14 September 2004
Recent Attacks Tragic Reminders Fight against Terrorism Far from over, Security Council Told
Chair of Sanctions Committee Aimed at Al-Qaida/Taliban Briefs
NEW YORK, 13 September (UN Headquarters) -- The terrible terrorist attacks on innocent children and parents in Beslan, Russian Federation, and last weeks bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta were recent tragic reminders that the fight against terrorism was far from over, the Chairman of the 1267 Committee, Heraldo Muñoz (Chile), told the Security Council in a briefing today, prior to an open Council debate.
The meeting was convened in response to the first report of the Monitoring Team guiding the Committees work. The report finds that the threat from Al-Qaida, which had become a global network of groups unbound by any organizational structure, but held together by a set of overlapping goals, remains as great as ever. Suggesting that Security Council sanctions aimed at curbing the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorism had achieved less than was hoped, the Council might wish to refine those measures to address the ways in which the threat has changed.
In his briefing, Mr. Muñoz said that the 1267 Committee -- formally known as the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities -- would have a busy time ahead as it strove to adapt the sanctions to better target Al-Qaida and the Taliban. International terrorists were swiftly adapting their strategies, tactics and methods. The sanctions, therefore, must not only be sharp and well targeted, but also implementable. There were no quick fixes, short cuts or other easy remedies; systematic, persistent and demanding work was required.
A high bar must be set in the shared fight against Al-Qaida, the United States speaker said in the ensuing debate. Recent events had been a sad and sobering reminder that the global threat of terrorism persisted. Some gains had been made, however, including the freezing of millions of assets linked to the Al-Qaida network. Also, individual Member States had cooperated more closely than ever in sharing information and mounting joint efforts to defeat the terrorist enemies. But, given the changed nature of the Al-Qaida and Taliban threat since the Council first imposed sanctions against them, it must be ensured that those measures were refined and tailored and that additional ones were considered.
The representative of the Russian Federation, emphasizing the importance of a united international response, said that the Monitoring Teams assessments with respect to the scope of the Al-Qaida/Taliban threat had fully converged with his own conclusions and recommendations. He particularly agreed that the leaders of Al-Qaida and the Taliban maintained close contacts, and were the Taliban to acquire control of a portion of the territory of Afghanistan, the emergence there of new bases of international terror could be anticipated. He also agreed with the Team that the Council should provide additional clarifications with respect to the scope of the arms and the travel ban. To satisfy complaints about the lists completeness and accuracy required the clear support of Member States.
Australias representative worried that, three years after the 11 September attacks on the United States and five years after the Councils adoption of resolution 1267, the international community continued to confront new terrorist atrocities with shocking regularity. While terrorist groups rallying around the banner of Al-Qaidas extremist cause increasingly had few obvious links to that organizations leadership or other listed groups or individuals, they operated according to Al-Qaidas agenda and followed its example. He said it was, thus, vital that States took all measures under resolution 1267 to restrict those terrorist groups activities. A pressing challenge was to ensure the 1267 Committees consolidated list remained responsive to those developments and that Member States contributed to the lists ongoing improvement.
Asserting that Pakistans success against the terrorist threat -- it had led the way in capturing the majority of the Al-Qaida leadership and more than 500 terrorists -- had attracted increased attacks, that countrys speaker suggested that the immediate anti-terrorism response must be accompanied by a clear, long-term strategy focussing on ensuring an end to those murderous tactics, which included, among other things, ensuring that counter-terrorism did not violate fundamental human rights or provoke a clash of cultures. Attempts to identify terrorism with Islam were both unfair and counter-productive, and defamed that sacred and peace-loving faith. That also accorded terrorists an ideological respect that they did not deserve.
In closing, the Committee Chairman, Mr. Muñoz, thanked speakers for their strong support of the Sanctions Committee, its Monitoring Team, himself and the Teams Coordinator. The Committee might come back to the Council, as many had requested during the debate, to present improvements and new measures to combat terrorism. That was not simply a mandate from the Council, but an ethical obligation for all those who sought a more stable and secure international community, he said.
Statements were also made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, Philippines, Romania, Germany, France, China, Benin, Angola, Algeria, Brazil and Spain, as well as of the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Security Councils meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
For the Security Councils consideration this morning of the work of the Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, it had before it the first report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team appointed pursuant to resolution 1526 (2004) (document S/2004/679), dated 25 August. The report finds that, five years after the Councils adoption of 1267, the threat from Al-Qaida-related terrorism remains as great as ever, but the nature of the threat has changed.
The report says that the Taliban have been removed from power and the Al-Qaida leadership is dispersed, but if the leadership if less able to direct, plan and execute attacks, it has many supporters who are eager to do so. Those terrorists form groups that do not wait for orders from above, but launch attacks when they are ready, against targets of their own choosing. Using minimal resources and exploiting worldwide publicity, they had managed to create an international sense of crisis.
Al-Qaida has evolved to become a global network of groups unbound by any organizational structure, but held together by a set of overlapping goals, the report states. The leaders of these groups have tried to hijack and distort the basic Muslim duty of Jihad to justify terrorist campaigns against both Muslim and non-Muslim States. Perceived injustices and images of violent confrontation have ensured a steady flow of new supporters.
The report says that the Security Council has taken a dual approach. It has demanded that States take action against terrorists associated with Al-Qaida through a targeted sanctions regime, and it has established mechanisms to help those States that find it difficult to do so. But, Security Council sanctions aimed at curbing the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorism have achieved less than was hoped. This is partly because they address a set of circumstances that no longer apply; and partly because effective sanctions are hard to design, let alone impose, against the form of Al-Qaida-associated terrorism that exists today. The sanctions measures need refining to address the ways the threat has changed.
In the absence of an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, Security Council sanctions against the Taliban, Al-Qaida and their associates apply to a list of designated individuals, groups and entities, the report notes. To be effective, this list should reflect international agreement on which groups and individuals pose the greatest danger. For several reasons, this list has begun to lose credibility and operational value and now needs updating in terms of its relevance and accuracy.
The report says that, while the sanctions against the financing of terrorism have had some effect and some millions of dollars of assets have been frozen, there is scope to update them based on how Al-Qaida now raises and transfers its money. There is a similar need to improve the travel ban and the arms embargo to reflect current Al-Qaida methodology.
In addition, the Team suggests, the Council may wish to consider new measures to enhance international cooperation and to support national efforts. The Team has proposals for the improvement of the current measures, and ideas from which new ones might be formulated. It believes it can generate wider support for the list by the introduction of technical improvements and the submission of new names. It also believes it can encourage closer operational cooperation between States to make the international environment still more inhospitable to Al-Qaida-related terrorism.
Reviewing the response, the Team stresses that effective action against Al-Qaida requires the international community to act in concert, both in its appreciation of the threat and in its willingness to combat it. As a global phenomenon, Al-Qaida demands a global response, and the Council, given its responsibility for peace and security, has taken a leading role in the international arena by imposing a sanctions regime against its members and associates. Its effectiveness depends on the real and sustained support of all Member States.
The Team says, however, that judging by the reports from Member States and the continuing levels of Al-Qaida activity, it would appear that the sanctions regime has had a limited impact. There appear to be several reasons for this, the most important being that the Council has, inevitably, reacted to events, while Al-Qaida has shown great flexibility and adaptability in staying ahead of them. The structure of Al-Qaida has evolved from its original form as an office offering support to fighters in Afghanistan, through its role as an initiator and sponsor of terrorism from an established base, to its current manifestation as a loose network of affiliated underground groups with certain goals in common.
It will always be difficult to design, let alone enforce, sanctions against diverse groups of individuals who are not in one location, who can adopt different identities, and who need no special equipment to launch their attacks.
Among the Teams areas of emphasis is that a particular need exists for some States to bring their national agencies responsible for counter-terrorism into the reporting process. The Team aims to consult a wide range of national authorities directly engaged in the fight against terrorism, in order to develop ideas as to what further measures the Council might consider. To develop new ideas, the Team proposes to bring together a small group of professionals from States with experience, expertise and some measure of success in dealing with the problem.
Further, the Team recommends to the 1267 Committee that a new measure might include international agreement that no country should offer asylum to anyone named on the consolidated list. The Team also aims to engage States that, through a lack of capacity or for other reasons, make less of a contribution to international efforts against Al-Qaida-associated terrorism than they might. The Team intends to continue and develop its dialogue with the countries that it has visited and to brief the Committee in full on the nature of its discussions and the proposals that have emerged.
Also according to the Team, its second report, due by 15 December, will continue the assessment of Member States implementation of the measures and of their effectiveness. Annexed to the present report is an accounting of frozen assets by some 30 countries.
HERALDO MUÑOZ, Chairman of the 1267 Committee, said he had concluded his last briefing by noting that terrorism remained a global threat, which could be addressed only through the concerted efforts of the international community. He had also emphasized that it would be a long struggle. Sadly, recent tragic events had again shown that the fight against terrorism was far from over. The terrible terrorist attacks on innocent children, women and parents in Beslan, Russian Federation, and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta a few days ago were recent tragic reminders that much more needed to be done to defeat terrorism.
He reiterated that terrorism was one of the most serious threats to international peace and security that affected every State. Therefore, the achievements of the United Nations in fighting that scourge must be further enhanced. The Sanctions Committee was acutely aware of those challenges. That body was now considering the first report of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, which contained recommendations on how to address the constant evolution of the Al-Qaida network. In his briefing, he would also explain plans for continuing and improving cooperation with Member States in an effort to further strengthen the sanctions regime.
The legal and inspiration basis for the Committees work remained Security Council resolution 1526 (2004). In several meetings in June, the Committee discussed a Chairmans non-paper on non-mandatory measures contained in that text. It recognized that the resolution had introduced several measures, which, although not mandatory, were nevertheless important for the implementation of the Al-Qaida/ Taliban sanctions regime, as they provided ideas on how States might further enhance their counter-terrorism efforts. Such efforts could cut the flow of funds and other financial assets to and from listed individuals and entities. They could also lead to the establishment of internal procedures on the transborder movement of currency. Other non-mandatory measures sought to further improve the Committees list and strengthen cooperation in the area of capacity-building for the sanctions implementation. The Committee had realized that some of those steps might in future be developed into mandatory measures.
Noting that the Committee had spent considerable time and effort revising the guidelines for the conduct of its work, he said that had been mainly because the existing guidelines did not reflect the major changes introduced to the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime by resolutions 1455 (2003) and 1526 (2004). Also, since 25 May, the names of eight new individuals and six new entities had been placed on the Committees list. The Committee had also continued to deal expeditiously with exceptions pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002). Pursuant to the list of notifying States maintained by the Committee, 11 had so far approached the Committee. He had also established an active working relationship with the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Director.
For its part, the Monitoring Team had approach the work on the Committees list proactively and had focused on how further improvements might be made to the list, he said. The Team had sent letters to 80 States seeking additional information on those entries where identifying information was missing, or was not satisfactory. It had also undertaken several trips, the main purpose being to assess the evolution of the Al-Qaida/Taliban threat, seek suggestions on how to further improve the list, discuss ideas for making the sanctions more effective, and encourage States to add names to the list. Such visits had been made to Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and the United Kingdom. In August, Team members visited Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Washington, D.C.
He said that the Teams report, submitted on 31 July, was a concise, well conceived and high-quality document, containing fresh ideas and promising to give new impetus to the Committee in its work.
It was the Committees responsibility to consider the Teams report and to reach its own conclusions regarding appropriate follow-up action that might be taken either by the Committee itself or at the Council level. The Committee first discussed the report at its informal meeting on 23 August, deciding to release it to the public. As the report was the Monitoring Teams first, it set the stage for the Teams subsequent work, laying out the background for the Teams future findings, summarizing its activities and describing how it intended to proceed with its work in the future. The report also provided an indication of the potential recommendations the Team might make in its subsequent reports.
One of the themes emphasized in the report, he said, was that the international community could not afford to rest on its laurels at such a crucial juncture in the fight against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. It also stressed the need to encourage closer operational cooperation between States to make the international environment more inhospitable to Al-Qaida-related terrorism. As the nature of the threat from Al-Qaida and the Taliban was constantly evolving, the international community must respond creatively and effectively to the threat posed by them. The Council had to be vigilant in ensuring that its strategy to counter the Al-Qaida and Taliban was as good as it could be.
Regarding cooperation with Member States, he said continued cooperation remained the most important aspect of the Committees work. Three issues merited specific attention, namely, the need to further improve the quality of the Committees list, the opportunity for States to meet with the Committee, and the visits he undertook with Committee members to selected States. He encouraged all Member States to cooperate with the Committee in submitting new names to the Committees list, which currently holds the names of 429 individuals and entities belonging to or associated with Al-Qaida and/or the Taliban. Sadly, that was only a small fraction of the actual number of individuals or entities associated with Al-Qaida or the Taliban. While there could be many reasons for not submitting names to the Committee, including concerns regarding due process, delisting and potential stigmatization, Member States and the Committee could resolve the reasons for non-submission of names.
The Committee also had the task of refining the list, he continued. The Committee would ask the Monitoring Team to submit to it a list of practical and achievable technical corrections. In its work, the Committee would continue to give due consideration to the fact that sanctions implementation must take place in accordance with the Charter and international law. Resolution 1526 (2004) had emphasized the need for further cooperation between the Committee and Member States, providing States with an opportunity, at the Committees request, to send representatives to meet with the Committee for more in-depth discussion of relevant issues. That rather cryptic language might have caused some uncertainty regarding who should take the initiative, namely, the State or the Committee. Unfortunately, as a result, no such meetings had been held.
On the Committee and the Teams future activities, he said the Committee intended to consolidate and enhance the United Nations achievements in the fight against terrorism. It would, in particular, explore how it could motivate States to fulfil their obligations to implement measures against Al-Qaida and the Taliban. International terrorists were swiftly adapting their strategies, tactics and methods. The tool of sanctions must, therefore, be not only sharp and well targeted, but also implementable. The achievements of the Al-Qaida-Taliban sanctions regime should be carefully monitored on a regular basis, with adjustments being made as necessary. The Committee was currently exploring how to improve the implementation of existing sanctions measures. One thing was certain: there were no quick fixes, short cuts or other easy remedies. Rather, the task required systematic, persistent and demanding work.
He said concrete tasks before the Committee included the need to further improve the quality of the list, which, in spite of some imperfection, already played an important deterrent role. Its completeness and accuracy were essential for the success of the established sanctions measures. Other tasks included the need to focus more closely, through the Teams activities, on the results of States sanctions enforcement activities, with a view to detecting challenges and problems faced by States in their implementation efforts. Member States should not feel that by admitting problems, or through having been exposed to terrorist activities, their national prestige had been undermined. The fact was that no country in the world could consider itself immune from terrorism.
Highlighting other tasks before the Committee, he said there was a need to enhance the Committees work in the area of delisting and exceptions pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002); to continue to support the travels of the Chairman and of the Monitoring Team; to listen more carefully to Member States; and to further increase cooperation and coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Executive Directorate in line with meetings already held and planned for the near future. A coordinated approach involving all participants in the fight against terrorism was needed, he said.
It was clear that the Committee would have a busy time ahead of it as it strove to adapt the sanctions to better target Al-Qaida and the Taliban. In that effort, new ways to defeat terrorism were needed. He urged all Member States to assist in that vital task.
STUART W. HOLLIDAY (United States) said that recent events had served as a sad and sobering reminder that the global threat of terrorism persisted. The Monitoring Teams 31 July report had correctly noted that the international community had made important progress in combating the threat posed by terrorists associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The United States and its allies had weakened Al-Qaidas ability to launch new operations by freezing more than $140 million in assets linked to individuals and entities affiliated with the
Al-Qaida network and to other terrorist groups. The freezing of terrorist assets remained a top United States priority. He strongly encouraged those nations that had not already done so to enact domestic legislation to permit the freezing of terrorist-linked assets.
He said that the Monitoring Teams report had also noted that individual Member States had cooperated more closely than ever in sharing information and mounting joint efforts to defeat the terrorist enemies. That cooperation remained essential to ensuring full implementation of the sanctions by all States. A high bar must continue to be set in the shared fight against Al-Qaida. Fresh and imaginative ideas were needed to defeat the terrorist foes, particularly as they formulated new strategies to undermine international peace and security. The Teams report appropriately noted that the nature of the Al-Qaida and Taliban threat had evolved since the Council first imposed measures against the Taliban and Usama Bin Laden under resolution 1267. Al-Qaida had become a global network of groups, no longer bound to one nations border. That posed a threat to all freedom-loving peoples around the globe.
It must be ensured that existing measures continue to be refined and tailored and that additional steps be considered to address the constant evolution of the Al-Qaida threat, he said. He commended Ambassador Muñoz and his delegation for their vigorous and expert leadership of a Council Committee that had become a critical focal point for the shared efforts to combat terrorism. He also welcomed the efforts of the new Team. Everyone would draw heavily on its expertise on how States might further enhance their counter-terrorism efforts. The United States Government stood ready to assist the Councils efforts against the threat posed by Al-Qaida and it would provide leadership where necessary. This is a fight none of us can afford to lose. Our efforts must be tireless, he stressed.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) said the threat of terrorist attack was ever present. The recent attacks in Russia and Indonesia underlined the need for the international community to do everything possible to prevent such attacks. The Chairmans visits to Member States had been important, as it helped to promote the Committees work and to determine how sanctions were being implemented, which had been key to raising the Committees profile.
He welcomed the Monitoring Teams report, which identified the changing nature of the treat from Al-Qaida and the Taliban. It had also inspired the Committee by providing new insights into contentious issues. It was important not to shy away from such issues. The Teams report had already stimulated discussion, providing a basis on which to focus attention. The United Kingdom supported the future activities proposed by the Chairman.
He said two points were key to the success of sanctions, including the consolidated list. The list was not for use by the Council or the Committee alone, but belonged to each Member State. Member States must be encouraged to take ownership of the list, by submitting names for inclusion. Some States might have refrained from doing so, because they believed there was stigma attached and all States should do everything possible to combat that perception. Submitting names demonstrated a mutual commitment to fighting terrorism. Second, cooperation, whether between States, regional organizations, experts or at the domestic level, was crucial to success in the fight against terrorism. While the Committee and Teams recommendations were welcomed, closer cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee was needed. The work of the sister committees were key priorities, meriting the Councils consideration.
Another welcome recommendation was that information be shared with national intelligence agencies and financial institutions, he said. The United Kingdom had tried to do that, and the value was evident. The discussion was another stage in the international communitys response to the fight against terrorism. While much was being done, the lesson of recent events showed the need to redouble efforts.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said the meeting had closely followed the third anniversary of the tragic events of 11 September 2001, which shocked the world and evoked universal condemnation. The recent terrorist attack in Beslan had been a gruesome reminder of the continuation of that threat. He extended his profound condolences to the victims and to the Government of the Russian Federation. Last weeks bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta had been the latest reminder of the global terrorist threat. Terrorism posed an ever-present threat to all countries. Today, it also threatened Pakistans vital national interests. It, therefore, had been particularly active in the global campaign and had led the way in capturing the majority of the Al-Qaida leadership and more than 500 terrorists. Pakistans campaign was ongoing on the border with Afghanistan and through bilateral cooperation with the major Powers and within the United Nations.
He said that Pakistans success against the terrorist had attracted increased attacks, including against his President and Prime Minister. The Monitoring Team, which visited his country in July, had noted in its report the convincing demonstration of Pakistans determination to fight the terrorists. It would be simplistic to expect the Councils sanctions regimes, alone, to eliminate that threat. The campaign must be pursued with full comprehension of the threat and a clear strategy for success. He shared the Committee Chairmans view that the completeness and accuracy of the consolidated list was essential and would help States prosecute or extradite those on the list. The Committee should continue to improve the delisting procedure and address due process concerns. Implementation of the financial sanctions should not unduly target Islamic charities or discourage people from contributing, as that was an obligation of Islam.
Thus, he continued, the Committee should use the term associates carefully, as expanding its meaning ran the risk of diluting the Committees focus. Visits by the Chairman and the Team should be used to foster cooperation through the provision of technical assistance and constructive dialogue. The Committees efforts to cooperate with other United Nations bodies should be pursued, while fully respecting their distinctive mandates. Noting the Teams concerns regarding the threat of Al-Qaidas acquisition or production of so-called dirty bombs, or other mass destruction weapons, required a realistic evaluation of the threat. The Committee should also adopt a discerning approach in dealing with the Taliban, bearing in mind the political and security realities in Afghanistan and the policies of President Karzais Government.
He said that terrorism remained a global threat requiring a coordinated international response. The Teams report had indicated the reach of Al-Qaida as an unbound global network of groups. It appeared that the evolving network generally avoided conventional means, including of arms acquisitions. That required a matching response to prevent further attacks. The immediate anti-terrorism response, however, must be accompanied by a clear, long-term strategy focusing on ensuring an end to those murderous tactics. That must also include the following elements, among others: a consensus definition of terrorism; the addressing of broader and structural issues, including political and economic injustice; and ensuring that counter-terrorism did not violate fundamental human rights or provoke a clash of cultures.
Attempts to identify terrorism with Islam were both unfair and counter-productive, and defamed that sacred and peace-loving faith, he said. It also accorded terrorists an ideological respect that they did not deserve, and intensified hostility and weakened those that propagated cooperation and reconciliation. He reminded the Council of the strategy of enlightened moderation, which had been proposed by President Musharraf. The Committee and the Security Council could do everything in their powers to reinforce and coordinate the elements in the fight against terrorism, but they were no substitute for national and regional actions. The Committees success hinged on cooperation from States and on the comprehensiveness of the Councils response.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said the recommendations put forward by the Analytical and Sanctions Monitoring Team, whose work had established a broader and more comprehensive basis from which to draw patterns, trends and conclusions to strengthen the sanctions regime against Al-Qaida-related terrorists, should be closely examined. Yet, as noted by the Teams report, work remained to be done, given changes in the threat attributable to mutations in Al-Qaidas organization and operations. Therefore, it was important to be able to immediately establish identifiable patterns through intelligence and to adopt effective plugs to deter the plans of Al-Qaida.
While that objective was easier said than done, he stressed that, if it was made the conscious objective underlying all global counter-terrorism efforts, the international community would be on the right track. International cooperation on all fronts -- multilateral, regional and bilateral -- could complement everyones efforts and result in a multiplier effect. Among its other efforts, the ground visits being conducted by the Chairman and the Monitoring Team provided practical insight on evolving Al-Qaida operations, specific problem areas encountered by States in implementing the sanctions regime and new measures to be adopted to enhance international cooperation and support national efforts to counter Al-Qaida operations.
MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania) said the Council should focus assessment of the Committees work around the conclusion that the threat from Al-Qaida and related terrorism remained as great as ever. Though significantly affected by the international communitys decisive action, Al-Qaida had not only survived, but continued to engage in criminal, indiscriminate attacks. Much was left to be accomplished at the Council level and in addressing identified shortcomings. Reviewing progress was a constant imperative. Ambassador Muñoz and the 1267 Committee had fully lived up to the high expectations placed on them. In the fight against terrorism, the Council had to reconfirm its abilities to live up to its responsibilities under the Charter.
Given the changes to Al-Qaidas threat, he stressed the need for continuous adaptation to such changes by refining the sanctions regime and ensuring its implementation. Romania expressed appreciation for the Teams recommendations. Al-Qaidas target was the international community as a whole. As recent years had demonstrated, no country was immune to terrorism. Effectively combating the scourge of terrorism required a global response by all United Nations Members. Full cooperation in implementing sanctions must be supplemented by close cooperation between the 1267 Committee and other subsidiary bodies.
In fighting terrorism, the international community was as strong as its weakest link, he said. It was, therefore, in the global interest to ensure that every single United Nations Member was able and willing to put in place all the necessary measures to effectively combat the scourge of terrorism. It was vital that assistance be provided to the most exposed countries, including by furthering the practice of on-site visits. He extended his countrys condolences to the peoples and Governments of Indonesia and Australia for the outrageous terrorist attack committed on 9 September, which was further proof of the fact that the fight against terrorism was far from over and had to remain a top priority for the Council.
ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) said that today, two days after the anniversary of the tragedy of 11 September 2001, the war on terrorism was far from over. In that fight, it was important that the international community respond as a united front and demonstrate effective solidarity. The Sanctions Committee was playing a serious role in consolidating efforts. He had been pleased that the consolidated list had been supplemented recently with new names and information, which was essential to the appropriate identification of terrorists. Overall, the Committee had made considerable progress in adapting its work to the evolving threat. Indeed, the groundwork had been laid for genuine cooperation between the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He reaffirmed his fundamental interest in accelerating the pace of such cooperation.
He said he had also appreciated the work of the Monitoring Team, whose conclusions and recommendations he largely supported. In addition, its assessments with respect to the scope of the threat by Al-Qaida and the Taliban to international peace and security had fully converged with his own conclusions and recommendations. He particularly agreed that the leaders of Al-Qaida and the Taliban maintained close contacts, and were the Taliban to acquire control of a portion of the territory of Afghanistan, the emergence there of new bases of international terror could be anticipated.
He agreed with the Teams view that the Council should provide additional clarifications with respect to the scope of the arms and the travel ban. Currently, resolution 1526 allowed for varying interpretations of elements of the sanctions regime, thereby reducing the regimes effectiveness. International unity was required, and it was important to build a dialogue of trust between the Member States and the 1267 Committee on all aspects of the sanctions regime. One key tool was the Committees consolidated list. He had heard many complaints about its completeness and accuracy, but complaints would not help the matter. The Committee clearly needed the support of Member States. He called on them to provide the Committee with such support, including the submission of additional information to enhance the lists effectiveness.
MICHAEL FREIHERR VON UNGERN-STERNBERG (Germany) said that, as all States were targeted by terrorists, all bore a common responsibility to act. To that end, the sanctions regime needed and deserved the active support of all United Nations Member States, because the terrorist threat remained imminent on a global scale, as demonstrated by the recent attacks in Jakarta and Beslan. The Al-Qaida-Taliban sanctions regime was an essential legal and logistical framework for such common action and had been successful in his view.
He said, while the sanctions regime was far from perfect, its central tool was the consolidated list, which needed to be constantly completed and updated by Member States, as it could only be as good as the data Member States provided. Germany had identified a number of individuals for inclusion in the list and had, in all cases, provided extensive identification data and well documented information about their criminal background, including their link to Al-Qaida or the Taliban. The revised guidelines for the Committees work were meant to further facilitate close interaction between Member States, the Committee and the Monitoring Team.
Additionally, he said, the issue of delisting was of growing importance, especially as regarded justly listed individuals who later turned their back on terrorism. He said listing and delisting were two sides of the same coin, and Germany was convinced that if individuals were put on the sanctions list on account of their terrorist crimes and links, their names should first be removed from the list if and when they credibly and durably changed their life and firmly rejected all such terrorist actions and affiliations. Such delisting was, on the one hand, an issue of material justice and due process in relation to the individual concerned. It was, at the same time, an issue of the clarity and correctness of the list itself, he explained. Moreover, the prospect of being delisted could be an important incentive for the individual concerned to cooperate with counter terrorism investigations. He said such positive potential of the sanctions regime deserve careful consideration. He said Germany, therefore, welcomed the Monitoring Teams intention to review current delisting procedures and to develop proposals for their clarification and transparency.
MICHEL DUCLOS (France) noted that the debate was taking place three years after the deplorable events of 11 September. Since then, all States had become more familiar with the threat of modern terrorism, which was a real threat affecting all continents. He expressed condolences of the families of the two recent terrorism events in the Russian Federation and Indonesia. Terrorism demanded an energetic response, which took into account the complexity of the phenomenon and which was based on the concept of unity. The Chairman of the 1267 Committee had presented a well argued analysis of the evolution of the threat presented by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The threat of terrorism had survived and evolved into a more diffused form. How should the Committees work proceed? Three courses of action were necessary, including adapting existing instruments, including sanctions, to the evolving nature of the threat. The Team rightly argued for imaginative sanctions, as it had identified certain lacunae in the current regime.
He also stressed the need to strengthen the international communitys cohesiveness and supported the Chairmans proposal to intensify contacts, to travel, and to remind countries of the need to cooperate. All Member States had to provide better and more precise information. Regarding respect for the rule of law, a third requirement, he said France would remain watchful to ensure such respect.
WANG GUANGYA (China) said that more effective ways and means should be found to combat terrorism. Much had been achieved in that fight, and the two Committees had made important contributions, but the phantom of terrorism still threatened international peace and security. The recent attack against Chinese construction workers, the explosion at the subway in Moscow, the hostage-taking in Beslan, and the bombing in Jakarta all had demonstrated that there was a long way to go in that fight. Terrorism threatened all humankind and should be met with a resolute response, no matter when and where it occurred and regardless of its motives. For that response, it was essential to follow the purposes and principles of the Charter and the norms of international law.
He said that anti-terrorism efforts should also consider the root causes and symptoms, and strike against all terrorist activities, while promoting development and bridging the gaps. Only then could the root causes of terrorism be eliminated. There should also be no double standards; understanding and tolerance among different civilizations should be enhanced. No country should take a firm stand on its own threats, while remaining indifferent to threats to others. That would send the wrong message to the terrorists, court greater disasters and create negative and serious consequences to the international fight. He supported a strengthened role for the two Committees. The fight against terrorist activities stemming from eastern Turkmenistan on the Chinese was an important component in the overall fight. His Government would continue to implement the relevant Council resolutions and actively participate in the work of the two Committees.
JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said terrorism continued to strike, including in Beslan, Jakarta and in many other places. He commended the 1267 Committee, which had taken its due place in the arsenal against the threat of terrorism. The complexity of challenges had called for the strengthening of human resources to that Committee, namely, by establishing the Monitoring Team. He was pleased that genuine synergies had been created to monitor the effectiveness of sanctions. The outcomes to date were praiseworthy.
The report highlighted shortcomings in current arrangements to address terrorism, he said. The Committees evaluation made it necessary to revise or strengthen sanctions at the global level. Strengthened cooperation was needed to enhance the list and to improve the quality of information, and persons on the list needed to be the subjects of more ongoing monitoring.The thinking on adjusting sanctions needed to be continued. He looked forward to the Teams next report, which he hoped would make specific proposals. He encouraged the Team to further advance efforts to monitor sanctions. Cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee was key and could greatly strengthen the 1267 Committees effectiveness.
Without coordination, the Council could not ensure that its efforts to combat terrorism would be effective, he said. Information exchange in real time was needed, as was the promotion of conditions for legal assistance among Member States. The respect for norms and international law must be respected, however. The means must be found to fully integrate countries in the arrangement for information exchange.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that, despite international efforts, the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban and their associated groups remained as real today as ever. The hostage-taking in Beslan, particularly shocking for its targeting of children, and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, had demonstrated the need for the international community to further address the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. By adopting the sanctions regime, the Council had taken the unprecedented step of bringing into force legislation binding on all States. That action had laid a strong foundation for halting the flow of money to terrorist associated with the Al-Qaida network, as well as for preventing the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of arms and military equipment.
Despite the progress, particularly in the field of financial sanctions, he said that, judging by the level of Al-Qaida activity, it appeared that the sanctions regime had had only a limited impact. The current situation required a stronger sanctions regime and, in that respect, he fully agreed with the proposed measures set out by Ambassador Muñoz. The Committee should find effective ways of assessing implementation by Member States and ensuring that credible reports of sanctions evasion resulted in a proactive response by the Council. Implementation of the financial sanctions was an important aspect of the international campaign. He also shared the views of the Team on that aspect.
At the same time, he said, the Committee should continue to focus on alternative remittance systems, since application of financial restrictions was an obligation for both private and public sectors. Partnership between the Committee and those two sectors could contribute to greater efficiency, by resulting in the introduction of new working methods of the Committee and in greater implementation of the sanctions. That latter depended on the real and sustained support of the international community. The list, as rightly pointed out in the report, was another important tool. Member States should be encouraged to submit names for inclusion, in order for the list to maintain its relevance, and the Committee should further evaluate the delisting procedures.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said that in the fight against terrorism, the international community needed to be firm and vigilant. A number of positive points needed to be underlined, including the fact that more than 90 countries had established monitoring units. He also noted progress in implementation of the Committees mandate, as well as the work of the Monitoring Team since its establishment. The Team had met the time lines set forth for it by submitting its initial report, which was of excellent quality.
He shared the analysis on the Al-Qaida phenomenon, which had adapted by becoming a global network. The primary victims of terrorism were the populations in Muslim countries themselves. Increasingly, as recent events had demonstrated, terrorists no longer spared children. Enhancing the lists quality and increasing dialogue among States also deserved special attention.Any delisting because of lack of evidence was ill considered, as what was important was the danger posed by individuals or entities to peace and security. He encouraged onsite visits, which were extremely useful to the Committees work. He supported the Committee in its specific tasks and agreed with the need to develop further cooperation among Member States, as well as with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and international organizations with expertise in fighting terrorism.
He encouraged the Team to make specific recommendations, encouraging Member States to submit names on the consolidated list. In his statement on 25 may, he had pointed to the need to better use opportunities under Chapter VII to encourage States to fully cooperate with regard to the issue of extradition. The Team should address the issue of right to asylum. The right to asylum continued to be abusively granted to organizations and individuals. Rigour in terms of processing information was more than recommended, to provide an accurate appraisal about threats to peace and security. He also cautioned against specifically categorizing North Africans, which could lead to dangerous assumptions.
GARCIA MORITAN (Brazil) said that terrorism remained one of the gravest threats facing the international community. The possibility that the recent attacks might be linked to the Al-Qaida network was an indicator of the task before the Committee and of the magnitude of the challenges it must tackle. The Teams report contained several suggestions to enhance the Committees effectiveness. Those deserved careful consideration. Many should be adopted, once agreement was reached in the Council. The recommendations relating to the list were particularly relevant. The list, as had been stated repeatedly, was the Committees main working tool and, therefore, should be given the requisite priority. It should be kept up to date and viewed by Member States as an efficient contribution to defeating Al-Qaida-sponsored terrorism.
Continuing, he said it was important to establish clear procedures for adjusting the list, as a way of encouraging the submissions of new relevant information. The team had proposed several measures in that regard, which the Committee should carefully consider. He asked the team to present specific suggestions to search ways and means for the Committee to adapt itself, in line with resolution 1526. Also appropriate was consideration of expanding and clarifying the delisting procedures. Such an initiative might serve as an incentive for States that had doubts about presenting data because they were unclear about what those individuals and entities might face as a result. Travel by the Committee Chairman and the Monitoring Team was an important instrument for learning about the experience of the authorities directly responsible for counter-terrorism activities. He agreed with the Chairman, however, of the importance to translate those concerns and experiences into adjustments in the sanctions regime.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) said the Monitoring Team had done commendable work. Its report was a key contribution to the identification of problems and possible ways of improving not only the Committees work, but also the United Nations efforts to fight terrorism. While the report reflected only the opinion of the Team and was not the official position of the Committee or the Council, its recommendations needed to be fully addressed. As the United Nations traditional sanctions system had been designed to target States, not individuals, it had had only a limited impact. In that regard, he urged the informal working group on sanctions to continue its work on the issue.
The consolidated list faced several problems, including the need to improve the basis for identifying data for individuals and entitles on the list. In that regard, he encouraged turning to established organizations with broad expertise, such as Interpol, in fighting organized crime. Fighting terrorism was not only a question of doing something new, but also of recognizing already established efforts. Regarding the financial aspects of terrorism, he noted that important steps had been taken to control the flow of assets. The problem of terrorist financing was more than just the control of the banking system. Alternative forms of financing must also be addressed.
Concerning the arms embargo, he welcomed the Teams intention to follow the work of the 1540 Committee and its recommendation to add to the consolidated list the names of those identified as supplying Al-Qaida with material and expertise. He concurred with the need to improve the travel ban on individuals and stressed the need for rapid communication system among border authorities. There was also a need for better coordination among the instruments available to the United Nations. In that regard, he encouraged fluid exchange of views between the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia), pointing to the recent attacks in the Russian Federation and in Indonesia, noted that three years after the 11 September attacks in the United States, and five years after the Security Council adopted resolution 1267, the international community continued to confront new terrorist atrocities with shocking regularity. Australia and Indonesia were working together, as they did in the wake of the Bali and the J.W. Marriot Hotel attacks, to track down the perpetrators of the recent attacks and bring them to justice. Similarly, in the region and beyond, governments were working more closely than ever to fight terrorism. Even with some noteworthy successes scored in that fight however, the threat from Al-Qaidarelated terrorism remained as serious as ever, and was evolving, he said.
While terrorist groups rallying around the banner of Al-Qaidas extremist cause increasingly had few obvious links to that organizations leadership or other listed groups or individuals, they, however, operated according to Al-Qaidas agenda and followed its example. He said it was thus vital that States took all measures under resolution 1267 to restrict those terrorist groups activities, pointing out that the pressing challenge was to ensure the 1267 Committees consolidated list remained responsive to those developments and that Member States contributed to the ongoing improvement and revision of the list.
Improving the effectiveness of the 1267 regime also required improved implementation. While many Member States had limited capacity to meet their obligation, Australia was supportive of efforts to facilitate better national implementation and reporting, as the Monitoring Groups closer coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and with other United Nations and regional bodies and Member States was crucial in that respect. He reaffirmed Australias unwavering determination to combat terrorism, including through building strong United Nations mechanisms.
DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said that the report concisely described the changing nature of the threat. The basics of the sanctions had remained the same while the basics of Al Qaida had changed drastically. Consequently, the report suggested a more fundamental refocusing to better reflect the changed circumstances. To some extent, those were unchartered waters for the Council. It would be a challenge to design sanctions against an enemy that was as fluid and intangible in its appearance. The more loose the organization, the harder it might be to define Al-Qaida and the threat it posed. However, it was crucial that the Council remain on top of the issue, constantly refine its ways to deal with the threat in accordance with international law, and provide the world with clear direction in that battle.
Indeed, he noted, much work remained to further increase the impact of the current sanctions. The effectiveness of the sanctions regime was contingent on the quality of the consolidated list of individuals and entities. States were encouraged to actively contribute to the list, thus making the sanctions more effective and, at the same time, broadening the ownership. Also, the individuals and entities already on the list must be constantly updated, so as to transform the list from a static into a dynamic document. He would also welcome an examination of the current delisting procedures, in light of the general issue of due process.
He added that, while the Monitoring Team was in a unique position to observe failing compliance by States, it lacked the capacity to provide technical assistance. Both the Team and the Committee should continue to strengthen ties with organizations that could facilitate or provide that assistance. He welcomed the recommendations of the report for the Committee to pursue ways to make the financial measures more effective.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) extended his condolences to the families and victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Indonesia and the Russian Federation and strongly condemned those brutal attacks. The threat of terrorism perpetuated by Al-Qaida and related groups remained as real today as it was three years ago. Japan placed importance on the consolidated list and strongly hoped that more information would be included on the list, so that Member States would have access to more substantial information. Inclusion on the list, however, was not an easy process as it could be done only through consensus. Japan welcomed the Committees policy of updating the list, so as to make it a more effective and accurate tool for combating terrorism. It was also important to establish a procedure that would facilitate amendments based on new information. Effective measures needed to be devised to deal with cases in which terrorists opened financial accounts abroad by illegally assuming the identities of individuals in actual existence.
He also welcomed the recommendation to add to the list the names of individuals and groups found to be supplying Al-Qaida-associated terrorists with materials and expertise. Al-Qaida had been operating at relatively low cost, relaying on amounts in the five-figure range, making it difficult to detect the transfer of funds and to cut off financing sources. The Teams suggestion that sanction measures be adjusted according to changing methods of terrorist was also appropriate. On the issue of greater intra-organizational cooperation within the United Nations, he stressed the importance of information sharing and analysis with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Cooperation on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was also crucial, since terrorists associated with Al-Qaida were using unconventional weapons to murder non-combatants on a massive scale. It was important that committees and organizations related to counter-terrorism start cooperating more effectively in the fight against terror. The world was watching to see how decisively the United Nations would act to undertake counter-terrorism initiatives.
VANU GOPALA MENON (Singapore) said that, in the past fortnight, the world had witnessed another rash of heinous terrorist acts. Those were further reminders that terrorism was a clear and present danger around the world. His country joined others in strongly condemning those atrocities. Each country must take responsibility for its own security, but that was not enough. International cooperation was vital if it was to be able to effectively confront that threat. The recent events were not isolated episodes. They reflected the existence of a terrorist network with global reach, capable of organizing deliberate and prolonged acts of terror around the world. Al-Qaida had spawned a network of affiliated terrorist groups across the globe, which subscribed not only to its extreme terror tactics, but also to its deviant ideology.
He said that, in South-East Asia, the extremist regional network - Jemaah Islamiyah, which was Al-Qaidas principal representative in the region --wanted to establish an Islamic caliphate comprising most of South-East Asia, including Singapore. Investigations under way clearly pointed the finger of suspicion to that group for the recent bombing in Jakarta. Everyone must work together to confront the unprecedented terrorist challenge. While efforts of individual countries were extremely important, the war on terrorism could not be won by the efforts of one country alone; international networking and cooperation were also essential. An effective network required the support of individuals equipped not just with special skills, but also with a common understanding of the bigger strategic security picture. Singapore would continue to support the efforts of the United Nations in that regard.
NIRUPAM SEN (India) said that, in the three years since the 11 September attacks in New York, incidents of terrorism in New Delhi, Moscow, Madrid, Riyadh and other parts of the world had amply demonstrated that international terrorism was not a passing phenomenon. In fact, today it constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The horrific images of the heinous murder of some 300 innocent civilians, mainly children, at the hands of terrorists in Beslan less than a fortnight ago were still fresh in everyones minds. The bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta on 9 September, which claimed at least four lives, was a manifestation of the same -- of international terrorism representing an attack on all civilized nations.
He said that the international community would have to do more than issuing routine condemnations of such acts. It would have to act at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels to speedily and effectively address the clear and present danger represented by international terrorism. The two related Council Committees were an important facet of the international response and, thus, it was natural to carefully analyse their strategies. Commenting on some aspects of the Monitoring Teams report, he said that its assessment that the Al-Qaida threat remained as real today as it had been at any other time since October 1999 had been validated by the number and intensity of attacks worldwide with their ideological underpinnings traceable to Al-Qaida. Also, the Teams conclusion that the sanctions had had only a limited impact had been disappointing and had reflected a continuation of the trend reported by the previous Monitoring Group in its report.
Agreeing with the Teams assessment that the Taliban remained a real threat to Afghanistans reconstruction, he said he did not, however, believe that the mutual support between Al-Qaida and the Taliban was confined to assistance with local needs. Nor did he subscribe to the perception that the relevance of the Taliban was confined to the means and space they provided for Al-Qaida to flourish. The Taliban was an offshoot of the same fundamentalist and militant ideology that spawned the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and elsewhere in the world. The fact that they continued to operate within Afghanistan was a telling indicator of the support and safe haven they continued to receive. The Committee must identify that groups individuals and entities, with the view of bringing to bear upon them the measures envisaged in the relevant resolutions, including 1526. He hoped it would do so without fear or favour.
Concurring also that the list suffered from both practical and technical problems, he concluded that the Teams report, overall, had allowed the international community to start working on a new set of recommendations designed to increase the efficacy and relevance of the sanctions measures. Some of the recommendations would, he hoped, receive further expression by the time the next report was due. The continued relevance of the Committee and of all international efforts depended on keeping ahead of the game. India was ready and willing to share its experience, accumulated over decades, of countering terrorism.
REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia) said that, recently, Indonesia had again become the victim of international terrorism when a bomb exploded outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. On behalf of the Government and people of Indonesia, he expressed his deep appreciation for the condolences of the international community. Indonesia strongly condemned that heinous attack and was determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. At the same time, the country would not be allowed to become a land of fear and insecurity. Indeed, the Government had already taken the necessary measures to deal with the attack. He reiterated his countrys strong commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It was ready to support measures against that scourge at the national, regional and global levels.
He said that, while the recent visit of the Monitoring Team had been fruitful in allowing his Government to share its experiences, further efforts and wider collaboration at all levels were needed. He shared the call to further improve the quality of the consolidated list. Problems arising from incomplete background information on individuals could be resolved by the addition of more information from the country that had initially supplied the name. The submission of further data would minimize or eliminate mistakes in efforts to apprehend the individuals. He welcomed the Teams efforts to improve its working methods, and he stressed that terrorism, as a problem of every nation, should be fought with multilateral and multidimensional approaches based on international law and respect for human rights. His country was ready to take the necessary measures and to work with other States and organizations to ensure that terrorism will run out of room to hide, and is defeated.
RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia) conveyed his delegations sympathies to the families and those affected by the recent terrorist events in the Russian Federation and Jakarta. Malaysia categorically condemned all such acts; terrorism was never justifiable. Malaysia appreciated the role played by the 1267 Committee in combating terrorism, in particular, through the sanctions regime, which constituted an important instrument in the common struggle against terrorism. Regarding the great variation in the quality of reports submitted by Member States, he looked forward to a more focused questionnaire that could help in the standardization of reports and assist in the easier preparation of reports. He also hoped that cooperation between the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee would continue to improve and to overcome the problem of the apparent overlap in reporting requirements.
Malaysia believed that a universally accepted definition of terrorism was important to enable the international community to take concerted and effective action against those who had been defined as terrorists, he said. Listing of designated individuals, groups and entities on the list as a result of the absence of such a definition had resulted in the list losing credibility and operational value. It was imperative that the Team updated the list in terms of its relevance and accuracy, with the full cooperation of Member States, including to delist people as appropriate. It was encouraging to note that sanctions against the financing of terrorism had had some effect.
Combating terrorism was one of a number of the Organizations often-interrelated priority tasks, he said. In many parts of the world, a central challenge remained -- the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment. That situation constituted a serious threat to peace and security. Terrorism fed on many things, including the use of force and foreign occupation, ethnic cleansing and the absence of satisfactory avenues to seek redress. It was absolutely essential that curative approaches in dealing with terrorism be prescribed. The root causes of terrorism must be addressed. The challenges facing the international community required a multi-pronged and multidimensional approach, including national, regional and international efforts in addressing the root causes, undertaking psychological warfare programmes to counter the influence of extremists and terrorist, as well as providing training to institutions involved in counter-terrorism activities.
In response, the Committee Chairman, Mr. MUÑOZ, thanked speakers for their strong support of the Sanctions Committee, its Monitoring Team, himself and the Teams Coordinator. He noted that no questions were directed to him or to the Coordinator, but there had been many suggestions, of which he had taken note. Those would be studied in the Committee, which would also strive to give effect to the Teams recommendations. If the Committee so decided, it might come back to the Council, as many had requested this morning, to present improvements and new measures to combat terrorism. That was not simply a mandate from the Council, but an ethical obligation for all those who sought a more stable and secure international community.
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