|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6767th Meeting (AM)
Terrorists Exploiting Gaps in State Capacity to Implement Counter-Terrorism
Measures, Security Council Told in Briefings by Sanctions Committee Chairs
Speakers in the Security Council today stressed the need to adapt the international fight against terrorism to continually evolving threats, while they welcomed efforts to make the Council’s three counter-terrorism committees more effective, coordinated and transparent, following briefings by their Chairpersons.
“Terrorist groups continue to seek to exploit gaps in the capacity of Member States to fully implement counter-terrorism measures. The committees’ groups of experts can play a pertinent role in advising States seeking assistance in building counter-terrorism capacity,” said Peter Wittig of Germany, Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.
Speaking of the shared efforts between his Committee and the other two committees established to enforce the Security Council’s counter-terrorism measures and related sanctions — the bodies established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) on counter-terrorism and resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — Mr. Wittig said that the committees and their expert groups continued to cooperate on outreach activities and country visits within the respected mandates, an area that could be enhance even further, he acknowledged. They were also enhancing cooperation with international, regional and subregional bodies, increasing information exchanges, participating in joint meetings and maintaining reciprocal representation, as appropriate.
The Al-Qaida Committee, he said, remained committed to ensuring that it was dynamic and responsive to the terrorists’ changing nature. Noting that Member States bore much responsibility in that regard, he said a new format for the list had been approved, a monitoring team was active and the Committee was conducting streamlined reviews. Additionally, the position of Ombudsperson had been made operational in its role to help safeguard rights and ensure a more effective process, particularly through its handling of delisting requests.
Reporting on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Hardeep Singh Puri of India highlighted the January publication of the first Global Survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1624 (2005), which had been prepared by the Committee’s Executive Directorate, known as the CTED. Among other things, the Survey noted the need to pay more attention, within a human rights framework, to Internet and other social media content considered to be incitement. It also highlighted the importance of giving victims of terrorism, and civil society more generally, a role in efforts to counter incitement motivated by extremism and intolerance.
Speaking as Chair of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), Baso Sangqu of South Africa reported on its latest review, which found that the number of States that had not yet submitted a report remained at 25, but that additional information had been received by several States and dialogues had been conducted with others.
His Committee, Mr. Sangqu added, also continued to facilitate matchmaking between requests and offers of assistance, and had prepared an updated list of assistance requests for the Group of Eight (G-8) Global Partnership Working Group meeting in Washington, D.C., in January, in addition to its work with other international organizations. He looked for progress in the finalization of a group of experts in support of the Committee, as well as more administrative and logistical support from the Secretariat.
In the ensuing debate, speakers agreed that terrorism continued to threaten international peace and security and that its nature was constantly evolving, requiring continuous adaptation, as well as strengthened cooperation, in the international response. They welcomed steps taken by the three counter-terrorism committees to keep their activities relevant and to assist Member States in complying with the related resolutions. Many praised, in particular, the activities of the Ombudsperson in fielding delisting requests for the Al-Qaida sanctions Committee, with the representative of Australia suggesting that mechanisms be extended to other sanctions regimes.
Speakers called for further enhancement of cooperation and looked forward to more discussion on the Secretary-General’s proposal for a counter-terrorism coordinator, with some voicing support for the establishment of the position. The representative of the Russian Federation cautioned, however, against allowing the new position to change the basic roles of the established counter-terrorism committees; other speakers wanted to be sure the new position would not duplicate the functions of existing mechanisms.
In other areas, speakers stressed the need to more effectively address incitement to terrorism, as well as conditions that they said could breed extremism, with many reiterating the need to respect human rights in the course of the fight against terrorism. “Countering and preventing terrorism can only be successful in the long run when core universal values and the rule of law are respected and international law, including human rights law, international humanitarian law and refugee law, are fully complied with,” emphasized the head of the European Union delegation.
Also speaking today were the representatives of the United States, China, Guatemala, Colombia, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Morocco, Togo, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Spain, Japan, Austria, Israel, Syria and Armenia.
The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 1:46 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 Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee was established in 1999 with the adoption of resolution 1267 for the purpose of overseeing the implementation of sanctions measures imposed on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for its support of Osama bin Laden. The sanctions included a freeze of funds and financial assets of designated individuals and entities, a travel ban, and an arms embargo. The sanctions regime was modified and strengthened by several subsequent resolutions.
Then, on 17 June 2011, the Council decided to separate the sanctions regime on the two groups, as it created an additional mechanism to manage the new regime and extended existing ones for an additional 18 months. By resolution 1988 (2011), it decided that those persons and entities previously designated as the Taliban shall no longer be kept on the Consolidated List it maintained pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning both Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Instead, those Taliban “constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan” would be on a separate list, as designated by a new Committee, also established by the resolution, and supported by the 1267 Monitoring Team for the next 18 months, and in consultation with the Government of Afghanistan.
Through resolution 1989 (2011), adopted in the same meeting, the Council extended the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson — first established by resolution 1904 (2009) to aid in the consideration of requests by individuals and organizations seeking removal from the Consolidated List of the Al‑Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee — for a further 18 months to continue to receive requests from individuals and entities from the Al-Qaida sanctions list. The two new resolutions describe the respective sanctions regimes, with resolution 1989 detailing measures against Al-Qaida members and associates, and resolution 1988 (2011) describing measures against Taliban deemed to pose a threat. Both regimes retain the travel ban, arms embargo and assets freeze of the previously unified 1267 regime.
PETER WITTIG, Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, updated the Council on the cooperation between his Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). He said that such cooperation remained important because “terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continue to pose a serious threat to international peace and security”.
He said that experts of the committees continued to cooperate on outreach activities and country visits within the respected mandates, enhance cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, increase exchange of information, participate in joint meetings and maintain reciprocal representation as appropriate. There was room for enhancing cooperation, in particular, with regard to outreach activities, he added. “Terrorist groups continue to seek to exploit gaps in the capacity of Member States to fully implement counter-terrorism measures. The committees’ groups of experts can play a pertinent role in advising States seeking assistance in building counter-terrorism capacity,” he stated.
Welcoming all efforts to avoid duplication and increase coherence and transparency, he took note of the recommendations of the Secretary-General for Member States to consider the appointment of a United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.
Speaking in his capacity of Chairman of the Al-Qaida Committee, he said that the threat of that terrorist group and its associates continued to evolve. The Committee remained committed to ensuring that the Al-Qaida sanctions list was dynamic and responsive to the group’s changing nature. As its listing and delisting decisions were based on requests by Member States, it remained their responsibility to ensure that the list of targeted individuals and entities accurately reflected the evolving threats, through timely attention.
For that purpose, a new format for the list had been approved and the Committee was conducting its mandated reviews in a streamlined fashion, particularly in regard to reportedly deceased individuals and defunct entities or entries that lacked sufficient identifiers. He vowed that every effort would be made to improve review modalities, noting work with the relevant monitoring team for that purpose. Concerning the Ombudsperson, mandated to help safeguard the rights of listed individuals to fair, independent and effective process, he said that a transparent practice for processing delisting petitions had been established. Fifteen cases had been submitted through the Ombudsperson’s Office and all of them had been considered, resulting in the removal of 13 individuals and 23 entities from the list.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India), speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, reported on the work of the Committee since its last briefing. In that context, he highlighted the January publication of the first Global Survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1624 (2005), which had been prepared by the CTED. Among other things, the Survey noted the need to pay more attention, within a human rights framework, to Internet and other social media content that was considered to be incitement. It also highlighted the importance of giving victims of terrorism, and civil society more generally, a role in efforts to counter incitement motivated by extremism and intolerance.
He said that the elements of the year’s Programme of Work included organizing another special meeting, open to the wider membership, focusing on the key aspects of the Committee’s implementation of its mandate. The Committee was also scheduled to conduct an interim review of CTED by 30 June, in accordance with resolution 1963 (2010). In addition, it would explore the possibility of collaborating with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, identifying available practices, elements and good standards, which could help Member States with their respective comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism strategies. The Committee was also reviewing the format for the preliminary implementation assessments, in order to enhance their usefulness.
Continuing to focus on region-specific issues and on those identified in the 2011 Global Survey, the Committee had considered major themes, including countering incitement to terrorism by preventing subversion of educational, cultural and religious institutions and the prevention of the abuse of non-profit organizations for terrorism financing purposes, he said. The Committee had heard several briefings by the heads of international and regional organizations and United Nations entities, and had been active in conducting workshops on specific topics, aimed at a regional audience. Upcoming events included the third seminar for counter-terrorism practitioners, scheduled for June in Algiers, and a workshop on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), scheduled for July in Morocco.
Speaking next in his national capacity, he stressed that the committees formed to implement relevant Security Council resolutions should strengthen their efforts against terrorism. The outcome document of the 28 September 2011 special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee commemorating the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and the Committee’s establishment 10 years earlier, was a major landmark in providing strategic direction to the Committee. “It raises the benchmark in the fight against terrorism to a higher level,” he said. The splitting of the 1267 sanctions regime had created a challenging period of adjustment to the revised mandates. Greater focus was needed to understand the links between terrorism, Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Moreover, all sanctions regimes should be transparent, as should the process of delisting.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, he said his country was fully cognizant of the risks posed by sensitive materials and technologies falling into the hands of non-State actors; the fight against such a risk should be global in nature. Greater cooperation was needed, he said, adding that the complete dismantling of terrorism safe havens and financing mechanisms, among other initiatives, were critical. In that context, India welcomed the recent initiative for Member States to consider the creation of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator position. The success of implementation of counter-terrorism measures required the fullest participation of States in processes that involved their collective security.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa), speaking as Chair of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), reviewed the Committee’s work during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011. The review was structured into two parts, with the first providing factual information and the second identifying nine steps that the Committee might consider, taking into account the recommendations contained in the report submitted to the Council on 12 September 2011. The review had been submitted to the Council on 1 February 2012, and was available on the Committee’s website.
With regard to implementation, he said, the review found that the number of States that had not yet submitted a report remained at 25. However, the Committee had received additional information from several States. In addition, the experts supporting the Committee had conducted country-specific dialogues with several countries, with a view to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Experts had conducted site visits to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, but had postponed a planned visit to the Republic of Congo. In the area of assistance, the 1540 Committee continued to actively play its clearinghouse role to facilitate matchmaking between requests and offers of assistance. Since the last joint meeting, the Committee had received additional information requesting assistance from Serbia, and point-of-contact information assistance from Madagascar.
In anticipation of the Group of Eight (G-8) Global Partnership Working Group meeting in Washington, D.C., in January, the Committee had approved an updated consolidated list of assistance requests prepared by its experts, and had shared it with the presidency of the G-8 for distribution to the group’s partners. Since the last meeting, the 1540 Committee and its experts had also participated in three meetings of the Global Partners Working Group, where assistance and capacity-building matters had been discussed. With regard to the Committee’s cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, the Committee participated in outreach events organized or co-organized, for instance, by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other bodies.
The Committee had received a briefing by the Chair of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, he said, adding that the Committee might consider a strategy on engaging international, regional and subregional organizations and other entities, as appropriate, with respect to information-sharing, the exchange of experiences and lessons learned, as well as cooperation in assisting Member States. In the area of outreach and transparency, the Committee and its experts had participated in 31 outreach events, as well as in various country-specific activities including with Albania, Belarus, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Myanmar and Turkmenistan. The Committee had also redesigned its website.
Finally, he raised two matters on which he hoped the Committee would make progress: namely, the establishment of a group of experts in support of the Committee, and the strengthening of the existing administrative and logistical support to the Committee by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, as requested by the Council in its resolution 1977 (2011).
Speaking then in his national capacity, he said that the work of the various committees complemented the work of the United Nations in counter-terrorism in general. South Africa recognized that it was up to each Member State to contextualize the Organization’s counter-terrorism framework in its own national situation. The groups mandated to lead the United Nations counter-terrorism strategy had been able to work cooperatively and to streamline their processes, avoid duplication and create transparency. He also praised the work of those groups in providing assistance to States that had requested it.
Security Council sanctions had to be capable of withstanding legal scrutiny, he continued. In that regard, South Africa welcomed the efforts to create fair and transparent procedures for the delisting process. The country also underlined that the position of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator must have an appropriate mandate and scope. The creation of any new office should be measured against its potential contribution, rather than simply placing an additional burden on Member States, especially those from the developing world.
ROSEMARY DICARLO ( United States) said that the committees were important in cementing a global consensus against terrorism. Even though Osama Bin Laden was no longer a threat, terrorism continued to evolve. She welcomed Committee efforts to adapt to the changing threat. Commending developments in the Al-Qaida Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she welcomed efforts to become more effective, practical and more focused on the regional level. The appointment of a counter-terrorism coordinator could foster a more coherent strategic approach and should be seriously considered. More work should be done to fight kidnapping for ransom, she said, stressing the need to avoid encouraging more such crimes by acceding to payment demands.
In regard to the 1540 Committee, she said engagement with international organizations able to provide training was valuable, and she reported on United States work with the Committee to share best practices. She strongly encouraged other Member States and regional organizations to contribute to the regional disarmament trust fund. Border controls, trafficking in drugs and weapons and maritime efforts were other important areas of focus.
LI BAODONG ( China) said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee had made important efforts in updating the sanctions list and making it fairer, and he encouraged further such efforts. He also encouraged Member States to work with the Committee in that regard and he welcomed regional workshops and other efforts to enhance implementation capacity. All counter-terrorism efforts should be carried out in a comprehensive, balanced and effective manner. His country opposed all terrorism, as well as double-standards in the effort to fight the scourge, and it hoped that the committees would continue to improve their effectiveness.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) affirmed that enhancing cooperation in fighting terrorism was important to the Council’s work. Today’s terrorist acts in Damascus underlined the need for greater effort, and he called on the Council to condemn the crime. There was still room for improvement, but the Counter-Terrorism Committee was demonstrating effectiveness. His country played an important role in reviews and related efforts against incitement and combating radicalization. Combating the ideological breeding group for terrorism was also critical. The Russian Federal Security Service was determined to work with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He commended the role of the CTED, and welcomed the recent evolution of its mandate.
He said that differentiating Al-Qaida and the Taliban was difficult; the list of targeted individuals must be kept updated, and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In further improvements, the Committee should not be carried away by populism or any measures that undermined the basic purpose of the sanctions. He noted the case of a website that was still allowed to propagate extremism. He called for comprehensive implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), in addition, adding that the Committee should continue to systematize its activities, pledging to continue to work with the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in their related efforts. He said that the proposal for a counter-terrorism coordinator merited further consideration. While it could further cooperation, it should not change the committees’ basic roles.
GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) acknowledged — with regard to the 1267 and 1989 Committees — that sanctions regimes had been successful in suppressing terrorist actions. However, there was evidence that the Al-Qaida threat continued to develop. The Committee must continue to analyse that threat and adapt its work to Al-Qaida’s changing methods. He welcomed the improvements made by the Committee regarding procedural guarantees and listing and delisting guidelines. Resolution 1989 (2011) made it possible to strengthen the credibility of the sanctions regime by delisting those who should not be on the list. Guatemala urged the Committee to continue its work, taking into account the opinions of Member States, including those whose residents and nationals were on the list. Such interactions must be in full respect of the recommendations of the Ombudsperson, he added.
In that regard, Guatemala was interested in developing the idea of an Ombudsperson for all sanctions committees. As the Council must always work in a fashion that was transparent and respectful of the rule of law, having an ombudsperson for all committees would be justifiable. The committees’ role in countering terrorism had developed very quickly, he said; Guatemala was grateful for the work of the Counter-Terrorism Task Force and CTED. It was vital, in that respect, to continue to have a close dialogue with all Member States. Also important was to provide technical assistance where needed and to adopt a regional approach while respecting the particular needs of each country. Efforts in countering terrorism were linked to the ability to address the economic, social and political conditions that fed terrorism. In that regard, it was of vital importance that preventing terrorist acts and preventing incitement should have as their point of departure the search for a lasting solution.
Regarding Committee 1540 (2004), which played a fundamental role in the efficacy of United Nations counter-terrorism work, he said that the Committee had done a commendable job in countering the risks of proliferation. Its work, however, should be more systematic. It was a vital to support and extend the assistance to Member States, in order to help them counter such threats. The work of the Committee’s expert panel was of great importance, he added; without it, it would be harder for States to make progress in complying with the provisions of the resolution. It was also critical that the Committee cooperate closely with the selection of its expert panel.
NÉSTOR OSORIO ( Colombia) said that the recommendations submitted by the committees to the Council deserved careful analysis. It was vital to coordinate their activities and to assess their working methods, as well as to evaluate the tools available to Member States to counter terrorist activities. The exchange of information must be taken further, and there must be better coordination of country visits undertaken pursuant to the committees’ mandates. Regarding the 1267 Committee, the effective implementation of sanctions depended upon correct and up-to-date information provided by Member States with regard to listing and delisting. Good progress had been made by that Committee in drawing up a new format and updating the list. It was essential to respect the processes and deadlines set forth in the resolution. Additionally, the number of applications for delisting showed that the office was providing effective transparency and guarantees.
With regard to the report prepared by the CTED, there was a growing understanding of the need to listen to the victims of terrorism, and greater attention must be paid to their rights and protection. States must have the means to protect victims and provide redress. With regard to the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction and their potential for falling into the hands of terrorists, close cooperation must be ensured between the committees dealing with those matters. The recommendations of the Secretary-General to Member States regarding the creation of a United Nations coordinator for counter-terrorism should be carefully considered in order to prevent the duplication of established structures. In that regard, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force had been established to ensure coordination and consistency within the United Nations system, he said.
MARTIN BRIENS (France), endorsing the statement to be made by the European Union delegation, welcomed efforts to help the committees adapt their efforts to the evolving threats of terrorism. Regional considerations should be strengthened in regard to Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and he commended the role of the Ombudsperson. Maintaining that all States must strengthen their terrorism prevention mechanisms, he welcomed the efforts of the 1373 Committee to improve its monitoring of States’ capabilities to do so. He underlined the importance of regional, thematic workshops in that regard, noting, for example, the value of a recent seminar on problems of non-profit groups in regard to terrorism.
Recognizing the challenges of implementing resolution 1540 (2004) on the nuclear terrorist threat, he said he was pleased at the focus of the Seoul summit, as efforts to protect nuclear materials must continue. It was vital for the group of experts in that area to be fully established and for capabilities to be strengthened. He noted France’s activities in that regard, as well as cooperation with the G-8. Cooperation among all counter-terrorism bodies must be strengthened unceasingly, he concluded, supporting the recommendation to create a post of counter-terrorism coordinator.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) urged the avoidance of complacency in fighting the Al-Qaida threat, pledging his country’s active participation in efforts to keep the sanctions regime relevant. He also strongly supported the role of the Ombudsperson, with which his country had an arrangement to share confidential information to ensure the effectiveness and fairness of listings.
He condemned today’s bomb attack in Damascus, saying that the people of Syria were suffering as a result of repression and violence. He said that the CTED and all United Nations agencies must work in a cooperative and mutually supportive way and pledged to work for the establishment of a counter-terrorism coordinator. He encouraged States to improve security of information relevant to weapons of mass destruction and to accede to related conventions, hoping that the issues involved in consolidating the expert group in that area were quickly resolved.
PETER WITTIG (Germany), speaking in his national capacity, said six months after he had briefed the Committee Chairs on an industry outreach conference in Germany to promote the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), he was pleased to report that his Government, together with the Office for Disarmament Affairs, had successfully organized an innovative, useful and forward-looking conference of international, regional and subregional industry associations at Wiesbaden from 23 to 25 April. Never before had a 1540-related conference brought together such a variety of different actors, in particular from the private sector. The conference had been useful because it fulfilled requirements spelled out in the Council’s resolutions to reach out to industry in the fight against the weapons of mass destruction proliferation. And it was forward-looking because many, if not all, participants had expressed their desire for a follow-up mechanism.
The “ Wiesbaden process” would continue, he said, affirming Germany’s readiness to actively contribute to a substantial follow-up in order to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). More specifically, his Government would be willing to co-host further conferences and focused workshops on a regular basis. Germany also counted on the commitment of partners in that regard. On cooperation between the counter-terrorism committees, Germany shared the view that there was room for further improvement, noting that the degree of cooperation should be taken to an even more ambitious level of integration, especially in view of the Secretary-General’s proposal that Member States approve the establishment of a counter-terrorism coordinator.
ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON ( Pakistan) shared the view that the threat of terrorism was evolving, that the implementation of sanctions measures should be tailored to the threats and that fair and clear procedures had been introduced by the Ombudsperson in the delisting processes, even if not in all the processes of the Al-Qaida Committee. The evolving threat had taken new forms. For example, individuals were radicalized by the Internet and extremist websites in various parts of the world. It was important to ensure that the list of targeted individuals sufficiently reflected the changing nature of the threat posed by Al-Qaida. The list needed to be accurate, updated and user-friendly for the successful implementation of the sanctions.
He said that the biggest challenge to the sanctions regime came was the increasing number of court cases. Several listings had been challenged in Pakistani courts. The decisions of domestic and international courts and tribunals on Al-Qaida sanctions had not only gained publicity but had brought to the fore the legal challenges faced by the sanctions regime. It remained to be seen whether new changes would satisfy the courts around the world because the legal community was more inclined to see verifiable evidence, which could be acceptable in a court of law. The questions of due process and effective remedy should, therefore, be at the heart of the Al-Qaida Committee’s work.
Pakistan shared the global concerns that non-State actors could acquire weapons and materials of mass destruction and their delivery means, he said. At the national level, Pakistan had undertaken several legislative, organizational and administrative measures to address those potential challenges, including the submission of several comprehensive reports on implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) to the Security Council. The 1540 Committee, as well as the experts assisting it, played an important and complementary role to the established treaty regimes and international organizations in the area of weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan would continue to support all international efforts that sought to promote fair and equitable solutions to non-proliferation and disarmament challenges.
He added that coordination and cooperation among experts of the three committees was a useful mechanism to assist Member States in the implementation of Security Council resolutions. There were areas of synergy in their work, such as supporting States in building their capacity, law enforcement and border controls. The Committees, however, had distinct mandates, and those should be respected. The composition of experts in the Committees also needed rationalization and reform.
LOTFI BOUCHAARA ( Morocco) said that his delegation had collaborated with the committees and would continue to do so. The Council’s discussion on 4 May had provided an opportunity for all members to reaffirm their support to the Organization’s counter-terrorism activities. He welcomed the Council’s continued focus on the committees’ mandates and the needs of Members States in defeating terrorism. In that, Morocco supported greater transparency and increased dialogue with Member States, in order to pinpoint their needs and to better respond. After many years, the Counter-Terrorism Committee was still indispensable; it was now possible to place a greater emphasis on specific areas requiring further attention and action. He welcomed the completion of the study by CTED on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). Morocco supported the general approach of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, including enhancing and coordinating the provision of technical assistance to Member States. Thematic workshops were a useful tool for capacity-building, and he urged CTED to consider expanding such activities.
Regarding concerns voiced by Council members about the critical situation in the Sahel, the committees should all pay more attention to that region, which had witnessed an increased frequency and sophistication of terrorist attacks. The sanctions systems in the 1267 and 1989 committees were among the most effective United Nations tools to counter terrorism. Morocco welcomed the regular review processes for the sanctions list, which had made the regimes more effective, and which should be continued, in order to deal with the development of the threat. Morocco favoured greater coordination among Member States in their implementation of the sanctions regimes. Regarding the 1540 Committee, Morocco had presented initial information and welcomed the actions of the Committee in combating the proliferation of mass destruction weapons, particularly in the hands of non-State actors. In that, he stressed the importance of bolstering international cooperation to meet the needs of Member States. Lastly, the Committee must enjoy the skills of a highly qualified panel of experts. It was urgent, therefore, to complete the panel’s selection as soon as possible.
EDAWE LIMBIYÈ KANDANGHA-BARIKI ( Togo) said that today’s presentations had highlighted the need to create a “true synergy” between the committees, with a view towards effectively countering the terrorism scourge and preventing it from perpetuating. Today’s world was, more than ever, haunted by the spectre of new threats to international peace and security, which was based on the threat of nuclear weapons and other dangerous materials falling into the hands of non-State actors. It was gratifying to note that, in the latest reports, significant headway had been made towards cooperation between the committees and regional and subregional groups. In the spheres under consideration, the international community should welcome information provided by States. Turning to the 1373 Committee, the initiative of the preliminary implementation assessment called for greater outreach and capacity-building of States. He, therefore, called on the CTED to continue its work in the interests of the States.
With regard to the 1540 Committee, which was currently revising its expert capacities, he said that the appointment of experts should take into account their expertise, as well as the principle of geographic representation; he hoped that those criteria would retain the Council’s attention, in order to make the expert panel more inclusive and better reflective of the views of all regions. Togo wished to invite States to consider the “mountain of work” before those committees, in particular the 1540 Committee, with a view towards strengthening them. The committees dealing with sanctions regimes should also work towards the goal of better streamlining their work, he said.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL ( Portugal) said that, with regard to the Al-Qaida sanctions committee, there had been significant improvements brought by the Office of the Ombudsperson. Portugal had included an agreement for the sharing of classified information, and urged other States to do the same. It also supported the inclusion of the Ombudsperson mechanism in other sanctions regimes of the United Nations. On the 1373 Committee, Portugal valued efforts contributing to strengthening multilateral and bilateral assistance to States. Regional solutions had proved to be better adapted to addressing the needs on the ground, he said, welcoming, in that respect, CTED’s regional work. The full respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms was a critical aspect of counter-terrorism activities, he stressed.
Turning to the 1540 Committee, he welcomed the first annual review on progress made to implement the resolution, and thanked the Office for Disarmament Affairs for its readiness to engage with that Committee at the international, regional and subregional levels. Due to their unique placement, United Nations political missions and offices in the field should be given the adequate mandates and resources to advise on terrorism prevention methods, which were key to long-term efforts to combat the scourge.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan), speaking in his national capacity, said he strongly supported the close cooperation and effective coordination among the committees. He underlined the importance of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and related resolutions, welcoming the recent survey on implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) as well, particularly its efforts to identify implementation gaps of States. Elaboration by the CTED of practical approaches to help States in those efforts should be given particular consideration.
Sharing the view that Al-Qaida and its affiliates continued to pose a serious threat, he agreed with the Committee’s practical approach to the sanctions list, stressing the importance of full implementation and appropriate adjustment of the sanctions. The related monitoring team played a crucial role in raising awareness of that regime. Extending high appreciation as well for the 1540 Committee’s work, he encouraged the finalization of the related group of experts, while maintaining broad geographical representation in that group.
FERNANDO ARIAS (Spain), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that cooperation against terrorism must tirelessly be adjusted to the changing, complex threat. Listing numerous factors that fed into terrorism, he said that the response, not only should include police and legal actions, but also development considerations. A satisfactory multilateral system was being built in that respect, but imminent challenges must be addressed. The United Nations system was central and must continue to develop its role as guarantor of international law.
Reiterating the strong commitment of his country in the fight against all forms of terrorism, he described its “cruel experience” with Jihadist and “ETA” terrorism, the latter of which had been defeated through a democratic response and international cooperation, for which he expressed appreciation. He called for more action in favour of assistance and support for victims of terrorism.
In regard to specific committees, he welcomed efforts to enhance the transparency and relevance of the listing procedure for Al-Qaida and associated entities. He stressed the need to continue that work, underlining the importance of the Ombudsperson and the monitoring team. He also expressed appreciation for the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the CTED, emphasizing the importance of technical assistance for the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Supporting measures to strengthen the mandate of the 1540 Committee and prevent nuclear terrorism, he underlined the importance of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Affirming that further efforts to increase coherency of United Nations efforts were needed, he welcomed the proposal to create a position of counter-terrorism coordinator. Finally, he stressed the importance of maintaining respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism.
KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said that the past year showed significant progress in stepping forward into the next phase of the international fight against terrorism. He expected a great deal of activity in the Security Council this year as well. Noting his country’s participation in counter-terrorism activity, he expressed hope that the sanctions committees and the various bodies of the United Nations would take further steps towards greater dialogue, cooperation and collaboration with all relevant entities and private-sector organizations. The central role of the committees should not change, but it remained necessary to ensure legitimacy and credibility of counter-terrorism measures. He welcomed the activities of the Ombudsperson in that regard.
Describing activities hosted by his country to make counter-terrorism efforts more transparent and widely known, he stressed the importance of regional cooperation for building counter-terrorism capacity, noting that for nearly two decades, his country had organized Asian export control seminars. He recognized what he called “the necessity” of establishing the position of counter-terrorism coordinator, calling for active discussion on the initiative and cautioning against duplication of roles. He strongly hoped that the committees, meanwhile, would continue to fulfil their roles in close coordination.
MARTIN SAJDIK (Austria), speaking on behalf of the informal group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions (Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland), said that the group supported the strengthening of the effectiveness of the Al-Qaida sanctions regime. It was pleased to see that resolution 1989 (2011) had given both the Ombudsperson and the designating State the mandate to recommend delistings. By requiring Committee consensus to reject a delisting recommendation, that procedure had already proven to be a significant step towards providing due process guarantees for listed individuals or entities. The group was of the firm view that the success of the Ombudsperson’s work and the credibility of the Committee hinged upon several conditions. Among those, the provision of all relevant information, including confidential information, was critical to examining whether a delisting request was justified. The group, therefore, urged all States to consider concluding agreements or arrangements for sharing confidential information with the Office of the Ombudsperson.
He said that one of the cornerstones of the rule of law and due process was the obligation to provide reasons for decisions affecting the rights of individuals or entities. That must apply if recommendations were rejected by the Council on appeal by a member of the Committee. The rule of law must apply not only outside the United Nations, but also within it, in particular in situations in which actions by the Organization directly affected individual rights. It was crucial, therefore, that the Committee’s procedures were closely followed. Respect for those procedures, including time limits, was essential for fairness and transparency and impacted on the Committee’s overall image. The like-minded States reiterated their strong support for the mandate of the Ombudsperson and the strict implementation of resolution 1989 (2011), in order to safeguard the Council’s commendable efforts in advancing fair and clear procedures and due process. They urged all Member States to take note of the Ombudsperson’s mandate to conduct her work in an independent and impartial manner.
The group was committed to tackle remaining challenges and weaknesses of the current Al-Qaida sanctions regime and to support the Council in strengthening it, he said. Safeguarding the transparency of that process was key, and the disclosure of the identity of the designating State was crucial. Another very important issue impacting the Office of the Ombudsperson concerned the duration of its mandate, which should extend beyond the existing 18 months. In addition, adding a “sunset clause” for all designations would underline that the measures taken against individuals and entities were, by nature, preventive and temporary, and not punitive. Finally, he said, there currently existed a situation in which a person delisted by the Al-Qaida Committee but thereafter listed by another sanctions committee would approach the Focal Point, but not the Ombudsperson. That inequality of due process lacked justification, and should be improved.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that, while the Council had been discussing the issue of terrorism for decades, many States still spoke about it “as if they were discussing a lightning strike”. For too many, terrorism was something abstract and remote, until it finally struck them; however, nearly every State would be affected by it. “The less we do to prevent terrorism today, the more we will all face its deadly consequences tomorrow,” he said. The 1373 Committee indicated in its 2012 work programme that it would update the format of the Preliminary Implementation Assessments, and any move to improve the quality of those assessments was commendable. Meanwhile, the close cooperation between the Ombudsperson and the 1267 Committee had brought about greater transparency and fairness, which facilitated compliance with that sanctions regime. Israel also supported resolution 1540 (2004) and the Committee established to carry out its mandate.
He said his country was proud to share its unique expertise with others in the global fight against terrorism. It was closely engaged in capacity-building initiatives with a number of States and regional organizations in Africa, South America and Asia, and was also working closely with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC. Discussing several current challenges, he said that the prevalence of incitement around the world called for the international community’s immediate action. The growing nexus between terrorism and transnational criminal networks presented another acute challenge. Hizbullah’s activities, in establishing itself as a major player in the global narcotics market, offered one example of that disturbing trend. The misuse of cyberspace was another area of growing concern. Increasingly, the Web had become a central hub for spreading incitement and glorifying terrorism. In that regard, he noted that Israel would be hosting a major conference on cybersecurity on 6 June at Tel Aviv University. Finally, he stressed that Iranian terrorist attacks, including those emanating from the Gaza Strip, were a major concern, as was the situation in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad “terrorizes his own people as he spreads terrorism around the world”.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the delegation of the European Union, affirmed the essential role of the Security Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions. He welcomed improvements introduced in the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, including the operations of the Ombudsperson. He affirmed that “countering and preventing terrorism can only be successful in the long run when core universal values and the rule of law are respected and international law, including human rights law, international humanitarian law and refugee law, are fully complied with”.
He also welcomed recent improvements in the operations of the other counter-terrorism Committees, noting the European Union’s initiatives to increase assistance for compliance with the obligations of resolution 1540 (2004). Underlining the importance of cooperation between the Union and the United Nations, he welcomed the recommendation for the appointment of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator as a further step in improving cross-institutional coherence of United Nations efforts.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) reaffirmed his country’s condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Today had been a bloody day in Syria’s capital, Damascus, which shook with two suicide bombings that had killed 56 innocent individuals and injured more than 300. The Joint Special Envoy, Kofi Annan, had quickly condemned the attack, and Syria expected an equally clear condemnation by the Security Council. The Council was aware that, while Syria had witnessed a reduction in the levels of violence, there had been an increase in extremist operations, the targeting of law enforcement officers, vandalism, kidnappings and other terrorist activities. Syria had been careful to emphasize the existence of armed terrorist organizations associated with Al-Qaida, but hostile media and political parties had cast doubts on that fact. In that regard, he said, a list of 26 names of terrorists had been transmitted to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, among other bodies; additionally, a large number of documents recording terrorist activities and the names of those that had incited them, were also available.
Unfortunately, he said, some Arab States were providing funding and facilities to the armed terrorist groups that were striking Syria. They were smuggling across the borders of neighbouring States and providing arms to those who sought to carry out violence. Syria had sent many letters to the Security Council on those activities. Today, he wished to alert the Council that Lebanese authorities had intercepted a ship carrying large numbers of weapons and explosives intended for smuggling into Syria for use in armed terrorist operations. A week ago, the Council had reaffirmed in a presidential statement its denunciation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He asked the Council to translate those words into deeds, and to exert maximum pressure on States that were perpetrating and financing terrorist activities in Syria. “Combating terrorism cannot be selective”, he stressed, saying that the terrorism taking place in Syria was no different than that which had struck New York, London, Madrid and other cities. It was not sufficient for a State to finance the creation of a centre for counter-terrorism while it helped to finance terrorism in Syria.
DAMIAN WHITE ( Australia) said that comprehensive and coordinated action remained essential against the continued threat of terrorism. His country was strongly committed to promoting universal implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) through the numerous capacity-building activities it had conducted, much of that in the critical area of terrorist financing. In regard to the committee on Al-Qaida sanctions, he strongly supported efforts to improve the fairness, transparency and effectiveness of the measures, and the appointment of an Ombudsperson had been an important step forward in that regard. Underlining the importance of providing the Office of the Ombudsperson with necessary information, he urged all Member States to conclude arrangements with that Office to share confidential information, as Australia had done. Extension of the Ombudsperson’s mandate across other sanctions regimes should be considered; greater uniformity could improve the overall effectiveness of the United Nations sanctions system.
GAREN NAZARIAN ( Armenia), aligning with the European Union, said that his country was fully committed to working with the various Security Council committees aimed at countering terrorism. On the national level, five detailed, comprehensive reports had already been submitted, and that dialogue would continue. His country was also a party to all international counter-terrorism instruments. National legislative amendments had been introduced with an eye towards counter-terrorism financing. Countries in the region could benefit from adopting common mechanisms in that regard.
In that context, he noted his concern that the territory of Azerbaijan often served as a safe haven for terrorist groups. The close links of Azerbaijani authorities with terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaida were well known and documented, he said, adding, “we have to be vigilant not to allow [national situations] to be exploited again” by terrorists. Armenia would welcome further cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization of the Commonwealth of Independent States with regard to counter-terrorism activities.
Mr. MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan), speaking in his national capacity, said it was unfortunate that the delegate from Armenia had used the opportunity presented by the meeting to make groundless accusations. Yesterday, Azerbaijan had submitted a letter to the Secretary-General informing him of several of Armenia’s terrorist connections, he said.
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