|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Liu Zhenmin
|Mr. De La Sablière
Adoption of the agenda
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Cuba, Germany, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Switzerland, Venezuela and Viet Nam, in which they request to be invited to participate in the consideration of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the consideration of the item, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
At this meeting, we will hear briefings by the Chairmen of the following Committees: Mr. Johan Verbeke, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities; Mr. Ricardo Alberto Arias, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism; and Mr. Peter Burian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
I shall now give the floor to Mr. Johan Verbeke, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.
For the sake of brevity, I would like only to highlight the main elements contained in the comprehensive briefing that the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) has prepared for the Council, which is annexed to my statement and will be posted on the Committee’s website.
At the outset, I would like to recall the two important resolutions for the work of the 1267 Committee that the Council adopted at the end of December 2006.
First, we have resolution 1730 (2006), requesting the Secretary-General to establish a focal point within the Secretariat to receive delisting requests. Petitioners seeking to submit requests for delisting can now do so, either through this focal point or through their State of residence or citizenship. The focal point has been operational since 29 March 2007.
Secondly, we have resolution 1735 (2006), which reiterates the existing mandatory measures: an assets freeze, a travel ban and an arms embargo. In addition, it extends the period for the consideration of notifications of humanitarian exemptions to the assets freeze and renews the mandate of the Monitoring Team. When I took over the chairmanship of the Committee last January from Ambassador Mayoral of Argentina, the first task was to incorporate these new provisions into the guidelines. We did that on 12 February.
I would like, in that respect, to inform the Council that in July, the Committee intends to conduct a stocktaking exercise and evaluate the implementation of both resolution 1730 (2006) and resolution 1735 (2006).
Improving the quality of the Consolidated List is a core assignment of our Committee, as both the completeness and the accuracy of the List are essential for effective implementation of the sanctions measures. As requested by the Council, the Committee pays particular attention to the Taliban section of the List, but we are nonetheless always looking to improve the entire List. In that regard, States are encouraged to submit the names of individuals and entities that should be included on the List because of their association with Al-Qaida and/or the Taliban, as well as additional and updated information relating to the names already figuring on the List.
In the context of last November’s thorough revision of the guidelines on listing, a new mechanism was created to allow for a review of listed individuals or entities. As this is a novel area in our work, the Committee first had to agree on a procedure to govern the new review mechanism, reflected in the well-known paragraph 6 (i) of the guidelines. That issue was discussed in March, agreement was reached, and the review process is already under way.
Improvement of the Committee’s guidelines is another area that the Committee is exploring in order to make its working methods and procedures as transparent as possible. In particular, the Committee plans to consider the provisions related to basic expenses under paragraph 1 (a) of resolution 1452 (2002), on humanitarian exemptions to the assets-freeze measure.
Visits to States, principally by the Monitoring Team, are a very important means of dialogue with States with a view to effective implementation of the sanctions measures. Since the 28 September 2006 briefing, the experts of the Monitoring Team have travelled to no fewer than 16 countries, including two joint visits with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and have participated in several international conferences. As Chairman, I am planning to make two trips this year, as is the custom: one in early July and the other during the fall. I would like to take this opportunity to renew the outstanding invitation to Member States to come to the Committee and have more in-depth discussions on sanctions-related issues.
Cooperation with international and regional organizations, including Interpol, has continued to be very beneficial for our work, and the Monitoring Team is encouraged to carry on its efforts in that regard. It goes without saying that the fact of this continued joint briefing to the Council with the Chairs of the other two Committees highlights the 1267 Committee’s strong partnership and coordination with those Committees and their group of experts.
Before concluding, I would like to say that the Committee is currently working intensively on further improving its website in order to enhance its communication and outreach with the broader membership. In the coming weeks, the Committee will also discuss issues such as the criminal misuse of the Internet, the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of sanctions — especially as regards the freezing of assets — and possible instances of non-compliance.
Let me close my remarks by thanking the Monitoring Team for its excellent work and highly professional assistance, as well as all the members of the Committee for their very constructive cooperation.
I thank Mr. Verbeke for his briefing.
I now give the floor to Mr. Ricardo Alberto Arias, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism.
As Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, I am pleased to brief the Council about the work carried out by the Committee since its last report, in September 2006.
At the outset, I would like to thank the members of the Security Council for the trust they have placed in Panama to preside over the Counter-Terrorism Committee. I assure them that I will devote every effort to preside over the Committee while upholding its guiding principles of transparency, impartiality and uniformity of approach.
During the current period, the Committee adopted its work programme for coming quarter. Based on that work programme, the Committee is currently focusing its activities on three main areas, namely, monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001); providing technical assistance to States in a dynamic manner on two fronts; and maintaining dialogue with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).
With regard to monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), the Committee, working through its subcommittees, has been considering the Preliminary Implementation Assessments of Member States, which have been prepared by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). To date, the Executive Directorate has submitted 171 Preliminary Implementation Assessments, with 27 of those having been approved by subcommittees. The Committee expects that all such assessments will have been submitted by the end of May 2007, thereby giving the Committee a comprehensive picture of the status of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
In the process of analysing and approving Preliminary Implementation Assessments, the Committee will also be able to ascertain the respective technical assistance needs of States. With the consent of the countries concerned, those needs will be conveyed to potential donors. However, I must point out that, given the fact that the Committee has yet to agree on a standardized cover letter to accompany those assessments, the Committee has been unable to begin to assess the assessments that have been approved in the subcommittees.
In the coming weeks, the Committee will carry out an overall evaluation of the status of the implementation by Member States of the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001). That will be based on a working document prepared by the Executive Directorate for that purpose. Among other things, that document will be based on information included in the Preliminary Implementation Assessments and will enable the Committee to develop mechanisms that are better tailored to the individual needs of countries that might benefit from special attention as regards visits and technical assistance.
Another important tool employed by the Committee to assess the implementation by States of resolution 1373 (2001) are the on-site visits aimed at evaluating the implementation on the ground of resolution 1373 (2001) and at identifying potential technical assistance needs. Many of those visits include the participation of representatives from other international organizations, as well as representatives from the Monitoring Team that assists the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999).
The Committee is currently considering the reports of last year’s visits to India and Pakistan. The Committee recently concluded its visit to Turkey and will visit Bangladesh in the coming weeks. Furthermore, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam have consented to visits. The Committee looks forward to receiving the consent of other countries to be visited. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Governments of Member States for their valuable cooperation in the preparations for the Committee’s visits, which will certainly advance our common efforts to end the scourge of terrorism.
Lastly, with regard to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), the Committee will continue to encourage Member States to ratify and implement the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments. Recently, the Committee considered an analysis prepared by the Executive Directorate on the progress made by States in adopting and implementing the relevant international conventions and protocols related to terrorism.
With regard to facilitating technical assistance to States, the Committee is considering a technical assistance action plan for 2007 that has been prepared by the Executive Directorate. It is expected that that will bear fruit in the coming months. As it has been put forward, the action plan sets out a road map for future work with donors and recipients of assistance aimed at helping recipients to speed up the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee has also approved a new and updated technical assistance matrix that will serve as a crucial tool in that process.
Making use of its experience in facilitating the provision of technical assistance to the States of the Pacific Islands Forum, and working through its Executive Directorate, the Committee is developing similar programmes for the Economic Community of West African States and the Caribbean Community.
The Committee is continuing to strengthen its relations and is cooperating with international, regional and subregional organizations. In that regard, the Committee is working on the arrangements for the Committee’s fifth special meeting with those organizations, which will take place in Nairobi in October 2007. The meeting will be held on the themes of preventing the movement of terrorists and effective border security. In addition, the Committee recently adopted an action plan to follow-up its four previous special meetings with international, regional and subregional organizations.
Likewise, in the context of strengthening our relations with international organizations devoted to combating terrorism, the Committee was briefed by Mr. Alexey Kuzyura, Chairperson of the Working Group of the Meeting of Heads of Special Services, Security Agencies and Law-Enforcement Organizations.
With regard to dialogue with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), the Committee, with the support of the Executive Directorate, will continue to inform the Council about the implementation by Member States of that resolution, as well as about the efforts undertaken to encourage countries that have not yet reported to do so.
The Committee is continuing to evaluate the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). We acknowledge that it is a complex endeavour and has diverse legal and constitutional frameworks that require varying national approaches. The Committee will also continue to examine the scope and potential need for the provision of international technical assistance in that area.
Finally, in addition to the three main areas of activity identified in the Committee’s work programme, the Committee is carrying out several functions that are part of its daily work. One of those is to promote best practices and standards related to the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001). In that regard, the Committee is working to identify and compile such practices, with a view to helping Member States to fully comply with their obligations.
The Committee is also continuing to play its part in the implementation of United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Consequently, the Committee, through its Executive Directorate, is participating actively in the work of the Implementation Task Force in the areas assigned to it in the resolution adopted by the General Assembly, which relate to enhancing the capacity of Member States to prevent and combat terrorism. The Committee is also assisting Member States to implement those provisions of the Strategy that fall within its mandate.
Furthermore, the Counter-Terrorism Committee will continue to explore ways of improving interaction and cooperation with the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004), as well as their expert groups. In that regard, under the common strategy developed together with the expert groups of the other two Security Council committees and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the Committee will continue to pay special attention to those Members that are late in submitting relevant information on their efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001).
Before concluding, I would personally like to thank Mr. Javier Rupérez and all the staff of the Executive Directorate for their commitment both to the fight against terrorism and to the Committee. In addition, as this will be the last briefing that Mr. Rupérez will attend in his capacity as Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, I would also like to wish the Executive Director the best of luck in his future endeavours.
I thank Mr. Arias for his briefing.
I shall now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Peter Burian, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
As Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), I would like to brief the Security Council on the progress made by the Committee since the last joint briefing to the Security Council on 28 September 2006 and to outline some of its forthcoming activities in 2007 in promoting the full implementation of the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004).
First of all, allow me to provide a few details about the priorities of the programme of work for the Committee. On 3 October 2006, the 1540 Committee adopted its fifth programme of work for the period 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007. It covers all aspects of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006), and reflects the recommendations contained in the report of the Committee to the Security Council of 25 April 2006.
During the past eight months, the Committee has focused its activities on the following two main areas of the programme of work: first, increasing its knowledge by examination of the information on the status of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), including through encouraging the submission of national reports and additional information and through further examination of information on the status of the implementation of all aspects of the resolution; and secondly, outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation to promote the implementation of all aspects of the resolution, including through the following activities: dialogue with States and regions about full implementation, the sharing of national experiences, and facilitating technical assistance and cooperation with other international, regional and subregional organizations.
With respect to reporting on the implementation of resolution 1540, the Committee considers the submission of national reports to be among its top priorities. Since the last briefing in September 2006, four States — Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua, Tuvalu and Vanuatu — have submitted their first reports on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), bringing the total number of reporting States to 136. Fifty-five States, mostly in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands region, have yet to submit their first reports. In order to assist those States in the preparation of their first reports, in October and November 2006 the Committee sent them a legislative database and a partially completed draft matrix prepared by the Committee’s experts for each State to serve as a starting point. The draft matrices contain relevant information obtained from official sources, especially from the websites of Governments and relevant international organizations. The Committee urged the States that have not yet reported to do so as soon as possible. Of the 136 reporting States, 85 have so far provided additional information and the remaining States are also encouraged to update their first reports.
The new information has been used to revise the first matrices. Those will be returned to each State to review for any missing information and used as a tool to identify potential gaps that may require further measures to achieve the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
With respect to outreach activities, on the basis of an informal paper submitted by the Chairman, the 1540 Committee has adopted a detailed approach to priorities in organizing outreach activities to promote the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) through dialogue and cooperation among Member States and to facilitate bilateral and multilateral assistance when required.
The Committee is engaged in two kinds of outreach activities: those organized by the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs and those organized by Governments and other entities, in which representatives of the Committee or the expert group make presentations and conduct informal dialogue. Since the last joint briefing to the Security Council, two regional outreach seminars have been organized by the United Nations on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
The Committee’s first seminar on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, on 9 and 10 November 2006. It was organized by the Department for Disarmament Affairs and cosponsored by the European Union and the Government of Norway. The seminar was designed as the first part of an outreach activity for the 35 African States that have not yet submitted a first report to the Committee. Fourteen of those non-reporting States were among the 21 African States represented at the meeting. The seminar also included participants and panellists from some reporting African States, from donor countries and from the relevant international organizations. Two African subregional organizations were also represented at the seminar.
Participants at the seminar discussed reporting requirements, offers of technical assistance from bilateral and multilateral sources, and the clearing-house function with respect to the technical assistance of the 1540 Committee. Future activities in the region may include another outreach seminar for the remaining non-reporting States in Africa and subregional workshops and training programmes geared to implementation measures.
The second seminar, also organized by the Department for Disarmament Affairs, was held in Lima, Peru, on 27 and 28 November 2006 as a follow-up to the Buenos Aires regional seminar held in September 2005. It was sponsored by the European Union and the Government of Spain. The purpose of the seminar was not only to intensify awareness of the obligations derived from resolution 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006), but also to discuss ways and means to achieve the full implementation of those resolutions and to explore the possibilities for channelling assistance. Participants from 26 Latin American and Caribbean States attended the seminar, along with representatives of the Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community and the Andean Community. The seminar also included participants and panellists from seven Member States outside the region and from the relevant international organizations.
The seminar recommended that further activities focus on thematic workshops and training activities at the subregional level. Accordingly, three such workshops are being planned in Jamaica, Buenos Aires and in Brazil — the latter organized by members of the Common Market of the South and to be held in the second half of 2007.
In both the Ghana and the Peru seminars, the participants benefited from presentations made by representatives of the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. A useful contribution was also made by the World Customs Organization (WCO) at the Ghana seminar.
Representatives of the Committee have also participated in at least 11 activities organized by Governments or other entities since the last report to the Council; this information appears in an annex to the report. These include activities organized by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), the Governments of Norway, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the United States of America and others. Included among the results of these activities are recommendations made by the OSCE and the ARF that their members develop road maps to implement the resolution; more reports and additional information; developing points of contact at the national and international levels; and exploration of practices for addressing emerging issues such as weapons of mass destruction, brokering and financing assistance. The importance of organizing technical and other assistance for the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) was emphasized in all the outreach activities.
In order for the Committee to act effectively as a clearing house on assistance, it is essential that States indicate specific areas for facilitating matching requests with offers of assistance. In view of the crucial role of assistance for many countries in facilitating full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), the Committee held a thematic discussion on this issue on 14 May 2007.
As regards cooperation, the Committee and its experts have continued to maintain close relations with the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the 1267 Committee. The three teams of experts are focusing on applying their joint paper on a common strategy for non-reporting and late reporting States in order to accelerate the pace of reporting to their respective Committees.
Concrete steps are now being taken by the three expert groups, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, to organize subregional workshops for non-reporting and late reporting States in Africa, the Caribbean region and from among the Pacific island States. Other joint efforts pertaining to reciprocal participation in outreach activities will continue to develop.
The importance of cooperation with relevant organizations was underscored by resolution 1673 (2006) and was recently given special emphasis when the Security Council devoted an open meeting on 23 February (see S/PV.5635), at which States, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Customs Organization, explored modalities for practical cooperation. The Council reiterated its determination to enhance its cooperation with international organizations and to develop preferred mechanisms for cooperation with them on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the variations in each organization’s capacity and mandate, including in assisting States in their implementation of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006). In future, we want to expand this cooperation and use the comparative advantages, potential and expertise of those international organizations in advancing the process of the implementation of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).
Accordingly, right now a mission of our experts is visiting the headquarters of the IAEA and the OPCW to discuss practical arrangements to strengthen our cooperation. I myself will join them in a few days for a high-level discussion at the OPCW. In addition to acknowledging with appreciation the work of organizations with expertise in the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, one of the most important results achieved at the Security Council’s open debate was the affirmation of the Council’s determination to promote increased multilateral cooperation as an important way to boost worldwide implementation of its three-year-old resolution 1540 (2004).
As was clearly confirmed in the outcome of that open debate, the presidential statement (S/PRST/2007/4) on the issue reminds us, inter alia, that the Security Council is mindful of the need to further explore with international, regional and subregional organizations experience-sharing and lessons learned in the areas covered by resolution 1540 (2004) and the availability of programmes that might facilitate implementation of the resolution.
The Committee will continue to interact and cooperate with other relevant international organizations and arrangements and with regional and subregional organizations in order to facilitate the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
On 18 October 2006, the 1540 Committee was briefed by three representatives of the Nuclear Suppliers Group on the Group’s work having particular relevance to the work of the Committee; a similar briefing was given in 2005. On 14 March 2007, the Committee was briefed by three representatives of the Missile Technology Control Regime on the role and activities of the Regime as they relate to the work of the Committee.
Finally, I will talk about the next steps the Committee will take. Over the next six months, the Committee and its experts plan to intensify their efforts to increase the number of reporting States and the rate of such reporting through more dialogue with Member States and tailor-made outreach activities at the subregional level; some of these will be in cooperation with other bodies of the United Nations. Furthermore, the Committee is currently assessing its function of facilitating bilateral and multilateral assistance for the implementation of all aspects of resolution 1540 (2004).
In accordance with its current programme of work, the Committee will explore with other organizations and with Member States experience-sharing and lessons learned to facilitate implementation. It will continue its thematic discussions on implementing various aspects of the programme of work. The Committee’s website and legislative database will be regularly updated and further developed to assist Member States with the relevant information.
Finally, the Committee will encourage States to provide additional information on national implementation as an ongoing process.
I thank Mr. Burian for his briefing.
In accordance with the understanding reached among Council members, I wish to remind all speakers to limit their statements to no more than five minutes in order to enable the Council to carry out its work expeditiously. Delegations with lengthy statements are kindly requested to circulate the texts in writing in the Chamber and to deliver a condensed version when speaking.
On the subject of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), we hope to continue improving processes so as ensure that the implementation of sanctions regimes is effective, that they genuinely fulfil their purposes and that they fully respect international law and human rights, utilizing clear and fair procedures in all areas.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) is focusing on the application of a new tool, the Preliminary Implementation Assessment (PIA). The appropriate use of this tool should enable the Committee to acquire more comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States. This will lay a firm foundation for better understanding of national realities, for improved dialogue between the Committee and Member States and for determining the most appropriate approach to be taken in each case. In this regard, Council resolutions should be properly followed without extensive interpretation. The CTC should therefore focus on the central elements of cooperation in counter-terrorism, which are precisely those set out in resolution 1373 (2001) and subsequent Council resolutions. We should ensure that States have laws that allow them to extradite alleged terrorists, prevent them from providing safe haven for such individuals, address the financing of terrorism and enhance operational and intelligence cooperation.
In carrying out a review of security aspects relating to counter-terrorism activities in each Member State, the CTC should not involve itself with issues having nothing to do with this struggle — issues that should be dealt with by other forums. Linking problems relating to illegal immigration with counter-terrorism measures, for example, would prejudge the nature of such migration and risk discrimination. That would have human rights implications and divert attention from the very real problem of effective border control. Furthermore — and this is of equal concern — it would represent a particular approach to the problem of terrorism reflecting a doctrine that is not one that the United Nations should promote.
In this regard, the Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) should lead to genuine dialogue among States and the CTC, based on a shared understanding of the true situation, in a context that gives pride of place to confidence and cooperation and allows States that require it to receive assistance for achieving their common objectives in counter-terrorism activities. The main purpose of the Committee should be to ensure that States have the necessary tools to combat that scourge.
With regard to the work carried out by the 1540 Committee, we believe that it should continue its efforts to assist States, particularly those that have not yet submitted their first reports. We should acknowledge the reasons for such delays, taking into account, for instance, lack of resources and of technical and legislative guidelines, given that the large majority of States that have not yet met the requirement are developing countries.
The Committee has also drawn attention to the usefulness of the dissemination activities for promoting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Peru has demonstrated its commitment to non-proliferation, hosting, in November last year, a regional seminar on the implementation of the resolution. In that context, ways of providing assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean were considered. We also welcome the fact that the Committee’s programme of work continues to promote and consider efforts to match those countries and organizations that request assistance and cooperation with those that are offering it.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm that Peru vigorously and unreservedly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever committed. There can be no ideological, political or religious justification for the commission or financing of, or collaboration with, acts of terrorism.
In combating terrorism, the consolidation of structures for cooperation among States is absolutely essential. The General Assembly took a very important step by adopting the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. My delegation hopes that the implementation of that consensus at all levels will bolster international cooperation in all aspects of the struggle against the scourge of terrorism. It is precisely by strengthening such cooperation that the Security Council can make an important contribution to combating terrorism.
Allow me to express my delegation’s appreciation to Johan Verbeke, Ricardo Arias and Peter Burian, Chairmen, respectively, of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), for their informative briefings.
The 1267 Committee has made appreciable progress — boosted, no doubt, by the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006). We believe that by providing an alternative channel for review by aggrieved listed individuals and entities, this mechanism will improve the conditions for transparency and due process and thereby build confidence in the sanctions regime.
We wish to stress that the idea behind the focal point is access, simplicity and transparency. It is therefore essential that we avoid overly bureaucratic and complicating procedures that would frustrate petitioners and undermine the very objective of the new mechanism. Resolution 1735 (2006), by means of which States were given guidance on the submission of names for the Consolidated List and the mandate of the Monitoring Team was renewed, is an important instrument for the work of the Committee. In this regard, we wish to express our gratitude to the Monitoring Team for its invaluable supporting role.
A body such as the 1267 Committee cannot operate efficiently without reference to targets and verifiable benchmarks. It is for that reason that we endorse the proposal in the Chairman’s report to conduct, in July 2007, a stocktaking exercise with the objective of evaluating the implementation of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006).
We note with satisfaction the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s focus on monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), facilitating technical assistance to States and maintaining dialogue with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005).
Within this context, my delegation considers the Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) as an innovative and indispensable tool in the analysis of the state of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We commend the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) in the preparation of the 144 PIAs, and we look forward to the completion of the PIAs for all members within the time frame envisaged.
We are of the view that the efforts of the Committee and the CTED in identifying the needs of States and facilitating appropriate assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors should be sustained. It is important that existing programmes and efforts be tilted towards identifying the underlying problems and deficiencies in the target State, instead of focusing on the extent of report submissions and compliance with resolutions.
We commend the efforts of the Committees and the CTED in developing a technical assistance programme for countries of the Economic Community of West African States, based on their experience with the States of the Pacific Forum.
We look forward to the fifth special meeting of the CTED with regional and international organizations, on the theme of the prevention of terrorist movement and effective border security, scheduled to be held in Nairobi in October 2007. We are certain that this meeting in Africa will provide a useful opportunity for countries in the region to engage in an interactive dialogue — not only with each other, but also with various experts — on the problems and challenges confronting them.
Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006), which have been widely hailed as landmark decisions, eloquently demonstrate the determination of the United Nations and, by extension, Member States to diligently pursue efforts towards comprehensively addressing the nexus between the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorism. Undoubtedly, we cannot but acknowledge that, three years after its inception, the 1540 Committee has made significant strides in the discharge of its responsibilities within the purview of its mandate.
The various outreach programmes, especially that of Accra, are worthwhile, given the fact that the majority of the non-reporting States are in the African region and other developing countries. Those forums provide a necessary platform for sensitization and increasing awareness of the importance of the resolution, and they create opportunities to encourage and assist countries to fulfil their obligations. We therefore welcome the Committee’s decision to continue working with donor agencies to organize follow-up meetings, and we hope that such events will address specific challenges confronting countries in the regions.
Operative paragraph 4 of resolution 1540 (2004), inter alia, explicitly called on States to fulfil their requirements within six months of its adoption. Thus, inasmuch as we welcome the increase in the number of reporting States, my delegation remains equally concerned that 55 States — mostly in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific island region — are yet to submit their first reports. While calling on those States to faithfully implement their obligations, we would also urge the Committee, as part of its efforts to achieve the optimal goal on reporting, to critically ascertain the constraining factors with a view to helping them to surmount those inherent challenges.
The idea of international control over the spread of WMDs to non-State actors will remain a mirage unless States faithfully adhere to their commitments. Therefore 2007 should be a year of implementation if we are to make substantial progress. In that regard, we urge the Committee to place appreciable emphasis on the implementation aspect, since resolution 1540 (2004) suffers from an implementation deficit within and among States. We would be the first to acknowledge that, given the gamut of control elements within the resolution and countries’ disparate levels of resources, a satisfactory universal level of implementation can be attained only through international cooperation and assistance.
The role of the Committee in that area cannot be overemphasized, and we commend it for having taken practical measures towards the organization of forums on the issue of assistance, the most recent one being the thematic discussions that were held on 14 May 2007.
While our support for and commitment to the spirit and letter of the resolutions remain unwavering, it is our fervent conviction that the ultimate goal of overcoming the twin scourge of WMD proliferation and terrorism can be realized only through complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament, as well as a comprehensive resolution of the fundamental problems that nurture terrorist activities and allow them to fester.
My delegation would like to thank the Chairmen of the 1267 Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee for their respective briefings on their activities. We would like to take this opportunity to extend to them our deep appreciation for their untiring efforts to move forward the work of the Committees.
I should now like to comment briefly on each presentation.
Indonesia is grateful to Ambassador Johan Verbeke for his strong leadership of the 1267 Committee and welcomes the progress made in its work. We hope that the current and future activities of the Committee, as presented by its Chairman, will significantly contribute to global efforts against terrorism, particularly against Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
My delegation would like to reiterate its position to the effect that the current and future work of the Committee should involve fair and clear procedures for the processes of listing, delisting and granting exceptions. We recommend that the need to mainstream procedural fairness and assert human rights principles be adequately addressed by the Committee, especially in its evaluation of the implementation of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006).
We also attach great importance to the further improvement of the quality of the consolidated list, particularly in terms of enhancing its completeness and accuracy. Lack of completeness and of accuracy will prevent the consolidated list from serving as a useful operational tool in counter-terrorism matters. Having said that, we deem it essential that the Security Council and the Committee continue to promote transparency in the procedures involved in both the listing and delisting processes.
As far as the review mechanism is concerned, my delegation welcomes the initiative to review more than 100 individuals and entities by July 2007. In that regard, we would also like to stress that the process should be substantive and not aim merely to update existing information. The review should consider all relevant information, including a statement of justification for the inclusion of a particular name of an individual or entity on the consolidated list.
With regard to the issue of compliance, my delegation would like to highlight the increasing number of legal cases challenging the implementation of sanctions at the national level. Given that this increasing litigation is capable of affecting States’ compliance in the implementation of sanctions, the Security Council should direct the Committee to study the legal problems arising from national implementation and recommend ways of resolving the matter.
With regard to the presentation made by the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias, my delegation expresses its appreciation for his excellent work. My delegation underlines the importance in the carrying out of that work of cooperation, transparency, even-handedness and consistency of approach as the fundamental guiding principles of the work of the CTC.
It is my delegation’s wish that the future programme of work of the CTC also include a clear direction for the Committee so as to ensure the comprehensive and balanced implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). While maintaining the importance of the prohibition of incitement, my delegation emphasizes the need to take effective measures to promote dialogue among civilizations, interfaith dialogue and respect for international law and human rights.
With regard to the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, it is our view that the adoption of the Strategy requires further development in the work of the three counter-terrorism committees, particularly the CTC. My delegation therefore supports the role of the CTC in the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
My delegation wishes also to thank the Chairman of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Peter Burian, for his untiring efforts in guiding the Committee in the fulfilment of its task and of the mandate conferred on it by resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006). It is important, in our view, that the Committee should continue to proceed faithfully with its work within the context of its mandate and continue to be guided by the principles of cooperation, transparency, equal treatment and consistency.
Let me also take this opportunity to highlight several points my delegation considers essential in the continuation of the Committee’s work.
We believe that technical assistance is an important contributing element to the successful implementation of the resolution. The technical assistance programme would be more appealing and might lead to a better response from recipient States if it also addressed their larger needs and priorities and was not confined only to addressing their capacity needs strictly in the non-proliferation area. Recognizing that the implementation of the resolution is a national responsibility, we believe that assistance should be conducted as cooperation between provider and recipient, and not be perceived as an imposition.
As to the issue of reporting, we note that, for almost three years, the focus of the Committee has mainly been on encouraging compliance with the reporting requirement. While noting that reporting is indeed important as a baseline for analysis, it is not the objective of the resolution. The key point is the implementation of all of the provisions of the resolutions. For developing countries with limited resources and many other equally pressing priorities, the increasing burden of reporting in its various forms could be overwhelming.
Finally, when resolution 1540 was adopted two years ago, concerns were expressed that the Security Council had taken on a legislative role in which it was dictating domestic law to Member States and enforcing non-proliferation obligations outside the traditional multilateral process. As we draw closer to the end of the mandate of the 1540 Committee, it is my delegation’s view that we could now start to work towards a multilaterally negotiated instrument that would permanently address the gap that is being temporarily filled by this resolution.
I wish to thank Ambassadors Verbeke, Arias and Burian for their efforts as well as those of their Missions to achieve concrete progress in the work of the three Committees they chair — efforts that are reflected in their reports. The Council must continue to focus on the work of the committees, whose respective mandates constitute a broad-spectrum response to the grave threats posed by terrorism and proliferation. We must strengthen cooperation and the exchange of experiences among the three committees.
We fully subscribe to the statement that will be made on behalf of the presidency of the European Union. I should, however, like to touch on a number of points.
First, France hopes that the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) will attain all the objectives set out in the programme of work adopted on 1 October 2006. We hope that, with the full renewal of the group of experts mandated to assist the Committee, substantive work on implementation of the resolution will gain the sustained pace necessary for full implementation of the programme of work during its four remaining months. A commitment to individualized dialogue with States, the identification of best practices and the development of operational relationships with other organizations are some of the elements of that programme on which key work remains to be done.
For now, understandably, the Committee’s activities should focus on promoting the resolution and assistance with its implementation. Here, France has provided material support for the organization of a seminar on resolution 1540 (2004), to be held at Jakarta on 28 and 29 May. As members know, that event is being organized by the Institut français des relations internationals et stratégiques in coordination with Indonesia’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies. After last year’s successful meeting organized by other organizations at San Francisco, the Jakarta meeting should make possible further progress in implementation of the resolution by South-East Asian countries.
We welcome the progress the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) has made since the beginning of the year; this has helped strengthen the legitimacy and the credibility of the sanctions regime. Since the adoption of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006) in December, the 1267 Committee has had a number of tasks to complete, which we believe have been undertaken in a promising way.
First and foremost, my country — which originated this concept — welcomes the Secretary-General’s establishment of a focal point and the speedy adoption of the 1267 Committee’s guidelines. My delegation has addressed a letter to that Committee, as well as to the other sanctions committees, stating that French authorities will exclusively use the focal point for requests for the delisting of French nationals or residents of France.
We were pleased to note the improvement of the Committee’s website; this should make it possible to increase awareness and understanding on the part of users and practitioners.
We hope that in coming months the Committee will continue its efforts to improve the consolidated list by continuing to update it and adapting it to the reality of the threat posed by Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. We hope in particular that the Committee will work on the implications of Al-Qaida’s use of the Internet to recruit terrorists.
We have great expectations of the new approach established by the Counter-Terrorism Committee for following up the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), which breaks with the past practice of reports. By June, the Committee should adopt a preliminary evaluation of each State’s implementation with a view to conducting an individualized dialogue on that basis.
In this undertaking — developing new tools for monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) — the Committee should also, in the coming weeks, consider an overall study of the implementation of the resolution, which would complement those individualized evaluations with a regional and thematic perspective. France hopes that the Council could consider the conclusions the Counter-Terrorism Committee will draw from this exercise.
We hope that the Committee will quickly adopt its technical assistance action plan, developed with the support of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, which is aimed at proactively strengthening its action in this area.
Strengthening cooperation with relevant international and regional organizations is also key in improving States’ implementation of Security Council requests. We expect the next special meeting of the Committee with such organizations, to be held in October at Nairobi, to contribute to attaining that objective in Africa.
In conclusion, I would recall the central role my country ascribes to the United Nations in providing a comprehensive, universal response to the threat of terrorism. It was in that spirit that on 5 April Mr. Francis Delon, French Secretary-General of National Defence, presented to the Counter-Terrorism Committee a French Government white paper on internal security in the face of terrorism, which is our policy framework on this issue. France is convinced that, given the persistence of terrorism, our collective and individual efforts must be resolutely long-term and must adapt to the shifting contours of the threat. In our view, it is vital that the Council, and the entire United Nations system, remain fully mobilized against this scourge.
I too should like to associate myself with the comments which will be made shortly by the Permanent Representative of Germany on behalf of the European Union. I should like to thank Ambassadors Verbeke, Arias and Burian for their briefings to the Security Council this morning. I thank them and their staffs also for their time and for their commitment to these important matters. We rely on the energy and leadership of the Chairs of our subsidiary bodies to enable the Council to make substantive forward progress.
First, I should like to talk about resolution 1267 (1999). I should like to start by welcoming Ambassador Verbeke to his new role as Chair of the 1267 Committee. The United Kingdom was a sponsor of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006), adopted in December last year. The establishment of a focal point within the Secretariat for receiving delisting requests was a real achievement, and we want to see it come into its own in the Council. We are also pleased to hear that the Committee intends to work on improving the quality of the consolidated list, and we commend the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team for its efforts in this area. We should like to encourage Member States to share information with the Committee that would improve the information on the list. We look forward with interest to the Committee improving its guidelines on exemption requests for basic expenses for individuals on the consolidated list. Delays in dealing swiftly and effectively with exemption requests for basic expenses, many of which are humanitarian in nature, raise serious human rights concerns; we are at risk of delaying essential payments for food, for rent and for legal fees. In our view, it is imperative that the Committee address this.
I should like to turn, secondly, to resolution 1540 (2004). This year, 2007, is an important one for the implementation of that resolution, and we support Ambassador Burian in his ongoing work. The United Kingdom attaches great importance to the outreach activities of the 1540 Committee. We welcome the proactive approach on outreach that the Committee’s Chair and experts have taken. We believe we should focus on work that leads to measurable improvements in the implementation of the resolution. In furtherance of that, we support the production of implementation action plans. We support the proposed work being taken forward in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in support of resolution 1540 (2004), and we look to that organization to provide a model for regional implementation of the resolution. The United Kingdom believes that facilitating technical assistance remains a key challenge for the Committee. We look forward to an early agreement on concrete practical proposals which will enable the Committee and its experts to adopt a proactive and effective role in assistance.
Lastly, with regard to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, I would like to welcome Ambassador Arias to his new role as Chairman. I would also like to thank Ambassador Javier Rupérez for his work as Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). We wish him every success in the future. The United Kingdom would like to commend the work that the CTED has been undertaking on analysis of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We look forward to discussing the CTED’s analysis of the global levels of implementation of the resolution, including themes and regional issues that might arise and need further consideration by the Council.
At this time last year, the United Kingdom welcomed the development and use of new analytical tools for assessing individual States’ implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We look forward to learning the results of that process; the Preliminary Implementation Assessments. We believe that they should be shared with Member States as soon as possible. We have every confidence that the Committee will deal swiftly with the assessments it has yet to consider and that Committee discussions on internal processes can be concluded expeditiously.
In the United Kingdom’s view, the Committee should, through the use of these assessments, be able to move away from the seemingly never-ending reporting cycles of States and shift instead to a focused dialogue that is tailored to meet the specific needs of individual States. We expect that, for some States, a key part of that dialogue will be about technical assistance. Technical assistance has long been under discussion in the Committee, and we look forward to seeing substantial measurable results, in terms of both the facilitation of assistance and the resulting improvements in the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). In particular, we hope that the Committee will quickly adopt the technical assistance implementation plan for 2007.
Implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) remains a priority for the United Kingdom. We look forward to continued Committee work in that area, including in the areas of analysis and technical assistance.
I would like to conclude with a word about the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 60/288). One of the strengths of the Strategy, we believe, is its focus on improving coordination within the United Nations system. We welcome the involvement of the subsidiary bodies of the Council in the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force as part of its core coordination role.
My delegation, too, wishes to express its appreciation to the Chairmen of the three subsidiary bodies for their concise but detailed briefings today. We thank Ambassadors Verbeke, Arias and Burian for the work that they have done for the Committees.
With regard to the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), my delegation acknowledges the leadership that Ambassador Ricardo Arias has provided since taking up the chairmanship of that subsidiary body. South Africa notes that the Committee and its subcommittees have considered a large number of Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs). In that context, South Africa considers the following guiding principles to be relevant.
The sovereignty and national priorities of Member States must be respected. It is essential that consultation with the relevant Member State on the content of the PIA take place prior to its consideration by the CTC and its subcommittees.
In the identification of shortfalls by Member States, due consideration should be given to the unique nature of the threat of terrorism as faced by individual Member States, as well as to their respective capacities and resources to address it. There should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Committee members should also be given sufficient time to examine the PIAs, which are complex and lengthy documents, given the serious and far-reaching nature of the recommendations that they contain.
Technical assistance is an outcome of the PIAs and the provision of such assistance should, from the very start, be carried out with the full consent of the recipient State and be tailored to its unique requirements. Technical assistance should not be imposed on Member States.
The CTC and its experts should not digress from their mandate by pronouncing on other issues that are not directly relevant to terrorism.
We encourage the CTC to continue its interaction with international and regional organizations to improve coordination and the sharing of best practices at the subregional and regional levels. We wish to thank Mr. Rupérez and his team for the work that they have done in that very important area.
I now turn to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee and thank Ambassador Johan Verbeke for his briefing. South Africa notes progress with regard to the improvement of the Committee’s Consolidated List and guidelines, as well as the establishment of a focal point in the Secretariat for delisting. We encourage the Committee to build on those initiatives with a view to promoting due process and transparency.
My delegation would like to make the following specific remarks.
The Committee should apply a high evidentiary standard when considering requests by Member States for the addition of individuals and entities to the Consolidated List, given the serious consequences of such listing. There should be a substantive nexus between an individual or entity and Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida or the Taliban.
The Committee’s efforts to improve the Consolidated List are greatly appreciated. The Committee should conduct regular and comprehensive reviews of its List to delist persons and entities that are no longer associated with Al-Qaida or the Taliban, those incorrectly listed and persons who may be deceased.
It is essential that the Committee consult the wider United Nations membership when considering recommendations by the Monitoring Team to strengthen the sanctions. Proposals to, inter alia, criminalize the misuse of the Internet, involve the private sector in sanctions implementation and assess compliance would have significant implications for Member States.
Turning to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), I would like to thank Ambassador Peter Burian for his work as Chair and for his briefing. South Africa supports efforts to develop global capacity and to raise international standards for implementing resolution 1540 (2004) on the basis of best practices and the provision of technical assistance, upon request, to a willing recipient in a manner that respects the national priorities of the recipient. South Africa therefore welcomes the work that has been done to assist with the provision of technical assistance to those requiring it. We also believe that developing countries should be asked to complete simplified questionnaires on measures taken to implement resolution 1540 (2004), as compared with the questionnaires required of countries that possess, or are capable of possessing, weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The Committee’s current focus on technical assistance and non-reporting by developing countries notwithstanding, a primary threat of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, materials, financing and delivery systems falling into the hands of non-State terrorist actors originates from States that possess or are capable of possessing WMD. The weak link is therefore the very existence of weapons of mass destruction, and the question arises as to whether the Security Council can continue to ignore disarmament and approach proliferation in a selective and often politicized manner.
South Africa is cautious regarding proposals currently before the 1540 Committee that would allow donors to direct the work of the Committee or empower select groupings of States to manage its outreach programmes and visits and to provide the information that would be used to develop sets of lessons learned, good practices and benchmarks for compliance.
It seems to us that the clearing-house approach of the Committee with respect to technical assistance remains the most appropriate one.
It is important that the Security Council respect the mandates of independent functional and technical multilateral bodies and regimes. There is a danger of duplicating work that has already been done elsewhere, or of imposing the Security Council’s priorities on bodies that were designed for specific tasks. For example, the Financial Action Task Force does not have the expertise or the mandate to address the issue of so-called proliferation financing. It is a specialized body with limited membership that is designed, inter alia, to address the financing of terrorism and money-laundering.
It is necessary to address the issue of coordination between the three subsidiary bodies, which was raised both in the 2005 World Summit Outcome and in the CTC review of December 2006. The 2005 World Summit called on the Security Council to consolidate its anti-terrorism activities and reporting requirements. In that regard, I would like to conclude by making a practical suggestion to improve the transparency and accountability of the CTC, the 1267 Committee and the 1540 Committee vis-à-vis the wider United Nations membership.
I propose that all future reports and briefings by the Chairpersons of those three Committees provide a full disclosure of the financial expenditure and human resources from the Secretariat utilized during the reporting period. That approach could also be followed by all other subsidiary bodies of the Security Council. We owe that to the membership of the United Nations. We believe it should be normal practice.
The Chinese delegation would like to thank and commend Ambassador Verbeke, Ambassador Arias and Ambassador Burian for their respective briefings on the work of the Committees established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), resolution 1373 (2001) and resolution 1540 (2004). I would like to make the following comments.
China appreciates the progress made in the work of the 1267 Committee, which includes updating its working methods, enhancing the quality of the sanctions lists, further improving the sanctions mechanism and ensuring the fairness and transparency of listing and delisting procedures. We are pleased to note that the Committee has further developed its website, expanded the volume of information and improved indexing methods. That has made the website an effective tool to enable Member States to strengthen their interactive exchanges with the Committee. The Committee is also continuing to share information and to cooperate effectively with the relevant international and regional organizations — such as Interpol — as well as to intensify dialogue and exchanges with Member States through visits and seminars. We believe that the Committee will continue to enhance its efficiency and authority in the future and that, with the support and cooperation of Member States, it will effectively promote international cooperation to combat terrorism.
With regard to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), we have noted that, since the beginning of 2007, the Committee has made some progress in improving its methods of work. In order to reduce the burden of reporting, the CTC has adopted a new approach — the Preliminary Implementation Assessment — which has further strengthened dialogue with Member States. China hopes that the Committee will continue to improve its working methods in practice, so as to fully reflect the principles of transparency, fairness and consistency, as well as to make it an effective means of monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and resolution 1624 (2005) at the level of States.
China appreciates the fact that the CTC, with the assistance of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), is continuing to effectively move ahead with its work in the areas of visits to Member States, providing technical assistance and establishing best practices. China urges CTED to carry out comprehensive analysis of its work in providing technical assistance and cooperating with international organizations. Those activities help the CTC to formulate effective and practical guidelines. For the time being, the CTC should continue to focus on the work programme for the first half of the year. It should also endeavour to meet existing work targets.
China commends Mr. Javier Rupérez for his contribution to the United Nations effort to counter terrorism as the head of CTED for the past three years. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to him.
The 1540 Committee formulated its programme of work this past October. Since then, the Committee’s work has focused on the implementation of the resolution, outreach and international assistance and cooperation. That undertaking has positive implications for the comprehensive implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and resolution 1673 (2006). China supports and attaches great importance to the role of the 1540 Committee. As always, we are prepared to participate in the work of the Committee in a constructive manner. We hope that the Committee will maintain its positive momentum, strengthen its work in the areas of outreach and technical assistance and make a contribution by forging consensus on non-proliferation and promoting international efforts in that regard.
In recent months, terrorist forces have increased their violent activities across the world, thereby seriously jeopardizing the peace and security of the international community. Terrorists are the common enemy of all humankind. No terrorist act is tolerable or forgivable. The international community should adopt integrated measures to address the threat of terrorism by focusing simultaneously on preventing and combating terrorism, endeavouring to eliminate the root causes that breed terrorism and enhancing overall awareness of the counter-terrorism capabilities of Member States.
China calls for strengthening the role of the United Nations and the Security Council in the international fight against terrorism. We also advocate a strengthening of the role of the United Nations and the Security Council in international counter-terrorism efforts and are in favour of the active implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. China supports the efforts of the three Committees to continue their coordination and cooperation while fully consolidating existing counter-terrorism resources in order to make the United Nations counter-terrorism mechanisms more effective.
My delegation commends once again the quality of the work undertaken by the three Committees chaired respectively by Ambassadors Arias, Verbeke and Burian. We congratulate them most warmly and stress that theirs is a major contribution to the struggle being waged globally against the scourge of terrorism. That struggle is also being waged by those who work every day on the ground in security services throughout the world or who serve as experts on our Committees, the Executive Directorate and the Monitoring Group.
The complexity and sensitive nature of that commitment require not only the mobilization of States, but also the utmost transparency in order to guarantee the legitimacy of activities planned and undertaken. That speaks to the importance of public meetings such as that being held today and of their informative nature, which we highly appreciate. That is all the more true given the fact that, like many other African countries, the Congo is particularly interested in such aspects as facilitating the provision of technical assistance to States and dialogue with States in the context of compliance with resolutions 1624 (2005), 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004).
We are pleased to note the progress that has been made in that regard with the valuable assistance of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate in improving the approach towards States and identifying solutions adapted to their specific needs. My delegation also wishes to commend in that regard the programme of cooperation activities with States adopted by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), including the organization of seminars and workshops in the context of efforts to assist States in drafting their reports to the Committee.
To touch on just a few important aspects of the three Committees’ work, I wish to make a few general comments.
The Security Council established the counter-terrorism committees to emphasize the need to combat that scourge in all its forms and manifestations, drawing on appropriate means and in full respect of the United Nations Charter. States have also been continuously reminded to ensure that any measure taken in that regard be consistent with their obligations under international law, and in particular human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law. Respect for human rights and freedoms therefore lies at the heart of our efforts to counter terrorism, and it is recommended that we remain mindful of that in the work of the three Committees, especially with regard to the listing and delisting of natural legal persons.
Indeed, such procedures are an essential instrument for guaranteeing justice and respect for the principle of representation in court, and for reminding us, when necessary, that concern for justice is what differentiates the partisans of terrorism from those of freedom and counter-terrorism. In that respect, my delegation calls for ongoing efforts by the three Committees to address cases on hold and to ensure that such issues as humanitarian exemptions be given special attention.
Furthermore, the role of States is of primary importance in improving the work of the Committees. The Congo therefore endorses enhanced cooperation in the context of established mechanisms by appealing to all States to ratify the 13 counter-terrorism instruments. This may be the right moment to appeal yet again for greater openness towards the developing countries in order to help them better to meet their obligations in the context of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the United Nations. At the same time, we welcome and should like to see closer cooperation between the Committees, including through joint and synchronized activities among experts, for instance during their visits to States. Consistency must be the watchword between the Committees and States and among the Committees themselves. In that regard, guidelines represent an important contribution. Taking account of the various mandates, we might also wish to consider establishing bridges to ensure greater harmonization of procedures.
Under the auspices of the permanent mission of Greece, a symposium was held recently to consider the political and legal aspects of the sanctions regime in general. We have heard eloquent testimony to the interest in that issue of all States Members of the United Nations — not just members of the Security Council, but also States belonging to other United Nations bodies. However, at the end of the day, it is the Security Council that is responsible for the missions assigned to the three subsidiary bodies whose reports we are discussing today. Consistency within the Council — and I would even go so far as to say the responsibility of certain of its members, and in particular the permanent members — are of course decisive for the success of the sanctions regime.
Allow me to begin by reiterating Italy’s unwavering commitment to the implementation of all Security Council resolutions aimed at preventing terrorist organizations from committing acts that, sadly, still pose tremendous threats to international peace and security. In voicing our convinced support for the activities of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), we wish to express our most sincere appreciation to their respective Chairmen — Ambassador Verbeke, Ambassador Arias and Ambassador Burian — for their leadership on those delicate and important tasks. Let me also thank the groups of experts that support the action of the three Committees, and in particular Assistant Secretary-General Rupérez, who will soon be leaving the post of Counter-Terrorism Executive Director.
Italy, while aligning itself with the statement that the European Union presidency will deliver shortly, will confine itself to addressing a few points concerning the actions of the three Committees.
On the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee, Italy, one of the major contributors to the list, is fully convinced of the continued value of that instrument in preventing terrorists who belong to the Al-Qaida network from committing more of the heinous crimes we have too often experienced. In order to ensure its continued effectiveness, the Committee should make every effort to encourage other Member States to fulfil their responsibility to contribute actively to the list.
Italy commends the steps in the right direction that the Committee has taken in recent months — particularly after the adoption of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006) — to improve the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, while developing clearer and fairer procedures for listing, delisting and humanitarian exemptions. In particular, we welcome the fact that the focal point for delisting is now established. We are already at work in this field, examining with due care all the relevant requests that are brought to our attention.
Let me underline the need to keep the List updated and consistent with the threat. That requires constant action not only of Committee members but of the entire membership of the United Nations. This is particularly true for the Taliban section of the List, where, as Ambassador Verbeke noted in his briefing, an urgent update is needed, also in light of the complex situation and of the most recent evolution of events on the ground.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate are fully engaged in carrying out their duties, with the huge responsibility of monitoring the implementation of a resolution as broad as 1373 (2001). Many significant results and significant progress have already been achieved — for example, with regard to the ratification of the international conventions and protocols against terrorism. Nevertheless, if we want new and more specific results in increasing the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) as a whole, we need to strengthen the action of the Committee and its Executive Directorate. Italy believes that much can be done to streamline the internal procedures that may have overburdened relations between the Council, the Committee, the Executive Directorate, other Committees and the membership at large.
Italy hopes that CTC can rapidly deliver on the preliminary assessment of compliance with resolution 1373 (2001) by all Member States. That is the precondition for starting a genuine and new interactive dialogue with the membership, which is essential in the many cases where technical assistance is needed. In this particular field we have to explore new ways for the CTED and the Committee to bring together recipient States that have expressed their consent and interest, donor countries, relevant bodies within the United Nations system, and other international organizations. The review of the CTED mandate, which expires by the end of the year, creates the opportunity for a new reflection in that respect. Italy is willing to contribute to this process.
We praise the results achieved by the 1540 Committee, in particular its extensive outreach activities to raise the membership’s awareness of the scope and obligations of the resolution. The recent debates on international assistance were also useful in seeking synergic cooperation among States and relevant international organizations aimed at fostering compliance with non-proliferation standards of the above resolutions.
Bearing in mind next year’s review of the mandate of the 1540 Committee, it is essential to step up the initiatives to increase the number of national reports on the implementation of the resolution. At the same time, the matrices prepared by Committee’s experts — whose work we highly value — should be used to identify loopholes in national legislation, to draft best practices and to facilitate the matching of assistance requests and offers. In responding to the multifaceted nature of proliferation, the 1540 Committee should continue to focus on strengthening, inter alia, the safety and security of dual-use items and technologies, export and border controls and law enforcement efforts to stop the trafficking and brokering in those items. The Committee should also pay due attention to the proliferation of illicit financing networks. Combating those networks should be an integral component of the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The programme of work for the Committee expires in October 2007. We are confident that in the coming months a new programme of work will be agreed upon to enhance our common endeavour to promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and to pave the way for a renewal, in spring 2008, of the Committee’s mandate.
Let me conclude by saying that the Security Council’s action against international terrorism will be more effective if its fundamental objectives are mutually shared by all relevant partners within and outside the United Nations. In this regard, the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) is of particular importance. Among other things, it may be crucial to the achievement of the shared objectives of the organs of the Security Council, because it can facilitate the delivery of technical assistance through the resources available in the various United Nations agencies represented in the Task Force. This is why Italy is fully committed to the process of implementation of the global strategy approved by the General Assembly last September, where all Member States have a direct responsibility in elaborating projects so as to make its various components move forward. At the same time Italy reiterates its firm commitment to finding a positive, swift conclusion to the negotiation of the global convention.
We wish to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing today’s meeting and to express appreciation to the Chairs of the sanctions Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) — Ambassadors Verbeke, Arias and Burian — for the thorough reports on the work of the Security Council counter-terrorism committees that they lead.
We fully share the priorities and assessments contained in the statements. For our part, we would like to draw attention to those issues whose resolution, we believe, will require additional and more focused and vigorous efforts. It is our view that through stepping up counter-terrorist work — first and foremost by the efforts of the three Committees and their expert group — to implement the relevant resolutions, the Security Council can more effectively assist in the implementation of the United Nations comprehensive counter-terrorist strategy.
We wish to emphasize the need for closer and more coordinated interaction on the part of the three counter-terrorist Committees and their expert group. Some positive progress has been made. There has been exchange of information on implementation by States of the relevant resolutions; the experts of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee are jointly participating in country visits; and there is a general strategy for action for States that are late submitters, based on providing them assistance in meeting resolution commitments. Along with that, it would seem that more can and should be done in that respect so as to eliminate duplication, to optimize dialogue among States and to give them the necessary technical assistance.
The question of national capacity-building in the complex fight against terrorism is a great priority for us. We would like to emphasize that work to improve the technical assistance system must be conducted in close linkage with monitoring of compliance with Security Council resolutions. For us, it is obvious that identifying concrete needs of States for technical assistance and providing it to them is possible only on the basis of developing direct dialogue with States, with their consent and participation in these processes. We would hope that in the very near future we will finalize all procedures for sending States the new Preliminary Implementation Assessments for resolution 1373 (2001). We positively assess the practice of country visits by CTED, improving the quality of technical expertise and organizing systematic work to implement their results.
We expect that, after the upcoming discussion on the draft comprehensive survey on implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), the CTC will be able to give the Council a general analysis, which would allow us to clarify the priorities of the Committee’s work, including support for the efforts of States to establish or build their counter-terrorist capabilities.
We need to do our utmost to strengthen the interaction of the CTC with international, regional and subregional organizations. We welcome and deeply appreciate their important contribution to the joint work of the field missions of CTED. We attach great importance to fifth special meeting of the CTC with international, regional and subregional organizations, to be held this fall in Nairobi, and to regular contacts between them and the Committee in CTED.
As was noted in the statement of the CTC Chair, the Committee has adopted an action plan to implement the results of the four preceding meetings. The Committee has continued the practice of inviting to the CTC representatives of international organizations that deal with the problem of terrorism. Notably, in February of this year the Committee heard a briefing by Mr. Alexey Kuzyura, Chairperson of the Working Group of the Meetings of Heads of Special Services, Security Agencies and Law-Enforcement Organizations.
Another issue to which we would like to draw the Council’s attention is resolution 1624 (2005). We are concerned at the virtual absence of progress in its implementation and in the development of a dialogue of States with the CTC and CTED. We believe that it is possible to resolve this problem within the ambit of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in particular those relating to incitement to terrorism.
We continue to view the 1267 Committee and its Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team as one of the most effective and viable mechanisms at the disposal of the Council in its counter-terrorism efforts.
We welcome the efforts of the 1267 Committee and the Monitoring Team to improve the accuracy of the sanctions list. The importance of that instrument in the implementation of the anti-Taliban sanctions regime has been emphasized in resolution 1735 (2006). We call on Member States to continue to petition the Committee to list individuals and entities associated with the Taliban and Al-Qaida and to provide any additional information that is available.
We note the progress achieved in terms of improving the guidelines for the work of the 1267 Committee. In our view, that will help to strengthen the sanctions regime itself. It is also important that the positive achievements of the Committee, as reflected in Security Council resolution 1730 (2006), be made use of, in a broad-based manner, by other Council sanctions committees. We look forward to a continued interactive and beneficial discussion in the 1267 Committee on these questions, and we are prepared to participate constructively therein.
We are convinced that substantive attention should be paid to strengthening national mechanisms for decision-making on the inclusion of new names on the sanctions list. The commitment of Member States to the full and conscientious implementation of their obligations will determine the success of our joint efforts to counter the real and ever-changing threat to international peace and security posed by the Taliban and Al-Qaida.
We attach great significance to continuing the practice of country visits by the Chairmen of the Committee and members of the Monitoring Team. We call for closer coordination in that respect, first and foremost with the CTC and the CTED.
The Russian Federation, which was the initiator and one of the co-authors of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006), views these as key non-proliferation instruments aimed at preventing weapons of mass destruction, the means of their delivery and related materials from falling into the hands of non-State actors, especially terrorists. We are convinced that ensuring the full implementation by all States of the Council’s decisions is one of the key elements in fighting the serious threat to international peace and security posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction around the globe.
We believe that the central task of the 1540 Committee at this time remains the provision of assistance to States in the submission of their national reports. Unfortunately, the momentum here is clearly insufficient. Since September of last year, only four countries have sent their first national reports to the Committee. We need, through joint efforts, to step up our efforts to deal with the late submitters. Here the provision of technical assistance must be based on constructive dialogue, without pressure or interference in the affairs of States and without prejudice to legitimate international economic, scientific and technological cooperation. For our part, we are prepared to provide comprehensive expert assistance to those countries requiring it.
Effective work on non-proliferation is impossible without strengthening the interaction between the United Nations and lead organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We believe that it would be useful for the Committee to conduct in-depth discussions on ways to enhance the assistance provided by international and regional organizations and export control regimes with respect to issues relating to the provisions of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006). The outcome of such discussions should be a substantive reinvigoration of contacts with those organizations that have significant experience and expertise.
We believe that, in spite of the tremendous complexity of the problems dealt with in resolution 1540 (2004), we will be able, through joint efforts and under United Nations auspices, to close existing proliferation gaps in domestic legislation and strengthen the basis for coordinated efforts to counter the black market in WMD.
At the outset, Mr. President, allow me to thank, through you, Ambassadors Johan Verbeke, Ricardo Alberto Arias and Peter Burian for their briefings on the work of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), respectively.
These three committees constitute an important part of the campaign against terrorism within the framework of the United Nations, and cooperation and coordination between them contributes to their ability effectively to carry out their functions. The United Nations must arrive at a definition of terrorism that takes human rights into account and addresses the threat of terrorism, including through an investigation of the root causes of terrorism and of the relationship of terrorism to foreign occupation.
The State of Qatar believes that ensuring security must not come at the expense of fundamental freedoms or human rights, because these rights should not be restricted by circumstances or time. Measures taken to combat terrorism, whether at the local or international levels or through the United Nations system, must be compatible with the core purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the rules and principles of international law, international standards of justice and the provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and they should avoid the use of double standards, both ethical and political.
One of the most important developments in the period since the last joint briefing was the adoption of resolution 1730 (2006) on procedures for listing and delisting on the lists of Security Council sanctions committees. My delegation has been at the forefront of those Members that worked to enhance those procedures, since we believe that that is important in terms of enhancing the credibility and effectiveness of the sanctions imposed by the Security Council, and also on the basis of the importance we attach to ensuring that those measures accord with due process.
However, further improvements remain to be made to listing and delisting procedures, especially enhancing the delisting mechanism — its independence, effectiveness, neutrality and ability to provide effective recourse. Due consideration must be given to legal principles and procedures, transparency, applicable legal standards, the rule of law, human rights and peremptory norms, which should on no account be violated. These conditions are essential to make the sanctions legitimate and effective.
Although one of the core functions of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) is field visits to States, we have noted a clear disproportion in the number of visits to countries of the South compared to countries of the North. This does not promote the objectivity and transparency that must characterize such visits. We note also that most countries to which visits have been proposed have yet to grant approval for such visits, on the basis that account has not been taken of the need for objectivity in connection with these visits and whether or not they are necessary.
We call on the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate to continue its efforts to assist the Commission, and, at this point, stress the importance of the compliance of the Executive Directorate with its mandate and instructions from the Committee, especially in preparing reports and visit programmes.
As regards Security Council resolution 1624 (2005), it should be recalled that the resolution stipulates the need to make international efforts to strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding among civilizations. In order to prevent certain religions or cultures from being targeted, the media have an important role to play in encouraging tolerance and coexistence and in creating an environment that does not incite terrorism. We call upon the CTC to deal with this question in a determined fashion, to encourage States to criminalize attacks on religion.
As the briefing on the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) demonstrates, the Committee continues to work on the careful analysis of national reports. In this regard, my delegation welcomes the fact that many States have submitted their national reports and calls upon States that have not yet submitted them to do so promptly, as we note that, even after the extension of the mandate of the Committee pursuant to resolution 1673 (2006), there still are some non-reporting States.
The Committee also continues to provide the necessary technical assistance to States that request it, which is essential and which lies at the core of the mandate of the Commission. That assistance has a significant impact in helping those countries, so that we can make further progress in facing the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United States of America.
I would like to say a few words about each presentation and briefing today. However, before doing so, I want to thank Mr. Javier Rupérez for his hard work, professionalism and dedication as the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) Executive Directorate (CTED). The CTC made significant headway under his leadership. I wish the Executive Director the very best in the future. Thank you, Mr. Rupérez.
Regarding the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, Ambassador Verbeke, the 1267 Committee has made important progress under your strong leadership; and I thank you and your staff. I would like to thank the Monitoring Team for its invaluable assistance in helping the Committee discharge its mandate. As you mentioned in your statement, the Council adopted two key resolutions in late December, and I will comment briefly on each of them. The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1730 (2006), which established the Focal Point for removing names from sanctions lists. The United States was a leader in this effort, and we worked closely with France and others on the Council to develop this important mechanism. We are confident that the Focal Point adequately addresses the concerns heard from Member States about a perceived lack of fairness in the sanctions process.
The Council also unanimously adopted in December resolution 1735 (2006), which strengthens the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. This most recent resolution in the 1267 family addresses many important issues, but I would like to focus on just one — the Taliban. The Committee has not updated the Taliban sanctions list since 2003; and it no longer reflects the realities on the ground. The United States strongly believes that the Committee must focus on updating the list to make it a relevant and potent tool in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan. As resolution 1735 (2006) clearly lays out, we believe in a three-pronged approach: sanctioning new Taliban who are responsible for the current upsurge in violence, de-listing former Taliban who have severed their ties, and adding new and updated biographical information to help States better enforce the sanctions.
Ambassador Verbeke, the United States is confident that, under your dedicated leadership, the Committee can make progress on updating the Taliban list and the other important issues on its agenda.
Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Chairman Arias, the United States appreciates your effective leadership and welcomes your report. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate play an essential role in ensuring that States implement their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001), and we support all of the items you have identified as ways in which the CTC and its CTED can work to achieve concrete results.
We will examine your assessments and explore opportunities for providing capacity-building assistance to States. The United States recently provided assistance based on such an assessment. In April, we assisted Tanzanian officials with training in combating the financing of terrorism and money-laundering and the preparation and submission of suspicious transaction reports, areas of need that the CTC and CTED had identified. Under the Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Program for Tanzania, the United States Agency for International Development is partnering with the Tanzanian Ministry of Finance, the Eastern and South African Anti-Money Laundering Group and the Bank of Tanzania to provide technical assistance in the establishment of a Financial Investigative Unit, another area that the CTC and CTED highlighted.
The United States will continue to work with you, Mr. Ambassador, to help countries identified by the CTC and its CTED in need of similar assistance.
As concerns the 1540 Committee, Chairman Burian, thank you for your presentation and for your accomplishments since you assumed your position 18 months ago. Resolution 1540 (2004) is a significant tool for addressing the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials; and we applaud the Committee’s efforts to monitor and promote implementation of the resolution. The Committee has done a good job in terms of collecting information, but it is now time to take that information and aggressively move forward on implementation, including how to process requests for technical assistance.
We support the Committee’s cooperation and outreach efforts with regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the Organization of American States, the African Union and the Caribbean Community. These organizations have practical expertise in cooperating with bodies like the 1540 Committee. Participation in regional workshops, such as the one we held in San Francisco in February with the ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as the OSCE 1540 workshop in November 2006, have provided a useful opportunity for practitioners to gather with others from their region to learn more about resolution 1540 (2004) and to share strategies and ideas for implementing the resolution.
On the basis of the recommendations contained in the Committee’s April 2006 report to the Council (S/2006/257), we encourage States to develop action plans with regard to implementing resolution 1540 (2004). The United States action plan is designed to encourage and support the Committee in fulfilling its mandate. Under our action plan, we intend to help other States identify gaps in laws and controls and develop regional and State-specific assistance priorities for stemming proliferation activity, and to coordinate our assistance with other donors and recipients to assist in fulfilling obligations under resolution 1540 (2004).
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I call on the representative of Germany.
I have the honour to speak today on behalf of the European Union (EU). Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, Iceland and Norway, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration.
The EU welcomes this debate on the work of the three Security Council committees dealing with various aspects of counter-terrorism. We thank the Chairmen of the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) for their informative briefings on the ongoing work.
Terrorism is a global threat that requires a global and comprehensive response. In that regard, the United Nations has a unique role to play. The 13 United Nations conventions and protocols against terrorism, together with Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), as well as other relevant resolutions, provide the legal framework for multilateral action. The EU continues to be committed to reaching an agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism as soon as possible. In September 2006, the General Assembly and the States Members of the United Nations demonstrated their unity and resolve in combating terrorism by adopting the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 60/288) by consensus. We believe that that was an encouraging step towards unified United Nations action.
The EU unequivocally condemns all acts of terrorism as criminal. Terrorism can never be justified, irrespective of its alleged motivations, objectives, forms or manifestations. At the same time, we underline that respect for international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law is an essential element of effective and legitimate action to counter terrorism. Our action must be firmly based on due process and the rule of law.
We commend the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) for the considerable progress made with regard to improving the effectiveness of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions regime over the past few months. In doing so, the Committee was effectively supported by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.
The EU welcomes measures taken by the Committee to improve the listing, notification and delisting of individuals and entities, to keep the consolidated list updated and to enhance public outreach. Let me name just a few improvements. The revised guidelines foresee the possibility of reviewing on an annual basis all listings more than 4 years old. Requests for listing have to be presented in a new format ensuring clarity and consistency. The notification of listed individuals and entities has been speeded up. Individual requests for delisting may now also be presented via the focal point established at the Secretariat in March 2007.
The 1267 Committee has been the first of the sanctions committees to include this new procedure into its guidelines. The EU hopes that all the Committees will follow that example as soon as possible. Thus, sanctions regimes could be harmonized with respect to the need to ensure that all individual requests actually reach the Committee and are thoroughly considered by its members. We would like to point out that Member States may also declare that they will refer all delisting requests from their respective countries to the focal point.
The EU has always emphasized the need to strengthen the fairness and clarity of procedures regarding targeted sanctions in order to enhance their effectiveness. Several EU member States have contributed to that process. We note that tangible progress has been achieved over the past months, in particular in the 1267 Committee. The EU will observe the implementation of the new guidelines and procedures. In the light of that experience, other challenges may be identified.
Let me add that the credibility and effectiveness of United Nations sanctions regimes might also benefit from greater harmonization of various procedures in place. In that regard, the EU would draw attention to the recommendations developed by the Security Council’s Informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions. A one-day seminar held on 30 April and sponsored by Greece highlighted those aspects.
The European Union welcomes the recently published work programmes of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) (see S/2007/254, annex). They focus on monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), as well as facilitating technical assistance to States and maintaining a constructive dialogue with them. The CTED’s programme also includes deadlines for the performance of specific activities.
In that regard, the EU recalls the substantive review of the work of the CTED undertaken by the Council at the end of 2006. We are pleased to learn that the recommendations contained in that review are now being followed up. We have also noted that the CTED recently conducted a number of successful country visits and that it is developing a more tailored approach to dialogue with the countries concerned.
On this occasion, the European Union would like to commend Assistant Secretary-General Javier Rupérez, Executive Director of the CTED, for his valuable efforts in leading the setting up of the CTED and its work until June 2007. The EU also notes that the CTED’s current mandate will expire at the end of 2007. The Counter-Terrorism Committee will have to review the mandate in the second half of this year.
The EU strongly supports the work of the CTC and the CTED to promote and monitor the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). Those resolutions set ambitious standards with regard to international cooperation and the issue of incitement to terrorism. However, implementing them is and will remain, first and foremost, an obligation of United Nations Member States.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a growing threat to international peace and security. In that context, the European Union fully acknowledges the relevance of resolution 1540 (2004) as an important international instrument to deal with that threat in an integrated and comprehensive manner.
The EU remains determined to lend full support to the 1540 Committee in its endeavour to implement resolution 1540 (2004). That includes the provision of assistance to States in preparing and submitting national reports.
Let me mention at this point the EU’s own strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which is one of the pillars of the EU’s non-proliferation policy and which contributes to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). It includes, among other things, a programme of assistance to States in need of technical knowledge in the field of export control, thus reinforcing the efforts by the 1540 Committee.
I would also like to draw attention to some specific measures undertaken lately by the European Union in this context. In 2006, the EU and member States held a number of seminars providing export control training and assistance to States in need of technical knowledge. In addition, cooperation and assistance programmes under the 2005 pilot project programme of the European Commission were advanced in several countries. Finally, the EU co-sponsored and, together with the Office for Disarmament Affairs, co-financed three regional seminars through a joint action of all EU member States to support regional implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). In giving assistance to the implementation of the resolution in third countries, the EU will continue to cooperate and coordinate closely with the 1540 Committee and the Governments involved.
Today’s debate is an opportunity to look ahead, beyond the second implementation phase of resolution 1540 (2004), which ends in April 2008. Developing a step-by-step approach consisting of concrete measures that will lead to its fully fledged implementation might be a promising prospect. Here, the 1540 Committee will have a coordinating role.
To conclude, I would like to thank the Chairmen of the three committees for their dedicated work. We believe that presenting their work in an open debate at the Security Council can only strengthen the transparency and legitimacy of the Security Council’s efforts in the field of counter-terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The EU will continue to support the implementation of the resolutions concerned.
I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this debate. Australia is a strong supporter of United Nations efforts to combat terrorism. The United Nations has played a key role in creating a climate and framework for enhanced bilateral, regional and global cooperation to combat terrorism, partially through the Security Council committees we are discussing today and also through the General Assembly’s adoption of counter-terrorism conventions and, more recently, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 60/288). In the context of the Security Council, we thank the members and staffs of the committees; we particularly recognize the work of Mr. Javier Rupérez.
Resolution 1267 (1999), which established the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions Committee, plays a vital role. The arms embargo, assets freeze and travel ban against all individuals and entities on the 1267 consolidated list, if consistently applied, constitute a powerful counter-terrorism measure.
Australia also encourages States to supplement the efforts of the 1267 Committee by designating terrorists domestically. Resolution 1373 (2001) is significant in this respect, as it obliges all States to criminalize assistance for terrorist activities, to deny financial support and safe haven to terrorists and to share information about groups planning attacks.
We have been assiduous in meeting our obligations under the 1267 and 1373 sanctions regimes. But in our region and elsewhere the threat from Al-Qaida and related terrorism remains as serious as ever. The heinous bombings in Algiers earlier this year, which killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds more and which were believed to have been carried out by the Al-Qaida-linked Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, demonstrate the continuing threat posed by Al-Qaida and its poisonous ideology. Other terrorist groups that may have few obvious links to Al-Qaida’s leadership or to other listed groups or individuals nonetheless operate according to Al-Qaida’s extremist ideology and continue to pose a threat to our collective security.
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya remains the most immediate terrorist threat in South-East Asia. Australia supported its listing under resolution 1267 because of its well-known links to Al-Qaida. In turn, Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya’s links to other terrorist groups operating in the Philippines, such as the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Rajah Solaiman group, underline the importance of States, along with the 1267 Committee, continuing to examine whether new entities meet the requirements for listing.
Australia endorses the view expressed in the latest report of the 1267 Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (S/2007/132, enclosure) of the need to maintain the list’s quality and relevance and to make the sanctions more effective. We also endorse the steps that the 1267 Committee is taking to update the Taliban list, which has been neglected in recent years. We note in this context that the senior Taliban leader, Mullah Dadullah, who was recently killed by coalition forces in Helmand, had not been listed. States should contribute to efforts to maintain the list’s currency.
Australia also strongly supports Security Council efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), primarily through implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Regrettably, we still do not have a complete picture of the progress made since that resolution was adopted. It is only when all States comply with their 1540 reporting requirements that we can determine what gaps still exist in their domestic export controls and where they may need assistance to respond better to the changing security environment.
Australia stands ready to assist States, particularly in our region, to put in place the legal and regulatory infrastructure and develop the capability and experience to fulfil their obligations under resolution 1540 (2004). We have worked with our Asia-Pacific neighbours, including through the Pacific Islands Forum, to deliver targeted training and technical assistance. We look to the 1540 Committee to supplement such regional efforts.
We are active internationally in support of resolution 1540 (2004). As Chair of the Australia Group, we are working with 39 other individual States and the European Union to incorporate brokering controls into the Australia Group guidelines. This will be discussed at the Australia Group plenary session in June, following an international seminar on brokering controls which we co-hosted with the Republic of Korea in March.
Australia also supports the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which reinforces resolution 1540 (2004) through practical counter-proliferation efforts. The PSI provides another layer in our defences against the illicit trade in WMD-related items and their delivery systems, in conformity with national and international law. Over 80 States have now endorsed the PSI. We would encourage all other States to do likewise, to give the PSI global coverage.
Australia is deeply engaged in efforts to counter the terrorist threat to our region and has adopted a comprehensive range of measures to build counter-terrorism capacity in South-East Asia and the Pacific. We have allocated over 400 million Australian dollars to new initiatives in the past three years, working with regional partners in key counter-terrorism areas, including law enforcement, defence, border and transport security, financial monitoring, intelligence and legal affairs.
An important initiative was the Sub-Regional Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism, hosted together with Indonesia in March this year. The meeting advanced cooperation among the six States most immediately affected by the threat from regional terrorist groups: Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Outcomes of the meeting are already being implemented to counter extremism and radicalism, to strengthen law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, to counter the illegal movement of small arms and light weapons, to improve regional legal frameworks and to prepare for mass casualty attacks.
Australia is also an active member of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which was established in July 2006 to enhance cooperation among its members to address this threat.
In conclusion, allow me to say that countering terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction requires a comprehensive and multifaceted response that is targeted at the national, regional and global levels. Australia will continue to work at all those levels and in close cooperation with other States to overcome the grave threat to our security posed by terrorism. Appropriate and effective action within the United Nations system will underpin those efforts and help to ensure that our initiatives are focused on priority areas where they can make the most difference.
At the outset, allow me to congratulate the United States Mission on its very able stewardship of the Council this month.
My delegation wishes to congratulate Ambassador Arias, the new Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), as well as Ambassador Verbeke, the new Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). I would also like to express our continued support for the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), as well as for Ambassador Burian, its Chairman. I wish to thank them all for their very comprehensive briefings. Lastly, I wish to express our appreciation to the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and to Mr. Javier Rupérez, its outgoing Director. We thank him for his invaluable contributions, integrity and leadership.
While my delegation appreciates those briefings, as the Ambassador of Israel I cannot speak only to technical aspects of counter-terrorism while vicious and life-threatening acts of terror are occurring in my country. Allow me therefore to update the Council on recent developments on the ground.
Israel is under attack. During the past week, over 170 Qassam rockets were fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Those rockets were meant to maim and kill Israelis — to attack children and to attack families. Scores of people have been injured. One woman — 35-year-old Shir’el Freedman — was tragically killed yesterday when a Qassam rocket hit her car. In the city of Sderot, the schools are closed, the shopping malls are empty and the playgrounds are desolate. Everyone is at home, huddling in their shelters, hiding under the stairs, waiting for the wailing sirens to announce the next terror attack. Sderot is a city besieged by terror.
But there is no justification for those terror attacks. There is no reason to target Israel. Israel left Gaza — every single inch of it — nearly two years ago, hoping that the Palestinians would take control of their own lives. Sadly, we all know what the terrorists are trying to accomplish. In recent months, the situation has grown more and more distressing since it began last year with Hamas, a terrorist organization, leading the Palestinian Government. A power struggle has emerged, where Palestinian factions are at war with each another. Rather than work to create an authentic unity Government that meets the standards of the international community, Hamas tries to unite the warring Palestinian factions with hatred of Israel.
Hamas therefore fires its rockets to kill Israeli women and children while cynically trying to provoke Israel’s reaction and bring Israel back into Gaza, and thereby blame the common enemy of the Palestinian people, which — as Palestinians are brainwashed from childhood to believe — is Israel. The international community has accepted that situation for far too long. Too many excuses have been made. But we know there can be no excuses. Enough is enough!
Although Israel has exercised tremendous restraint, it will not tolerate those attacks. Israel is ready to take any measures necessary to defend its citizens. Israel reserves the right to self-defence, as any other nation would if placed in the same intolerable situation. We often hear the international community refer to terrorism as a global phenomenon requiring a global response. Yet sometimes the absence of international outcry to the terror that Israel faces shows a disconnect between rhetoric and reality.
Terror for Israel — as is the case, unfortunately, for so many around this table — is not a technical matter. It is far too real, far too ominous, far too deadly and far too daily an occurrence. The growing lawlessness and chaos in Gaza is regrettably familiar. We saw it in Lebanon. Despite the resolve of the Council, Hizbullah is rearming. Weapons are moving across the border between Syria and Lebanon, in violation of the embargo and in violation of resolution 1701 (2006). The weapons, we know, are a poisoned gift from Iran. They travel through Syria to the hands of Hizbullah undisturbed, in fact abetted.
For that and more, Iran and Syria have earned themselves an unholy reputation as exporters of terror. Syria is home to Khaled Mashal, the godfather of the inter-Palestinian bloodshed, who has shown he cares little for Palestinian interests or Palestinian lives. Iran indeed epitomizes terror as a global phenomenon. It is responsible for terrorism far beyond the region, in such far-away places as Latin America, where the Argentine Government has issued warrants for the arrest of senior Iranian officials in connection with terror attacks there. While the international community seeks measures to enhance peace and security, Iran and Syria seek to increase hostilities and insecurity by giving weapons to its terrorist proxies and spreading its destabilizing tentacles.
Iran and Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah represent one side of a clash that is working to destabilize our region, and indeed the entire world. In fact, the whole Muslim world is fractured between two camps, between the forces of moderation and the forces of extremism. We see it in Iraq. We see it in Lebanon. We see it among the Palestinians. Those are warring forces within Muslim civilization. They are battling for the soul of Islam. They are battling for the hearts and minds of the region. The extremists use terror to intimidate and indoctrinate. They use violence and fear to terrorize the citizens of the region. This is indeed a clash of civilization — in the singular.
Recently, in fact as recently as the past few days, we were emboldened by courageous Arab and Muslim leaders who are making a stand and are also saying enough is enough. Therefore, today more than ever, it is the duty of the international community to embolden moderates and isolate and marginalize extremists. While the international community cannot dictate the outcome of that clash, it can decide how to relate to the different actors, and it can be clear about what each of those actors can expect from the international community.
That is why the international community must continue to exert pressure on Hamas to embrace the three basic conditions of the Quartet. Without them, terror will continue. The Quartet’s conditions — to recognize Israel, renounce violence and terror and abide by previous agreements — are integral to ensuring that a future Palestinian State is one that is founded on the basis of good governance and democracy.
As I have said, the painful terror that Israel has faced in the past week makes it difficult to limit my address purely to the technical aspects of today’s counter-terrorism briefings. I therefore beg the Council’s indulgence in referring delegations to the printed version of my statement in order to hear our positions on the truly good work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies.
The international community must understand that terror will not stop on its own. Terror will not stop only by embracing the moderates, and terror will surely not stop by making concessions to the extremists. Countering terrorism means showing determination, putting pressure on the extremists, and letting them know that those barbaric acts are intolerable. Counter-terrorism is not just about technical resources and information-sharing; it is about taking action, both in the technical and in the practical realms. It means eliminating the threat so that a world of peace, security and freedom can flourish, particularly in our region, where it has been repressed, held hostage and ignored for so long.
Cuba is addressing the Security Council today to denounce and strongly condemn the definitive release of the notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
Our country has regularly participated in these meetings on the work of the subsidiary bodies in charge of fighting terrorism. On each and every occasion, we have raised the alarm about the possibility of Posada Carriles being released in the United States. Over the past few months, our Government has issued several alert statements and communiqués that have been circulated as official documents of the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Counter-Terrorism Committee was informed in a timely and detailed manner, and we have repeatedly requested the adoption of concrete measures to prevent such a condemnable action from being carried out.
On 20 April, the 118 States members of the Non-Aligned Movement adopted a categorical declaration expressing their concern over the release of the terrorist, on bail at that time, and reiterating their support for the extradition request presented by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on 15 June 2005. Unfortunately, nothing was done and, on 8 May, Posada Carriles was released and all charges against him were withdrawn, despite protests by hundreds of solidarity movements and political forces worldwide and within the United States itself demanding that the terrorist be brought to justice.
Once again, Cuba denounces the complicity and absolute responsibility of the Government of the United States for the release of that person, who is liable for countless terrorist acts against Cuba and other countries, including the mid-air bombing of a Cuban airliner claiming 73 lives, and the death of the young Italian Fabio di Celmo, after terrorists trained, coordinated and paid by Posada Carriles and the Cuban-American National Foundation bombed several hotels in Havana in 1997. The United States Government is well aware and has all the evidence of the countless terrorist acts committed by Posada Carriles.
The decision to charge him with petty immigration crimes after allowing his release leaves no doubt that the United States Government’s intention was always to prevent Posada Carriles from exposing to the public details of his terrorist actions against Cuba, Venezuela and other countries while he followed the orders of the Central Intelligence Agency for more than 25 years. By releasing the terrorist, the United States Government has acted counter to several General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1373 (2001). It has also violated the treaties on terrorism to which it is party, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation.
While that confessed and unscrupulous terrorist is free, the United States Government holds hostage in high-security jails five Cuban young men who were only trying, with deep altruism and courage, to obtain information on the Miami-based terrorist groups to prevent their violent actions and to save the lives of Cuban and United States citizens.
It is impossible to eliminate terrorism if some terrorist acts are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated or justified, or while the issue is simply manipulated in order to promote some political interests.
On the basis of the aforementioned grave events, Cuba reiterates the pressing need for the Security Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to pay urgent attention to the detailed information on this case with which they have been provided and to take all the necessary steps in accordance with the relevant resolutions. Double standards must not prevail. The Security Council must not maintain its conspiratorial silence before that barefaced affront to the world’s victims of terrorism.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela firmly and categorically condemns terrorism, repudiates all terrorist activity and has reiterated its commitment to fighting against that problem actively in all international forums. A fundamental expression of that policy has been the strengthening at the domestic and international levels of the legal norms aimed at preventing terrorist acts and the adoption of measures to intensify regional and global cooperation frameworks for the fight against that scourge. Those measures and norms are reflected in the various reports we have presented to the respective Security Council Committees as part of our consistent and responsible commitment to this struggle.
In that context, my delegation would like to remind this Council once again of the extradition request that the Venezuelan Government has presented to the Government of the United States concerning the renowned international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
Since the 1970s, that terrorist has been involved in numerous plots to track down, torture and assassinate men and women throughout the length and breadth of our continent. His most notorious crimes were the bombing of a Cuban plane in Barbados, the torture and murder of social leaders in Venezuela, his support for terrorist operations in Central America against Nicaragua and El Salvador, and the murder by bombing of tourists in Cuba, among other crimes for which he is responsible.
The United States Government had various legal options for detaining him by declaring him a terrorist, as it should have if it had acted in accordance with the principles established by international law, as required under terrorism-related resolutions adopted here. Nevertheless, the United States Government acted as it always does when it suits it to do so. It chose to free him.
Although the United States delegation has stated several times in this Council that its Government is considering the extradition request submitted by our country, the liberation of Luis Posada Carriles ignores the request made by the Venezuelan Government almost two years ago, having fulfilled all the pertinent requirements. On 3 May 2007, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Mr. José Miguel Insulza, stated with regard to the extradition request presented by the Venezuelan Government:
“The extradition of Luis Posada Carriles should be permitted… so that he can be judged in the country [Venezuela] where he launched his career of crime” … [Posada Carriles] “perpetrated a very serious act of terrorism and we are working well in the Americas in the fight against terrorism. There can be no excuse for not delivering such a person to justice.”
However, the voices of qualified men and women throughout the world, including those of Nobel Prize laureates, were not heard; nor were the requests and pain of the families of victims of terrorist acts. Also ignored was the Declaration of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement reiterating support for Venezuela’s extradition request to bring Luis Posada Carriles to justice and demanding that all States refrain from extending political, diplomatic, moral or material support for terrorism, and in that context, urging all States, consistent with the United Nations Charter and in fulfilment of their obligations under international law, to ensure that the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts not use their refugee status or other legal status abusively, and that their claims of political motivation not be recognized as grounds for refusing extradition. Also ignored was the call of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which unanimously supported the request for the extradition of this terrorist.
The Government of the United States is bound by the provisions of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which entered into force on 23 May 2001, and of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, which entered into force on 26 January 1973. As a State party to those conventions, the Government of the United States is obliged to extradite Luis Posada Carriles or, failing that, to submit the case to its relevant authorities for prosecution, without exception, and irrespective of whether or not the crime had been perpetrated in its territory.
The Venezuelan request is also based on the bilateral extradition treaty signed by the United States and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 1922. It would appear that failure to comply with this treaty could be seen as a message of confidence to a special type of terrorist — those who act as the secret partner of the imperial Power. The released terrorist could have been kept in detention for immigration offences, or he could have been arrested for extradition in keeping with the request submitted by our country and in accordance with the aforementioned agreement. But in this case procedures were all ignored, indicating manifest complicity on the part of those who act immorally in their public actions.
It must be recalled that resolution 1373 (2001), in both paragraphs 2 (c) and 3 (g), prevents States from giving safe haven to those who commit terrorist acts and prohibits recognition of claims of political motivation as grounds for refusing requests for the extradition of terrorists. The release of Luis Posada Carriles is a decision that reveals and confirms the double standard of a Government which states that it is combating terrorism while, in its actions, endorsing terrorist methods. Unfortunately, terrorism will not be defeated if a selective approach with double standards continues, as is being practiced by the present United States Government.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates once more the request for the extradition of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, a fugitive from Venezuelan justice. We hope that the United States authorities will meet their obligations in conformity with the aforementioned international legal instruments.
Mr. President, as a colleague in this Organization and with greatest respect for your professional career in the service of your country, we ask you to demand that your Government fulfil the laws of its own country and international law. I know your position in this matter is a delicate one, but this ought to be a matter of dignity and self-respect and respect for the great people of the United States. It is hard to explain how cities can be bombed to destroy terrorists while a terrorist is being protected within the very territory of the United States.
Demand, Mr. President, that my country’s extradition request be honoured, so that we can see each other as brothers without thinking that your Government misleads and lies under the presumption that power gives the right to violate the law. The Council cannot remain impassive in the face of the attitude of the current Government of the United States, which is provocative, disrespectful to the international community and to this forum, a mockery of the dignity of peoples and a clear violation of resolution 1373 (2001).
Finally, Venezuela reiterates its firm commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism.
Allow me, first, Mr. President, to warmly welcome you to the United Nations as the new Permanent Representative of the United States of America, and to say that Japan looks forward to closely working with you and the United States Mission in the months ahead.
I wish to thank the Chairs of the Council’s three counter-terrorism-related committees for their detailed briefings. We appreciate having this opportunity for regular briefings by those bodies, not only in terms of the importance of the work they carry out, but also in respect to promoting transparency in the Council’s work.
Last September, building upon the efforts made by the Security Council and other relevant organs of the United Nations, the General Assembly adopted the landmark United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 60/288). The adoption of a shared strategy by all Member States represented a significant step towards the strengthening of global counter-terrorism activities. With its adoption, what matters now is to ensure steady implementation by Member States of that Strategy. And, in that endeavour, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate (CTED), the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee each play important roles in their respective areas of responsibility. Member States should cooperate with those bodies as they carry out their increasingly important task of supporting Member States in their efforts to implement the Strategy.
With regard to the CTC and the CTED, we strongly hope that through active site visits and the preparation of Preliminary Implementation Assessments, they will facilitate the identification of challenges and needs for technical assistance among Member States and will bring about more effective cooperation among States.
With this in mind, and with a view to working towards making a voluntary contribution to assisting the work of the CTC and the CTED, the Japanese delegation sponsored a study, shortly after the adoption of the Global Strategy by the General Assembly, in order to look at some of the problems of implementation of the Strategy and how those problems might be addressed, with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region. This study was entrusted to the Center on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, which is a research centre of repute specializing in international counter-terrorism cooperation.
Last month, the report came out, with useful and interesting findings. Based on that report, we organized a seminar with the participation of interested Member States and relevant United Nations and other organs. The report recommends, among other things, strengthening of a regional approach for the CTC and the CTED through such measures as the appointment of a regional CTED representative, the convening of regional and subregional meetings involving Government experts and rationalization of site visits and reporting requirements. Those useful recommendations are under further consideration with a view to putting them into practice. However, the report has clearly shown that there are important gaps that exist, as well as gains to be made by Member States by filling those gaps through a regional approach for the implementation of the Strategy and thereby identifying needs for cooperation through dialogue within regional groups.
We realize that the coordination of efforts for effective technical assistance and other forms of cooperation requires both time and consistent efforts, and we look forward to the continuing contributions to be made by the CTC and the CTED in this regard.
With regard to the activities of the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions Committee, Japan welcomes the efforts that have been made to improve the Committee’s listing and delisting procedures. We would like to request the Committee to continue its efforts relating to the reviewing and updating of the list. For example, as last November’s Security Council mission to Afghanistan pointed out in its report (S/2006/935), a review of the Taliban-related list would be in order at an early date, in view of the political developments that have taken place in that country. We also welcome the Committee’s strengthening of cooperation with the relevant organizations, including Interpol.
Concerning the work of the 1540 Committee, my delegation notes with appreciation the fruitful seminar on technical assistance held last March. It came out clearly from the discussions in that seminar that the question of how best to coordinate the technical assistance that is provided by donor States, international organizations and regional organizations with the work of the 1540 Committee remained a key concern. We expect a concrete proposal on measures to address this matter soon, bearing in mind that the group of experts has now fulfilled its mandate. As the mandate of the 1540 Committee itself is going to expire in April next year, we would also like to urge the Committee to set clear goals and a timeline to advance its work urgently.
In addition, we look forward to seeing efforts by the three terrorism-related committees to establish a mechanism by which they could share lessons learned on technical assistance, site visits and the reporting obligations of Member States. Some measures have already been taken by the three committees in that regard, but we would like to see further efforts in their future reports.
Finally, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are issues of the gravest concern to the international community today. The successful implementation of the Global Strategy must be a matter of high priority. A continuous debate on these matters, such as in open debates like this, provides an indispensable opportunity to bring synergy to the necessary discussion. The Japanese delegation stands ready to continue to make constructive efforts and contributions in support of the Strategy and of the resolutions concerned.
I would like to thank the Chairpersons of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the Taliban and Al-Qaida sanctions Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) for their briefings. I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. We join all States in the unequivocal condemnation of all terrorist acts, irrespective of their motivation, and wherever and by whomever committed.
Liechtenstein fully supports the work of the CTC and the 1267 and 1540 Committees. They play a crucial role in the multilateral response to terrorist activities, and their effectiveness and efficiency is in the interests of all Member States. We appreciate the efforts aimed at increasing coordination among the three committees, as well as the considerable efforts made in recent months to improve their respective performance. This holds particularly true for the Taliban and Al-Qaida sanctions Committee, which initiated a number of improvements in its listing and delisting procedure. The work programme of the CTC, although submitted rather late, also contains elements which reflect progress, such as the expected completion of Preliminary Implementation Assessments by the end of May 2007. Such Assessments, including relevant recommendations, could go a long way towards enhancing the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We also note the CTC’s intention to hold periodic informal briefings by the Chairman, and we would like to encourage the frequent holding of such informal and interactive briefings for all Member States.
We believe that the United Nations response to terrorism could be more effective if it were rendered less fragmented. An integrated approach to the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy would offer an ideal opportunity to that end. That was one important conclusion of the discussions on the implementation of the Strategy held last week in Vienna at a symposium jointly organized by the Government of Austria and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. We hope that there will be a robust follow-up to that meeting so that we can design an integrated approach and encourage the Council to take the Strategy fully into account when conducting its work on counter-terrorism.
We would like to commend the members of the Council for their hard work on improving the listing and delisting procedures. The establishment of a focal point for delisting in the Secretariat is an important step to improve access by listed individuals and entities to the delisting procedure. While we look forward to the evaluation of the implementation of the resolutions, and while we are aware that the focal point process is only in its first phase, we have continued concerns regarding the requirement of fair and clear procedures in the Council’s use of targeted sanctions. The mandate of the focal point mainly improves access by listed individuals and entities to the delisting procedure, and therefore addresses only one aspect of due process. At the same time, the delisting procedure itself, the decision-making process and the role of the affected individual in that process remain, in essence, unchanged.
We concur with the assessment given by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a recent report to the Human Rights Council that resolution 1730 (2006) is a welcome first step in the right direction, but that “the measures taken … are far from being a comprehensive solution to the problem” (A/HRC/4/88, para. 28).
We note in particular that the focal point process does not, and cannot, address the right of listed individuals to an effective review mechanism, which requires a certain degree of impartiality and independence in the decision-making itself. It is important to note that characterizing the sanctions as preventive rather than punitive does not bear on the need to safeguard procedural rights. A worldwide comprehensive asset freeze and travel ban without any time limits strongly affects the substantive rights of individuals, and must therefore be counterbalanced with appropriate legal protection against error or misuse.
A recent judgement by the European Court of First Instance underscores that necessity and, by extension, highlights the difficulties faced by Member States in reconciling their obligation to implement decisions of the Security Council while respecting constitutional and international standards of human rights. In the long run, the Security Council should adopt procedural rules which provide safeguards of a nature similar to those required from States under international human rights law. Such procedures will be beneficial for the accuracy and legitimacy of the sanctions regime and, therefore, for its effectiveness.
It is a great honour for my delegation to take part in this open debate. We express our deep appreciation for the briefings on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Committees established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004).
Viet Nam denounces all acts of terrorism and holds that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a severe threat to international peace and security. We have, on various occasions, highlighted the significance of Security Council resolutions mandating the establishment and operationalization of these committees.
We commend the concerted efforts made by the Committees in discharging their responsibilities, and we acknowledge the fact that Member States and the United Nations system continue to face the enormous task of finding more effective and creative measures to implement all Council resolutions relating to the fight against international terrorism and the proliferation of WMD.
My delegation takes note of the efforts made by the 1267 Committee in completing, in February this year, the revision of the guidelines for the conduct of its work, which, hopefully, will provide the Committee with a better tool in coordinating the implementation of related Council resolutions. We encourage the CTC and the 1540 Committee to engage in greater dialogue with the donor community so as to find further ways and means to assist Member States, especially the developing countries, to fulfil their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.
As all the Committees undertake their assessment and evaluation of implementation by Member States, they should intensify dialogue with, and carry out more on-site visits to, Member States, so as to reach shared understandings on measuring standards as well as on the requirements and the necessary steps to enhance implementation.
In that context, my delegation wishes to inform the Council of some of the recent efforts made by Viet Nam to implement Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism.
Viet Nam is currently proceeding with domestic legal procedures to accede to the 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages and the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Accession to those two conventions will make Viet Nam party to a total of 10 international treaties on counter-terrorism. In January this year, Viet Nam joined other member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in signing the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism. The ASEAN Convention inherits many characteristics of other international and regional treaties on counter-terrorism and imports some of the measures provided under resolution 1373 (2001).
This week in Hanoi, the Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are jointly organizing a national seminar on strengthening national legislation on counter-terrorism. The seminar will assess Viet Nam’s present legal framework for fighting terrorism, look into the legislative experiences and practices of other countries in the area of counter-terrorism, and come up with recommendations to improve Vietnamese legislation in that regard.
Following the five reports Viet Nam has submitted to the CTC, the report submitted to the 1540 Committee and the report submitted to the 1267 Committee on the implementation of resolution 1455 (2003), our Government will very soon submit its report on the national implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). We wish to avail ourselves of this opportunity to inform the Council that we are now in close coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) concerning its scheduled visit to Viet Nam in late August. We appreciate the CTED’s coordination with experts from other agencies in preparing for the visit.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Viet Nam’s strong commitment to cooperating with other United Nations Member States, bodies and agencies in the fight against terrorism. We wish to encourage the Committees represented here today to continue their good work.
We would like to begin by thanking you, Mr. President, and your delegation for having convened this debate and for the able manner in which you have been guiding the Council during this month of May. As you have only recently come to the United Nations and to the Council, assuming the presidency of the latter, your task is not an easy one. However, given your background and experience, we are certain that you will be successful in your task, both for the United States and for the strengthening of multilateralism, which is of such importance to our Organization.
Secondly, I should like to congratulate Ambassador Javier Rupérez, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), who is leaving us. We wish to commend him and to tell him how much — as Argentines and personally in our Mission — we appreciate the work he has done in recent years.
Finally, we should like also to thank Ambassadors Arias and Burian and my predecessor, Ambassador Verbeke, for their respective briefings today in their capacity as Chairpersons of the counter-terrorism committees. We deem such briefings to be very helpful not only to the members of the Council but also to the members of the General Assembly, as it enables them to express their opinions and interact with the Council.
On the subject of terrorism, it is regrettable to see that, in recent months, the situation at the international level has not improved. There has been a notable increase in terrorist attacks and activities. Beyond the Committees’ meetings and documents, every day we see horrors reported by the media: suicide attacks, indiscriminate attacks on civilians, kidnappings and murders, which continue to occur and indeed are increasing in number and spreading. Now they not only occur in Palestine, in Israel or in the Middle East, but are spreading to Africa and Afghanistan. We wish to state here that terrorist attacks have recently reached the capital of my country, Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to arrest the terrorists who perpetrated the AMIA attacks in Buenos Aires. This is a daily tragedy which, unfortunately, no longer moves us, and that is truly regrettable.
There is a need to adopt measures and policies to address the conditions leading to the spread of terrorism, as was stated last year by the General Assembly when it adopted the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in particular in cases of prolonged and unresolved conflict. A peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict is, as we all know, a key priority for reducing the number of terrorist acts that occur daily in that region and which, regrettably, are spilling over to other areas.
Day by day it becomes ever more apparent that military means cannot be the only response to terrorism. States must have at their disposal the necessary and effective security and intelligence structures to prevent attacks before they take place. Terrorism is a crime, or a group of crimes, that must be dealt with in the context of criminal law, with effective judicial systems, with the necessary resources and with guarantees of due process. We believe that the current trial in Spain of those responsible for the tragic attacks of 11 March 2005 is a clear example of a best practice that should be followed.
Daily we witness human rights violations that are painful to see: prolonged detention without charges, allegations of torture, clandestine transfers of individuals without trial. Not only are all of these actions morally reprehensible; they also generate greater hate and intolerance, increasing the likelihood of terrorist recruitment.
These requirements must be taken into consideration in the daily activities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). The effective strengthening of security and judicial systems is essential. Moreover, in most developing countries there is a need for close cooperation, technical assistance and financial resources, such as what was agreed on at the symposium held recently in Vienna, which was organized by the Government of Austria and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
With regard to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban, we believe that it is still too early to comment on its current functioning so soon after the Council’s adoption, last December, of resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006). As Chairman of the Committee at that time and as a participant, I witnessed first-hand the difficulties of negotiating both resolutions and the revised guidelines. Nevertheless, we join those Governments that are calling upon the Committee to launch new negotiations on a review mechanism in accordance with the principle of due process, as proposed by a number of countries and as set forth by the Secretary-General and the Organization’s Legal Counsel.
The characterization of a sanctions committee and the criteria for decision-making as “political” must not absolve the Security Council of having to comply with the law when making decisions concerning the freedom or property of individuals. We wish to reiterate once again that the fight against terrorism must be carried out with legal mechanisms based on international criminal law and its basic principles. Let us recall that these are ius cogens norms of international law, and thus we cannot set them aside.
In our view, adequate financial resources must be provided to the secretariat and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. In particular, regional and subregional meetings among heads of intelligence and security must continue. The relations between the Committee and Member States should also be enhanced, particularly with regard to providing identifying information concerning individuals and entities on the list, when required. Resolution 1735 (2006) has been a step forward in that regard, and we hope that the Committee will address the unfinished tasks set out in resolution 1452 (2002).
I should now like to refer briefly to the difficult situation in Afghanistan. The Committee and States must heed the call to include on the list the names of persons involved in drug trafficking activities that finance Taliban terrorism. Likewise, the Committee should decide, on the basis of political criteria, whether to exclude Taliban officials of regional governments that should be delisted. We consider untenable the paradox whereby persons who should be on the list are not included, whereas persons who should not be on it are included. We call on States to submit new names for the consolidated list, both Taliban and Al-Qaida members.
Let us recall that the objective of the sanctions Committee is to prevent terrorist attacks. This year, during which terrorism has increased, there have been no new additions. That is truly striking. In that connection, during our chairmanship of the 1267 Committee, we stated that it would be a good idea to separate the list into two: one for Al-Qaida members and the other for Taliban. That would result in greater effectiveness for the Committee and would be politically helpful in resolving the problem in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, we call on the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the 1267 Committee to address, through concrete measures, the use of the Internet by terrorist groups. We also call for greater cooperation with banks and the financial sector. That appeal is aimed particularly at those countries that benefit from the money deposited in banks and the financial sector. The work of the committees must produce concrete results that have real impact on the ground.
My delegation wishes to refer briefly to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and its efforts within the framework of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006). Argentina emphasizes once again that international cooperation regarding the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, their means of delivery and related material is key to the attainment of the Security Council’s objectives and to the fight against the threats to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism. We also believe that specific non-proliferation activities must be accompanied by concrete and truly feasible disarmament commitments on the part of all members of the international community.
Argentina wishes to reaffirm its support for the work of the 1540 Committee, recalling that resolution 1673 (2006) decided that the Committee should intensify its efforts through a work programme which should include the compilation of information, outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation. In that context, it is particularly appropriate to adopt measures in the areas of accountability, physical protection, border control and law enforcement, as well as national export and trans-shipment controls, including controls on providing funds and services.
In reaffirming my country’s commitment to the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related material, as well as to the fight against international terrorism, I wish to welcome the contribution being made in that regard by the expert Gunterio Heineken and to highlight the appointment of Ana Maria Cerini to the group of experts assisting the 1540 Committee.
Finally, we urge the Council to increase its cooperation with the General Assembly in the fight against terrorism. We are convinced that it is only through a joint multilateral — I repeat, multilateral — effort that we will be able to defeat the enemies of civilization in a spirit of unity and collective commitment.
I wish at the outset to thank you, Mr. President, for having convened this open debate. My thanks go also to the three Chairmen, who gave us informative briefings on the activities of their respective committees.
My statement will focus on the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), since that body recently reviewed its guidelines and introduced a number of important measures aimed at improving its effectiveness. Switzerland particularly welcomes the introduction of a standard cover sheet, which obliges Member States requesting that an individual or entity be included on the list to specify suspected links with Al-Qaida or the Taliban. We believe that that measure will help to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the listing procedure.
Switzerland also welcomes the establishment of a focal point within the Secretariat, as well as the fact that the 1267 Committee has incorporated the corresponding procedure into its guidelines. We hope that those sanctions committees that have not yet done so will soon follow suit. Furthermore, we welcome the various measures reaffirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 1735 (2006), which are focused on improving the criteria for inclusion on the list and information about the persons and entities concerned. Those developments represent important steps towards improving the sanctions regimes, and they deserve our full support.
However, more must be done. The focal point is primarily a procedural measure that enables an individual or entity to gain access to a sanctions Committee at the beginning of the process. Nevertheless, that does not change the intergovernmental character of the procedure itself. In order to make sanctions more effective, fair and clear procedures for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists, and for removing them, should be developed. The current procedures applied in the different sanctions regimes may result in a conflict between Security Council resolutions and international human rights instruments. Such conflict potentially harms the sanctions system as a whole and erodes the legitimacy of the Security Council’s efforts. Switzerland believes that Member States and the Security Council cannot afford to run that risk. Sanctions are too important a tool in ensuring the maintenance of international peace and security and in countering terrorism worldwide, thereby contributing to the implementation of Security Council decisions.
My country therefore continues to believe that the efficient use of multilateral instruments in the fight against terrorism requires the development of new mechanisms, which should avoid incompatibility between the obligations derived from sanctions imposed by the Security Council and those arising from international human rights instruments.
In that context, Switzerland believes that, in order for the process to be equitable, the procedure should include a way for a person or entity to be able to launch a delisting procedure before an independent panel. The recommendations developed by the Security Council’s Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions are an excellent basis for further strengthening existing sanctions regimes. Switzerland believes it would be advisable for the Working Group to be reconstituted to continue its important work.
Switzerland is resolved to contribute constructively to the efforts of the Security Council and its Committees to improve the effectiveness of the system of targeted sanctions. Along with other countries, Switzerland will continue to work for the implementation of its initiative regarding harmonizing targeted sanctions and the right to an equitable procedure.
I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening today’s open debate. We view this as a timely occasion on which to assess the progress made thus far in the implementation of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and to share our determination to deal collectively with threats to international peace and security. My delegation’s gratitude also goes to the three Chairpersons who briefed us on the activities of their respective Committees established pursuant to Security Council resolutions.
The threats to international peace and security are interconnected and increasingly global in scale. They require our urgent and determined collective response. Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are grave threats that can be most effectively addressed when countries join forces and take common action. The United Nations has been playing a crucial role in confronting those challenges. In particular, the efforts of the Security Council deserve our praise and support.
The three Committees, on whose activities we have just been briefed, are at the forefront of the Security Council’s endeavours to deal with the threats of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We note with satisfaction the enhanced cooperation among the three Committees, and we encourage them to continue to cooperate closely in fulfilling their mandates.
We welcome the programme of work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee for this semester, and we support the Committee’s three priority objectives, namely, monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), providing technical assistance to States proactively and maintaining dialogues with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). Having said that, my delegation would like to place particular emphasis on the first of those goals, namely, monitoring and promoting implementation, because we believe that success in that area will best achieve the objectives of resolution 1373 (2001). We very much hope that the Committee will strengthen its work in that area.
The adoption of resolution 1540 (2004) was a significant contribution by the United Nations to strengthening the existing measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, there still remain challenges to be addressed before the goals of that resolution are attained. Many States have yet to submit their first national reports on implementation. Moreover, in many cases, there are significant gaps between the commitment of States to the resolution and their practical implementation of its requirements. We are also concerned about imbalances in implementation among States and among regions.
While the submission of a report does not guarantee implementation, it is an important first step in the process. We therefore support the 1540 Committee’s programme of work to intensify its outreach activities and to assist Member States in preparing and submitting national reports. To ensure the full and effective implementation of the resolution, the Committee needs to further strengthen its monitoring role, promote good practices and share lessons learned.
My delegation strongly supports the efforts of the 1267 Committee to combat dangerous groups that threaten international peace and security. We appreciate the Committee’s key role in the adoption of resolution 1730 (2006), which put in place measures to ensure fair and clear procedures for delisting from sanctions committees. We hope that those new procedures will allow the 1267 Committee to carry out its important mandate with even greater legitimacy, strength and focus.
The Republic of Korea is fully committed to combating terrorism, irrespective of its form or motivation. We are also committed to full and comprehensive cooperation with the United Nations to strengthen the international fight against terrorism. In line with those commitments, we have faithfully implemented resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004). We have put in place the necessary legal and administrative systems to ensure compliance with them. I reiterate my Government’s support for the full implementation of those three critical resolutions at the national, regional and international levels.
As this is the first time that I take the floor during this month, I would like to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of May. We commend you and your delegation for the excellent manner in which you have led the work of the Council. We are also thankful to the Chairpersons of the counter-terrorism Committees established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), resolution 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for their comprehensive briefings on recent activities undertaken to fulfil the mandates of their respective Committees.
The adoption of a global counter-terrorism strategy by the General Assembly in September 2006 was a significant step forward towards strengthening the resolve of the international community in addressing the global threat of international terrorism. In that regard, we are pleased to note that in recent years the Security Council has increased its vital role in achieving that objective. Such measures have come in the form of adopting additional Council resolutions related to international terrorism, including resolutions 1624 (2005), 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006). We welcome such measures and remain committed to working together with Member States and the relevant organs and agencies of the United Nations to ensure the implementation of the relevant resolutions of both the Security Council and the General Assembly on this issue.
Afghanistan remains a prime victim of terrorism, as terrorist attacks committed by the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan continue to disrupt the daily lives of our people. The level of terrorism-related violence has increased since last year. Those attacks are targeting a wide spectrum of society: school teachers, clerics, health workers, educational institutions, our national army and police, as well as personnel of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and coalition forces. Moreover, increasingly brutal tactics, such as the targeting of civilian populations, suicide bombings and beheadings, have become prevalent in recent months. Just two days ago, a vicious suicide attack was carried out in the southern province of Gardez, killing 14 civilians and wounding more than 31 bystanders. That heinous act took place subsequent to two other attacks conducted in Kandahar and Kunduz provinces that took the lives of 10 civilians, three German ISAF soldiers and 11 officers of the Afghan national police. The horrific events of the past few days are a stark reminder of the continuing campaign of the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremists in their effort to destabilize the country.
Defeating terrorism remains a precondition for achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The prevailing security challenges will not weaken our resolve to eliminate that scourge from our society and achieve our stated goals with the support of our international partners.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, whenever and for whatever purpose. In its firm determination to combat terrorism, the Government of Afghanistan has undertaken a series of substantial measures at the national, regional and international levels towards the implementation of the relevant international conventions and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly dealing with terrorism. We have submitted two national reports to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) and are in the process of preparing a third report. We have also presented a report to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999).
The 1267 Committee sanctions regime remains an essential tool of the Security Council in the combat against terrorism. Afghanistan welcomes the Committee’s recent progress in updating its guidelines and the adoption of Security Council resolution 1730 (2006), which calls for the creation of a focal point within the Secretariat to receive delisting requests from States. The adoption of resolution 1735 (2006) was another important initiative, as it seeks to improve the quality of the consolidated list.
Country visits by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee are one of the most effective means of monitoring implementation measures and dialogue with Member States. We were pleased by the outcome of the visit of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee to Kabul, Afghanistan, from 8 to 15 this month. The Monitoring Team held constructive meetings with senior officials at the Ministries of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior. Additional meetings were held with the head of the National Reconciliation Commission and members of both the National Security Directorate and the National Security Council to discuss issues related to updating and improving the quality of the consolidated list. We are certain that the recent visit of the Monitoring Team will help the 1267 Committee to update and improve the list to reflect the new developments in Afghanistan and in the region.
We commend the Counter-Terrorism Committee for its continued assistance to States to strengthen their counter-terrorism legislation through its Executive Directorate. In that regard, we are pleased to note the intention of the Executive Directorate to conduct a follow-up visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, in the coming months. The visit will offer another opportunity for us to provide a first-hand account of our counter-terrorism measures, particularly in the areas of anti-terrorism legislation, border control and practice, as well as police and law enforcement. It will also be useful in assessing and identifying areas where technical assistance is required to strengthen existing counter-terrorism legislation and mechanisms within the relevant institutions and agencies.
Regional cooperation is indispensable to eliminating terrorism from Afghanistan and the region, given the cross-border nature of our security challenges. Our efforts alone, no matter how robust and effective, will not suffice without an equal effort from regional actors. We continue to maintain constructive cooperation within regional and bilateral mechanisms to effectively combat terrorism in Afghanistan and the region. Consultations continue between Afghanistan and Pakistan within various frameworks. The Ankara summit between the heads of State of the two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which took place on 29 and 30 April, provided another opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation in the combat against terrorism. We remain confident of the summit’s successful outcome. We also welcome the initiative of the G-8 to facilitate enhanced collaboration between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Furthermore, I am also pleased to inform the Council that, subsequent to the second preparatory meeting of the Jirgah commissions held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan on 3 May, it was decided that the Peace Jirgah of tribal and community leaders from both sides of the border will be convened in the first week of August 2007.
In the face of ongoing threats posed by international terrorists, a more robust effort on the part of Member States, the United Nations and relevant regional and subregional organizations is required to meet the challenge of combating terrorism. My delegation notes with satisfaction the increased coordination between the three counter-terrorism committees of the Council.
To conclude, I would like to express our steadfast commitment to the combat against terrorism. We remain resolved to achieve the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of this Council dealing with terrorism.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon, in which they request to be invited to participate in the consideration of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the consideration without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the outset, allow me to congratulate you, Sir, on your accession to the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I see in you a very experienced diplomat, an expert who will bring the Council’s work to a successful conclusion, thanks to your wisdom and your balance in decision-making.
I also wish to thank Ambassador Verbeke, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), Ambassador Arias, Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), and Ambassador Burian, Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). I thank the three of them for their very useful reports to the Council. I thank also the Executive Director of the Counter- Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), Mr. Rupérez, whose efforts, and those of his colleagues, we highly appreciate as they assumed their functions.
Since the Council began to consider international terrorism in 1999, when resolution 1267 (1999) was adopted, and on through resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), my country has always cooperated with this Council and with the international community in combating international terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism. Syria’s cooperation has always been strong within international efforts, in order to eradicate this scourge. I recall on this occasion that Syria was a member of the Counter- Terrorism Committee (CTC) for two years.
Syria has suffered from terrorism itself, in particular from Israeli State terrorism. I wish to emphasize here today that terrorism spread through the region only after the appearance of Israeli State terrorism. Israeli State terrorism, which has targeted the infrastructure, helpless civilians and stability of the Middle East as a whole, has been going on for several decades. Since the establishment of the Security Council its files have grown to include hundreds of items having to do with Israeli terrorist operations against Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians and Jordanians. Israeli State terrorism has even reached Tunisia and Iraq, in a way never seen by the international community and in a way not in keeping with the objectives of the Charter.
May I remind the Council, by way of example, of the actions perpetrated by the Israeli Irgun and the Stern Gang — the killing Count Bernadotte, the United Nations mediator in Palestine, in 1948. There have been repeated Israeli aggression against the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Qana in 1996 and in 2006. Let us recall as well aggression carried out for years now against Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian school children, not forgetting the UNRWA schools in occupied Palestinian territory, which were targeted by shellings and air attacks.
Was Count Bernadotte a terrorist? The UNIFIL troops, the Arab school children — are those people terrorists? The address of international terrorism is well known to many of us. The address is the aggressive policy of Israel, the policy of occupation, provocation and hostility that refuses to extend its hand to those among the Arab peoples who advocate peace, and that refuses to heed the call of the international community to develop peace on the basis of the Arab peace initiative and on the basis of the principle of land for peace.
The ongoing Israeli occupation of Arab territories in Palestine, the Golan and southern Lebanon is the worst and most dangerous form of terrorism, especially as this terrorism is also accompanied by obvious Israeli actions declared and documented by the United Nations as violations of the relevant Security Council resolutions countering terrorism. Certain Israeli politicians make their statements openly; they incite hostility and aggression against neighbouring countries so that people in those countries will be killed, as though we lived in the Middle Ages, in a pre-consensus international age.
Regarding the references and sources of international law, counter- terrorism requires of Israel first of all that it join in collective international action and that it not act outside that collective framework. It requires that Israel cooperate with the counter-terrorism bodies of the Security Council. That must be done without selectivity, without prejudice or unilateral positions. Israel must also stop setting a bad example at the United Nations by its acts of State terrorism and the ongoing forcible occupation of land that does not belong to it.
Israel’s continuing policy of State terrorism only serves to underscore that our request made last year for an international conference to define terrorism is still very relevant. That request relates to the need to ensure that we do not confuse legitimate struggles for independence and autonomy with State terrorism.
In conclusion, I would like to remind you, Mr. President, that international terrorism did not begin on 11 September 2001. International terrorism goes back much further in time, as it targeted many countries before its criminal act of 11 September against the United States and its people. For decades we have suffered various forms of Israeli terrorism. We can participate in the international efforts aimed at eradicating international terrorism in all its forms.
We would like to commend you, Mr. President, for your excellent stewardship of the Council, which has firmly supported my country over the past three years.
Lebanon has long been the victim of terrorism in all its forms — from the ultimate manifestation of terrorism in the form of foreign occupation to the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our civilians and armed forces that we have all witnessed over the past two days and the assassinations that have taken the lives of our leaders, journalists and politicians.
Lebanon is determined to fight the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Lebanon is a staunch ally in the international efforts tot eradicate terrorism. Lebanon has signed and ratified 11 of the 13 international conventions on terrorism, in addition to the Arab convention in that regard. Lebanon also continues to cooperate fully and in a timely manner with the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004).
Today more than ever, Lebanon is in need of the support of this body and of the international community in the face of the ruthless terrorist groups that have been targeting our civilians and armed forces since last Sunday. Seventeen Lebanese Army soldiers were the victims of a surprise attack that took their lives in a vicious and ruthless manner — some of them beheaded while they slept. Our civilians, as well as Palestinian civilian refugees living in Lebanon, have been attacked and their lives have been threatened. Two explosions have disturbed the peace of Beirut, resulting in loss of life and material damage. Even as we speak, our Lebanese army is relentlessly fighting those terrorist groups, while doing its utmost to safeguard and protect Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.
Since the end of October 2004, Lebanon has been the victim of assassinations that have taken the lives of our Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and many others, as well as of attempted assassinations. The Security Council has stood by Lebanon in its firm determination to bring the perpetrators of those heinous crimes, including those who financed and executed them, to justice.
Israel, the State responsible for the ultimate form of terrorism committed against my country in its continued occupation of Lebanese lands since 1978, renewed its aggression against Lebanon during its war in the summer of 2006 — a war that took the lives of more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians, one third of whom were children, left more than 4,000 injured and caused more than $8 billion in material damage.
After that war, Lebanon fully committed itself to Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), including the prevention of the flow of arms into its territories without its consent, as affirmed on several occasions by a number of Lebanese officials. Lebanon is also cooperating fully, with assistance provided by the United Nations in this regard. Israel, however, continues to occupy Lebanese lands, including in Al Ghajar village, and is violating — sometimes on a daily basis — our national sovereignty.
It is worth mentioning in this regard that Hizbullah did not exist in 1978, when Israel first invaded my country, Lebanon. Nor did it exist in 1982, when the Israeli invasion reached our capital, Beirut. Hizbullah was only a popular resistance movement in response to occupation.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Professor Dugard, speaking in another forum within this Organization, advised the Israeli delegates not to level accusations of terrorism, since they add nothing to the debate and do not solve the real cause of the problems of the Middle East. Professor Dugard concluded that the real cause of the problems in the Middle East is occupation.
Lebanon remains fully committed to fighting the scourge of terrorism and to cooperating with international efforts aimed at eradicating it.
I would like to make a further statement in my capacity as the representative of the United States.
The representatives of Cuba and of Venezuela made reference to Luis Posada and his presence in the United States. I want to describe the actions that the United States has taken with regard to Luis Posada. In taking the steps that I will describe, the United States has acted consistent with international law, as well as with our domestic legal framework that provides for due process and various constitutional safeguards.
Posada entered the United States illegally in early 2005. He was detained by immigration authorities in the United States on 17 May 2005, and he was, in accordance with United States law, placed in removal proceedings. The immigration judge who handled the removal proceedings ordered that Posada be removed from the United States on 27 September 2005. That order remains in effect. The United States has been seeking, and continues to seek, ways to implement it consistent with the terms of the order and United States regulations.
Specifically, at the time that the immigration judge ordered Posada removed, the judge also determined that he could not be removed to either Cuba or Venezuela. As a matter of United States immigration law, the United States is not in a position to remove Posada to either country. The United States, however, would be prepared to transfer Posada, in accordance with United States law, to another country, with terrorism-related charges against him.
Moreover, the United States sought and obtained a criminal indictment charging Posada with violations of our immigration laws. The Federal District Court, a part of the United States independent judiciary handling that case, issued a decision on 8 May 2007 dismissing the indictment. The United States is currently reviewing that decision and its options for challenging it.
Posada also remains under investigation for past activities. In the meantime, Posada remains subject to the order of removal issued by the immigration judge and is without legal status in the United States. He is also subject to an order of supervision from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which imposes certain restrictions on Posada, including reporting and monitoring requirements. In sum, the United States continues to be engaged in an ongoing series of actions consistent with our legal requirements and due process with respect to Posada.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
The representative of Cuba has asked for the floor to make a further statement. I now give him the floor.
My delegation feels the need to speak once again in response to the comments that you have made on Cuba’s original statement.
The complaint submitted by Cuba regarding the release of the known terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, is of key importance to all Member States and to the credibility of the Security Council. We cannot beat about the bush here. Cuba did not come to this debate to make statements full of empty rhetoric or for word games that mask the truth. We are here on behalf of the 3,478 Cubans who have died and the 2,909 who have been injured as a result of the countless terrorist acts of which the Cuban people have been victims over a period of more than 45 years, the majority of which were planned and organized from United States territory with support, protection and funding from successive Governments of that country.
The decision to allow the release of Posada Carriles is the clearest possible demonstration of the double standards used by the North American Government and a clear contradiction of its alleged combat against terrorism. It cannot expect us to unquestioningly accept the hypocritical call to “Do what we say, not what we do”.
The Government of the United States has gone to truly shameful lengths to protect Posada Carriles. Even after he was arrested, several months after President Fidel Castro publicly denounced his presence on United States territory, the Government of the United States charged Posada Carriles only with minor offences relating to immigration. The charges made no reference whatsoever to terrorism, despite the fact that the Government of the United States is very well aware, and has every proof, of the countless terrorist acts committed by Posada Carriles.
We need cite only a few examples to illustrate the nature of this person. Posada Carriles was trained by the CIA at the College of the Americas from 1971 on. Declassified documents from the United States Government itself reveal that, for most of his career, Posada Carriles had close links with the CIA. He was responsible, together with Orlando Bosch Avila, another terrorist — who has been freely walking the streets of Miami for years — for the bombing of a Cuban aircraft off the coast of Barbados that cost the lives of 73 innocent people.
He was involved in Operation Condor — a genocide operation — carried out by Latin American dictatorships and the CIA to track, kidnap, torture, assassinate and “disappear” thousands of people, solely because of their leftist or nationalist philosophies.
In 1997 Posada Carriles prepared and directed a series of terrorist acts using explosives against hotels in Havana. In an interview with the New York Times published on 12 and 13 July 1998, Posada Carriles proudly claimed to have headed this terrorist network. In November 2000, he was arrested in Panama along with three of his accomplices as they planned an attack against President Fidel Castro on the occasion of the tenth Ibero-American Summit. The plan was to place a powerful bomb in the auditorium of Panama University when Fidel Castro would be meeting with hundreds of Panamanian students and professors.
The Government of the United States has protected Posada Carriles to prevent any knowledge of the terrorist acts he committed against Cuba, Venezuela and other countries when working under the orders of the CIA and in particular of the father of the current President of the United States, who headed that United States agency dedicated to espionage and subversion in 1975 and 1976 — a time when terrorist acts against Cuba were more violent and more heinous — and who was Vice-President of the United States during the 1980s, a time when a “dirty war” was being conducted against the Government of Nicaragua.
In conclusion, I should simply like to point out, as the Government of the Republic of Cuba said on 19 April last, even now, after his release, the Government of the United States has all the information and all the legal mechanisms required to re-arrest Posada Carriles. What is lacking is merely the political will seriously to counter terrorism. Let us recall that, according to President Bush, if you give refuge to a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you are as guilty as the terrorists themselves.
The representative of Venezuela has asked for the floor to make a further statement. I give him the floor.
Personally speaking, we are saddened to hear an ambassador with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s background reading a note that really does not explain anything but makes a mockery of the Security Council, the United Nations, international law and the domestic legislation of the United States itself. Indeed, he has responded with sophistry to a legal and legitimate request by our country, by our Republic, for the extradition to Venezuela of Mr. Posada Carriles for trial by our authorities. Why, then, has the extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela, which has existed since 1922, not been respected? That is what we want to know. I feel that there are reasons for this, and I shall be more specific about them.
On 27 April 2007, the United States prosecutor submitted to the Federal Court in El Paso, Texas, a motion to exclude all evidence, testimony, questions and arguments on the relationship between Posada Carriles and the United States Central Intelligence Agency: on 13 February 1976, Posada Carriles had signed a document with his employer, the Central Intelligence Agency. Thus, this is a case of protecting a terrorist who acts under cover and under the protection of a Power. The situation in the twenty-first century — the enlightened rule of law that has been mentioned here — is very different from that of the feudal period, and it obliges the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee to review this case. A resounding voice must be raised within the Council compelling the Government of the United States of America to respect the law, not to continue to mock the people and not to use force as an argument to impose its version of the truth.
We have spoken about removing individuals from the terrorist list; we have heard reports about action against Al-Qaida. But on the territory of the United States a terrorist is being protected. This is a blatant contradiction that cannot be tolerated at this stage in human history. We therefore respectfully call upon the Security Council to take this opportunity to make a clean breast before the world and not pursue terrorists only when it suits a powerful nation, but to pursue terrorists and punish terrorism in all their forms. That is what we are talking about here, and we continue to appeal for justice, for the dignity of peoples and for sending Mr. Posada Carriles to be tried in Venezuela in conformity with our laws and in compliance with the extradition request submitted to the United States.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.