance.
Since the last briefing to the Council, Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua, Tuvalu and Vanuatu had submitted their first reports, bringing the total number of reporting States to 136. Fifty-five States, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean and Pacific regions, had not submitted reports. In order to help prepare States that had not yet submitted reports, the Committee had sent them a legislative database and a partially completed draft matrix prepared by Committee experts and containing relevant information obtained from official sources. The matrix would serve as a starting point.
He said the 1540 Committee -– formally known as the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) -- had continued to maintain close relations with the 1267 and Counter-Terrorism Committees, with their respective teams of experts focussing on applying their “Joint Paper on Common Strategy/Late Reporting States” to accelerate the pace of reporting to their respective Committee. The experts groups were now organizing, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), subregional workshops for non-reporting States in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, while continuing to develop other joint efforts and reciprocal participation in outreach activities.
Regarding cooperation with international organizations and arrangements, he said the Council had recently underscored its importance by convening an open session on 23 February, at which States, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Customs Organization had explored modalities for practical cooperation. The Committee would continue such interaction and cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, in order to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1540.
Ricardo Alberto Arias (Panama), Chairman of the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, said that body was presently focused on three areas: monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts; facilitating technical assistance to States “in a two-fold and proactive way”; and maintaining dialogue with States on implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) on threats to international peace and security.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) had presented 171 preliminary implementation assessments to the Committee, and approximately 27 had been approved by its subcommittees. By the end of May, an anticipated 193 assessments would have been presented. In the process of analysing and approving the assessments, the Committee would be able to identify States’ technical assistance needs, which would be conveyed to potential donors with the consent of the countries concerned. The Committee would consider a CTED study on the status of implementation in the coming weeks, which would enable it to design a tailored approach to countries that might benefit from special attention.
He said the Committee was currently considering reports on its visits to India and Pakistan in 2006. It had recently concluded a visit to Turkey and would visit Bangladesh in the coming weeks. Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam had also given consent to visits. A special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations on the topic “Prevention of Terrorist Movement and Effective Border Security” was expected to take place in Nairobi in October.
The Council also heard statements by the representatives of Peru, Ghana, Indonesia, France, United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Congo, Italy, Russian Federation, Qatar, United States, Germany (on behalf of the European Union), Australia, Israel, Cuba, Venezuela, Japan, Lichtenstein, Viet Nam, Argentina, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon.
Today’s meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the Chairmen of three of its subsidiary bodies.
JOHAN VERBEKE (Belgium), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities (1267 Committee), recalled two important resolutions for the Committee’s work that the Council had adopted at the end of December 2006. Resolution 1730 (2006) requested the Secretary-General to establish a focal point to receive de-listing requests, and petitioners seeking to submit such requests could now do so, either through their State of residence or citizenship. The focal point had been operational since 29 March 2007. Resolution 1735 (2006) reiterated the existing mandatory measures (assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo). The period for the consideration of notifications of humanitarian exemptions to the assets freeze had been extended and the mandate of the Monitoring Team renewed.
He said that improving the quality of the Consolidated List was a core assignment of the Committee, as both its completeness and accuracy were essential for the effective implementation of the sanctions measures. The Committee paid particular attention to the Taliban section of the List, but was, nonetheless, always looking to improve the entire List. In that regard, States were encouraged to submit the names of individuals and entities that should be included because of their association with Al-Qaida and/or the Taliban. Improving its guidelines was another area that the Committee was looking into, so as to make its working methods and procedures as transparent as possible.
Visits to States, principally by the Monitoring Team, were a very important means of dialogue with States with a view to effective implementation of the sanctions measures, he said. Since the last briefing on 28 September 2006, the Team’s experts had travelled to no less than 16 countries, including two joint visits with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and had participated in seven international conferences. The Chair planned to make two trips this year, one in early July and the other late in the year. Member States were invited to renew the Committee’s standing invitation for in-depth discussions on sanctions and related issues.
Regarding cooperation with international and regional organizations, including Interpol, he said it had continued to be very beneficial for the Committee’s work, and the Monitoring Team was encouraged to carry on its efforts in that regard. The fact of continued joint briefings to the Council with the other two Chairs highlighted the 1267 Committee’s strong partnership and coordination with the other Committees and their experts. The Committee was currently working intensively on further improving its website, in order to enhance its communication and outreach with the broader membership. In the coming weeks, it would also discuss such issues as the criminal misuse of the Internet, the involvement of the private sector into sanctions implementation, especially assets freeze, and possible instances of non-compliance.
RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (Counter-Terrorism Committee), informed the Council about the Committee’s work since its last report of September 2006. The Committee was presently focused on three areas: monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts; facilitating technical assistance to States “in a two-fold and proactive way”; and maintaining dialogue with States on implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) on threats to international peace and security.
He said that 171 preliminary implementation assessments had been presented to the Committee by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), and approximately 27 had been approved by its subcommittees. By the end of May, an anticipated 193 assessments would have been presented. In the process of analysing and approving the assessments, the Committee would be able to identify States’ technical assistance needs, which would be conveyed to potential donors with the consent of the countries concerned. However, the Committee had been unable to consider the preliminary implementation assessments that had been approved by its subcommittees, because it had yet to agree on a standardized cover letter.
He said the Committee would consider a CTED study on the status of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) in the following weeks, which would enable it to design a tailored approach to countries that might benefit from special attention. The Committee also conducted in situ evaluations through on-site visits, which included the participation of representatives from other international organizations and representatives from the Monitoring Team established by resolution 1267 (1999).
The Committee was currently considering reports of visits in 2006 to India and Pakistan, he said. It had recently concluded a visit to Turkey and would visit Bangladesh in the coming weeks. Countries that had given their consent to be visited were Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam.
He said the Committee had recently considered an analysis, prepared by CTED, on the progress of States in their adoption and implementation of international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. In addition, the Committee was considering a technical assistance plan for 2007, also prepared by CTED, which set out a road map for future work with donors and recipients of assistance, aimed at helping the acceleration of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee had also approved an updated technical-assistance matrix. Following the experience gained through provision of technical assistance to the States of the Pacific Islands Form, the Committee was seeking to develop programmes for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
He said a fifth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations was expected to take place in Nairobi in October, on the topic “Prevention of Terrorist Movement and Effective Border Security”. An action plan had been developed for follow-up on the four previous special meetings. In the context of the Committee’s relationship-building efforts with international organizations dealing with counter-terrorism, it had heard a briefing by the Chairman of the Working Group of the Meeting of Heads of Special Services, Security Agencies and Law-Enforcement Organizations, Alexey Kuzyura.
Turning to Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) on threats to international peace and security, he said the Committee would explore the scope and potential need for the provision of international technical assistance. But he acknowledged that implementation would be complex, with diverse legal and constitutional frameworks requiring varying national approaches.
He also discussed the Committee’s additional functions in addition to the three focus areas identified in the Committee’s work programme: the promotion of best practices and standards relating to resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee was working to identify and compile such practices. Furthermore, the Committee participated actively in the work of the Implementation Task Force, relating to its work of enhancing the capacity of Member States to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as helping States to implement provisions of the strategy that fell under its mandate.
He said the Committee would continue to explore ways of improving interaction and cooperation with the 1267 Committee and the 1540 Committee, and their expert groups. It would continue to pay special attention to States that were late in submitting relevant information on their efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001), as part of the common strategy developed with experts of the other Committees.
PETER BURIAN ( Slovakia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) (1540 Committee), said that body considered the submission of national reports among its top priorities. Since the last briefing to the Council in September 2006, Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua, Tuvalu and Vanuatu had submitted their first reports, bringing the total number of reporting States to 136. Fifty-five States, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean and Pacific regions, were yet to submit their first reports and, in order to help them prepare their reports, the Committee had sent to them, in October-November 2006, a legislative database and a partially completed draft matrix prepared by Committee experts to serve as a starting-point. The draft matrixes contained relevant information obtained from official sources.
He said that, on the basis of an informal paper submitted by the Chairman, the Committee had adopted a detailed approach on priorities in organizing outreach activities to promote implementation of resolution 1540 through dialogue and cooperation among Member States, and to facilitate bi- and multilateral assistance, when required. The Committee was engaged in outreach activities organized by the Office of Disarmament Affairs and others organized by Governments and other entities, where representatives of the Committee or expert groups made presentations and conducted informal dialogue.
Since the last joint briefing to the Security Council, two outreach regional seminars had been organized by the United Nations, the first in Ghana and the second in Peru, he said. The first event, held in Accra on 9 to 10 November 2006 and designed for the 35 African States that had not yet submitted a first report, had counted as participants 14 non-reporting States out of the 21 African States attending the seminar. The Peru seminar had been held in Lima on 27 to 28 November 2006, as a follow-up to the Buenos Aires regional seminar held in September 2005, with the purpose not only to intensify awareness of their obligations with respect to resolutions 1540 and 1673, but also to discuss ways to achieve their full implementation and to explore the possibilities for channelling assistance.
Regarding cooperation with other Security Council subsidiary bodies, he said the Committee and its experts had continued to maintain close relations with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee. The three teams of experts were focussing on applying their “Joint Paper on Common Strategy/Late Reporting States” to accelerate the pace of reporting to their respective Committee. The experts groups were now taking concrete steps, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to organize subregional workshops for non-reporting States in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Other joint efforts and reciprocal participation in outreach activities would continue to develop.
Turning to cooperation with international organizations and arrangements, he said its importance was underscored by resolution 1673 (2006) and had recently also been given special emphasis when the Council had devoted an open session on 23 February, at which States, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Customs Organization had explored modalities for practical cooperation. The Committee would continue to interact and cooperate with other relevant international organizations and arrangements, as well as with regional and subregional organizations, in order to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1540.
Regarding the Committee’s next steps, he said that, for the next six months, it planned to intensify its efforts to increase the number of States reporting, and the rate of such reporting, through more dialogue with Member States and tailor-made outreach activities at the subregional level, some of them in cooperation with other United Nations bodies.
In accordance with its current programme of work, the Committee would explore, with other organizations and with Member States, the sharing of experience and lessons learned to facilitate implementation, he said. It would continue thematic discussions on implementing different aspects of the programme of work. The Committee’s website and legislative database would be regularly updated and further developed to assist Member States with the relevant information. Finally, the Committee would encourage States to provide additional information on national implementation as an ongoing process.
JORGE VOTO-BERNALES ( Peru) expressed hope that the 1267 Committee would continue to ensure that its processes were effective, while meeting international law provisions and respecting human rights. As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he observed that the new preliminary implementation assessments tool would allow it to acquire in-depth information on the resolution’s implementation, and would lay a firm foundation for understanding realities on the ground, while improving dialogue between States. The Committee should avoid incorporating problems into its agenda that went beyond such things as establishing standards to extradite alleged terrorists; preventing States from giving refuge to terrorists; attacking the funding system for terrorists; and improving the world’s intelligence-gathering systems. For example, the Committee should not delve into the issue of “illegal immigration”, because it would prejudge the nature of migration, and carried with it the danger of discrimination. Furthermore, it would detract attention from the real problems inherent in controlling borders.
He said that the working definition of terrorism should not be based on any doctrine that would not ordinarily be promoted by the United Nations. The use of preliminary implementation assessments should lead to genuine dialogue between States, based on a shared perception of reality. It should allow for assistance to States to achieve common objectives, and its main purpose should be to ensure that States had the tools to combat terrorism.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he said it should continue to assist States that had not yet submitted their first report, while noting the possible reasons for such delays -- for example, the lack of resources and poor legislative guidelines to guide such a process, as might be expected in developing countries. The Committee should also continue its awareness-raising activities regarding the resolution. For its part, Peru had hosted a regional seminar in November 2006 to determine modes of assistance for South America and the Caribbean. Peru appreciated the Committee’s work of matching those offering that assistance with needful States, since cooperation between States was important in combating terrorism. Peru energetically and unreservedly rejected terrorism, no matter who committed it or where. Religion should not justify the financing of terrorist acts. Hopefully, the General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy would bolster international cooperation on all fronts to combat terrorism and, incidentally, provided an opportunity to highlight the Security Council’s own capabilities in that area.
LESLIE CHRISTIAN (Ghana) said that the 1267 Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban had made appreciable progress, boosted no doubt by the adoption last year of Council resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006). Ghana believed that providing an alternative channel for review by aggrieved listed parties would improve conditions for transparency and due process and thereby build confidence in the overall sanctions regime. Ghana would emphasize that the idea behind the establishment of a focal point was to improve access, simplicity and transparency, and that it was essential to avoid complicated, overly bureaucratic procedures that would frustrate petitioners and undermine the very objective of that new mechanism. He added that Ghana supported the proposed stocktaking of the implementation of resolutions 1730 and 1735 set for this coming July.
He went on to note with satisfaction the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s focus on monitoring and promoting implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), facilitating technical assistance to States and maintaining dialogue on implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). Among other things, Ghana believed that the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate to identify the needs of States and facilitate appropriate assistance from bi- and multilateral donors should be sustained. It was important that existing programmes and efforts be focused, for the most part, on identifying the underlying problems and deficiencies in targeted States, instead of focusing on the extent of report submissions and compliance with resolutions. He added that Ghana looked forward to the upcoming fifth special meeting of CTED in October in Nairobi.
Continuing, he said that, three years after its inception, the 1540 Committee had made significant strides in carrying out its work within its mandate to facilitate the efforts of Member States to diligently pursue efforts towards comprehensively addressing the nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. The various outreach programmes, particularly those in Accra, had been worthwhile, especially since most of the non-reporting States were in Africa. Those seminars provided the necessary platform for raising awareness about the importance of the relevant resolutions and created an opportunity to encourage and help countries to fulfil their obligations.
At the same time, he said that, while the number of States making submissions had risen, Ghana was concerned that some 55 States, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean and Pacific regions, had not yet submitted first reports. While calling on those States to faithfully implement their obligations, Ghana would also urge the 1540 Committee to identify and closely study the factors that were hampering such submission, with a view to assisting those States in overcoming the challenges. The attempt to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors would remain a mirage, unless States adhered to their commitments. “2007 should, therefore, be the year of implementation, if we are to make substantial progress,” he said, urging the Committee to place appreciable emphasis on the implementation aspects since resolution 1540 suffered from an “implementation deficit” within and among States.
HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia) expressed the hope that the future activities of the Council’s subsidiary bodies would contribute significantly to operations against Al-Qaida and the Taliban, while reflecting fair and transparent listing and de-listing procedures and adequate respect for human rights standards. Indonesia attached great importance to the quality of the Consolidated List, particularly its fairness, transparency and accuracy. The process should not merely update existing information, but also be substantive. Regarding sanctions, an increasing number of legal cases had been filed against the implementation of sanctions. The Council should direct the 1267 Committee to study that increasing litigation, and seek ways to address it.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said its future programme of work should include clear directions and balanced implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). The adoption of counter-terrorism strategies required further work in developing the work of the three Committees, particularly the Counter-Terrorism Committee. As for the 1540 Committee, it continued to take a balanced approach and to proceed faithfully with its work under the principles of transparency and fairness. Technical assistance was important and would gain a favourable response if it addressed the larger needs and priorities of States requiring assistance, rather than simply addressing narrow technical needs in terms of the Committee’s mandate. Over the last three years, the Committee had focused mainly on reporting, which was not the objective of the relevant resolution. The increasing burden of reporting in its various forms could be overwhelming.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE (France), aligning himself with the statement to be made by the European Union, said the Committees covered a broad spectrum of work, adding that it was important to strengthen the articulation and exchange of experience among them. Turning first to the 1540 Committee, he voiced hope that its pace of work would accelerate in the four remaining months, with the renewal of the group of experts. Some major activities still to be conducted included fulfilling its commitments to establish a personal dialogue with States, promoting best practices and developing operational relations with related international organizations. For its part, France had helped to organize a seminar in Jakarta, scheduled for 28 and 29 May, aimed at advancing implementation of the resolution in South-East Asia.
He welcomed progress of 1267 Committee, saying it had helped strengthen the credibility of the Council’s sanctions regime. After adoption of resolutions 1730 and 1735 in December 2006, the Committee had a number of tasks to accomplish. France, which had originated the concept of focal points for de-listing, said French authorities had submitted a letter to the Committee, in which they voiced their commitment to use those focal points in facilitating the de-listing of French nationals and residents. Improvements to the Committee’s websites were noted. Hopefully the Committee would, in the coming months, study the consequences of Internet-use by Al-Qaida in recruiting new members.
Turning to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he noted the new approach for follow-up to implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), which broke with the past practice of producing reports. Between now and June, the Committee needed to use the preliminary implementation assessments tool in pursuing personal dialogues with States. In developing new processes for conducting its work, the Committee must consider the comprehensive study of implementation across countries, which would add to its regional and thematic perspective. Hopefully, the Counter-Terrorism Committee would soon be in a position to develop a technical assistance action plan. The next special meeting with international and regional organizations, to take place in Nairobi, would go towards meeting the Committee’s objectives in Africa. Given the persistence of terrorism, the world’s efforts must be long term and resolute, and be adaptable to the shifting contours of the threat. The visit by the French Secretary-General of Defence, Francis Delon, to the Committee on 5 April had been a testament to France’s commitment to fighting terrorism.
KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom), associating herself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, welcomed Ambassador Verbeke to his new role as Chairman of the 1267 Committee, adding that her country had co-sponsored Security Council resolutions 1730 and 1735 adopted in December 2006. Giving individuals a guaranteed route for access to the Security Council bodies that listed them was a significant step, and the establishment of a focal point within the Secretariat to receive de-listing requests was a real achievement that should come into its own in the Council. The United Kingdom was also pleased to hear that the 1267 Committee intended to work on improving the quality of the Consolidated List, focusing in particular on its Taliban section. The List was the foundation for the Committee’s work and it was vital that it should be as detailed, up to date and accurate as possible.
She said her delegation looked forward with interest to the Committee improving its guidelines on exemption requests for basic expenses for individuals on the Consolidated List. Delays in dealing swiftly and effectively with such requests, many of which were humanitarian in nature, raised serious human rights concerns. There was a risk of delaying essential payments for food, rent and legal fees, and it was imperative that the Committee address that. Sanctions were designed to be preventive, rather than punitive, in nature, and increasing clarity and transparency in the Committee’s procedures for dealing with exemption requests should help to limit the humanitarian impact of sanctions.
Turning to the work of the 1540 Committee, she said her country looked forward to its continued outreach activities, focusing on the key requirements of the regions concerned, and on work that would lead to measurable improvements in implementation. In furtherance of that aim, it supported the production of implementation action plans and believed that facilitating technical assistance remained a key challenge for the Committee. The United Kingdom also looked forward to the early agreement of concrete, practical proposals, which would enable the Committee and its experts to adopt a proactive and effective role in responding to requests for, and offers of, assistance.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she recalled that, at this time last year, her country had welcomed the development and use of new analytical tools for assessing individual States’ implementation of resolution 1373. The United Kingdom looked forward to the results of the preliminary implementation assessments being shared with Member States as soon as possible, and had every confidence that the Committee would deal swiftly with the assessments it had yet to consider and that its discussion on internal processes could be concluded expeditiously. The Committee should, through the use of those assessments, be able to move away from the seemingly never-ending reporting cycle for States and instead shift to a focussed dialogue tailored to meet the specific needs of individual States.
She said her country expected that a key part of that dialogue would be about technical assistance, which had long been under discussion in the Committee. The United Kingdom looked forward to seeing substantial measurable results, both in the facilitation of assistance and the resulting improvements in implementation. In particular, the United Kingdom hoped the Committee would quickly adopt the technical assistance implementation plan for 2007. Implementation of Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) also remained a priority for the United Kingdom, which looked forward to continued Committee work in that area, including analysis and technical assistance.
DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa), in considering the Counter-Terrorism Committee, remarked on the importance of respect for the sovereignty and national priorities of Member States; of consulting with relevant States on the content of preliminary implementation assessments, prior to their consideration by the Committee; and of giving due consideration to the uniqueness of threats faced by individual States, and the capacities and resources for addressing them, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. Also, Committee members should be given enough time to examine the preliminary implementation assessments, which were often complex and lengthy. Technical assistance should not be imposed on Member States, and the Committee was encouraged to continue its interaction with international and regional organizations.
Turning to the 1267 Committee, he encouraged it to build on the improvements to its Consolidated List and guidelines, and the newly established focal point for de-listing, with a view to promoting due process and transparency. It should apply a “high evidentiary standard” when considering requests to add individuals to the Consolidated List and there should be a substantive nexus between new additions and Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Proposals to criminalize the misuse of the Internet and proposals on the involvement of the private sector in sanctions, among others, would have significant implications for Member States; the Committee should consult widely when considering such proposals.
As for the 1540 Committee, he welcomed efforts to assist with the provision of technical assistance to those that required it. Developing countries should be asked to complete simplified questionnaires on measures taken to implement resolution 1540 (2004), as compared to those required of countries possessing or capable of producing weapons of mass destruction. Technologies, materials, financing and delivery systems relating to such weapons originated from possessing or capable States themselves. That gave rise to the question of whether the Council could continue to ignore disarmament and approach proliferation in a “selective and often politicized manner”. South Africa was cautious of proposals that would empower select groups of States to run the Committee’s outreach programmes and visits, and to provide information that would be used to develop best practices. It was thought that a clearing-house approach remained most appropriate.
There was a danger of duplicating work that was already being done elsewhere, or of imposing the Council’s priorities on bodies that were designed for specific tasks. For example, the Financial Action Task Force did not have the expertise or mandate to address “proliferation financing”; it was a body with limited membership that was designed to address terror-financing and money-laundering. The Council’s three subsidiary bodies must be better coordinated and, indeed, the 2005 World Summit had called on the Council to consolidate its anti-terrorism activities and reporting requirements. It was also proposed that future reports and briefings by the Committee Chairs provide full disclosure of the financial expenditure and human resources used during the reporting period.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) expressed satisfaction with the further development of the 1540 Committee’s website, describing it as an effective tool for strengthening interactive exchanges between Member States and the Committee, which would continue to enhance its authority in the future. Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it had made progress in improving its work methods. In order to reduce the reporting burden, it had adopted the preliminary implementation assessments approach, which had further strengthened dialogue with Member States. It was to be hoped that such an approach, as well as transparency and fairness, would continue to be improved in practice. While China appreciated that the Counter-Terrorism Committee and CTED continued to effectively push forward in terms of visiting Member States, implementing technical assistance and cooperation, and instituting best practices, the Committee should endeavour to accomplish its work targets.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he recalled that it had formulated its work programme last October, and had since focused on implementation of the resolution, outreach and cooperation with positive results. China supported the great importance of that work and hoped the Committee would continue to keep its positive momentum and strengthen its outreach and technical assistance work. Over the past few months, terrorist forces had increased their activities globally, posing a serious threat to international peace and security. Terrorists were the common enemy of humankind and the international community should adopt measures focused on preventing terrorism and eliminating the conditions that bred it.
BASILE IKOUEBE ( Congo) said the complex and sensitive nature of the Committees’ work called for the utmost in transparency; hence, the importance of public meetings. Like many African countries, Congo appreciated the efforts to engage with affected countries and viewed efforts to provide technical assistance to States and to engage in dialogue with them, with much interest. He noted the improved approach by the Committees in identifying the needs of individual States, made possible with the help of CTED. The 1540 Committee was especially commended for its cooperative activities with States, in the form of seminars and workshops.
He recalled that the Security Council had established the Counter-Terrorism Committee to draw attention to need to combat the scourge in whatever form, while mindful of the United Nations Charter. States were reminded that any measures taken to implement counter-terrorism strategies should be consistent with international, human rights and humanitarian law. For example, all procedures should uphold the principle of the right to representation at court. Indeed, the difference between those that pursued terrorism and those that pursued freedom was the concern for justice among the latter. In addition, the three Committees should continue to ensure that humanitarian exemptions were given due attention.
He said the role of States in improving the work of the Committees was also important, and Congo would like to be involved in enhancing cooperation between States. He called on all States to ratify the 13 counter-terrorism instruments, and for assistance to be given to developing countries in complying with their obligations under the General Assembly’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Committees needed to cooperate more with each other and their activities should be synchronized with those of expert groups and States. Guidelines were needed to ensure more consistency across the Committees, and members should consider the possibility of establishing “bridges” to ensure greater harmonization in Committee procedures, while respecting their individual mandates. A certain level of consistency was needed in terms of the sanctions regime’s political and legal aspects. Since it was the Council’s responsibility to oversee the regime, consistency among its members, particularly the permanent members, was crucial to its success.
ALDO MANTOVANI ( Italy) said that, as one of the major contributors to the List maintained by the 1267 Committee, Italy was convinced of the continued value of the body’s work in preventing heinous crimes “we have all too often experienced”. In order to ensure its continued effectiveness, the Committee should make every effort to encourage other Member States to fulfil their responsibilities to contribute actively to the List. He went on to stress the need to keep the List as up to date as possible, and commended the steps the Committee had taken in the right direction to improve the sanction regime’s effectiveness, while, at the same time, developing clearer and fairer procedures for listing, de-listing and allowing humanitarian exemptions.
He said that significant results had been achieved as a result of the ongoing activities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Executive Directorate, but, if the Council wanted new and more specific results towards implementation of resolution 1373 as a whole, both those bodies needed to be strengthened. Italy believed that much could be done to streamline the two bodies’ internal procedures that might have until now overburdened relations with the Council, the other counter-terrorism-related Committees and the Organization’s wider Membership.
He hoped the Counter-Terrorism Committee could rapidly deliver on the preliminary assessment of Member States’ compliance with resolution 1373, which was the precondition towards starting a “genuine and new” interactive dialogue with the membership -- essential in many cases where technical assistance was needed. In that area, it was crucial to explore new ways to bring the Committee and the Executive Directorate together with Member States that had expressed interest, as well as with donors, relevant United Nations bodies and other international organizations. He went on to praise the results achieved by the 1540 Committee, in particular its extensive outreach to raise Member States’ awareness abut the scope of the resolution and their obligations under it. With the expected review of the Committee’s mandate set for next year, it would be essential to step up the initiatives to increase the number of national reports on implementation of the resolution, he added.
In responding to the multifaceted nature of proliferation, the 1540 Committee should continue to focus on strengthening, among others, the safety and security of dual-use items and technologies, export and border controls, and law enforcement efforts to stop trafficking and brokering in those items. The Committee should also pay due attention to the proliferation of illicit financing networks, he said, stressing that combating such networks should be an integral component of the overall fight against the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Finally, he noted that the Council’s actions against terrorism would be all the more effective if its fundamental objectives were mutually shared by all relevant partners within and outside the United Nations. In that regard, the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force was of particular importance, especially because, among other things, it could facilitate the delivery of technical assistance, through the resources available to United Nations agencies represented in the Task Force.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) called for more closely coordinated interaction among the three Committees and their expert groups. While there was a general strategy of action on late submitters, it would seem that more could, and should, be done to optimize dialogue and give such countries the necessary technical assistance. Work to improve technical assistance must be conducted in close compliance with Security Council resolutions. The Committee must work to identify the concrete needs of those States, with their consent and cooperation. Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it was expected that it would be able to provide general analysis that would enable the Council to evaluate its work. It must do its utmost to strengthen its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations.
The Russian Federation continued to view the 1267 Committee as one of the most viable and effective mechanisms for the Council’s counter-terrorism work, he said. Its importance had been emphasized in resolution 1735. Substantive attention must be paid to strengthening national capacities, as the efforts of Member States would determine success in countering threats emanating from Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Ensuring full implementation of Council decisions by all States was one of the key thrusts in fighting threats to international peace and security, he said, noting that only four countries had submitted their first reports since last September. Technical assistance must be provided without interference in the affairs of Member States and without prejudice to their national interests. Despite the tremendous complexity of the 1540 Committee’s work, it would, hopefully, be able to close the gaps in efforts to prevent proliferation.
NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said the three Committees constituted an important part of the campaign against terrorism, but added that security must not come at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms. Measures taken to combat terrorism must be compatible with the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law, international standards of justice and the provisions of international humanitarian and human rights law. They should avoid double standards, ethically and politically.
He said the procedures for listing and de-listing of names on the Security Council sanctions lists should be improved. Such procedures should be compatible with measures of due process, and should be independent, neutral and provide the ability for effective recourse. Due consideration must be given to legal principles and procedures, and applicable legal standards, in order to make the sanctions legitimate and effective. He noted the “clear disproportion” of visits to countries of the South compared to the North, which did not serve objectivity. Most countries where visits had been proposed had not granted their approval, and that was due to the failure to be objective when deciding on the need for such visits. CTED must stress the importance of compliance with its mandate and instructions with regard to the preparation of reports and visit programmes.
He said the Counter-Terrorism Committee must encourage States to criminalize attacks on religion and to strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding among civilizations, as stipulated in Security Council resolution 1624 (2005). Meanwhile, States that were yet to submit their national reports to the 1540 Committee were called upon to do so. He noted that, even after the extension of the mandate of the Committee, pursuant to resolution 1673 (2006), there were still some non-reporting States. The Committee’s efforts to provide technical assistance to States, and its significant impact on those countries, were also noted.
Council President ZALMAY KHALILZAD (United States), speaking in his national capacity, said the 1267 Committee had made important progress and thanked the Monitoring Team for its invaluable assistance in helping the Committee to discharge its mandate. The Council had unanimously adopted two key resolutions in December 2006. Resolution 1730 had established the focal point for removing names from sanctions lists. The United States was a leader in that effort and worked closely with France and other Council members to develop that important mechanism. Resolution 1735 strengthened the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regimes and addressed many other important issues. The Committee had not updated the Taliban sanctions list since 2003 and it no longer reflected the realities on the ground. It must focus on updating the list to make it a more relevant and potent tool in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Resolution 1735 clearly laid out a three-pronged approach: sanctioning new Taliban who were responsible for the current upsurge in violence; de-listing former Taliban who had severed their ties; and adding new and updated biographical information to help States better enforce the sanctions.
Turning to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that his country would examine its assessments and explore opportunities for providing capacity-building assistance. In April, the United States had assisted officials of the United Republic of Tanzania with training in combating the financing of terrorism and money-laundering, and the preparation and submission of suspicious transaction reports. Under the Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Programme for that country, the United States Agency for International Development was partnering with the Tanzanian Finance Ministry, the Eastern and Southern African Anti Money-Laundering Group and the Bank of Tanzania to provide technical assistance in establishing a financial investigative unit.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, he said it was a significant tool for addressing the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials. The Committee had done a good job in terms of collecting information, but it was now time to take that information and aggressively move forward on implementation, including on processing requests for technical assistance. The United States supported the Committee’s cooperation and outreach efforts with regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the Organization of American States (OAS), the African Union and CARICOM.
All those organizations had practical expertise in cooperating with bodies like the 1540 Committee, he said. Participation in regional workshops, such as the one held in San Francisco in February with the ASEAN Regional Forum and the OSCE 1540 Workshop in November 2006, had provided a useful opportunity for practitioners to gather with others from their region to learn more about resolution 1540 and to share strategies and ideas for implementing the resolution. Based on the recommendations of the Committee’s April 2006 report to the Council, the United States encouraged States to develop action plans with regard to implementing resolution 1540. The United States action plan was designed to encourage and support the Committee in fulfilling its mandate. Using that plan, it intended to help other States identify gaps in laws and controls; develop regional and State-specific assistance priorities for stemming proliferation activity; and coordinate its assistance with other donors and recipients to help implement resolution 1540.
THOMAS MATUSSEK ( Germany), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union would continue to be committed to reaching agreement on the comprehensive terrorism convention as soon as possible, and that the adoption of the Global Strategy last September was an encouraging step towards unified United Nations action on terrorism. The revised set of guidelines of the 1267 Committee on listing, notification and de-listing of individuals and entities was welcome, as was the establishment in March of the Secretariat focal point mechanism.
He said the other Committees should follow the example of the 1267 Committee in revising guidelines and making use of the focal point, and they should do so as soon as possible, so as to harmonize the sanctions regimes and ensure that all requests reached the Committees and were considered fully. In fact, the credibility and effectiveness of the sanctions regimes overall would benefit from a greater harmonization in line with the recommendations of the Security Council’s informal working group on general issues of sanctions, which had been highlighted during a 30 April seminar sponsored by Greece.
Welcoming the work of the other committees, he said the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) on assistance to States in preparing and submitting national reports was a pillar of the Union’s non-proliferation policy. Among others, the Union had in place a programme of assistance to States needing technical knowledge in the field of export control. Seminars had been held and a 2005 pilot project of the European Commission had been advanced in several countries during 2006. In implementing the resolution, the Union worked closely with both the 1540 Committee and the Governments involved.
ROBERT HILL ( Australia) called on States to supplement the efforts of the 1267 Committee by designating terrorists domestically and to implement resolution 1373 obligating States to action against terrorism. He said terrorist groups that operated under the Al-Qaida extremist ideology continued to pose a threat to collective security even if they had few obvious links to that group’s leadership. In South-East Asia, Jemaah Islamiah posed the most immediate terrorist threat.
He said his country was actively engaged in supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 on providing assistance to States in the national reporting process, particularly with regard to determining gaps in domestic export controls or where assistance was needed for better response in the changing security environment. Australia had devoted over $A400 million in the past three years to working with regional partners in key counter-terrorism areas such as law enforcement and financial monitoring. It had co-hosted a sub-regional ministerial meeting on counter-terrorism in Jakarta. As an active member of the global initiative on nuclear terrorism that had been established in July of last year, it had hosted a regional outreach seminar this month.
DAN GILLERMAN ( Israel) began with an update on acts of terror occurring in his country, where 170 Qassam rockets had been fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip the past week. Scores of people had been injured and one woman had been killed. Schools were closed in the city of Sderot, shopping malls empty, playground desolate; “everyone is at home, huddling in their shelters”. With Hamas, a terrorist organization, leading the Palestinian Government, the situation had grown more distressing. Rather than working to create a unity Government that met the international community’s standards, Hamas had tried to “unite warring Palestinian factions with hatred of Israel”. For its part, Israel had exercised tremendous restraint. But it was ready to take any measures needed to defend its citizens, as any other would if placed in the same situation. The absence of international outcry to the terror that Israel faced showed a disconnect between rhetoric and reality.
Turning to Lebanon, he said that Hizbullah was in the process of rearming, despite the Council’s resolve, and that weapons -- “a gift from Iran” -- were moving across the border between Syria and Lebanon in violation of resolution 1701 (2006). Iran was responsible for terrorism beyond the region and in places like Latin America, where the Argentine Government had issued warrants for the arrest of senior Iranian officials in connection with terror attacks there. Furthermore, Iran and Syria sought to increase hostilities and insecurity by giving weapons to their proxies. Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah represented one side of a clash that was working to destabilize the region and the world; they were warring forces within the Muslim world, and were battling for the region’s hearts and minds. “This is, indeed, a clash of civilization. In the singular.”
He said it was the duty of the international community to embolden moderates and isolate extremists, and while it was not possible to dictate the outcome of that clash, the international community could be clear about what the different actors could expect from it. For that reason, pressure must continue to be exerted on Hamas to embrace the Quartet’s conditions: to recognize Israel; to renounce violence and terror; and to abide by previous agreements. The General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was a step in the right direction, but it needed to be effectively implemented. Israel encouraged the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1267 Committee and the 1540 Committee for establishing a framework for international efforts to combat terror. But the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s preliminary implementation assessments needed to be more than paper recommendations, while the sanctions List of the 1267 Committee must be updated. The possibility that weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of terrorists was one of the international community’s “worst nightmares”; for that reason, Israel supported resolution 1540. But some components of resolution 1540 could also be relevant in preventing the transfer of conventional arms to terrorists.
ILEANA NUÑEZ MORDOCHE ( Cuba) said she was addressing the Council to denounce and strongly condemn the release of the notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Cuba had contributed regularly in meetings on the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies charged with fighting terrorism and, on each and every occasion, had raised the possibility of Mr. Posada Carriles being released in the United States. During the last few months, the Cuban Government had issued several statements and communiqués, which had been circulated as official documents of the General Assembly and the Security Council. It had informed the Counter-Terrorism Committee in a timely and detailed manner, and had repeatedly requested the adoption of concrete measures to prevent such a condemnable action from being carried out.
Last 29 April, she recalled, Cuba had denounced the complicity and absolute responsibility of the United States Government for the release of Mr. Posada Carriles, who was liable for countless terrorist acts against Cuba and other countries, including the midair bombing of a Cuban airliner, claiming 73 lives, and the death of the young Italian Fabio di Celmo, after the bombing -- by terrorists trained, coordinated and paid by Mr. Posada Carriles and the Cuban-American National Foundation -- of several Havana hotels in 1997. The United States Government had all the evidence of the countless terrorist acts committed by Mr. Posada Carriles. The decision to charge him for petty migration crimes and the decision to allow his release left no doubt that the United States Government’s intention had always been to prevent Mr. Posada Carriles from making public the details of his terrorist actins against Cuba, Venezuela and other countries, while following the orders of the CIA for more than 25 years.
By releasing the terrorist, the United States Government had acted against several General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1373. Likewise, it had violated the treaties on terrorism to which it was party, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation. At the same time, the United States Government kept in high-security jails five young Cuban men who had only tried to gather information on the Miami-based terrorist groups, so as to prevent their violent actions and save the lives of both Cuban and United States citizens. It was impossible to eliminate terrorism if some terrorist acts were condemned, while others were condoned, tolerated or justified, or if the issue was simply manipulated to promote political interests. Double standards must not prevail and the Council must not continue to keep a conspiratorial silence before a barefaced affront to the world’s victims of terrorism.
FRANCISCO JAVIER ARIAS CARDENAS ( Venezuela) voiced his commitment to fight against terrorism. Venezuela was working to strengthen legal standards to prevent terrorist acts and to adopt measures to intensify related international and regional cooperation frameworks. He then reminded the Council that his Government had sought the extradition of Luis Posada Carilles from the United States, for various terrorist acts committed by him dating from the 1970s. The United States had at hand several legal options for detaining him by declaring him a terrorist. It had chosen to free him. Despite repeated assurances from the United States delegation that they were considering Mr. Posada Carilles’ extradition, the request had remained ignored for 2 years.
He said the head of OAS had declared on 3 May that the extradition be granted in order that Mr. Posada Carilles be judged in the country where he had perpetrated his crimes. Adding to that voice were those of Nobel peace prize figures, victims’ families and the Non-Aligned Movement, which had demanded that all States refrain from extending support for terrorism and to ensure that refugee or any other legal status was not abused by perpetrators of terror. The call by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which had unanimously supported the extradition request, had also been ignored.
He said the United States was obliged by the International Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation to extradite Mr. Posada Carilles, or, in default of that, to submit the case to its pertinent authorities in order to carry out Venezuela’s prosecution, without exception, and independently if the crime had been perpetrated in its territory. The Venezuelan request was also sustained by the bilateral extradition treaty signed by both countries in 1922, which the United States was not fulfilling. Failure to comply with those treaties constituted a message of confidence to certain kinds of terrorist: those that acted as the hand of imperial power.
He noted that resolution 1373 precluded States from offering safe haven to those who committed terrorist acts and prohibited recognizing political motivations as grounds for refusing extradition. The liberation of Mr. Posada Carilles demonstrated the double standards of the United States; terrorism could not be overcome if countries acted selectively. He asked that the United States delegate demand from his Government to fulfil its country’s laws, as well as international law. It was hard to explain how the United States bombed cities to destroy terrorists while it protected a terrorist inside its own territory. The Council could not remain passive in the face of President George Bush’s Government, which was a provocation and disrespectful of the international community.
KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) said that, last September, building on the Council’s efforts, the General Assembly had adopted a landmark United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was a significant step towards strengthening global action against terrorism. What mattered now was Member States’ “faithful and steady implementation” of that Strategy and, in that connection, the Council’s counter-terrorism-related Committees each played separate, but closely linked, roles. Member States should cooperate with those bodies, as they carried out their increasingly important tasks of supporting State-led efforts to implement the wider Strategy.
He noted the particularly critical role played by the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, and expressed Japan’s strong hope that through site visits and the preparation of preliminary implementation assessments, those two bodies would facilitate the identification of challenges and needs for technical assistance among the Member States, and would bring about more effective cooperation. With that in mind, shortly after the adoption of the Global Strategy, the Japanese delegation had sponsored a study to take a closer look at some of the problems that could be encountered implementing the plan, with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region. A report on the study had recently been released and recommended, among other things, strengthening the regional approach of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Executive Directorate, including through the appointment of a regional representative and the convening of regional and subregional meetings involving Government experts. He looked forward to ongoing discussions on boosting regional cooperation.
Turning next to the 1267 Committee, he welcomed the efforts made to improve the listing and de-listing procedures, and requested that the Committee continue its activities towards reviewing and updating the List. By example, he said that the Council mission to Afghanistan last September had pointed out that, in view of political developments in that country, a good review of the List would need to be considered at an early date. On the work of the 1540 Committee, he said Japan had noted with appreciation the fruitful seminar on technical assistance held this past March, and noted that the discussion had clearly shown that the question of how best to coordinate technical assistance with the work of the Committee remained a key concern. Japan expected concrete proposals on measures to address that matter, he said, adding that, since the Committee’s mandate was to expire next April, it should set clear goals and a timeline to advance its work.
STEFAN BARRIGA ( Liechtenstein) said the United Nations response to terrorism would be more effective if rendered less fragmented by implementing the integrated approach of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. A symposium hosted jointly by Austria and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had reached that conclusion last week, and a robust follow-up to that meeting could be used to design that integrated approach. The Council should then be encouraged to take the Strategy fully into account in its work on counter-terrorism.
Noting the two resolutions passed last year on listing and de-listing procedures, he said the establishment of a focal point in the Secretariat for de-listing was an important step towards improving access. However, it was noteworthy that access was only one aspect of due process. The de-listing procedure itself, the decision-making process and the role of the affected individual in that process remained unchanged in essence. Also, the focal-point process could not address the right of listed individuals to an effective review mechanism, and characterizing sanctions as preventive, rather than punitive, did not bear on the need to safeguard procedural rights. Measures such as assets freezes and travel bans without time limits strongly affected individual substantive rights and must be counterbalanced with appropriate legal protections. The Council should adopt procedural rules to provide safeguards similar to those required of States under international human rights law.
HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said that his Government denounced all forms of terrorism and believed that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery were serious threats to international peace and security. On many occasions, Viet Nam had noted the significance of the Council’s Counter-Terrorism and related Committees, and had commended those panels for progress in discharging their responsibilities. The United Nations and its Member States continued to face the enormous task of finding ever more creative and effective measures to implement all the Council’s resolutions on the global fight against terrorism and the spread of dangerous weapons, he added.
Viet Nam took note of the 1267 Committee’s efforts to complete the revision of its working guidelines this past February, and hoped that those changes would make coordinating implementation of the relevant Council resolutions smoother. Viet Nam would encourage the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee to engage in more dialogues with donors and to find other ways to assist Member States, especially developing countries, so they could fulfil their obligations under those resolutions. He said that, as all the Committees continued to asses and evaluate State implementation, they should engage in more dialogue and carry out more country visits to reach “shared understanding on measuring standards, as well as requirements and necessary steps to enhance implementation”.
Turning to Viet Nam’s efforts to implement the Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions, he said, among other things, that his Government was moving forward with the domestic legal procedures to accede to the 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages and the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Accession to those two instruments would make Viet Nam a party to 10 international counter-terrorism treaties.
He also said that, this week in Hanoi, the Government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) were jointly organizing a national seminar on strengthening national legislation on counter-terrorism, which, among other things, would assess Viet Nam’s current legal framework for fighting terrorism. He also wanted to inform the Council that his Government was now in close coordination with CTED for its scheduled visit in late August.
CÉSAR MAYORAL ( Argentina) said it was unfortunate that the international scene had worsened during the last months, with a notorious increase in terrorist attacks and activities. Notwithstanding the Committees’ meetings, documents and bureaucratic routine, the everyday horrors -- suicide attacks, indiscriminate attacks on civilians, kidnappings and murders -- continued to occur and increase in number and geographic extension. In North Africa, Palestine, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, it was an everyday tragedy that no longer impressed people, which was unfortunate. It was necessary to adopt measures and policies that addressed the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, particularly prolonged unresolved conflicts. A peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict was a key priority in reducing everyday terrorism that spilled over into other regions.
Day after day, it was proven that military means should not be the only response against terrorism, he said. States must prepare themselves with necessary and effective security and intelligence structures to impede the attacks before they took place. The current trial in Spain of those charged with responsibility for the tragic attacks of 11 March 2005 was clearly a “best practice” that should be followed as an example. The opposite must be said about the unfortunate human rights violations observed day after day -- prolonged detention without charge, allegations of torture and clandestine transfers of people without trial -- all of them not only morally repulsive, but also likely to generate greater hate and intolerance, heightening the possibilities for recruiting terrorists.
He said it was still premature to comment on the current functioning of the 1267 Committee, since very little time had passed since the adoption of resolutions 1730 and 1735 last December. As the Committee’s former Chair, Argentina had witnessed the difficulties of negotiating both instruments, in addition to the revised guidelines. However, it joined several other Governments in calling upon the Committee to initiate new negotiations on a review mechanism, in accordance with the principle of due process proposed by several countries and explained by the Secretary-General and the United Nations Legal Counsel. Even if the sanctions Committee and its criteria for adopting decisions was qualified as “political”, the Council was not absolvent from respecting basic legal principles when deciding on the liberty or property of individuals. The fight against terrorism must be waged with legal mechanisms based on international law.
Adequate financial resources must be given to the Secretariat and the Monitoring Team, he stressed. In particular, the regional and subregional meetings of security and intelligence heads in countries affected by Al-Qaida and the Taliban must continue, as they had already proved their efficiency in strengthening intergovernmental cooperation in fighting terrorism. Relations between the Committee and Member States should be intensified, especially in identifying information about listed individuals and entities, when needed. Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, the Committee and States must deal with the calls to incorporate the names of persons involved in drug-trafficking and in financing Taliban terrorism. At the same time, the Committee should decide, using political criteria, on the Taliban officials from the regional governments that should be de-listed.
FRANK GRÜTER (Switzerland), discussing the 1267 Committee, said his country welcomed the introduction of a standard cover sheet that obliged States to specify suspected links to Al-Qaida and the Taliban when requesting the listing of an individual or entity. Switzerland also welcomed the establishment of a focal point in the Secretariat, noting with satisfaction that the 1267 Committee had incorporated the corresponding procedure into its guidelines. Moreover, he appreciated that the Council had, by resolution 1735 (2006), confirmed different measures for improving criteria for the listing and information of persons and entities.
While those developments represented important steps towards enhancing the current sanctions regimes, more could be done, he said, underscoring that the focal point was primarily a procedural measure. To make sanctions more effective, clear procedures should be developed for placing and removing individuals and entities from sanctions lists, as current procedures could result in a conflict between Council resolutions and international human rights laws, which would weaken the Council’s legitimacy. Sanctions were too important a tool in assuring the maintenance of international peace and security.
Neither States nor the Council could run that risk, he continued, and Switzerland was convinced that efficient use of multilateral instruments in the fight against terrorism required the development of new mechanisms. In that context, the creation of an effective remedy allowing a person or entity to launch a de-listing procedure before an independent panel remained a prerequisite for an equitable process. Recommendations by the informal working group on the general issues of sanctions also provided an excellent basis for strengthening the existing sanctions regime. Switzerland would continue to work for implementation of the Council’s initiative on the harmonization of targeted sanctions and the right for an equitable procedure.
Y.J. CHOI (Republic of Korea), welcoming the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work programme, said his country also supported its three priority objectives: monitoring and promoting implementation of resolution 1373; proactively providing technical assistance to States; and maintaining a dialogue with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). The Republic of Korea wished to place particular emphasis on monitoring implementation, because it believed that success in that area would best achieve the objectives of resolution 1373.
The adoption of resolution 1540 had been a significant contribution to strengthening existing measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he said. However, there remained challenges to be addressed before the resolution’s goals could be attained. Many States had yet to submit their first national reports on implementation, and there were, in many cases, significant gaps between the commitments of States to the resolution and their practical implementation of its requirements. The Republic of Korea was also worried about imbalances in implementation among States and among regions.
While the submission of a report did not guarantee implementation, it was an important first step in the process, he pointed out. Thus, the Republic of Korea supported the 1540 Committee’s work programme to intensify its outreach activities and to assist Member States in preparing and submitting national reports. To ensure the full and effective implementation of the resolution, the Committee must further strengthen its monitoring role, promote good practices and share lessons learned. The Republic of Korea also strongly supported the 1267 Committee’s efforts to combat dangerous groups that threatened international peace and security, and appreciated its key role in the adoption of resolution 1730, which had put in place measures to ensure fair and clear de-listing procedures.
ZAHIR TANIN ( Afghanistan) noted the adoption of the General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and said he was pleased with the increased role of the Security Council in that area. A broad spectrum of Afghanistan’s society faced acts of terror: school teachers, clerics, health workers, education institutions, national army, police and personnel of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and coalition forces. Suicide bombings and beheadings had become prevalent over recent months, with 14 people killed in a recent suicide attack in the province of Gardez, on the heels of similar attacks in Kandahar and Kunduz provinces, where, in addition to 10 civilians, 3 German ISAF soldiers and 11 Afghan national police officers had been killed.
He said the elimination of terrorism was a precondition for peace in Afghanistan, spurring the Government to undertake “substantial measures” to implement international conventions and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly dealing with terrorism. Two national reports had been submitted to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and a third was currently being prepared. A report had also been presented to the 1267 Committee, whose sanctions regimes were regarded by Afghanistan as essential tools in the fight against terror. Improvements to the quality of the Consolidated List and the creation of a focal point within the Secretariat to receive de-listing requests were welcomed.
He said he was pleased with the visit to Kabul by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee, from 8 to 15 May. Meetings between the Team and senior officials at the Ministries for Defence, Justice, Foreign Affairs and the Interior had been constructive, as had been the meetings between the Team and the head of the National Reconciliation Commission, and members of the National Security Directorate and the National Security Council. The parties had discussed issues relating to updating and improving the quality of the Consolidated List. He said he was pleased to note that a visit from the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was being planned to assess the need for technical assistance for strengthening Afghanistan’s counter-terrorism legislation and mechanisms.
He added that regional and bilateral mechanisms were important in the fight against terrorism. For that reason, Afghanistan was continuously consulting with Pakistan, and had convened a summit with that country, in Ankara in April. Initiatives of the “Group of Eight” to enhance the two countries’ collaboration were welcome. A meeting of the jirgah commissions in early May had decided that a peace jirgah of tribal and community leaders from both sides of the border was to be convened in August.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said that, since the Council had begun to consider terrorism in 1999, and with its adoption of resolution 1373 and others adopted in 2001 and 2004, the Syrian Government had always cooperated with the international community in combating terrorism in all its forms, particularly State terrorism. That cooperation had always been strong and had included Syrian membership on the Counter-Terrorism Committee for two years. Syria had itself suffered terrorism, which had only spread through the Middle East after the appearance of Israel. Israeli terrorism targeting infrastructure and helpless civilians had been going on for several decades. The Security Council had hundreds of files before it concerning Israeli operations against Palestinian, Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian citizens. Israeli aggression had even reached Tunisia and Iraq.
Israel had perpetrated terrorist actions in a way never seen by the international community, and that was not in keeping with the United Nations Charter, he said, citing the 1947 assassination of Folke Bernadotte and attacks against the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at Qana, first in 1996 and again in 2006. Israel had perpetrated aggression against schools in Jordan, Egypt and Syria, as well as those in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Were Count Bernadotte, UNIFIL or Arab schoolchildren terrorists? The “address” of international terrorism was Israeli provocation and hostility that refused to stretch out its hand to those among the Arab people who extended the hand of peace, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of land for peace. Israeli actions in the Syrian Arab Golan were the worst form of terrorism, as they violated Security Council resolutions.
Certain Israeli politicians openly stated their hostility to the Arabs, inciting aggression against neighbouring countries, he said. Counter-terrorism required that Israel join in collective international actions, rather than act outside that framework. It should cooperate with the Council’s Committees without selectivity, cease its State terrorism and end its continuing forcible occupation of land that belonged to others. Israel’s persistent State terrorism only confirmed the importance of Syria’s request last year for the convening of an international conference to define terrorism, which should not be confused with independence struggles or resistance against foreign occupation. Based on the years of suffering in the Middle East, international terrorism had not begun on 11 September 2001, but went back much further. Other States had committed acts of terrorism well before the attack on the American people and the Middle East had suffered under different forms of Israeli terrorism.
MAJDI RAMADAN ( Lebanon) said his country had long been a victim of terrorism, and was determined to fight it in all its forms and manifestations, whether in the form of foreign occupation or assassinations of leaders, journalists and politicians. Lebanon had signed and ratified 11 of the 13 international conventions on terrorism, in addition to an Arab Convention on terrorism, and had continued to cooperate fully with the Committees formed pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004).
He said his country was in need of the Council and international community’s support in the wake of terrorist attacks against civilians and armed forces last Sunday, where 17 Lebanese Army soldiers had become victims of a surprise attack. Lebanese civilians and Palestinian refuges had also been attacked, and Beirut had suffered two explosions. Lebanon had also been the victim of assassinations and attempted assassinations in 2004, which had taken the life of former Prime Minster Rafik Hariri and others.
He said Israel, which had been occupying Lebanese lands since 1978, had renewed its aggression against Lebanon in 2006, in a war that had taken the lives of 1,200 civilians and injured 4,000 others, and had caused $8 billion in damages. In the aftermath of that war, Lebanon had cooperated fully with United Nations assistance to prevent the flow of arms into its territories, in line with Security Council resolution 1701 (2006). Israel, however, continued to occupy Lebanese lands, including Al Ghagar, and violated the country’s sovereignty on a daily basis. He wished to remind Israel that Hizbullah had not existed in 1978, when Israel had first invaded Lebanon, nor had it existed in 1982, when the Israeli invasion of Lebanon had reached Beirut. In fact, Hizbullah was a popular resistance movement in response to occupation. The United Nations rapporteur for the rights of the Palestinian people had advised Israeli delegates not to level accusations of terrorism, which did not add to the debate and did not solve the real cause of the problems of the Middle East, which was occupation.
Mr. KHALILZAD (United States), responding to the statements by the Cuban delegate, said the United States Government had acted consistently with international law and the country’s domestic legal framework with respect to Mr. Posada Carriles. Having entered the country illegally in 2005, he had been detained on 17 May of that year. He had been placed in removal proceedings ordered by a judge, and that order remained in effect. At the time of that order, an immigration judge had determined that Mr. Posada Carriles could not be sent to Cuba or Venezuela. However, the court would be prepared to transfer him to another country with terrorism-related charges against him. The United States had sought and obtained an indictment on immigration offences and was investigating further charges against him. Mr. Posada Carriles had no legal status in the country, and the United States continued to be engaged in actions that were consistent with all legal requirements with respect to him.
RODOLFO BENITEZ VERSON (Cuba) said his country’s complaint was of transcendental importance for all Member States and for the credibility of the Security Council, stressing that his delegation was not present to play with words, but to speak on behalf of the hundreds of Cuban citizens who had suffered death or injury as a result of countless terrorist acts emanating from the United States. The decision to release Mr. Posada Carriles was the clearest indication of the United States Government’s double standards. It had gone to shameful lengths to protect the terrorist, even after his arrest and after President Fidel Castro’s denunciation of his presence in that country.
That Government’s own declassified documents revealed the close links between Mr. Posada Carriles and the CIA, and his responsibility, with other CIA agents, for the bombing of a Cuban aircraft off Barbados that had killed 73 people. In 1997, he had prepared and led a series of terrorist actions against hotels in Havana, and had proudly claimed, in The New York Times in 1998, to have headed the terrorist network responsible. Before his arrest in Panama in 2000, he had planned an attack against President Fidel Castro by detonating a car bomb as the Cuban leader met with Panamanian university students and staff. The United States had all the information to re-arrest Mr. Posada Carriles, but lacked the political will. In the words of President George W. Bush, anyone who supported, sheltered or fed a terrorist was the same as the terrorist.
Mr. ARIAS CARDENAS ( Venezuela) said it was sad that an Ambassador with the background of the United States representative could read a note that made a mockery of the Council, the United Nations, the United States and international law. The United States Government’s failure to respond to a lawful request for extradition to Venezuela did not make sense. Why had the extradition treaty between the two countries, which had existed since 1922, not been respected?
On 27 April 2007, prosecutors had presented a motion to exclude all evidence concerning Mr. Posada Carriles and the CIA. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should review that case and Member States should raise their voices. The Council must demand that the United States not make a mockery of international law, while using force to impose its will. That country had made allegations against Al-Qaida while itself protecting a terrorist -- a blatant contradiction.
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* The 5678th Meeting was closed.