27 October 2005
Security Council Briefed by Chairmen of Three Anti-Terrorism Committees; Status of Reporting, Technical Assistance, among Issues Addressed
Speakers Say Continuing Attacks -- Bali, Israel -- Highlight Need for Increased Multilateral Efforts, Reinforced Cooperation among Committees
NEW YORK, 26 October (UN Headquarters) -- Citing the recent bombing in Bali -- with some also mentioning this morning's attack in Hadera, central Israel -- speakers at the Security Council today reaffirmed that terrorism still constituted one of the most serious threats to peace and security, and called for the strengthened mechanisms endorsed during the World Summit to come to fruition, after being briefed by the chairmen of the Council's three anti-terrorism committees.
Those three committees are: the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), the "Counter-Terrorism Committee"; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said her Committee remained a crucial instrument of the international community in its fight against terrorism based on dialogue with and assistance to States. Support of Member States for its activities remained invaluable.
Over the past three months, she said that the Committee had focused on engaging with regional organizations, catching up on the backlog of reports from States and looking at better ways to facilitate technical assistance. The Committee was also continuing its visits to States and also taking steps to ensure follow-up to resolution 1624 (2005), adopted during the World Summit, which called upon all States to report to the Committee on implementation of that resolution. She also pointed out that there was now a fully-staffed Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, as well as more resources to give Member States guidance in their anti-terrorism efforts.
César Mayoral (Argentina), Chairman of the 1267 Committee, said that the sanctions targeting Al-Qaida and Taliban members and their associates were an effective, although not perfect, tool in the fight against terrorism, and it was the Council's responsibility to constantly sharpen and improve it. He noted that, since his last briefing, 11 individuals and one entity had been added to the Committee's consolidated list. The Committee had considered in detail the Monitoring Team's third report, agreeing with a number of its recommendations, some of which would be referred to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, as they were outside the scope of the 1267 Committee's mandate. Others would require the Committee's further consideration, including on such matters as listing and delisting.
Pursuant to resolution 1617 (2005), he said that consideration of the revised draft guidelines for listing and delisting had begun. Political will to maintain the sanctions had clearly been displayed at all levels, but the Committee and the Council needed to consider what could be done to further assist countries where the need for technical assistance was dire. Resolution 1617 (2005) provided clear guidance regarding the Committee's future activities and it was his firm intention to intensify the Committee's work in the coming months to achieve those objectives.
Also briefing the Council, the Chairman of the 1540 Committee, Mihnea Ioan Motoc (Romania), said that the main task of the Committee for the last three months had been to successfully complete the examination of first reports submitted by States. Having examined 121 such reports since June and sent letters requesting States to fill in any gaps, the Committee stood ready to develop a constructive and transparent dialogue with all States.
The Committee, he said, could only fulfil its remaining mandate if all States submitted their reports to the Committee on time. As of today, 67 Member States had yet to report. He called on them to submit their first reports without further delay. Unless they met their obligations in full, their territories might be used for shipping weapons of mass destruction and related materials, or for financing of illegal activities, or as a safe haven to broker the sale of weapons-of-mass-destruction-related material.
In addition, he said the Committee would continue to act as a clearing house to connect States who had requested assistance with those that could provide it. The Committee would also interact and cooperate, as appropriate, with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as other Council Committees. In all areas, transparency would remain a priority of its work.
During the discussion that followed those presentations, speakers emphasized that continuing terrorist attacks worldwide, such as that in Bali, highlighted the need to remain vigilant and increase multilateral efforts, as well as to reinforce cooperation between the Committees. The representatives of Liechtenstein, Romania, Israel and Chile also spoke of the suicide bombing that took place this morning in central Israel. Many speakers welcomed the adoption of resolution 1624 at the recent World Summit and urged that action on a comprehensive international convention be completed. Many also urged assistance be given in helping States to comply with reporting requirements of the various counter-terrorism resolutions.
In addition, the representatives of Cuba and Venezuela accused the United States of being inconsistent by failing to prosecute and extradite terrorists who had targeted their countries. The United States' representative explained that the cases mentioned were being pursued through the courts due process.
Statements were also made by representatives of Greece, Brazil, United Kingdom, Benin, France, China, Philippines, Japan, United Republic of Tanzania, Russian Federation, Algeria, Samoa, Switzerland, India, Fiji, Colombia, Pakistan and Syria.
The meeting began at 10:17 a.m. and adjourned at 2 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the chairs of its three "anti-terrorism" Committees, namely: the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) was established by resolution 1373, adopted on 28 September 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 11 September. It monitors the implementation of resolution 1373 and tries to increase the capability of States to fight terrorism. Resolution 1535 (2004) established the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to enhance the Committee's ability to monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 and effectively continue the capacity-building work in which it is engaged. The CTC reports to the Council and submits a work programme every 90 days.
According to the CTC's work programme for its seventeenth 90-day period, from 1 October to 31 December 2005 (document S/2005/663), the Executive Directorate is now fully staffed and the final elements are being put into place in order to be able to declare it operational. It is the Committee's strong hope that, over the coming months, this enhanced support capacity will enable real progress and results within the scope of the Committee's mandate.
The report notes that over the next three months, the Committee will give priority to, among other things, timely review of and response to reports received from Member States; identification of technical assistance needs and action to ensure prompt implementation of operative paragraph 6 of Council resolution 1624 (2005). [That resolution, adopted on 14 September at a meeting held in conjunction with the 2005 World Summit, directed the CTC to: include in its dialogue with Member States their efforts to implement the resolution; work with Member States to help build capacity, including through spreading best legal practices and promoting exchange of information; and report to the Council in 12 months on the resolution's implementation.]
By 30 September 2005, the CTC had received 622 reports from Member States and others, the report states, including first reports from 191 Member States, 169 second reports, 130 third reports, 101 fourth reports and 22 fifth reports. It is the Committee's priority to clear the backlog by the end of 2005. It remains a key objective for the CTC to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to strengthen the counter-terrorism capacity of States that are striving to fulfil their obligations, but lack the capacity to do so. To ensure that the necessary assistance can be provided, the Committee and its Executive Directorate will strengthen their work with States to identify their individual needs.
Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee
The Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee was established by resolution 1267 (1999) to monitor implementation by States of sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban and their associates. Those sanctions consist of a freeze of assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo. The Committee established a consolidated list of members and associates and is supported by a monitoring group of eight experts.
To further improve implementation of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime, the Council adopted resolution 1526 (2004), which mandated it to adopt a new resolution by July. Adopting resolution 1617 on 29 July 2005, the Council extended the sanctions against Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden, the Taliban and their associates, deciding that all States should take the necessary measures previously imposed by resolutions 1267 (1999), 1333 (2000) and 1390 (2002) regarding a freeze of assets, a ban on travel and a weapons embargo aimed at those groups and individuals.
Also by that text, the Council extended the mandate of the 1267 Committee's New York-based analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team for a 17-month period and gave guidance for the inclusion of individuals and entities associated with Usama bin Laden and the Taliban as referred to in the consolidated list created pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000).
The "1540" Committee was established for two years on 28 April 2004 by resolution 1540, which addressed the possible acquisition of mass destruction weapons by non-State actors, in particular terrorists. The Council decided that all States should refrain from supporting any means attempted by non-State actors to acquire, use or transfer nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems. States must establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of such weapons and delivery means, and report to the committee, no later than six months from the resolution's adoption.
The Council last heard briefings by the chairs of the three committees on 20 July 2005 (see Press Release SC/8454 of 20 July).
CÉSAR MAYORAL (Argentina), Chairman of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions (1267) Committee, noted that since his last briefing, 11 individuals and one entity had been added to the list. The Committee had considered in detail the Monitoring Team's third report, agreeing with a number of its recommendations. Some recommendations would be referred to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, as they were outside the scope of the 1267 Committee's mandate. Others would require the Committee's further consideration, including on such matters as listing and delisting. Pursuant to resolution 1617 (2005), consideration of the revised draft guidelines had begun and the agreed work programme contained a clear outline for discussion.
Pursuant to paragraph 8 of that resolution, the Committee had substantially increased cooperation with Interpol, he said. A resolution adopted at the Interpol General Assembly in September would allow for the initiation of a number of practical steps, including the issuance by Interpol of a new notice reflecting that an individual had been placed on the Committee's list. The Committee had considered a request from Liechtenstein to make available the list maintained by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 3 of resolution 1452 (2002) to interested Member States. After extensive consultations, the Committee was unable to accommodate the request. The Committee had also taken note of the participation of four individuals in the Afghan Parliamentary elections held on 18 September 2005, deciding to remind the Afghan representative in New York of his country's obligations regarding resolution 1617 (2005).
Since its appointment in September, the Team had held various meetings in New York and abroad, he said. Between 8 and 19 October, he had visited selected countries, including Nigeria, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna and Chad. He had found an increased need to focus on visits to Member States where there might be concerns about capacity, the need for technical assistance, and the requirement for submission of reports pursuant to resolution 1455 (2003). Noting that 48 Member States had yet to report to the Committee, he urged all non-reporting countries to submit reports as soon as possible. The visits had given him a useful insight into the effect of lack of capacity to fully implement the sanctions measures.
While he had no doubt about political will, which was clearly displayed at all levels, the Committee and the Council needed to consider what could be done to further assist the countries where the needs for technical assistance were so dire, he said. Resolution 1617 (2005) provided clear guidance regarding the Committee's future activities and it was his firm intention to intensify the Committee's work in the coming months to achieve those objectives. The sanctions targeting Al-Qaida and Taliban members and their associates were an effective, although not perfect, tool in the fight against terrorism, and it was the Council's responsibility to constantly sharpen and improve it.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), pointed out that there was now a fully-staffed Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the resources to give Member States guidance in their anti-terrorism efforts, especially those pursued in fulfilment of resolution 1373 (2001).
Over the past three months, she said that the CTC had focused on engaging with regional organizations, catching up on the backlog of reports from States and looking at better ways to facilitate technical assistance. With the consent of States, the CTC is continuing its visits and also taking steps to ensure follow-up to resolution 1624 (2005), which calls upon all States to report to the CTC on implementation of that resolution. She encouraged States to provide detailed information about their efforts in that regard. Finally, she said the Committee was engaging in policy discussions aimed at giving the CTED the guidance foreseen in the revitalization documents.
The CTC, she said, remained a crucial instrument in the international community's fight against terrorism. Developments during the last three months had again proven that its task remained vital and urgent. Thanking Member States for their support and cooperation, she said that such support remained invaluable.
MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said that the main task of the Committee for the last three months had been to successfully complete the examination of first reports submitted by States. Having examined 121 such reports since June and sent letters requesting States to fill in any gaps, the Committee stood ready to develop a constructive and transparent dialogue with all States. The Committee also decided to build a database of links to public sources of information about national legislative and other regulatory measures in support of the resolution.
The Committee, he said, could only fulfil its remaining mandate if all States submitted their reports to the Committee on time. As of today, 67 Member States had yet to report and he called on them to submit their first reports without further delay. Unless they met their obligations in full, their territories might be used for shipping weapons of mass destruction and related materials, or for financing of illegal activities, or as a safe haven to broker the sale of "WMD-related" material. The Committee would continue to approach all countries that had yet to report.
In addition, he said the Committee would continue to act as a clearing house to connect States who had requested assistance with those which could provide it. The Committee would also interact and cooperate, as appropriate, with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as other Council Committees. In all areas, transparency would remain a priority of its work.
ADAMANTIOS TH. VASSILAKIS (Greece) said the recent terrorist attacks in Bali had shown once more that terrorism knew no boundaries and constituted one of the most serious global threats against peace, freedom and human dignity. Acts of terrorism were not justifiable on any grounds, be it political, religious or philosophical. The international community must once more show its determination to collectively fight the scourge. The appropriate action, both nationally and internationally, was an obligation for all Member States.
Regarding the 1267 Committee, he said the addition of 11 new individuals and one entity to the list was a welcome development. Listing new individuals and groups had an important political and psychological impact, and could function as a deterrent to terrorist acts. The Council should address growing international concern about existing listing and delisting procedures and the lack of due process requirements. The establishment of a review mechanism would be an adequate response to such concerns. The revision of the existing guidelines, as foreseen by resolution 1617, should be a high priority for the Committee, as it could considerably enhance the sanctions regime.
Turning to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said he was pleased that the Executive Directorate was now fully operational. He noted with interest that the Committee had enhanced its cooperation and dialogue with some regional organizations and welcomed efforts to eliminate the backlog of reports. He also commended the Committee's efforts to explore ways to strengthen the facilitation of technical assistance to States. He was pleased to hear that the Committee had taken steps to ensure follow-up to resolution 1624 (2005) regarding incitement to commit terrorist acts. When implementing that resolution, States must ensure that they complied with their obligations under international refugee and humanitarian law. Greece fully supported the Committee's decision to engage in a policy discussion on how to incorporate a human rights perspective into its work. In that regard, he welcomed the appointment of a human rights expert to the Executive Directorate.
On the 1540 Committee, he said he was pleased to learn that the Committee had pursued the examination of all first reports submitted by 1 October. The examination of State reports was an essential part of the effort to reinforce the global counter-proliferation regime. He noted with interest the steps taken by the Committee to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to States to implement the resolution, and supported ongoing efforts to establish closer interaction with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations. Greece supported increased cooperation between the three committees, which should continue to function in a transparent and open way.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil), addressing the work of the 1267 Committee, said the period since the Council's last meeting had been productive, with that Committee considering the recommendations of the Monitoring Team's third report. The Committee's Chair had taken his second trip to selected countries to improve dialogue with Member States. Some urgent tasks remained, however, including the revision of the draft guidelines for the work of the Committee. Work on the guidelines was urgently needed to make them better adapted to new needs. In that regard, special attention should be paid to the listing and delisting process. Present mechanisms left significant room for transparency, effectiveness and fairness.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he noted that today's meeting was the first public meeting after the Executive Directorate had become fully operational. He believed that body would be in a better position to carry out its functions. Its primary role consisted of identifying States' technical assistance needs and facilitating the provision of such assistance. Many United Nations Member States lacked the institutions and qualified personnel to deal with a terrorist threat. Indeed, assistance to Member States was one of the best ways to counter terrorism. Brazil encouraged States that might benefit from such assistance to request it. He also stressed the need for increased dialogue, as well as the need to handle with the utmost care any piece of sensitive information that might expose States' vulnerability to terrorism.
The Executive Directorate's work would contribute to the creation of possible best practices in the implementation of resolution 1373, he added. Best practices were by definition non-binding instruments that should be in conformity with international law. The Executive Directorate's work must contribute to strengthening the observance of human rights standards. While respecting the Executive Directorate's mandate, it was expected to liaise with the various human rights offices and organs.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, he said he was pleased to note the valuable support of the group of experts, which had concluded the first round of reports submitted by Member States. He encouraged those States that had not done so to present their reports as soon as possible. Brazil was ready to provide assistance to States in the Latin American and Caribbean region that lacked the necessary legal or regulatory infrastructure. For Brazil, the very existence of weapons of mass destruction was a matter of grave concern. His Government called for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament. While all were aware of the urgency of dealing decisively with the menace of international terrorism, it was important not to let the heightened sense of vulnerability to terrorism lead States to forego fundamental principles and rights.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), on behalf of the European Union and associated States, extended condolences to Indonesia for the recent Bali bombings and said that such terrible events renewed the determination to maximize global efforts to counter the menace of terrorism. He welcomed the steps the United Nations was taking in that direction as outlined in the Summit and in resolution 1624. Among other developments, he looked forward to a comprehensive convention and the Secretary-General's proposals to assist States in combating terrorism and enhance United Nations coordination in that regard.
The Union, he said, continued to implement a weapons-of-mass-destruction strategy, including support for resolution 1540. He urged those States who had not yet submitted reports to the Committee to do so, saying the Union would be glad to consider any request for assistance in that regard. He encouraged the Council to consider ways to strengthen its monitoring and enforcement role in counter-terrorism through, among other activities, consolidating State reporting requirements, taking into account and respecting the different mandates of its subsidiary bodies. The Union, he stressed, was implementing its regional counter-terrorist financing strategy as a matter of priority and stood ready to play its part in the overall global response to terrorism.
Mr. IDOHOU (Benin) said that terrorism was a crime against humanity. The struggle against it could only succeed if mechanisms within States were strengthened and cooperation between States and organizations was increased. He welcomed the efforts of the three committees in that regard. The adoption of regulatory texts at the national level was particularly important, especially concerning weapons of mass destruction. He stressed that all States that had not submitted their reports in that regard should do so. In getting that to happen, dialogue was essential.
He invited the Committees to spare no effort in making their work transparent and supported their programmes for the next period. He said that, in order to mobilize all States to engage in the struggle against terrorism, consideration should be given to compensation for those States that had suffered from measures targeted against the Taliban and Al-Qaida.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE (France) said the Council had shown that it was capable of responding to terrorist threats. For some years, it had been committed to patient work to strengthen the capacity of all Member States to combat terrorism. That was the raison d'être for the work of the three committees. In the months to come, it was necessary to ensure that the Council's place in common efforts to fight terrorism was fully recognized. The adoption by the General Assembly of a universal definition of terrorism would provide a solid foundation for that strategy. In the meantime, the Council had to regularly address progress achieved. Although the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate now had a full team, it was important to undertake a true discussion of the support action to be given to the Committee to determine its priorities. He was pleased that the Committee had caught up with the backlog of reports, and hoped it would be able to devote more resources to visits on the ground. Visits had enabled the Council to determine States' future assistance needs.
Continuing, he said the 1267 Committee was also carrying out important work to improve its working methods. In that regard, he welcomed the adoption of resolution 1617, which called on the Committee to review its guidelines. That review was necessary. It was particularly important to improve transparency in the listing and delisting procedure, as well as exemptions. That would not only reflect the need for justice, but would also improve States' understanding of the Committee's work. The visits by the Committee and the group of experts to Member States were an important part of its activity. Those visits must focus on States requiring the most assistance.
Turning to the work of the 1540 Committee, he said the group of experts had carried out in-depth analysis of national reports. There was now a change in the position of States vis-à-vis resolution 1540. That was seen at the recent seminar in Argentina. Many States felt that, through 1540, the Council was setting law in their place. They now seemed to understand better the objectives of the resolution. The risk of seeing weapons of mass destruction fall into the wrong hands was a serious threat to all States. The renewed mandate of the 1540 Committee must be discussed in a few months. The Committee was now gaining a full understanding of the control system of installations and material worldwide. While the Committee would continue to request reports, it could make better use of the existing database to identify priority action. The Committee could provide assistance by identifying partnerships and models. The establishment of weapon-free zones had played a major role in the creation of policies for regional security.
WANG GUANGYA (China) expressed satisfaction with the work of the three anti-terrorism Committees. Their focus in the next phase should include strengthening sanction measures and assisting States who had not yet met their reporting requirements to do so. Cooperation between the Committees should continue to increase.
Expressing condolences to the families and victims of recent terrorist acts, such as the bombings in Bali, he said the Security Council should intensify its efforts to eliminate the scourge, which posed a serious threat to peace and security. Terrorist threats to China were posed by the East Turkistan terrorist organization and other East Turkistan groups, and they should be suppressed in countries where they were active, thus meeting obligation under resolution 1624. China pledged to do its part in the global fight against terrorism.
LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said that continuing terrorist attacks worldwide were a grim reminder of the need to remain vigilant and to further enhance the global effort against terrorism. The adoption of resolution 1624 at the World Summit and the increasing cooperation among the three Committees was creating a synergy that maximized those global efforts. He encouraged the continuation of that trend.
Welcoming also the activities of the three committees for the past three months, he encouraged States who had not yet fulfilled their reporting obligations to do so. He said the holding of regional seminars to support the implementation process was a useful outreach activity, as shown by the results of the seminar of the Latin American and Caribbean region held in Buenos Aires to support regional sharing of experiences in general fulfilment of obligations and the preparation of national reports.
SHINICHI KITAOKA (Japan) noted that, since the last meeting on 20 July, there had been no respite; acts of terror had been committed in Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Bali. Whatever the purposes of terrorists, terrorism must never be condoned. His Government strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In adopting the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, Member States had debated for hours United Nations counter-terrorism measures. Although the negotiations had been difficult, they were now being followed up by negotiations on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It was essential that the Council continue to develop an effective counter-terrorism policy by deepening cooperation among the counter-terrorism committees.
He said there could be no question about the importance of establishing counter-terrorism prevention measures. In that regard, Council resolution 1617 (2005) strongly urged Member States to implement the Financial Action Task Force's 40 recommendations on money laundering and the Task Force's nine special recommendations on terrorist financing. On the basis of resolution 1617, there had been progress in cooperation between Interpol and the 1267 Committee. Information accumulated by Interpol could be further utilized to prevent terrorist activities. It was vital to ensure that the consolidated list be used effectively within each Member State.
Stressing the need to build Member States counter-terrorism capacity, he said it was crucial to accelerate efforts to strengthen the Counter-Terrorism Committee's role. With the assessment of the Executive Directorate, the Committee was working to identify Member States' technical needs and he expected that information would be relayed to the donor community in a systematic manner, so as to ensure that technical assistance was actually provided to the States requiring it. It would achieve more efficient provision of assistance if the Committee could provide additional information on what kinds of assistance donors should focus on for cases in which donor States were at present identifying individual efforts. Japan wanted the Committee to devise ways and means whereby the analysis of the Committee became clearer to the donor community. In that regard, establishing a structure for closer contact with the Counter-Terrorism Action Group and international and regional organizations would be an effective step.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, he welcomed that second reports were being submitted by some Member States. The Committee should focus more on the issue of technical assistance. While the Committee's mandate was expected to expire at the end of next April, many tasks remained. An efficient work programme was critical. The activities of the three committees needed to be enriched. His Government would extend its full cooperation to them, so that the Council could further strengthen its activities in the fight against terrorism.
AUGUSTINE P. MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) commended the three committees for providing periodic updates. Regarding the 1267 Committee, the Council had adopted resolution 1617, which addressed Member States concerns on due process. In his view, the Council had introduced pertinent elements in the resolution, such as the "checklist", which would assist Member States in the preparations of their reports to the Committee. He was pleased to hear of the recent visit to Nigeria and Chad, two strategically significant States in the subregion.
On the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he noted that with the adoption of resolution 1624, the Council had placed additional responsibilities on the Committee and some Member States were still struggling to fulfil their obligations under resolution 1373. In view of that, ongoing efforts by the Committee and the Executive Directorate to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to Member States should be stepped up through increased cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations.
He commended the achievements of the 1540 Committee in the last three months, particularly for successfully completing the examination of first reports, and he hoped the remaining 67 Member States would submit their reports in due course. His country attached great importance to the Committee's activities and found merit in its outreach efforts, including encouraging Member States in both their individual capacities and through regional seminars to prepare and submit their reports on time. He also commended the Committee for facilitating extensive cooperation with international organizations that were ready to offer relevant technical assistance to Member States.
Persistent terrorist attacks worldwide and the changing nature of terrorist threats made it imperative for the three committees to increase cooperation among themselves in information sharing and dialogue with Member States. It was also important to situate coordinated counter-terrorist strategies in the wider context of respective national, and overall international, efforts to combat terrorism led by the Security Council.
ILYA ROGACHEV (Russian Federation) supported the coordination of the three anti-terrorism committees. There had been a few important recent steps, including advancement in measures to combat nuclear terrorism that his country had put forward. He hoped that the appeal of the World Summit for Member States to agree upon a convention during the General Assembly session would be heeded and the task would be completed successfully.
He supported the efforts of the committees to intensify their activities, to encourage States to meet their reporting requirements and to strengthen the counter-terrorism capacity of regional and subregional organizations. He supported a new coordinated regional meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and efforts to combat incitement to terrorism. In that context, not just the letter, but the spirit of resolution 1564 should be taken into account. Assistance should be given to States that need it to fulfil their obligations.
CAROLYN WILLSON (United States) was pleased that all three committees were considering important topics, such as the improvement of reporting. She urged that the effort for greater cooperation among the committees continue, and also urged those States that had not yet met their reporting obligations under all counter-terrorist resolutions to do so. She expressed satisfaction with the Counter-Terrorism Committee's completion of its directorate and its cooperation with international and regional organizations. Among other organizations, she said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee should endorse the activities of the Financial Actions Task Force.
She said that further names for listing for Taliban and Al-Qaida sanctions, now that the issue had been clarified, should be submitted. She also supported further outreach efforts and actions against money-laundering and financing of terrorists. In addition, she supported assistance to States in meeting their obligations under resolution 1540 and the strengthening of other measures under that resolution, as well.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria) said resolution 1617 had provided some clarity regarding the idea of "associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban", and the role played by the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol regarding travel documents. He welcomed the resolution renewing the mandate of the Monitoring Team. He also welcomed the fact that the Committee had considered in-depth the Monitoring Team's third report. He encouraged the Committee and the Monitoring Team to use the tool of visits in order to, among other things, strengthen dialogue and meet the concerns of Member States. He welcomed, in particular, the recent visit to certain African countries and urged follow-up visits. Algeria supported the Committee's future activities, especially the need for intense dialogue with Member States.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said he supported its seventeenth work programme and welcomed the fact that the Executive Directorate was now fully operational. Regarding visits, he noted that the appeal he had made a few moths ago was being heeded. The Executive Directorate would soon visit Algeria. He wished to see other Member States volunteer to host such visits, especially in light of the recent adoption of resolution 1624 on incitement to terrorism. Algeria condemned all acts of terrorism.
Regarding the 1540 committee, he commended the Committee and the group of experts for their praiseworthy efforts. Since the adoption of resolution 1540, the international community had made progress in coping with the threat of the acquisition by non-State actors of weapons of mass destruction. He welcomed the fact that 124 States had submitted reports, often under difficult conditions. The Committee should devote a substantial portion of its work programme to lending assistance to States that requested such assistance. He also commended the recent holding of two workshops in Argentina and Uganda.
ALI'IOAIGA FETURI ELISAIA (Samoa), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, condemned the Bali bombings and expressed condolences to Indonesians, saying that the bombings were a stark reminder of the need to overcome terrorism through a collective international response. In that context, he welcomed coordination between the three counter-terrorism committees.
Pacific leaders remained fully committed to the international campaign against terrorism, he said, and were working together on a range of initiatives to enhance capabilities in that regard and to strengthen trade, transport and border security infrastructure against attack or exploitation by terrorist groups. As small island developing States, however, they faced great challenges in fulfilling their obligations, because of scarce resources and the sheer volume of new standards. For that reason, Forum Members have extended an invitation to the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to attend next year's meeting of its working group on counter-terrorism. In addition, he said that collective Pacific regional reporting would alleviate some of the pressure in meeting reporting requirements.
PETER MAURER (Switzerland) said that terrorist acts remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and he welcomed the anti-terrorist measures adopted at the end of the World Summit, as welcome as the legal considerations that affected Europe and his country in particular. In regard to resolution 1617, he also welcomed most of its provisions, but urged greater transparency.
His country was actively involved, together with Germany and Sweden, in promoting the drafting and implementation of more satisfactory provisions concerning inclusion on and deletion from the consolidated sanctions list, he said. The aim of the initiative was to improve the effectiveness of sanctions and Switzerland was convinced that greater respect for legal norms in the matter of delisting would enable States to better cooperate with the Committee. He assured the Council of the willingness of his country to help strengthen the fight against terrorism within the framework of an effective sanctions regime that respected human rights.
NIRUPAM SEN (India) noted that, earlier this month, terrorist had struck for a second time in Bali, exacting a huge toll amongst innocent civilians. While the victims were unconnected with any ideology, policy or programme directed against terrorists, they, nonetheless, fell to those very forces. Such incidents reinforced the absolute importance of countries working together to root out the scourge of terrorism. Terrorism had become a global phenomenon to which no country or society could remain immune or indifferent. The United Nations was uniquely placed to provide the multilateral platform for real global cooperation in the common fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Security Council actions alone could not provide a sufficient response to the global security threats the world faced today.
The 2005 World Summit Outcome contained a clear condemnation of terrorism by all Governments, he said. It also stressed the need to make every effort to reach agreement on and conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism during the Assembly's sixtieth session. India had initiated the draft convention during the fifty-first session. The draft supplemented the 13 sectoral conventions on terrorism and provided a comprehensive legal framework on which States could base their cooperation for extradition and mutual judicial assistance in connection with terrorist crimes. It had been almost a decade in the making, however. In the current climate of increasing acts of terrorism, he believed that all States should work expeditiously towards the adoption of the draft convention early in the sixtieth session.
The people of India had faced the scourge of cross-border terrorism for well over two decades, he said. Over time, it had also accumulated expertise and experience in dealing with the menace through prevention, interdiction and deterrence. India had developed considerable expertise in tackling such problems as terrorist financing, alternative currency-transfer systems, money-laundering and illegal arms trafficking. India was pleasantly surprised, therefore, with the Counter-Terrorism Committee's offer of assistance in the very areas in which its experience had been amply demonstrated. Such an offer, though no doubt kindly meant, was like carrying coals to Newcastle. In his view, it would be of far greater benefit if experts at the disposal of the Committee employed themselves more profitably by imparting real and practical expertise to States that requested and really required such assistance.
Regarding the 1267 Committee, he said it was clear that the Council would need to continually adapt its existing measures to match the ability of Al-Qaida and the Taliban to find a way around them. Also, he cautioned against any casual moves towards reconciliation with elements of the Taliban. Individuals on the Taliban consolidated list must remain there, with their assets frozen. Also, their inability to rejoin Afghan society remain in place. They must not be delisted without giving up their former affiliations and being made accountable through due process for past actions against their countrymen.
The 1540 Committee must continue its work to ensure the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he said. Such an effort must remain equally vigilant against proliferation by both States and non-State actors. At the same time, it should act against both the recipients and sources of proliferation. Turning a blind eye to supposed allies and targeting supposed adversaries could only undermine resolution 1540. The working group established under resolution 1566 had the unique opportunity to shape the United Nations future direction against terrorism.
ORLANDO REQUEIJO GUAL (Cuba) said his delegation was compelled to focus its statement on an issue of great concern. While the Council met today to discuss measures for the prevention and eradication of terrorism, the infamous international terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, remained in United States territory without that country's Government complying with its obligations to extradite him for the heinous crime he had committed. The Government that, in the name of the struggle against terrorism, had unleashed wars was the same that now protected the main terrorist of the western hemisphere, the mastermind of the mid-air explosion of a Cuban airliner with 73 passengers.
On 27 September, a spokeswoman for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office had announced in El Paso, Texas, the decision not to remove Posada Carriles to Venezuela or Cuba on the false grounds that he could face torture in both nations, resorting manipulatively to the exemptions provided by the Convention against Torture. Were resolutions 1373 and 1566 not applicable to the United States? How long would the Council tolerate the super-Power's double standards in the struggle against terrorism? he asked.
In August, three judges from the Court of Appeals for the eleventh circuit in Atlanta in charge of the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Lebanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, imprisoned in United States jails, had announced their decision to reverse the sentences and order a new trial. Allowing confessed terrorist like Posada Carriles to enjoy absolute impunity, while said Cuban fighters were arbitrarily imprisoned, was an immoral act, and an affront to the world's victims of terrorism.
FERMÍN TORO JIMÉNEZ (Venezuela) reiterated his condemnation of terrorism by State or non-State actors, though he stressed that the resistance to invasion was not an act of terror. His country was diligent and consistent in its response to terrorism. By its same convictions, it had to condemn acts that were taken in the name of counter-terrorism that were oppressive to peoples around the world. In addition, States should be cooperating in the fight against terrorism, but there was a Venezuelan terrorist in the United States who was not being brought to justice. Those who protected terrorists, according to various resolutions, were complicit with terrorism.
He said that Pat Robertson, associated with the Republican Party in the United States, was also guilty of inciting terrorism, by calling for violence against the President of Venezuela. He was not being brought to justice, either. Venezuela had already taken steps to have Mr. Robertson extradited for his crimes. He hoped that the United States authorities would respond with due diligence.
ISIKIA SAVUA (Fiji), associating his delegation with the statement of Samoa on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said that any success in averting terrorism was due to the commitment and the willingness of States to cooperate with one another, guided by the Security Council committees.
There were currently, however, 13 counter-terrorism instruments and, while an omnibus convention was being drafted, he did not believe that it would lessen the number of obligatory returns and reports that States had to prepare. He fully endorsed the Samoan proposals in that regard. As concerned the South Pacific's vulnerability to terrorism, he said that the hardening of other targets could make those countries soft targets. He, therefore, requested that intelligence sharing and other cooperation be rendered to the Pacific Islands.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) expressed condolences for the terrorist attack today in Hadera, Israel. The humanitarian exemption regime was a very important feature of the sanctions mechanism, which facilitated national implementation of sanctions measures in accordance with applicable constitutional and international human rights standards. However, since the sanctions Committee must be involved in every single case of humanitarian exemption under resolution 1452 (2002), the ability of States to apply the regime would greatly benefit from increased transparency in handling by the Committee. It would, therefore, be desirable to grant interested States access to all Committee decisions, in order to better understand the committee's practice. Far from full disclosure of the Committee practice, he simply requested that the mere list of States whose notifications under the humanitarian exemption regime were received favourably by the Committee be made accessible to interested States. He noted with regret that the Committee had decided not to make the list available and that no explanation had been given for that decision.
Since the last briefing, the Monitoring Team's third report had been released to States not members of the Council, he said. He appreciated the progress made in the strengthening of the sanctions regime, but remained concerned that the strengthening of procedural safeguards for individuals and entities affected by sanctions did not yet keep pace. Both the Monitoring Team's report and the resolution pointed to the need to continue the work on the improvement of listing and delisting procedures. Efforts to strengthen the sanctions regime and its procedures must be seen in the context of the bigger picture of global cooperation to fight terrorism. Equal emphasis must be placed on the different aspects of that endeavour. He commended initiatives to streamline the work of the Council and its committees, as well as current work to conclude negotiations on a comprehensive convention on terrorism.
DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) thanked the President and the representative of Liechtenstein for their heartfelt and sincere condolences. His written statement prepared for today's meeting was before the Council. At the moment, however, the bodies of five Israelis and 33 others badly wounded were being rushed to hospital after terrorists had struck once again, this time in the market of Hadera in central Israel, the result of a suicide bombing by a 23-year-old Palestinian. He would not read his statement at a moment of great grief and stark reality. The bloody scene at Hadera and the blood stained streets spoke louder than any words or statements. Anyone who expected Israel to re-embark on the "Road Map" must realize that so far, the road in Hadera was the real map, a map of blood, terror and pain.
Terror, for Israel, like many others, was not a technical matter, he said. It was far too real, ominous, deadly and daily. In fact, Israel had experienced more than 25,400 terrorist attacks in the past five years. That high number, however, merely reflected the number of attacks carried out. The number of attempted attacks was exponentially greater. Failed attacks could not be overlooked. For every attack carried out, there were nearly five attempted attacks, which, if not foiled, would have resulted in 125,000 terror attacks in the last five years. There was such a minuscule difference between those that were successful and those who failed. Life and death depended on the smallest of fractions -- a second or an inch.
The Islamic Jihad, whose headquarters, like those of 12 terror organizations, were in Syria, a country that had been harbouring and financing terror throughout the region, had claimed responsibility for the crime, he said. He had not heard any condolences from the Palestinian Authority. But words were really not enough. Israel expected deeds and resolute action -- not words. Indeed, the words of Iran's representative yesterday, calling for wiping Israel off the map, were being implemented in Hadera today with grim immediacy. It was precisely such words, such terror harbouring and such inaction that the three committees must address. Terror was the first world war of the twenty-first century and all States must mobilize their forces to fight it.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that this morning's attack and others showed again that there must be multilateral cooperation in fighting terrorism. He congratulated the three committees for their efforts in that area and for their coordination with each other. There was a gap, however, that needed to be breached between the work done by the Security Council and the General Assembly, bearing in mind the conditions that lead to the increase in terrorism.
He welcomed the refinement of the sanctions regime against the Taliban and Al-Qaida, as well as efforts to revitalize the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He said the rendering of assistance to States in the area of technical capacity and in compliance with conventions was also very valuable. To relieve some of the pressure on States in complying with reporting duties, such reporting should be better targeted. Dialogue between committees with States on the results of such reports could also be very constructive.
MARÍA ÁNGELA HOLGUÍN CUELLAR (Colombia) said that her country had been complying with the various anti-terrorism instruments. A common strategy for immediate application was very much needed. Cooperation to eliminate the scourge must be universal. In that effort, States required concrete initiatives with achievable actions. Confidence-building mechanisms among States must also be fostered.
The people of Colombia had suffered from terrorism for many years, she said. In a democratic system there was no justification for committing such acts and no justification for assisting others to commit them. In the past, a Danish non-governmental organization had sent money to an illegal armed group and Denmark had cooperated in investigating and staunching such activity. That kind of international cooperation was essential to stop the scourge.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said the threat of terrorism knew no boundaries. It posed a challenge to all of humanity, without exception. Terrorism had no faith and was abhorrent to all religions, faiths and beliefs. Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism for over two decades including cross-border and State-sponsored terrorism. It remained at the forefront of the counter-terrorism efforts, had had strengthened its legal, administrative and financial controls.
Regarding the work of the three committees, he noted the efforts of the 267 Committee to clarify its working methods and that the Committee was engaged in the process of improving its guidelines. He hoped the Committee would bring greater transparency in its work to ensure greater cooperation from all States. He welcomed that the Executive Directorate was finally operational and was assisting the Committee in its work. He also welcomed the increased reporting by Member States on the steps they had taken or planned to take to implement the provisions of resolution 1540. Consistent with Pakistan's strong commitment to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, it had provided the Committee with perhaps the most extensive information on a range of measures in place to implement that resolution.
Pakistan had consistently urged the Council to evolve a mechanism to associate the larger United Nations membership with the Council's work, he said. That could be done by opening the membership of the counter-terrorism committees to other United Nations members through elections. The 2005 Summit had unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms, agreeing to consider convening a high-level United Nations conference to formulate an international response to terrorism. A comprehensive strategy, as called for by the September Outcome Document, should include both short- and long-term measures at the national, regional and international levels. Long-term measures should address the underlying cause of terrorism. While root causes did not justify terrorism, they did explain it. Besides developing a comprehensive strategy, it was also necessary to focus attention on developing an institutional mechanism for its implementation and evaluation. One proposal in that regard could be the development of an international counter-terrorism centre, as already proposed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) condemned international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Syria had been a victim of terrible terrorist actions and had been among the first to draw attention to the dangers of terrorism, calling for a national and global strategy to combat it. Syria was committed to cooperating with the different committees, and had proven that when it was a member of the Council. Syria made great efforts to develop its own legislation and to carry out its commitments in that respect. Laws had been promulgated, for example, to combat money-laundering. The 1267 Committee had seen his country's efforts in that regard.
The United Nations was uniquely placed to address the issue of terrorism, he said. The Arab region suffered from terrorism, in general, and State terrorism in particular, namely, the terrorism practiced by Israel through its continued occupation of Arab land, the killing of Palestinian citizens and the building of the wall. Syria would take part in the coming discussion to conclude an international convention against terrorism.
Syria had done everything possible to implement resolutions 1373, 1540 and 1267, he added, noting that his country would submit its third report under the 1540 committee in the coming days. That committee should continue its work to fight the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. While all the Arab countries had acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the fact that Israel had not was a threat to international peace and security, given that Israel had hundreds of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. The protection of Israel by certain parties should not be accepted. The work of the three committees was important and he hoped they would enrich multilateral international cooperation in the field of international peace and security.
Ms. WILLSON (United States) said the Council was meeting today to review the work of the three committees. Most speakers had engaged constructively in discussing ways to advance their work. It was disappointing that two representatives had departed from the focus of the debate to introduce allegations that detracted from the positive tone of the meeting and distorted the facts around the two cases to be adjudicated. In the case of Posada, he had been detained on 17 May after entering the United States and remained in custody while his case was processed. The Venezuelan extradition request was under review in accordance with a bilateral extradition treaty and United States extradition law.
In the case of the five Cubans, she noted that, in 2001, the individuals had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage and other charges, such as conspiracy to commit murder. The United States Department of Justice had asked for a full hearing by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the five remained detained. The United States had always provided the five accused with all the guarantees of due process inherent in the impartial United States judicial system.
Despite the frustration expressed by the two speakers, she assured them that the United States courts and administrative proceedings were independent, and fairly interpreting and applying the law.
YURI ARIEL GALA LÓPEZ (Cuba) said that the United States representative did not have any foundation for her reply. He asked her to answer questions about whether or not the administration of George W. Bush had harboured and provided support for various terrorist organizations that had caused the death of thousands of Cubans, among committing other acts. The United States had also supported dictators and dirty wars in Latin America. What the United States proclaimed to the world and did to Cuba was extremely contradictory.
LAILA TAJ EL DINE (Venezuela), agreeing with the representative of Cuba, asked how such a double standard on terrorism could be allowed. All States, including the United States, must be prevented from providing haven for terrorists. She added that the assertion that persons could not be extradited to Venezuela because of the fear that they would be tortured was baseless. Her country was diligent, responsible and consistent in the matter of terrorism. She asked for evidence that her view was wrong. All United Nations members must be consistent in opposing terrorism.
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