26 May 2004
List of Suspected Terrorist Organizations and Individuals, National Reports Continue to Play Crucial Role in Fight against Terror, Security Council Told
NEW YORK, 25 May (UN Headquarters) -- Terrorism remained a serious threat to international peace and security, and given recent terrorist incident worldwide, the Security Councils 1267 Committee should have regular communication with Member States, Heraldo Muñoz (Chile), that bodys Chairman, said today.
Briefing the Council this morning, he said that since 1 January, the names of several more individuals and entities had been placed on the Committees consolidated list of terrorist organizations and individuals, which continued to play a crucial role in the implementation of sanctions against those individuals and entities.
He said that the Committee -- formally known as the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al Qaeda and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities -- had decided to approach all States, as it had in 2002, to seek information about the names already on the list and the submission of new ones. It had also established a list of contact points, which would allow its secretariat automatically to inform the competent national officials about amendments to the list.
Pointing to several positive developments since his last report in January, he said they included the submission of 33 additional national reports on measures to implement anti-terrorism measures. That had brought to 126 the total number of reports submitted by Member States. In addition, the Committee had received 15 letters from States explaining their reasons for not having submitted reports.
Another positive development was the establishment of a new monitoring team, which had begun its work in April, he said. It had established regular contact with the Security Councils Counter-Terrorism Committee and would continue to develop its relationship with that bodys new Executive Directorate to ensure minimum overlap and maximum synergy. The team had also submitted to the Committee an initial work plan and an analysis of why certain States had not submitted reports. It had also submitted an analysis of the 43 reports received since 30 October 2003.
The monitoring teams preliminary assessment of the national reports had revealed, however, that they were of uneven quality, he said. Most did not provide precise details on implementation initiatives and the information requested was often lacking. Many Member States did not appear to have incorporated the sanctions into their domestic legislation or administrative rules, and considered that existing measures were sufficient to deal with all forms of terrorism, whereas that was not always supported by the facts, especially with regard to freezing financial assets and resources. Moreover, only a few States had indicated their intentions to amend their laws.
In the ensuing discussion, Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan) spoke in his national capacity, urging the Committee to evaluate the performance of States, not simply on the basis of their country reports, but also on the basis of their actions on the ground to counter terrorism. Concerning the consolidated list, which remained a key tool, the Committee should further improve the information, in order to assist prosecutors and national authorities to proceed against those listed. At times, the information had been insufficient to stand up in the judicial process.
Noting that the Chairmans report had confirmed the lack of capacity on the part of many States to combat terrorism effectively, he stressed the importance of continuing to focus on the need to build that capacity, particularly strengthening border controls. In terms of the financing of terrorists, one important step was to fine-tune the international response and to assist States in improving their normal financial systems.
He said his country had played a key role in the virtual breakdown of the Al Qaeda. Pakistan had captured more than 500 Al Qaeda and associated terrorists, including most of its top leadership. It had cooperated in tracking down terrorists in several countries, creating a national anti-terrorist capacity to participate in that effort. Pakistans efforts to track down Al Qaeda and associates on the Afghanistan frontier were continuing, with 70,000 of its armed forces deployed on the border.
Indias representative stressed the links among different terrorist groups, as well as the mutating nature of their membership and ideologies. They could not thus be addressed on the basis of a segmented approach. The 1267 and Counter-Terrorism Committees must orient themselves to the different systems and loopholes that terrorist networks used to further their objectives. Such an approach implied close cooperation with officials and experts from countries with the required experience in dealing with such situations.
The representative of the United Kingdom drew attention to the potential for humanitarian consequences arising from the freezing of the assets of mixed entities, which provided assistance to the needy, as well as to terrorists. Perhaps it was possible to alert relief agencies about a listing that might have humanitarian consequences, so that some provision could be made for those affected, while taking care not to forewarn the target. The importance of ensuring respect for human rights while fighting terrorism should not be underestimated, he added.
Angolas representative said the international community had already made remarkable progress in freezing terrorist assets. Controlling financial resources was an important aspect of the international campaign against terrorism, and the Committee should continue to focus on alternative remittance systems. In addition, some States required greater assistance in improving their financial structures, including their banking systems.
Costa Ricas representative, noting that implementing the relevant Council resolutions was a highly complex process requiring time, said counter-terrorism should become a permanent United Nations activity, coordinated by an independent, professional and permanent body located at the heart of the Organizations organic structure. A United Nations high commissioner for counter-terrorism would facilitate coordination and cooperation among various national agencies combating terrorism.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Council members Benin, United States, Spain, Algeria, France, Russian Federation, Romania, Germany, Brazil, Philippines and China.
Representatives of Japan and Ireland (on behalf of the European Union) also made statements.
The meeting began at 10:21 a.m. and adjourned at 12:42 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. It was expected to hear a briefing by the Chairman of the 1267 Committee, which, established on 15 October 1999 with the adoption of resolution 1267, imposed sanctions on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for its support of Usama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization.
Since then, the sanctions had been modified and strengthened by the Council, and as of January 2002, the sanctions no longer exclusively targeted territory in Afghanistan. The 1267 Committee oversees the implementation by States of the sanctions, on which the 1267 Committee Chairman regularly reports orally.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al Qaeda and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, informed the Council about the overall work of the Committee and the monitoring team, summarized States work, and addressed requests from States for additional assistance. Several positive developments had ensued since his last report in January, including an increase in State compliance. Thirty-three additional reports had been submitted, bringing to 126 the total number of reports submitted by Member States. In addition, the Committee had received 15 letters from States explaining reasons for not reporting.
He said that despite some advances, however, terrorism remained a serious threat to international peace and security. Given the recent occurrence of terrorist incidences worldwide, the Committee should have regular communication with Member States and report regularly to the Security Council. On 30 January, the Council had adopted resolution 1526, which created the new, more demanding conceptual and substantive framework for the Committees future activities. Shortly thereafter, on 18 February, he briefed Member States in greater detail on the most important aspects of that resolution.
Since 12 January, he said, the Committee had held 12 informal and two formal meetings. At the initiative of some members, it had started discussing a working paper containing definitions of terms contained in resolution 1526 and other relevant resolutions, particularly on the freezing of funds and other economic resources. The aim was to provide more clarity regarding the Committees monitoring functions. Early in February, the Committee endorsed its programme of work for 2004, as well as the main issues to be discussed at its informal meetings. It also approved a detailed report on its 2003 activities.
Since 1 January, the names of several more individuals and entities had been placed on the list, which continued to play a crucial role in implementation of the sanction measures, he said. The Committee, therefore, had decided to approach all States, as it had in 2002, to seek assistance in identifying information about the names already on the list and about the submission of new ones. The Committee had established a list of contact points, which would allow its secretariat to automatically inform the competent officials of Member States of amendments to that list. On 26 April, the Committee had approved a report containing a list of those States that had not yet submitted reports, and had included an analytic summary on the reasons given by States for not reporting.
He noted that the monitoring team began its work in April and had since established a wide-ranging context for its work based on the reports of Member States. The team had submitted to the Committee an initial work plan, a short report, and an analysis of why certain States had not reported, as well as an analysis of the 43 reports received by the Committee since 30 October 2003. It had also established regular contact with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and had held various meetings. The team would continue to develop its relationship with the new Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to ensure minimum overlap and maximum synergy.
On implementation of the sanctions, he said that a preliminary assessment by the monitoring team of the reports submitted by Member States had shown that their quality had been uneven. Most had not provided precise details on implementation initiatives, and the information requested was often lacking. Regarding legislation, many Member States had not appeared to have incorporated the sanctions in their domestic legislation or administrative rules, and considered their existing laws to be sufficient to deal with all forms of terrorism. However, that had not always been supported by the facts, especially with regard to freezing financial assets and resources. And, only a few States had indicated their intentions to amend their laws.
On financial measures, a varied approach had been taken, he said. In some cases, it was unclear which law was being applied. The many references to money laundering legislation had suggested there might be confusion between money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It appeared that in most States, the consolidated list continued to have a limited distribution, made available only to banks. The focus of monitoring charities seemed to focus mainly on requirements for licensing and registration, and tax liability.
On the travel ban, he said that most States appeared to have integrated the consolidated list into their border control systems, but only a few had been able to do that electronically or in a way that allowed for quick and efficient transmission of data. On the arms embargoes, most States appeared to have adequate legislation to deal with the illicit acquisition of both conventional and unconventional arms, although many had not taken specific measures to implement those provisions. He would prepare and circulate a comprehensive, written briefing to the Council of all actions taken by Member States on implementation.
Next, he reviewed his recent visits to Algeria, Tunisia, Spain and Senegal, which had sought to engage in dialogue, learn from the countrys experiences, and understand their preoccupations and concerns. The mission had produced several recommendations, including that the level of information sharing should be increased, in which the Committee and monitoring team could have a role. He had been made aware of the need to avoid a north-south divide in the fight against terrorism. The need for dialogue between countries, as well as to further tolerance and understanding, had also emerged.
Also apparent, he said, was that the fight against terrorism should also address poverty reduction, employment and education issues. Several countries continued to need assistance, and the Security Council should work with the new Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to strengthen capacities in that regard. Also raised had been the impact of terrorism financing through kidnappings. He also recalled the analysis submitted in his report of 27 April of the reasons why some States had not reported. Since then, three other States had complied, including from Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The lack of reporting had not indicated a lack of will to produce a report or a lack of commitment to international efforts to defeat terrorism, he continued. The monitoring team had found much to support its assumption that many non-reporting States lacked the capacity or resources to fulfil their reporting obligations.
He stressed that terrorism was a global threat with global effects, affecting every aspect of the United Nations agenda, as the Secretary-General had pointed out. If the United Nations wanted to achieve tangible progress on its agenda, the fight against terrorism must remain a priority. The prevention of terrorist attacks required extensive and effective international cooperation, and the United Nations was the only organ equipped to martial the required level of commitment. It provided a forum for standards to be articulated and adopted, and it served as an impartial venue in which varying perspectives and concerns might be voiced and considered.
In addition, he said, the United Nations was best suited to require States to take action, through binding Security Council resolutions and sanctions. Finally, the United Nations had an indispensable role in ensuring that the vigour of States to combat terrorism did not infringe on human rights, the rule of law, or democratic governance.
JOEL ADECHI (Benin) said that among the factors that had accentuated the reports positive aspects included initiatives taken by the monitoring team set up under resolution 1526 to streamline the Committees work. The recent visit of the Chairman to Spain and Africa had enabled the Council to have a constant dialogue with States. Benin noted the offer of assistance to those States that lacked the means to fulfil their obligations and called for more active cooperation between States that were able to provide assistance and those that could be targeted by terrorists. The fight against terrorism must include education in order to imbue people with the need for tolerance and respect for the rule of law and so that they did not subscribe to fundamentalist beliefs.
STUART HOLLIDAY (United States) welcomed the plans and focus of the new monitoring team, saying that his Government ascribed great importance to the team and would closely monitor its work. The United States was committed to shutting down Al Qaeda and the Taliban and reminded all Member States of the importance of fulfilling their obligations regarding such efforts, including adherence to their reporting requirements. Those reports were the lifeblood of efforts to fight Al Qaeda. The United States stood ready to assist States requiring assistance. As demonstrated by recent events, no State was immune to the threat of Al Qaeda.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) said that, for obvious reasons, counter-terrorism had been a priority for all Spanish people for decades, but with the recent tragic events, that determination had been further reinforced. The Committee Chairman had emphasized the need to tighten cooperation among all States, as well as with the Council. Spain had been a leading country in providing technical assistance to combat terrorism and was also working very intensively within the European Union and the Council of Europe to enhance and tighten cooperation in that area.
He said that the new monitoring team was playing a key role, and its work would prove essential for the Committees proper functioning. He also welcomed the fact that transparency was prevailing in the teams work and was also guiding the work of the Committee itself. The chief working tool of the Committee was the consolidated list, which was constantly updated. The Committee was also working to improve and overcome the possible shortcomings in the list, especially the lack of sufficient information for some entries.
For its part, Spain was ready to provide the Committee with any relevant information it might have, provided that the disclosure of such data did not prejudge investigations and provided that there were appropriate legal safeguards, he said. The 1267 Committee was making progress, but the goals and objectives set by the Council would ultimately depend on the cooperation of all States and competent organizations. Hence, the opportunity should be seized to send out a fresh appeal to all to cooperate to the fullest.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said that adoption of resolution 1526 had been another benchmark in the conceptual framework of the Committees mandate. Since then, much progress had been achieved. Also since adoption of that text, the Committee had considered several issues pertaining to both legal definitions, its own work programme for 2004, as well as an analysis of the list of non-reporting States. Since January, the names of 19 individuals and six terrorist organizations had been added to the list, including some proposed by Algeria. In that regard, he welcomed the spirit of cooperation of the German delegation, with whom his country had taken joint action on two occasions.
Noting that the monitoring team had undertaken a series of additional tasks, he encouraged it to put the final mark on its in-depth analysis. Interaction and synergy between the Al Qaeda and the Counter-Terrorism Committee should be further encouraged, particularly better coordination between the monitoring team and the new Counter-Terrorism Committees directorate. Some confusion had emerged between money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The facts had shown that terrorist networks were funded in various ways, including through arms trafficking, organized crime and drug trafficking. In that regard, he welcomed the Chairmans visit to various countries, including his own, during which many questions had been addressed.
He said that the procedure for notification should be encouraged to enable it to become embedded in the relevant resolutions on the Committee. His delegation had recently initiated a series of informal consultations with Committee members, with a view to submitting new names for the list very soon. The propaganda and justification supplied by terrorists must be dealt with, as, in some ways, that was more harmful than the financing of terrorists. He also highlighted the dangers of kidnapping as one way to collect funds for terrorist groups. In that regard, he advocated an international ban on ransom payments. He beseeched members to think further about the better use of Chapter VII of the Charter to compel States to cooperate fully.
EMMANUELLE DACHON (France), associating herself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that given the persisting threat of terrorism confirmed by the Madrid bombing, the international community must remain mobilized and not lower its guard. France welcomed the adoption of resolution 1526 in January which had made it possible to strengthen the provisions for fighting Al Qaeda.
In particular, France underscored the importance of addressing the diversion of funds intended for humanitarian purposes, she said. Combating terrorism, in general, and Al Qaeda, in particular, could not be done in isolation. France would lend bilateral support to countries seeking to enhance their practical anti-terrorism measures. The fight against terrorism and respect for human rights could not be separated, as the struggle could only be won by respecting human rights, she added.
ALEXANDER KONUZIN (Russian Federation) said that over the first half of the year, the Committee had continued to enact an effective and robust policy to combat Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their associates. The Russian Federation welcomed the work begun by the new monitoring team, with whose active cooperation the Chairmans report had been presented, and which had helped to identify cases of insufficient observance of sanctions. In addition, the team and come forward with further improvement of steps taken against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
He said his country valued the mission undertaken by the Chairman to several specific countries. The dialogue allowed a first-hand examination of the stages of their respective implementation of the Councils demands. The mission had also provided an opportunity for the Chairman to speak with the relevant governments about their difficulties in implementing those requirements. Russia drew special attention to the need for a new approach to the consolidated list of terrorist organizations and individuals. Adding to it was a task not only for the Committee, but also for Member States.
MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that while much progress had been made in dealing with the Taliban and Al Qaeda many threats persisted as new challenges arose. Holding the vice-presidency of the 1267 Committee since January 2004, Romania had participated with keen interest in the recent visit to selected countries between 1 and 8 May. Those kinds of missions in the field generated concrete value added for both the Security Council and the countries visited. That was the way to make the 1267 Committee play more effectively one of its most important roles: that of interface between the Council and Member States called upon to implement its resolutions.
The Committee had entered a new stage of maturity, being now endowed with a coherent and comprehensive set of instruments enabling it to better carry out its mandate. But the degree of success depended also on the capabilities on the ground to apply the measures adopted by the Council. The Chairmans report was particularly meaningful in that regard. The fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban required a solid global texture, as any weak component reduced the effectiveness of the entire system. It was, therefore, in the interest of the Council and relevant United Nations agencies, as well as international donors, to provide assistance to countries needing specific help, for instance in border control. The permanent and substantive dialogue and exchange of information between countries situated in different regions, which were connected by the nefarious terrorist acts, should be encouraged.
WOLFGANG TRAUTWEIN (Germany), subscribing to the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, expressed appreciation for the Chairmans continued close dialogue with Member States. The countries he had recently visited were important and reliable partners in the struggle against terrorism.
Welcoming the new monitoring team and its coordinator, who had prepared an ambitious work plan, he commended them for having started their activities by establishing direct working contacts with a great number of Member States. In Germany, they would find open doors in the same way as had their predecessors.
HENRIQUE VALLE (Brazil) said that in the Committees work, the establishment of direct contact with Member States was a most valuable asset. In that regard, Brazil was pleased to refer to the increase in the submission of 33 additional reports by Member States pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1455 (2003), and the submission of letters from the other 15 other Member States in justification of their incapacity to submit reports as requested. Even if those letters did not constitute compliance with the requisite reporting, they allowed for the establishment of an important direct channel of communications with the Member State in question.
He said that through direct contacts being conducted by members of the monitoring team, not only would the team be more capable of improving its analytical capacity, but it could also extend the degree of cooperation it was able to extend to States that encountered difficulties in implanting the dispositions relevant to combating the Taliban and the Al Qaeda network. Finally, the useful visits to specific countries and regions by the Committee Chairman also constituted a very relevant contribution, as they increased the awareness of the Councils work directly with the governmental authorities involved in combating of terrorism, and allowed the Committee, through the Chairmans reports, to benefit from the feedback of people with direct experience in the field.
ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom) said the findings of the Chairmans recent visits had demonstrated their usefulness. He agreed with the recommendations stemming from the visits and he stood ready to assist in taking them forward. He fully endorsed the work programme of the monitoring team and welcomed the focus on the need for close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He welcomed the proposal to explore improvements to the consolidated list, as well as the intention to look more closely at the reasons behind non-reporting. Also welcome had been the intention to assess Member States implementation of the measures, the impact that they had had, and how they might be improved. The teams intention to develop a better understanding of the nature of the threat was important in taking forward those initiatives.
He said the importance of ensuring respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism should not be underestimated. Addressing human rights was fundamental to addressing some of the root causes of terrorism. Moreover, ensuring that human rights, refugee and humanitarian law were respected, everything possible must be done to ensure that innocent people were not affected. In light of the potential for humanitarian consequences arising from the freezing of the assets of mixed entities, which provided assistance to the needy, as well as to terrorists, the Committee should be aware of that issue and should continue to explore options in that regard.
Perhaps it might be possible to alert relief agencies about a listing that might have humanitarian consequences, so that some provision could be made for those affected, he continued. Care should be taken not to forewarn the target. Technical assistance remained an important part of States implementation of the measures, for which the Committee might seek to develop best practices for effective implementation. The Chairman had provided the example of a system developed by one State for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), charities and other organizations to keep records of their financial transactions, in order to help with tracing financing for terrorism. He echoed the Chairmans remark that terrorism was a global threat and that no State, therefore, should feel immune from terrorist acts.
ISMAEL ABRÃAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) noted that the monitoring team was in the process of preparing profiles based on the reports received thus far. He recommended developing guidelines of best practices and lessons learned from existing panels, monitoring groups and working groups concerned with relevant issues. The international community had already made remarkable progress in freezing terrorist assets. Controlling financial resources was an important aspect of the international campaign against terrorism, and the Committee should continue to focus on alternative remittance systems. In that context, it was important to provide greater assistance to States in improving their financial structures, including their banking systems.
He also stressed the need to give more attention to making the consolidated list available to the various institutions, including in the context of travel bans. Credible reports of sanctions evasion had often not resulted in a proactive response by the international community; that record should be remedied. The Committee, therefore, should coordinate its efforts in closer cooperation with the United Nations agencies, regional and subregional organizations, the private sector and NGOs. In that regard, he highlighted the success of the Kimberley Process for the certification of rough diamonds.
Terrorism was no longer a localized problem, which could be solved through domestic actions alone, he said. The Chairmans report had been quite clear on that. What were needed were long-term solutions to address that problem, based on international cooperation and coordination. Further, the Committee could only be successful with the fullest cooperation of Member States.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said that the Committees strengthened mandate under resolution 1526 had accorded new impetus to its work, as well as to global efforts to counter terrorism. The resolutions setting of a deadline encouraged more submissions of national reports. Through the contacts made by the new monitoring team, countries that had not yet submitted reports had a better understanding now of the 1267 Committees work and the reporting requirements that could result in even more submissions in the near future.
He said the Chairmans detailed account of his discussions during his mission to four countries provided a snapshot of the current situation regarding implementation in those countries, including their difficulties. The Philippines noted, among the recommendations brought forward by the Chairmans mission, the wide-ranging avenues by which terrorist activities were being financed, from legitimate means, or through commercial transactions like import/export businesses, or through outright illegal means, such as kidnappings or other crimes. The implications on the effectiveness of plugging loopholes in traditional modes of funds transfers through the banking system should be examined.
CHENG JINGYE (China) hailed the useful contributions of the Committee towards implementing the resolution. He also welcomed the presence of the monitoring team, which had established a wide range of contacts with many countries to sound out their views. Based on a written analysis of country reports, he was confident that the team would keep up the good work. Instrumental in enforcing the sanctions against Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated entities and individuals, the Committee had become an indispensable link in that international endeavour.
He urged the Committee to formulate measures and policies in response to the constantly changing circumstances and improve the sanctions, as appropriate, with a view to playing a more effective role in fighting terrorism. The Committee and the monitoring team should undertake wide contacts and consultations with Member States to further identify their challenges in implementing the sanctions, and to make practical recommendations on ways to help them overcome their difficulties.
In addition, the Committee should constantly enhance coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and maintain close contact with regional and subregional organizations. China resolutely opposed terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he said, adding that the international community should adopt a consistent stance against terrorism and eschew double standards. China would continue its scrupulous implementation of the relevant resolutions. In concert with all other countries, it stood ready to assist in that common fight against the Al Qaeda network.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan), in his national capacity, urged the Committee to evaluate the performance of States, not simply on the basis of their country reports, but on the basis mostly of their actions taken on the ground to counter terrorism. Concerning the consolidated list, which remained a key tool, the Committee should further improve the information, in order to assist prosecutors and the national authorities to proceed against those listed. At times, that information had been insufficient to stand up in the judicial process. In that context, he supported the Chairmans recommendation that consultations and pre-notifications for submitting names should be encouraged.
He noted that the Chairmans report had confirmed that, in many cases, States lacked the capacity to combat terrorism effectively. It was quite important, therefore, to continue to focus on the need to build States capacity, in particular, in strengthening border controls. In terms of financing terrorists, one important step was to fine tune the international response and extend assistance to States to help them improve their normal financial systems.
Pakistan had a key role in fulfilling the objectives of the Committee, and it had played that role in the virtual breakdown of the Al Qaeda organization and network, he said. His country had captured more than 500 Al Qaeda and associate terrorists, including most of its top leadership. It had cooperated in tracking down those members in several countries, and had created a national anti-terrorist capacity to participate in that effort. Its efforts to track down Al Qaeda and associates on the frontier of Afghanistan were continuing, with 70,000 of Pakistans armed forces deployed on the border.
He said the Committee faced several challenges, two of which were fundamental. The first was the mutating nature of the Al Qaeda network. The organization appeared to have further mutated into splinter groups, coordinating loosely and grouping globally. The Chairmans recent visits had confirmed that, as well as the complexity of the challenge. Second, measures against the Taliban confronted a very different kind of problem -- Al Qaeda and the Taliban had become closely associated in the months preceding 9/11 at the top leadership level. Now, elements remained in regions of Afghanistan and along the border, but other Taliban elements in Afghanistan might be operating independently of Al Qaeda, utilizing local resentments as their calling card. Others were inactive, and some were cooperating with the authorities.
President Karzai appeared to have adopted a wise strategy of seeking to isolate the hard-core Taliban; the Committee should adopt a similar sophistication in its approach, he said. It was time to start working on a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism. In particular, the international community should not allow that fight to be used to suppress human rights. An agreed legal definition of terrorism was needed, as was the need to address those factors contributing to the emergence of terrorism, including poverty, socio-economic injustice, political repression, foreign occupation, and the non-settlement of long-standing and festering disputes.
He said he also supported the Chairmans recommendation that there should be a continued awareness of the need to avoid a north-south divide in the fight against terrorism, and to avoid a clash of civilizations. Efforts to fight terrorism should not be transformed into a war against Islam, he stressed.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said it was imperative to cut off terrorist access to sources of financing and acquisition of weapons. It was crucial that each Member State implement effective border-control policies, including travel bans, which were necessary to prevent not only key Al Qaeda leaders, but also the new generation of Al Qaeda members who had managed to elude the international pursuit, as well as resurgent Taliban elements, from moving freely around the world to achieve their terrorist objectives.
Recently, he recalled, an Al Qaeda terrorist whose name had been included on the consolidated list had been arrested in Germany. Through the subsequent investigation, it had been learned that he had been engaged in terrorist activities in Japan under false names. That incident had generated renewed Japanese interest in the consolidated list. Japan intended to add, in cooperation with interested countries, the other names used by the terrorist while in Japan so as to assist in making the consolidated list more substantive.
He expressed regret that, according to the Committees report submitted on 27 April, less than 70 per cent of Member States had submitted reports. However, Japan was pleased that since the adoption of resolution 1526, the number of countries submitting reports had increased by 30 per cent. Alongside the visits by the Chairman and the monitoring team, the reports were a source of useful information for the purpose of evaluating the implementation of sanctions.
Emphasizing the need to continue the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and the surrounding region, he said it was necessary to extend such efforts to peace and reconstruction assistance so that Afghanistan could build its resistance against terrorism. The political process in that country was now at a critical stage, with the presidential and parliamentary elections due in September. Together with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Japan was leading the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process in Afghanistan, which was key to the progress of the political process.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said regular travel to, and interface with, relevant countries and organizations was an essential component in the effective conduct of the Committees work. Ambassador Muñoz had given an overview this morning of his recent mission to Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal and Spain, and the European Union remained fully aware that those States had been threatened by terrorism for some time. The Union was committed to cooperating closely with the Maghreb countries in meeting that challenge.
He said the Union also remained committed to meeting in full its counter-terrorism commitments under the relevant Security Council resolutions and would continue to cooperate with the Committee and with partner countries to halt the flow of funds and other economic resources to terrorists and terrorist groups, to prevent their access to the arms necessary to carry out their attacks, and to ensure that terrorists would be unable to find safe haven either within the European Union or externally.
It was a long-standing position of the Union that counter-terrorism action must at all times be accompanied by respect for due process and the rule of law, he stressed. The Union reiterated once again that there could be no trade-off between human rights and effective security measures; indeed, respect for human rights must remain an integral part of any comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.
Any confusion regarding reporting requirements must be dispelled, he emphasized. Assistance in preparing those reports should be given where needed. While recognizing that there might be legitimate reasons precluding timely submission of reports by some States and that those difficulties should be addressed, an unfortunate signal was sent to the outside world by uneven or inconsistent submission of reports. The European Union, therefore, strongly urged the States concerned to liaise closely with the Committee and the monitoring team so that all outstanding reports may be submitted without further substantial delay.
V.K. NAMBIAR (India) recalled the killing on 23 May of 33 people, including women and children, when a vehicle in which they were travelling was blasted along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, an attack for which the banned Hizbul Mujahideen had claimed responsibility. The increasingly sophisticated tactics and the use of systems and equipment by terrorists, coupled with their continuing ability to elude restrictions placed by governments on their movements, as well as their access to arms and financing, suggested that it was time for the international community to pool its resources and come up with effective new counter-strategies to combat international terrorism.
The development of approaches and solutions to tackle terrorism must cater to regional and national specificities, he said. There was need to adopt a multi-track approach that took account of differences in the stages of development and use of technology in different parts of the world. There was likely to be regional variation in handling border controls, money transfers, small arms, counterfeit documents, narcotics and surveillance of communications. Although such variations were inevitable considering the different stages of economic development and use of technology between each region, international counter-terrorism efforts must respect and respond to such diversity, if they were to be fully effective or yield results.
Stressing the links among different terrorist groups, he said they supported each other, and their membership and ideologies mutated. They could not thus be addressed on the basis of a segmented approach. The 1267 and Counter-Terrorism Committees and their operational arms must orient themselves to the different systems and loopholes that terrorist networks used to further their objectives. Such an approach implied close cooperation with officials and experts from countries with the required experience in dealing with such situations. The Committee must adjust its policies accordingly. In crafting its resolutions, the Council must likewise sharpen the instruments available to it for tackling the varying strategies and techniques employed by terrorists. The furnishing by the Committee of complete identification details of terrorists included on the Al Qaeda/Taliban lists would assist Member States in taking timely and effective action against such individuals.
MARIA ELENA CHASSOUL (Costa Rica) said her country strongly endorsed the Councils measures to bring those responsible for committing and preparing terrorist acts to justice, and to prevent that kind of crime from being committed. Her country fully supported all necessary steps, in line with international law, to dismantle the criminal Al Qaeda network and the Taliban, neither of which had been found to have been located on her countrys territory or to be compiling assets there. Costa Rica had presented an exhaustive report on the measures it had taken to implement the relevant Council resolutions.
Regarding its experience in that regard, she said that implementation was a highly complex process, which required time. In Costa Rica, that implementation had required coordination among the various public agencies, as well as all financial agencies, both public and private. Moreover, the consolidated list was difficult to work with. The information provided, in some cases, had been insufficient to identify with certainty the persons to be subjected to coercive measures. For that reason, the Committee should provide States with more information to enable them to clearly identify such persons. At the same time, further information leaks should be prevented.
She stressed the critical need for sufficient substantiated evidence and open judicial investigations of each and every person on that list, in keeping with the basic principles of human rights and due process. If it proved necessary to take measures against those individuals and their assets, it was necessary to provide the pertinent judicial authorities with concrete evidence showing that such measures were justified. A mechanism should be set up enabling States to have ready access to relevant information. Use could be made of existing mechanisms, such as Interpol. Also, the presentation of lengthy and repetitive reports was a heavy burden.
Convinced that combating terrorism should become a permanent United Nations activity, she said that coordination of that international fight should be entrusted to an independent, professional and permanent body located in the heart of the Organizations organic structure. She had accordingly proposed the creation of a United Nations high commissioner for counter-terrorism, which would assist the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, and take over the activities currently carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Committee. That office should also become a facilitator for coordination and cooperation among the various national agencies working to combat terrorism. Only by creating such a body was it be possible to address the challenges of international terrorism, she emphasized.
Taking the floor again to respond to the statements, Mr. MUÑOZ (Chile) thanked speakers for their suggestions. Much remained to be done, and he was committed to tackling those outstanding challenges. It was not just a question of receiving reports, but of continuing visits and dialogue in the field. That would provide direct communication, help to dispel concerns, and deal with problems related to implementation. Hopefully, in the coming months, he would report in writing on the work of the monitoring team and the Committee. Ultimately, cooperation between Member States and the Committee would continue to improve, thereby making the fight against terrorism more effective.
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