|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6217th Meeting (AM & PM)
Chairs of Three Security Council Committees Aimed at Countering Terrorist Threat,
Monitoring Related Sanctions, Brief Council on Progress since May
Subsidiary Bodies Established by Resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004)
Terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors continued to be a threat to international peace and security, and cooperation was a crucial element in the efforts to counter that threat, Ranko Vilovic ( Croatia) told the Security Council today.
Speaking on behalf of the three Committees established to enforce the Security Council’s counter-terrorism measures and related sanctions -– the subsidiary bodies established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) on counter-terrorism; resolution 1267 (1999) on Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions; and resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -– Mr. Vilovic, who chairs the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said the Committees attached great importance to coordination and cooperation among themselves and their experts groups in order to contribute to an effective and efficient approach to the fight against terrorism within the United Nations-framework and within the broader efforts of the international community.
Describing the activities of his own Committee, he said an interim review of its Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) in its efforts to promote and monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) had been concluded, with special emphasis on the areas identified in resolution 1805 (2008).
He said its CTED had prepared an updated version of its annual “Survey on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States”, which was broken down by regions and subregions and drew conclusions about progress made and possible gaps in implementation, notably counter-terrorism legislation, financing of terrorism, law enforcement, border control, international cooperation and human rights.
The Committee was a crucial instrument of the international community in its efforts to address the scourge of terrorism, he said, and support from and cooperation with Member States remained a vital part of its work.
Jorge Urbina (Costa Rica), Chairman of the 1540 Committee which aimed at preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of non-State actors, said that his Committee was conducting a comprehensive review, and representatives of industry, academics and non-governmental organizations also had an opportunity to give input on such topics as the impact of the resolution; regional analysis of implementation; assessment of existing examination tools or assistance templates; and generation of new methods to address gaps in implementation. It was also intensifying efforts to develop its clearing-house function for channelling assistance to Member States.
Describing cooperation with other bodies and organizations, he said he had had a fruitful discussion with the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization and had discussed collaboration with the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as well as with senior International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials.
The Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, Thomas Mayr-Harting ( Austria), noted that the threat from those organizations still persisted. The review being carried out of his Committee’s Consolidated List of the 488 targeted individuals and entities, the main focus of the Committee’s work, was an effective instrument to ensure that the List remained dynamic and accurately reflected current threats.
Challenges to the listing process, he said, included entries without sufficient identifiers and entries related to persons who might be deceased. There was also increasing criticism by a number of States and individuals, because of procedural and human rights concerns, especially regarding the right to be heard and the lack of a review mechanism or the possibility to appeal against the Committee’s decisions. As a result, there were currently about 30 court cases around the world.
In the ensuing debate, speakers stressed that coordination and cooperation between the three Committees should be expanded, as cooperation was a prerequisite in enhancing the Council’s effectiveness in countering the threat of terrorism. Some speakers, however, including the representatives of Syria and Libya, said that, in order to make the fight against the scourge of terrorism effective, the international community should agree on a definition of terrorism and differentiate it from the legitimate right of people to resistance against foreign occupation. They mentioned, in that regard, Israel’s “State terrorism” against the people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan.
Speaking about the 1373 Committee, best known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, representatives welcomed progress made in helping Members States to implement the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001). The representative of the United Kingdom said the stocktaking exercise was an opportunity for dialogue with States whose implementation of resolution 1371 (2001) was inadequate. It must not just be a bureaucratic exercise, he said, but assessments should be made “user-friendly” to better focus on technical assistance. He praised the focused visits for allowing the Committee to draw out examples of good practice to share more widely.
Many speakers underlined the necessity for the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee (the 1267 Committee) to update its Consolidated List of entities and individuals targeted for sanctions in a fair and transparent way, so that it could become, in the words of China’s representative, a “true living document”. Noting court challenges by individuals and entities objecting to inclusion on the List, speakers, among them the representative of Libya, said the List still included names of people who had died or did not belong there.
Representatives also welcomed the recent open meeting of the 1540 Committee on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, directed at a comprehensive review on the status of the implementation of the resolution. The representative of Syria noted that Israel was the only country in the Middle East that possessed a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and had not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). He reiterated Syria’s call for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Uganda, Turkey, Russian Federation, France, Burkina Faso, Japan, Viet Nam, Switzerland, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union), Cuba, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Netherlands (on behalf of the Group of Like-minded States), Australia, Iran, India and Colombia.
The representatives of Venezuela, United States and Colombia took the floor for a second time.
The meeting started at 10:14 a.m. and was suspended at 1:12 p.m. Resuming at 3:14 p.m., the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
The Security Council met today to hear briefings by the Chairs of its three “anti-terrorism” committees: 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. A debate on the subject was expected to follow.
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.
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. The CTED was also established 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 and 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.
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.
The Chairs of the Committees last briefed the Council on 26 May (see Press Release SC/9664).
RANKO VILOVIĆ (Croatia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, spoke first on behalf of the Chairmen of the three subsidiary bodies established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2005).
He said the Committees attached great importance to the coordination and cooperation among their experts groups and welcomed those groups’ efforts to develop common strategies on areas of common concern, organize joint workshops, coordinate conferences and joint country visits and to exchange information. He added that coordination would be facilitated by the co-location of the experts in the framework of the Capital Master Plan.
He said the three expert groups had continued to implement the common strategy on dealing with non- or late reporting States through joint activities, workshops and visits. For example, under that strategy, the three groups had jointly participated in the workshops organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), one for States from the Middle East and the other for States from the Caribbean and Latin America. The three expert groups were also exploring the use of common videoconferences. They also continued to work on a common approach towards relevant international, regional and subregional organizations. They also continued to contribute to, and coordinate their work within, the framework of the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force, which had been established to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system and to help implement the United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy. There were also regular meetings of the expert groups in New York.
He said that, on the occasion of previous briefings, a comparative table had been issued to highlight the main aspects of the respective mandates and areas of competence of the three Committees and their expert groups. An updated table had been posted on the Committees’ respective websites and would be distributed.
Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors continued to be a threat to international peace and security, he said. Cooperation was a crucial element in the efforts to counter the threat of terrorism, including from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for terrorist purposes. The three Committees were committed to cooperating and coordinating their work in order to contribute to an effective and efficient approach within the United Nations framework and within the broader efforts of the international community.
Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the resolution 1373 (2001) Committee, he said that, during the last six months, the Committee had submitted an interim review of the CTED in its efforts to promote and monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), with special emphasis on the areas identified in resolution 1805 (2008). The Committee had finalized the analysis of the preliminary implementation assessments of all Member States, except one. Stocktaking was carried out in stages. It deliberated on the recommendations of the CTED and might then request additional information from a particular Member State. The Committee had finalized 46 files within the framework of the current stocktaking exercise.
He said the CTED had also prepared an updated version of its annual “Survey on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States”, which was broken down by regions and subregions and drew conclusions about progress made and possible gaps in implementation, notably counter-terrorism legislation, financing of terrorism, law enforcement, border control, international cooperation and human rights. The Survey also continued to provide recommendations with respect to each region, for future action by the Committee.
Country visits were a fundamental component of the Committee’s efforts to monitor and promote implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), he continued. Pursuant to a more flexible approach, the rate of visits had increased significantly, including to Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Ghana, Libya, New Zealand, Oman and Uzbekistan. In September, the Committee had initiated a series of thematic discussions, including on technical assistance and on international legal cooperation. The Committee would discuss issues related to border security, arms trafficking, law enforcement and best practices in the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).
He said the Committee and the Executive Directorate had also worked to enhance dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries on the facilitation of technical assistance and maintained, on its website, a technical assistance matrix and a directory of assistance programmes. The Executive Directorate, in order to strengthen regional cooperation on counter-terrorism in South Asia, had held two workshops in that region: on the importance of legislation on combating the financing of terrorism; and on cross-border cooperation.
The Committee had continued to remind Member States that any measures taken to combat terrorism must comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law. Relevant issues had been raised on country visits and outreach activities were undertaken with potential donors to help them focus their work on enhancing institution-building and strengthening rule of law.
He said that, as for implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), 104 Member States had submitted reports. The Committee would encourage those States that had not yet done so to submit the relevant information as soon as possible. The Committee also encouraged Member States to become parties to and implement the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments. The Committee also continued to support all relevant activities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. In view of the close cooperation between the staffs of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the Committee supports the co-location of the two bodies on a permanent basis.
The Committee, through the Executive Directorate, had also been intensifying its work with international, regional and subregional organizations in an effort to broaden its constructive dialogue and to enhance cooperation, information-sharing and exchanges of expertise.
In conclusion, he said terrorism remained one of the major threats to international peace and security, and the Committee was a crucial instrument of the international community in its efforts to address that scourge. Support from and cooperation with Member States remained a vital part of the Committee’s work, with respect to the stocktaking exercise and also with the identification of challenges faced by Member States and of areas in which the Committee could help strengthen their capacities.
JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), said that his Committee was conducting a comprehensive review as requested by the Council in resolution 1810 (2008) and was tentatively planning to report on the outcome to the Council by 31 January 2010. Through that process, in open meetings and other forums, all States and relevant intergovernmental bodies had an opportunity to share experiences and express their views on the implementation of the resolution. Representatives of industry, academic and non-governmental organizations had also had the opportunity to give input.
He said specific topics on which input was invited included: assessment of the impact of the resolution, such as the establishment and enforcement of criminal or civil penalties for violations of export control laws; regional analysis of implementation; assessment of existing examination tools or assistance templates; and generation of new methods to address gaps in implementation, such as guidelines on handling assistance requests.
In regard to outreach, he said that the Committee and its expert group had actively participated in 20 workshops and other meetings, regional workshops had been organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and by Member States, other organizations and in collaboration with other United Nations bodies.
The Committee, he said, was also intensifying efforts to develop its clearing-house function for channelling assistance to Member States. By taking stock of requests for assistance, the Committee’s experts had been authorized to engage in follow-up dialogue with States concerned to encourage the submission of more developed requests using an assistance template, as appropriate.
In regard to cooperation with other bodies and organizations, he said he looked forward to further joint efforts with the other counter-terrorism committees of the Security Council, particularly in engaging relevant intergovernmental organizations, to enhance information exchange and technical assistance for the implementation of the resolution. As Chair, he travelled to Europe and had fruitful discussion with the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization. He also discussed collaboration with the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and had detailed briefings and discussions with senior International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, noted that the threat from those organizations persisted 10 years after the adoption of the resolution. He added that the review being carried out of his Committee’s Consolidated List of the 488 targeted individuals and entities was an effective instrument to ensure that the List remained dynamic and accurately reflected current threats. He said the review process was a main focus of the Committee’s work.
As of today, he told the Council, the Committee had initiated the review of 422 names by sending them to designated States of citizenship, residence or other connection for review. The remaining 66 names would be sent to reviewing States in the upcoming period. Once all replies from those States were received, and the Committee and Monitoring Team had provided their input, the names would be placed on the Committee’s agenda to be evaluated according to all available information, to consider whether the listing remained appropriate according to the association criteria set out in the relevant resolutions.
To date, he said, the Committee had discussed a total of 71 entries. In 50 of those cases the listing was confirmed to remain appropriate, while eight names, including well-known cases such as Vinck and Sayadi, Nada and Barakaat, had been “de-listed”. For 13 names, the review was still pending, requiring further information. In order to be able to complete the process by the deadline of 30 June 2010, the Committee depended on the active, timely cooperation of Member States, he stressed, thanking States which had already provided assistance.
He repeated his commitment to ensure that the review process was conducted seriously and thoroughly, and pledged to continue to update Member States and the broader public about the progress of the review. He noted that the Committee’s work continued to be accessible on its website, including summaries of reasons for listing in all six official languages of the United Nation. A total of 164 such summaries had been approved for publication in that way, with the first draft of another 294 being received by the designating States.
As of today, he continued, the Consolidated List held 504 entries: 397 individuals (255 associated with Al-Qaida and 142 associated with the Taliban) and 107 entities associated with Al-Qaida. Since the last briefing, the Committee had added five individuals associated with Al-Qaida. During the same period, the Committee approved the de-listing of nine entries, eight in the framework of the review. He noted that, apart from the review, listed individuals and entities continued to have access to a “Focal Point” for de-listing. He went on to describe, in addition, amendments to listings, notifications for exemptions to the asset freeze and notification of the travel of three listed individuals.
Challenges to the listing process, he said, included entries without sufficient identifiers and entries related to persons who might be deceased. There were also increasing criticism by a number of States and individuals because of procedural and human rights concerns, especially regarding the right to be heard and the lack of a review mechanism or the possibility to appeal against the Committee’s decisions. As a result, there were currently about 30 court cases around the world. The Committee, he stressed, was committed to continue improving its procedures in order to introduce more elements of fairness and transparency to overcome such objections. He outlined, in that vein, the reporting done by the Monitoring Team, as well as outreach to Member States and organizations.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said great progress had been made in the coordination and cooperation between the three Committees, but there was still much that could be done to improve cooperation between the Committees themselves. He also welcomed progress made by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the area of stocktaking and in the preliminary implementation assessments. He hoped that exercise could be completed in 2010. In particular, he welcomed the thematic debates. In the facilitation of assistance the strengthening of the rule of law must always be emphasized, and implementation must be done in full compliance with international law, in particular human rights law.
As for the 1267 Committee, he said progress in the review process and the updating of narrative summaries had yielded fruit. The genuine progress made should serve as an impetus for more transparency and the principles of due process. As for the 1540 Committee, he welcomed the open debate on the review process, where new themes had been raised, such as the impact of measures adopted for implementation on due process and human rights. The Committee should now submit to the Council a set of specific recommendations, including in the areas of assistance to States regarding capacity-building. He welcomed the cooperation with the Office for Disarmament Affairs.
In conclusion he said that fighting terrorism with full respect for international law was not only an imperative, but was also key to an effective fight against the scourge, in which the Council played an important role
ALEJANDRO D. WOLFF (United States) said his country and administration supported the important role of the United Nations in reinforcing international and regional counter-terrorism efforts. Turning to the 1267 Committee, he said countering the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban remained one of the most important challenges. There was a need to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to fully implement the 1267 regime. It must be ensured that the Consolidated List was as accurate as possible. Efforts must also continue to ensure that sanctions were applied fairly and in a transparent manner. A new resolution to renew the mandate of the Monitoring Team should include additional steps, in order to guarantee fairness and responsibility in listing and de-listing.
As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said there had been significant improvement of the Executive Directorate’s performance. Welcoming the Executive Directorate’s work in South Asia, he encouraged similar activities in North Africa. There was a need for a more holistic counter-terrorism programme that would work with States to build capacities to confront a range of transnational challenges, including terrorism, he said, underscoring the role of human rights in the fight against terrorism.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he said there had been greater transparency and effectiveness in its work. The Committee was an essential tool for building the non-proliferation regime. He said the assistance request process should be streamlined and made more transparent, and expressed support for a voluntary fund to that end. Further, more cross-fertilization was needed between the three Committees. They should make their work more accessible for international actors, regional organizations and civil society in order to ensure that their work was fully understood.
Mr. URBINA ( Costa Rica) said that the effective use of selective sanctions was an effective tool in dealing with terrorism and, for that reason, a sanctions regime consistent with international standards was of prime importance for the 1267 Committee, which he commended for its review process. The growing number of lawsuits around the world showed the need for an independent review mechanism and his country had worked with many countries to come up with a working document containing options for that purpose. He urged that those options be considered.
He also commended the leadership of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, underlining the importance of working with other organizations and Member States and the use of a flexible approach to fighting terrorism in accordance with international human rights standards. In regard to the 1540 Committee, which his country chaired, he called attention to open meetings and a broad review being held to increase transparency, and he called for such innovations to become standard practice.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom), calling international terrorism “one of the principle threats of our time”, offered condolences to the families and friends of those affected by the attack on United Nations personnel in Kabul. He said he welcomed progress made by the Counter-Terrorism Committee; the stocktaking exercise was an opportunity for dialogue with States whose implementation of resolution 1371 (2001) was inadequate. It must not just be a bureaucratic exercise, and assessments should be made “user-friendly” to better focus technical assistance. He praised the focused visits for allowing the committee to draw out examples of good practice to share more widely. He also welcomed strong relations between the CTED and the Counter-Terrorism Action Group, including through more focused local donor meetings.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he said it was useful to hear views from the wide range of States and international organizations at the review of resolution 1540, and he looked forward to seeing its final outcome document, which should contain practical recommendations for improving implementation. The United Kingdom wanted to see the emphasis shift towards effective implementation in States with more serious deficiencies. Improving delivery of assistance was also critical, and he expressed hope that the meeting of the working group on assistance would create momentum in that regard.
He said that both the review and the work on improving assistance showed the benefits of the new 1540 Committee working group structure. For its part, the United Kingdom had committed up to $750 million towards countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and worked in 18 countries on improving the security of materials and reducing chemical weapons stock, among other things. Its contribution to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund stood at £4 million in 2009.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA ( Uganda) welcomed the close cooperation between the three counter-terrorism committees, as well as progress made by Member States in the completion of the preliminary implementation assessments. He applauded the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate for its work towards a 100 per cent completion of the assessment process, supporting as well the dialogue between Member States, donors and beneficiaries on the facilitation of technical assistance for that purpose. He also supported United Nations strategies, including the cooperation of the three Committees in the effort to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation to non-State actors. He supported, for that purpose, the comprehensive review and related briefings in regard to the implementation of the 1540 resolution.
He said he also shared the view that the Consolidated List remained a useful instrument, but maintained that its credibility would be undermined if existing gaps were not addressed in a timely and effective manner. He was encouraged, therefore, by the efforts of the 1267 committee to improve its procedures by introducing additional elements of fairness and transparency.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) said terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continued to threaten international peace and security. No country was immune from those cross-border threats. There was no room for complacency. It was necessary to act in a steadfast way and strive for more effectiveness. The 1267 sanctions regime had proven to be effective in countering Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists and their affiliates, and in preventing possible terrorist attacks by sanctioning more than 500 people on its Consolidated List. It was necessary to concentrate efforts on further strengthening the sanctions regime. In that context, the rulings of national and regional courts relating to some names on the list needed careful attention. The follow-up to Council resolution 1822, slated for adoption until the end of the year, offered a good opportunity to take the necessary steps. Turkey would pursue a constructive, flexible approach so that the principles of due process and fair procedure were taken into consideration, as called for by some court decisions, without prejudicing the 1267 Committee’s final decisions.
He said he hoped that when the review of the Consolidated List was finalized, the List would better reflect current trends, and be a more credible instrument for coping with the challenges indicated by the Committee Chairman. He noted deficiencies in implementing Council resolutions 1373 and 1624 because of the lack of political will or capacity. The Committee’s dialogue with Member States should be intensified so it could more effectively carry out its task of ensuring that Member States fully understood and implemented their obligations, as called for in the resolutions. Turkey would strive for more progress in that direction based on Croatia’s good example. He supported the comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540, and said efforts in that regard should be continued unabated.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said coordination and cooperation between the three Committees should be expanded. Cooperation was a prerequisite to enhance the Council’s effectiveness in countering the threat of terrorism. The 1540 Executive Directorate had made significant progress in dialogue with States and with country visits, an important instrument. It was of particular importance to implement resolution 1624, countering terrorist ideology. He said he supported participation of the Executive Directorate in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
He said the 1267 Committee was one of the most effective mechanisms of the Council to counter terrorism, but he expressed concern at the expansion of the Taliban’s influence in Afghanistan and outside. It was not true that the link between Al-Qaida and the Taliban was weakening, he said, and it was dangerous to establish contacts with leaders of the group. The updated Consolidated List should reflect the true face to today’s terrorist threat; the Committee should add to the list those who financed terrorism through the sale of illicit drugs.
The goal set out in resolution 1540 (2004) had not lost any relevance, he continued. The threat of terrorists having weapons of mass destruction was still serious. The Committee had worked well over the last six months, with eight meetings held, six of them open with participation of Member States, as well as international and regional organizations, which enhanced transparency. The concluded review process would give impetus to further cooperation.
ABDURRAHMAN SHALGHAM (Libya) welcomed the cooperation between the three Committees and noted improvement in programming and working methods. Special efforts had been made to promote transparency and respect for human rights. Such initiatives must be put in a comprehensive and unanimous context, namely the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The time had also come to address the root causes of terrorism. Double standards should not be used, and the legitimate right of occupied people to resist occupation should be recognized.
As for the 1540 Committee, he said he welcomed the review of the Consolidated List. That list should be updated in such a way that individuals and entities could not challenge their inclusion in court. On the List, there were still names of people who had died, and names of people who had not been fully identified. He encouraged the Committee to continue to apply exemptions, so that it would steer away from a concept of collective punishment.
He noted progress achieved by the 1540 Committee, saying that Libya had submitted its report, as it understood the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. He regretted that current mechanisms were insufficient and not universal, due to the fact that provisions were not integrated in national legislations. The total elimination of the weapons of mass destruction would be the best guarantee that those weapons would not fall in the hands of non-State actors, he said.
EMMANUEL BONNE (France), associating his delegation with the statement to be made by Sweden on behalf of the European Union, paid tribute to recent United Nations victims of terrorism and the Organization’s determination to keep working in Afghanistan. It was crucial for all three counter-terrorism committees to retain the support of all Member States. In regard to the 1267 Committee, he said that the immense review effort was very valuable and deserved to be better known by the public. It must be made very clear, in addition, that resolution 1373 is binding, and, for that reason, efforts to assist States with their obligations were crucial.
On resolution 1540, he said that the visibility of the correspondent Committee should also be increased and efforts should be continued to improve its operations, particularly in the crucial area of assistance. The group chaired by France would do all it could to help in that area. He invited all States to continue to request and provide aid, and he welcomed the work of the special team to share experience and help provide priorities. That team should be institutionalized. He pledged his country’s continued efforts to strengthen the work of all three committees.
MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) expressed satisfaction over the work of the 1540 Committee. The comprehensive review was particularly important and he expressed hope that the information gained would be quickly put into practice. He underlined the importance of regional workshops and other outreach in the implementation of the resolution.
He said that improvement of methods for listing and de-listing entries by the 1267 Committee was essential, and he commended the work of the Monitoring Team in that effort. The wide range of meetings held and the utilization of lessons learned in the process continued to be valuable. He welcomed the completion of assessments by the 1373 Committee, and he emphasized the importance of country visits, including the one to his country. Fully implementing recommendations gathered from the implementation review should make the resolution more effective. He welcomed the cooperation of the three committees with the UNODC and the special task force of the Secretary-General on terrorism.
NORIHIRO OKUDA ( Japan) said that the three Committees should continue their efforts to develop further effective measures to fight terrorism. In regard to the 1267 regime, continued efforts to ensure the credibility of the Consolidated List were indispensable. He commended the review work done thus far.
He also welcomed the work done by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in its efforts to encourage Member States to fully implement resolution 1373, particularly the stocktaking exercise, attaching great importance to identifying specific needs for technical assistance. He noted, however, that some countries were not submitting their preliminary implementation assessments in a timely manner and he urged them to fully cooperate with the Committee in that effort. He supported country visits by the Executive Directorate in that regard, and he advocated the use of shorter, more flexible and more focused visits. He noted that his country continued to support the coordination mechanism between the Executive Directorate and the Counter-Terrorism Action Group, and welcomed the revised survey on the implementation of resolution 1373, hoping it would provide greater understanding of the regional and thematic aspects of counter-terrorism measures.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he said that, in order to ensure sincere compliance by Member States, an approach that took into consideration the specific needs of each country was needed, and he pledged that his country would continue to extend assistance for that purpose. In closing, he underlined the importance of coordination among the three Committees.
HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said his delegation acknowledged with serious concern the complex development in the fight against international terrorism, in particular the evolving threats posed to innocent people by terrorist attacks. In that context, countering terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations, by all means and through all channels, should remain high on the United Nations agenda. His delegation shared the concerns of the 1267 Committee regarding the credibility of the 1267 sanctions regime, and supported continued efforts to address challenges regarding the Consolidated List and improve its procedures.
Noting the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s efforts in reminding Member States of their obligations to respect international law on human rights and refugees in countering terrorism, he encouraged the Committee to engage its Executive Directorate in regional visits, aimed at analysing good practices and addressing vulnerabilities at a regional scale. He also reiterated his delegation’s position that the human rights concerns raised by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the preliminary implementation assessments must be put in the context of counter-terrorism. He said he welcomed the 1540 Committee’s efforts to solicit inputs from Member States, relevant international and regional organizations, representatives of relevant industries, academia and non-governmental organizations to improve implementation of resolution 1540. Moreover, he said, although each of the three Committees had a distinct mandate that determined its framework of activities, his delegation encouraged them to promote, where possible, coordination and cooperation among their expert bodies, with a view to improving the cost-effectiveness in the work of those bodies.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said the review the 1267 Committee was conducting of the Consolidated List was conducive to improving the List’s accuracy and to strengthening the effectiveness and fairness of the sanctions regime. All States should provide the requested detailed and reliable information. The Committee’s discussion on listing and de-listing procedures should ensure that the List became a true living document. A lack of resources and capacity were the major difficulties encountered by many States, in particular developing States, in the implementation process of the resolution.
He said the 1540 Committee had achieved remarkable progress in the review of the resolution’s implementation, and he hoped that the Committee would continue its efforts to carry out its programme of work in a balanced and comprehensive manner. Over the past months, violence and terrorist activities had continued unabated. There was, therefore, still a long way to go for the United Nations counter-terrorism mission. The Council’s counter-terrorism regime should continue to push for the implementation of the relevant resolutions, pay closer attention to the needs of countries in their fight, and help them elevate their capacity. He encouraged strengthened coordination between the three Committees to avoid overlap in their work. They should participate in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, so that efforts of the Council and the Assembly would be mutually reinforced.
PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) said that, in Europe and elsewhere, several States faced major political and legal challenges in implementing the 1267 sanctions regime. In Switzerland, one of the chambers of Parliament had unanimously adopted in September a motion requiring the Swiss Government to cease implementing sanctions against individuals included in the 1267 list, where the individuals had been listed for more than three years without being been brought before a court. The individuals had not had the possibility to resort to an independent authority for a remedy, had not faced charges by a judicial authority, and no new incriminating evidence had been brought forward since the listing.
He said Member States found themselves in a serious dilemma when parliaments or courts challenged the legality of domestic measures that implemented United Nations targeted sanctions. However, while Member States had repeatedly expressed their support for the Council’s measures to fight terrorism, they may have to choose between either fulfilling their Charter obligations or acting in conformity with a decision by their parliaments or courts upholding human rights. That situation could have been avoided, he continued, and the Council could still remedy it by introducing the necessary changes. Otherwise, the application of United Nations sanctions was at risk of becoming fragmented, which would undermine the credibility and efficiency of the whole system.
He highlighted the proposal to create an independent expert panel on the de-listing issue, intended to find a solution that was both politically acceptable for the Council and met legal requirements on the de-listing issue. Such an expert panel would not weaken the Council’s authority, he stressed, but the greater the independence and effectiveness of the panel, the more likely it was that targeted sanctions would find the necessary acceptance in national and regional parliaments and be able to withstand appeals in national or regional courts.
ANDERS LIDÉN ( Sweden), speaking for the European Union and associated States, said the Union would continue to support firm multilateral action against terrorism and was committed to implementing and improving the counter-terrorism framework. The effectiveness of those measures built on their credibility and perceived legitimacy. The Union was actively engaged in discussions aimed at enhancing the design, implementation and effectiveness of sanctions. Specific measures to improve the listing process were welcome, but further improvements were needed on many points, especially with regard to de-listing. The Monitoring Team report offered a valuable basis for that effort, and an important opportunity would be offered by the adoption of the resolution on the matter in December. Currently, the Union was modifying its procedures for implementing the 1267 listing regime, so as to meet the due process requirements of European Courts. Improvements in implementation should also be made at the United Nations level.
Moving on, he said the collective ability to curb terrorism depended on the ability of individual States. Legal frameworks must be strengthened and national capacities bolstered to counter terrorist threats. The Union and its members were among the main providers of capacity-building measures in the areas of rule of law and counter-terrorism. Support would continue for the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, as well as for the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC. Support would also continue for the stocktaking exercise on implementation of measures, with an emphasis on strengthening cooperation with regional organizations in the reporting process and in integrating human rights issues into efforts.
To counter the frightening scenario of terrorists using nuclear and related types of weapons, he said the Union’s Strategy underlined its commitment to the highest export control standards, with significant assistance provided to third countries. In addition to individual State contributions, the Union was spending around Є300 million on cooperative efforts in that regard during the period 2007-2013. He also welcomed the comprehensive review process of States sharing views on implementing resolution 1540. The clearinghouse role of the 1540 Committee in matching assistance with requests should be further developed. And finally, to strengthen implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the Implementation Task Force should be institutionalized.
PEDRO NÚÑEZ MOSQUERA ( Cuba) said that, on numerous occasions, Cuba had submitted to the Security Council detailed information on terrorist acts against the country, perpetrated by several individuals and organizations, as well as on the conspiratorial protection they were given by the United States Government. So far, those denunciations remained without a concrete response.
Last October, he asserted, “the notorious terrorist Santiago Álvarez Fernández-Magriñá” had been released in the United States, and “the international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles” was still free in the United States without being prosecuted for his terrorist acts against Cuba. However, five Cuban heroes had been imprisoned in United States prisons for 11 years for simply combating terrorism perpetrated against Cuba from Miami, in order to prevent terrorists like Posada Carriles and Santiago Álvarez from carrying out terrorist acts against Cuba.
Last April, he went on, for the twenty-eighth consecutive year, the United States Government had included Cuba on a list of States that, supposedly, sponsored international terrorism. Cuba strongly rejected its inclusion on that list, which was politically motivated. With the unjustifiable inclusion of Cuba on the list, the new United States Government denied the political rationality it publicly announced, and followed the wrong path of its predecessors. If the new United States administration really wanted to prove its commitment to the anti-terrorist fight, he said, it now had the opportunity to do so, acting without double standards against various terrorist organizations that, from United States territory, had been attacking Cuba throughout the years. It was in the hands of the United States Government to stop using the issue of terrorism for political purposes, and to end the unfair and groundless inclusion of Cuba on the list of countries that supposedly sponsored terrorism, he added.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein), reaffirming his country’s commitment to international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and endorsing the statement to be made by the Netherlands on behalf of a like-minded group, expressed full support for all efforts to improve the effectiveness and perceived legitimacy of the sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The proposal contained in the statement of the Netherlands -- regarding the establishment of a panel of experts to advise sanctions committees on requests for de-listing -- remained as relevant as ever, he maintained, noting that concerns persisted regarding the fairness of the regime.
While supporting a panel of experts for that purpose, he stressed he was not “wedded” to any particular terminology or institutional solution. He highlighted, however, the need for a more substantive and interactive dialogue than that which was currently taking place through the Focal Point process and the need for a mechanism that could receive confidential information from various sources and that could allow for direct interaction with capital-based authorities of a State. Recent legal developments, in addition, pointed to the need to treat with particular priority de-listing requests that enjoyed the support of the designating State. The complexity of any of those factors, or any others, did not justify inaction in creating a more acceptable process, he said.
JIM MACLAY ( New Zealand) said that, although over the past decade targeted United Nations sanctions had proved to be an effective tool in the global counter-terrorism efforts, it was essential to keep such measures under constant review to ensure they remained effective, credible and relevant. Targeted sanction offered a means of achieving political and security objectives, while minimizing unintended humanitarian and human rights impacts. He was, therefore, encouraged by recent steps to enhance procedures for listing and de-listing relating to the 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List. Renewal of the Monitoring Team’s mandate should ensure that listings were backed up by sufficient information.
He said that, in meeting international counter-terrorism obligations, small developing States faced difficulties. He welcomed efforts by the Secretariat to enhance engagement with small developing States in the Pacific and elsewhere. New Zealand continued to improve its legislative, policy and operational capabilities in line with international standards and obligations. Last month, it had passed a new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism legislation to fully implement the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. His country had also hosted a highly productive visit by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in July.
In conclusion he said that no single measure would be sufficient to counter the continued threat posed by terrorism. Sanctions imposed by the Council, however, played an indispensable role in efforts to combat that threat.
REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP ( Brazil) said Brazil’s federal Constitution enshrined the repudiation of terrorism as a guiding principle of foreign policy. Brazil unequivocally condemned terrorism and was committed to fighting it through effective measures to prevent the planning, preparation and execution of terrorism and other forms of transnational crimes. She said Brazil had presented the Counter-Terrorism Committee with six reports, in line with resolution 1373 (2001), and one, in accordance with resolution 1624 (2005). Brazil’s Government had also given the Counter-Terrorism Committee the information it requested on national implementation of resolution 1373.
She noted progress by the 1267 Committee in addressing key aspects of due process in the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities, updating of its guidelines, developing procedures for reviewing all names on the Consolidated List, and preparing narrative summaries with the reason for listing entries. Such steps were fundamental for enhancing transparency and legitimacy of the sanctions regime. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had also made significant progress in assessing implementation of resolution 1373 and facilitating technical assistance.
On the activities of the 1540 Committee, she said Brazil had closely participated in its comprehensive review. That Committee’s recent open session was an important part of that process, since it allowed Member States to express their views on issues directly affecting them. Many countries faced difficulties in fulfilling their obligations under the resolution; it was important to ensure that reporting requirements did not overburden them. She noted improvements in implementing the sanctions regime established under resolution 1267 (1999), but said its procedures could be further enhanced particularly concerning transparency and due process. She called for improving overall coordination among different United Nations bodies that fought terrorism.
JORGE VALERO (Venezuela), recalling that resolution 1373 (2001) prevented States from providing refuge to those who committed acts of terrorism and prohibited the refusal of requests for the extradition of terrorists based on political reasons, demanded once again that the United States comply with its extradition treaty with Venezuela, or prosecute and punish Luis Posada Carriles, who, he said, masterminded one of the worst acts of aviation terrorism in history -- the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner in Barbados, which took the lives of 73 people.
Outlining the case against Mr. Posada, including allegations that he also smuggled explosives into Cuba, one of which killed an Italian tourist in Havana in 1997, he said that Mr. Posada lived in complete freedom in the United States until 2005, when he openly boasted that the United States State Department was not even looking for him. Then he was arrested and charged with illegally entering the country, not with acts of terrorism. He was currently free and living in Miami. By allowing him to remain at liberty, the United States violated resolution 1373, he claimed, and he called for the United Nations to rule on the case.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) said it was crucial that the United Nations respond to the threat of terrorism in a comprehensive manner and that, to achieve that goal, Member States should effectively implement the Organization’s Global Strategy against terrorism and its Action Plan, which the General Assembly adopted by consensus in 2006. Spain, which historically had suffered from terrorism, had learned that it was vital that the fight against terrorism was conducted with strict respect for international law and human rights.
Mr. Yañez-Barnuevo went on to highlight the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee’s Executive Directorate in its counter-terrorism efforts, and said that Spain had offered technical assistance to the Directorate in different thematic areas and regions of the world. The spread of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related materials presented a challenge to the international community, and it was necessary for all Member States to curtail activities in their regions that would help the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. “The scourge of terrorism continues to threaten the international community”, he said. “To combat this barbarism, my delegation believes that it is imperative to reinforce the commitment of the international community under the strict respect for human rights and international law.”
HERMAN SCHAPER (Netherlands), speaking also for Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, said that, in their view, resolution 1822 represented important innovations, particularly for the review by 30 June 2010 of the names on the 1267 Committee’s list, and the posting of narrative summaries for all names on the Committee’s website. However, it did not address the absence of an effective review mechanism that would provide impartiality, independence and the ability to provide an effective remedy. At stake was the right of individuals to be informed of the sanctions taken against them, to be heard and to challenge the decision. He said a number of recently published authoritative studies and reports had addressed those issues, which challenged the efficiency, legitimacy and credibility of the entire United Nations sanctions regime.
He said it was imperative that targeted sanctions remained an effective instrument for the Council. That required fundamental due process improvements, and he drew attention to a working paper from the countries for whom he spoke. Among its broad range of suggestions were the potential of a panel to build on the current procedures. While discussed primarily in the context of the 1267 sanctions regime, those suggestions applied, as appropriate, to the other regimes. The Council should also pursue an open, inclusive dialogue with interested States, including through its sanctions committees, to achieve further improvements in the listing and de-listing process.
He said it was suggested that the decision-making in that process should be kept within the realm of the Council. The required improvements could be achieved without compromising the Council’s authority. A new resolution on sanctions against Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban and their associates would be an important step towards that aim.
ANDREW GOLEDZINOWSKI ( Australia) expressed his strong support for the work of the three counter-terrorism Committees and encouraged them, along with their expert bodies, to continue to work closely together and with the broader United Nations system and to continue to recognize the regional context of their activities. He also encouraged the 1540 Committee to work with the CTED to identify effective approaches to technical assistance to facilitate implementation of the resolution.
As co-Chair of the project team for best practices adopted by the Financial Action Task Force on implementing asset freezes, he also underlined the importance of the relationship of the subsidiary bodies with other international organizations and Member States, particularly donor and recipient countries. In that context, he welcomed the recent visit to his country by a CTED delegation. Commenting that continual institutional review was crucial, he suggested that procedures being followed by the 1267 Committee, including its procedures for drafting summaries on reasons for each listing, could be a model for other regimes to follow. Finally, he welcomed the recent open meeting of the 1540 Committee and expressed continuing support for the United Nations’ capacity to set international norms on countering terrorism and to encourage adherence to them.
ESHAGH ALEHABIB ( Iran) said that the genuine fight against terrorism relied on how the root causes of terrorism were identified, such as foreign occupation, exclusion, selectivity and expansionist economic and political policies. Perhaps one reason for the rise of terrorist activities was the wrong and selective approach by certain States in dealing with terrorism. As for the work of the 1540 Committee, he said it should not have an operative impact on the rights enshrined in an internationally negotiated instrument, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Statute of the IAEA. Moreover, any emphasis on prohibiting access of non-State actors to weapons of mass destruction and nuclear materials should not divert attention from nuclear disarmament as the highest priority.
Turning to resolution 1373 (2001), he said his country had submitted six national reports, which elaborated concrete steps taken to implement the resolution, including intensified border control. As one of the first victims of terrorism in the region, Iran had displayed its unwavering efforts to fight the threat. In that regard, he drew attention to the MKO terrorist group, which in Iran had perpetrated more than 612 terrorist operations. Despite that appalling record, and in spite of having been designated as a terrorist group by the United States and others, its members continued to enjoy support and receive safe haven in the United States and some member States of the European Union. It was ironic -- and put on display a double standard -- that the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union decided in January to remove the name of that notorious cult from the European Union list of terrorist groups.
He also referred to the Jundullah terrorist group, which in October had attacked local leaders in the border city of Pishin, killing at least 57 and injuring 150, and also, sadly, seemed to enjoy the support of foreign countries. He added that the cold-blooded State terrorism of Israel in the Palestinian Territory was also of serious concern to the international community.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said that his country was among the first to call for efforts to eradicate international terrorism and had asked for an international conference to determine a definition of terrorism and to distinguish it from the legitimate struggle of people suffering from occupation, which was guaranteed under international law. He condemned terrorism as an unjust criminal action and called for action on all levels to combat that scourge. The crimes against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and his people in the occupied Syrian Golan committed by Israel were war crimes and constituted a form of State terrorism, in violation of human rights and international law.
He said Syria cooperated fully with the three Committees and had established national committees to cooperate with them. Although the Council Committees contributed to coordinating international efforts in the fight against international terrorism, they discriminated against certain Member States, as it concentrated on certain geographical groupings and turned a blind eye to other States. His country also fought against money laundering and financing of terrorism, and had participated in numerous international workshops.
As for implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), he said his country had presented a national report to the 1540 Committee and had been one of the first countries to sign the NPT. It did not possess any nuclear weapons or means of their delivery, nor any material to manufacture them. Israel was the sole party in the Middle East that possessed a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and that refused to accede to the NPT. Its installations were not subject to any verification. Its non-compliance with the NPT revealed its disrespect for resolution 1540 (2004) and for the IAEA, he said, and reiterated Syria’s call for the Middle East to become a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
MANJEEV SINGH PURI ( India) said that images of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai remained deeply etched in the minds and hearts of the Indian people as their first anniversary approached, and he called for international resolve to finally reach consensus on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Supporting the work of the three counter-terrorism Committees, he reiterated India’s full commitment to fulfilling its obligations under their respective resolutions, noting it was working towards full membership on the Financial Action Task Force. He expressed concern, however, that the processes of listing and de-listing for the Consolidated List was subject to political pressure.
Noting that India received the first visit of the 1267 Committee this past September, he said he looked forward to cooperating with the team and the regime in the future. He also noted that India had submitted five national reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and had hosted a visit by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in November 2006. He encouraged the ongoing stocktaking exercise towards fully implementing resolution 1373.
Outlining India’s cooperation with the 1540 Committee, he supported the preparation of guidelines for handling requests for assistance in implementing that resolution, affirming that such activities should be undertaken only at the request of countries, keeping in mind their national capacities, procedures and systems. India remained ready to work bilaterally in that way. The involvement of regional organizations needed to be carefully considered, however, since the expertise required may not always be available to countries.
CLAUDIA BLUM (Colombia) emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and related crimes, based on her country’s experience with the terrorist acts of illegal armed groups for which the current raison d’être was drug trafficking. To fight against that scourge, her country had implemented its Democratic Security Policy since 2002, she said, and the international repudiation of terrorist groups was crucial to progress under it. In that context, Plan Colombia, with both national resources and international support, had also made much progress fighting against the trafficking in illicit drugs.
Unfortunately, she continued, Venezuela had not cooperated with Colombia in those areas and had also interfered in its internal affairs; there had been diversion of arms from Venezuela to groups recognized as terrorists that operated in Colombia. She said Venezuela had decided not to continue cooperating within the framework of mechanisms that aimed to fight drug trafficking, and it had generated misinformation about the agreement signed between Colombia and the United States that was restricted to combating illicit drug trafficking and terrorism in Colombia and strictly respected the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference between States. In that context, she said, Colombia received with dismay the threat of war uttered last Sunday by the President of Venezuela that had already been reported to the Security Council.
She said that, sharing the concern of the Council about the connection between terrorism and international crime, Colombia trusted that the Council would continue to promote measures to ensure that all States would refrain from providing any form of support to groups involved in such activities. She pledged her Government’s continued active cooperation with international efforts to fight terrorism and its support for the efforts of other countries to confront international crime.
Taking the floor for a second time, Mr. VALERO ( Venezuela) said his Government, in the person of President Chavez, had been a major player in searching for peace in Colombia. He had, for instance, brought about the freeing of prisoners held by armed groups there. For 60 years, Colombia had suffered from an internal war, a war which also affected Venezuela and other neighbouring countries. Some 4 million Colombians had come to Venezuela where they received help and protection. His Government had a major interest in the conflict coming to an end.
He suggested that Colombia should search for political dialogue to end the violence, instead of resorting to violence, such as invading Ecuador. The Government of Colombia had now concluded a military agreement with the United States, which made it a subject of that country for its policy of aggression against the continent. Venezuela and other countries of the continent had expressed their concern at the establishment of seven United States military bases in Colombia; those bases could be used to monitor and control not only Colombia but also the continent. He said “the evil of drug trafficking” in Colombia had increased significantly, proving that current policies had failed. The Colombian military was being converted into an invasion army of the continent.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS ( United States), replying to allegations about the defence cooperation agreement made by the representative of Venezuela, said it was related only to cooperation within the borders of Colombia, and it harmonized existing bilateral cooperation. It augmented assistance efforts for humanitarian and natural disasters, and also respected the principles of nation sovereignty, non-interventionism and territorial integrity of States. He noted that the United States and Venezuela had restored mechanisms for dialogue in July in order to be able to enhance cooperation in such matters. He urged Venezuela to take advantage of that opportunity.
Ms. BLUM ( Colombia), also replying to the representative of Venezuela, said the information presented today by her country was based on specific and verifiable facts.
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