|Date||17 December 2007|
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Li Kexin
|Mr. De Rivière
Adoption of the agenda
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
At this meeting, we will hear briefings by Mr. Justin Biabaroh-Iboro, who will speak on behalf of Mr. Luc Joseph Okio, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa; Ambassador Leslie Christian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003); Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of the Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004); Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone and of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia; and Ambassador Peter Burian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and of the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, and Co-Chairman of the Security Council Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review.
I now give the floor to Mr. Justin Biabaroh-Iboro, who will speak on behalf of Mr. Luc Okio, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.
At this meeting devoted to the activities of subsidiary bodies, I should like, before the end of my delegation’s chairmanship, to give Council members an overview of the report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, which Congo had the honour to chair in 2006 and 2007.
I should like to recall that an interim report was submitted last September, and thus I will be very brief, mainly stressing the latest activities of the Ad Hoc Group, in particular the seminar on the theme of an effective global conflict prevention strategy in Africa, the role of the Security Council.
After a slow start-up due to familiarization with the issues, the Ad Hoc Working Group adopted, under the chairmanship of Congo, a programme of work structured around a simple approach: the organization of interactive presentations with various actors involved in conflict management, with a view to convening a seminar on a global conflict resolution strategy in Africa.
Over the past two years, a total of 17 meetings were held by the Ad Hoc Working Group including initial contacts and the preparations for and holding of the seminar. As regards the presentations, the Group heard five communications, on which we reported during our presentation of the interim report on 27 August.
The seminar, which was held in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1625 (2005) and the presidential statement (S/PRST/2007/31) adopted on 28 August 2007 at the public debate held under the presidency of the Congo on the item entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security: the role of the Security Council in conflict prevention and resolution, in particular in Africa”, followed up on the first policy forum, organized under the chairmanship of Benin, in June 2005, on the theme “Enhancing the United Nations capacity for conflict prevention: the role of the Security Council” (see S/2005/833). The goal of the seminar was strengthening Security Council action in conflict prevention in an approach stressing the culture of prevention.
Throughout the process of preparing for the seminar, the Ad Hoc Group benefited from the assistance of the Office of the Special Adviser for Africa and from the Department of Political Affairs, whom I should like to thank.
The following themes were dealt with: cooperation between the Security Council and the United Nations system; opportunities for cooperation among the Security Council, the African Union and other partners; and cooperation with United Nations intergovernmental bodies.
While the Working Group is still considering the recommendations of the seminar, I should like to note that, on the basis of a set of questions adopted by the Ad Hoc Working Group and following intensive interactive discussions, the participants formulated the following recommendations, among others: institute an early warning mechanism enabling United Nations bodies to act upstream rather than downstream and strengthen those that exist at the regional and/or subregional level; establish mechanisms allowing the Security Council to react promptly to crisis situations; give the Secretary-General a clearer mandate in terms of preventive diplomacy; support coherently the role played by the Secretary-General or his representatives in preventive diplomacy through Security Council decisions, resolutions and statements that are firm and unanimous; give particular attention to disputes or situations that could pose a threat to international peace and security; send fact-finding missions to areas at risk likely to pose a threat to international peace and security, ensuring the involvement of the agencies of the United Nations system working on the ground; strengthen and improve existing partnerships between the Security Council and regional and subregional organizations, pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter; and act on the root causes of conflicts in coordination with other United Nations bodies.
In conclusion, I should just like to say that the results achieved over the past two years by the Working Group under the Congolese chairmanship, modest though they may be, made it possible to refocus the debate on the problems of conflict prevention, particularly in Africa. On behalf of the members of the Ad Hoc Working Group, the Congo expresses the hope that the Council will pay close attention to the conclusions and recommendations made at the seminar — which will be annexed to the Group’s report for 2006-2007 — with a view to the appropriate decisions.
I thank Mr. Biabaroh-Iboro for his briefing on behalf of Mr. Okio. I want to assure him that the members of the Council will take note of the recommendations made with a view to taking the appropriate decisions.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Leslie Christian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003).
Since the completion of my predecessor’s tour of duty in April this year, I have had the honour to chair the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), as I shall continue to do until the end of this month, when Ghana’s two-year tenure on the Council will draw to an end. Drawing on my personal experiences in the Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to give a brief account of the Committee’s work during my chairmanship.
Pursuant to paragraph 1 of resolution 1518 (2003) the Committee is mandated to identify individuals and entities referred to in paragraph 19 of resolution 1483 (2003) whose funds, assets or economic resources should be frozen and transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq. This applies to individuals and entities associated with the former Iraqi regime, as specified in paragraph 23 of resolution 1483 (2003).
The names of 89 individuals and 208 entities are currently inscribed on the Committee’s list. Although during my chairmanship the Committee has continued to consider various requests for the addition and removal of names, no changes have been made to the list, and the Committee’s work has been focused mainly on assisting the authorities of Iraq in seeking information and clarification relating to assets frozen outside Iraq. Since the Security Council remains seized of the situation in Iraq, the Council’s relevant subsidiary organs may continue their assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq, while keeping the future work of the Committee under review, as may be deemed appropriate.
In accordance with past practice, the views expressed here reflect my personal perspective as Chair and do not necessarily represent the views of the Committee or its members.
I wish to conclude by thanking all members of the Committee and all other relevant parties for their support and cooperation during my chairmanship. Finally, I wish to assure the incoming Chairman of the Committee of my availability to assist in any way possible with the transition of the chairmanship.
I thank Ambassador Christian for his briefing.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia.
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the opportunity to speak today in my capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia. I have had the privilege of chairing those Committees since the beginning of this year. In my statement, I should like to give the Council an overview of the work undertaken by these two subsidiary organs under my chairmanship and to make a few personal observations.
More than a decade has passed since the adoption of resolution 1132 (1997), which imposed an arms embargo on Sierra Leone and a travel ban on members of the military Government of the day. Since that time, the country has made great progress towards political stability and security. The Committee’s mandate was amended by resolution 1172 (1998), and the ban on the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone was lifted in 2003. The security situation in the country has improved. Free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections were held in August. The most recent milestone was the country’s inclusion on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission. A few days ago, the Sierra Leone Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework, a document promoting partnership with the Government in order to meet the challenges of peacebuilding, was issued.
The work of the Committee is now limited to tasks related to the embargo on the export of weapons to non-State actors in Sierra Leone and the travel ban imposed on individuals included on the Committee’s list, who currently number 30. The list has not been amended over the past year. However, in the context of the Committee’s consideration of whether the list should be updated, I wrote a letter on 25 July 2007 to the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone requesting his Government’s views concerning the individuals included on the list and whether the list should be updated to better reflect the current situation in Sierra Leone. The Committee is still awaiting that information from the Sierra Leone Government.
There have been no violations of the arms embargo or the travel ban during the past year.
The Committee held an informal meeting on 4 December to consider communications received from the Registry of the Special Court for Sierra Leone concerning travel to The Hague by certain individuals included on the list, for purposes related to the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. I sent a reply to the Registry explaining the established procedure for granting exemptions from the travel ban. I believe that, in order to facilitate the work of the Court and the procedures for travel ban exemptions, the Security Council should adopt a resolution granting a comprehensive travel ban exemption to persons required to testify before the Court, similar to resolution 1688 (2006) on Liberia. This morning, the Council discussed a draft resolution in that regard at the expert level.
I now turn to the Committee on Liberia, which has been more active in terms of the number of meetings held. This year, the Committee has held nine informal meetings. At its two most recent meetings, held on 5 and 12 December 2007, the Committee heard a presentation of the final report of the Panel of Experts, which is doing a professional and useful job. The report included specific technical recommendations aimed at improving the arms embargo regime. I believe that those recommendations deserve to be considered by the Committee. I believe also that the Committee must examine and update the sanctions list so that it reflects developments on the ground, serves the broader goal of the sanctions and takes legal due process into account.
I am pleased to inform the Council that, on 12 June 2007, the Committee succeeded in adopting revised guidelines that take into account the procedures for delisting from the lists of the sanctions committees, as set out in resolution 1730 (2006). Pursuant to the new procedures, the Commission has already delisted one individual, in November.
Over the past year, the Committee has continued to receive requests for exemptions from the arms embargo, in accordance with the provisions of resolutions 1521 (2003) and 1683 (2006), as well as requests for exemptions from the travel ban, in accordance with the provisions of resolutions 1521 (2003) and 1532 (2004). The Committee has continued its consideration of these requests. It has also received State notifications on authorizing payments out of frozen assets, in accordance with the exemption granted in paragraph 2 (b) of resolution 1532 (2004).
Like Sierra Leone, Liberia, which is located in the same subregion, has made great strides towards achieving security and political stability. A President was elected in free and fair elections. The Security Council responded to these developments by amending the Liberia sanctions regime in order to reflect the positive developments in that country.
After lifting the ban on the export of timber last year, the Security Council adopted resolution 1753 (2007) in April of this year, lifting thereby the ban on the export of diamonds, based on the commendable progress made in the Government’s control over the diamond sector and on its effective coordination with the Kimberley Process. This was affirmed by the representative of the Kimberley Process before the Committee in a meeting held on 13 April, shortly before the adoption of resolution 1753 (2007). The Committee continues to play a pivotal role in coordinating with the Kimberley Process in order to ensure compliance with the terms upon which the diamond ban was lifted. The Committee has received two letters, on 7 May and 23 July 2007 respectively, that, combined, constitute the report of the Kimberley Process requested by resolution 1753 (2007).
In closing, I would like to thank my fellow members of both Committees, with whom I have enjoyed working. I would like to express my gratitude to the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch in the Department of Political Affairs. I would to like to make special mention here of Mr. James Sutterlin, who was Secretary of both of the Committees I chaired and who showed a high level of professionalism and skill throughout this period.
I thank Ambassador Al-Nasser for his briefing.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Peter Burian, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and of the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, as well as Co-Chairman of the Security Council Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review.
First of all, let me brief the members of the Security Council on the efforts that the Committee has made during the past two years towards full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). I am pleased to note today that considerable progress has been made in this regard. But more effort is needed in the next period to achieve full implementation of all aspects of the resolution.
As of today, 140 States have submitted their first reports and about 90 have submitted additional information. More reports are expected in the next few days. The number of non-reporting States is coming down from the low fifties, as more States in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands region respond to our intensive outreach activities and to the most recent round of correspondence.
As will be spelled out later, the efforts of the Committee and its experts are now making a difference in coping with the challenges often mentioned by a number of those States to explain delays in their reporting, especially the complexity of the provisions of the resolution and the lack of capacity in many States to respond to the multiplicity of reporting requests by United Nations bodies.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Committee have, at regional group meetings in New York, recently urged all Member States to respond urgently to the Committee’s request for more information, and we are hopeful that there will be positive results by mid-January at the latest, to facilitate the preparation of the second biennial report to the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution, which is due by the end of April 2008.
The Committee has relied heavily on outreach activities to encourage further reporting and promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Through seminars, workshops and tailored dialogue, it has generated greater awareness about the process and the necessity of reporting, has fostered the sharing of relevant national experiences and has created more understanding of the requirements for assistance. A thematic discussion on outreach activities held last October recognized the need for a phased approach and recommended that future outreach activities focus less on the issue of reporting and more on assisting States with issues of implementation.
Based on observations from our outreach activities and interaction with Member States, the Committee concluded that for the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), it is important for many States to receive relevant assistance. For the Committee to perform its clearing house function effectively, it is necessary for assistance requests to be specific. For this purpose, the Committee has prepared a template, which is currently being sent to all States. Matching requests for and offers of assistance is essential and the Committee will utilize its website as a tool for that purpose.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about cooperation with other entities. The importance of cooperation with relevant international organizations was given special attention when the Security Council devoted an open meeting last February to the issue of non-proliferation (see S/PV.5635), at which States, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Customs Organization explored modalities for cooperation, which resulted in arrangements for practical cooperation.
Under the common strategy arrangement, the Committee and its experts are broadening their cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, and their respective experts.
The Committee has also intensified its contacts with other intergovernmental organizations, regional organizations and multilateral arrangements with the potential to contribute to implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) through their programmes and expertise, in conformity with the mandate of the Committee.
Last but not least, the Committee, in cooperation with the Office for Disarmament Affairs, organized a meeting in July 2007, with the participation of several non-governmental organizations engaged in activities supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), in order to discuss issues of cooperation, interaction and possible harmonization of outreach activities and existing programmes. I believe that these contacts and this dialogue should be further expanded, reaching out to parliamentarians and the private sector as well.
In conclusion, let me share with the Council some personal observations and suggestions for the way forward in the Committee’s work.
First of all, it is important to underline that implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) is a long-term process and requires sustained effort and an imaginative approach. The positive momentum that has now been created by the intensified work of the Committee should be utilized for creating a truly global and effective system of prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors.
The broadest degree of international cooperation and interaction among States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and other entities, including the private sector, is needed to achieve the goals of resolution 1540 (2004). There is a need to strengthen the synergy and complementarity of action of various international bodies in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). The United Nations, and the 1540 Committee, in particular, can contribute to bringing various players together to harmonize or coordinate, as appropriate, their activities to this end.
The Council’s open debate with intergovernmental organizations in February to discuss cooperation in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) was the right step in this direction. In my view, this practice should continue regularly and the participation of intergovernmental and international organizations or multilateral arrangements relevant to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) could be further expanded.
We need to build on what has been achieved so far and expand the practical cooperation with intergovernmental organizations such as the IAEA, OPCW, WCO and others. It will be important to address some objective and subjective obstacles for even greater interaction. The role of regional and subregional organizations like the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the OAS, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR) and others in raising awareness of the importance of and supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in their respective regions should be further strengthened.
Regional organizations can facilitate the sharing of good national practices and lessons learned from national implementation between the countries of the regions and can develop frameworks of regional cooperation between the regional experts and institutions dealing with different aspects of resolution 1540 (2004).
The proactive engagement of the 1540 Committee with those organizations should become one of its outreach priorities in the near future. The Committee could also explore the possibilities of furthering cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), using the positive momentum and interest of NGOs in closer interaction with the Committee that was expressed during the meeting in July. The NGOs proved to have valuable expertise and potential in supporting the work of the 1540 Committee in various regions through organizing tailored workshops aimed at facilitating national implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
Last but not least, engagement with parliamentarians and the private sector should also be intensified to help educate legislators and business people on the importance of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) for national security and international trade and to win their interest and support for these issues.
In the practical work of the Committee, the main focus should shift away from reporting to implementation of all aspects of resolution 1540 (2004). In this regard, tailored outreach and assistance that is responsive to regional and other specific circumstances could help Member States cope with the challenges of implementation. As the Committee stated in its work programme, national plans or road maps for implementation can serve States as useful planning tools, and this idea should be promoted further. Interested countries should receive more assistance in developing their national action plans.
The Committee’s clearing-house function should be further developed using the assistance template as a tool. In this regard, the Committee should finalize the discussion on how its web site can be better used to facilitate the initial contacts between assistance providers and countries requesting assistance and how it can help the flow of information when assistance is requested and when assistance is offered. To enable more active assistance of experts to individual countries, the possibility of a trust fund for country visits by experts should be considered.
I believe the mandate of the Committee should be extended and the continuity of the Expert Group preserved without preventing gradual rotation.
Finally, let me thank the members of the Committee and the experts for their outstanding work.
Let me now turn to Slovakia’s experience in chairing the Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions over the past 12 months.
I took over the chairmanship of the Working Group from Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan at an important period — after the Working Group was revitalized in 2006 and after, as part of the revitalization process, the Council decided that the Working Group should be chaired by a single Ambassador for a extended period instead of the previous ineffective system of rotating chairmanship to coincide with the monthly presidency of the Council. In January 2007 the Council decided to continue and standardize that new practice, which has proven very useful and effective, with my appointment as Chairman for the whole year.
Under the able Japanese chairmanship last year, the Working Group’s intensive efforts materialized in a substantive outcome — that is, a note by the President of the Security Council, in document S/2006/507. In this context, our priorities for the year 2007 have been promoting the full implementation of the note and tackling a range of other practical issues pertaining to documentation and procedures that have arisen from everyday work of the Council or that have been referred to the Working Group.
All members of the Security Council have been actively engaged in those efforts and have repeatedly committed themselves to implementing all agreed measures contained in the note.
I would like to use this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all members of the Security Council for their active and constructive approach. As a result, good progress has been achieved. However, I see this as work in progress, and I believe that further progress could and should be achieved in a number of areas. The Security Council and the Working Group need to continue exploring ways to facilitate even better implementation of all agreed measures in the area of documentation and procedures.
I would like to highlight five of the agreed measures contained in the note that the Working Group has been most engaged with in the earlier part of this year: first, written reports of the Secretary-General submitted to the Council; second, statements by Council members and oral briefings provided by members of the Secretariat; third, preparation of the so-called areas of focus for informal consultations; fourth, the planning of subsidiary bodies’ meetings; and fifth, Arria formula meetings.
As for practical documentation and procedural questions, the Working Group has tackled seven in particular: first, the participation of representatives of the Secretariat and members of individual Council delegations in formal closed consultations of the whole; second, the circulation of documents and information to Council members; third, the allocation of conference and translation services needed for everyday Council work; fourth, the formats of Security Council meetings; fifth, the Security Council annual report to the General Assembly; sixth, the Security Council’s interaction and dialogue with other United Nations bodies, the Secretariat and other Member States; and seventh, matters of which the Council is seized and the so-called rolling agenda of the Council.
An important part of our work this year was close cooperation and interaction with the Secretariat, whose role is essential. That is why, in my capacity as Chairman of the Working Group, I met several times with the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretaries-General for Political Affairs and for Peacekeeping Operations. Those meetings were extremely useful, and I believe they have contributed positively to the clarification of some open issues and to ensuring full implementation of all agreed measures in the area of documentation and procedures on the part of the Secretariat.
I would like to conclude by providing a few recommendations for the future work of the Working Group based on this year’s experience. Slovakia believes that in the future, primary focus could be on the following four areas. First, efforts aimed at enhancing transparency and openness of the work of the Security Council, including the work of its subsidiary bodies should continue. Second, interaction and dialogue between the Security Council and other Member States, in particular those directly concerned and affected, should be enhanced and widened. Thirdly, Security Council private meetings with troop-contributing countries should be revitalized. Fourthly, efforts aimed at ensuring maximum relevance of the Security Council’s annual report to the General Assembly should be continued.
Finally, let me turn to the work of the Security Council Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review. I have served as one of its Co-Chairs since May 2006. That year, my fellow Co-Chair was Ambassador Bolton, former Permanent Representative of the United States, and this year my Co-Chair has been Ambassador Kumalo, Permanent Representative of South Africa. I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude to both Permanent Representatives and to their delegations for their effective cooperation in fulfilling this important task.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review was established in May 2006 with the aim of conducting the review of Security Council mandates called for by the heads of State and Government in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document (A/60/1) and to continue consideration of the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report of March 2006 entitled “Mandating and delivering: analysis and recommendations to facilitate the review of mandates” (A/60/733).
In its work, the Ad Hoc Committee has been guided by the overall purpose of streamlining and strengthening the Security Council’s efforts in promoting international peace and security, and thereby contributing to the effectiveness of the United Nations as a whole. The Committee has facilitated a practical, real-world review of the Security Council’s existing mandates. It has been proceeding in close cooperation and coordination with the United Nations Secretariat, which has been providing invaluable assistance to the Committee. In this regard, I would especially like to express our appreciation to representatives of the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
The main objective of the mandate review exercise in the Security Council has been to assess and streamline its work in the areas that have, for various reasons, not been regularly on the Council’s agenda or at the centre of its attention. The mandate review process has provided the Council with a truly unique and worthwhile opportunity to look at its own work and mandates from a different — meaning wider, more systematic and more holistic — perspective as opposed to the traditional approach of dealing with individual situations or mandates with a fairly narrow or limited view.
The mandate review process in the Security Council has been complementary to the Council’s existing periodic review of activities and individual mandates. It has been comprehensive, placing mandates in their broader context, including, if appropriate, on a regional or functional basis, so as to better ascertain how individual mandates contribute to the Council’s overall objectives. The Committee’s main role has been to facilitate the decision-making processes of the Security Council on individual mandates and to provide recommendations and guidance, but not to make any decisions on individual mandates.
Initially, the process was shaped in two phases. In the first phase, from May to December 2006, we looked mostly at mandates older than five years that were not periodically renewed and a few other issues. In the second phase, that of this year, we have also addressed issues that required longer, in-depth consideration, such as reporting cycles for individual situations and mandates, wider regional or subregional approaches, thematic mandates and a mandate registry prepared by the Secretariat in 2005.
In the course of its approximately 20 months of work so far, the Committee has utilized a range of useful tools and mechanisms, including informal meetings of territorial expert groups, Committee meetings held at the ambassadorial level, update briefings provided to the Committee by members of the Secretariat on mandates older than five years and not periodically renewed and an open meeting of the Committee on the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. These tools and mechanisms have facilitated meaningful and effective work of the Committee.
In order to exchange views and compare notes about the mandate review processes in the Security Council and the General Assembly, the Co-Chairs of the Committee met several times with the Co-Chairs of the mandate review process in the General Assembly. While agreeing that each organ should concentrate on reviewing its own mandates, these meetings proved to be very useful. Our latest such meeting was held on 10 December with the new Co-Chairs for mandate review in the General Assembly, the representatives of Namibia and New Zealand.
I believe the outcomes and conclusions of the mandate review process of the Security Council could be very briefly characterized as follows: first, the Council, in an appropriate format, should continue receiving update briefings from the Secretariat on mandates older than five years and not periodically renewed. Secondly, the Council should continue considering, on a regular basis, appropriate reporting cycles for individual situations on its agenda. Thirdly, the mandate registry prepared by the Secretariat in 2005 is a very useful tool which should be updated and maintained in a joint effort of all relevant branches of the United Nations Secretariat. Fourthly, when appropriate, the Council should continue examining ways and means of streamlining and systematizing its mandating work, including through taking wider regional or subregional approaches to mandates. Lastly, when appropriate, the Council should continue its interaction and dialogue with other relevant United Nations organs on the issue of mandate review, including in addressing potential areas of overlap or duplication.
I would like to conclude by saying that it is our belief that the Security Council Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review has reached the main goals for which it was established. However, the issue of mandate review remains very valid and relevant for the Council, even though it reviews and renews most of its mandates periodically. The added value of mandate review and of the Council’s recent positive experience with it lies mainly in the area of streamlining and systematizing the Council’s work, taking wider regional or subregional approaches and addressing potential overlap or duplication. In this context, I would like to recommend that the Council, in its new composition next year, find an adequate mechanism to make best use of the lessons learned so far and to keep this important instrument in its tool box.
At the close of Peru’s mandate in the Security Council during this biennium, I have also come to the end of my functions as the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) on two initiatives in the fight against terrorism. The comments I am about to make, I make under my sole responsibility, and are not attributable to any other delegation, nor should those be seen in any way as a record of the work of these subsidiary organs.
The measures established and progressively adapted by the Security Council in resolutions 1493 (2003), 1596 (2005), 1698 (2006) and 1771 (2007), in general terms aim at preventing all Congolese or foreign armed militias or groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the east, from being supplied with arms and/or participating in military activities. To that end, the Committee established a list of persons and entities which have infringed on these measures, including individuals involved in the financing of these illicit acts, in particular in the trafficking of natural resources. Since July 2006, that list also includes those individuals who have recruited children or committed grave offences against children in situations of conflict.
Peru feels that those measures have been established in order to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; to halt the spiral of violence; to ensure the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of these groups and militias; to encourage the process of the integration of the armed forces and police of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as reform of the Security sector; and to contribute towards the protection of children victims of conflict.
We must acknowledge that it was not possible to make substantive progress in the monitoring of the arms embargo, nor in controlling the financing of the illicit trafficking in arms through the exploitation, trade and illegal transfer of natural resources, nor in the monitoring of the travel ban of the individuals on the list.
As reflected in the report submitted by the Group of Experts that assisted the Committee in its tasks, the measures appear to be of limited effectiveness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in neighbouring countries. One must bear in mind that it is all the more difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal flows of arms or natural resources when the principal protagonists are non-State actors, when conflict is rife in border areas and when monitoring efforts must cover a territory as vast and porous as that of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ability to monitor those measures is increased when there is cooperation with States that have the ability to control the movements of individuals and the circulation of valuable primary materials or with States that are able to monitor consignments to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with all the necessary details.
In view of this situation, the chairmanship of the Committee focused its work on two aspects – as a facilitator seeking to promote cooperation between those States directly concerned in implementing the measures and in their support of the Group of Experts, and as a catalyst seeking to forge the consensus that is crucial for the work of the Committee.
This was a period during which the Security Council and the principal national, regional and international actors joined efforts to help establish an elective and effective Government within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This convergence of aims has been the greatest strength of the Committee in its dialogue with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and also in its dialogue with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi and also with States outside of the region. Thus, the Committee has witnessed the improved cooperation of border countries with the Group of Experts over the two-year period.
In turn, this convergence enabled the Committee to include a number of individuals and entities subject to the Council’s measures, which has meant that the number of tasks linked to the list has increased. On this point I wish to note that we welcome the agreement reached within the Committee to facilitate the transfer of listed and charged individuals to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. This may have been the Committee’s greatest contribution to the fight against impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and towards strengthening international criminal justice, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities.
With regard to the activities of the Committee, the key concern of the chairmanship has been to provide follow-up to the reports and recommendations issued by the Group of Experts and my delegation has encouraged ongoing contacts and exchanges of ideas with the Group of Experts. We hope that the new Group of Experts — which is to submit its report on 15 January 2008 — will continue to effectively contribute towards the work of the Committee. In turn and in line with the decision taken by the Security Council, the Committee discussed how to make use of cooperation with the International Criminal Police Organization, including through the participation of its representative to the United Nations. Consideration of measures in that regard remains pending.
In addition, we address the recommendations of the informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions contained in resolution 1732 (2006), in particular those sanctions that could be immediately implemented. I also wish to recommend the ongoing consideration of this issue.
One year following the elections and a number of months after the establishment of the Government of the third republic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two processes must find an appropriate and convergent solution. On the one hand, there is the need to support the elected authorities in exercising their functions in terms of internal order, the protection of their people and State security and exercising control over their natural wealth. On the other hand, there is the persistence of national and foreign illegal armed groups who receive arms supplies and financing for their activities, attack civilian populations, disregard State authority — as is unfortunately the case in the Kivus — and cause regional destabilization.
Security Council resolution 1771 (2007) contains the first expansion of the exemptions to the measures adopted by the Council between 2003 and 2006; it is likely that this adaptation will continue. My delegation is of the view that this post-transition process should continue; it is crucial for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region and for the stability of the continent. It should also continue to be guided by the shared and unanimous vision of the Council, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of the countries concerned.
To conclude, I would like to thank the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch, led by Mr. Aleksandar Martinovic. In particular, I would like to thank Loraine Rickard-Martin, David Biggs and Francesca Jannotti-Pecci for their invaluable and unwavering support over these past two years. I also wish to convey my gratitude to delegations for their constructive cooperation with the chairmanship and to Counsellor Vitaliano Gallardo of the Peruvian Mission for his daily participation and involvement in the work of the Committee.
Allow me now to turn to the work of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) to consider and submit recommendations to the Council on practical measures to be imposed upon individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities, other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, and to consider the possibility of establishing an international fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families through voluntary contributions. At the Working Group meeting held in April 2006, it was ascertained that the conclusions contained in the report under the previous chairmanship — held by the Permanent Representative of the Philippines — had not changed and that therefore the circumstances did not allow for substantive progress in those two areas.
In keeping with the general views of the Group, the Chair decided to continue to address these issues through bilateral contacts and in particular to continue the process which had led to the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 60/288) to the extent that this framework could contribute elements relevant to the goals of the Working Group mandate. As we know, the rights of victims and possible compensatory mechanisms are elements contained in the Strategy, and the Counter-Terrorism Task Force is working in this area. We believe that the Security Council should take these elements into account when it continues to addresses this issue.
With regard to the adoption, by the United Nations of a list of terrorist entities and individuals in addition to the existing list on Al-Qaida and the Taliban, this would require reconciling the differing viewpoints held by Member States.
I would like to conclude by thanking delegations for their contributions and the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch for its assistance. I wish also to take this opportunity to thank the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate for its support for our work as Chair of Subcommittee A of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Finally I would like to thank First Secretary Yella Zanelli, protocol of the Peruvian Mission, who was intensely involved in both areas.
I thank Ambassador Voto-Bernales for his briefing.
On behalf of the Security Council, I would like to take this opportunity to express appreciation to the five outgoing Chairmen — Mr. Okio, Ambassador Christian, Ambassador Voto-Bernales, Ambassador Al-Nasser and Ambassador Burian — for the manner in which they have discharged their important responsibilities on behalf of the Council.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.