Briefings to Security Council Spotlight Need to Adapt Counter-Terrorism Effort to Ever More Complex Networks Seeking Refuge in Susceptible Regions

14 November 2012
SC/10816

Briefings to Security Council Spotlight Need to Adapt Counter-Terrorism Effort to Ever More Complex Networks Seeking Refuge in Susceptible Regions

14 November 2012
Security Council
SC/10816
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6862nd Meeting (PM)

Briefings to Security Council Spotlight Need to Adapt Counter-Terrorism Effort

to Ever More Complex Networks Seeking Refuge in Susceptible Regions

Sanctions Committee Chairs Describe Actions to Defeat Threat, Send Immutable

Message of Intolerance; Speakers Commend Greater Synergy, Transparency, Fairness

With terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continuing to pose a serious threat to international peace and security, close cooperation and coordination among partners were essential, the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) said as the Security Council reviewed the work of its three anti-terrorism Committees.

Speaking on behalf of the three Committees — the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida, the 1540 Committee concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the 1373 Committee, also known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee — Hardeep Singh Puri, of India, said the three bodies and their expert groups had been working together to maintain close cooperation and effective coordination towards their common goal.

“The outcomes of this interaction are used by the expert groups to refine the modalities of information exchange, enhance coordination on technical assistance facilitation and explore the potential for further subregional cooperation,” he said, elaborating on that enhanced cooperation during the last six-month reporting period, which included a growing number of events and discussions worldwide.

Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), Peter Wittig of Germany, stressed that the Al-Qaida threats continued to evolve.  Key leaders had been eliminated, he said, but there was an ever more complex variety of networks growing in a number of regions worldwide, with the danger of terrorist structures being rebuilt in Europe and individual acts of terror occurring in that theatre.

As a result, the Committee aimed at ensuring that the Al-Qaida sanctions list was dynamic and responsive to the changing nature of the threat, he said.  Undertaking three specialized reviews, its investigations had led to 12 de-listings and 24 amendments.  It also had completed its first round of the so-called triennial review to ensure that every single entry underwent regular assessment.  The sanctions regime, he said, benefited from increasingly fair and clear procedures, with the Office of the Ombudsperson playing an important role.

Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), Baso Sangqu of South Africa, said work had included an ongoing effort to raise global awareness of the resolution, facilitating assistance to States to allow them to strengthen national capacity to implement its requirements, laying the foundation for improved mechanisms for sharing best practices, and promoting synergy with other international organizations in the effort to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Guided by the principles of transparency, equal opportunity, cooperation and consistency, the Committee and its experts had participated in 14 outreach events organized by inter-governmental organizations, information on which was posted on the Committee website, he said.

Following those presentations, speakers, referring to recent events in the Sahel region, said a deepening of cooperation between the bodies and their expert groups was critical as extremist threats were spreading.  Many said a long-term counter-terrorism strategy was needed.  In addition, the spread of extremism and the need to indentify and address the root causes of terrorism were growing concerns, speakers said.  For those reasons, it was critical that the United Nations counter-terrorism committees worked side by side to fine tune their fight.

As for the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, speakers welcomed the work of the Ombudsperson, applauding her efforts and calling for continued transparency and accountability in addressing issues surrounding the lists of targeted individuals and entities.  Many speakers said they were pleased with the results of the triennial review, as it helped to ensure fairness.

Commenting on the increase in cooperation efforts and outreach activities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, speakers commended its close work with the other two Committees to share information.  Some speakers also raised issues about groups using the Internet for terrorist acts, asking for further action in that regard.

Supporting the 1540 Committee and its aims to ensure transparency and to assist States, speakers urged the body to continue to help to keep weapons of mass destruction out of terrorists’ hands.  Speakers also welcomed the expansion of its expert group, with some requesting that individuals from developing countries were selected to ensure fair representation.

Speaking today were the representatives of the Pakistan, Morocco, China, Colombia, France, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Russian Federation, Portugal, United States, Togo, the Netherlands (on behalf of a Group of Like-Minded Countries), Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Syria, Japan and Israel.

The Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of the European Union delegation also delivered a statement.

The meeting started at 3:16 p.m. and adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met today to hear briefings by the Chairs of three of its subsidiary bodies:  the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), also known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee; the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida; 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.  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 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 (2005) 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 its first international instrument dealing specifically with weapons of mass destruction, their delivery means and related materials, in an integrated and comprehensive manner (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) had concerned Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, and had monitored 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.

On 17 June, the Council unanimously adopted resolutions 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011) as successor texts to resolution 1904 (2009).  By so doing, it decided to split the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime.  Resolution 1989 (2011) stipulates that the sanctions list maintained by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) will henceforth be known as the “Al-Qaida Sanctions List” and include names of only those individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida.

Briefings

HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1371 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, updated the Council on the work of the three anti-terrorism Committees.  With terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction posing an ongoing serious threat to international peace and security, the three Committees deemed it important to ensure close cooperation and coordination among themselves and their respective expert groups.

He said that while cooperation among the expert groups increased, they should also continue to strengthen their outreach activities.  He welcomed all efforts aimed at enhancing the visibility of the United Nations counter-terrorism activities and strengthening cooperation, with a view to promote transparency and avoid duplication.  The Committees noted the invitation extended to the Secretary-General, in General Assembly resolution 66/282, to provide Member States with more detail on the proposal to create a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator.

Outreach activities and country visits of expert groups were important tools for the Committees in facilitating the full implementation of their mandates, and could be used to strengthen dialogue with Member States, he said.  Since May, the expert groups had taken part in more than a dozen workshops and other events, including at the Secretariat of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-money-laundering Group, and joint visits had also taken place.

He noted that the coordinated approach agreed by the three expert groups was enriched by the significant contributions of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.  By doing so, they were able to enhance cooperation.  “The outcomes of this interaction are used by the expert groups to refine the modalities of information exchange, enhance coordination on technical assistance facilitation and explore the potential for further sub-regional cooperation,” he added.

For its part, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force provided a platform for enhanced cooperation, not only among the three expert groups, but also with more than 30 relevant United Nations organizations, agencies and programmes, he said.  The expert groups also participated in the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism.

Regarding information exchange, he said that the expert groups regularly shared findings and invited each other to briefings by visiting officials from intergovernmental organizations or to thematic briefings of mutual interest.

Speaking as Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he outlined its activities, including the upcoming special meeting on preventing and suppressing terrorist financing, to be held 20 November at United Nations Headquarters.  That meeting would focus on raising awareness of the terrorist financing threat, drawing attention to best practices and their relevance to implementing resolution 1373 (2001).

As part of its outreach efforts, the Committee explored the possibility of working with the Inter-Parliamentary Union.  It had also conducted an interim review of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, in accordance with resolution 1963 (2010), which stipulated that that body would continue to operate as a special political mission under the policy guidance of the Committee until 31 December 2013.  Through it, the Committee had been constantly improving its analytical tools to monitor and assess the progress in implementing resolutions 1371 (2001) and 1624 (2005) around the world.  The Committee had also continued to focus on issues identified in the 2011 Global Survey (document S/2009/620, annex), organizing and participating in discussions and workshops on related topics.  Events included the South-East Europe workshop on countering violent extremism and the fourth regional workshop on preventing abuse of the non-profit sector.

Noting the Committee and the Executive Directorate’s ongoing dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries, he said eight assessment missions had taken place — to Argentina, Canada, Djibouti, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and Uruguay.  The Committee would continue to pay close attention to the question of respect for human rights.  It, along with the Executive Directorate, would continue to work closely with groups from the Task Force, the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.

“The Committee will continue to play a critical role in the global fight against terrorism,” he said, “and will strive to do so in a more strategic and transparent manner so that it can more effectively contribute to the global counter-terrorism effort within the scope of its mandate.”

In his national capacity, Mr. Puri said that the international community needed to step up its collective efforts with real cooperation among Member States to confront the scourge of terrorism squarely and decisively.  That concerted action included the complete dismantling of terrorist safe havens, sanctuaries, training grounds and financial and ideological support structures.

He said it was critical that all sanctions regimes established by the Security Council ensured swift, fair and transparent procedures in their decision-making.  The international community must strengthen its efforts to eliminate the risks relating to the acquisition of sensitive materials and technologies by terrorists and non-State actors.

“Meeting new proliferation challenges requires fresh approaches for evolving a more cooperative and consensual international security order that effectively addresses genuine proliferation concerns,” he said.  “The success in the fight against terrorism goes hand in hand with progress in strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation and exchange of information at the international, regional and sub-regional levels.  Our collective endeavour should be to enhance coherence and synergy among different counter-terrorism structures.”

BASO SANQU (South Africa), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said that since the last joint briefing, the Committee had continued to raise global awareness of the resolution, facilitate assistance to States to allow them to strengthen national capacity to implement its requirements, lay the foundation for improved mechanisms for sharing the best practices and promote synergy with other international organizations in the effort to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.  The Committee continued to be guided by the principles of transparency, equal opportunity, cooperation and consistency.  In that context, the Committee and its experts participated in 14 outreach events organized by inter-governmental organizations, information on which was posted on the Committee website.

Concerning reporting, he said he was pleased that since the last meeting, the number of States that had not submitted a report as yet had been reduced to 24, with the submission of the first report on implementation by the Republic of the Congo, which requested assistance in particular areas.  That request had been passed to potential assistance providers.  The Committee was looking forward to working with all Africa States on implementation, together with its partner organizations; South Africa was hosting a workshop for that purpose later this month in Pretoria. He noted that Afghanistan had submitted a second national report during the period. On national action plans for implementation, he said that since the last briefing, Serbia had submitted a plan for 2012 to 2016 and several other States were in the process of updating or preparing their initial action plans.

Recalling requests for enlarging the expert group to nine, he said that in July, the Committee had agreed on the candidates, and he was pleased to report that six out of the nine experts were currently on board and soon the entire group would be assembled.  The Committee’s eleventh programme of work, for the period through May 2013, emphasized cooperation with international organizations, including with the other Security Council Committees, on a common reporting strategy and a coordinated approach to subregional workshops, he reported.

In his national capacity, he said that his country would continue to work with international structures to uproot the structures of international terrorism.  The fundamental causes of terrorism must be addressed, as well.  The United Nations should continue to lead the fight, consistent with legal norms and human rights.  Wide cooperation was needed in that effort.  His leadership on the Committee testified to the high regard his country placed on the Organization’s counter-terrorism efforts.

While he remained deeply concerned over weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorists hands, he stressed equal concern over the lack of progress in disarmament in regard to such weapons.  Concerning other committees, he commented that it was important to keep developing monitoring and analytic tools.  He noted the evolving threat of Al-Qaida, as well as the continued importance of the Office of the Ombudsman in the work of the 1267 Committee.  He also underlined the importance of addressing terrorism in Africa, particularly in the Sahel region.

PETER WITTIG (Germany), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, stressed that the threat from Al-Qaida and its associates continued to evolve, with key leaders eliminated, but an ever more complex variety of networks growing in a number of regions worldwide.  There was danger, in particular, of terrorist structures being rebuilt in Europe and individual acts of terror occurring in that theatre.  The Monitoring Team’s twelfth report discussed that evolving threat and had been transmitted to the Security Council.  In light of its findings, it was important for Member States to continue making every effort to fully implement the measures outlined in resolution 1989 (2011).  He emphasized that the Committee stood ready to receive from States names associated with Al-Qaida in the Sahel region, notably in North Mali.

The Committee, he stressed, remained committed to ensuring that the Al-Qaida sanctions list was dynamic and responsive to the changing nature of the threat.  In that effort, the Committee had undertaken three specialized reviews, examining the list entries of 34 reportedly deceased individuals and 55 entities reported to have ceased to exist, resulting in 12 de-listings and 24 amendments.  In addition, the Committee had reviewed 70 entries on the list that lacked identifying information.  It had also completed its first round of the so-called triennial review to ensure that every single entry underwent regular assessment.

The sanctions regime, he said, benefited from increasingly fair and clear procedures, with the Office of the Ombudsperson playing an important role in that regard.  Since the last report, six individuals and one entity had been de-listed on the basis of reports submitted by the Ombudsperson.  In addition, three comprehensive reports from her were currently under consideration.  In total, the Al-Qaida Sanctions list currently had 306 entries, comprising 238 individuals and 68 entities.  Since the last briefing, two names of individuals had been added, 11 entries had been amended, and 19 individuals and one entity had been de-listed.

In his national capacity, he recalled progress over his tenure as Chair of the Committee, particularly in facing challenges to the sanctions regime on the basis of its fairness, pointing to the establishment of the Office of Ombudsperson as a landmark in that effort.  In time for the upcoming renewal of the sanctions regime, he had prepared several proposals for fine-tuning the regime, including codifying the Ombudsperson’s practice.  The renewal of the Ombudsperson’s mandate in December would be another opportunity to improve the process.

He said that he attached great importance to the work of the other counter-terrorism Committees, stressing, in particular, the importance of completing the make-up of the 1540 expert committee, as well as that Committee’s outreach and assistance activities.  He encouraged further international cooperation in ensuring non-proliferation and keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of non-State actors, emphasizing, in that context, the importance of the Wiesbaden process.

Statements

KHALIDA RACHID KHAN ( Pakistan) said he agreed that the threat of global terrorism to international peace and security was current and serious.  Noting that the diverse nature of terrorism had taken new forms, with extremists using the Internet in various parts of the world, he said it was important to ensure that the list of targeted individuals reflected those changing threats.  He hoped regular reviews of listed entries would resolve any outstanding issues, and noted that an Ombudsperson was a step in the right direction.  Visits to States by monitoring groups could provide information and technical assistance.  However, the most serious challenge surrounded the question of lists, which should be highlighted by due process and be at the heart of the Committee’s work.

He called for a long-term counter-terrorism strategy.  Commending the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work, he said all efforts must be made to counter incitement in light of the agreed principle that terrorism and extremism could not be associated with any religion, culture or society.  Workshops on various themes had been very useful, he said, noting that his country would be holding an event for law enforcement officials in the near future.

Turning to weapons of mass destruction, he said it was essential that all States parties to international treaties honoured their obligations.  As the work of the Committees’ members was focused, in part, on providing expert information, it would be helpful to include members from developing countries.  Underscoring the evolving nature of counter-terrorism challenges, briefings to the Council, among other things, was a tool to build confidence among Member States.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee, which had been established more than a decade ago, remained essential today.  He supported the proposed cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and said that the organization of workshops contributed to building the capacity of Member States, including in the Sahel and Maghreb countries.  For its part, Morocco had hosted regional workshop on resolution 1624 (2005), he said, noting that the actions of the Sahel and Maghreb countries must include constructive dialogue during this era, when terrorism was a growing risk.

He commended the Al-Qaida Committee for its enormous contribution to fighting terrorism.  Reviewing the summary list was important in efforts to maintain accuracy and close gaps in information.  He applauded the Ombudsperson’s work, adding that the goal of transparency was a noble one.  On weapons of mass destruction, he said that the Committee’s work was the basis for dialogue in implementing resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1373 (2001).

WANG MIN ( China) welcomed the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, including the holding of regional workshops, as well as the efforts of the 1540 Committee to help Member States honour their commitments.  His country was ready to work actively with the Committees.  On the Al-Qaida Committee, he welcomed efforts to update the sanctions list and communicate with Member States, and expressed appreciation for the work of the Ombudsperson.  He stressed that his country was strongly opposed to all terrorism, adding that the scourge must be fought comprehensively and without exceptions.  He hoped the international community would continue its efforts in that regard.

NÉSTOR OSORIO ( Colombia) said that effective cooperation was crucial among the three committees.  He welcomed their outreach activities, as well as their increased cooperation with other organizations.  National capacity-building was a main concern, particularly given the evolving technologies used by terrorists.  Regarding the Al-Qaida Committee, he stressed that the quality of information provided by Member States must be improved for listing persons or entities, and assistance should be given to States that needed help in that connection.  It was important to keep bolstering the Office of the Ombudsperson and improve the fairness of the regime.  He welcomed the improved monitoring tools.  On the 1540 Committee, he stressed the importance of regional organizations in implementing the resolution.  He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to fighting terrorism, stressing the importance of increased coordination in aspects of that effort.

PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, agreed that the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee remained extremely relevant and stressed the importance of updating the sanctions list.  He urged all Member States to play their part in providing the necessary information, and welcomed efforts to increase fairness through the Office of the Ombudsman.  He highlighted the upcoming conference on countering terrorist financing, and he stressed the importance of capacity-building to help States fulfil their commitments in connection with the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and all the committees.  On 1540, he expressed concern over any possible risk of “WMD” use in the Syrian crisis, and, in general, welcomed all State efforts to implement the text, along with the expansion of the expert group.  More assistance must be made available and coordination must be increased among the Committees, and he supported the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a dedicated coordinator.

AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said that more must be done to fight the terrorism scourge.  He welcomed increased cooperation between the three Committees and their expert groups in that regard, as well as coordination with other international and regional organizations.  Capacity-building for implementation should be at the core of United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, and States should cooperate with each other bilaterally in that regard, in addition to the efforts of the United Nations system.  Expressing strong support for the work of the Executive Directorate, he particularly welcomed the revised assessment process.  On the 1267 Committee, he concurred with the view that the Al-Qaida threat had become more complex, and welcomed efforts to keep the lists current and ensure effective application and fairness of the sanctions.  On the 1540 Committee, he commended the outreach and capacity-building activities, and stressed that diligent implementation by all Member States was critical.  He added, however, that no cultures or religions should be targeted in that effort.

MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said the three Committees were on the “front line” to address terrorist threats, but their actions depended on support from Member States.  With that in mind, he said assets of listed individuals and entities needed to be frozen and terrorist acts prosecuted.  He welcomed the Ombudsperson’s work in connection with the Al-Qaida Committee, and supported its further improvement.  Working together was key, and the third biennial review had reminded the world and the United Nations that all parties must work side by side to meet the common terrorist threat.

He said that the threat that terrorists could acquire weapons of mass destruction was real and the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) was essential.  Border security and better controls were needed, among other things, to help stop those weapons from falling into terrorist hands.  The three Committees were important in all those areas, and they had his full support.

GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said the third review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was an important contribution.  Concerning Al-Qaida, he said that Committee faced an ever-moving target.  He was awaiting the renewal of Committee’s mandate, which would be an opportunity to improve and strengthen the sanctions regime.  He congratulated the Ombudsperson’s work, and supported proposals to strengthen her role, including the mandate’s extension to encompass all sanctions committees.  He also welcomed the extensive exchange of views with the Special Rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Council on the protection and promotion of human rights in combating terrorism.

Turning to counter-terrorism, he said that the Executive Directorate deserved special praise for its efforts to help States remain up to date regarding terrorist threats.  He encouraged the promotion of capacity-building and the provision of technical assistance to countries requesting it.  The effectiveness of counter-terrorism efforts was contingent on the ability to tackle the economic and social conditions, which, in many cases, fed into the trend.  The 1540 Committee had done commendable work, particularly in assistance, cooperation and outreach activities, and should continue doing so, he added.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said despite the best efforts of the international community, terrorism was a grave threat, including in areas such as the Sahel region and Afghanistan.  It was unacceptable to expect partners to condemn that public ill into “bad guys” and “good guys”.  It was essential, instead, to strengthen the Security Council and its Committees, and he expected the current reform of the main evaluation mechanism to be helpful in, among other things, bolstering accountability.  At a time when transformations were under way in different regions of the world, it was also important to avoid the spread of violence and extremism.  He emphasized the timely and important implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), which focused on preventing terrorism and combating the spread of the ideology and the use of the media and the World Wide Web for that purpose.

He said his country intended to enhance dialogue and communications with donors to the Executive Directorate and was prepared to share its experience and best practices with partners.  Noting the increasing frequency of Taliban incidents, he said it was important to differentiate between Al-Qaida and the “pure” Taliban.  A breeding ground was artificially being created for Al-Qaida in the Arab region, and with this in mind, it was important to remember that adding individuals must be made on a case-by-case basis with a high level of transparency.  Improving the sanctions mechanisms was important and depended on States’ participation.  Resolution 1540 was a key international instrument aimed at keeping weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists.

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL ( Portugal) said a long-term sustained fight against terrorism must address, among other things, the root causes, for which coordination efforts from the United Nations were crucial in helping States.

He said that the Ombudsperson’s work was important to the efforts being made by the Committee concerning Al-Qaida.  He also supported the work of the 1540 Committee, and believed that all should make efforts to work towards the common goal of eliminating terrorism.

JEFFREY DELAURENTIS ( United States) said that the three counter-terrorism Committees were elements of a comprehensive approach to terrorism and all required constant attention.  He commended the Committees and their expert groups on their work.  He encouraged them to strengthen their regimes, with the Al-Qaida Committee focussing attention on the threat in the Sahel, and consideration of actions that could be taken in the case of non-compliance, among other areas.  Building capacity for implementation of counter-terrorism efforts under the Executive Directorate was particularly important, as was coordination among United Nations entities with other organizations.  Implementation of resolution 1540 was a long-term endeavour that required integrated effort and sustained financial support.  His country had contributed to the related fund and urged others to follow suit.

KODJO MENAN ( Togo) concurred with the changing nature of the Al-Qaida threat and stressed the imperative of adapting the sanctions to that evolving menace.  The operations of the Ombudsperson’s office should seek to increase fairness, along the lines of the recommendations that had been submitted by several delegations.  It was important, in addition, to differentiate between those who had renounced violence from those who might return to terrorism.  Outreach, capacity-building and other assistance were critical for implementation of resolution 1540, and seminars and evaluation missions were particularly important in the implementation of resolution 1373.  He noted upcoming seminars on terrorist financing.  In all activities, the rights of victims of terrorism must be respected and he welcomed the attention paid in that regard by the Executive Directorate.  Cooperation among all expert groups must be encouraged, in the interest of efficiency and best direction of assistance.

IOANNIS VRAILAS, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of the European Union delegation, said that the Union remained convinced that the work of all three committees was of pivotal importance to countering and preventing the evolving threat of terrorism.  Protecting human rights and ensuring respect for the rule of law were of critical importance in achieving that ultimate goal, he said, welcoming the fact that the Security Council had taken significant steps to reinforce fair and clear procedures in the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, particularly through the enhanced mandate of the Ombudsperson introduced in Council resolution 1989 (2011).  The Union looked forward to the forthcoming renewal of the Ombudsperson’s mandate in December.  It also supported the Office’s enhancement, and underlined the importance of fully equipping it with all the necessary resources.

Turning to the 1540 regime, he said that the risk of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors remained a serious threat to international peace and security.  “This is a shared understanding that no single Member State can handle this threat alone,” he said.  In that respect, continuous cooperation, information exchange, outreach and assistance were important in building counter-weapons of mass destruction terrorism capacity.  The workload of the 1540 Committee was increasing significantly and the Union, therefore, commended efforts to reinforce the Group of Experts.  He noted that the bloc engaged actively in promoting the objectives of resolution 1540 and, to that end, it had organized several workshops with an eye towards building State capacity, among other goals.

HERMAN SCHAPER (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the Group of Like-Minded States on Targeted Sanctions, underscored the significant steps the Security Council had taken to enhance fair and clear procedures within the Al-Qaida sanctions committee, particularly the establishment and strengthening of the Ombudsperson mechanism.  Regional and national legal challenges to the sanctions regime and its implementation persisted and put the uniform application of and full compliance with United Nations sanctions at risk.

In that regard, he continued, the Group had made a set of proposals, including a call for enhancing the cooperation of all Member States with the Office of the Ombudsperson in information gathering.  All relevant data on persons and entities applying for de-listing, including classified or declassified documents, should be provided in a timely manner.  Procedural transparency could be increased if the Office could inform the petitioner, upon request, about the status of his or her de-listing request.  Additionally, transparency should be enhanced on all Committee decisions, regardless of whether they maintained listing or de-list an individual or entity, and should contain adequate and substantial reasons, which could be conveyed to the petitioner by the Ombudsperson.

Furthermore, the mandate of the Ombudsperson should be extended for an unlimited period to ensure the independence and impartiality of that process, he noted. The Office should be provided with all resources necessary to deliver its mandate, including funds for translation and interpretation.  Currently, only individuals and entities listed on the Al-Qaida sanctions list had access to the Ombudsperson process.  The Security Council should consider extending the competence of the Office to other relevant sanction regimes in its next mandate renewals.  “Targeted sanctions are an important tool at the hands of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security,” he said.

FERNANDO ARIAS ( Spain), associating with the European Union, said that terrorism was a very complex phenomenon that manifested itself in different forms and was constantly evolving.  Terrorists were always searching for new strategies, techniques and methodologies to challenge and harm the international community and, for that reason, the world must be on constant alert, tirelessly adjusting its response and facing that phenomenon from a multidisciplinary approach.  A United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator would be able to encourage a more strategic approach and facilitate communication among the different entities.

In that context, he said that the special group in charge of the implementation of the Global Strategy, would be able to play a more active role in encouraging national and regional strategies.  It was also necessary to seek interaction with the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, which, despite its recent creation, had managed to establish a significant number of principles of action for international cooperation, whose value should be amplified in order to benefit the whole international community.

Despite their common denominator, terrorist manifestations developed their own features depending on the location in which they occurred, he said.  Therefore, each terrorist attack required special consideration and national and regional strategies, which allowed a local and systematic response and were accepted by the governments and regional organizations.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee and, in particular, the Executive Directorate, should improve the articulation of its valuable contributions in the framework of local strategies.  The following deserved special attention:  the victims of terrorism; the fight against terrorism on the Internet; the incitement to terrorism and the work of the Executive Directorate for prevention and promotion of dialogue and tolerance.  Reforms were not intended to undermine the legitimacy and legal functioning of the sanctions regime, which was a fundamental pillar in the fight against terrorism.

PAUL SEGER ( Switzerland), endorsing the statement made on behalf of the Group of Like-Minded States, expressed support for strengthening the sanctions regime and the proper functioning of the Office of the Ombudsman.  Although he welcomed the adoption of resolution 1989, he noted that the right to a fair public hearing before an effective, independent and impartial mechanism had not been sufficiently respected.  In that regard, the European Court of Human Rights had recently ruled that, in absence of such a review, it was incumbent upon State parties to the European Convention on Human Rights to provide an effective remedy in their national laws.  He deeply regretted the dilemma faced by Member States in applying Security Council sanctions while complying with the contrary ruling regarding human rights obligations.

Pointing out that there had been repeated attempts to alert the Security Council to that dilemma, he said regional and national rulings addressing the matter called into question the universal applicability of sanctions.  Although he welcomed significant improvements in the operations of the 1267 Sanctions Committee, he said that it was not the only sanctions regime that impacted human rights and those subjected to targeted sanctions. Nevertheless, other sanctions regimes did not have mechanisms that took rule of law imperatives into account. Thus, the Security Council should consider providing other sanctions regimes with such mechanisms.  Reaffirming Switzerland’s commitment to targeted sanctions, he said his country had taken a lead role in stopping financing flows to terrorists.

RYSZARD SARKOWICZ ( Poland), associating with the European Union, expressed appreciation for the work of the counter-terrorism Committees, supporting the central United Nations role in fighting that scourge.  On the 1540 Committee, he noted a July event held in Warsaw devoted to regional implementation of the resolution, which highlighted the interconnection between capacity-building needed for fighting terrorism and that needed for fighting organized crime and related ills.  The gather had also demonstrated the need for a holistic approach to counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism efforts, which engaged both the public and the private sector.  His country would continue support regional cooperation in the effort.

He also informed the Council of an international meeting on chemical safety and security, which had taken place in Poland on 9 November.  Among other topics, it had considered a project presented by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to enhance inter-agency cooperation in the prevention of terrorist attacks against chemical plants and installations.  His country would consider ways in which it could support that project.

BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said that the frequency of terrorist acts had surged in his country, with increasingly bloody methods being used, including suicide attacks and attacks on infrastructure that aimed at the greatest number of civilian casualties.  Most of those had the fingerprints of Al-Qaida networks, and there was evidence of connections with religious groups of the Salafi and Wahhabi movements residing in some Gulf countries.  The media had cast doubt on that truth, but groups related to Al-Qaida had claimed responsibility.  Support to such groups constituted a violation of United Nations resolutions opposing terrorism.

He wondered if it was a coincidence that hundreds of terrorists had escaped from prisons in North Africa and the Middle East during the Syrian crisis.  His country had participated in the United Nations fight against terror and had submitted information on terrorists operating in his country.  Meanwhile, other States openly supported terrorism in his country, and he wondered why there was no assistance for fighting it in his country.  The Security Council was bound to implement its resolutions against terrorism; he called on the body to act against terrorism in his country and exert pressure on the countries that were violating counter-terrorism measures in Syria to end their activities.

KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said that the international fight against terrorism had yielded remarkable results.  However, it could not be said that the threat had disappeared.  Thus, his delegation still expected constructive discussions in the three Committees.  The international community could make efforts to counter terrorism in various ways and various situations, he said, noting that Japan had been conducting bilateral and multilateral dialogues and consultations.  He also urged an emphasis on addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

Among examples of Japan’s support in that regard, he noted that it was providing some $4.1 billion to Afghanistan, in order to establish the country’s self-reliance and eliminate conditions that allowed the recurrent spread of terrorism.  In addition, he noted, Japan had hosted the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July, where the international community had pledged more than $16 billion through 2015 and Afghanistan had committed itself to achieving more efficiency and transparency in governance.

Increasing support for United Nations counter-terrorism effort required that the legitimacy and credibility of its measures were ensured, he said.  The sanctions list must be constantly updated to reflect the current status of individuals and entities, and each State must cooperate with the Monitoring Team.  Japan also valued the activities of the Ombudsperson, and while it understood the need to establish a counter-terrorism coordinator, the post must not be created imprudently and duplication should be avoided.  The three Committees must act in consonance with the relevant regional and international organizations.  Regarding the 1540  Committee, Japan strongly hoped the expert group would move into high gear.  The Committee must make progress if the importance of the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons was to be conveyed to Member States.

RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that at this moment, 1 million Israelis were facing Hamas terrorism, with nearly 200 rockets launched at them from behind human shields, for which they used the Gaza population.  Stressing the imperative of any country to protect its citizens, he said that today, Israel had been compelled to exercise its right to self-defence and would continue to launch surgical strikes on military targets in Gaza to that end.  He added that under Hamas, which was often embraced by the Palestinian Authority, Gaza had become a “terrorist exporter”, a haven for Al-Qaida and an arsenal for Iranian weapons.

He commended the work of the 1373 Committee and the Executive Directorate in monitoring national implementation of the related resolution, noting his country’s full implementation.  Ongoing dialogue with Member States was critical.  Israel also supported the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and had offered to host a seminar on the development of legal tools for counter-terrorism.  It was also engaged in technical assistance for capacity-building with a large number of States in a range of areas.  Supporting the strengthening of Al-Qaida sanctions, he also called for stepped up efforts to implement resolution 1540, through the development of international standards that truly prevented the proliferation and spread of dual-use materials.

He underlined the dangers presented in that regard in Syria, warning that stockpiles of dangerous weapons could fall into the hands of Hizbullah and calling for action to stop the catastrophic possibilities presented by the flow of Syrian and Iranian weapons to Hizbullah and Hamas.  He also called for an end to incitement to terrorism, which, he said, was rife in State-sponsored institutions across the Middle East.  He urged a comprehensive fight against the scourge, without exception, noting that some States pledged their commitment but excused terrorist acts or financed and harboured terrorists.  Iran stood chief among those nations, he said.

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