|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6310th Meeting (AM)
Speakers in Security Council Call for Unified, Global Counter-Terrorism Effort,
Following Briefings by Chairs of Committees Set Up to Spearhead Fight
‘1540 Resolution’ Designed to Prevent Terrorist Acquisition of Mass Destruction
Weapons Draws Key Global Action, as Many States Take Vital Legal Steps, Says Chair
Participants in an open debate in the Security Council today stressed the continued need for a unified, global fight against terrorism and welcomed efforts to make the Council’s three counter-terrorism committees more effective, coordinated and transparent, following briefings by their Chairpersons.
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 — Claude Heller of Mexico, who chairs the 1540 Committee, said that the Committees and their expert groups were now working jointly in developing a strategy, coordinating with other organizations and assisting Member States in reporting and other compliance measures.
Describing the activities of his own Committee, he said that a recently completed review confirmed that resolution 1540 (2004) had prompted significant action across the globe, with nearly 160 States having reported on their capabilities and challenges in preventing terrorists from accessing weapons of mass destruction. Many had reported legal measures to counter non-State traffic of such weapons; many others, however, had reported gaps in their legal regimes.
The extensive follow-up on the review, he said, included work with other intergovernmental organizations, at both the diplomatic and expert levels, as well as workshops to help Member States implement the resolution. The Chairman had been meeting, in addition, with representatives of Member States that had not yet presented a first report to the Committee to encourage them to do so.
Thomas Mayr-Harting of Austria, Chairman of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, reported on methods to update the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities, following the directives of Council resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1904 (2009) to ensure that the consolidated list remained dynamic, reflected current threats and that the process was fair. In that effort, all 488 names were being reviewed.
So far, he said, 24 names had been de-listed and 5 deceased individuals had been removed. The review of 35 names was still pending as more information was necessary. The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson, where listed entities and individuals could present their cases, was another important step towards fairness and transparency in the regime.
He described outreach to Member States concerning the outcome of the review process, and said that the Committee would intensify its dialogue with authorities in Afghanistan. The Committee was aware of remaining challenges and was committed to improve its procedures in the interest of both effectiveness and human rights, but depended on States to provide relevant information, he stressed.
Ertuğrul Apakan of Turkey, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said that body had adopted a more strategic and transparent approach in its deliberations and working methods and, in the last six months, had taken up issues such as border control and security, implementation and assessment of resolution 1624 (2005), maritime security and terrorist acts committed at sea, implementation of the extradition requirements and law enforcement.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said, was now working on policy guidance for international legal cooperation. He described the ways in which the Committee was reaching out to Member States, improving transparency and increasing dialogue with Member States to identify areas where the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) was lagging.
Through the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Mr. Apakan said, the Committee continued to strengthen international cooperation on fighting terrorism, working with the other Council committees, as well as international and regional organizations.
Following those presentations, speakers affirmed the continued need to strengthen the global fight against terrorism, with many pointing to recent attacks around the world as evidence that the threat remained as potent as ever. Most speakers also welcomed the efforts of the Committees to improve their methods of work and to communicate better with Member States.
Most also welcomed the progress achieved in the operations of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee through the adoption of resolution 1904 (2009), with its reforms in listing and de-listing procedures and its establishment of the Office of Ombudsperson for the process. Speakers urged that the process continue to be refined for accuracy and due process, and that all Member States cooperate.
Many speakers also called on the Committees to increase their briefings to Member States, with many developing countries stressing the need for further technical assistance to help them comply with their obligations under counter-terrorism resolutions. Some speakers called for more robust funding mechanisms for that purpose.
Speaking today were the representatives of China, Uganda, United States, Japan, Russian Federation, Gabon, Brazil, France, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, New Zealand, India, Cuba, Israel, Argentina, Morocco, Norway (also on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden), Syria, Tunisia, Iran, Venezuela and Colombia, as well as the Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union, on behalf of the Union and associated States.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and closed at 2:25 p.m.
The Security Council met today to hear briefings by the Chairs of its three “anti-terrorism” committees: the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), also known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al‑Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, also known as the Security Council Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), or the 1540 Committee, 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 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 to share information about groups planning terrorist attacks.
Seeking to revitalize the Committee’s work, in 2004, the Council adopted resolution 1535, creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate to provide the Counter-Terrorism Committee with expert advice on all areas covered by resolution 1373 (2001). The Executive Directorate 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 13 November 2009. (See Press Release SC/9788)
CLAUDE HELLER (Mexico), making a joint statement 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), gave an update on what he called the increased cooperation among the Committees and their expert groups, namely, the Monitoring Team, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the 1540 Committee Expert Group.
He said the expert groups had increased their mutual exchange of information, joint country visits, joint capacity-building and technical assistance, coordinated participation in conferences, and advanced implementation of a coordinated strategy on dealing with non- or late-reporting States. The Committees looked forward to receiving further guidance from the Council on areas of common interest, in order better to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts.
Turning to the Committee established pursuant to Council resolution 1540 (2004), which he heads, he noted that a comprehensive review had been launched in response to a decision of the Security Council in resolution 1810 (2008). The key findings and recommendations had been sent to the Council on 29 January and could be found in document S/2010/52. The review confirmed that the adoption of the resolution had prompted significant steps across the globe to prevent non-State actors from manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, developing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and had also facilitated the gathering of comprehensive data of measures taken by States in that regard.
Nearly 160 States had reported on their capabilities and gaps in stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he said. Many reported legal measures to counter non-State traffic of weapons of mass destruction; many others, however, reported gaps in their legal regimes. Fewer measures had been taken in some areas, such as biological weapons, means of delivery, national control lists and access to related materials and financing of prohibited or illicit proliferation activities.
The extensive follow-up to the comprehensive review had included visits to several headquarters of intergovernmental organizations, at both the diplomatic and expert level, as well as workshops focused on streamlining nuclear security and nuclear counter-terrorism, strengthening non-proliferation, the reduction of risk from radioactive materials, nuclear detection architecture, preparedness and response to biological terrorism and other relevant issues. The Committee had also streamlined its method of work, aiming to hold monthly meetings and as many meetings of its four working groups as necessary to guide and review the work of the Group of Experts.
The Chairman had met informally, in addition, with representatives of Member States that had not yet presented a first report to the Committee to encourage them to do so, he said. He expressed the intention to follow up through bilateral dialogues with those States.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, said that countries around the world continued to face the threats posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. It was therefore important to ensure that the existing sanctions regime remained relevant. Resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1904 (2009) were important steps in the evolution of that regime and had improved procedures and provided instruments to ensure that the consolidated list remained dynamic and reflected the threats.
He said that resolution 1822 (2008) directed the Committee to review all names on the lists by 30 June. During the first phase of review, letters had been sent to designating States and States of citizenship, among others, with the request to respond within three months. Although resolution 1904 (2009) had requested States to respond by March to all review letters, not all responses had been received. It was essential that all available information be provided. The Committee was now going through the review of all 488 names, evaluating all information and considered if lifting remained appropriate. Twenty-four names had been de-listed and five deceased individuals had been removed so far. The review of 35 names was still pending, as more information was necessary.
Resolution 1904 (2009) had substantially improved the procedures in terms of due process, with the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson, where listed entities and individuals could present their cases for the first time, he noted. Resolution 1904 (2009) had also introduced provisions to increase transparency regarding information relevant to States. The narratives for reasons of listing would be made available on the Committee’s website. Every six months, a review of deceased persons would be conducted, and an annual review would be conducted of the names on the list that had not been reviewed for three or more years.
He said that as far as outreach was concerned, he had had held an open briefing for Member States on 1 February. He would hold the next briefing in July to inform Member States about the outcome of the review process. Moreover, the Committee would intensify its dialogue with authorities in Afghanistan. The sanctions regime had encountered severe criticism because of procedural and human rights concerns. Resolution 1904 (2009) had addressed many of those concerns. The Committee was aware of remaining challenges and was committed to improve its procedures in that regard, but depended on States to provide relevant information.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey), Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said the Committee continued to work actively to advance the global fight against terrorism, which continued to be a major threat to international peace and security although nearly a decade had passed since the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001). Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) were as relevant as ever. For the first half of 2010, the Committee had decided to adopt a more strategic and transparent approach in its deliberations and had streamlined its working methods by establishing preliminary implementation assessments. Those assessments remained one of the main instruments for effective monitoring of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
He said that, in the past six months, the Committee had taken up issues such as border control and security, implementation and assessment of resolution 1624 (2005), maritime security and terrorist acts committed at sea, implementation of the extradition requirements and law enforcement. The Committee was now working on policy guidance on international legal cooperation. In February, two thematic briefings for Member States had been held on maritime security and terrorist acts committed at sea and on global legal cooperation. Regional discussions had also been held.
In order to provide more transparency, the Committee had made public the technical guide on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and had started to further improve its website. The Committee’s Executive Director Mike Smith and the Chairman had briefed Member States on 8 April about the work of the Committee in the first three months of 2010.
He noted that the Committee had finalized the analysis and adoption of the preliminary implementation assessments, which would allow it to enhance the regular dialogue with Member States and to further identify areas where the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) was still inadequate. The Committee had already finalized 48 files. It had also continued to organize and conduct visits to Member States with their consent. The Committee’s Executive Directorate was also conducting regional visits. On-site visits had been completed to Timor-Leste, Brunei Darussalam, Tunisia, Greece and Yemen. The Committee and the Executive Directorate had also worked to enhance their ongoing dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries on the facilitation of technical assistance. Thus far, 108 States had submitted reports to the Committee on implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).
Through the Executive Directorate, the Committee had continued to participate actively in the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, with a view to implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, he said. The Executive Directorate co-chairs the Working Group on Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism (I-Act). The Committee and the Executive Directorate had also continued to engage actively with the other two Committees. The Committee had placed particular emphasis on increasing its dialogue and cooperation with other relevant international and regional organizations, such as the African Union and the Organization of American States.
In the coming period, the Committee planned to organize a seminar on “Bringing Terrorists to Justice”, in New York. It was also considering holding two special meetings: one with international, regional and subregional organizations and the other to review the global efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001), he said.
LI BAODONG (China) said that the success of the work of the anti-terrorism Committees required the cooperation of the complete membership of the United Nations. He welcomed, in particular, the results of resolution 1904 (2009) and the increased cooperation among all three Committees, with each other and with other international organizations. Terrorism still posed a potent threat to international peace and security, and the Security Council should continue to address it. The Council Committees should strengthen their coordination, optimize their resources and interact with Member States in a constructive and transparent manner, and assist Member States, particularly developing countries, to abide by their obligations under the relevant resolutions.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA ( Uganda) commended the Committees on their greater coordination and creation of synergies, which were key to encouraging implementation of the resolutions. Terrorism and access of weapons of mass destruction posed a serious threat to international security, and a common strategic approach to fight terrorism was needed. He welcomed the review of the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee’s work and looked forward to its completion, as well as the appointment of the Ombudsperson. In addition, he welcomed the outreach activities of all the Committees, stressing the importance for them to work with Member States and other international organizations, including the African Union.
Pointing to the connection with the trade in illicit drugs and terrorism, he welcomed cooperation between the Committees and INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He also stressed the importance of capacity‑building in criminal justice, particularly in developing countries, in order to ensure that those involved in terrorist-related activities were prosecuted.
SUSAN RICE (United States) said the importance of the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee’s work had been underscored repeatedly and tragically in recent weeks, including by the events in Times Square and the deadly bombings in Iraq. Terrorism remained one of the most complicated global threats, which could not be addressed by one single country alone. The United States would therefore continue to reach out to forge international coalitions with the goal of working with all members to disrupt Al-Qaida and its allies. It would also strengthen its counter-terrorism partnership with the United Nations, underpinned by three core principles: exclusivity and transparency; implementation; and relevance concerning national and regional efforts to counter terrorism threats.
She said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee had become more efficient and had kept the wider membership up to date through, among other things, open meetings. It was imperative that it and its Executive Directorate continue their focus on technical assistance, and she commended in that regard their recent visit to Yemen. The Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime was an effective counter-terrorism tool and a symbol of international consensus. The Council had devoted great effort to ensure its effectiveness and relevance. The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson would help to ensure that listing procedures were fair and transparent. The comprehensive review of the consolidated list should ensure that each entry was up to date. She also welcomed the posting of narrative summaries online.
The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., had underscored the critical work of the 1540 Committee in preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into terrorists’ hands, she said. Ways must be found to strengthen the cooperation between the three Committees. The Committee must focus on support for more robust funding mechanisms, such as a voluntary fund to help States to completely implement the resolutions. She also underlined the importance of additional national reporting to the Committee and sharpening of national implementation plans.
NORIHIRO OKUDA (Japan) said that the continued threat of terrorism required a comprehensive approach and enduring engagement on the part of the international community, in which the three Committees played a central role. The threat of Al‑Qaida and Taliban continued unabated. In order for the sanctions regime to be effective, the relevance of the consolidated list was of the utmost importance. He welcomed in that regard the establishment of the Ombudsperson. While noting that the Committee had reached the final stage in reviewing entries on the consolidated list, he stressed the importance of States’ inputs.
He welcomed progress made in streamlining the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. There had been fruitful discussions this year and he hoped for further discussions on thematic issues and for positive outcomes from regional discussions. He attached great importance to the Executive Directorate’s role to identify needs for technical assistance and underlined the importance of country visits as a valuable tool to assess technical assistance needs.
The 1540 Committee did important work in the field of non-proliferation, he said, expressing appreciation for the closer cooperation between the three Committees, hoping that would avoid duplication of work.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) welcomed the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee towards self-review and greater dialogue with Member States and international organizations. He urged regular meetings with regional organizations, saying that the focus should be on such topical subjects as extradition, pursuant to the requirements of resolution 1373 (2001). The horrendous attacks on the Moscow subway showed the continued relevance of international efforts to fight terrorism.
Concerning resolution 1267 (1999), he noted the growing links between the Taliban and Al-Qaida, and urged States to take measures against the individuals and entities on the consolidated list, affirming the importance of keeping the lists up to date in strict compliance with procedure. He welcomed the appointment of the Ombudsperson and stressed the importance of fighting illicit drug traffic, which helped to fund the terrorists. He affirmed the importance as well of keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists through the work of the 1540 Committee, which should continue to support compliance with the resolution as a matter of urgency. He pledged his country’s continued efforts to work with other Member States in that area.
EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET (Gabon) welcomed the work of the three Committees, including the technical assistance provided to his country. Recent attacks had reaffirmed the persistent threat and the need for a strong and unambiguous response to eliminate the terrorist threat throughout the world. On the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he welcomed efforts to update the list and provision of assistance and guidance, given that the activities of Al‑Qaida and Taliban now affected the whole world, including Africa. He encouraged the 1540 Committee to continue its outreach and dialogue with Member States and non-governmental organizations. He also welcomed the increase in thematic debates in the Security Council on issues related to terrorism and other areas. He added that the three Committees must continue to review their activities thoroughly and report comprehensively to the Council, in order to strengthen the common fight against terrorism.
REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP (Brazil) said her country supported international counter-terrorism efforts and had submitted all requested reports. The Council had taken important decisions to enhance the legitimacy of its counter-terrorism measures, the most important among them the adoption of resolution 1904 (2009). The forthcoming appointment of an Ombudsperson, as well as the new procedures for de-listing, would make it easier to reconcile the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism and the protection of human rights.
She said the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee had also undergone important changes. She welcomed in that regard its improved dialogue and cooperation with Member States and its facilitation of technical assistance. The Committee had also reached out to regional and international organizations, which she also welcomed, as well as the holding of open briefings.
Important strides had been made with the adoption of the final document of the comprehensive review and the programme of work for 2010 for the 1540 Committee, she said. That Committee had also participated in numerous meetings in various forums, strengthening the partnerships crucial to achieving the Committee’s goals. Efforts to coordinate and enhance the dialogue among the three Committees were also welcome.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) said recent terrorist attacks, including near the United Nations, had proved to everyone the extent to which the threat was present. The three Committees were very useful from an operational point of view, and improving their working methods should continue. He noted that a focal point had been created for the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, through which entities and individuals could request removal from the consolidated list. Establishment of the Ombudsperson would be a useful tool. The Committee had also revised the list to ensure that it was realistic regarding the threats. A number of terrorists had been prevented from carrying out their acts because financing or travel had been frozen. All States concerned, therefore, must assist the Committee.
The work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was also essential, he said. Through the reporting procedures, it checked that national measures undertaken to implement the resolution were effective, which was in everybody’s interest. He called on that Committee to play a more strategic role within the United Nations by building on adopted measures to better take into account the terrorist risks and to also consider the human rights aspects.
Concerning the 1540 Committee, he said that weapons of mass destruction remained one of the main threats, and he welcomed the commitments made during the recent summit in Washington, D.C. Noting that more than 30 States had not yet reported, he called on all Member States to respond. More progress could also be made in the areas of assistance. He encouraged closer cooperation.
PHILIP JOHN PARHAM (United Kingdom) welcomed the progress achieved in the operations of the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee through the adoption of resolution 1904 (2009), with its reforms in listing and de-listing procedures and the appointment of an Ombudsperson. The Committee still had much work to do as the review of the consolidated list neared completion. He pledged to continue to play a constructive role in that process, urging all States to do the same.
In regard to the Al‑Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime, he urged all States to help ensure that it remained credible, welcoming in that context that resolution 1904 (2009) confirmed that measures targeting the financing of terrorism applied to the payment of ransoms to individuals and entities on the consolidated list. Kidnapping must not become a major source of revenue for terrorists, and his country’s policy in that regard was clear — not to pay ransoms or make other substantive concessions to hostage-takers.
He welcomed the increasingly effective outreach work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate, but said that the Committee itself could play a more effective role in the global counter-terrorism architecture. He supported recent reforms for that purpose. He also welcomed the outcome of the comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), hoping that it would lead to better working methods, speedier and more effective matching of implementation assistance requests with donor funds and capabilities, and better cooperation with other global actors. He noted the relevance of last month’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., to the topics being discussed today.
RAFF BUKUN-OLU WOLE ONEMOLA (Nigeria) welcomed the efforts of the Committees to make their work more effective, cooperate with each other and reach out to Member States, to assist them to fulfil their obligations under the various resolutions. He urged continued review of the Al‑Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime, urging that it continue to increase its transparency and dialogue with Member States to accomplish updating the list within due process, international law and respect for human rights. He supported efforts of the 1540 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to make their work more effective, welcoming Executive Directorate’s ongoing dialogue with partners on technical assistance and other areas. He urged strengthened cooperation between the Committees as well as stronger efforts in awareness-building.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) expressed support for a strengthened and improved sanctions regime through resolution 1904 (2009) and said he looked forward to the appointment of an Ombudsperson as a step towards more transparent and clear sanctions procedures. His Government also supported the process to review the consolidated list. In addition, he commended the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in helping to identify challenges and difficulties countries faced today in implementing their obligations.
He expressed support, as well, for the 1540 Committee, saying it was one of the fundamental instruments of the United Nations counter-terrorism and non-proliferation regime. In its short history, it had proven crucial in addressing terrorism and extending expertise and support to Member States in developing their capacity to face the threat of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Full cooperation with that Committee, and a timely and comprehensive response to the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004), were critical to a strong response to that global threat. He was pleased to note more active engagement of Member States in implementing that resolution — through dialogue and other outreach activities — as a result of the comprehensive review of its implementation.
Speaking in her national capacity, Council President CAROLINE ZIADE (Lebanon) welcomed the efforts undertaken to strengthen transparency and respect for human rights, particularly through the improvement of the working methods of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. She called for more reform to avoid improper action by the Committee, saying the review of the consolidated list should be a periodic process, to avoid gaps or discrepancies on the list. She hoped the Ombudsperson would be appointed in the near future so that he or she could contribute to justice and transparency. She asked that a close look be taken at the conflicts between decisions taken by local or regional courts and sanctions taken by the Committee in order to make the sanctions legitimate.
As for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she welcomed the new working methods, with the aim of providing for broader debate. The fight against terrorism was after all a collective effort. She also welcomed efforts by the Executive Directorate to provide technical assistance to developing countries. The Committee should also continue coordination with regional organizations. Resolution 1540 (2004) not only dealt with the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, but also of chemical and biological weapons. She called for full implementation of global measures to combat non-proliferation, particularly in the Middle East.
She said that Lebanon, bruised as it was by terrorism, called on all to distinguish between legitimate resistance to occupation on the one hand and terrorism on the other. Despite United Nations resolutions and measures, acts of terrorism continued throughout the world. In the fight against it, one should look at the root causes and eliminate areas of tension. Double standards in resolutions, occupation, injustice and attacks on human dignity and human rights should also be ended.
KIRSTY GRAHAM (New Zealand), describing ways in which her country was strengthening its national counter-terrorism framework, said the Government had overhauled its regime to counter money laundering and terrorism financing, to bring it into compliance with the standards of the financial action task force. It was moving forward with designations of terrorist entities not listed by the United Nations, with four such designations announced in February by the Prime Minister. In addition, it was working to ratify the four instruments to which New Zealand was not yet party — the 2005 maritime terrorism instruments were currently before Parliament and legislation was being drafted to implement in full the 2005 nuclear terrorism instruments. Around the region, it was supporting Pacific island neighbours, including by providing funds to the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch for its programme of assistance to the Pacific. It was providing training and equipment to law enforcement counterparts in South-East Asia, and supporting a range of initiatives to counter extremist messages and terrorism recruitment.
She said her Government looked forward to welcoming the United Nations counter-terrorism committees to the next Pacific Forum Working Group on counter-terrorism in early June. She commended Council efforts to refine its sanctions regime, but said those needed full and timely responses from Member States to help complete the review of names on the consolidated list. New Zealand had participated in the 1540 Committee’s comprehensive review and looked forward to working with the Committee to implement its recommendations in the region. In that respect, New Zealand would be co-sponsoring a workshop in July for South-East Asian countries. Her country applauded the United States initiative of hosting a successful Nuclear Security Summit last month. It was committed to helping implement its outcomes through targeted bilateral and regional engagement in the Asia-Pacific.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said terrorism threatened democratic values, destroyed lives, reversed development, and, ultimately, seriously threatened all States and all societies. That global threat required a broad and coordinated response, especially with deep and ever-present concerns about the potential nexus between clandestine proliferation and terrorism, such as dangerous weapons or vulnerable nuclear materials falling into the hands of non-State actors. Terrorism must be resolutely opposed, resisted and overcome through the international community’s sustained commitment.
He said that international solidarity and shared determination were absolutely imperative to combat the scourge effectively; the success of counter-terrorism measures and mechanisms required the full participation of all Member States in the processes that affected collective security. India had a keen interest in expeditiously concluding the long-in-negotiation comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It was in the interest of all Member States to adopt the instrument as soon as possible, as it would motivate multilateral and collective action in countering that scourge. Almost all the elements of the proposed treaty had withstood the scrutiny of legal experts, and now all that was required was political will to ensure its early adoption.
India supported United Nations anti-terrorism mechanisms, including those being discussed today in the Council, he said. Moreover, India’s regulatory and legislative framework was fully geared to implementing its obligations under the relevant resolutions. His delegation looked forward to greater efforts to bring together the interrelated aspects of the operational mechanisms of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, 1540 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and dovetailing those with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
He said that, while the Council had focused on upgrading the existing mandates of its counter-terrorism mechanisms, those efforts should be supplemented with a more collaborative approach that included extending assistance and making use of available regional expertise and appropriate technologies. Specifically concerning the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he said that, while India supported measures to strengthen the listing process and ensure that, through the Ombudsperson’s Office, the fairness and transparency of the sanctions regime was enhanced, it was nevertheless concerned that the consolidated list “continues to be subjected to political will and pressure”.
“[That is] a scenario we can ill afford in our united fight against terrorism [and] we encourage the 1267 Committee to continue to work towards improving both the content and functionality of its website,” he said. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate should play a more effective role in their mandated field. As for the 1540 Committee, he supported efforts under way to prepare guidelines for handling assistance requests and to find ways to address the most commonly encountered gaps in implementing that body’s founding resolution. It was important that such activities were performed at the request of Member States and that their varying national capabilities procedures and systems be kept in mind.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, speaking on behalf of the Union and its associated States, pointed to the failed terrorist attack in New York two weeks ago as a reminder of the continued threat of terrorism. The effectiveness of multilateral counter-terrorism frameworks depended on their credibility and perceived legitimacy, and that they be governed by a set of fair and clear procedures. The adoption of resolution 1904 (2009) had been a significant step towards those goals. The establishment of an Office of the Ombudsperson was also an important development, and he hoped an Ombudsperson would be appointed soon.
He said that the European Union, for its part, had revised its procedures to be fairer and clearer, and to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of persons affected by targeted measures. Meeting its goal required reinforced collaboration with the United Nations, primarily with the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. The Union trusted that further changes to procedures would be considered where needed.
On implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), he praised the excellent work done by the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, and the enhanced cooperation between it and relevant bodies in the United Nations and other international organizations, such as the Council of Europe. He highlighted the Directorate’s efforts to facilitate the provision of technical assistance and its intention to undertake a permanent dialogue between donor States and recipients. Discussions in the Committee over recent months in areas such as mutual legal assistance and effective judicial cooperation had been “very productive” and should be reflected when its mandate was renewed later this year.
Commenting on resolution 1540 (2004), he said that resolution gave a strong legal basis to the European Union’s diplomatic and financial efforts to tackle proliferation by explicitly addressing illicit trafficking and procurement networks. In particular, it addressed the involvement of non-State actors, including terrorists, in the proliferation of technology for weapons of mass destruction. The Union had been actively updating its regulation on export controls on dual-use goods, for example. Beyond export control, it planned to spend approximately €300 million on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear cooperation with third countries for the period from 2007 to 2013. The objective was to develop centres of excellence in partnership with key regions, such as the Middle East, South-East Asia and parts of Africa.
PEDRO NÚÑEZ MOSQUERA (Cuba) unequivocally condemned all terrorism, but objected to the unilateral drafting of lists accusing States of supporting terrorism, a practice that he maintained was not in accordance with international law. Since 1982, Cuba had been put on the United States annual list of State sponsors of terrorism and, as a result, had become the target of draconian sanctions, without the least evidence. He demanded Cuba’s immediate removal from that list, the inclusion on which he called politically motivated.
He maintained that it was not in Cuba but in the United States where a “terrorist mafia” acted with impunity against Cuba, causing thousands of deaths and serious injuries and tens of billions of dollars in material losses. The United States also maintained a double standard because it did not prosecute those who had confessed responsibility for horrible terrorist attacks against Cuba, including Luis Posada Carriles. He demanded once more that Posada Carriles be either prosecuted as a terrorist or extradited to Venezuela. If the United States wanted to prove its commitment to the fight against terrorism, it should also release five Cubans now in high-security prisons for their information-gathering activities, which aimed at preventing terrorism. Concluding, he said that Cuba would continue to strictly abide by resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004).
GABRIELA SHALEV (Israel) pointing to recent attacks in New York and Moscow, said that terrorism remained a global and vivid threat, transcending borders. Sufficient political will, however, had not as yet been shown in enforcing mechanisms to prevent terrorists from acting with impunity from the territory of Member States, some of which supported, harboured and trained terrorists and smuggled weapons in her region. Hamas and Hizbullah had found such havens. Implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) should go beyond State reporting. No counter-terrorism strategy was complete without addressing incitement.
She welcomed measures to strengthen the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, noting Israel’s strong cooperation with the Directorate and adding that, through the country’s unique and tragic experience with terrorism, Israel willingly shared its best practices in counter-terrorism and was constantly considering ways to strengthen technical cooperation. She also welcomed improvements in the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, hoping that a competent individual would be appointed as Ombudsperson. Affirming the importance of the 1540 Committee’s work, she said periodic briefings by the Expert Coordinator would be extremely helpful. The international community must continue to improve measures to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists, she said, pointing to the dangerous and continuous smuggling of arms in her region.
JORGE ARGÜELLO (Argentina) said that having an Ombudsman was a positive step for bringing the sanctions regime closer in line with the minimum requirements of due process and, therefore, more respectful of ius cogens, the protection of human rights and the rule of law. An Ombudsman should be appointed urgently, and guidelines must be developed for the new institution that would review the de-listing procedures in an effective and fair manner. The institution was one way to address rebuttals from international organizations, courts and parliaments of various States towards the sanctions committees. His Government also looked forward to adequate treatment of proof issues, for there must be a balance between security, confidentiality and respect for due process. Trust garnered through meetings organized by the Monitoring Team could become an important contribution.
On resolution 1822 (2008), he said it was important to remove the deceased persons from the list and to continue working to improve the identification and listing process of individuals and entities. Turning to 1540 Committee, he told the Council that Argentina had submitted its national report and relevant updates. It had also established a technical group to train national and foreign experts in identifying sensitive materials. Argentina was a member of the five sensitive export control regimes. At the same time, he reaffirmed the inalienable right of States to develop “investigation, production and peaceful use” of nuclear energy. For 60 years, Argentina had engaged in peaceful nuclear activity that had contributed to Argentineans’ improved welfare, particularly in terms of medicine.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) said the three Council Committees represented an important mechanism in the fight against terrorism and assistance to Member States in that regard. Morocco continued its efforts to fully implement all relative Council resolutions against terrorism in all its manifestations. He welcomed the efforts towards greater cooperation and coordination between the three Committee and their expert groups.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he welcomed the bold programme of work, especially measures aimed at effective implementation of the resolutions’ provisions and the holding of regular briefings for Member States. As for the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, he welcomed the efforts to improve the effectiveness, credibility and transparency of the sanctions regime, particularly through the review of the consolidated list. He took note of the 1540 Committee’s programme of work for 2010 and welcomed the planned activities aimed at awareness-raising, cooperation and assistance. He also welcomed the approach adopted to strengthen facilitation of technical assistance by matching supply and demand for assistance.
Effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures involved the establishment of cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, especially in regions that were the declared targets of terrorist groups, he said. Such cooperation should involve all stakeholders. The Maghreb and Sahel subregions continued to face terrorist acts, and national efforts remained insufficient. Morocco had not spared any efforts to contribute to all initiatives to combat and eliminate that threat, based on the belief that terrorism was a complex phenomenon and that efforts to combat it must be based on a synergy of actions, including addressing its deeply rooted causes.
MORTEN WETLAND (Norway), speaking also on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, said it was essential to deny terrorists safe havens, mobility and financing, and to make sure that they were brought to justice. Efforts should be supplemented by improving education, fostering cultural understanding, promoting economic and social development and encouraging peaceful resolution of conflicts and respect for human rights. Capacity-building in that regard was of vital importance. All must be prepared to assist countries in implementing the relevant resolutions. There was a need for a well-coordinated, strategic and sustained engagement by the different parts of the United Nations system, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
He said it was important to maintain targeted sanctions as an effective, legitimate and credible tool in the counter-terrorism context. He welcomed progress achieved in enhancing transparency and fairness on the listing procedures of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. Noting with concern that the deadline of June 2010 for the complete review of the consolidated list might be breached, he encouraged all States to respond to information requests so that the Committee could complete its review in a timely manner. The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson was an important innovation. Listing and de-listing procedures should be kept under constant review.
One area in the fight against violent extremism that needed increased attention was the de-radicalization and rehabilitation programmes aimed at bringing groups and individuals back into society, he said. Sharing of lessons learned by countries that had experience with such programmes would enable development of more effective policies. The United Nations might be able to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences between interested countries and support those who needed assistance in starting up such programmes. That issue should be discussed at the Second Review Conference for the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) said that his country, which had been a victim of terrorism, had continuously condemned terrorism and called for efforts to defeat it at all levels, in a manner that corresponded to international law and the United Nations Charter. In summoning coordinated international action, it had called for a clear definition of terrorism, excluding the responses of those chafing under the yoke of foreign occupation. He also condemned State terrorism, of which he accused Israel in its actions against the Palestinians. He said that Israel also practiced nuclear terrorism against all States of the region.
He said his country cooperated with all three counter-terrorism committees. He was convinced of the important role of the United Nations in combating terrorism, and of the importance of the Security Council in the effort. However, he maintained that there were double standards in the handling of different countries in United Nations efforts. His country’s efforts against money laundering that funded terrorism had been widely recognized, and it had participated in numerous workshops on combating terrorism. Syria had also been an early signatory to non-proliferation regimes, while Israel still refused compliance, showing disrespect for resolution 1540 (2004). He reiterated the call to make the Middle East a region free from nuclear weapons.
GHAZI JOMAA (Tunisia) said his country had submitted seven reports pursuant to Council resolutions concerning threats to international peace and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It was party to 12 sectoral United Nations conventions on terrorism. A draft law had just been examined by the Council of Ministers last month, as a measure of the country’s adherence to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. In addition, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate had visited Tunisia, where it had conducted constructive discussions with Tunisian authorities on the country’s counter-terrorism strategy and steps taken to ensure full implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). In turn, the Government looked forward to “timely follow-up” to its technical assistance needs, since capacity-building was one of the main pillars of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
He said capacity-building through technical assistance was one area where international cooperation and solidarity could bring tangible results. United Nations entities had the potential to play a more relevant role in that regard. The field had not reached its full potential, since technical assistance should go beyond legislation and best practices to include information sharing and transfer of technology and equipment, in such areas as border control and surveillance.
Turning to the work of Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee in reviewing the consolidated list, he remarked that it was a delicate task that “should not lead to any precipitation and hasty decisions”. The Committee should further enhance its procedures and transparency, so as to take into account the views of States not members of the Committee before listing or de-listing their nationals. He joined others in encouraging the timely appointment of an Ombudsman by the Secretary-General. Pointing to resolution 1904 (2009), which touched on payment of ransom to terrorist groups, he noted that there was “no difference” between ransom payments and any other form of financing for Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. Hostage-taking resulted in further terrorist attacks. There was still room for more action to condemn unambiguously the payment of ransom to terrorist groups.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran) said that addressing the global threat of terrorism required an integrated and comprehensive approach, taking into account the underlying causes for terrorism and its breeding grounds. It also required the political will of all States in avoiding double standards. Terrorism should not be carried out at the expense of the principle of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States. His country condemned all acts of terrorism, including those committed by States against innocent people living under occupation. Not only had his country taken far-reaching measures to implement the relevant Council resolutions, but had also continued, almost single-handedly, to counter drug trafficking, as that activity provided an important financial source to certain terrorist groups in the region.
He said the work of the 1540 Committee should not have an operative impact on the rights enshrined in such internationally negotiated instruments as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Any emphasis on prohibiting the access of non-State actors to weapons of mass destruction and nuclear materials should be balanced by Member States’ commitment to nuclear disarmament. Fighting nuclear terrorism should not be carried out as a justification for the maintenance and upgrading of nuclear arsenals.
He drew attention to the arrest of Abdulmalik Rigi, a terrorist and gang leader who had killed some 140 innocent Iranians and wounded more than 260. There was undeniable evidence, he said, including the terrorist’s own confessions, that he had enjoyed extensive support from certain States that had a military presence in Iran’s neighbouring countries. All should strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism. His country would host an international conference on the subject in September.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO (Venezuela) said that, subsequent to resolution 1373 (2001), all States committed to denying refuge to all those who financed, committed or supported terrorist acts. The effectiveness of the Counter-Terrorism Committee might be weakened when certain imperialist Powers exempted themselves from their obligations. It was therefore a matter of concern that impunity existed regarding State terrorism, such as that committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory or by the United States in Iraq under the pretext of looking for weapons of mass destruction.
He called on the Council to deal with the case of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who together with Orlando Bosch had masterminded the blowing up in 1976 of a Cuban Airline plane over Barbados, resulting in the death of 73 people. After having escaped prison in Venezuela, Posada had been living openly in Miami, even though Venezuela had asked the United States to take him into custody to extradite him or charge him with 73 murders. Only after Posada had organized a press conference in 2005 bragging that the United States State Department was not looking for him because he was a Central Intelligence Agency agent, the United States had had no other alternative to detain him, but had accused him of immigration fraud.
From then on, a series of legal obstacles and delays was preventing the judgement of that terrorist, he said. Recently, a judge had indefinitely postponed investigation of the case. That tarnished the commitment of the United States to fighting terrorism. He called on the freeing of the five anti-terrorism Cuban heroes held in United States prisons. Resolution 1373 (2001) prevented States from providing refuge that committed acts of terrorism. He asked that Carriles be extradited to Venezuela or be judged as a terrorist in the United States.
CLAUDIA BLUM (Colombia) said the actions taken against terrorism by her country were in accordance with its international obligations in both human rights and counter-terrorism. Day after day, Colombia was closing loopholes that allowed financing and other support for terrorism. It had also provided technical assistance and other resources for the global fight against terrorism. She supported measures aimed at guaranteeing due process in listing for sanctions related to Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Concerning cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she pointed to Colombia’s extensive reporting as part of its efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001). She also described her country’s programmes to aid victims of terrorism and kidnapping. Broad legal measures to prevent traffic in weapons of mass destruction had been enacted in her country, which would require long-term cooperation with the Committees and the international community. Her country’s painful experience had provided it with best practices for international action in that area.
JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said his country had taken a number of law-enforcement actions regarding Posada Carilles, including the imposition of monitoring requirements and indictment on several criminal charges. The trial against him was pending. Those actions were in conformity with international law.
MARÍA DEL CARMEN ORELLANA ALVARADO (Cuba) said the representative of the United States had simply reiterated what had justified its actions, saying that Posada Carriles was subjected to criminal proceedings. He was not being accused of terrorist activities, however, but just simple immigration violations. The Government of the United States had all the proof necessary that Posada Carriles had blown up an airplane and that he was preparing a number of terrorist acts in Havana. Moreover, the terrorist had publicly confessed to those crimes. What more was needed for action to be taken, she asked.
She insisted that Posada be prosecuted as a terrorist or be returned to Venezuela. The only effective way to fight terrorism was through the bilateral and multilateral cooperation of all States on the basis of mutual respect and respect for the sovereignty of States. Double standards in fighting terrorism could not be tolerated. If the United States wanted to show its commitment to fight terrorism, it now had the opportunity to do so. I t was in the hands of the new Government to stop using the issue of terrorism for political motivations, to judge Posada Carriles for being a terrorist and to free the five Cuban anti-terrorism heroes residing in United States prisons.
In response, Mr. DELAURENTIS (United States) said that the domestic legal framework of the United States provided for due process. An individual could not be brought to trial or extradited unless sufficient evidence was presented that he might have committed the crime of which he was accused. Posada had entered the United States illegally in 2005 and had been detained, and an immigration judge had ordered him removed by the United States. The United States had been seeking ways to carry out the terms of the order, complying with the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In 2009, a criminal case had been brought against him regarding bombings in Havana. The trial for that was pending. The United States remained engaged in several actions consistent with its national requirements for due process.
Ms. ORELLANA ALVARADO (Cuba), replying again to the representative of the United States, said that the statement of the United States confirmed what Cuba had said, that Mr. Posada had only been tried for minor crimes. She wondered when he would be tried for the serious crimes he had admitted to, offering access to the documentation that Cuba had on the matter.
Mr. VALERO BRICEÑO (Venezuela), taking the floor one more time, reiterated the request to the United States that it prosecute Mr. Posada for his horrendous crimes or else respond to the extradition request of his country, from where Mr. Posada had escaped and was therefore also a fugitive from Venezuelan law, besides being guilty of the destruction of the airliner and many other crimes.
Taking the floor for a second time in her national capacity, Council President ZIADE (Lebanon) said that certain States had derailed the debate, which was meant to focus on technical committees. In that regard, she regretted that the name of Hizbullah, one of the political parties in her country, had been used by the representative of a country in the region that threatened its neighbours.
* *** *