UNIVERSAL COOPERATION IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, STILL MAJOR THREAT TO PEACE, NEEDED MORE THAN EVER, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

14 November 2007
SC/9170

UNIVERSAL COOPERATION IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, STILL MAJOR THREAT TO PEACE, NEEDED MORE THAN EVER, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

14 November 2007
Security Council
SC/9170
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5779th Meeting (AM)

UNIVERSAL COOPERATION IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, STILL MAJOR THREAT

TO PEACE, NEEDED MORE THAN EVER, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

 

Chairmen of Assigned Committees Brief Members on Ongoing Efforts;

Speakers See Need for Widened Interaction with Other Organizations

Terrorism remained one of the biggest threats to international peace and security and the cooperation of all in addressing the issue was more than ever necessary, the Chairman of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, speaking on behalf of the Security Council’s three subsidiary bodies dealing with terrorism, told the Council during a briefing this morning.

Johan Verbeke ( Belgium) said the three Committees -- the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- strove to work closely together, both directly as well as through their respective expert groups.  They had jointly participated in visits to States.  A common strategy paper to assist the non- and late-reporting States had been jointly drafted.  The three expert groups had also been urged to share information and analyses, and to work together in their relationships with other organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and INTERPOL.  The three expert groups also cooperated within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.

Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, also known as the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), Mr. Verbeke said the sanctions regime set out in that resolution continued to be a powerful instrument in the fight against terrorism.  However, it had not reached its full potential.  The Committee was trying its best to make its Consolidated List more dynamic and credible, but it could not do it alone.  He appealed to all States to increase their support and assistance to the Committee and the Monitoring Team to achieve the common objective of prevention of terrorist acts.  The Committee had worked to further improve the quality of its Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with the two groups.

Ricardo Alberto Arias ( Panama), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said the Committee’s work was divided into three categories: monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001); facilitating technical assistance; and full implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).  The Committee continued to analyse the preliminary implementation assessments for every State.  The main focus going forward would be to work proactively with States on both the monitoring and assistance parts of the mandate.  As the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) would expire at the end of the year, he encouraged Member States to present their ideas in that regard for the Council’s due consideration.

Peter Burian ( Slovakia), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said the Committee had adopted new measures to speed up the reporting process.  A thematic discussion, held in October, had recognized the need to pursue a phased approach to the Committee’s outreach activities and determined that future activities would focus less on reporting and more on assisting States to fully implement the resolution.  An effort was made in all outreach activities to explain the need for States to be specific in their requests for assistance, to make it easier to match them with offers of assistance.

Speakers in the ensuing debate, stressing that strengthening counter-terrorism security was one of the most important tasks of the Council, urged the Committees to become more interactive, cooperative and transparent to Member States and to expand their interactions with international, regional and subregional organizations.

Addressing the work of the Taliban and Al-Qaida Committee, speakers welcomed progress made, in particular in improving the Consolidated List of individuals and entities falling under the sanctions regime, but contended that there was still room for improvement.  Some noted with concern the increasing influence of the Taliban, and emphasized the need to build up the efforts of the Committee to update the Consolidated List, calling on Member States to submit additional information on dedicated individuals.  Some speakers noted a growing perception among several countries of unfairness in the application of targeted sanctions.  They said mainstreaming procedural fairness and asserting human rights principles in the work of the Committee would strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions.

As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, speakers welcomed the adoption of the first preliminary implementation assessments, relating to the 1373 (2001) and subsequent resolutions, although the format of such assessments and procedures should be further worked out.  They urged prompt completion of a comprehensive report to the Council for its consideration.  Many speakers supported extension of the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), but some wondered if that body could be integrated with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.

Turning to the work of the 1540 Committee, interventions stressed that the reporting burden could be overwhelming, especially for developing countries, and that assistance was necessary.   Some pointed out that the resolution addressed the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors, and that different States had different risk profiles.  There was currently too much emphasis on countries that posed the least proliferation threat.  Ensuring access to technologies for peaceful purposes should also remain a central consideration of the Committee, along with assistance in “proliferation-secure” trade, financing and technical transfers.

Where most speakers addressed the specific work of the three Committees and shared their concerns about it, Qatar’s representative, underlining that there was unanimity among States on the necessity to combat terrorism, stressed the need for a clear definition of the word “terrorism” and for the prevention of “double standards”.  Congo’s representative noted that, despite the work of the Committees, terrorism was on the rise.  The root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, injustices, corruption and trafficking in light weapons should, therefore, be addressed.  Many speakers drew attention to the fact that developing countries often did not have the means to implement the provisions of the counter-terrorism resolutions, and needed assistance.

Members of the Council who also spoke were the representatives of Italy, Ghana, Russian Federation, China, United Kingdom, Peru, United States, France, South Africa and Indonesia spoke.  There were also statements by the representatives of Cuba, Liechtenstein (also speaking for Switzerland), Venezuela, Australia, Canada and Portugal (for the European Union).  The representatives of United States, Cuba and Venezuela took the floor for a second time.

The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Background

The Security Council was meeting this morning to hear briefings by the Chairs of three subsidiary bodies of the Council -- the Counter-Terrorism Committee, also known as the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001); the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373, which, among its provisions, obliges all States to criminalize assistance for terrorist activities, deny financial support and safe haven to terrorists and share information about groups planning terrorist attacks.

The 15-member Counter-Terrorism Committee was established at the same time to monitor implementation of the resolution.  Seeking to revitalize the Committee’s work, in 2004 the Security Council adopted resolution 1535, creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to provide the Counter-Terrorism Committee with expert advice on all areas covered by resolution 1373.  CTED was established also with the aim of facilitating technical assistance to countries, as well as promoting closer cooperation and coordination both within the United Nations system of organizations and among regional and intergovernmental bodies.

During the September 2005 World Summit at the United Nations, the Security Council -- meeting at the level of Heads of States or Government -- adopted resolution 1624 concerning incitement to commit acts of terrorism.  The resolution also stressed the obligations of countries to comply with international human rights laws.

With resolution 1540 (2004), the Council adopted the first international instrument dealing with weapons of mass destruction, their delivery means and related materials, in an integrated and comprehensive manner (see Press Release SC/8076 of 29 April 2004).  The main objective of the text is preventing the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and deterring non-State actors from accessing or trafficking in such items.  It establishes binding obligations for all States regarding non-proliferation, and is aimed at preventing and deterring illicit access to such weapons, their delivery means and weapon-related materials.  The resolution requests all States to report on measures they have taken or intends to take to implement the obligations under the text and established the Committee to monitor implementation of the text.

The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities monitors implementation of the provisions of that resolution, including a freeze of funds and financial assets of designated individuals and entities put on a list by the Committee; a travel ban of designated individuals; and an arms embargo on designated individuals and entities.

Briefings

JOHAN VERBEKE ( Belgium), speaking on behalf of the three bodies, said terrorism remained one of the biggest threats to international peace and security; the cooperation of all was more than ever necessary.  He said the Committees strove to work closely together, both directly as well as through the respective expert groups.  They had jointly participated in visits to States.  The Monitoring Team of the Committee established by resolution 1267 (1999) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) had carried out eight visits, to the United Republic of Tanzania, Nigeria, Philippines, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He said that, based on concerns expressed by Member States, a common strategy paper to help the non- and late-reporting States had been jointly drafted.  That strategy was currently being jointly implemented through the organization of workshops.  The three expert groups had also been urged to share information and analyses of the efforts by Member States to implement their obligations.  They were encouraged to work together in their relationships with other organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and INTERPOL.   The three expert groups also cooperated within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, established to ensure overall coordination and coherence in counter-terrorism efforts.

The primary responsibility of implementing the provisions of the Council resolutions was vested in Member States, and interaction of the Committees with Member States was essential, he said.

Speaking then as the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban, Mr. VERBEKE said the Committee had, in the past six months, striven to further improve the quality of its Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with the two groups by providing additional identifiers to existing names, listing new individuals and removing the names of those who no longer met the listing criteria.

Additional identifiers had been introduced to 67 entries in the Taliban section of the List, almost half of the 142 names currently listed.  The Committee had also added one individual and removed the last remaining entity from that section.  In the Al-Qaida section, 7 individuals had been added and improvements had been made to the information in 70 out of 350 entries.  The Committee had also decided to remove 2 individuals and 12 entities from the section.

Expressing appreciation to States that had provided information, he encouraged others to do the same and also to come up with new listing requests using the standard form.  He said the Consolidated List was now available in XML format in addition to PDF and HTML, and could be downloaded from the Committee’s website, www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/index.shtml.   The website, along with country visits, were main elements of the Committee’s dialogue with States, and he wished to renew his outstanding invitation to Member States to come to the Committee for in-depth discussions on sanctions-related issues.

Currently, he went on, the Committee was considering the seventh report of the Monitoring Team submitted on 30 September, as well as the identification of possible cases of non-compliance based on a background paper of the Team.  It was also considering 16 requests for “de-listing” received since the establishment of the focal point for de-listing last March.  The Committee, in fact, had today approved the de-listing of 1 individual and 12 entities.  Since 1 January 2007, the Committee had also received five notifications for humanitarian exemptions, for which no negative decision had been taken, and 16 requests for extraordinary expenses, out of which 14 had been approved.

In conclusion, he said the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime continued to be a powerful instrument in the fight against terrorism.  However, it had not reached its full potential.  The Committee was trying its best to make the Consolidated List more dynamic and credible, but it could not do it alone.  He appealed to all States to increase their support and assistance to the Committee and the Monitoring Team to achieve the common objective of prevention of terrorist acts.

RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said the Committee had recently adopted its work programme for the period of 1 July through 31 December.  Many of the activities specified in the former work programme remained the same.  The Committee’s work was divided into three categories:  monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001); facilitating technical assistance; and full implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).  The Committee continued to analyse the preliminary implementation assessments for every State.

He said that the Committee had adopted 50 preliminary implementation assessments and would consider the rest of such assessments in an upcoming meeting.  Within the next few months, each Member State would receive a copy of the assessment.  The Committee intended to convene an informal meeting for all Member States with the presence of its new Executive Director, Mike Smith of Australia.  Sharing the analysis with States was just the first step in engaging with all States.  The main focus going forward would be to work proactively with States on both the monitoring and assistance parts of the mandate.  The Committee had also examined the document entitled “Survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001)”, prepared by the Executive Directorate.

An important part of the discussion, he said, had been focused on the format the reporting of findings to the Council should take and whether that would become an official document.  The majority of delegations supported circulation of the report to the Council, but a decision within the Committee was still pending.  Most delegations had welcomed the analysis completed by CTED, while others had raised concerns about the accuracy of some information.  It was also pointed out that, in grouping countries in regions and subregions, the analyses did not adequately reflect the different levels of implementation of the countries within a particular region.  In its new work programme, the Committee had requested that CTED prepare an updated and further detailed analysis.  At the end of 2006, the Committee had approved a list of 18 countries to be visited.  It had concluded visits to Indonesia, Viet Nam, Armenia, Georgia and Bangladesh, and was now in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He said that, in relation to the facilitation of technical assistance, the Committee had held its fifth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations, in Nairobi from 29 to 31 October.  After three days of discussion, a joint statement had been agreed upon, defining a course to enhance cooperation among organizations and with the Committee, as well as establishing a concrete method of follow-up.  In addition, the Executive Directorate had convened the first of its planned informal forums for West African Member States in July.  Those events had provided an opportunity for countries that required technical assistance to meet present and potential donors.  The Committee had also posted its technical assistance matrix and a directory of assistance programmes on its website.

As for implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), he said the Committee had adopted the second report prepared by its Directorate.  In its work programme, the Committee had agreed to initiate discussions to explore technical assistance needs of States, as well as to facilitate the provision of such assistance.  As the mandate of CTED would expire at the end of the year, he encouraged Member States to present their ideas in that regard for the Council’s due consideration.

PETER BURIAN ( Slovakia), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said 137 Member States had submitted their first national reports to the Committee.  Fifty-four States, mostly in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands region, had yet to submit reports.  Of the 85 States that had already submitted relevant additional information, 4 -- Argentina, Cyprus, Mexico and the United States -- had provided supplementary information on new legislation, administrative arrangements or action plans that they had put in place.

In July, he said, the Committee had adopted new measures to speed up the reporting process and had sent out new requests and matrices, requesting all Member States to reply by 15 December 2007, in time for the April 2008 report to the Security Council.  A thematic discussion, held in October, had recognized the need to pursue a phased approach to the Committee’s outreach activities and determined that future activities would focus less on reporting and more on assisting States to fully implement the resolution.  Outreach activities of the past six months included workshops for Caribbean and Arab States, and common strategy workshops on reporting for West and Central African States.

He said an effort was made in all outreach activities to explain the need for States to be specific in their requests for assistance, to make it easier to match them with offers of assistance.  The Committee was currently developing a template for helping States in submitting detailed requests.  In July, a meeting of selected assistance providers had been organized as well.

In addition, he said, the Committee and its experts were broadening their cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established by Council resolution 1267.  Efforts to develop cooperation with relevant international organizations were ongoing, with visits resulting in identification of specific areas for day-to-day cooperation with the European Union, the World Customs Organization, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Statements

MARCELLO SPATAFORA ( Italy) said the activities of the Committees should more and more become interactive, cooperative and transparent to Member States.  Sanctions regimes remained an essential tool for countering terrorist acts.  New procedures for fairness and credibility, however, should be implemented as quickly as possible.  Italy had been extensively cooperating with the Committees, submitting information and adjusting its laws appropriately.

He said that the open interaction of all Member States with CTED, in particular, should be more actively pursued.  In regard to the 1540 Committee, he supported the emphasis on outreach and assistance.  He also encouraged that Committee to continue and expand its cooperation with relevant international agencies.  In the next few months, the Council would assess the expert groups that served all these Committees, and it must base any adjustments on the results achieved so far.

ROBERT TACHIE-MENSON ( Ghana) said the accuracy of the Consolidated List associated with the Al-Qaida/Taliban resolution was critical for both the effectiveness and credibility of the sanctions regime.  States must help the Committee in its efforts to improve the accuracy and quality of the List.

He said the idea of open briefings was commendable, since outreach was the best approach to sensitizing those concerned about their obligations, while also presenting an opportunity for an interactive dialogue on how best to tackle issues concerning implementation.  The field visits were also important for the shaping of policy to suit the practical realities on the ground.  The newly established focal point for de-listing should centre on access, simplicity and transparency, so as to avoid the complicated bureaucratic procedures that would frustrate petitioners and undermine the objective of the mechanism.

On the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said he supported the decision by its Chairman to convene an informal meeting to explain the format of the implementation assessments mechanism.  Meetings such as the recent one in Nairobi for regional and subregional organizations were useful for facilitating technical assistance.  Such assistance should also be considered in the context of the resolution on incitement to terrorist acts, since many States had yet to fulfil their reporting obligations.  He said the Council should extend the mandate of CTED when it expired in December.

Turning to the 1540 Committee, dealing with non-proliferation, he said significant gains had been achieved in the three years since its establishment, with 137 States now submitting reports.  However, anything short of universal adherence to the provisions of the relevant resolution had the effect of undermining the collective effort against the twin scourges of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.  The 54 non-reporting States should take urgent measures to fulfil their obligations, and the Committee should relentlessly pursue its mandate through outreach programmes and a widening of its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said strengthening security against terrorism was one of the most important tasks of the Council.  He welcomed the adoption by the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the first preliminary implementation assessments, which were now being sent to capitals.  The format of such assessments and procedures should be further worked out.  Work on implementing the resolution should proceed without interruption, and he urged prompt completion of a comprehensive report to the Council for its consideration.  Such consideration could identify key tasks for the future work of the Committee.  He said an important milestone in the Committee’s work had been the Nairobi meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations.  Building interaction with such organizations was important for implementation of the resolution.  He hoped that, as a result, other such organizations would join the Counter-Terrorism Committee as new partners.

Noting that the second report on the implementation of resolution 1624 had been completed based on analysis of 19 reports received, he said it was “meagre and not satisfactory”.  The speed of submitting national reports should be stepped up.

He said he still viewed the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee and the Monitoring Team as an effective mechanism in counter-terrorism work.  He regretted the increasing influence of the Taliban, and emphasised the need to build up the efforts of the Committee to update the Consolidated List.  Member States should submit additional information on dedicated individuals.  Cooperation with INTERPOL and relevant regional and subregional organizations was important.   Country visits should be continued.  He also called for more coordination with the other Committees, especially with the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Implementation of resolution 1540, he said, was the long-term challenge that did not end with the expiration of the mandate of the Committee.  Ongoing improvement of non-proliferation efforts by members of the international community was necessary, and he hoped that remaining proliferation gaps in national legislations could be closed.  The 1540 Committee was now entering a new stage by providing assistance to States, in which respect it would be important to work on the weaknesses of national monitoring systems.

He said the submission of reports by States was too slow; active work with States that had not submitted their first national report should be continued, and help given without prejudice and pressure.  He supported the initiative of the Chair in sending letters to request that the matrices based on national reports be updated, and said he hoped any delay in those letters going out would not prevent Member States from submitting the requested information.

LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said he welcomed the progress made by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, including in the improvement of the Consolidated List, strengthening its website and increased dialogue with States.  The Committee had also improved the fairness and effectiveness of the sanctions regime.  He encouraged States to provide further information to the Committee regarding individuals and entities on the List.  Important remaining tasks for the Committee included the seventh report of its working group, de-listing and non-compliance.

He said the Counter-Terrorism Committee was moving actively ahead with its preliminary implementation assessments and hoped that the Committee could carry out an effective dialogue with Member States to promote a comprehensive implementation of the relevant resolutions.  The Committee had successfully conducted the fifth meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations, and he appreciated efforts by the Committee’s Executive Directorate for opening a new website for technical assistance.  He hoped the Directorate, whose mandate extension he supported, would supply further detailed analysis of implementation of the resolutions.

He noted that, in the past six months, the 1540 Committee had made progress in implementation of the resolution.  China had always supported the role of the Committee and would continue to work with it on non-proliferation. Terrorist forces were still active, and posed a serious threat to international peace and security.  The United Nations and the Security Council were still facing an arduous task in countering terrorism.  He supported the efforts of the three subsidiary bodies to consolidate their efforts, and improve their effectiveness.  He urged them to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of the United Nations.

KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom), associating herself with the statement of Portugal on behalf of the European Union, commended the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee for improving its working methods, and also its Monitoring Team for its activities.  She looked forward to the Committee’s further response to the Monitoring Team’s latest report, and to its improving its guideline on de-listing.  In regard to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she said its capabilities were unparalleled in the United Nations system and it had made significant progress in assessing worldwide compliance.  The Committee must engage proactively with Member States to ensure that their legal systems were compatible with a rigorous anti-terror regime.

In regard to the 1540 Committee, she commended the efforts of its team to reach out to Member States, recognizing that compliance could be burdensome to small countries and saying that she pledged continued support.  She also welcomed the increasing cooperation between the three bodies, and encouraged them to seek new ways to reinforce their mutual efforts and in assisting Member States with compliance.  She said the period ahead offered an opportunity to assess global efforts in the fight against terrorism.

LUIS ENRIQUE CHAVEZ ( Peru) said he categorically condemned terrorism and supported the efforts of the three Committees.  In regard to the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, he said the situation in Afghanistan was still troubling; if the Consolidated List was not improved, other efforts would have only a limited effect.  In regard to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), immigration issues must be handled carefully, so as not to increase discrimination and take attention away from the true problem of border control.  Better assessments were also needed in that area, in a framework that encouraged trust and cooperation.  He hoped that the new Executive Director of CTED would help improve the partnership with Member States.

On the 1540 Committee, he pointed out that most of the States that had reported as yet were developing countries.  They should be provided assistance in that regard.  Outreach activities were also very useful.  The cooperation between the Committee and international organizations should make the regime more effective.  The work of all the Committees, he said in closing, must be conducted in coordination with the global counter-terrorism strategy.

LUC JOSEPH OKIO ( Congo) said he welcomed the joint statement on behalf of the three Committees as a comprehensive overview of their work.  Terrorism was spreading horizontally and vertically, despite national and international measures taken.  The effectiveness of strategies should, therefore, be questioned.  He said the activities of the three Committees did not tackle the root of the evil, including such phenomena as poverty, injustice, corruption and the trafficking in small weapons.  Because fragile countries could easily become a haven for terrorism, development and technical assistance should be provided.

He said he welcomed the major role played by bodies such as INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in making the States aware of the real threat of terrorism.  It was true that the primary responsibility to fight terrorism was vested in individual States, but some States were almost bankrupt.  Interactive communication must therefore be strengthened between States needing assistance and those able to provide it, with particular emphasis on African countries.

He said the international community should encourage initiatives to continue to organize regional and subregional seminars, and to continue visits to States and the sharing of information with them.  He asked the Council to take into consideration the concerns of Western and Central African States, as expressed during the workshop held in Dakar from 25 to 27 September.

JACKIE WOLCOTT (United States) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate played an essential role in ensuring that States would implement resolution 1373 (2001).  Progress had been made, but there was a need for the Directorate to provide an analysis of the global status of the implementation by States of resolution 1373.  She commended the Directorate for hosting an informal meeting in July to address the technical assistance needs of West African States.

As for the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, she said perhaps the key issue facing the Committee was the accuracy of the Consolidated List.  The Committee must focus on updating the List to make it a relevant and potent tool in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan.  A three-pronged approach should be taken: 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 biographic information to help States better enforce the sanctions.

She said Council resolution 1540 was a significant tool for addressing the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  She supported cooperation by the Committee which that resolution had established with organizations such as IAEA and regional organizations.  It was noteworthy that, through decisions adopted by regional organizations, 112 States had committed to develop implementation plans.  She said she welcomed the fact that the Committee had transmitted its updated matrices to States.  The United States intended to provide consent for the Committee to post the United States matrix as well.  All three Committees should continue to coordinate and undertake more joint efforts.

JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT ( France), aligning himself with the statement to be made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union, said the Council should continue to closely follow the work of the three Committees, which should continue to cooperate through mechanisms that encouraged coherence.  He said significant improvement had been made in the working method of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, but it was essential to assist all countries to report.  He also welcomed the efforts of that Committee to increase the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, particularly the quality of its Consolidated List, which must remain a priority.  It was vital to continually update it.

He also welcomed the adoption by the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the first preliminary implementation assessments.  That work must continue, he said, so that a dialogue could be pursued with all Member States.  He hoped the study of overall implementation of counter-terrorism measures would allow a complete assessment of such measures in order to improve them.  In replying to the representative of the Congo, he stressed the need for global solidarity in anti-terror efforts, as well as the need of assistance for implementing the various counter-terror resolutions.

DUMISANI KUMALO ( South Africa) said the time had come to include all Member States in the decision-making processes with regard to United Nations anti-terror activities, through shifting the focus from the Security Council to the General Assembly and to treaty regimes and technical bodies.  The recently adopted Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was an important step in that direction.  In regard to the Al Qaida/Taliban Committee, he said the utility of the Consolidated List continued to be undermined by the omission of the names of detained suspects, by the inclusion of deceased persons and by inadequate identifiers.  The Monitoring Team had made some useful recommendations on improving the procedures of that Committee, which were inherently flawed.  The Committee should also examine obstacles to reaching speedy decisions on exemptions.

Turning to the 1540 Committee, he said it was important to remember that it only addressed the risk of proliferation to non-State actors, and that different States had different risk profiles.  There was currently too much emphasis on countries that posed the least proliferation threat.  Ensuring access to technologies for peaceful purposes should also remain a central consideration of the Committee, along with assistance in “proliferation-secure” trade, financing and technical transfers.

As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he praised the recent adoption of preliminary implementation assessments, which he said could facilitate dialogue between the Counter-Terrorism Committee, its Executive Directorate and the general membership.  Improved assessments of anti-terror activities around the world should be undertaken in a critical and balanced way.  Since the mandate of the Directorate expired at the end of 2007, it was particularly important to assess whether the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council were the most appropriate bodies within the United Nations system to be handling technical assistance issues.

NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said there was no doubt that the fight against terrorism constituted the common objective of all Member States.  It was essential however, to stress a matter of principle, namely the need of the Organization to define the term “terrorism”.  The phenomenon should be diagnosed by examining its root causes, such as foreign occupation, discrimination, exclusion and marginalization.  His country believed in combating terrorism, but not at the expense of human rights.  For counter-terrorism measures to be credible, they must be in line with the basic principles enshrined in the Charter, international law, international justice and international human rights law.  They must also avoid double standards.

He said the three Committees constituted an important part of the campaign against terrorism, but their working methods must be improved and harmonized.  Transparency and human rights should not be contravened in any way.  The credibility of targeted sanctions must be preserved.   His country had called for fair and transparent procedures for listing and de-listing, as well as exceptions on humanitarian grounds.  The current regime of sanctions and the listing and de-listing procedures still did not have the flexibility to adapt to concerns of States.  Names of very prominent Taliban had not been listed and there had only been five de-listings.

He said confidence in the sanctions regime had been eroded.  Although Council resolutions were binding, the Council did not have a blank check to violate the principles of the Charter or violate the sovereignty of States.

Field visits to Member States were essential for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he went on, but there was an imbalance between the number of visits to States in the South and States in the North.  His proposals that some countries in the North should be visited had been blocked.  Despite accomplishments achieved by the Committee, there were wasted efforts and resources, and lack of coordination in implementing the purposes of the resolution.  The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, he said, included some 24 organs, including CTED; one should therefore think about the feasibility of integrating that Directorate into the task force.  He called on CTED to stop “arbitrarily targeting and criminalizing religions”.

Speaking in his national capacity, the President of Council, MARTY M. NATALEGAWA (Indonesia) said there was a growing perception among several countries of unfairness in the application of targeted sanctions by the Committee established under resolution 1267 (1999).  There was also a growing number of court cases questioning the conformity of the sanctions measures with human rights principles.  Mainstreaming procedural fairness and asserting human rights principles in the work of the Committee would therefore strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions regime.

He said that Council resolution 1730 (2006), by which a focal point for de-listing requests had been established, was a tremendous improvement.  However, the establishment of such a focal point had not met the minimum standard required to ensure fair and clear procedures.  He warned, furthermore, that an overly imperious approach to ensure compliance could jeopardize the high level of cooperation shown by States.

As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said cooperation, transparency, even-handedness and consistency in approach should always be guiding principles of the work of that Committee.  Welcoming the preliminary implementation assessments as an effective tool to enhance the evaluation of the outcome of the resolution, he said there were some areas of those assessments that should be further improved.  CTED should employ a more balanced approach in proposing States to be visited by the Counter-Terrorism Committee.  As for the expiration of the mandate of CTED, he said he was ready to engage in a comprehensive evaluation of the work of the Directorate in reinforcing the functions of the Committee.

The work of the 1540 Committee should be done within its mandate and be guided by the principles of cooperation, transparency and equal treatment, he said.  Some Member States perceived the reporting requirements as too complicated; for developing countries, the increasing burden of reporting could be overwhelming.  He said full implementation of the three resolutions -- 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) -- could be effectively carried out through continuous efforts, patience, dialogue, cooperation and assistance.  In that regard, he underlined the significance of outreach activities and technical assistance.  He described activities and efforts at the regional level, such as the Bali Counter-Terrorism Process and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention on Counter-Terrorism.

RODRIGO MALMIERCA DÍAZ ( Cuba) recalled that his country had been providing the Council for several years with detailed information on terrorist acts perpetrated by persons who were protected by the United States, including Luis Posada Carriles, who had been released on 8 May.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had been comprehensively informed on that issue, to no avail.  He said he again firmly denounced the complicity of the United States Government in the release of Mr. Carriles, who was responsible for the gruesome terrorist act against a Cuban jetliner, in which 73 people lost their lives.  He said another mastermind behind that bombing, Orlando Bosch, continued to live freely in the United States, as did Pedro Crispin Remon, the killer of a Cuban diplomat.

He reiterated his request to the Security Council and to the Counter-Terrorism Committee to urgently take such information into consideration.  At a minimum, he said, Mr. Carriles must be tried or extradited to Venezuela.  In addition, anti-terrorist fighters held in United States prisons must be released.  Double standards in the fight against terrorism must not prevail; it was impossible to eradicate terrorism if some terrorist acts were condemned while others were silenced, accepted or manipulated for political purposes.  He said his country had never allowed, nor would it allow, its territory to be used for terrorist action against any State, without exception.  It would continue to fight terrorism and comply with relevant Council resolutions.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein), speaking also for Switzerland, said he supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and also the Al-Qaida/Taliban and the 1540 Committees, and he hoped that the new Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate would bring greater coherence to the work of all three bodies.  Regarding the recent request for further information on implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), he said he felt there was room to promote a more integrated approach to the United Nations activities in counter-terrorism.

On the work of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said he considered the establishment of a focal point for de-listing in the Secretariat to be an important step to improve access by those listed to the de-listing procedure.  However, the mandate of the focal point did not address other important rights, such as the right to an effective remedy.  Furthermore, he added, the current system did not provide sufficient safeguards for international human rights standards, as identified in the June 2006 letter from the Secretary-General.  He said many Member States had continued concerns regarding the requirement of “fair and clear procedures” in the Council’s use of targeted sanctions.  A round table discussion on de-listing in Liechtenstein last week had addressed the establishment of a review panel to deal with petitions for de-listing.

He said that in the particular light of domestic and international court proceedings, which could have an impact on the effectiveness of sanctions regimes, there should be a strengthening of sanctions regimes and enhancement of the effectiveness and legitimacy of the Council.

AURA MAHUAMPI RODRIGUEZ DE ORTIZ ( Venezuela) declared his country’s condemnation of all terrorism, as well as its commitment to fight terrorism in conformity with Council resolutions, international law, regional efforts and the General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  He said resolution 1373 (2001) prevented States from offering refuge to perpetrators of terrorist acts, as well as preventing them from offering political excuses for such acts.  In that context, she said she would call once again for the honouring of the extradition request that Venezuela had filed with the United States for Luis Posada Carriles, who was responsible for many terrorist acts, including the bombing of an airliner that killed 73 innocent people.

Despite all the efforts by the Venezuelan Government, she added, Mr. Carriles had merely been charged with immigration fraud.  He must be either extradited or prosecuted appropriately in the United States.  The validity of Venezuela’s request had already been recognized in many international forums.  Terrorism would not be defeated if a double-standard was applied and selective prosecution was conducted, as was being done by the United States.

FRANCES LISSON ( Australia) said that, to ensure appropriate coordination and avoid duplication, the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee and the 1540 Committee should improve cooperation with the General Assembly, through close engagement with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate were central to the international community’s response to the threat of international terrorism.

Constructive relations with Member States, particularly donor and recipient countries, were critical to their success, he added; specifically, the Committee should improve “needs assessments” for Member States requiring technical assistance and also coordination mechanisms with donor countries.  The move in the focus of assistance -- from ratification support to legislative implementation and support for national counter-terrorism capacity-building -- demonstrated the advances made in counter-terrorism work.

She said Member States should designate terrorists domestically, and fully implement their obligations to freeze the assets of individuals and entities that committed and supported terrorist acts.  Such actions, she added, would supplement the important work of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee.  The effectiveness of that Committee was directly related to the relevance and currency of its Consolidated List, and the Committee should further efforts with Member States towards that end.  The 1540 Committee should continue its engagement with regional bodies and consider expanding its dialogue and cooperation with other relevant bodies, such as the export control regimes, on furthering non-proliferation.

She said her Government had been directing efforts to improve regional capacity and expertise in terms of implementing resolution 1540, and fully supported the work of the Chair and the Committee.  In closing, he said that, if countries publicized their compliance with resolution 1540, terrorists would get the strong message that there were fewer and fewer places that would allow them to pursue efforts to build weapons of mass destruction.

HENRI-PAUL NORMANDIN ( Canada) said that, in the period leading up to the renewal of the mandate of CTED, it was important to ensure that efforts were made to enhance that body’s relationship with non-Council members.  Key tools developed by the Directorate, such as its technical assistance plan and database, and its assessments of implementation of relevant resolutions, must be made available to donors on a more comprehensive basis.  He agreed with recent assessments that the Directorate and the Counter-Terrorism Committee needed to be more flexible in engaging with non-Council Members, in the context of field visits, and also that regional meetings could be useful to coordinate donors and recipients.

Turning to the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, he said he supported efforts to ensure the quality of the Consolidated List and clarity in the process of listing and de-listing.  It must be remembered, he said, that sanctions were designed to be preventive rather than punitive.  He appreciated, in addition, all efforts to increase understanding of the Committee’s activities among Member States.  In regard to the 1540 Committee, he approved of concrete measures to support actual implementation of the resolution’s requirements, and welcomed the development of an assistance-request template.  He looked forward to providing the Committee with up-to-date information on relevant Canadian assistance programmes next month.

JORGE LOBO DE MESQUITA (Portugal), speaking for the European Union and affiliated countries, said terrorism constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.  Countering that threat, including the conditions conducive to its spread, required a global response.  He said the European Union was committed to implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and reaching an agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  United Nations counter-terrorism conventions and protocols constituted the legal core for anti-terrorist measures, universal adherence was essential for the consistency of measures taken by Member States, as well as for the facilitation of international cooperation.  Any measures undertaken to prevent and combat terrorism must comply with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

He said he welcomed the efforts of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee to update and implement the Consolidated List, as well as its efforts to enhance transparency through its website.  There was a need to further enhance transparency with regard to targeted sanctions.  Strengthening fair and clear procedures and improving the harmonization of procedures already in place, would enhance the effectiveness of those sanctions.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee needed to strengthen its cooperation with international and regional organizations.

He said resolution 1540 (2004) was an important tool to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.  The European Union had already begun implementation of its own non-proliferation strategy, which included a programme of assistance to States in need of technical knowledge in the field of export control.  That was in line with the overall shift in the activities of the 1540 Committee towards capacity-building for States willing to implement the resolution, but lacking the appropriate expertise.  In closing, he noted the need to renew the mandate of the 1540 Committee and reiterated his support for the work of the Council in combating the terrorist scourge.

Ms. WOLCOTT (United States), responding to the statements of the Cuban and Venezuelan representatives, said her country had already presented the fact that it had taken a number of actions in regard to Luis Posada Carriles, which took into account legal responsibilities as well as due process.  She would not repeat the entire history today.  The United States had sought and obtained an indictment for immigration violations, and Mr. Carriles was being investigated for other activities.  He was also subject to many restrictions.  Her country continued to be engaged in activities consistent with both its responsibilities and due process.

RODOLFO ELISEO BENÍTEZ VERSÓN ( Cuba) replied that he could not allow manipulation to prevail.  The United States representative had claimed that her country had acted in accordance with international law in the case of Luis Posada Carriles.  That was false.  If that had happened, the authorities would have tried him or extradited him to Venezuela.  The representative of the United States had not denied any statements made by Cuba, but had forgotten relevant details. It was true that Mr. Posada Carilles had been detained by the United States, but it had not been said that the terrorist had been caught after months of denials that he was on United States territory.  Only when the press had published interviews with him, had there remained no alternative but to arrest him.  It was true that Mr. Posada Carilles had been submitted to a criminal process in the United States, but it had not been said that at no time had he been tried for terrorist activities.  Instead, the case had been treated as an immigration violation, thereby guaranteeing his release.

Why had the United States Government allowed Mr. Posada Carilles to enter its territory despite warnings made, and why had the terrorist been simply charged with minor immigration offences? he asked.  Why had immigration authorities not used the tools available to keep the terrorist in prison, and why had the Venezuelan extradition request been overlooked?  The United States representative would not answer those questions, but the truth was clear.  Mr. Posada Carilles had spoken about his terrorist activities while acting under the orders of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  It was impossible to eliminate terrorism while condemning a few acts and keeping silent about others.  The shameful conduct of a Council member, however powerful, should not continue to seriously affect the body’s credibility.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ DE ORTIZ ( Venezuela) said she could not understand why the United States, having all necessary information on the crimes of Mr. Posada Carriles, did not comply with the extradition treaty between their countries, and had merely charged him with minor immigration violations.  The Security Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee must act on this case under the many treaties that related to it.

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