|Date||20 December 2006|
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Li Kexin
|Mr. De Rivière
Adoption of the agenda
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
I wish to draw the attention of members to document S/2006/972, containing the text of a letter dated 12 December 2006 from the Chairman of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations addressed to the President of the Security Council.
At this meeting, we will hear briefings by Ambassador César Mayoral, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities; Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia; Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, as well as of the Security Council Informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions; Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005), and of the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, as well as of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations; and Ambassador Tuvako Manongi, speaking on behalf of the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.
I now give the floor to Ambassador César Mayoral, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.
I would like at the outset to refer to the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda. During 2006, I had the honour of chairing the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda.
As the Council is aware, the restrictions imposed by paragraph 13 of resolution 918 (1994) on the sale or supply to the Government of Rwanda of arms and related matériel were lifted on 1 September 1996, in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 1011 (1995). However, all States remain under the obligation of abiding by restrictions on the sale or supply of arms and related matériel to non-governmental forces for use in Rwanda. During my chairmanship, the Committee did not receive any information as to violations of the sanctions in place. That does not mean that there have not been any violations, but they have not been proven. That is why I would like to stress that we must be informed of any arms transaction, particularly since there is no specific monitoring mechanism that can ensure the effective implementation of the arms embargo. Therefore, the Committee depends exclusively on cooperation from States and from organizations that are in a position to communicate any violations of the arms embargo.
I would like to inform you, Mr. President, that during 2006 the Committee held various informal consultations and during some of these — on 25 April, on 10 August and 3 November 2006 — the Committee considered a letter dated 10 March 2006 from the President of the Security Council Committee relating to resolution 1533 (2004) on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, addressed to me as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) dealing with Rwanda. In that letter, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee dealing with the Democratic Republic of the Congo had stressed the existence of imports and exports of arms to the Government of Rwanda. The report of the group of experts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo had pointed out that those transactions could be included under paragraph 11 of resolution 1011 (1995). That resolution required States to notify the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda of any transfer of arms to the Government of Rwanda.
On 10 November of this year, I submitted on behalf of the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda a letter responding to the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stating that on 11 September 1996 the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda had issued a press release in which it said that States no longer had the duty to notify arms exports and related materiel from their territories to the Government of Rwanda and that the Government of Rwanda did not have the obligation to inform on the import of arms and related materiel. That understanding was then reiterated and put in writing in the report of the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda, which was prepared for the Security Council for the year 1996 and which is contained in document S/1997/15.
I would like to stress that the States referred to in the report of the panel of experts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo therefore acted on the same understanding that the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda had had when they did not inform the Committee of the transfers of arms to the Government of Rwanda. That is difficult to understand, so I will repeat it. I would like to stress that the States referred to in the report of the expert group for the Democratic Republic of the Congo had acted on the same understanding that the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda had had when they did not notify the Committee of the transfer of arms to the Government of Rwanda.
I would like to conclude by pointing out that the Committee is currently revising the requirements for the notification procedure for future arms transfers to the Government of Rwanda, in accordance with paragraph 11 of resolution 1011 (1995). Based on my experience and having followed discussions in the Committee in 2006, and, in particular, based on informal consultations that we have held, I would like to inform the Security Council that the Committee has still not been able to arrive at a consensus on the status of the requirement for notification for transfers of arms and related materiel to the Government of Rwanda. In this regard, I would like to draw the attention of the Security Council to the ambiguity with regard to the duration of the requirements for notification established by paragraph 11 of resolution 1011 (1995). In my capacity as Chairman of the Sanctions Committee on Rwanda, I would like to request the Security Council to take a decision on the future status of this requirement. I suggest that we take into account, on the one hand, the current peace and stability situation that Rwanda is experiencing, but also, on the other hand, we should take into account the implications that the transfer of arms has for the Great Lakes region.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia.
I would like to brief the Council as outgoing Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) as well as of the Sanctions Committee on Liberia.
I took over as Chairman of the CTC at a time when the Committee was just waiting for its new support structure, its Executive Directorate (CTED), to be staffed and to become operational. These new resources gave the Committee enhanced opportunities to achieve more results through the fulfilment of its mandate to monitor and promote implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The measuring stick for evaluating effectiveness has been the degree to which Member States implement the resolution.
One of the biggest challenges was to get away from the seemingly endless reporting and towards a stronger focus on implementation. The reality was that Member States felt less inclined to work with the Committee because it was not clear how the information they provided was used. It appeared as if providing information led only to requests for more information. The Committee has now taken significant steps away from requesting more reports from States. Instead of always asking States to report, the Committee will share with the concerned State its analysis of how far each State has come in its implementation.
It is up to States to keep the Committee informed about any new developments. Whatever gaps are identified will be regarded as shortcomings in the implementation until the State has provided documentation to the Committee on how it has taken steps to ensure that gaps are filled.
The Committee has also worked a lot on how to enhance its role as facilitator of technical assistance. That is an area regarding which the Committee is aware that more can and should be done. Personally, I am not pleased that requests from Member States for assistance remain unanswered and that there are so few concrete results to report, as Council members will see in the report of the CTC published today as document S/2006/989.
Visits to States have become a regular tool for the Committee. I would like to thank the States that have hosted such visits. I encourage States, in cooperation with CTED, to ensure that visits lead to enhanced implementation, including through setting priorities and ensuring thorough follow-up.
Finally, we have expanded work with more regional organizations, developed best practices, and provided an overview of States’ implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). Also, it has now become routine to include human rights aspects of States’ implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) in the work of the Committee.
In conclusion, the CTC, with the support of CTED, has great potential to become a key partner of States in their implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). That will require appropriate guidance to CTED from the Committee, a proactive approach from CTED, as well as due respect for the Committees and, thereby, for CTED’s mandate.
Let me now make a couple of observations regarding the Liberia Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003).
My time as Chairman of the Liberia Committee has been marked by an improvement of the situation in Liberia after the democratically elected Government took office in January 2006. The Council can, through the use of targeted sanctions, create a strong incentive for concerned parties to change their course of action in the interests of peace. The Liberia sanctions regime, which is part of a comprehensive policy, is a pertinent example of such a positive effect.
Two months ago, the Council decided not to reinstate the timber sanctions, since Liberia had adopted the necessary legislation to ensure that revenues from the timber will not again fuel conflict, but benefit the Liberians. The work in the Committee on monitoring the conditions set for the lifting of sanctions, and the specific wording in resolution 1689 (2006) in particular, have, I believe, been instrumental in ensuring the swift adoption of effective legislation, illustrating how the Council’s decisions can have a direct effect on the ground.
Unfortunately, the Council will have to extend the diamond sanctions, but I feel confident that the extension will continue to act as a vehicle for reform so that Liberia can become Kimberley-compliant and the embargo can be lifted within the next six months.
The value of the Panel of Experts — the Committee’s daily eyes and ears on the ground — cannot be underestimated. The current Liberia Panel has accrued an in-depth knowledge of the history of the sanctions, benefiting the Committee as well as the Government, which has also profited from the experts’ advice. That is why the Council will, I hope, extend the current Panel this afternoon. In that context, I appeal for a constructive look at the administrative procedures for appointing panels of experts so as to ensure that those procedures serve the subject matter and enhance institutional memory.
As Chairman of the Committee, it was my goal to ensure that positive developments in Liberia also resulted in adjustments to the individual sanctions. I have discussed that several times with President Johnson-Sirleaf, including during my visit in April. One individual was delisted last week — the first since the list was established. That sends a key message to Liberia and the international community that the Committee is willing to revise its list in light of new developments. I hope that more delistings will also follow after I leave the Committee.
In that connection, let me stress my delegation’s consistent position that improved delisting procedures that live up to the principles of due process would greatly enhance the credibility and effectiveness of any sanctions regime. Resolution 1730 (2006), adopted yesterday, is a step in the right direction. Had I continued as a sanctions chairman, I would have suggested new guidelines based on that resolution, but also building on the established practice in the Liberia Committee of giving individuals direct access in exceptional cases.
Finally, let me remind all Member States of their obligation to implement sanctions adopted by the Security Council. In the case of Liberia, far more needs to be done, especially in the subregion, to prevent flagrant violations of the travel ban and to implement the assets freeze. At the same time, however, and on a more general note, it is essential that the decisions of the Council be made and communicated in such a way that they can actually be implemented by all States Members of the United Nations.
I thank Ambassador Løj for her briefing.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Mayoral, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.
I would like to share some reflections, in my personal capacity, with members of the Security Council before concluding my mandate as Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities. These have been two important years for me, for the Committee and for Argentina. It has also been a professional privilege for me and a challenge to preside over it.
According to the sixth and last report of the Monitoring Team, the Al-Qaida threat has decreased in certain places, such as Iraq; unfortunately, for fundamentally political reasons, in other areas it has stayed at the same level or increased. At the same time, Al-Qaida appears to be working with more complex methods, as is the case in North Africa, in Asia and in the bosom of Western civilizations.
We are aware in this Council, and as participants in the Council’s mission can bear witness, of the increasingly grave situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgence is regaining intensity and growing in numbers. It is allied with drug trafficking, which activates a vicious circle of terrorism, violence and corruption. We personally believe that the sanctions regime could better be utilized, with a greater number of requests to include Al-Qaida members on the list or to adequately reflect the Taliban structure in Afghanistan. A more marked separation in the treatment of both lists could contribute to a better focus on listing and delisting of the Taliban and to more effective influence on the complex political and military processes in that country. I would point out that this is a personal opinion and not that of the Committee.
We believe that if we are going to be effective, we must act in unison in the fight against terrorism. We must also fully respect human rights. I believe that to be a moral imperative, reaffirmed in the Outcome document of the 2005 Summit and in the United Nations Global Strategy against Terrorism. Argentina has presided over the Committee for the past two years with that balance as it goal. We have made every effort to be impartial, while accommodating all the positions of the Committee members, and have always modified our own position to accommodate consensus.
I would like to emphasize that, in addition to incorporating into the Consolidated List the names of new individuals and entities, we have made great progress in improving the quality of the List by adding more identifying elements. The Monitoring Team has continued to do meaningful work in that respect, especially as regards Afghanistan.
The process of renegotiation and improvement of the Committee’s guidelines has been arduous and complex. It was just a few days ago that we were able to reach consensus on the new chapter 6, concerning listing. I believe that has to be considered important progress.
Henceforth, States are urged to consult with the State of residence or nationality of the potential person or entity to be listed in order to seek out additional information. Inclusion in the List must be based on a statement of the case, along with a series of elements of reasonability or proof. New rules have also been included in the guidelines to improve transparency and publicity, such as the use of a cover page and a revision clause.
Yesterday, the Security Council adopted resolution 1730 (2006), which originated in a proposal by some members of the Council to set up a focal point in the Secretariat where those included in the List can request and justify delisting. I once again would like to acknowledge the active participation of all members of the Committee in those difficult negotiations.
Several countries, including Argentina, would have liked greater progress as regards an independent revision mechanism, for example. However, we must be realistic and understand that this is an evolving regime in which changes occur to improve the situation. I believe that the implementation of the revised directives and the new focal point system will allow us to see an improvement in the way the system functions with these new rules. It is to be expected that the sanctions regime will continue to be improved in the future. The Council and the Committee must be transparent and open to the necessary adjustments demanded by the international community in order to act expeditiously.
Consensus often slows us down, but we must not waver. The list of issues on hold should therefore be reduced. Let us not forget that, while the individuals who are on the List are in a certain way stigmatized and isolated — and in many cases accused of crimes — the main problem is that individuals who will, or are about to, commit terrorist acts are not yet on the List, and we do not even know who they are. In that regard States should, and often can, identify those individuals and entities so that they may be incorporated into the List.
Visits to various countries and international organizations were an important aspect of our presidency. Members of the Committee, the Monitoring Team and the Secretariat visited Germany, European institutions in Brussels, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, as well as Chad, Nigeria, Syria, Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and Indonesia. In addition, I participated in regional meetings of heads of intelligence and security of Middle Eastern and North African countries. I believe that those meetings are very important and should be continued in the future, given that anti-terrorism officials meeting in the field to exchange specific information and express their perceptions and concerns provide input for the Committee. Those meetings, which provide us a first-hand global perspective, are a key element to success in the fight against Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
I am also pleased to highlight the signing and effective functioning of the agreement with Interpol, which is a key multilateral body in the fight against crime and terrorism. The positive experience in the cooperation carried out through the Committee and the Monitoring Team led to the adoption of resolution 1699 (2006). That resolution will also expand cooperation to other sanctions committees.
The complex negotiations on the revision of the directives on listing and delisting did not make it possible for us to address the issue of the criminal use of the Internet by Al-Qaida this year with the rigor and time we would have liked — and which the issue deserves — in line with the various positions of the members of the Council. I should like to point out that there are about 5,000 websites that daily distribute the propaganda of international terrorism. Those websites also serve to coordinate networks, recruit new members and raise funds.
The harnessing of information and modern technology by the Al-Qaida terrorist organization is one of the most pressing and sensitive issues for intelligence and security officials in many countries affected by terrorism, especially in the Middle East. We believe that the Committee and the Security Council must address that issue, which encompasses various aspects — from expanding the sanctions regime to making suggested recommendations to Governments. Moreover, new technologies could also be used to stop the spread of terrorism and its propaganda.
We have attempted to maintain an active and regular dialogue with the full membership of the United Nations. To that end, we held open meetings and invited all countries that wanted to come before the Committee. We believe that non-members of the Committee that are responsible for implementing sanctions and that suffer from the terrorism perpetrated by Al-Qaida and the Taliban should take greater advantage of such opportunities in the future.
I wish to emphasize before the Council that the President’s efforts and the Committee’s proper functioning would not have had the same results without the constant support of the Monitoring Team. I should therefore like to extend my gratitude to Mr. Richard Barrett and his entire team for their high degree of professionalism, judgment and steadfast support. My work, as well as that of Counsellor Malpede and Secretary Kendall, who also presided over the Committee, enjoyed the daily support of the Secretariat team. My delegation believes that the members of the Organization and the Council should continue to provide the adequate financial, human and technical resources to the Monitoring Team and the Secretariat in order that they may continue to ensure the efficient functioning of the Committee and the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council.
Sanctions are an important weapon in the fight against Al-Qaida. The important work of the 1267 Committee will not be sufficient if the political, social and economic causes from which the Al-Qaida terrorism also stems are not addressed. Therefore, if they wish to prevail — and I think we all wish to prevail– the Security Council and the international community should redouble their efforts to achieve a just peace in the Middle East and the social and economic development of the region, as well as, and in particular, of Afghanistan.
International terrorism is now one of the greatest new threats to humanity. If we have reached the twenty-first century with great progress in several areas, including science and technology and, in particular, the economy, that progress has been through the efforts of everyone. It is difficult to understand how some individuals manifest their frustrations and try to achieve their objectives through barbaric means including by killing civilians, destroying countries and sowing discord and distrust among States.
The United Nations, our Organization, has played a very important role over the past 60 years and now has the task of confronting and preventing international terrorism. That is why I feel honoured and proud that — even if for a limited time — I was part of that effort.
I thank Ambassador Mayoral for his important briefing, and for his efforts during his chairmanship of the Committees.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, as well as of the Security Council Informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions to brief the Council on the work of those three bodies.
I take this opportunity to share with you some personal observations concerning the two Sanctions Committees that I have had the honour to chair for the past two years, namely, the Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee and the Sudan Sanctions Committee. As Chair of the Informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions during the past year, I would also like to brief the Council on the work of that Working Group during that period, in which it accomplished the successful fulfilment of its current mandate.
Let me begin with the Sanctions Committee on Côte d’Ivoire established pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution 1572 (2004). The ongoing conflict in Côte d’Ivoire has been at the heart of the Council’s attention for the past two years. The Council has adopted a series of resolutions regarding the conflict, and has used sanctions as a tool in support of the peace process as well as of the important regional initiatives, particularly those of the African Union, which aim at bringing peace and national reconciliation to the country.
The targeted measures imposed through the relevant Security Council resolutions consist of an arms embargo, travel restrictions and an assets freeze on designated individuals and entities whose actions seriously jeopardize the peace process or violate human rights or incite hatred through the media. Those measures were subsequently reinforced by new Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1643 (2005), which, inter alia, imposed an embargo on the import of all rough diamonds from Cote d’Ivoire.
That resolution also stated that any obstacle to the freedom of movement of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces, as well as any attack against UNOCI, the French forces, the High Representative for the elections or the International Working Group, constituted a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process. A Group of experts was also set up to monitor the implementation of those targeted measures.
As I stated earlier, the major concern of the Council in relation to targeted sanctions in Côte d’Ivoire has been their impact on the peace process. Although the measures were imposed by resolution 1572 (2004), the Committee did not designate any individuals subject to the measures until February 2006, following the request of the African Union and the mediator to withhold any action that would have a negative effect on the peace process.
However, on 7 February 2006 the Committee designated, on the basis of consensus, three individuals on its list of targeted sanctions, following the outbreak of violence against United Nations personnel in September 2005. The aim of such action was to help restore peace and stability in the country, which had been seriously jeopardized by the above events, and to avert similar disturbing events in the future.
It should be stressed that this decision came only after the Council had issued several warnings to all the parties to the conflict that it would not tolerate acts which put the peace process at risk; there was also a shift in the aforementioned position of the African Union concerning the need for and timing of the imposition of sanctions.
In addition, I myself, in October 2005, made a visit to Côte d’Ivoire, previously endorsed by the Security Council, with the aim of putting pressure on the Ivorian parties to implement their obligations under the relevant peace agreements and Security Council resolutions. I met with all of the signatories to the agreements as well as with State officials, representatives of State organizations and non-governmental organizations. During those meetings, I explained the real purpose of targeted sanctions and the concern of the Council about the political developments concerning the holding of elections. I made it clear that the Committee was ready to apply such measures, without further delay and in a non-discriminatory manner, against all those who did not implement the agreements and who incited hatred or violence and committed human rights violations and abuses.
However, despite the calming effect that the targeting of the aforementioned individuals had on the situation on the ground for a short period of time, violence resumed in the country, and the political situation, in spite of the many efforts by the African Union, has reached a new stalemate. That is also confirmed by various reports on Côte d’Ivoire, such as the reports of the Secretary-General, as well as the monthly reports of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire on the monitoring of the arms embargo and the monitoring of public incitement of hatred and violence through the media; these have identified individuals responsible for the situation who could be subject to targeted measures.
The Sanctions Committee members, however, did not demonstrate the unity of purpose and political will necessary to take a decision and designate new individuals on its list.
With respect to the arms and diamond embargoes, the reports issued by the Group of Experts established by resolution 1643 (2005), are well drafted and substantiated, and I commend the Group of Experts for its professional approach to its work. The final report of the Group (S/2006/735) found no evidence of gross violations of arms embargoes, but listed a number of problems that it believed could be used to violate the sanctions.
It is important to note also that the Group investigated the importation of small arms and ammunition into Côte d’Ivoire by a criminal network using international courier firms. It also found continued evidence of diamond production in Côte d’Ivoire and illicit export, especially to Ghana and Mali. As regards the three Ivorian individuals designated for targeted sanctions in February 2006, the Group found that neighbouring States had not disseminated information about the targeted Ivorians to their local authorities at border posts at the time of the Group’s inspection.
Finally, the Group recommended that the UNOCI arms embargo inspection process should be reviewed and improvements should be made to its methodology. UNOCI has confirmed that it has taken steps towards improving its inspection processes. In that respect I wish to state that the members of the Sanctions Committee — whom I thank wholeheartedly for their work, cooperation and support — were, on the whole, united in agreeing on the group’s recommendations. The Committee has decided to follow up on the actions it agreed to take with regard to the Group’s observations and recommendations.
The conflict in Côte d’Ivoire has now entered a new and more critical phase. In this final, transitional period it is important that all the parties demonstrate the necessary political will to implement the road map and lead the country to fair elections by October 2007. That is the only way to guarantee durable peace and stability. Ivoirian parties must refrain from all actions that jeopardize the road to peace and stability, reject violence and intimidation and concentrate on taking concrete steps to implement the road map without further delay. Sanctions, if properly used and backed by all the States of the region, would be a useful tool and could help Côte d’Ivoire emerge from the current crisis.
In addition, the political will of the members of the Security Council is indispensable in respect of the implementation of the Council’s own resolutions. That has to do both with their determination to support the maintenance of international peace and security and the credibility of the Security Council itself.
I shall now turn to the Sanctions Committee on Sudan, established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005), which imposed targeted sanctions against those who violate the arms embargo, impede the peace process, violate international humanitarian law or are responsible for offensive military overflights.
In my view, the question of implementation of resolution 1591 (2005) cannot be seen in isolation from the overall problem of Darfur and the complexity of that crisis. The Sanctions Committee has thoroughly discussed the three reports of its panel of experts regarding the situation in Darfur and has adopted only a few of its recommendations.
The Committee has been actively engaged in an interactive discussion during informal consultations with its panel of experts concerning their reports to the Security Council. The latest report contained information about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and the continuing attacks against civilians and humanitarian personnel. The report also provided information about gross violation of the arms embargo by all the parties to the conflict.
Weapons and military supplies are transferred to Darfur without the formal approval of the Sanctions Committee as called for in the resolution. In addition, weapons are delivered from neighbouring Chad into North and West Darfur, given the inadequate border-control situation in Sudan, posing a significant threat to peace and security in Darfur and the region. The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) is not being implemented, as not all of the rebel groups have signed it, and the Janjaweed and other rebel groups and militias have not been disarmed, in flagrant violation of the Agreement. There is also expressed fear that the signatories of the DPA will attempt to implement the Agreement through force, with severe consequences on the lives of innocent civilians.
Based on its own information and on information provided by the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the United Nations Mission in Sudan and non-governmental organizations, the panel has, as in the past, provided the Sanctions Committee with findings concerning specific individuals whom the Committee may wish to consider for designation for targeted sanctions. According to the panel, those individuals have allegedly violated arms embargoes, impeded the peace process, violated international humanitarian law and committed offensive military overflights. Their names have been included in a confidential annex to the panel’ s third report. This has raised the concern of some members of the Committee, who emphasized that the panel should take political sensitivities into account and be more attuned to the ongoing diplomatic initiatives to address the situation in Darfur. However, other members considered that the panel has produced a high-quality report despite the volatile environment in which it has conducted its work.
At the same time Security Council resolution 1713 (2006) extended the mandate of the panel by one year and requested that a fifth expert be appointed. The divergence of views among Committee members concerning the recommendations of the panel of experts also exists with regard to the question of the identification of individuals to be designated for targeted sanctions. So far the members of the Sanctions Committee have not been able to designate any individual on its lists, due to lack of the unity of purpose and political will necessary to take a decision and to designate individuals on its lists.
The four individuals that have been designated for targeted sanctions — travel ban and assets freeze — have been identified not by the Sanctions Committee but by the Security Council through resolution 1672 (2006), adopted on 25 April 2006. However, this resolution did not include sufficient identifying elements on the designated persons, despite the relevant provisions of its guidelines. There are expressed fears that this might create problems of implementation of the targeted measures by Member States. In an effort to address these concerns, the Committee subsequently posted the customary sanctions list on its website, which included the additional relevant information on the four individuals that the Committee had in its possession.
I would also like to underline the importance of continued cooperation of the Committee and its panel with the African Union (AU) and AMIS. In this respect, I recall that there have been written and face-to-face exchanges between the Chairman of the Committee, the panel and the AU.
The situation for thousands of refugees and displaced persons in Darfur has considerably deteriorated. The DPA and other ceasefire agreements continue to be violated. The humanitarian crisis can be resolved only through a series of robust measures, some of which, such as the reinforcement of AMIS, have already started to be implemented.
Sanctions must be one part of an overall solution. They can be effective only if they have the full political support of the members of the Security Council. The Council should be in a position to implement its own decisions and should try to avert a more serious humanitarian crisis with spill-over effects in the region. Sanctions can be a powerful weapon in this respect, but only as a result of consensus among the members of the Council.
In my view, the Committee Chairmen should visit the countries involved more frequently. They will surely have more influence by the mere fact of their presence. Sitting in New York and making decisions is one way of acting, but is, in my view, less effective.
I shall now brief the Council on the work of the Informal Working Group on the General Issues of Sanctions. I assumed the chairmanship of that Working Group for the year 2006. After a year of hard work on the part of its members, pursuant to its mandate to develop general recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions (S/2000/319), the Working Group fulfilled its current mandate and approved some extremely important best practices with respect to all aspects of sanctions.
These results are reflected in the report of the Working Group that has become a document of the Council. It sets out the best practices adopted by the Informal Working Group with respect to sanctions design, implementation, evaluation and follow-up, Committee working methods, monitoring and enforcement, and methodological standards and reporting formats for expert groups. I am pleased to note that this report will also be endorsed by the Council when it adopts the draft resolution that has been tabled this morning. I consider these developments to be of major importance, as they demonstrate the determination and the will of the Council to improve its sanctions regimes and maximize their effectiveness.
Lately the Council has very frequently used the instrument of sanctions in carrying out its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Targeted sanctions are a non-military means that the Council uses today to address situations that threaten international peace and security, such as terrorism, or to support the implementation of peace agreements. They are directed against political leaders and other non-State actors whose actions constitute a threat to international peace and security to apply pressure and change behaviour in general. Such measures, if applied effectively, are preferable to the general economic or trade sanctions that the Council has imposed in the past, as they directly affect decision-makers and have minimal humanitarian impact. They can also deter the continuation of such threats to peace and security.
For that reason, it is important that targeted sanctions comply with certain principles and criteria that should be implemented by the Security Council when deciding to impose sanctions, by its Sanctions Committees and by the panels of experts that assist the latter in monitoring the implementation of targeted measures. These include, for example, accuracy in identifying information concerning individuals and entities to be targeted, fair and clear procedures concerning their listing and delisting, the use of the highest evidentiary standards to substantiate findings by the panels of experts when drafting their reports, et cetera.
In addition, it is important for the Council to ascertain, before imposing sanctions, whether or not that instrument is the appropriate one to be applied in view of the specific circumstances at hand. The possible humanitarian consequences of the targeted sanctions should also be evaluated.
The implementation of targeted sanctions is also an important factor for the effectiveness of these measures. The more implementable the sanctions, the more impact they will have on the target. At the same time it is important that Member States, which have that primary responsibility to implement sanctions, particularly neighbouring States, take the appropriate measures for such implementation.
Finally, I believe that the greater the international and regional consensus regarding the targeted sanctions, the more likely it is that such measures will be complied with by the target. We have seen lately that targeted measures that are not supported by Security Council members have not been implemented by the State or non-State targeted actors.
The best practices adopted by the Informal Working Group, which will be endorsed by the Council, constitute an important step forward towards more transparent, fair and effective implementation of the sanctions regimes. The adoption of these best practices by the Council and their consistent and uniform implementation by the Sanctions Committees and the panels of experts will improve the effectiveness of sanctions and will enhance the legitimacy of the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies.
I would like to mention one of the points agreed upon by the Working Group: the need to ensure that, as the Council increasingly imposes sanctions regimes and establishes committees and expert groups, the Secretariat has the necessary resources to do its work effectively.
Finally, I would like to thank all the members of the Working Group and of my own team for their commitment, dedication and collaboration in bringing this important work to fruition. We would like also to thank the members of the Secretariat for their support and advice during our tenure, in particular Ms. Loraine Rickard-Martin, Mr. James Sutterlin, Ms. Tatiana Cosio and all the other colleagues who work with them.
I thank Ambassador Vassilakis for his comprehensive briefing.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005), of the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, and of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.
It is my pleasure to brief members of the Council, as outgoing Chairman, on the work of two of the Security Council’s subsidiary bodies of which I have had the honour to serve as Chair during Japan’s current term on the Security Council.
First, I should like to deal with the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. The Working Group was established in 2001 in the context of the Council’s desire to strengthen cooperation with troop-contributing countries. At the time the Working Group started its work in 2001, United Nations peacekeeping operations had already reached quite a substantial level. The number of peacekeeping missions was 15, with 39,000 military and police personnel deployed and with a budget of $2.6 billion. However, the recent surge in United Nations peacekeeping operations has gone far beyond expectations in terms of both the number of personnel and the budget. As of the end of October 2006, the number of missions supported by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had reached 18, with over 80,000 troops and police and with a budget of more than $5 billion — which is nearly three times the size of the regular budget of the United Nations, and which appears to be growing even further. Recently, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in public remarks, indicated that the number of peacekeepers might increase to between 120,000 and 140,000 in the near future.
Operations of that magnitude cannot be sustained without the strong commitment of Member States in terms of both personnel and financial contributions, and in political terms. To secure the cooperation and support of a wide range of Member States, it is necessary that the transparency of the process and the involvement of key stakeholders be ensured as much as possible so that there is a proper understanding of the activities of the Security Council in the field of peacekeeping, in particular when a new operation is created or when the mandate of an existing mission is changed.
It is with that in mind that we felt the need to revitalize the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, which can serve as an effective forum for the promotion of better interaction between Council members and other interested Member States by providing the opportunity to engage in close, interactive dialogue with troop-contributing countries, financial contributors and other major stakeholders, and with the Secretariat.
The report of the Working Group before the Council in document S/2006/972 describes activities carried out by the Working Group over the past two years. Meetings were held at the time of the creation of a new mission, for example in the case of the setting up of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) in February 2005, and when a mission’s mandate was modified and its structure changed, for example in the case of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) earlier this year. There were meetings to discuss operational issues that affected a mission’s capabilities and the safety and security of its personnel, such as when restrictions on movement were imposed on UNMEE by Eritrea. The Working Group also met to consider certain specific issues that needed member States’ special attention, such as the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse, focusing on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), and the issue of inter-mission cooperation and harmonization, focusing on the three missions deployed in West Africa: in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
The report then makes a number of recommendations for making the work of the Working Group more meaningful and effective. Let me highlight a few elements that I consider most important.
One of the recommendations in the report is to encourage the Working Group to hold a meeting at the time of the creation of a new mission or of a renewal involving substantial changes in the mandate, structure or size of a mission, inviting troop-contributing countries and other major stakeholders to attend. I cannot stress too much the importance of having exchanges of views with major stakeholders when the Council establishes a new mission or changes the mandate of an existing mission. The dialogue with major stakeholders becomes crucial if the Council is to ensure their willing and full cooperation as the size, the nature and the budget of peacekeeping operations continue to expand.
Secondly, the Working Group should be flexible in taking up issues that affect the operation of a mission. The report recommends that the Working Group hold meetings with troop-contributing countries and other major stakeholders at times of crisis affecting the safety and security of mission personnel and the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, and also in order to address issues that have broader ramifications beyond a particular mission.
Thirdly, the modalities of Working Group meetings should be as flexible as possible, and when necessary there should be meetings at the expert level.
Fourthly, in discussing the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in a given country situation, the Working Group should bear in mind that the discussion may be of assistance in the work of the Peacebuilding Commission if the Commission decides to deal with the country in question.
Fifthly, it is felt advisable that when the Working Group tackles specific issues, such as that of sexual exploitation and abuse, these should be dealt with in the context of a specific mission or missions rather than in a general policy manner, which falls within the realm of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations; such a focus of attention could lend itself to the solution of the specific problem under consideration.
Sixth and finally, the Security Council and the General Assembly should maintain an appropriate level of interaction, respecting one another’s authority and mandate. That is why we believe it important that the Working Group put itself in contact periodically with the Bureau of the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.
In conclusion, I wish to stress once again that the Working Group’s main objective is to promote mutual understanding among the members of the Security Council, troop-contributing countries and other major stakeholders, and the Secretariat.
From this viewpoint, allow me to speak in my national capacity. Japan intends to continue to cooperate with the Working Group after we leave the Council at the end of this year. I hope that we, as one of the major stakeholders, and other stakeholders will continue to be given opportunities to express our views when the Council makes important decisions on peacekeeping.
I should like now to address the issue of working methods in my capacity as Chairman of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions.
At the beginning of this year, the Council agreed to revitalize its Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions in the belief that there was a need to further improve Security Council working methods and procedures. This also matched the larger membership’s concern at, and strong interest in, this issue, as reflected in paragraph 154 of the 2005 Summit Outcome Document. In the Outcome Document, our leaders stated that the Security Council should continue to adapt its working methods so as to increase the involvement of States not members of the Council in its work in order to enhance its accountability to the membership and increase the transparency of its work.
It was agreed earlier this year that part of the revitalization effort should begin with a change in the way in which the chairmanship of this Working Group functioned. In lieu of the old practice, whereby the chairmanship rotated with the monthly presidency, the Council decided to appoint a Chair with a term of office lasting several months. That change had the advantage of making it easier for the Working Group to function in a more focused and consistent manner. Japan was appointed as Chair until the end of June, an appointment that was eventually extended through December this year.
Between March and July 2006, the Working Group met 11 times and examined various proposals on two categories of issues. The first group of issues relates to the Council’s own internal work, with a view to increasing its efficiency.
The second group of issues relates to the Council’s relationship with non-members. As a result of the discussions, the Working Group produced a set of recommendations to be presented to the Council for its approval. Those recommendations included, for ease of reference, the agreements on working methods that already are in place, some of which go as far back as 1993, as well as newly agreed or updated measures for improvement. The Council eventually approved the recommendations of the Working Group, which are contained in a note by the President of the Security Council (S/2006/507).
In the latter half of the year, the Working Group continued its discussions, mainly on two issues: first, the procedure for conducting Arria-formula meetings, and, secondly, ways of promoting the implementation of the recommendations contained in the note by the President.
With regard to holding Arria-formula meetings, which had been the practice for some years, members of the Council requested the Working Group in September 2006 to discuss the appropriate way to conduct the meetings, believing that there was a need for some clarity on this aspect. In response to that request, the Working Group met twice and reached a common understanding on the conduct of Arria-formula meetings, which I shall now present orally. There are four points.
First, the members of the Security Council are encouraged to plan Arria-formula meetings, in accordance with paragraph 54 of the note by the President of the Security Council in document S/2006/507, and to take part in such meetings.
Secondly, the content of the background note on Arria-formula meetings prepared by the Secretariat in 2002 provides a useful description of current and past practices relating to Arria-formula meetings, and the members are encouraged to utilize the background note as a guideline, without undermining the flexibility of Arria-formula meetings.
Thirdly, any member of the Security Council convening an Arria-formula meeting is encouraged to carefully organize the meeting so as to maintain its informal character.
Fourthly, any member of the Security Council convening an Arria-formula meeting should inform all participating Security Council members about the planned procedures for and participation in the meeting, and is encouraged to do so well in advance.
Those are the four points on Arria-formula meetings.
With regard to promoting the implementation of the recommendations contained in the note, the Chair felt it useful to prepare a non-paper in which various agreed recommendations are reconfigured so as to allow prospective users, such as the President of the Security Council and members of subsidiary bodies, some ease of reference. The non-paper has already been distributed to the members of the Council and will be included in the briefing materials prepared by the Secretariat for the benefit of new members of the Council in future.
In addition, Japan is preparing a handbook on the working methods of the Security Council which contains official documents relating to the working methods of the Council, including the note by the President and the provisional rules of procedure, in handbook format. That publication itself is not an official document, and it will be produced and distributed to anyone interested under the sole responsibility of the Permanent Mission of Japan and as a temporary measure, pending such a handbook being found useful and the Council deciding to issue it, or something like it, as a Secretariat publication later on.
That concludes my report on the work of the Working Group on documentation.
I thank Ambassador Oshima for his comprehensive briefing.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Tuvako Manongi, speaking on behalf of the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.
I am addressing the Council with respect to the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone on behalf of its Chairman, Ambassador Mahiga.
Council members will recall that since the expiration of the diamond sanctions in June 2003, the mandate of the Committee has been wholly contained in resolution 1171 (1998), which refers to the requirement of notifications to the Security Council for the export and import of arms and related matériel, and to the tasks of the Committee in relation to the arms embargo and the travel ban, both of which are still in force.
As of today, the travel ban list includes the names of 30 individuals designated as leading members of the former military junta in Sierra Leone, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), or as leading members of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).
During 2006, the Committee considered two notifications submitted by States with respect to the arms embargo. Also during 2006, no violations or alleged violations of the sanctions regime were brought to the attention of the Sanctions Committee.
Following consultations in July 2006, the Chairman, Ambassador Mahiga, wrote, on behalf of the Committee, to the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to inform him that the members of the Committee had agreed that the time might be ripe to review the travel ban list to ensure that it accurately reflected the changing security situation in Sierra Leone and the ongoing judicial process in the Special Court, and that the Committee would welcome receiving the views of the Government in that connection.
In the light of Sierra Leone’s continued progress in its peacebuilding efforts, I would encourage members of the Committee and the Security Council to continue consultations to determine the appropriate time to streamline the legal basis for sanctions in Sierra Leone. While recognizing that any revision of the sanctions measures would fall under the purview of the Security Council, I would note that one contribution that the Committee could make towards having an up-to-date sanctions regime is to ensure that the travel ban list reflects as closely as possible the current situation in Sierra Leone. In this connection, the Committee awaits the views of the Government of Sierra Leone.
As we conclude our mandate, we are pleased to note that the transition in Sierra Leone is progressing well. Having been designated as one of the countries on the Peacebuilding Commission, Sierra Leone stands to benefit from its work. In addition, the opening of the integrated office in Sierra Leone will provide a good basis for that country’s smooth graduation from conflict to the consolidation of peace and development. It is the Chair’s hope that as Sierra Leone makes progress in its transition, the Sanctions Committee on Sierra Leone will become unnecessary sooner rather than later.
Finally, the Chair wishes to thank the members of the Secretariat for their support to the Committee, especially the leadership provided by James Sutterlin in that regard.
The Security has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.