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SC/14716
2 December 2021
8915th Meeting (PM)

Strong Cooperation among Counter-Terrorism Committees Vital for Combatting Growing Global Scourge, Speakers Stress as Subsidiary Body Chairs Brief Security Council

The Security Council heard the annual briefing from the chairs of its three counter-terrorism Committees today, as members stressed the importance of cooperation among the three bodies to mount a united front against the growing global scourge.

Trine Heimerback (Norway), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, pointed out that the most striking development of the period under review was the emergence of Africa as the region most affected by terrorism, and in which the largest numbers of casualties inflicted by groups affiliated to those designated under the 1267 sanctions regime occurred.

In some regions, especially in parts of West and East Africa, the affiliates of both groups displayed gains in supporters and territory under threat, as well as growing capabilities in fundraising and weapons, she said.  Highlighting the evolving threat that ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and their affiliates pose to international peace and security, she encouraged Member States to actively contribute to making the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List updated and relevant and to deploy efforts to fully implement the sanctions measures against listed individuals and entities within their jurisdiction.

Ali Cherif (Tunisia), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said his body has continued to engage with Member States, United Nations entities, international and regional organizations, academia, and civil society organizations to address terrorist threats and challenges.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) has conducted virtual components of 13 hybrid assessment visits this year, bringing the total number since 2005 to 181, and visited States to 117, he said.  In January, the Tunisian presidency launched the process of commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Council’s adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) and establishment of the Committee, with a ministerial debate and adoption of a Security Council presidential statement.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramirez (Mexico), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), reported that although States have made significant progress towards full implementation of the resolution, this remains a long-term task, requiring enhanced cooperation among the three Committees.  While in 2019 the Committee began a comprehensive review on the status of implementing the resolution, he observed that several planned activities were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with delays in scheduling comprehensive review-related activities.

Mr. De la Fuente Ramirez also spoke on behalf of the Chairs of those three Committees, noting that despite the pandemic, the bodies continued to cooperate and coordinate their work to ensure an effective, efficient approach to counter-terrorism and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors.

Conscious that terrorist groups and their supporters are ready to commit extreme violence on a wide scale, he highlighted the importance of considering the potentially catastrophic humanitarian, economic, social and political consequences if nuclear, chemical or biological weapons fall into the hands of non-State actors, particularly terrorists.  In that regard, he recalled relevant Council resolutions that reiterate the need to enhance ongoing cooperation among those Committees.

In the ensuing discussion, Viet Nam’s representative observed that there are clear links between the work of the three Committees and the frameworks under relevant resolutions in combatting terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Therefore, it is crucial to continue close cooperation and coordination among the Committees to effectively respond to the threat of those weapons falling into the hands of non-State actors, including terrorist groups.  As a developing country with limited resources, Viet Nam attaches great importance to providing Member States with technical assistance and capacity-building so they can fully and effectively implement Council resolutions on counter-terrorism and proliferation, he said.

Niger’s delegate said that countries in the Sahel and the Lake Basin region have become the epicentre of terrorist activity, adding that the speed with which the terrorist threat has been exported from the Middle East to Africa demonstrates the adaptive capacity of global terrorist organizations.  The fight against terrorism requires a global approach that considers the social, economic and political factors which drive people to extremism and radicalism.  If ISIL/Da’esh could be defeated in Iraq and Syria, it could just as well be defeated in the Sahel, he declared, stressing the need for the same level of international commitment and mobilization.

The representative of the Russian Federation was among delegates that expressed concern about ISIL/Da’esh’s wing in Afghanistan, warning that it remains a key factor in the destabilization of that country.  Its expanding ideological, propagandistic and recruitment activities, which skilfully deploy information and communications technology, pose a threat to Central Asia.

Ireland’s delegate said counter-terrorism responses cannot be solely security-driven.  They must also be inclusive, gender-responsive and based on whole-of-society approaches grounded in respect for human rights.  Efforts to combat terrorism should never serve as a pretext for human rights violations, he stressed.

The representative of the United States called for strengthened cooperation between the 1373 and 1540 Committees, adding that the upcoming mandate renewal of the latter will offer an opportunity to enhance its functionality and credibility in empowering experts and to enhance areas of coordination between Committees.  Moreover, the 1540 Committee must take steps to respond to rapid advances in science, which could be deployed by non-State actors for weapons of mass destruction-related purposes.

Also speaking today were representatives of Kenya, China, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Norway, Mexico, France, Estonia, United Kingdom and India.

The meeting began at 3:01 p.m. and ended at 4:48 p.m.

Briefings

JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE RAMÍREZ (Mexico) spoke on behalf of the Chairs of the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the three Committees continued to cooperate and coordinate their work to ensure an effective, efficient approach to counter-terrorism and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors, he said.  Conscious that terrorist groups and their supporters are ready to commit extreme violence on a wide scale, he highlighted the importance of considering the potentially catastrophic humanitarian, economic, social and political consequences if nuclear, chemical or biological weapons fall into the hands of non-State actors, particularly terrorists.

Since its adoption more than 17 years ago, Council resolution 1540 (2004) has become a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture and a key instrument in curbing the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, by non-State actors, he said.  The 1540 Committee is conducting an important comprehensive review of its work to promote full implementation of the resolution by all Member States.  The review will inform negotiations on its future mandate, and as part of it, the Committee intends to hold open consultations soon with Member States, as well as relevant international, regional and subregional organizations and, where appropriate, with civil society.

The 1373 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate have maintained close partnership with the 1267/1989/2253 and 1540 Committees, as well as relevant United Nations entities and international organizations to address terrorism, he said.  In its 12 January 2021 presidential statement, the Security Council reiterated the need to enhance the ongoing cooperation among the Committees and their respective groups of experts, noted the importance of their ongoing interaction and dialogue with all Member States and encouraged the Committees to continue to pursue a constructive and transparent approach.

Member States face many complex challenges, among them the rise in terrorist attacks, and the use of information and communications technology for terrorist purposes, he said.  The COVID-19 pandemic has also created conditions which have been exploited by terrorist groups.  Collective efforts and close collaboration among all Member States and other players are vital to successfully address such threats and challenges.  He noted that relevant Council resolutions reiterate the need to enhance ongoing cooperation among the 1373 Committee, its Executive Directorate and the 1267 and 1540 Committees, including through enhanced information-sharing, coordination on visits to countries and on facilitating and monitoring technical assistance, as well as other cooperative measures to assist Member States’ efforts to comply with the relevant resolutions.

Despite the pandemic-induced travel restrictions, the three Committees have ensured business continuity by adapting their working methods to virtual environments, he said.  During the period under review, they have increased regular joint consultations and they and their respective expert bodies will continue to cooperate and coordinate their work, including through joint visits.

TRINE SKARBOEVIK HEIMERBACK (Norway), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, said that while restrictions imposed in non-conflict zones to address the COVID-19 pandemic have artificially suppressed the terrorist threat, the relatively low threat in those zones is expected to increase when restrictions ease.  In conflict zones, the pandemic has had greater impact on legitimate authorities than on terrorists, and the threat had already increased.

She pointed out that the most striking development of the period under review was the emergence of Africa as the region most affected by terrorism, and in which the largest numbers of casualties inflicted by groups affiliated to those designated under the 1267 sanctions regime occurred.  In some regions, especially in parts of West and East Africa, the affiliates of both groups displayed gains in supporters and territory under threat, as well as growing capabilities in fundraising and weapons.  Turning to the groups’ other efforts, she said the periodic reports of the Monitoring Team present a more detailed analysis of the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida.

Despite travel limitations imposed by the pandemic, she said that, since May 2021, the Monitoring Team managed to conduct visits to Central Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, including Iraq, and convened the Vienna regional meeting of Intelligence and Security Services of the Middle East and North Africa.  Following months of informal “virtual meetings”, the Committee resumed in-person meetings in July.  Emphasizing the Committee’s efforts to ensure that its sanctions list is accurate and promptly updated, she said that, in total, there are currently 260 individuals and 89 entities on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.  Noting that the Ombudsperson, Daniel Kipfer-Fasciati, had resigned and will leave office by the end of 2021, she expressed hope that his replacement would be appointed shortly.

Also noting that the Committee had recently concluded the 2020 annual review, she said the names under review included those lacking identifiers necessary to ensure effective implementation of the measures imposed upon them; individuals who are reportedly deceased; groups, undertakings and entities that are reported or confirmed to have ceased to exist; and any other names on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List that had not been reviewed in three or more years.  In that regard, the responsiveness of Member States remains crucial for the successful conduct of those reviews.

Highlighting the evolving threat that ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and their affiliates pose to international peace and security, she encouraged Member States to actively contribute to making the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List updated and relevant and to deploy efforts to fully implement the sanctions measures against listed individuals and entities within their jurisdiction.  She also urged those Member States that had not done so to submit the implementation reports mandated under the relevant Security Council resolutions.

ALI CHERIF (Tunisia), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said his body has continued to engage with Member States, United Nations entities, international and regional organizations, academia, and civil society organizations to address terrorist threats and challenges, focusing on four key areas.  First, its Executive Directorate has conducted virtual components of 13 hybrid assessment visits this year, bringing the total number since 2005 to 181, and visited States to 117.  The Committee Executive Directorate has completed the desk review and stocktaking of Member States’ implementation progress, enabling a better understanding of individual country profiles.  The Committee also recently launched its enhanced assessment and stocktaking tool, the electronic Detailed Implementation Survey (e-DIS), and the revised Overview of Implementation Assessment.

The second key area has been facilitating delivery of technical assistance to States in need, he said, maintaining a close partnership with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.  The Committee Executive Directorate, serving as Chair, Co-Chair or Vice-Chair of several working groups of the Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, has worked closely with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and other Organization entities to ensure targeted impact on the ground.  The third key area has been continued promotion of Member States’ implementation efforts, using its Executive Directorate policy papers to assist States in implementation of relevant Council resolutions.  In the past 12 months, up to 19 November 2021, the Committee has held six open and closed briefings on regional and thematic topics to address interests and concerns of Member States on counter-terrorism.

The fourth key area over the past year has been commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Council’s adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) and establishment of the Committee, he said.  The Tunisian presidency launched the process in January 2021 with a ministerial debate and adoption of a Security Council presidential statement.  The Committee held a special meeting on this topic on 4 November, which adopted an outcome document reaffirming the Committee’s commitment to address terrorism in all forms and manifestations; work with Member States and other interlocutors and players; and achieve impactful deliverables and results in the effective implementation of relevant Council resolutions.

Mr. DE LA FUENTE RAMIREZ (Mexico), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), fully supporting the joint statement delivered on behalf of the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee, emphasized that resolution 1540 (2004) is a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture to prevent non-State actors from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.  The potentially catastrophic consequences from the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons by such actors remain a matter of serious concern to the international community, he said.  Although States have made significant progress towards full implementation of the resolution, this remains a long-term task, requiring enhanced cooperation among the three Committees.

While in 2019 the Committee began a comprehensive review on the status of implementing the resolution, he observed that several planned activities were postponed due to the pandemic, along with delays in scheduling comprehensive review-related activities.  During 2021, the Committee has held three in-person meetings, also conducting activities to promote full implementation, and further assisting States, upon request, in strengthening national capacity, participating in 19 outreach events.  To date, 184 countries have submitted initial reports on the measures they have taken, or plan to take, to comply with obligations under the resolution.  He noted States can develop voluntary national implementation action plans, as encouraged by operative paragraph 5 of resolution 2325 (2016), helping to close gaps and vulnerabilities in regulations and national control frameworks, and foster inter-agency cooperation.  The total number of States that have submitted such plans to the Committee since 2007 now stands at 35.

In 2021, he cited three States — Botswana, Sierra Leone and Tajikistan — having submitted new requests to the Committee for assistance in fulfilling their 1540 obligations, compared to five in 2020.  He said the Committee will continue to undertake visits to States, at their invitation, to discuss national reporting, Committee matrices and assistance on implementation measures.  It will further work to enhance information-sharing, coordination on visits to countries, technical assistance and other issues of relevance to the Committee, the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and will brief the Council jointly with those two bodies accordingly every year.

Statements

JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) noted an uptick in attacks by ISIL/Da’esh-affiliates and supporters, which have expanded their reach globally from Iraq and Syria, and expressed disappointment that the 1267 Committee had only designated two individuals over the past year.  More needs to be done to keep such individuals from “taking up the mantle of the diminished ISIS core”, he stressed.  He hoped the upcoming renewal of the mandate of the 1373 Committee will help further the role of the Committee Executive Directorate as a platform on current and emerging terrorist threats.  Turning to the “untenable” situation of 10,000 foreign terrorist fighters and associated family members held in detention camps in Syria and Iraq without human rights protections, he said he hoped that countries will repatriate, prosecute, investigate and reintegrate such individuals.

On ethnically motivated violent extremism, he recalled the Secretary-General’s statement regarding the rising transnational threat of white supremacist movements in the Human Rights Council in February and pointed out that domestic terrorists had reached out to like-minded individuals elsewhere in the world, highlighting the need for strengthened cooperation between States to identify and end such threats.  He called for strengthened cooperation between the 1373 and 1540 Committees, adding that the upcoming mandate renewal of the latter will offer an opportunity to enhance its functionality and credibility in empowering experts, and to enhance areas of coordination between Committees.  Moreover, the 1540 Committee must take steps to respond to rapid advances in science, which could be deployed by non-State actors for weapons of mass destruction-related purposes.

TRACY WANJIRU MBABU (Kenya) stressed that the threat of acquisition of materials that could be used for the manufacture of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or their means of delivery by non-State actors is a danger for all States.  She took note that the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the modus operandi of terrorists as witnessed in the exploitation of new technologies to conduct their radicalization, recruitment, financing, planning and execution activities.  Applying new technologies in the fight against terrorism remains key to combating the scourge, she asserted, stressing also the importance of the prevention and disruption of terrorism financing in averting and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

HAI ANH PHAM (Viet Nam) observed that there are clear links between the work of the three Committees and the frameworks under relevant resolutions in combatting terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Therefore, it is crucial to continue close cooperation and coordination among the Committees to effectively respond to the threat of those weapons falling into the hands of non-State actors, including terrorist groups.  As a developing country with limited resources, Viet Nam attaches great importance to technical assistance and capacity-building for Member States for the full, effective implementation of Council resolutions on counter-terrorism and proliferation, he said.  As such, the 1540 Committee should continue its awareness-raising activities to ensure that all States are informed about their obligations under relevant resolutions and support States in the implementation of resolution 1540.

GENG SHUANG (China) said that the COVID-19 pandemic heightened terrorism threats and risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, urging the international community to take those developments seriously.  Applauding the work of the Monitoring Team, he said it informed the work of the 1267 Committee.  However, the Committee should stay vigilant about the situation in Afghanistan.  The work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate merit recognition, he said, encouraging the organs to continue to facilitate national counter-terrorism capacity-building, especially in African countries.  China expects the comprehensive review of the 1540 Committee to be driven by Member States.  He also stressed the importance of striking a balance between non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear materials, especially for developing countries.  The three Committees should continue to strengthen their cooperation and mutual complementarities.

Mr. CHERIF (Tunisia), noting that terrorism remains a serious threat to international peace and security, said that over recent years, terrorist groups, mainly Da’esh and Al-Qaida, have been able to adapt to and continue to exploit crises facing individuals and societies to disseminate terrorist ideas and recover operational capacity.  They have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in areas of conflict, helping to ensure that those conflicts continue and become bloodier.  In that regard, he said there is a shared responsibility to combat terrorism using a comprehensive approach that tackles the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism.  Stressing that combatting terrorism has always been a key priority for Tunisia, he said his country has increased its international commitments and implemented them.  He underscored the need to continue international efforts, stressing that the absence of specific progress would likely weaken the non-proliferation regime or system.  He urged the Security Council to look swiftly at the mandate of the Committee Executive Directorate and the sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and Da’esh, so that mechanisms could be adapted to and tackle new and emerging trends.

MARTIN GALLAGHER (Ireland), expressing concern about the risk that non-State actors, including terrorists, may acquire or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, said counter-terrorism responses cannot be solely security-driven.  Effective counter-terrorism demands inclusive, gender-responsive and whole-of-society approaches grounded in respect for human rights.  Efforts to combat terrorism should never serve as a pretext for human rights violations, he stressed, adding that the targeting and criminalization of civil society, humanitarian workers and human rights defenders in the name of counter-terrorism is never legitimate.  Highlighting the Security Council’s crucial role in this, he said that body must provide for appropriate exemptions and safeguards in counter-terrorism and sanctions regimes, in order to preserve the humanitarian space.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) commended the work of the 1267 Committee, which he said is one of the Council’s most effective mechanisms to counter terrorism.  On the ISIL/Al-Qaeda Committee, he said ISIL/Da’esh’s Afghan wing remains a key factor in the destabilization of that country and is an additional danger due to its expanding ideological, propagandistic and recruitment activities which skilfully deploy information and communications technology, thereby posing a threat to central Asian States.  The uptick in suicide bombers shows that such groups have human resources at their disposal, he said.  He expressed support for the work of the Monitoring Team and called on Member States to work closely with its experts.  However, the reports must be objective and rely on credible sources of information.  On the 1373 Committee, he welcomed the global surveys by its Executive Directorate on the implementation of Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), which it undertook despite the pandemic.

Noting that the Counter-Terrorism Committee is continuing its work in a “hybrid” format, with some meetings conducted virtually, he expressed the hope that it would gradually return to a more normal way of working.  Further, the Committee Executive Directorate should take a more active part in organizational matters and avoid the frequent postponement of meetings and the presentation of documents in the last minute.  Turning to the 1540 Committee, a vital tool in non-proliferation and in ensuring countries can establish effective national systems that can prevent weapons of mass destruction and related materials from falling into the hands of non-State actors, he looked forward to its conducting a comprehensive review of its work, which had been scheduled to take place in 2020.

ELLIS PHILLIPS (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) noted that to successfully confront terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, efforts must be conducted on a multilateral basis, in partnership with international regional and subregional organizations, academia, and civil society organizations.  Welcoming the launch of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s new assessment tools, she encouraged the Committee to further enhance its engagement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other United Nations agencies to develop and promote well-informed counter-terrorism responses, and to avoid the duplication of efforts.  Expressing concern about the threats posed by ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and their affiliates, which require timely action from the 1267 Committee members and from the broader United Nations membership, she encouraged Member States to fully implement the sanctions measures against listed individuals and entities within their respective jurisdictions.

Ms. HEIMERBACK (Norway) stressed that a multilateral response is critical to counter terrorism, highlighting the indispensable role of the United Nations in that regard.  Each part of the Organization’s counter-terrorism architecture has its own unique strengths, she said, emphasizing that all entities must draw on each other’s comparative advantages.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee plays a critical role in the implementation of relevant resolutions by Member States.  Norway considers sanctions to be important tools at the Council’s disposal and values the work of the 1267 Committee Ombudsperson.  The 1540 Committee is a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture, she said, adding that Norway is eager to ensure a meaningful review of that Committee.  To be effective and sustainable, the work of the three Committees must be grounded in a holistic approach with prevention at the centre.  Such an approach should also address the underlining drivers of radicalization, be gender-responsive and focused on protecting and promoting human rights, she said.

ENRIQUE JAVIER OCHOA MARTÍNEZ (Mexico) said that while the pandemic continues to affect the work of United Nations subsidiary bodies, it has not quelled the intent nor actions of non-State actors, particularly of terrorist groups, as Governments struggle to contain COVID—19.  Regarding Committee 1373, he recognized progress made in looking to resume country visits using hybrid means, allowing their work to continue.  This month the Council has before it the renewal of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate, as well as Committee 1267, which is an opportunity to make structural reform to both bodies.  Regarding Committee 1540, he said the threat of non-State actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction had not abated.  In that regard, the comprehensive review of resolution 1540 (2004) will provide an opportunity for the members of that Committee and the rest of the Council membership to make proposals aimed at strengthening the Committee to meet current challenges and make it more efficient.

SHERAZ GASRI (France) commended the work of the head of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, which undertook its activities despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, while sparking several discussions on the future of counter-terrorism architecture.  She reiterated the importance of coordinating the work of all Committees.  Noting that the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate’s mandate is set to renew at the end of the month, which enables an evaluation of the implementation by States of Council resolutions, she said the Directorate must expand the work of the Monitoring Team to better react to evolving threats and go where it would be most useful.  In particular, she said, it could respond to the threat emanating from Afghanistan, due to the victory of the Taliban emboldening affiliates of Al-Qaida.  The Executive Directorate could help neighbouring countries, which will be first impacted, by assessing their capacity to respond to such threats.  Turning to the 1267 Committee, whose mandate is also set to renew this month, she underlined the effectiveness of sanctions, and said it is necessary to ensure procedures respect human rights.  On the 1540 Committee, whose work is indispensable, and whose experts need to be given more autonomy, she supported the ongoing comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and hoped it will be swiftly and constructively completed.

ANDRE LIPAND (Estonia) said counter-terrorism measures cannot be used as a justification for human rights violations.  Regretting to note the difficult decision of the Ombudsperson to resign, he expressed hope a new one will be appointed shortly.  Among key elements for developing counter-terrorism strategies is female leadership and participation, he said, welcoming the Council’s recognition of terrorism’s impact on the human rights of women and girls.  Despite pandemic-related roadblocks, the Counter-Terrorism Committee managed to find consensus on working methods, having held 13 virtual visits, including to Estonia.  The hybrid component is an efficient way to discuss less-sensitive agenda items, he said, calling for it and virtual dialogues to be kept in the tool-box in post-pandemic times, as they allow the Council and the Committee to be more flexible and effective.  Resolution 1540 (2004) remains a key instrument in addressing emerging threats posed by weapons of mass destruction, given the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.  Welcoming efforts to enhance cooperation among the 1540 Committee, Counter-Terrorism Committee and the ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, he said multilateral and multi-stakeholder engagement is essential in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

FERGUS ECKERSLEY (United Kingdom) said that as the goals of resolution 1540 (2004) are clear and unarguable, it is essential that the 1540 Committee be able to carry out its work unhindered.  The United Kingdom plays its part by chairing the global partnership against the spread of weapons of mass destruction and conducting national risk assessment of proliferation financing.  The review of the 1540 Committee is an opportunity to raise awareness of Member States’ obligations to implement the resolution.  As for the 1267 and 1373 Committees, he said they must remain agile, and attentive to new developments, such as misuse of technology by terrorists.  The work of all three Committees remains vital to a united global response.

T.S. TIRUMURTI (India) said that despite Council measures to counter the threat of terrorism over the past two decades, the threat continues unabated, with the biannual reports of the Secretary-General and Monitoring Team recording expansion of terrorist groups in several countries of Africa, as well as South Asia.  Condemning the attacks at Kabul, Kunduz, Kandahar, Naganhar and various other provinces of Afghanistan, he noted the reports also highlight misuse of new and emerging technologies including social media and cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups for propaganda, recruitment and raising and transferring funds.  Al-Qaida and ISIL-affiliated terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-i-Mohammed and Harakat ul-Mujahidin remain active in the subregion, launching cross-border terrorist attacks on his country.  As it is appalling that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks continue to be at large and enjoy State hospitality, he urged the international community to hold accountable Member States that are clearly guilty of not just double speak, but also of aiding and supporting terrorism.

While United Nations sanctions regimes are pivotal in preventing terror financing and access to arms, he said implementing those measures remains challenging, affirming that all sanctions regimes should ensure due process in their working procedures and decision-making.  Further, the Monitoring Team should examine the trans-border threat posed by Al-Qaida affiliates Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-i-Mohammed and Harakat ul-Mujahidin, and the links between such organizations and other listed terror networks, highlighting them in their periodical reports.  The threat of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction is no longer in the theoretical realm, he stressed, as illustrated by the recent report of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD).  Therefore, prevention is a key priority for the international community, as reflected in the consensus approval by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the resolution put forth by his delegation on “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.8).

ABDOU ABARRY (Niger), Security Council President, speaking in his national capacity, noted the resilience of terrorists who continue to kill in several regions of the world and expressed regret that the results of the Council’s work fall far short of the expectations of millions who suffer daily from the terrorist scourge.  While consensus has not been reached on delisting and listing requirements with penholders not able to reconcile opposing points of view, he pointed out that terrorists, not bogged down in debates and formalities, continue their bloody attacks.  Countries in the Sahel and the Lake Basin region have become the epicentre of terrorist activity, he said, adding that the speed with which the terrorist threat has been exported from the Middle East to Africa demonstrates the adaptive capacity of global terrorist organizations.  The fight against terrorism requires a global approach that takes into account the social, economic and political factors that drive people to extremism and radicalism.  If Da’esh could be defeated in Iraq and Syria, it could just as well be defeated in the Sahel, he stressed, stressing the need for the same level of international commitment and mobilization.

For information media. Not an official record.