United Nations Counter-terrorism Effort only as Good as ‘Sum of Its Parts’, Security Council Hears in Briefings by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies
United Nations Counter-terrorism Effort only as Good as ‘Sum of Its Parts’, Security Council Hears in Briefings by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6964th Meeting (AM)
United Nations Counter-terrorism Effort only as Good as ‘Sum of Its Parts’,
Security Council Hears in Briefings by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies
Three Committees, in Tandem, Can Have ‘Multiplier Effect’ on Delivering Blows
To Rapidly Evolving Threat, Powered by Internet, ‘WMD’ Developments, Say Briefers
While concerted multilateral action was needed to root out barbarous terrorist attacks from Boston to Karachi, the United Nations counter-terrorism machinery was only as good as “the sum of its parts”, the Security Council was told this morning as it reviewed the work of its three anti-terrorism Committees.
Indeed, the effectiveness of those bodies – namely, 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 1540 Committee concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — depended on States’ abilities to take strong measures domestically, stressed the Committees’ Chairs.
Speaking on behalf of the three bodies in a joint statement, Kim Sook ( Republic of Korea) described the rapidly evolving threat posed by the exploitation of technological advances by terrorists and non-State actors, including their use of the Internet and recent developments in nuclear, chemical and biological technology. The Committees’ expert groups could support States that sought assistance in building national capacities to deal with those challenges, he said, noting that the work of the expert groups increasingly involved regional workshops, thematic meetings and country visits.
The work of the three Committees, when considered together, presented opportunities for further synergies, which would result in a multiplier effect for the delivery of results, he said. Importantly, the bodies were coordinating on key thematic areas of interest, enhancing coordination in implementing projects within the framework of the 2005 Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force framework, and coordinating on approaches to donor States and assistance providers. In that connection, they could consider developing joint assistance packages for States.
Speaking in his capacity as Chair of the 1540 Committee, the Ambassador said that the Committee had focused on raising the global awareness of resolution 1540 (2004) and “matchmaking” between assistance requests by some States and offers by others, aiming to strengthen national capacities to implement the resolution’s manifold requirements. The Committee also reviewed national implementation action plans and hoped to achieve universal reporting by States by the end of 2014 — which would mark the resolution’s tenth anniversary.
Other issues on the 1540 Committee’s agenda included export and border controls, nuclear safety, bio-security, industry outreach and proliferation financing, he noted. As the Committee approached its tenth anniversary, it would work “at full throttle” to fully consolidate the universal political will towards weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation by non-State actors, he said.
Gary Quinlan (Australia), Chair of the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida, said that, since the Committee’s last report in November 2012, Al-Qaida affiliates in the Maghreb had waged a “vicious insurgency” in Mali, which threatened the viability of that State and the security of the region. Al-Qaida also continued to affect the ongoing security situation in Yemen, while Al-Shabaab remained a security threat in Somalia.
The Committee, through its resolution 2083 (2012) mandate, was working to ensure its regime remained relevant and effective in its response to Al-Qaida’s efforts. Sanctions had been applied to the Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest and to Ansar Eddine, both of which had strong links to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The Committee was also working to ensure that the Al-Qaida Sanctions List reflected the nature of the threats in Mali and the Sahel.
A special meeting had been held to address the continued threat of Al-Qaida and its affiliates in that region, he said. The Committee had also implemented new provisions that reversed the assumption that a State proposing an individual or entity for listing wished to have its status as a designating State kept confidential. It continued to provide reasons to petitioners, both in cases where requests had been acceded to or rejected, through the Ombudsperson. That process was a significant indicator of fair and clear procedures, he said.
Also briefing was Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco), Chair of the Counter-terrorism Committee, who outlined several upcoming events organized by that Committee, including one which would focus on countering terrorism through the use of new communications and information technologies, and another on enhancing cooperation and technical assistance to States in the Sahel region. A third event would centre on enhancing States’ capacity to strengthen their borders through technical assistance and good practices.
The Committee was focusing on region-specific discussions and on issues identified in its 2011 Global Survey, he noted. In that respect, it was organizing and participating in discussions and workshops on thematic issues, including its facilitation of technical assistance, alternative remittance systems and cooperation and dialogue with relevant international and regional organizations. In addition, its Executive Directorate had conducted assessment missions to Qatar, Morocco and Serbia, as well as a fact-finding mission to Angola.
In the ensuing debate, speakers said that the United Nations, led by the Security Council, must adapt to find the most appropriate tools to fight the continuing threat. Many stressed that effective international cooperation, as well as harmonization between the three Committees, was more important than ever. There was also broad support for international efforts to prevent non-State actors and terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, and for the 1540 Committee as it approached its tenth anniversary.
Two years after the death of Osama bin Laden, terrorism remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, said the representative of the United States. Indeed, while Al-Qaida was weaker today, it was crucial to prevent the network’s resurgence and ensure that terrorists did not acquire the most dangerous types of weapons. While the sanctions regime was one of the Council’s most affective tools for countering the growth of Al-Qaida and related entities, “these sanctions only work if we implement them correctly”, he said.
The representative of the Russian Federation warned that the terrorist threat was evolving “with breakneck speed” and acquiring new dimensions. He condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, no matter their source, but he warned against double standards and against dividing terrorists into “good ones” and “bad ones”. Also important was for the international community be able to respond to new threats “without excessive red tape”. At the same time, however, the adoption of sanctions must be based on a case–by-case approach, and procedures for de-listing and requests for exclusion must be transparent.
The bloody conflict in Syria also emerged as a recurring theme throughout the meeting, with a number of speakers calling for a rapid investigation of allegations — issued by both sides of the conflict — of chemical weapons use. In that regard, the representative of Syria said that terrorist groups, some of which were linked to Al-Qaida, were currently wreaking havoc in his country. “We all know now that the spread of extremism and terrorism in Syria is done with the benediction, and even support, of some Council members,” he said. No action had yet been taken by the 1373 Committee to stem the financing of terrorism in the country or to hold accountable States that openly supported terrorists, he said.
In contrast, however, the representative of Israel warned that the Islamic militant group Hizbullah was “exploiting the crisis in Syria” to further undermine regional stability. In light of the possibility that Hizbullah could seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, he urged the Council to “act today, not tomorrow” in addressing such a serious threat, and called for further utilization of the Charter’s Chapter VII, in order to “put terrorism out of business”.
Also speaking were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Argentina, Guatemala, Rwanda, Pakistan, China, Azerbaijan, France, Luxembourg, Togo, Liechtenstein, Japan and Portugal.
The Head of the European Union delegation also participated.
The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 1:19 p.m.
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.
KIM SOOK (Republic of Korea), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), reading a joint statement on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Committees established pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), said that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, as well as the risk of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors, remained a serious threat to international peace and security. Since the last update, the three Committees had cooperated on outreach activities; enhanced their cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations; conducted joint training programmes; increased information exchange; participated in joint meetings; and engaged in reciprocal representation as appropriate.
Regarding the challenges posed by the exploitation of technological advances by terrorists and non-State actors, including their use of the Internet, together with rapid developments in nuclear, chemical and biological technology, he said that the Committees’ groups of experts could support States that sought assistance in building national capacities to deal with those challenges. On outreach and country visits, he said that, since November 2012, all three expert groups had been represented at more than a dozen workshops and other outreach events. Those had included a regional workshop for Member States of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, organized by the Counter-terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and other partners, and an event — also organized by Directorate — on border control cooperation in the Sahel and the Maghreb regions.
He also detailed the many areas of growing cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, noting that all three expert groups were entities of the 2005 Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force, which continued to provide a platform for enhanced cooperation between the groups and with more than 30 other United Nations organizations, agencies and programmes. The three Committees also had close cooperation on issues related to anti-money-laundering and combating terrorism financing, and through their expert teams, they coordinated their work in the margins of and at meetings of the Financial Action Task Force plenary and working groups. Both the 1267 Monitoring Team and the 1540 experts had participated in the counter-terrorism committee’s special meeting on 20 November 2012. He described further efforts, including in the area of training.
The work of the three Committees, when considered together, presented opportunities for further synergies, which would result in a multiplier effect for the delivery of results, he said. Their staffs and experts were committed to further joint cooperation, and they would increase engagement in on-site visits to States, at their invitation, to facilitate the implementation of the relevant resolutions and coordinate on a common regional approach to engage with Member States with geographical and political similarities.
Further, he said, the Committees would coordinate on key thematic areas of interest, enhance coordination in implementing projects within the counter-terrorism task force framework, in particular through thematic working groups, and they would coordinate on approaches to donor States and assistance providers, and, in that, consider developing joint assistance packages for States. They also planned to enhance joint interaction, particularly with non-reporting States, in fulfilling their reporting obligations. He encouraged the 1540 Committee to share its summary reports on outreach events with the other committees.
Speaking next in his capacity as Chair of the 1540 Committee, he informed the Council that the Committee’s group of experts was now at its full complement of nine, as envisaged in resolution 2055 (2012). On 27 December 2012, the Committee had transmitted to the Council a review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) for 2012, in which it also set out a list of tasks. Today, he was pleased to report that good progress had been made in fulfilling those tasks. The Committee would soon transmit to the Council its twelfth programme of work, which would optimize the Committee’s efficiency, map out specific priorities and set up the guidance for the work of the Committee over the next 12 months.
The Committee, he added, had continued to focus its attention on raising the global awareness of resolution 1540 (2004), facilitating assistance to States to help them strengthen national capabilities to implement its requirements, and to lay out the foundation for improved mechanisms for sharing effective practices for national implementation and promoting collaboration with other international organizations. Recalling that resolution 1977 (2011) had called on States that had not yet presented a first report to do so without delay, the Committee had developed an approach to the 24 non-reporting States in an effort to achieve universal reporting, if possible, by the end of 2014, the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1540 (2004).
Additionally, he said, the Committee, in accordance with its mandate, had continued to facilitate “matchmaking” between assistance requests and offers. Since the last briefing, it had received an additional request for assistance from the Central American Integration System, which it had passed on to States and international, regional and subregional organizations to offer such assistance.
Also since the last briefing, Kyrgyzstan had submitted its National Implementation Action Plan on the key provisions of resolution 1540 (2004), which contained a request for technical and financial assistance. Regarding visits to States, also mandated by resolution 1977 (2011), he said he had led a visit to Trinidad and Tobago in April, where discussions had demonstrated a high level of commitment by the Government towards the full and effective implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). That visit had been the first to a Latin American and Caribbean State and the first one to have been led by a Chair of the 1540 Committee. The Committee had been invited to carry out similar visits from Grenada, Mozambique and the Republic of Moldova, he added.
Describing several outreach activities of the Committee — which had addressed such issues as export and border controls, nuclear safety, bio-security, industry outreach and proliferation financing — he went on to say that resolution 1977 (2011) had called upon relevant international, regional and subregional organizations to designate and provide the 1540 Committee with a point of contact or coordinator for assistance. Since the last briefing, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, United States, Republic of Korea and Austria had either submitted or updated their that information. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had also revised its point of contact information and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had designated a point of contact. “Such a living network of contacts could serve to improve communication and interaction with States and between States,” he stressed.
Transparency was an essential principle in guiding the Committee’s work, he said, noting that it had continued to institute transparency measures and activities, including by making the fullest possible use of its website. The Committee’s Working Group on Transparency and Media Outreach was currently discussing the Committee’s future media strategy. As the Committee celebrated its tenth anniversary next year, it would work “at full throttle” to fully consolidate the universal political will towards weapons on mass destruction non-proliferation by non-State actors, for which closer collaboration was vital.
GARY QUINLAN (Australia), Chair of the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, said that, since the Committee’s last report in November 2012, Al-Qaida affiliates in the Maghreb had waged a “vicious insurgency” in Mali, which threatened the viability of that State and the security of the region. In the Arabian peninsula, Al-Qaida continued to affect the ongoing security situation in Yemen, while Al Shabaab remained a security threat in Somalia.
Since the last reporting period in November 2012, he said, Al-Qaida and its affiliates, through the exploitation of local grievances, continued to pose threats to international peace and security. The Committee, through its mandate under resolution 2083 (2012), was working to ensure its regime remained relevant and effective in its response to Al-Qaida’s efforts. Sanctions had been applied to the Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest and to Ansar Eddine, both of which had strong links to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The Committee also was working to ensure that the Al-Qaida Sanctions List reflected the nature of the threats in Mali and the Sahel.
Aiming to improve its response to the latest developments in that region, the Committee, in a special meeting in April, had reviewed outreach and technical support activities to the region on the application of the sanctions measures, he said. Participating in the meeting were the Monitoring Team, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force, as well as other relevant bodies. Highlighted in that meeting was the need for continued monitoring of the region and a more central role for counter-terrorism capacity-building efforts.
Regarding the Al-Qaida Sanctions List, he said that the Committee was focusing on ensuring that it was as updated and accurate as possible. Individuals confirmed to be deceased were being removed, and it was being ensured that their estate and assets, if unfrozen, were not used in connection with activities that could threaten international peace and security. The Committee had de-listed Osama bin Laden on 21 February and it was working to ensure that assets frozen as a result of his listing were not transferred to individuals or entities, or otherwise used for terrorist purposes.
He reported that a special agreement had been implemented with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), which would facilitate the exchange of information between the Committee and INTERPOL, as well as streamline the maintenance of joint Special Notices between them. The Committee, as well, was periodically reviewing the Sanction List, focusing particular attention on entries that lacked identifiers necessary to ensure effective implementation of the sanctions, as well as on entries that were reported or confirmed to have ceased to exist, along with those that had not been reviewed in three or more years. Member States’ responsiveness remained crucial in that regard.
Regarding requests for exemptions to the assets freeze and travel ban measures, he said that, per the Focal Point mechanism established in resolution 1730 (2006), the Ombudsperson had been authorized by the Council to request the Committee to consider such exemptions for the purpose of allowing petitioners to travel to another State to be interviewed by the Ombudsperson. The Committee had also implemented provisions that reversed the assumption that a State proposing an individual or entity for listing wished to have its status as a designating State kept confidential. The Committee continued to provide reasons to petitioners, both in cases where requests had been acceded to or rejected, through the Ombudsperson. Importantly, that process was a significant indicator that fair and clear procedures existed within the Al-Qaida sanctions framework.
He concluded by noting that the last few months in Mali and the Sahel region had illustrated the continued threat of Al-Qaida and its affiliate groups. In efforts to comprehensively address that issue, a special meeting, pursuant to paragraph 62 of resolution 2083 (2012), had been held for the first time. That “valuable forum” would be used in other relevant contexts. He stressed that the Al-Qaida sanctions regime could only be as effective as “the sum of its parts”, with the application of measures a key element. The Committee would keep the list as updated and accurate as possible. However, because the success of that endeavour depended largely on Member States’ commitment, he urged that they continue a “positive engagement” with the Committee. He also thanked the Monitoring Team, without which the Committee could not do its work.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco), Chair of the Counter-terrorism Committee, briefing on upcoming events organized by the Committee, said the first, to be held on 24 May, would focus on countering terrorism through the use of new communications and information technologies. In organizing that event, the Committee would explore with Member States recent technological advances, good practices and effective measures taken, particularly, in the areas of movement of persons, mobile telecommunications and the Internet, within the frameworks of implementing resolutions 1373 (2011) and 1624 (2005).
The Committee, he said, would also organize a special meeting, to take place in the last quarter of 2013, on enhancing cooperation and technical assistance to States in the Sahel region to strengthen their capacity in the global fight against terrorism. It would hold a third special event on enhancing States’ capacity to strengthen their borders through technical assistance and good practices. The Committee looked forward to exploring possible collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
In December this year, the Committee would submit a report on the Executive Directorate’s work, for consideration by the Council as part of its comprehensive review of the Executive Directorate, he said. The Committee, through its Executive Directorate, had completed the replacement of the Preliminary Implementation Assessment by the Detailed Implementation Survey and the Overview of Implementation Assessment. He had chaired a briefing to Member States last week on the new diagnostic tools, which he said would allow for an enhancement of the Committee’s work in identifying challenges faced by Member States and facilitate the delivery of targeted technical assistance.
Furthermore, he said, the Committee was focusing on region-specific discussions and on issues identified in the 2011 Global Survey (S/2009/620, annex). In that respect, it was organizing and participating in discussions and workshops on thematic issues. Those issues included its facilitation of technical assistance, alternative remittance systems and cooperation and dialogue with relevant international and regional organizations and, in particular, with the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch, and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism.
He also touched on workshops organized by the Executive Directorate, including in February, a seminar on Bringing Terrorists to Justice: Policy Challenges in the Prosecution and Prevention of Terrorism, Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. Workshops in the coming weeks included a workshop of the Executive Directorate with the joint Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on special investigative techniques, in Strasbourg, France, 14 and 15 May and a regional workshop on the control of the cross-border movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments, in Pretoria, South Africa, at the end of the month. Also coming up was the East Africa regional workshop on the asset freezing requirement of resolution 1373 (2001), and the second regional workshop on international joint investigations.
The Committee and Executive Directorate would continue to enhance their ongoing dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries on the facilitation of technical assistance for capacity-building, at the national and subregional levels, he said. Since the last briefing to the Security Council, the Counter-terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, on behalf of the Committee, had conducted four assessment missions to Member States in Qatar, Morocco (follow-up) and Serbia, as well as a fact-finding mission to Angola. Those bodies, among other things, would pay close attention to human rights and rule of law issues in the counter-terrorism measures taken by States. Above all, the Committee would continue to play its critical role and strive to do so in a more strategic and transparent manner so that it could more effectively contribute to the global counter-terrorism effort.
JEFFERY DELAURENTIS ( United States) said that, two years after the death of Osama bin Laden, terrorism remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Al-Qaida was weaker today, but recent attacks in Boston, Mogadishu, Karachi and elsewhere showed that terrorism was still a major challenge. It was crucial to prevent Al-Qaida’s resurgence and ensure that terrorists did not acquire the most dangerous types of weapons. The sanctions regime was one of the Council’s most affective tools for countering the growth of that group, as well as of related entities, as it indentified the most dangerous individuals and entities and reduced attacks by restricting travel and financing, among other constraints. “Yet, these sanctions only work if we implement them correctly,” he stressed, encouraging the new Chair of the Monitoring Committee to focus on States where terrorist threats were located.
He said the United States was committed to ensuring that the Committee’s methods were fair. In addition, he noted that the success of counter-terrorism efforts depended on States’ abilities to take effective measures domestically, and on the help offered by the Counter-terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate to States in that regard. The United States was committed to supporting such capacity-building initiatives, including those in training police, prosecutors and border officials. His delegation also endorsed the appointment of a United Nations Counter-terrorism Coordinator, as proposed by the Secretary-General, and urged the United Nations to continue to work with multilateral entities, building increased international capacity to bring terrorists to justice, counter violent extremists and prevent kidnapping for ransom.
“The risk that non-State actors would gain access to [weapons of mass destruction] remains one of the greatest threats to international peace and security,” he said. Many countries had improved their ability to stop the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; while that progress was welcome, he urged all States needing assistance in those fields to request it and for those capable of providing it to do so. The United States had provided $4.5 million to the United Nations Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament, and encouraged others to do likewise.
EVGENY ZAGAYNOV ( Russian Federation) said that terrorism remained one of the most basic threats to international peace and security. It was clear that the threat adapted itself to new realities “with breakneck speed” and that it was acquiring new dimensions. He pointed to Syria and the Middle East region, which saw almost daily attacks, the uncontrolled spread of weapons and an infiltration of fighters. The Russian Federation condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, no matter their source. “Double standards, dividing terrorists into ‘good ones’ and ‘bad ones’ […] is unacceptable,” he said.
The activities of the three Committees, as well as bolstering interaction between them, were key in enhancing the Council’s counter-terrorism effort, he continued. Indeed, the Counter-terrorism Committee was the cornerstone of all such endeavours, and necessary reforms and the continuation of country visits would allow it to effectively carry out its mandate. Against the growing global instability , “we must prevent the further radicalization of societies”.
On resolution 1624 (2005), which included fighting the spread of extremism, he said that it was necessary to broaden the international counter-terrorism network under United Nations’ auspices. The 1967/1989 Committee was one of the most effective mechanisms of the Security Council in countering terrorism, and he expressed support for including new suspects on its list. In that, it was important that the international community be able to respond to new threats “without excessive red tape”. At the same time, the adoption of sanctions must be based on a case–by-case approach, and procedures for de-listing and requests for exclusion must be transparent. Increasing the effectiveness of sanctions remained crucial and depended on implementation by Member States. In addition, preventing the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists was the most pressing global challenge, and States required support in building that capacity. The role of the international community was critical in that regard, he said, noting that his country would continue to play its part, in particular, in the context of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
PHILIP PARHAM ( United Kingdom) stated that no Member State could effectively respond to terrorism by acting alone. Only through cooperation would effective measures to combat terrorism be successful. “True collaboration” was critical, and he urged a comprehensive approach though the engagement of all available tools. In that respect, the three Committees were powerful instruments and he urged their full utilization. He also commended the exemplary work of the Ombudsperson.
For the sanctions regime to be effective, he said, those measures must be implemented diligently. The threat of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons use was a growing concern. He pointed out that 2014 was the tenth anniversary of resolution 1540 (2004), which was the only international instrument designed to prevent terrorists from obtaining those weapons. However, that resolution was only as strong as Member States meeting their reporting obligation, and, in that regard, he called for the full implementation of national action plans.
Further, in order for Member States to act in concert to address the threat of terrorism, he urged that the 1540 Committee be approached for assistance. “Our goal must be universal,” he said, adding that the Committees must play a part in that. He urged the three Committees to intensify their collaboration, adding that the international community had a collective responsibility to combat terrorism and only through collaboration would that be effective.
MARIA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina), stressing that terrorism was a threat to human life and dignity, as well as to international peace and security, said that the United Nations played a primordial role in multilateral action through the Council and its relevant bodies. Open and formal meetings were useful tools for outreach and dialogue, and ensured the greater participation of Member States.
She pointed out that Argentina was the only Latin American country in the five export control regimes that had made subsequent reports and carried out national action plans through domestic legislation, in compliance with its international commitments. In particular, it was one of six countries to come forward with national action plans to implement the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004). However, implementation of that resolution must be carried out with a regional approach and, in that regard, the 1540 Committee should seek to assist States, where necessary. In closing, he urged the three Committees to adopt a “creative approach” to ensure universal implementation. Proposals to strengthen the Ombudsperson’s mandate would also be welcome.
MÓNICA BOLAÑOS PÉREZ ( Guatemala) said that, with the adoption of resolution 2083 (2012) last year, the Council had contributed to improving the efficiency of the United Nations sanctions regimes. However, more remained to be done in that regard; a path that would harmonize political processes and legal mechanisms was needed. The process of listing and de-listing must comply with the principles of fairness, credibility and transparency. It was also vital that all sanctions regimes be fair and transparent and that they ensure due process in their working methods. Reforms of listing and de-listing procedures were important, and the Ombudsperson was best placed to undertake those efforts. Of particular interest was extending her mandate to include all sanctions committees.
She said that the 1267 sanctions regime was one of the most important multilateral tools for combating terrorism. Regarding the work of the 1373 Committee, recent terrorist attacks “are, for all of us, a further sad reminder that we have to stay the course […] to eradicate terrorism”. Close interaction between Executive Directorate and Member States was a prerequisite for full implementation of commitments. She noted that the revised assessment process guaranteed transparency and extended cooperation between the Committee and Member States. The Committee should carry out capacity-building activities, and there should be greater emphasis on conditions that promoted the spread of terrorism, including economic, social and political conditions which fomented the threat.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, which she said was an important complementary tool to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into to the hands of terrorists, she recalled that resolution 1977 (2011) had further enshrined the role of the Security Council in that critical area and set out the conditions to drive multilateral endeavours.
OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE ( Rwanda) welcomed the Counter-terrorism Committee’s initiative to organize a special event on key aspects of its mandate, including technological assistance to States in the Sahel and enhancing States’ abilities to combat terrorism. Rwanda applauded the work of the Al-Qaida Committees, as well as the transparent work of the Ombudsperson, and urged States to share information with her. Regarding efforts in the Sahel, he noted the existence of several Al-Qaida-associated groups and expressed his delegation’s alarm at the continued scourge of terrorism in Mali. The 1267 and 1989 Committees should play their important roles, and the Counter-terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate should coordinate with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism.
He said his country was committed to the non-proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons, as those posed a major threat. He was also deeply concerned about information on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and he hoped the investigation into those allegations could continue. “All countries must be on board” at the tenth anniversary of resolution 1540 (2004) next year, he said, commending the work of that Committee, in particular in promoting synergies with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and with regional organizations such as the African Union. More workshops should focus specifically on Africa, he added.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said that his country’s comprehensive approach to counter terrorism was based on “three Ds: deterrence, development and dialogue”. Terrorism continued to mutate into new and more sinister forms as terrorists used new information and communication technologies and the Internet for recruitment and incitement, as well as for planning and financing. It was important, therefore, to address the root causes of terrorism, which included deprivation, marginalization, exclusion and stereotyping.
He was pleased to note that, today, traditional Al-Qaida “is a shadow of its past”. In the same vein, the nature of the threat, even if diffused, was much more complex, as Al-Qaida had splintered into disparate cells. Its affiliates thrived on local grievances and many did not have a global agenda. Hence, close attention must be paid to the changing forms of the threat of Al-Qaida affiliates and self-radicalized individuals, or “lone wolves”. While he welcomed the recent efforts to introduce fair and clear procedures in the Al-Qaida Committee and strengthen the role of the Ombudsperson, it remained to be seen whether those changes would satisfy the courts around the world.
He supported the Counter-terrorism Committee’s efforts for building State capacities to implement resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). Further, he commended the work of the Executive Directorate in updating the format of the preliminary implementation assessment. His country had made considerable progress to counter terrorist financing and border control by, among others, deploying 150,000 troops on the Pakistan-Afghan border and setting up 822 posts to interdict Al-Qaida and Taliban members. Regarding resolution1540 (2004), its full and effective implementation was key to preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the risk of their acquisition by non-State actors.
LI BAODONG ( China) expressed support for the 1540 Committee to continue its “stable and steady work”. He commended the Sanctions Committee for updating its guidelines and strengthening its procedures while maintaining good cooperation with the Ombudsperson. He hoped that Member States would support and cooperate with the Committee.
The delegate also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Counter-terrorism Committee and its promotion of technical assistance through a variety of workshops, and hoped that developing countries would continue to receive assistance in those important areas. The international community should continue to cooperate in addressing the common threat of terrorism.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said that, although the international community had made remarkable achievements in the fight against terrorism, more needed to be done. Because his country had repeatedly been targeted by terrorist acts that claimed thousands of lives, consistent efforts had been taken in that fight, with a focus on international cooperation. He highlighted the recent International Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism, held in his country, which had been attended by United Nations agencies and more than 50 Member States.
He said that cooperation was crucial, as was addressing the conditions that bred terrorism. The building of State capacity was critical and, thus, the work of all three Committees remained vitally important. He noted, in particular, the “milestone” preliminary implementation assessment. Emphasizing that no one religion or culture should be targets in counter-terrorism efforts, he expressed gratitude for the recent high-level meeting held by the Mission of Saudi Arabia on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors and the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the Arab world.
BÉATRICE LE FRAPER DU HELLEN (France) stressed the extent to which Al-Qaida posed threat to each Member State. The Sanctions Committee played a crucial role in combating that threat, and its decisions must be universally implemented. The list of individuals and entities must evolve in line with the threat. Broadening the listing criteria last year was welcome, and she encouraged Member States to continue to provide the Committee with listing requests. In that respect, she recalled that the Security Council had called for sanctions on groups connected to Al-Qaida in Mali, and she welcomed the organization of thematic meetings on those groups. By creating and bolstering the role of the Ombudsperson, recent resolutions had better tackled the threat posed by terrorism and had increased transparency in procedures.
Regarding the 1373 Committee, she said France attached great importance to outreach activities and information exchanged. It also hailed the initiative taken by the Moroccan Chairmanship to organize special thematic events, including on combating terrorism in the Sahel region and the use of new technologies in countering terrorist activities. On the 1540 Committee, she underscored that the probability of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-State actors was a major danger “and a threat to us all”. Good headway had been made by the majority of States in implementing resolution 1540 (2004), however, more remained to be done, she said, underlining that dialogue with the G8 on that topic should be strengthened.
OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg), joining with the statement to be issued by the European Union, agreed that the three Committees were at the forefront of United Nations efforts to combat the threat of terrorism. Those efforts should be guided by democratic values and the rule of law, and he hailed measures taken by the Council to guarantee due process, and equitable and transparent procedures in the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. Recent resolutions had made that regime more transparent. He fully supported the Office of the Ombudsperson, created in 2009, and its strengthening last year, and called on all Member States to fully cooperate with it. Recent events in Mali and the Sahel demonstrated how the threat of terrorism was changing, and the need to continue to update the sanctions list to ensure its relevance. In order to better stem the terrorist threat, the Council, in its resolutions 2085 (2012) and 2100 (2013), had updated its response and reiterated its will to punish entities that would not cut ties with Al-Qaida.
He said Luxembourg attached importance to the Counter-terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate. Given the current state of the terrorist threat, capacity-building programmes for countries in the Sahel should be bolstered, he said, welcoming efforts undertaken to date in that regard. Luxembourg was also pleased that the Committee would be holding a special meeting on cooperation and technical assistance to those countries. The risk of the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons persisted, and “no State can solve this alone”. While the presence of chemical weapons in Syria was still being confirmed, Luxembourg was extremely concerned about possible chemical weapons stockpiles and their security, and urged the rapid pursuit of those investigations.
KODJO MENAN (Togo) speaking in his national capacity, thanked the Committees, stressing that cooperation between them was of great importance, especially in regard to assisting countries where resources were scarce. Further, such cooperation rationalized the efforts of stakeholders and helped avoid the duplication of tasks. He noted the Committees’ outreach and country visits, as well as their cooperation with regional bodies. The organization of information would make it possible to achieve zero tolerance of terrorist activities. In that regard, technical assistance and capacity-building were key.
He went on to say that country visits and meetings between the Committees and Member States helped sustain relationships which, in turn, could inject new momentum with the Committees and regional organizations. Combating terrorism had to be based on collecting and exploiting information, while identifying facilities and strategies. It could not be carried out alone, but required cooperation with all States. National actions must be accompanied by international cooperation — based on exchanges of know-how and expertise.
He commended the assessment and survey documents, which illustrated the 1373 Committee’s desire to learn more about what States needed, as well as the various workshops announced by the Committee Chairs. Such efforts would increase State capacity. The upcoming anniversary of resolution 1540 (2004) was a chance to “take stock in the road travelled”. Recent events clearly showed a need to have new momentum in addressing and combating terrorism. In that regard, he highlighted the upcoming high-level Council meeting, over which he would preside, on “Peace and Security in Africa: the challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security”.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that his country remained under constant threat from terrorist organizations, with rocket attacks launched by Hamas in the south and Hizbullah, in the north, “exploiting the crisis in Syria” to further undermine regional stability. Terrorism was a growth industry, which was “working around the clock to expand into new markets”. It had a business arm to launder money and to fundraise; it participated in global narcotics markets, operating from West Africa to the Middle East to Latin America; and it used the Internet to promote recruitment, offer instruction, seek financing and develop public relations.
“It takes an industry to defeat an industry,” he stated. Thus, terrorism would only be defeated through international cooperation. In that regard, he expressed support for the Committees’ efforts, which were essential to global efforts to isolate terrorists, as well as the Counter-terrorism Strategy’s four pillars, which should be treated as a whole. He commended the Executive Directorate’s contributions, and supported efforts to make the dialogue between the Directorate and Member States simpler, more transparent and effective.
His country, he continued, actively participated and contributed to capacity-building and exchange of best practices in combating terrorism, with annual meetings with counter-terrorism specialists from other nations to learn about the latest counter-terrorism technological advances and operational tactics. However, in light of the possibility that Hizbullah could seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, he urged the Council to “act today, not tomorrow” in addressing such a serious threat, and called for further utilization of the Charter’s Chapter VII, in order to ”put terrorism out of business”.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein), speaking on behalf of the Group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions — Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland — commended the Council for addressing serious due process concerns regarding the Al-Qaida sanctions regime. The Council had “done the right thing”, he said, by establishing and subsequently strengthening the Ombudsperson process. The fact that the Sanctions Committee had so far resolved 27 cases on the basis of the Ombudsperson’s recommendations, and that 16 new cases were pending, spoke volumes about the quality of the Ombudsperson’s work. To add to that, the process had significantly contributed to the accuracy and fairness of the Sanctions List.
He said it was difficult to explain how there were fair and clear procedures available to persons who had been found to be associated with the terrorist group, Al-Qaida, but not for other individuals and entities who might find themselves, rightly or wrongly, on other sanctions lists. “The time had come” for the Security Council to consider those questions and to improve the remedies available to individuals and entities targeted by other sanctions regimes. Every such individual or entity had the right to be informed of the reasons for listing, as well as the right to be heard and the right to an effective solution.
The good news was that “we do not need to re-invent the wheel”, he said. The Ombudsperson process should be on a case-by-case basis, and be gradually extended to other sanctions regimes as appropriate, in particular, those with broad listing criteria. Each sanctions regime and its underlying political situation was unique, with some more suitable for such an extension than others. Renewals of the Somalia and Eritrea sanctions regimes in August and of the Liberia sanctions regime in December were opportunities for such progress. Extending the mandate of the Ombudsperson’s process would help ensure that listings under other sanctions regimes were in full conformity with the respective criteria established by the Council itself, while addressing due process concerns that might hamper implementation by Member States.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the recent attacks in Boston, Iraq and Libya were a dreadful reminder that terrorism remained a major global threat. The terrorism scourge could only be overcome by democratic measures, which remained in compliance with the rule of law. Terrorism needed to be fought as a crime “by the law and within the law”, with full respect of due process and fundamental rights.
Welcoming the significant steps taken by the Security Council to further reinforce fair and clear procedures in the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, he commended the work of the Ombudsperson and reiterated support for her unwavering efforts. He also welcomed the adoption of resolution 2083 (2012), which introduced some additional changes to the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, in particular, extending the mandate of the Monitoring Team and the Ombudsperson, making their work more effective and transparent. He touched on events, which focused on strategies to prevent and suppress terrorist financing, and highlighted, in particular, a briefing and event in March, which had focused on protecting non-profit organizations from being exploited by those seeking to finance terrorism.
State capacity-building was another crucial aspect of the fight against terrorism, he said, welcoming the conference on border control cooperation in the Sahel and the Maghreb, in Rabat, from 13 to 15 March. He reiterated that all counter-terrorism efforts be in compliance with the rule of law, including human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. Regarding the 1540 regime, he said that no efforts should be spared to increase capacity to prevent proliferation. Lastly, he highlighted the importance of events organized by the Committee worldwide, including workshops in Riyadh and Minsk.
Taking the floor, BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) stressed that armed groups, some of which were linked to Al-Qaida, and most of which were made up of foreign mercenaries, were currently wreaking havoc in Syria. Terrorism, the destruction of hospitals, schools, churches, mosques and diplomatic missions, the looting of factories, the kidnapping of Muslim and Christian religious leaders, hardly served the interest of the Syrian people. Syria was still waiting for action in response to an official request, made two months ago, for the inclusion of the Al-Nusra armed group on the consolidated list of the 1267/1989 Committee. Among other things, that group had, on its website, admitted to executing more than 600 people in Syria over the past year.
“We all know now that the spread of extremism and terrorism in Syria is done with the benediction, and even support, of some Council members,” he said. It was also bizarre that no mention was made by the Chair of the 1267/1989 Committee of Al-Qaida-related terrorism taking place in Syria. Over the past years, Syria had sent more than 160 letters to the United Nations describing the spread of terrorism in its territory. Despite such efforts — as well as reports of Western research institutions, reputable media and other sources that terrorists from all over the world were flowing into Syria — there were, to this day, no practical actions on the part of the 1373 Committee to stem the financing of terrorism in the country or to hold accountable States that openly supported terrorists.
Among other things, he called on the Committees to end the destructive role of media outlets, supported by the Governments of some States, to incite terrorism and spread extremist ideologies, and to stem financing to terrorist groups. In that regard, he drew the Council’s attention to the outcome report of the panel of experts of the 1373 Committee on the participation of some Arab States in providing weapons to armed groups in Syria, and called on Council members to take necessary measures without delay. Member States had always affirmed the need to ensure that weapons of mass destruction did not fall into the hands of terrorists. In that regard, they had tasked the 1540 Committee with, among other things, ensuring that States refrained from supporting terrorists.
It was striking that some permanent members of the Security Council and of the 1540 Committee attempted to hinder the follow-up to the Syrian Government’s request to investigate cases of chemical weapon use by terrorists in Syria. In that respect, he reaffirmed his Government’s willingness to host a neutral technical investigation mission, as had been agreed by the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs. In addition, he drew attention to acts of aggression undertaken by Israel against Syria last week, which was another demonstration of the link between Israel and terrorist mercenaries in Syria. He called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to condemn the incident and to hold Israel responsible.
KAZUYOSHI UMEMOTO ( Japan), while commending the steady progress made by the international community in combating terrorism, stated that it was troubling such attacks still persisted in many regions, noting in particular the recent attacks in Algeria and in Boston. He urged all three Committees to deepen their cooperation with Member States. Noting that 10 Japanese citizens had been killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Amenas, Algeria, he said that his country’s foreign policy would focus on, among other things, supporting regional stability and promoting dialogue with Muslim countries. Those approaches would not only be taken in the United Nations framework, but also in the context of the G8 and counter-terrorist organizations.
He hoped the upcoming visit to Japan by the Counter-terrorism Committee Executive Directorate would deepen their relationship. However, for the United Nations efforts to maintain credibility, all three Committees needed to continue their efforts, in particular, by updating the Sanctions List. He also urged that every effort be made to establish the post of a counter-terrorist coordinator.
ALVARO MENDOÇA E MOURA (Portugal), associating with the statement of the European Union, said that countering terrorism remained one of the most pressing challenges to the international community as a whole and to the United Nations in particular. In that regard, the United Nations was singularly well placed to play the key role of coordinating, supporting and advancing global efforts to address terrorist threats and actions, through the Security Council, as well as its subsidiary bodies.
He urged more attention to enhancing the United Nations preventive counter-terrorism approaches and agenda, improving and more efficiently articulating all relevant tools, both at Headquarters in New York and at the field level. Indeed, it was essential to ensure that compliance with national, regional and international counter-terrorism efforts were in line with human rights and rule of law standards. Preventive action should be considered in regions such as West, Central and East Africa, where emerging challenges required better information-sharing and assessment survey capabilities. Lastly, he commended the contribution of the Ombudsperson’s Office, within the framework of resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011).
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