Speakers Cite Grave Risk of Terrorists Acquiring Chemical, Biological Weapons
As terrorist groups and their ever‑evolving tactics become increasingly diffuse and creative, United Nations counter-terrorism bodies — including the Security Council’s committees established to combat the phenomenon — must also remain flexible and adapt quickly, the 15‑member organ heard today, as the committees’ chairs provided an overview of their recent work.
Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), Chair of the Committee created pursuant to Council resolution 1540 (2004) concerning non‑proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, presented a joint statement on behalf of his committee and two others focused on counter-terrorism and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al‑Qaida sanctions, respectively. Noting that the three bodies are carrying out their work against the backdrop of an increasingly complex, volatile and challenging global security landscape, he said terrorist groups, their affiliates and cells continue to adapt their tactics and methods using modern means of communication to recruit, finance, incite, plan and execute attacks against “soft targets”. Meanwhile, foreign terrorist fighters’ returnees and relocators pose new threats to countries of their origin, nationality and third countries.
Briefing the Council on the work of the “1540 Committee”, he stressed that no State is exempt from making every effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. While an overwhelming majority of States have provided valuable information on the measures they have taken, or plan to take, to comply with their obligations under the resolution, he emphasized that practical steps at the national level remain critical. Outlining the committee’s support to States in that respect, he said it has also developed regional training courses for National Points of Contact to strengthen cooperation and coordination in implementation of the resolution, most recently for French‑speaking African States and in Europe with support from the Russian Federation.
Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL/Da’esh, Al‑Qaida and associated individual groups, undertakings and entities, said the Committee continues to focus on the evolving threat to international peace and security posed by those groups. Despite being militarily defeated in Iraq and Syria in 2017, ISIL/Da’esh has rallied and now controls small pockets of territory in Syria, he said, adding that Al‑Qaida remains resilient in the country. Spotlighting the threat posed there by the Al‑Nusrah Front, he said Al‑Qaida remains prevalent in Yemen, Somalia and parts of West Africa. Also voicing concern about the sustained coalition of terrorist groups in Mali and the Sahel region, he stressed that successfully implementing the Council’s resolutions hinges on the engagement of States and their willingness to provide updated information to the Committee.
Gustavo Meza‑Cuadra Velasquez (Peru), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter‑terrorism, described the transformation of ISIL/Da’esh and the growing sophistication of terrorist tactics. Concerns over foreign terrorist fighters, for example, have grown to include returning fighters and their families as well as the potential risks posed by the forthcoming release of those convicted of terrorism‑related charges. Noting that the Committee is preparing a meeting to update the 2015 Madrid Guiding Principles on dealing with that issue, he said the Counter‑Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) is also engaging with Member States to assist with implementation of systems for Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records as well as the use of biometric data to identify terrorists.
As Council members took the floor, the representative of the Netherlands was among those expressing concern about mounting evidence that the global terrorist threat has not, in fact, diminished. That was proven again last week, when Dutch authorities foiled a major terrorist attack planned against a large event in the Netherlands. “This incident underlines that we cannot become self‑complacent,” he stressed, adding: “We cannot let our guard down.” In that regard, he said the success of the three committees and their expert groups depends on Member States, which must take responsibility for implementing the resolutions that underpin their work. Among other things, he also spotlighted the importance of holding terrorists accountable for atrocities, particularly war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
Côte d’Ivoire’s delegate, meanwhile, joined other speakers in expressing concern over the grave risk posed by terrorist groups’ possible acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. Welcoming strong cooperation between the three counter‑terrorism committees and their support to Member States, he said West African countries have benefited from regional training sessions aimed at supporting their counter‑terrorism focal points and strengthening their cooperation. Voicing support for efforts to update sanctions lists in line with evolving challenges, he invited CTED to continue to help countries combat incitement and all other actions that lead to violence.
Sweden’s representative, striking a similar tone, declared: “The threat from non‑State actors is real.” The urgency has become even more evident, he said, as the taboo on chemical weapons has been broken repeatedly in recent years. Noting that Sweden, Bolivia and the Expert Group of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) will in late October co‑host an event on emerging technologies — aimed at sharing relevant experiences — he emphasized that counter‑terrorism efforts can never be imposed at the expense of human rights. Indeed, he stressed, the latter form the basis of an open society and help foster resilience against terrorist propaganda.
The delegate of the United Kingdom emphasized that, in the face of evolving terrorist threats, “we must be flexible and adaptable in response”. Expressing support for the establishment of a global standard passenger name record and its responsible use by States to address the challenge posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters, he invited CTED to visit the United Kingdom and encouraged other countries to facilitate similar visits, emphasizing that “we can all learn” more in that area. In addition, he underlined the critical role to be played by the private sector, academic research centres and other non‑governmental groups, recalling that in August a civil society leader briefed the Council on the particular role of women in the threat posed by terrorist groups.
The Russian Federation’s delegate, echoing many similar concerns, nevertheless pushed back against attempts to shift CTED’s attention towards subjects such as the role of women, human rights protection, interaction with civil society and other issues which do not fall directly under its mandate. The CTED’s focus must remain firmly on counter‑terrorism, he stressed, warning against attempts to turn that Committee into a “quasi‑human rights body.” That targeted approach is an attempt to shift concepts and to protect “hand‑picked terrorists” from global focus, he said. Emphasizing that CTED must strictly adhere to its own long‑standing practices, he urged the body to continue to focus on the escalating threat posed by those groups’ further expansion into Afghanistan and Central Asia and called for the rejection of double standards in the implementation of all United Nations counter‑terrorism resolutions.
Also speaking were representatives of the United States, Kuwait, France, Equatorial Guinea, China, Ethiopia and Poland.
The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. and ended at 11:35 a.m.
SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Committee created pursuant to Council resolution 1540 (2004), outlined a joint statement on behalf of the chairs of the three sanctions committees also including those established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) related to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al‑Qaida; and resolution 1373 (2001) related to the Counter‑Terrorism Committee. Noting that the three committees are carrying out their work in a strategic context in which in the global security landscape has become significantly more complex, volatile and challenging, he said terrorist groups, their affiliates and cells continue to adapt their tactics and methods using modern means of communication to recruit, finance, incite, plan and execute attacks against “soft targets”. “Foreign terrorist fighters’ returnees and relocators are posing new threats and challenges to countries of their origin, nationality and third countries,” he added.
Outlining other threats posed by those groups’ use of modern technology, he spotlighted the risks posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the potentially devastating effects that nuclear, chemical or biological weapons could exert in the hands of non‑State actors such as terrorists. Those groups and their supporters are ready to commit extreme violence on a wide scale, he said, which would have catastrophic humanitarian, economic, social and political consequences. In that vein, the three committees strive within the limits of their mandates to promote the most up‑to‑date, effective human rights and rule-of-law based measures in the areas of non‑proliferation, sanctions, countering the financing of terrorism, border management and law enforcement, international judicial cooperation, prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration, countering terrorist narratives and engaging communities.
Outlining the committees’ cooperation with the Counter‑Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and other relevant bodies, as well as their targeted outreach activities in such regions as West Africa and Central Asia, he also highlighted the importance of coordinating activities and engaging in dialogue with Member States. In July, CTED and representatives of the 1540 Group of Experts visited Armenia and Georgia, while the 1267 Monitoring Team will participate in a CTED country visit to Mali in October. He also described close cooperation with various regional organizations aimed at exploring ways to enhance the implementation of their mandates in a complementary way. For example, CTED acts as a United Nations focal point for the Asia‑Pacific Group on Money Laundering and collects relevant information from other bodies, including the 1267 Monitoring Team and the 1540 Group of Experts.
He went on to outline additional information‑sharing activities, including in global efforts to combat the financing of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as the three committees’ engagement in various joint meetings and events. For example, the Counter‑Terrorism Committee invited the two other committee’s expert bodies to its briefings on the role of financial institutions in the fight against terrorist financing in October 2017 and on vital currencies and the misuse of new technologies for terrorism financing purposes in December 2017. The expert bodies also shared their up‑to‑date expertise in several internal thematic professional trainings and briefings by external partners and interlocutors. Emphasizing that the three committees will continue to cooperate and coordinate their work, in accordance with their respective mandates, he also underlined their joint commitment to continue to engage with and support Member States in their counter‑terrorism efforts.
KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL/Da’esh, Al‑Qaida and associated individual groups, undertakings and entities, said the Committee continues to devote special focus to the evolving threat to international peace and security posed by ISIL/Da’esh, Al‑Qaida and their affiliates. He said the 1267 sanctions regime is an important tool in countering such threats. Referencing that latest report by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, he said the threat posed by terrorist organizations has evolved over the past year.
Despite being militarily defeated in Iraq and Syria in 2017, ISIL/Da’esh has rallied and now controls small pockets of territory in Syria, he said. The group has been able to extract some oil and mount attacks across the Iraqi border. Meanwhile, Al‑Qaida remains resilient in Syria, where the Al‑Nusrah Front may now be the strongest terrorist group, he said, adding that Al‑Qaida is stronger than ISIL/Da’esh in Yemen, Somalia and parts of West Africa. Al‑Qaida’s alliance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains firm despite rivalry from local ISIL/Da’esh affiliates. He stressed that the sustained coalition of terrorist groups in Mali and the Sahel is a source of concern.
As of 2018, the strength of ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq and Syria is assessed to be between 20,000 and 30,000 members with foreign terrorist fighters presenting a significant component of the group, he said. Calling for increased information‑sharing among Member States to counter relocating terrorist fighters, he said ISIL/Da’esh forces in Afghanistan number between 3,500 and 4,000 fighters. The group is trying to expand its presence despite pressure from the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. The evolving terror threat is reflected in the adoption last year of a number of Council resolutions, he said, pointing to resolutions 2368, 2379, 2388 and 2369. The success of those texts hinges on the engagement of Member States and their willingness to provide updated information to the Committee.
To enhance the full effective implementation of sanctions, the Committee undertakes visits to selected countries, he said, noting a recent visit to Afghanistan in his capacity as Chair of both the 1267 Committee and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011). That visit, facilitated by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), sought to obtain information regarding the implementation and effectiveness of sanctions measures and to enhance dialogue and engagement of Afghan interlocutors with the two committees. Visits were also conducted to Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. The 1267 Committee maintains its sanctions list updated and as of today there are 263 individuals and 83 entities on the ISIL/Da’esh and Al‑Qaida list, he said.
Over the course of the reporting period, he said he held two briefings with interested Member States and encouraged other States not part of the Council to share any queries and concerns with the 1267 Committee. He called on Member States to continue their engagement with the Committee and the Monitoring Team so the sanctions list can be up‑to‑date and dynamic.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA VELASQUEZ (Peru), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter‑terrorism, affirmed that the threat posed by international terrorism continues to be grave. The transformations of Da’esh and the growing sophistication of terrorist tactics require innovation in the international response and assurance that measures in place are both effective and sustainable. Concerns over foreign terrorist fighters, for example, have grown to include returning fighters and their families as well as the potential risks posed by the forthcoming release of those convicted of terrorism‑related charges. The Committee is preparing a meeting to update its 2015 Madrid Guiding Principles on dealing with that issue. The CTED, he noted, is also engaging with Member States, in cooperation with relevant organizations, to assist with implementation of systems for Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records as well as the use of biometric data to identify terrorists, in compliance with domestic and international human rights law. In that context, he noted that United Nations recommended practices for the responsible use of biometrics have just been issued.
The CTED, he said, is also supporting development of prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for former members of terrorist groups, including in the Lake Chad Basin, and continues to focus on challenges that hinder attempts to prosecute returning terrorist fighters. Pursuant to the adoption of Council resolution 2395 (2017), the CTED has reported on its efforts to bolster its assistance to Member States and their partners. So far in 2018, the Directorate has conducted 13 country assessment visits on the Committee’s behalf, in cooperation with international and regional organizations. The Committee recently received consent to visit Mali and Saudi Arabia. Finland and the United Kingdom have invited assessment visits in 2019.
The Counter‑Terrorism Committee, he said, recently held briefings on children on terrorism and other complex human rights issues related to counter‑terrorism. Conferences were also held in several regions on topics that included countering violent extremism, the role of the Internet in many aspects of extremism, provision of electronic evidence across borders and countering terrorist financing. Strengthening of cooperation with all major actors is ongoing in all such areas. He reaffirmed the determination of the Committee and the CTED to develop and implement comprehensive responses to the evolving terrorist threat, in close coordination with all partners.
Mr. LLORENTTY (Bolivia), speaking as Chair of the Security Council Committee overseeing the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) on preventing proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and related materials to non‑State actors, stressed the global nature of the continuing threats and underlined that no State is exempt from making every effort to prevent them. In that context, he confirmed that an overwhelming majority of States have, through their reporting, provided valuable information on the measures they’ve taken, or plan to take, to comply with their obligations under the resolution. To date, more than 181 countries have submitted initial reports. Mali, in that context, will be this month assisted by experts to prepare its initial report, he added, stressing that regular additional reporting and updating is also needed.
Practical steps taken at the national level to implement the resolution are critical, he said. All key national stakeholders must be engaged with National Implementation Action Plans to close any gaps in the preventive framework. For this purpose, facilitation of information‑sharing by Member States is one of the 1540 Committee’s core activities. Peer review meetings between Chile and Colombia in 2017, the third held globally, represented a good example of the opportunities to generate ideas about effective national implementation practices. The Committee has also developed regional training courses for National Points of Contact to strengthen cooperation and coordination in implementation of the resolution, most recently for French‑speaking African States, hosted by the African Union, and another in Europe with the support of the Russian Federation and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
In efforts to match requests for implementation assistance with offers, he said, requests were displayed on the 1540 Committee’s homepage, dating back to 2010. As of today, 21 requests are still open and further assistance is needed. As of May 2018, 47 States and 16 organizations have informed the Committee about general assistance programmes. He welcomed any updates of assistance programmes by providers. He also noted that the Committee and its Group of Experts have maintained the momentum of outreach events, with the priority of direct engagement with States through visits and national roundtables at their invitation. Cooperation with related international organizations has also been intensified. For communication with all partners, the Committee is seeking ways to better use its website and is publishing a quarterly message to the wider 1540 network, including civil society and parliamentarians. He stressed that implementation of the resolution is the responsibility of States, but it requires active engagement with all relevant sectors of society, including industry, academia and professional associations.
JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States) emphasized that “we’ve come a long way at the United Nations” in joint efforts to defeat ISIL/Da’esh and other terrorist groups. However, some terrorist organizations have morphed and ISIL/Da’esh affiliates around the world now risk bringing the scourge to new regions. Underlining the need for the Council to swiftly designate ISIL/Da’esh affiliate groups as terrorists, he warned against the recent breakdown of international norms against the use of chemical weapons, urging the Committees to remain vigilant. Recalling that the mandate of CTED was strengthened in 2017 — resulting in its release of a joint report with the United Nations Office of Counter‑Terrorism, he said the document serves as a model of how to improve cooperation and provide technical assistance where needed. Improving information‑sharing and reducing overlap between the three committee’s expert groups is critical, he stressed, also advocating for a “whole of society” approach to combating terrorism in which non‑governmental organizations and civil society actors are engaged, allowing for the swift identification of new threats and action against them. Meanwhile, he stressed, all counter‑terrorism efforts must remain fully in line with international human rights obligations.
KAREL J.G. VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), echoing concerns that the global terrorist threat has changed but not diminished, said that was proven again last week when Dutch authorities foiled a major terrorist attack planned against a large event in the Netherlands. “This incident underlines that we cannot become self‑complacent,” he stressed, adding: “We cannot let our guards down.” In that regard, he said the success of the three committees and their expert groups depends on Member States, which must take responsibility for implementing the resolutions that underpin their work. He encouraged the Committees and expert groups to share more information with other parts of the Organization and to intensify outreach with non‑Council members and non‑United Nations organizations. He also stressed the importance of holding terrorists accountable for atrocities, particularly war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) hailed the three committees’ comprehensive assessments, their analytic work on emerging threats and trends and their support to Member States in taking counter‑terrorism action in line with international law. Underscoring the need to pay special attention to women and children as victims, he expressed concern about several recent instances of chemical weapons use around the world. Resolution 1540 (2004) and other regulations aimed at preventing non‑State actors from possessing, acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction must be fully implemented and further strengthened. Warning against associating terrorism with any specific nationality or religion, he urged States to adopt strong measures against the phenomenon while fully respecting human rights, rejecting hatred and extremism and acting within the scope of their respective beliefs.
SAMER MELKI (France), noting that ISIL/Da’esh has suffered significant military defeats in recent months, nevertheless warned that the threat posed by the group has now become more diffuse and the risk that it could acquire or use weapons of mass destruction has not disappeared. Welcoming the work of the 1267 Committee, he urged all Member States to cooperate with that body and rigorously implement its sanctions regime, including by submitting listing requests as needed. It is vital that States accept visits from CTED in order to adjust and improve their technical systems. Underlining the important work of the 1540 Committee, he said the risk of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery falling into the hands of terrorists remains a very real danger. In recent years, the world has seen ISIL/Da’esh use mustard gas in Syria at least twice, he said, noting that “is it more important than ever that we adapt our actions to these evolving threats”. Welcoming progress by many States in such areas as strengthening export control mechanisms, he pledged France’s continued support to global counter‑terrorism efforts, adding that it plans to bring a draft resolution to the General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) aimed at preventing non‑State actors from acquiring radioactive materials.
GBOLIÉ DESIRÉ WULFRAN IPO (Côte d’Ivoire) expressed concern about the capacity of terrorist groups to adapt their tactics as well as their use of the Internet and the risk posed by their possible acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. Welcoming strong cooperation between the three counter‑terrorism committees and their support to Member States, he also hailed their coordination with, visits to and engagement of countries worldwide. West African countries have benefited from regional training sessions aimed at supporting their counter‑terrorism focal points and strengthening their cooperation, he said, also welcoming cooperation and coordination with such agencies as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and others. Voicing support for the updating of sanctions lists in line with evolving challenges, he invited the CTED to continue to help countries combat incitement and all other actions that lead to incitement and violence and expressed support for the updating of the 2015 Madrid Guiding Principles aimed at helping States combat the flow of foreign terrorist fighters.
AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Equatorial Guinea) said that the briefing by the 1267 Committee chair and the Secretary‑General’s seventh report on the ISIL/Da’esh threat and United Nations efforts to help Member States counter it (document S/2018/770) indicate the progressive capacity of terrorist groups to adapt to the international response. She praised the committees for their work to update that response. She encouraged a more inclusive focus toward Member States and regions that are all vulnerable to terrorism now or in the future, with assistance provided where necessary. In that light, she welcomed the growing engagement of CTED in Central Africa. On Da’esh, she noted the continuing threat and commended the maintenance of the sanctions list. Regarding the 1540 Committee, she thanked it for its work on implementation and awareness‑raising and encouraged intensified cooperation with regional organizations and Member States. The idea that non‑State actors can acquire powerful weapons is still daunting, however. Robust international barriers to proliferation are therefore a necessity. Calling the work of the Group of Experts of the 1540 Committee critical in helping build capabilities in customs and border control, she called for strengthening of the partnership between States that need assistance and those that can provide it. The fight against all forms of terrorism must be continued by all States in concert, she affirmed, pledging her country’s continued commitment.
WU HAITAO (China) expressed appreciation to the work of all the sanctions and counter‑terrorism committees, underlining that an integrated approach is essential to combat the grave threats. Noting the improved working methods of the Counter‑Terrorism Committee, he called for complete objectivity and fairness in implementing the sanctions regime as well as continued cooperation with regional organizations and Member States in meeting all threats, included those posed by new technologies. In non‑proliferation, it is important to recognize the role and responsibilities of Member States in developing an approach that suits their specific situation. He underlined that all activities must be done within the purview of the relevant resolutions and affirmed that his country continues to help strengthen the non‑proliferation regime in all its aspects.
TAYE ATSKE SELASSIE (Ethiopia) recognizing the indispensable role of the Counter‑Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, said that regional cooperation should be strengthened and should focus on the most‑affected countries. Assessment visits should be followed by facilitation of capacity‑building where there is a need to fill existing gaps. Expressing appreciation for the work of the ISIL/Da’esh and Al‑Qaida Sanctions Committee, he welcomed continued engagement with the Monitoring Team. Warning of the continuing threat posed by the possible acquisition of powerful weapons by terrorists still, among other efforts he called for gradual control of all weapons of mass destruction leading toward their total elimination. He also emphasized the need for strengthened cooperation between the sanctions and counter-terrorism committees within the framework of resolution 2368 (2017), particularly in terms of cooperation with Member States and regional organizations.
JOAKIM VAVERKA (Sweden) drew attention to the recent establishment of the Office of Counter‑Terrorism as well as the adoption of several related resolutions. The Security Council resolution 1267 (1999) sanctions regime remains a vital tool in counter‑terrorism efforts because, even though ISIL/Da’esh has recently lost territory, the network still poses a threat. He also welcomed the appointment of Daniel Kipfer Fasciati, the new Ombudsperson, and called for a future procedure to avoid vacancies on that post. Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) and its Committee constitute an important complement to the multilateral disarmament and non‑proliferation regime, he noted, adding: “The threat from non‑State actors is real.” That urgency has become even more evident as the taboo on chemical weapons has been broken repeatedly in recent years. Sweden, Bolivia and the Expert Group of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) will in late October co‑host an event on emerging technologies to share relevant experiences. Moreover, “counter‑terrorism efforts cannot come at the expense of human rights,” he cautioned. Human rights are the basis of an open society and help foster resilience against terrorist propaganda, he observed.
JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) highlighted rapid dual‑use technological advances, which he said continue to outpace national and international regulations. Indeed, non‑State actors have become more creative in weaponizing new technologies, with the use of weapons of mass destruction “a dreadful reality”. In that context, he called on all States to fully implement resolution 1540 (2004) by strengthening their capacity to counter threats posed by terrorists acquiring such weapons. Welcoming the achievements of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), he noted that Al‑Qaida nevertheless poses a long-term danger for stability and sustainable development. He also underscored the importance of keeping the sanctions list updated and called for the issue of weapons reaching ISIL/Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates to be addressed in a holistic manner.
JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom) said no country or region is immune from the threat of terrorism. Only through collaboration will it be defeated, he stressed, noting that while much is being done bilaterally much work also flows from binding United Nations resolutions and from the collaborative work of its counter‑terrorism committees. Warning against the continued threats posed by Al‑Qaida and its affiliates, as well as those of ISIL/Da’esh and extremist right‑wing groups, he stressed that “we must be flexible and adaptable in response”. The private sector, academic research centres and other non‑governmental groups have a critical role to play, he said, recalling that in August a civil society leader briefed the Council on women’s particular role in the threat posed by terrorist groups. On the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, he voiced support for a global standard passenger name record and its responsible use by States. Inviting CTED to visit the United Kingdom in 2019 and encouraging other countries to facilitate similar visits, he emphasized that “we can all learn” more in that area. Hailing recent efforts by Chile and Colombia to improve their implementation of resolution 1540 — and calling for other States to do the same — he went on to say that the 1540 Committee should consider practical responses to emerging technology and terrorist financing, as well as new ways to raise awareness of those issues.
VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation), welcoming the increasing number of missions carried out jointly by the sanctions committees, the Counter‑Terrorism Committee and the CTED, nevertheless expressed concern over attempts to shift the latter’s attention onto subjects such as human rights protection, the role of women, interaction with civil society and other issues which do not fall directly under its mandate. The CTED’s focus must remain firmly on counter‑terrorism, he stressed, warning against attempts to turn that Committee into a “quasi‑human rights body.” That targeted approach is an attempt to shift concepts and to protect “hand‑picked terrorists” from global focus, he said. Emphasizing that CTED must strictly adhere to its own longstanding practices, he described the Al‑Qaida and ISIL/Da’esh sanctions committee as one of the Council’s most important and successful bodies and urged it to focus on the escalating threat posed by those groups’ further expansion into Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Also expressing support for the committees’ continued focus on the challenge of foreign terrorist fighters relocating out of Syria and Iraq, he welcomed the work of the Monitoring Team engaged in those efforts. However, the latter’s reports must remain entirely objective and be based only on verified information. He also welcomed efforts to implement resolution 1540 (2004) — a key, universal, legally‑binding resolution under which all States are obligated to take action — he said more still needs to be done. The Russian Federation continued to support other States in that regard, he said, including by organizing courses on the resolution’s implementation for OSCE member States and others. The Council must firmly respond to all violations of resolution 1540 (2004) and as well as the allegations of the provision of chemical or biological weapons to non‑State actors, which requires the rejection of all double standards. Concluding, he voiced support for the swift establishment of an international counter‑terrorism coalition.