|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5886th Meeting (AM)
Security Council briefed by chairmen of committees established to combat terrorism;
Told of enhanced cooperation, common strategy in past months
Committees Created by Resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004)
Concern Al-Qaida, Taliban Sanctions, Counter-Terrorism, Weapons Proliferation
The Security Council subsidiary bodies created in 1999, 2001 and 2004 to combat terrorism, including by stripping terrorists of their financing, transportation, equipment and safe havens, had worked jointly in the past six months to enhance cooperation and implement their common strategy to assist States in reporting on the steps they had taken to comply with their counter-terrorism obligations, the Security Council was told today.
Opening the briefings on behalf of the Chairmen of the three subsidiary bodies -- the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- was Neven Jurica of Croatia, Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He said that the three Committees, as well as their respective expert groups, remained committed to contributing to the overall United Nations and international efforts in assisting States to fully implement the respective resolutions (1267 of 1999, 1373 of 2001, and 1540 of 2004).
He drew attention to workshops with experts from the three Committees and officials in charge of implementation of the Council’s resolutions in various countries in African subregions. Another example of the cooperation had been the visits to Member States carried out jointly by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the experts of the 1267 Committee’s monitoring team. The three expert groups were also cooperating within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, established to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, in the context of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
In his capacity as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Mr. Jurica described that body as a crucial international instrument to address that global scourge, best served by a pragmatic approach. Since his last briefing in November 2007, the Committee had initiated or accomplished several key aims, not least the adoption of the new organizational plan of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. The plan, among other things, envisaged the organization of more flexible assessment missions, tailored to the specific circumstances and nature of the terrorist threat in the countries concerned.
Johan Verbeke of Belgium, Chairman of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee, underscored that the Committee’s sanctions regime was a powerful tool to fight Al-Qaida and Taliban-related terrorism. The measures against individuals and entities on the Consolidated List were universal in nature and could hence complement measures at the national, regional and subregional levels. Improving the quality of the Consolidated List remained at the core of the Committee’s work, for which the Committee relied on information provided by Member States. However, he also stressed the importance and the collective responsibility of the Council to bring to the Committee’s attention any information that should be included in or deleted from the List. The common objective should be to have a dynamic List that reflected the evolution of the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Chairing the 1540 Committee set up to monitor implementation of the resolution by which the Council compelled States to take effective national measures to prevent the acquisition by non-State actors of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, Jorge Urbina of Costa Rica said the Committee had made a special effort to encourage States to meet their reporting requirements six months before the submission of its biennial report to the Council. It also continued to rely on outreach activities to promote the resolution’s full implementation, ranging from raising awareness of the text’s requirements to sharing lessons learned and engaging in dialogue with officials interested in the Committee’s work.
For the most part, speakers in the open debate that followed the briefings recognized the diverse approach of the Council’s subsidiary bodies, which they felt provided an integrated response to the terrorism scourge. They examined the reported progress and challenges, in the context of the different mandates and structures -- against the backdrop of the evolving terrorist threat. A constant review of each Committee’s working methods was desirable, speakers agreed, while several also stressed the need to remember that, in the fight against terrorism, awareness of the protection and promotion of human rights and respect for the rule of law was paramount.
Representatives of the following Council members participated in today’s debate: Russian Federation; China; Panama; Viet Nam; United States; Burkina Faso; Italy; South Africa; Libya; France; Indonesia and the United Kingdom.
Also speaking were the representatives of Slovenia (on behalf of the European Union), Cuba, India, Japan, Israel, Australia, Syria, Venezuela and Qatar.
The representative of the United States took the floor a second time, as did the delegates from Cuba and Venezuela.
The meeting, which began at 10:10 a.m., was adjourned at 1:21 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the Chairmen of its subsidiary bodies concerned with its counter-terrorism efforts, followed by a debate on the subject.
NEVEN JURICA (Croatia), speaking on behalf of the Chairmen of the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), said the Committees had worked on enhancing the ongoing cooperation among themselves, mostly through their expert groups. Over the past few months, the three expert groups had continued to jointly implement their common strategy, approved by the three Committees in 2007, to assist the non- and late-reporting States. After the first regional workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, at the end of September 2007 for West and Central African States, a second one, still in cooperation with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had been organized from 29 to 30 November 2007 in Gaborone, Botswana, for the Southern African States. As had followed the Dakar workshop, a post-workshop briefing for all African Union Missions in New York had been held. The third subregional workshop for the Northern and Eastern African States was envisaged for November.
He said that those workshops provided an opportunity for the Committee experts to jointly interact with the officials in charge of implementation of the measures decided by the Council and, hence, to update them on the Committees’ work. They also enhanced Member States’ understanding of the Committees’ different mandates and roles. Progress had already been achieved, as new reports and additional information on States’ implementation had been submitted to the three Committees.
Another example of such cooperation had been the visits to Member States, carried out jointly by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the experts of the 1267 Committee’s monitoring team, he said. So far, nine such visits had taken place, the most recent to Saudi Arabia in March. In order to derive common benefit from the visit to the Niger last February and from the mission to Mauritania, Senegal and Mali, input and questions had been provided prior to the trips and information had subsequently been exchanged between the Committees and expert groups. The three expert groups were encouraged to continue to share information and analyses on the efforts of Member States to implement their obligations. That exchange of information also included requests for technical assistance and other requests made by States. Experts were also encouraged to work closely together as they developed their relationships with other relevant international, regional and subregional organizations. The three expert groups were also cooperating within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, established to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, in the context of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
He concluded that terrorism, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, posed a threat to international peace and security, and the cooperation of all remained crucial. The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540, as well as their respective expert groups, remained committed, within their respective mandates, to their work to contribute to the overall United Nations and international efforts in assisting States to fully implement the respective resolutions. In that context, the three Committees looked forward to further guidance from the Council on areas of common interest, in order to better coordinate their efforts, as indicated in resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008).
In his capacity as Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), Mr. Jurica said that, as terrorism remained a major threat to international peace and security, the Committee represented a crucial international instrument to address that global scourge. He believed it should adopt a pragmatic approach, in order to fulfil its obligations. Transparency was one of its basic principles. Since his last briefing in November 2007, the Committee had initiated or accomplished several key aims, which had established a sound basis for its future work.
He said that the first accomplishment had been the adoption of the new organizational plan of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. The Security Council had heard a detailed presentation of the plan by the Executive Director at its meeting on 19 March. Reiterating its main elements, he said that adjustments to the Executive Directorate’s organization and methods of work would improve the quality and consistency of its technical judgements and enhance the ongoing dialogue between it and the Member States. That would also strengthen its cooperation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations.
The plan also envisaged an addition to the existing practice of conducting full-scale assessment missions by organizing more flexible visits, tailored to the specific circumstances and nature of the terrorist threat in the countries, he said. The increased flexibility should make the Executive Directorate’s work more efficient and allow it to focus on issues of the highest priority to the Committee and to the visited country. The organizational plan also gave greater priority to engaging donors and matching their capacities with the needs of recipient countries, as well as implementing a more proactive communications strategy and strengthening collaboration among Security Council expert bodies active in the counter-terrorism field.
He further noted that the plan charted the way forward for the Executive Directorate, and had been affirmed in Council resolution 1805 (2008) adopted on 20 March. That resolution had extended the Executive Directorate’s mandate until the end of 2010, and it had also set the direction for the Committee in the next few years. The resolution also contained a provision for an interim review by 30 June 2009 and a comprehensive consideration of the Executive Directorate’s work prior to its mandate’s expiration.
The second major initiative had been the adoption of the Preliminary Implementation Assessments, which were tools geared towards intensifying dialogue with Member States on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), he reported. By the end of last year, 158 of those assessments had been adopted and, since then, the Committee had continued to analyse and adopt the remaining documents. Thus far, it had adopted some 167, and the rest should be formally approved in the coming months. One of the goals of the current chairmanship was to ensure that every Member State received a copy of its preliminary assessment. The Committee also adopted its work programme for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2008, and divided its activities into several main categories, the first being monitoring and promoting implementation of 1373.
Noting that another important activity of the Committee was organizing visits to Member States, he reported that, throughout the year, the Committee was performing visits approved at the end of 2006. Those visits were a fundamental component to effectively monitor and promote the implementation of 1373 and allow the Executive Directorate to gain first-hand experience on the ground. Since the last briefing, the Committee had concluded successful fully fledged on-site visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Niger and Saudi Arabia, and it was presently in Cambodia, to be followed by a visit to Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The Committee also remained engaged in facilitating technical assistance to States. In its dialogue with Member States, the Committee continued to remind them that they “must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law”.
He noted that the Committee had also posted on its website two helpful tools: the technical assistance matrix, which was targeted at donors to help guide their assistance programmes and decision-making; and a directory of assistance, enabling recipients to view and identify the programmes that best suited their needs. With respect to the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), the Committee had submitted to the Council its second progress report on States’ implementation, and was exploring technical assistance needs. The Committee also continued to play its part in implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and, in accordance with its mandate, it was assisting States in implementing its provisions. It also continued to cooperate with other relevant parts of the United Nations system and specialized bodies, particularly with the two other Security Council Committees dealing with counter-terrorism.
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, highlighted the main elements in his report. He underscored that the 1267 sanctions regime was a powerful tool to fight Al-Qaida and Taliban-related terrorism as the measures against individuals and entities on the Consolidated List were universal in nature and could hence complement measures at the national, regional and subregional levels. Improving the quality of the Consolidated List continued to be at the core of the Committee’s work. The Committee relied on information provided by Member States.
He stressed the importance and the collective responsibility of the Council to bring to the Committee’s attention any information that should be included in or deleted from the List. The common objective should be to have a dynamic List that reflected the evolution of the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. In that regard, and given the increasingly strong links between activities and illicit drugs, he underscored the possibility of submitting for listing the names of drug traffickers involved in the financing of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, as provided for in paragraph 12 of resolution 1735 (2006).
During the last six months, most of the Committee’s activities focused on its consideration of the seventh report of the Monitoring Team and related follow-up, he said. Discussions were held on issues related to the three sanctions measures -- assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. The Committee had also been exploring ways to further improve procedures. As a result, a standard form for de-listing had been developed and was now available in the de-listing section of the Committee’s website. The Committee was also examining the procedure for removing the names of deceased individuals and considering further revising guidelines for exemptions to the assets freeze and the travel ban.
Pursuant to paragraph 21 of resolution 1735 (2006), he said, the Committee continued discussion on the identification of possible cases of non-compliance with the sanctions measures. The Committee discussed each possible case of non-compliance mentioned in a Monitoring Team’s report and derived horizontal recommendations from that empirical analysis aimed at preventing the occurrence of such cases. Mr. Verbeke said he reported to the Council the Committee’s consideration of that matter in a briefing on 24 April. Identifying possible cases of non-compliance was an ongoing exercise and the Committee would continuously follow up on them.
The Committee further considered the issue of the criminal misuse of the Internet for terrorist purposes, he said. The Committee shared the concerns expressed over the fact that the Internet constituted a powerful medium and instrument for Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. Although that was a complex issue, of which certain aspects clearly went beyond the Committee’s mandate, it was agreed that the discussion should continue. This week, the Committee was beginning its consideration of the eighth report of the Monitoring Team, which was submitted to the Committee in accordance with resolution 1735 (2006). The report would be shortly transmitted to the Council and the Committee intended to prepare a report that would reflect its position on the recommendations contained therein.
Further enhancing dialogue with Member States and increasing the transparency of its work was a primary concern of the Committee, he said. He gave an open briefing to all interested Member States on 17 December 2007, in that regard. He also recently visited Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. Pursuant to paragraph 29 of resolution 1735 (2006), the Committee met yesterday with representatives of Denmark, Liechtenstein, Sweden and Switzerland. It was clear from events in the past month that the threat from Al-Qaida and the Taliban had not diminished. Within United Nations efforts, the Committee was committed to carrying out, in cooperation with Member States, its share of the global endeavour.
JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540, said that six months before the deadline to submitting the biennial report to the Council, the Committee had made a special effort to encourage States to meet the reporting requirements. By November 2007, a communication was sent to all Member States, including to non-reporting States and others facing some reporting difficulty, for them to check the accuracy of their reports and to provide a first report or additional information on the relevant activities taken or planned towards implementation. As of 27 April 2008, more than half the Member States had responded to the Committee’s request for more information, bringing to 150 the total number of Member States that had submitted at least one report since adoption of the resolution in 2004. On the Committee’s behalf, he thanked all States that had responded promptly, and he encouraged all others to do so as soon as possible.
Continuing, he said that the Committee continued to rely on outreach activities to promote full implementation of resolution 1540. Since mid-November 2007, the Chairman and some Committee members had participated in 11 outreach conferences, seminars and workshops, whose purposes had ranged from raising awareness of the requirements of the resolution to promoting the text’s full implementation, to sharing experiences and lessons learned and engaging in dialogue with officials particularly interested in the Committee’s work. The Committee had engaged in three types of outreach activities: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime workshops, including on reporting requirements and assistance needs; common strategy workshops; and on the legal aspects of international counter-terrorism instruments in the nuclear, biological or chemical fields, and the financing of such activities.
He acknowledged the role of several countries, and of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union, for their sponsorship and organization of various activities and ongoing support for the Committee’s outreach activities. The Committee continued to operate as an information exchange centre on issues of assistance through contacts and dialogue with States, and it continued to assist States that might be in a position to offer information. One important aspect of its activities was its interaction with officials in the competent ministries in various countries. Exchanges of information and participation in reciprocal outreach activities had facilitated progress. In December 2007, the Committee had sent letters to the heads of more than 30 regional and subregional organizations and mechanisms stressing the importance of implementing resolution 1540 in achieving the objectives of their respective institutions. It had, so far, received 12 positive replies.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his Government had considered it important that the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate was planning to devote more attention to providing technical assistance to States and expanding contact with donors. For its part, his country would continue its work in helping produce country assessments, since those assessments could help strengthen the Committee’s policy-guiding role. In turn, studying the findings of a global survey would enable the Council to organize its counter-terrorism work in a more systematic manner.
He said Russia regretted the spread of extremist ideas, and particularly lamented the Taliban’s impact on Afghanistan and beyond. He supported the 1267 Committee’s efforts to produce an updated sanctions list and he called on States to submit their requests for further inclusions to that list. Efforts to build stronger relationships with bodies such as INTERPOL were commendable, as were increased country visits and other forms of dialogue with States to verify their commitment to the overall goal of fighting terrorism.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he welcomed the extension of its mandate since it was considered a major international instrument for blocking the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, and preventing dual-use goods from falling into the hands of non-State actors. Joint multilateral efforts were making it possible to close proliferation gaps in national legislation, as well as to control black market activities. Since the last briefing, the 1540 Committee had entered a new stage and was now stepping up efforts to render assistance to States. Indeed, it was important to focus efforts on the weaknesses of current national monitoring systems. He was encouraged that the number of States submitting reports had risen. Work must continue to persuade States that had not yet done so to submit their reports.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) noted the steady progress being made by the 1267 Committee to: improve the integrity and accuracy of its sanctions list; increase transparency through the establishment of a website; and increase the dialogue with States. He encouraged all countries to provide that Committee with detailed information to the greatest extent possible, so as to improve the fairness of its sanctions mechanism. As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said its recently approved Executive Directorate would help point the way forward, and voiced hope that it would conduct its work in accordance with provisions in resolution 1805 (2008) regarding transparency and even-handedness.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, whose mandate has been renewed without difficulty, he voiced hope that it could develop a balanced programme of work. For its part, China was ready to continue actively supporting the Committee’s work and facilitating even-handed implementation of its underlying goal of building consensus on non-proliferation and promoting cooperation among States. Adoption of resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008) had demonstrated a sense of common will among Council Members to strengthen its counter-terrorism mechanisms. Hopefully, the three Committees would begin considering the viewpoint of developing countries more often. In September, the General Assembly would conduct an assessment of the implementation of the United Nations’ Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Against that background, China would like to see more complementarity between the Security Council and General Assembly.
ALFREDO SUESCUM ( Panama) said that effective compliance with the Committees’ mandates required a constant review of their working methods. He welcomed the significant work of the 1267 Committee, because it had developed a methodology to delete erroneous names from its Consolidated List. That would lead to a dynamic List, which would reflect the evolution of the terrorism threat. He pointed, additionally, to the significant recent progress of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in measuring implementation of 1373 in each Member State. The adoption of more than 167 preliminary implementation assessments and the review under way on implementation of the resolution were the main mechanisms of the Committee to define the present state of implementation. Those documents were practical tools for defining priorities and improving compliance with 1373 obligations. The preliminary implementation assessments and the ongoing study were “live” documents, which were technical in character and adapted to the circumstances of the various regions and particular points in time.
Continuing, he called for more cooperation with the special counter-terrorism team established by the General Assembly in 2005. He laid great store in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, noting that the work of the 1540 Committee had moved from a simple monitoring role to the implementation of obligations and promotion of best practices. That would facilitate implementation of its mandate, and promote dialogue among Member States and bodies with broad and representative membership. In his region, he highlighted the work of the body tasked with preventing the financing of terrorism.
He recognized the diverse approach of the Security Council’s counter-terrorism subsidiary bodies, which represented a “truly integrated” response to the terrorism scourge, and said that any proposal to merge their mandates and structures should be examined very carefully, given the different objectives and natures of each mandate. It should be remembered that, in the fight against terrorism, awareness of the protection and promotion of human rights and respect for the rule of law was paramount.
HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continued to be serious threats to international peace, and since Viet Nam had joined the Council, it had made constructive contributions to the work of the three committees, including as Vice-Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He shared the assessment of the three Committee Chairs on the achievements of the past 6 months. He underlined the 1267 Committee’s activities aimed at improving the sanctions regime and improving the quality of the Consolidated List.
As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said he supported efforts to intensify dialogues with Member States and would continue to participate in discussions on the survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 by Member States, considering that document as crucial to identifying areas for further cooperation. Viet Nam also welcomed the extension of the mandate of the 1540 Committee, while reiterating that its work should be done in accordance with international law and provisions of the United Nations Charter.
As for cooperation between the three Committees, he said he looked forward to seeing concrete cooperative action between their expert groups. The quality of each Committee’s work depended on cooperation of Member States in providing updated information regarding the fulfilment of their obligations. As such, the three Committees must work out further innovative ways to improve meaningful dialogue with States. They should continue efforts to obtain detailed and correct pictures of what each Member State was doing, and through that, understanding the difficulties they faced. It should then engage States in finding appropriate measures to improve implementation. That work should be done with a very clear understanding of the differentiated mandate of each body.
ALEJANDRO D. WOLFF ( United States) noted that all three subsidiary bodies were now well established and ready to begin a new phase of their work. There were several ways in which the committees could help counter the dual scourges of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which represented the pre-eminent threats to international peace and security today. A concentration on capacity-building was essential. Reports had been received and analysed, and it was now time to act on the findings of those evaluations. Security Council resolution 1805 rightly stressed the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s important mandate, in that regard, and he welcomed the new tools it had developed, such as the technical assistance matrix and directory of assistance on its website. He urged it to organize regional meetings for States seeking and offering assistance. The 1267 Committee also had a key role in that area; it should continue to share with the Counter-Terrorism Committee information concerning States’ technical assistance needs.
He said that the 1540 Committee should work with States as an effective clearinghouse, using the information it had collected from States. It should then set about the work of building capacity and proceed with its efforts to post its implementation matrices on its website, subject to States’ consent. He also hoped that States would use the Committee’s new technical assistance template to submit requests to the Committee. They should also submit action plans to the Committee, as the United States had done, so the Committee could use those plans to match requests and offers for assistance. The United States was pleased to play its part in addressing States’ technical assistance needs and, last year, it had trained more than 4,500 participants from 64 countries, along with other contributions.
Looking forward to the completion of specific projects mentioned in the briefings, he underscored that the 1267 Committee must continue to give priority to updating the Consolidated List, to ensure that it accurately reflected the current threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. He encouraged other Member States to contribute to that effort by providing information for further listing and de-listing. The Committee should also continue its efforts to update the Taliban portion of the List by designating new Taliban who were responsible for the upsurge in violence in Afghanistan. Similarly, the Committee should de-list former Taliban, who had severed their ties to the organization, just as it should add new and updated biographical information to the List, so that States could better enforce the sanctions.
The Committees had accomplished much, he said, adding that United Nations Member States had frozen $150 million in terrorist assets by implementing 1267 sanctions. However, the remaining challenges must be recognized. Al-Qaida had expanded its operations, and the Taliban was resurgent. Finally, the prospect of terrorists gaining access to mass destruction weapons remained the gravest threat imaginable. To counter terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Committees must continue to focus on practical, concrete activities that could promote States’ capacity to implement the respective resolutions. The United States pledged its support in that essential fight.
MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) said he had always supported increased cooperation among United Nations bodies in combating terrorism, and cited the 2007 workshop in Dakar, Senegal, as one of the benefits of such cooperation. Further, providing appropriate technical assistance to States needing it would enhance international efforts to combat terrorist threats. Joint country visits by those Committees were commendable, and could be improved further by aiming their focus at the primary concerns of the countries being visited. He welcomed the filing of reports by participating countries and reminded those that had not done so to submit their reports.
Given the importance of countering terrorism, he proposed the idea of regular joint briefings by all three Committees, which would not be difficult, since each Committee was already holding separate annual hearings. He encouraged expert groups to continue their activities, and appealed for better coordination between United Nations bodies and regional and subregional organizations. The African regional centre for research on terrorism was an example of good cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union.
ALDO MANTOVANI ( Italy) said that the sanctions list of the 1267 Committee remained an essential tool, and it was important that, with the support of the wider United Nations membership, it be constantly updated. Improving the quality of the Consolidated List should be a key priority of the Sanctions Committee, given the legal challenges it faced, both at national and international levels. The Security Council should do everything possible to improve its handling of cases and continue on the path of improving existing procedures, in line with fundamental rights. He looked forward to negotiations for the renewal of its mandate in June.
Noting that the Council had recently renewed the Executive Directorate’s mandate, he said that that laid the groundwork for more efficient action. He hoped that, with more focused action, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate could better explore their potential as an instrument of dialogue with Member States, as well as better coordinate with donors and other partners and experts, including with the Counter-Terrorism Task Force. He further called on it to continue its work with external organizations and to avoid overlap and duplication of efforts.
Italy welcomed the recent renewal of the 1540 Committee’s mandate for three more years and supported the emphasis to step up efforts to implement the resolution, particularly through outreach and lessons learned from the relevant committees and organizations. Cooperation with the other two Committees was also essential in ensuring compliance with the resolution’s provisions, particularly on improving existing mechanisms to assist States in meeting their non-proliferation obligations. He looked forward to the review on implementation due by 1 January 2009. Regarding the September review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Member States had a responsibility to continue on that track, in order to achieve progress in a broad plan of action. He welcomed the Task Force’s efforts thus far to achieve the specific goals contained therein, and called for a strengthening of joint efforts.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) praised the better coordination between the three Committees, but said the Council must address the possible duplication of work among them. Continued open briefings and direct meetings between those bodies and Member States was important to clarify issues and improve transparency. It was also important that the activities of the three bodies complement the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, whose goal was to identify the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
He reiterated South Africa’s belief that weapons of mass destruction did not guarantee security, but rather detracted from it. He, thus, welcomed the fact that resolution 1810 (2008) had included language on disarmament, arms control and the right to peaceful uses of nuclear, chemical and biological technology, with the appropriate safeguards. South Africa shared the world’s concerns regarding networks that trafficked in illicit nuclear-related technology. Much could be done to improve international cooperation in tackling those networks and to strengthen enforcement mechanisms, even among developed countries. A great threat was being posed by non-State actors that were able to obtain weapons of mass destruction, and it had been for that reason that South Africa insisted on the inclusion of language regarding their “networks”. The challenge facing the 1540 Committee was to address the risks posed by non-State actors and how it responded to illicit proliferation networks.
GIADALLA ETTALHI ( Libya) commended the Sanctions committee for the progress it had made in increasing transparency. Nevertheless, he stressed that the international community could not fight terrorism without addressing its root causes, which could include occupation and the denial of a people’s legitimate right to resist occupation. Applying double standards to different communities could be a further source of anger and violence.
Concerning the 1373 Committee, he said its system of Preliminary Implementation Assessments would reduce the number of unfiled reports. It was hoped that its Executive Directorate would conduct State assessments in an objective manner, while respecting human rights. Turning to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said it needed to improve the listing and de-listing procedure and it should set new criteria regarding the accuracy of information it provided on its lists. The idea of establishing a coordination centre to increase the Committee’s transparency was not adequate, because it could not guarantee the “clarity of measures” taken. The Council should continue working to alleviate the severity of sanctions, with due regard to humanitarian considerations. It should be able to move quickly to suspend sanctions, when necessary.
Turning to the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he expressed belief that the two objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation were mutually supporting. As such, it was important to erase any contradictions that might exist between different kinds of non-proliferation treaties and to improve coordination between bodies working on non-proliferation issues, including the General Assembly. Dealing with such an important problem required the participation of all Member States. States should consider the establishment of a legally binding instrument under the aegis of the General Assembly.
JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX ( France) said that the Council must continue to carefully follow the Committees’ work, and he encouraged the exchange of experiences among them. He welcomed the specific progress made to implement resolution 1810 (2008). The 1540 Committee had a very important place in the network of tools for combating terrorism and proliferation. The biennial report of experts, which he eagerly awaited, should show significant progress in implementation, but much remained to be done. Forty States had not submitted reports and, among other shortfalls, gaps were evident in the struggle against the financing of terrorists and control of their transport and sensitive exports.
France was highly committed to the renewal of that Committee’s mandate, and its extension for three years had been positive, he continued. The Committee should coordinate requests for assistance and promote exchanges of experience. Resolution 1810 also provided for specific visits to countries. All of those provisions, and the extension of that body’s mandate, however, were not a blank check. Stepped-up dialogue among States would strengthen the resolution’s legitimacy. Three years was not excessive, and the Committee must begin its work as soon as possible towards implementing the resolution’s mandate. It must adopt its biennial report immediately, implement its mandate faithfully and assist States fully.
Noting the Council’s 1805 renewal of the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that administrative organ played a central supporting role. He emphasized the main aspects of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work, including the need for coherence when assessing data from States. Also crucial was dialogue and a need to make use of those communication channels when meeting the simple, but far-reaching, objective to build a collective bastion against terrorism. The multiple roles of other mechanisms and agencies in countering terrorism were also important, but the Counter-Terrorism Committee must be at the core of the network of partner entities.
Concerning de-listing, it was up to the Sanctions Committee to identify non-compliance with the sanctions and provide appropriate remedies, he said. It was also up to that body to explain the parameters of those obligations, especially on its Internet site. That vigilance went hand in hand with the credibility and reliability of the information on the List. He commended the Committee for making the listing process clearer and more transparent, including its adoption of a model questionnaire for de-listing, along with exemptions for the freezing of assets, and the exemptions being contemplated for the travel ban.
Taken together, the three Committees formed the Security Council’s core response to the terrorist threats. He had reaffirmed on numerous occasions that terrorism was criminal and unjustifiable. That was particularly true of Al-Qaida and the Taliban. He paid tribute anew to the memory of the victims and their families, and would work to block the activities of terrorists wherever they might be.
MARTY M. NATALEGAWA ( Indonesia) noted the accomplishment by the Counter-Terrorism Committee of several key initiatives, which would serve as a sound basis for its future work. The revised organizational plan would strengthen the Executive Directorate’s role in enhancing the Committee’s ability to monitor implementation of resolution 1373. The organizational plan’s recommendations would also consolidate achievements and eventually intensify the Committee’s work. The Preliminary Implementation Assessments were an effective tool by which to intensify dialogue with Member States. On the issue of a revised version of the survey of implementation, he underlined the need for the Committee to present a more accurate picture in finalizing it. Concerning implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), he reiterated the importance of ensuring its comprehensive implementation. Indonesia actively continued its efforts to promote cultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding among civilizations.
Regarding the 1267 Committee, he reiterated his strong commitment to that resolution’s effective implementation and to improvement of the quality of the Consolidated List. Joint efforts to improve its quality, particularly by enhancing its completeness and accuracy, should contribute to the effectiveness of the resolution’s implementation. He fully supported the Committee’s intention to evaluate the List’s review mechanism. The Council, in considering the compliance of Member States, should take into account their achievement in combating Al-Qaida and its affiliates through robust national criminal law enforcement. The problem of non-compliance might not only be caused by lack of political will or insufficient understanding of the sanctions regime, but might also concern legal deficiencies or procedures applicable to the listing and de-listing process. The Council, therefore, should give its utmost and urgent attention to the issue of further improving a fair and clear procedure.
He reasserted Indonesia’s support for the main tasks of the 1540 Committee, namely promoting global capacity and raising international standards for implementing the resolution. He was pleased at its three-year extension. Since implementation was a long-term objective, he hoped the Committee would continue to prioritize dialogue and cooperation with Member States on their need to fulfil their obligations under the text. He underlined that the responsibility of implementing the resolution rested fully with national Governments, whereas international and regional organizations could continue to assist them.
JOHN SAWERS (United Kingdom) voiced support for the revised organization plan of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and adoption of resolution 1805 (2008) to extend its mandate, as well as the emphasis on tailored dialogue with Member States and an increased focus on technical assistance. He said he looked forward to progress on a global survey on implementation and hearing the Committee’s report on the strengths and weaknesses of various States in carrying out their obligations. Regarding the 1267 Committee, the United Kingdom believed it must improve the quality of its Consolidated List, which must reflect current threats. That List must be updated at every opportunity. Meanwhile, the listing and de-listing procedures used must be efficient -- at present they were not. He welcomed the extension of the mandate for the 1540 Committee, with an added focus on capacity-building and sharing know-how. The adoption of resolution 1810 (2008) had sent a strong signal of the Council’s seriousness in ensuring that weapons of mass destruction did not fall into the hands of would-be proliferators, including criminals.
SANJA ŠTIGLIC ( Slovenia), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, expressed the bloc’s commitment towards reaching agreement on an international terrorism convention. It also supported the decision of the 1267 Committee to enhance the accuracy and quality of its lists by providing additional “identifiers” to names that were currently listed, or would be listed in the future. The Committee’s Consolidated List should be brought to the attention of financial institutions, and a method should be developed to address non-compliance.
Regarding the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the European Union welcomed the fact that the mandate of its Executive Directorate had been extended. Its organization plan would provide an excellent basis for its future work and, in that respect, the Union welcomed in particular the establishment of the technical group on resolution 1624 (2005) and the human rights aspects of counter-terrorism. The establishment of five “cross-cutting functional groups” would enhance the Committee’s work, while more flexible country visits would allow for the consideration of the needs of the country concerned. Briefings and visits would also provide a better understanding of all that a sanctions regime could offer to assist States in their fight against terrorism. The Union looked forward to seeing the results of the global survey of implementation.
She said she was keen for the 1540 Committee to strengthen its role as a clearinghouse for facilitating technical assistance to help countries achieve full implementation. The Union was in the process of preparing joint action against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which would reflect the new tasks and priorities as identified in the related resolution 1810 (2008). Broader use of voluntary funding for the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) was essential.
RODRIGO MALMIERCA DÍAZ ( Cuba) said his delegation had been regularly submitting detailed information to the Council on the terrorist actions of several individuals and organizations against Cuba, and on the conspiratorial protection given them by the United States Government. It had addressed the Council on several occasions and sent letters to the Counter-Terrorism Committee to denounce concrete cases of flagrant violations of resolution 1373. Unfortunately, nothing had been done so far. This week would mark the first year of the release in the United States of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who was rightly considered the most notorious terrorist of the Western Hemisphere. The United States Government had acknowledged that he was a dangerous terrorist, yet he had only been charged in that country with minor immigration crimes. The release of that terrorist and former agent of the United States Central Intelligence Agency proved that his banal trial in the United States had been a farce.
He said his country, once again, strongly denounced and condemned the United States Government’s complicity and inaction, and the protection provided to Posada Carriles. That Government continued to ignore the request for his extradition, filed on 15 June 2005, by the Venezuelan Government. The Cuban Government, once again, demanded, under article 7 of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, that Washington return the terrorist to Venezuela, or try him on United States’ territory. Meanwhile, the United States “has the nerve” to claim that it could not hand him over to Venezuela or Cuba because he was in danger of being tortured. That lie was all the more outrageous when the accusing Government was actually responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq; had authorized torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo naval base; a portion of Cuban territory was illegally occupied by the United States; and that country was an accomplice to the kidnapping and disappearance of people, secrete flights and clandestine jails. Cuba also once again demanded the immediate release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzales, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez.
Cuba reiterated its request to the Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee to expeditiously address the detailed information his country had provided and to take all necessary steps in accordance with the relevant resolutions, he said. Double standards could not prevail, and the Council could not continue to keep conspiratorial silence on that blatant affront to the victims of terrorism. It was not possible to eradicate terrorism if some terrorist acts were condemned, while others were met with silence, tolerated or justified, or the issue was simply manipulated to foster “mean political interests”. Cuba had never allowed its territory to be used for terrorist actions against any State, without exception. As always, it would continue to strongly fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and it would strictly abide by resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540.
NIRUPAM SEN ( India) reiterated India’s abiding determination to conclude the long-pending effort to finalize a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Such a treaty must be agreed, in order to create a strong interlocking network of Member States, international organizations and specialized agencies working in unison to counter terrorism. Its adoption was in the interests of all Member States and would reinvigorate the multilateral and collective dimensions of counter-terrorism efforts. India called on the world “to act as one” in denying terrorists, their ideologues and financiers access to arms, funds, transportation of their deadly goods, as well as safe havens.
He said that, while his country remained committed to fully cooperating with all existing counter-terrorism mechanisms, as a State with long experience of dealing with terrorism, it was of the view that better cooperation between the Council and the General Assembly would provide the collective efforts with greater legitimacy and ownership. There were also operational benefits to be achieved from greater collective pragmatism in tackling terrorism multilaterally, not the least being better implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. It was unclear whether their improved implementation could be secured by “upgrading” their existing mandates, or by identifying genuine barriers to better implementation, and promoting a more collaborative system of extending assistance, utilizing available regional expertise and technologies.
Implementation of 1540 remained a national responsibility, he said, adding that there might also be merit in “incentiveized” cooperation, rather than the current effort to continually raise the bar for implementation by adding newer and more intrusive reporting obligations, voluntary or not. The Council should also consider whether some procedures needed overhauling, such as the de-listing modalities for Al-Qaida and Taliban operatives.
Among his suggestions for improvements, he said that, while he supported the greater emphasis on technical assistance, the primary task of ensuring the fullest implementation of the resolutions should be kept in mind before the process was taken forward to more technical and potentially intrusive areas of implementation that might add to the sense of reporting fatigue among many Member States. India remained willing to provide assistance in the larger counter-terrorism effort, either bilaterally or multilaterally, especially to countries that were themselves not directly threatened by terrorism, but whose participation was vital to the success of the larger international effort. It was crucial to work to foster better institutional cooperation and “jointedness” within the international system, and also to focus on implementing goals that could be achieved, before mandating new and potentially challenging new commitments.
YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said that, as Chair of the Group of Eight this year, his country placed high priority on building national capacity to combat terrorism and organized crime and that it was making great efforts to achieve that objective. Japan valued highly the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in identifying specific needs for counter-terrorism technical assistance through site visits and preliminary implementation assessments. One of the major challenges was how to match appropriate supporters with assistance needs identified by the Executive Directorate. For that, having a well-focused dialogue among the Executive Directorate, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Member States would be useful, as stated in paragraph 5 of resolution 1805. Japan, as the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Action Group, was making every effort to promote effective coordination with the Executive Directorate and was striving to strengthen information sharing in New York and to coordinate best response to requirements for assistance against terrorism for concerned countries.
On the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said that the Committee was playing a crucial role and expressed the view that its mandate should be extended beyond June. Japan welcomed the effort made in improving the quality and procedures of the Committee’s Consolidated List and encouraged it to continue that effort, adding that Japan placed great importance on “de-radicalization” as an essential element of counter-terrorism.
He welcomed the recent Council decision to extend and enhance the mandate of the 1540 Committee and said that the implementation of resolution 1540 was a key element in the global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Japan had taken the active initiative to promote the universalization of the resolution. As Chair of the Group of Eight, it intended to promote the examination of how Group of Eight countries could contribute further to the work of the 1540 Committee. Turning to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, he described it as a valuable instrument for Member States to work collectively in combating terrorism and said that there were high expectations for the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council to make their utmost efforts to implement that strategy. At the same time, it would be important for those Committees to coordinate and streamline their activities and to avoid duplicating efforts in their visits and assessments of reports by Member States. They needed to provide regular informal briefings to ensure accountability and guidance to Member States.
MEIRAV EILON SHAHAR ( Israel) said that the struggle against terrorism was a global one and, as such, the United Nations had an important role to play in coordinating the efforts to combat that scourge. States needed to remain vigilant not only in meeting their obligations to prevent terrorism, but also in providing support to those States that lacked the capacity. Israel encouraged enhanced cooperation in the Task Force, subsidiary bodies of the Council and other relevant entities of the United Nations and stressed the importance of having a comprehensive approach within the United Nations system to deal with the threat of terrorism and measures taken to address it. It looked forward to the review of the implementation of the Global Strategy in September.
While Israel had experienced the threat of terrorism, it was well known that terrorism transcended geographical boundaries, borders and nations, she continued. It was incumbent on all States to adhere to their obligations under international law, including those relevant to resolutions adopted by the Security Council, in particular resolution 1373. Some States not only neglected their responsibilities to enforce their borders and prevent the movement of terrorists but, worse, hosted and sponsored terrorism. The granting of safe haven to terrorists -- as seen today in parts of Israel’s region -- was a threat to international peace and security. The international community needed to press for an end to State sponsorship of terrorism and those States that lacked the capacity to implement their international obligations should be assisted through appropriate channels.
Israel supported resolution 1540 and believed that it was a significant step towards the implementation of international standards against the threats of international terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, she went on. The country was committed to its full implementation and it welcomed resolution 1810 that extended the mandate for three more years. As a State facing conventional and non-conventional threats, including missiles and daily terrorism, Israel had taken legal and practical measures designed to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Export controls had been put into practice through the adoption of the Wassennaar and other control lists, recently concluded by entry into force in January of the Export Control Act. That list was updated in accordance with international standards. Extensive counter-terrorism legislation existed in the country and it was committed to acting forcefully against any form of support for terrorism. Israel’s support to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction extended to other mechanisms and initiatives, as well, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Global Initiative to Combat Terrorism, the Container Security Initiative and the United States Megaport Initiative.
ROBERT HILL ( Australia) said that the United Nations’ comprehensive legal framework in the field of counter-terrorism was of fundamental importance to the international community in developing a global response to the continually evolving threat of terrorism. His country strongly supported the work of the United Nations counter-terrorism Committees to bring practical effect to the United Nations counter-terrorism framework and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. There should be close engagement by those Committees with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to ensure appropriate coordination, to avoid duplication and to encourage effective implementation by Member States of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Australia’s international engagement on that issue was focused on enhancing security and capacity-building efforts with partner countries to combat and prevent terrorist attacks, he continued. Regional counter-terrorism successes were continuing to have an impact on the primary terrorist threat to Australia’s region, Jemaah Islamiyah. Bilateral, regional and international cooperation were essential to effectively combat terrorism in all its forms. Australia remained committed to working at all levels with Member States to overcome the grave threat to security posed by terrorism.
He announced Australia’s strong support for the work of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate and encouraged the Committee, in its efforts, to improve facilitation of technical assistance to countries with vulnerabilities in counter-terrorism responses and in monitoring and implementation of counter-terrorism measures. Australia also recognized the importance of the work of the 1267 Committee in the United Nations counter-terrorism efforts. In March, the country significantly increased the maximum penalties upon conviction for breaching Australian measures implementing the obligations set out in resolution 1267 and 1373, as well as in subsequent resolutions.
Australia was directing particular efforts to non-proliferation in the Asia-Pacific, he went on. Implementation of resolution 1540 was regularly discussed at the bilateral and multilateral levels with regional countries and Australia continued to offer to further improve capacity and expertise in regional countries, where it could. As Chair of the Australia Group, his country worked with 40 other member Governments to strengthen that Group’s control lists, and through outreach, complemented the goals of resolution 1540 and the outreach efforts of the 1540 Committee. Australia would also chair the planning meeting of the 34-member Missile Technology Control Regime in Canberra in November, providing it with a further opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of international non-proliferation frameworks and norms.
MAZEN ADI ( Syria) said his country’s long history was replete with examples of the traditional Arab rejection of fanaticism and acceptance of all cultures, civilizations, religions and intellectual beliefs. Syria had always been dedicated to its ethical position of principle, despite the profound international changes and the accompanying changed terminology. It continued to condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of its source or perpetrators, be they individuals, groups or States. Terrorism knew no national or religious boundaries; it was the antithesis of all religions, nationalities and races. The crimes perpetuated daily by Israel in the Occupied Arab Territories and the Occupied Syrian Golan were outstanding examples of State terrorism denounced by the international community through the hundreds of resolutions adopted by the United Nations. Those crimes were undeniably war crimes, but, most regrettably, those forms of terrorism were subjected to different norms.
He reiterated that the most serious threat facing the universal war on terrorism lay in the Israeli unilateral interpretations of the anti-terrorism struggle and of the resolutions of international legitimacy. Following Israeli logic and views, which unfortunately enjoyed the support of some States, the practice of State terrorism by Israel against the Palestinian people was justified as legitimate self-defence, on the pretext of combating alleged Palestinian terrorism. He asked what kind of legitimate self-defence could authorize violation of international humanitarian law.
Syria had adhered to the consensus adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, based on the support it had provided to all international efforts leading up to that. The Strategy was significant in international efforts to counter terrorism. However, Syria reaffirmed, as it did in the debates preceding its adoption, the need to also adopt coherent methods at the national, regional and international levels to combat terrorism and dry up its sources. Towards that goal, Syria called for a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of terrorism and of the circumstances that encouraged its spread. Terrorism was an ongoing threat to international peace and security, and the United Nations played a pivotal role in eradicating it. Security Council resolutions formed a legal framework designed to combat that scourge internationally, and Syria was fully cooperating with the subsidiary bodies. It was now amending legislation, and it would spare no efforts in the struggle against money-laundering and the financing of terrorists.
AURA MAHUAMPI RODRIGUEZ DE ORTIZ ( Venezuela) reiterated her Government’s condemnation of terrorism, with full respect for international law and standards protecting human rights. Indeed, her Government believed in strengthening legal standards underpinning the global fight against terrorism. In that context, she recalled her Government’s request to the United States Government almost three years ago for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a fugitive responsible for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airplane in Barbados, resulting in 73 deaths. That request had, so far, been ignored. The United States authorities had argued that deporting him to either Cuba or Venezuela would result in his torture. As a result, he continued to walk free in United States territory.
She assured the Council that Venezuela was party to an international anti-torture treaty. Once more, she requested his extradition, so he could be tried for his crimes. All States must cooperate with each other to deny haven to terrorists, and to try anyone who planned, financed, committed and otherwise supported terrorist acts, as well as to prevent the provision of safe haven to such people. The relevant committee should review United States compliance with the provisions of resolution 1373, the global strategy against terrorism, the bilateral extradition treaty of 1972 and international conventions on the suppression of bombings and unlawful acts targeted at civil aviation.
NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said the Security Council dealt with terrorism without a clear definition, without dealing with its root causes, and without taking into account international humanitarian or human rights law. It adopted its texts on that subject without cohesion or cooperation with other United Nations bodies and mechanisms dealing with that question, particularly the Task Force. Thus, it was important to review the policy followed by the Council in that regard.
Concerning the Counter-Terrorism Committee, despite the fact that the mandate of the Executive Directorate had been reviewed by resolution 1805, no end date for the work of the Committee had been established. By the middle of next year, the Council would review the role of the Committee, and he hoped that would be comprehensive and take into account the lessons learned. The resolution had included some positive points, as had the Executive Directorate’s organizational plan, but a greater explanation of the latter body’s tasks and a clear timetable for their implementation should have been included. The Council should deal with all aspects of terrorism, in order to prepare the Preliminary Implementation Assessments. The visits undertaken by the Executive Directorate should be balanced and comprehensive, and not focus only on certain regions or countries at the exclusion of others.
The acts of incitement to hatred, prohibited by the Council, had persisted, he said. Additionally, listing and de-listing of suspected terrorists did not take into account due process, but was politicized. That undermined the Council’s credibility. The resulting reports included undocumented judgements and implied accusations of terrorism against specific countries and regions. As for resolution 1540, controversial methods to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction should not be introduced into the work of that Committee, which should concentrate on the acquisition of those weapons by non-State actors. The best way to do that was through implementation of the disarmament and non-proliferation provisions of international treaties. Moreover, resolutions prohibiting mass destruction weapons should not be used as a means to prevent States from enjoying technology for peaceful purposes. Efforts to eliminate those weapons, whether nationally or through multilateral agreements, should fully respect international humanitarian law and should proceed via a confidence-building process between Member States and the United Nations.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS ( United States) took the floor to address allegations from two speakers on cases being adjudicated in his country. The first concerned Jose Posada Carriles, against whom the United States had taken a number of legal actions consistent with international law and a domestic legal framework that safeguarded individual rights. As in most democracies, those safeguards provided that individuals could not be extradited without probable cause.
Outlining the steps taken with respect to Posada, he said the man had entered the country illegally in 2005 and, after a period of detention, was placed in removal proceedings. Subsequently, an immigration judge had ordered his removal from the United States, but granted a deferral of removal to Cuba and Venezuela under the provisions of the Convention against Torture. However, he could be removed to any other country willing to accept him. The United States had also sought, and obtained, a criminal indictment against Posada on the basis of violations of immigration laws, but the indictment was dismissed at the district court. The United States Government filed a notice appealing the decision to dismiss Posada’s case, but the appeal had not yet been decided. At present, Posada remained under investigation for “past activities”. He was also now without legal status in the United States and was subjected to an order of supervision by the Department of Homeland Security and customs enforcement.
With regard to the five Cubans accused of spying, he recalled that they been convicted of espionage by the Federal Court in 2001, along with a conspiracy to commit murder by shooting down a civilian aircraft. In 2005, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals had vacated a previous ruling that ordered a new trial. At a re-hearing, the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the propriety of a trial and returned the issue to a panel of judges, where the case awaits decision. The five were currently serving prison sentences while the case was being processed. At all times, the Government had always provided those individuals with the due process inherent in the impartial United States judicial system.
FERMÍN GABRIEL QUIÑONES SÁNCHEZ ( Cuba) said he did not think that the claims brought up by his Government at today’s meeting distorted the objectives of the present debate, since the Cuban Government’s intention was to raise an example of a clear violation of resolution 1373. Thursday, 8 May, marked the first year since the release of Posada Carriles. Despite evidence to the contrary, the United States was not trying him for terrorism, choosing to avoid justice through various delaying tactics. As for accusations of “torture” directed at Cuba, he recalled that Posada himself had been guilty of torturing others as a CIA agent. He also recalled events at Abu Ghraib that had come to light, and at America’s secret jails around the world. In January 1959, Cuba freed itself of the assassins of the Batista dictatorship, who had left the country to the safe haven provided by the United States. It would seem that the United States Government did not punish the crime of terrorism when it was perpetrated against countries that did not kneel to its imperialist policies. He called on the Security Council to examine his claims and to act appropriately.
Ms. RODRÍGUEZ DE ORTIZ ( Venezuela) said she did not agree with the opinion of the representative of the United States that today’s meeting was an inappropriate forum for raising the Posada case. The topic of discussion had been on the compliance of Member States with commitments made through international treaties. She found it difficult to understand why the United States was not complying with an extradition treaty that had been signed by the two countries. She reiterated her earlier statement that Venezuela complied with the provisions of the Convention against Torture and that the Government had always guaranteed the due process of law. Further, the United States had all the necessary documents required to prove the terroristic nature of Posada’s activities. The Council must act to verify United States compliance with the Council’s counter-terrorism mechanisms.
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