GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE
Background: establishment and mandate
The Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee was established on 15 October 1999 by the Security Council with the adoption of resolution 1267 for the purpose of overseeing the implementation of sanctions measures imposed on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for its support of Usama bin Laden. The sanctions regime has been modified and strengthened by subsequent resolutions, including resolutions 1333 (2000), 1390 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006), 1822 (2008), 1904 (2009) , 2083 (2012) and resolution 2161 (2014) so that the sanctions measures now apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida wherever located.
On 17 June 2011, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolutions 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011) as successor resolutions to resolution 1904 (2009). By adopting these resolutions, the Security Council 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 only names of those individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida. On 17 June 2014, through resolution 2161 (2014), the Security Council reaffirmed the provisions set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 1989 (2011). The Security Council will review the current sanctions measures with a view to their possible further strengthening by December 2015.
The above-mentioned resolutions have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all States to: freeze the assets of, prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by, and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of arms and military equipment to any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida as designated by the Committee. The primary responsibility for the implementation of the sanctions measures rests with Member States and effective implementation is mandatory.
The Committee and its work
The Committee is made up of all 15 members of the Security Council and holds regular meetings in both formal and informal sessions. The current Chair of the Committee for the period ending 31 December 2015 is His Excellency Mr. Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand). The two Vice-Chairs for 2015 are Chile and the Russian Federation. The Committee takes all its decisions by consensus.
In addition to overseeing States' implementation of the sanctions measures, the Committee maintains a list of individuals and entities with respect to Al-Qaida and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them ("the Al-Qaida Sanctions List"). Any State may request the Committee to add names to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List. The Committee also considers submissions by States to delete names from the Al-Qaida Sanctions List, as well as petitions submitted through the Office of the Ombudsperson established pursuant to resolution 1904 (2009).
Another task of the Committee is to consider submissions from States concerning exemptions to the assets freeze in accordance with resolution 1452 (2002) as amended by resolution 1735 (2006), as well as exemptions from the travel ban pursuant to paragraph 1 (b) of resolution 2161 (2014). When making all such requests, States are requested to submit identifying information and the statement of the case describing the basis of the proposal. The Committee’s Guidelines for the conduct of its work describe the procedures for listing, de-listing and granting humanitarian exemptions.
Finally, the Committee regularly reports about its activities, including through annual reports, and makes recommendations to the Security Council with a view to improving the sanctions regime, including by proposing additional measures.
The United Nations Secretariat assists the work of the Committee by providing substantive support and secretariat services. It also helps the Committee maintain its website by updating the Al-Qaida Sanctions List as soon as changes are approved by the Committee (including additions and deletions). The Secretariat of the Committee can be contacted by email at: SC-1267-Committee@un.org.
The Monitoring Team
The Committee is also supported in its work by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (the ‘Monitoring Team’), which is composed of independent experts, appointed by the Secretary-General, with expertise in counter-terrorism, financing of terrorism, arms embargoes, travel bans and related legal issues. The Coordinator of the Monitoring Team is Mr. Alexander Evans. The Monitoring Team can be contacted by email at: email@example.com.
The Monitoring Team assists the Committee in evaluating the implementation of the sanctions regime by Member States, including on the ground, as well as by reporting on developments that have an impact on the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, such as the changing nature of the threat of Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The Monitoring Team operates under the direction of the Committee but the views and recommendations expressed in its reports do not necessarily reflect the views of the Committee or the United Nations.
The Committee’s work with Member States
By resolutions 1455 (2003) and 1617 (2005) States are called upon to inform the Committee on the actions they have taken to implement the sanctions regime against the individuals and entities placed on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List. Reports submitted pursuant to resolution 1455 (2003) are available in the “Member States Reports” section. In addition to gathering information from these reports, the Committee engages in direct dialogue with States through country visits and meetings with their representatives in New York. Member States are encouraged to send representatives to meet with the Committee for more in-depth discussion of relevant issues. Voluntary briefings from interested Member States on their efforts to implement the measures, including particular challenges that hinder full implementation of the measures, are welcomed.
Based on the submitted reports and the direct dialogue with States the Committee has provided the Security Council with analytical assessments on implementation of the sanctions measures, including States’ successes and challenges in implementing them. The latest report was published as document S/2006/1046.
Member States are encouraged to inform the Committee on steps they have taken to implement the sanctions measures and to use the following tools to provide such information;
- ‘Annual Statement of Information on updates to the Consolidated List’ which is intended as an annual reminder to Member States of all changes to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List in the preceding year
- ‘Voluntary National Assessment of Implementation Survey’ to assist Member States to provide the Committee with necessary information on their implementation efforts.
The significance of the Al-Qaida Sanctions List
As noted, the Committee, under its mandate, has established and maintains a list of names of individuals and entities with respect to Al-Qaida and individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with it (“the Al-Qaida Sanctions List”). The Al-Qaida Sanctions List serves as the foundation for the implementation and enforcement of sanctions against Al-Qaida and their associates. The Committee is continuously seeking to improve the information on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List to ensure that the sanctions measures can be implemented effectively.
Strengthening the sanctions measures in response to the changing nature of the threat posed by Al-Qaida
The Security Council strengthened the sanctions regime with resolution2161 (2014), adopted on 17 June 2014, which renewed the mandate of the Monitoring Team. The resolution reaffirmed the acts and activities that indicate that an individual or entity is associated with Al-Qaida, and thus is eligible for designation on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List and subject to the three sanctions measures. The resolution specifically states that such acts or activities include:
- participation in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or
- activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of;
- supplying, selling, or transferring arms and related materiel to;
- recruiting for; or
- otherwise supporting acts or activities of;
Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof.
Resolutions 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006), 1822 (2008), 1904 (2009), 1989 (2011), 2083 (2012) and 2161 (2014) reflect the efforts of the Security Council to adapt the sanctions regime to the changing nature of the threat posed by an evolving Al-Qaida.
The Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the UN’s work against terrorism
The Committee is one of three counter-terrorism bodies established by the Security Council. The Council has been dealing with terrorism issues since the early 1990s, but following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001, the Security Council, by resolution 1373 (2001), established the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) which is also made up of all Council members. By the same resolution the Security Council requires States to take a number of measures to prevent terrorist activities and to criminalize various forms of terrorist actions. The CTC facilitates the provision of assistance to States to build capacity to counter terrorism on a national, regional and global level. Its work is assisted by a Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) established by the Security Council in 2004. More information about this Committee is available on its website: http://www.un.org/sc/ctc/.
In 2004 the Security Council, through resolution 1540, established the 1540 Committee, again made up of all Council members, with the task to monitor Member States’ compliance under the resolution, which aims to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors, including terrorist groups. More information about this Committee is available on its website: http://www.un.org/sc/1540/.
The three Committees and their expert groups coordinate their work and cooperate closely on common issues such as their travel programmes and other means of gathering information. They also share information on the assistance needs of Member States. The Committee Chairs brief the Security Council on the activities of the Committees in joint meetings, when possible. The distinct but complementary roles of the three Committees are described in a comparative table issued jointly and posted on their respective websites.
* *** *