Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
|President:||Sir John Sawers
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Liu Zhenmin
|Mr. Hoang Chi Trung
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 Australia, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, Qatar, Slovenia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Venezuela, 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.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
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 His Excellency Mr. Neven Jurica, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism; His Excellency 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; and His Excellency Mr. Jorge Urbina, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Neven Jurica.
I shall first make a joint statement on behalf of the Chairmen of the 1267, 1373 and 1540 Committees, followed by my own statement in my capacity as the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
On behalf of the Chairmen of the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), I would like to make some introductory remarks on the cooperation between those Committees.
As requested by the Security Council in all its recent resolutions pertaining to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee — and more specifically in resolutions 1735 (2006), 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008) — we have worked on enhancing the ongoing cooperation between our three Committees, mostly through our expert groups.
Over the past few months, the three expert groups have continued to jointly implement their common strategy approved by the three Committees in 2007 to assist non- and late-reporting States. After the first regional workshop — which was held in Dakar at the end of September 2007 for West and Central African States — a second one, still in cooperation with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, was organized on 29 and 30 November 2007 in Gaborone for Southern African States. As was done after the Dakar workshop, a post-workshop briefing for all African Union missions in New York was held on 18 December 2007. The third subregional workshop, for Northern and Eastern African States, is envisaged to take place in November 2008.
Those workshops provided an opportunity for the experts of the three Committees to jointly interact with the officials in charge of the implementation of the measures decided by the Council, and therefore to update them on the work of the Committees. They also enhanced the understanding of Member States of the different mandates and roles of the three Committees. Progress has already been achieved as new reports and additional information on States’ implementation have been submitted to the three Committees.
Another concrete example of such cooperation is the visits to Member States carried out jointly by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the experts of the 1267 Committee’s Monitoring Team. So far, nine such visits have taken place, the most recent one to Saudi Arabia from 22 to 29 March 2008. In order to derive common benefit from the CTC’s visit to Niger last February and from the mission led by the Chairman of the 1267 Committee to Mauritania, Senegal and Mali, each provided input and questions to the other prior to the trips and information was subsequently exchanged between the Committees and expert groups.
We continue to encourage our three expert groups to share, as appropriate, information and their analyses of the efforts by Member States to implement their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions. That exchange of information also includes requests for technical assistance and other requests made by States. Since the last briefing to the Security Council, the Monitoring Team, CTED and the 1540 expert group have continued their regular contacts in order to maximize the exchange of information and the sharing of resources, as well as to avoid duplication. We also encourage our experts to work closely together as they develop their relationships with other relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, which could possibly be an avenue for even closer cooperation.
The three expert groups are also cooperating within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which was established to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system in the context of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
That cooperation is not only crucial for the effectiveness of the work of our respective Committees; it is also essential for the coherence of the important contribution of the Council in countering these threats. Avoiding duplication of efforts is of paramount importance. To that end, together with our expert groups, a comparative table has been developed to highlight the main aspects of the respective mandates and areas of competence of the three Committees and of their expert groups. We are of the view that that will be a useful tool for Member States to better understand the specificities and complementarities of our work. The table will be issued today in a press release and will be posted on our respective websites. It will also be used in our various outreach activities and interactions with Member States, with which rests the primary responsibility to implement the obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to international peace and security, and cooperation by all remains crucial. The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), as well as their respective expert groups, remain committed, within their respective mandates, to their work to contribute to the overall United Nations and international efforts to assist States to fully implement the respective resolutions. In that context, the three Committees look forward to further guidance from the Council on areas of common interest in order better to coordinate their efforts, as indicated in resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008).
In my capacity as the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it is my honour to brief the Security Council and the wider membership on the work of the Committee in the past six months.
As terrorism remains one of the major threats to international peace and security, the Committee is a crucial instrument of the international community to address that global scourge. As the Chairman of the Committee, I intend to abide by its guiding principles and focus on concrete results and achieving realistic objectives. I believe that the Committee should adopt a pragmatic approach in order to fulfil obligations entrusted to it by resolution 1373 (2001).
Before entering into the core of this presentation, I would like to extend the Committee’s gratitude to Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), and his team for their valuable assistance. I also appreciate the constructive atmosphere in the Committee, which greatly contributes to fulfilling its mandate.
Transparency is one of the basic principles in our work and therefore, together with the Executive Director, I briefed the States Member of the United Nations on the work of the Committee and CTED on 29 April, and we intend to continue with that practice in the future.
At the outset, I am pleased to report that, since the last briefing in November 2007, the Committee has initiated or accomplished several key initiatives that have established a sound basis for our future work.
The first accomplishment is the adoption of the new organizational plan of CTED. The Security Council heard a detailed presentation of the plan by the Executive Director at its meeting on 19 March. Without unnecessary repetition, for the purposes of this briefing I would like to reiterate its main elements.
The adjustments to CTED’s organization and methods of work will have the effect of improving the quality and consistency of its technical judgments and will enhance the ongoing dialogue between CTED and the Member States. It will also strengthen CTED’s cooperation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations.
The plan further envisages an addition to the existing practice of conducting full-scale assessment missions by organizing more flexible visits tailored to the specific circumstances and the nature of the terrorist threat in countries belonging to all regions. The increased flexibility should make the work of CTED more efficient and allow it to focus on issues of the highest priority to the Committee and to the visited country. The organizational plan also gives greater priority to engaging donors and matching their capacities with the needs of recipient countries, as well as to implementing a more proactive communications strategy and strengthening collaboration among Security Council expert bodies active in the counter-terrorism field.
The plan charted the way forward for CTED, and was affirmed in Security Council resolution 1805 (2008), adopted on 20 March. The resolution extended the mandate of CTED until the end of 2010, but also set the direction for the Committee in the next few years. The resolution contains a provision for an interim review by 30 June 2009 and a comprehensive consideration of CTED’s work prior to the expiration of its mandate.
The second major initiative is the adoption of Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs), which are basically tools geared towards intensifying dialogue with Member States on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). By the end of last year, 158 PIAs had been adopted, and since then the Committee has continued to analyse, through its subcommittees chaired by France, the Russian Federation and Viet Nam, and adopt the remaining documents. Thus far, the Committee has adopted some 167 PIAs, and the rest should be formally approved by the Committee in the coming months. One of the goals of the current chairmanship is to make sure that every Member State receives a copy of its preliminary assessment.
The Committee adopted its work programme for the period 1 January to 30 June, and divided its activities into several main categories. Within the first category, monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), besides adopting the PIAs, the Committee has commenced its consideration of a revised version of a document entitled “Survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States”. That document was first discussed in the Committee in May 2007 and was subsequently revised on the basis of the views of Committee members and the updated evaluations of implementation contained in the PIAs. The survey examines the implementation of counter-terrorism efforts in all regions and subregions, pinpoints areas for further improvements and identifies shortfalls and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed either in particular regions or at the global level.
In that context, let me remind the Council that resolution 1805 (2008) directs the Committee to submit an annual report on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). While the decision on the status of the survey is still being discussed, many delegations have stated that the document could serve as a useful tool for the Committee to define its priorities in its future programmes of work.
Another important activity of the Committee is organizing visits to Member States. Throughout this year, the Committee is performing visits that were approved at the end of 2006. Those visits, which are carried out with the consent of the countries involved, constitute a fundamental component in effectively monitoring and promoting the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and allow CTED to gain first-hand experience on the ground. Since our last briefing, the Committee has concluded successful full-fledged on-site visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Niger and Saudi Arabia; as we speak the Committee is in Cambodia, and will later visit the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The visits typically include experts from CTED and other international and regional organizations, and result in a comprehensive assessment of all counter-terrorism measures. That not only enhances the Committee’s understanding of the counter-terrorism measures in place, including challenges, best practices and technical assistance needs or programmes, but also strengthens its cooperation with the other international organizations involved. Furthermore, following the proposal in the organizational plan to conduct flexible visits, the Committee conducted a fact-finding mission to Jamaica.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Governments of those Member States for their valuable cooperation in the preparations for the Committee’s visits. In addition, the Committee will continue encouraging Member States to become party to and implement the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments.
Regarding the second category, facilitation of technical assistance, the Committee and CTED in particular are engaged in continuous dialogue with Member States, and their role in facilitating technical assistance is growing in importance. With that in mind, as part of its reorganization, CTED is reviewing the existing strategies and mechanisms for facilitating technical assistance and for refining them with a view to strengthening the Committee’s contribution and recording its impact in the technical assistance field. The challenge in the forthcoming period will be to devise more creative approaches so that the Committee, through CTED, can exercise its brokering role as effectively as possible.
In its dialogue with Member States, the Committee continued reminding them that they must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
The Committee also posted on its website two helpful tools: the technical assistance matrix, which is targeted at donors to help them guide their assistance programmes and decision-making, and a directory of assistance, enabling recipients to view and identify the programmes that best suit their needs.
With respect to the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), the Committee submitted to the Council its second report regarding progress made by Member States in its implementation. Likewise, in its work programme, the Committee has agreed to initiate discussions to explore the technical assistance needs of States to implement the resolution, as well as to facilitate the provision of such assistance, while encouraging those States that have not yet reported to do so.
The Committee continues to play its part in the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and CTED is participating actively in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. The Committee is also assisting Member States in implementing those provisions of the Strategy that fall within its mandate. The Committee has included in its work programme a discussion of its contribution to the implementation of the Strategy.
The Committee continued to cooperate with other relevant parts of the United Nations system and specialized bodies, and in particular with the two other Security Council committees that deal with counter-terrorism, as requested by the Council in its resolution 1805 (2008). Furthermore, as the Council has just heard in the joint message, the second workshop in the framework of the common strategy by the three Security Council Committees for non-reporting and late-reporting States was organized for States of the Southern African Development Community on 29 and 30 November 2007 in Gaborone.
Finally, as part of its cooperation and exchange of information with counter-terrorism partners during its meetings in New York, the Committee heard several briefings by representatives of relevant organizations and United Nations bodies.
I thank Ambassador Jurica for his briefing. I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Johan Verbeke.
Allow me to simply highlight the main elements contained in my more comprehensive report prepared for the Council. That comprehensive version has been distributed and will be posted on the Committee’s website.
At the outset, I would like to underline that the sanctions regime established under resolution 1267 (1999) is a powerful tool in the fight against Al-Qaida-and Taliban-related terrorism. The measures taken against individuals and entities on the consolidated list are universal in nature and hence can complement measures taken at the national, regional and subregional levels.
Improving the quality of the consolidated list continues to be at the core of the Committee’s work. In that regard, I would like to stress that the Committee relies on the information provided by Member States. Let me take this opportunity to emphasize that it is the prerogative, but also the collective responsibility, of all of us to bring to the Committee’s attention any information that one believes should be included in or deleted from the list. Our common objective should be to have a dynamic list reflecting the evolution of the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. In this respect, and given the increasingly strong links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, I would like to underline once again the possibility to submit for listing the names of drug traffickers involved in the financing of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, as provided for in paragraph 12 of resolution 1735 (2006).
During the last six months, most of the Committee’s activities have been derived from its consideration of the seventh report of the Monitoring Team and the follow-up thereto. Different discussions were held on the issues related to the three sanctions measures: assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. The Committee has also been exploring ways to further improve its procedures. As a result, a standard form for de-listing has been developed and is now available in the de-listing section of the Committee’s website. The Committee is also examining the procedures for removing the names of deceased individuals and considering the further revision of its guidelines with regard to exemptions to the assets freeze and to the travel ban, with a view to providing further guidance to Member States.
Pursuant to paragraph 21 of resolution 1735 (2006), the Committee continued its discussion on the identification of possible cases of non-compliance with the sanctions measures. With the objective of improving the effectiveness and implementation of the sanctions regime, the Committee first discussed each possible case of non-compliance mentioned by the Monitoring Team and, secondly, derived horizontal recommendations from this empirical analysis, aimed at preventing the occurrence of such cases. I reported to the Council on the Committee’s consideration of this matter in a briefing held on 24 April 2008. Identifying possible cases of non-compliance constitutes an ongoing exercise, and the Committee will continuously follow up on that.
The Committee further considered the issue of the criminal misuse of the Internet for terrorist purposes. The Committee shares the concerns expressed over the fact that the Internet constitutes a powerful medium and instrument for Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. Although this is a complex issue, of which certain aspects clearly go beyond the Committee’s mandate, it was agreed to continue the discussion in the future.
This week, the Committee is starting its consideration of the eighth report of the Monitoring Team, submitted to the Committee in accordance with resolution 1735 (2006). The report will shortly be transmitted to the Council, and the Committee intends to prepare a report reflecting its position on the recommendations contained therein.
Further enhancing the dialogue with Member States and increasing the transparency of its work remain one of the primary concerns of the Committee. To that end, I gave an open briefing to all interested Member States on 18 December 2007.
Country visits are another way to interact with Member States. As Chairman, I recently visited Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. Several incidents that occurred in their region during the months prior to the trip had underlined once more that the terrorist threat in the Sahel region is real. Whereas all three countries had a good understanding of the sanctions regime and demonstrated their strong commitment in the common efforts to counter terrorism, authorities also clearly expressed their need for assistance to further strengthen their capacities.
Pursuant to paragraph 29 of resolution 1735 (2006), the Committee met yesterday with representatives of Denmark, Liechtenstein, Sweden and Switzerland for an in-depth discussion on relevant issues. This exchange of views has been, I think, of mutual benefit. I would like to take advantage of today’s briefing to encourage all other interested Member States to meet with the Committee.
I would also use this opportunity to sincerely thank the experts of the Monitoring Team for their invaluable support and contribution to the work of the Committee. In addition to their visits and various outreach activities, their input and proposals for all issues on the Committee’s agenda have been highly appreciated and have undoubtedly contributed to the progress made so far.
It is clear from events in past months that the threat from Al-Qaida and the Taliban has not diminished. Within the United Nations efforts, the Committee is committed to continuing, in cooperation with Member States, to assume its share of responsibility in this global endeavour. To this end, the Committee looks forward to further guidance from the Security Council, inter alia, through the resolution to be adopted in June.
I thank Ambassador Verbeke for his briefing and, in particular, for taking the trouble to prepare a summary of the full report for the Council’s deliberations. I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Jorge Urbina.
As Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), I am presenting to the Security Council and the membership of the Organization the report covering the six months since the presentation of the most recent joint report to the Security Council, which took place on 14 November 2007. The report summarizes the activities that culminated in the approval of resolution 1810 (2008), relative to the continued implementation of provisions in resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).
Resolution 1673 (2006) called upon States not yet reporting on progress made to implement resolution 1540 (2004) to do so without delay, and also encouraged all previously reporting States to submit additional information on progress made as well.
Six months before the deadline for submission of its biennial report to the Security Council, the Committee decided to make a special effort to encourage States to meet the reporting requirements. By mid-November 2007, the matrices of all Member States-based on previously submitted information or, in the case of non-reporting States, compiled from official websites of Governments and international organizations — were sent to all Member States to be checked for accuracy and to provide a first report or additional information on relevant measures taken or planned to be taken.
As of 27 April 2008, more than half the Member States have responded to the Committee’s request for more information, bringing the number of States that have submitted at least one report since 2004 to over 150. Within this group, the number of States submitting additional information at least once has now reached 100. The Committee takes this opportunity to thank all the States that have responded promptly and to encourage the remaining States that have not yet reported to do so as soon as possible.
The Committee has continued to rely on outreach activities to promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Since mid-November 2007, the Chairman or some members of the Committee, officially representing the Committee, and its experts participated in 11 outreach conferences, seminars and workshops. The purposes of that participation ranged from raising awareness about the requirements to achieve full implementation of the resolution and encouraging States to submit reports on the status of their implementation efforts to sharing experiences and lessons learned and engaging in dialogue with participating officials from Governments and organizations particularly interested in the work of the Committee.
The Committee has been engaged in three types of outreach activities.
First, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs has organized workshops on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). A workshop on the reporting requirements and assistance needs was organized in Botswana on 27 and 28 November 2007 for participants from 22 African countries.
Secondly, we have held common-strategy workshops to encourage non-responding States to submit reports. With sponsorship by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), another workshop was held in Botswana on 29 and 30 November 2007, an event organized jointly with the 1540 Committee’s experts, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Monitoring Team of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities. The Committee appreciates the cooperation extended by the UNODC in this regard.
Thirdly, we have also organized other outreach events. Upon invitation by other bodies, the Committee’s Chairman or some of its members, officially representing the Committee, and several of its experts participated in relevant meetings on subjects ranging from the implementation of the universal conventions against terrorism and of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to the legal aspects of international instruments countering terrorist acts in the nuclear, chemical or biological fields and other specific subjects such as proliferation, financing and illicit trafficking in nuclear materials.
The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Governments of Andorra, Belarus, Botswana, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Norway, Slovakia and the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and UNODA for their sponsorship and organization of the different activities, and the European Union for its ongoing support of the Committee’s outreach activities.
The Committee continued to operate as an information exchange centre on issues relating to assistance through formal and informal contacts and dialogue with States that might be interested in requesting assistance and those that might be in a position to offer it. To this end, it organized a dialogue with participants in the outreach activities. In December 2007, it put the final touches on a model request for assistance adapted to each case and, taking into account its centralizing role, sent it to all Member States in order to better understand their needs in specific areas and to match their requests with offers of assistance from other States.
Since the jointly drafted common strategy paper was presented to the Security Council in November 2007, the 1540 Committee has continued to work closely with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee. Moreover, the groups of experts that assist the three Committees have increased their collaboration, as was seen in the subregional African workshop mentioned previously. One important aspect of those joint activities is the Committee’s interaction with delegations of national officials from each of the concerned countries, representing two or three different competent ministries, with a view to promoting coordination and alleviating the task of responding to so many requests for information.
Efforts to further strengthen cooperation with the competent regional and international organizations and machinery continue. The exchange of information and the reciprocal participation in outreach activities have facilitated progress in this area. In December 2007, the Committee sent letters to the heads of more than 30 international, regional and subregional organizations and to authorities of the export control regimes and other mechanisms, requesting them to draw to the attention of their member States to the important links between the implementation of the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004) and the objectives of their respective institutions. By April 2008, the Security Council had received 12 positive replies from these organizations.
Since January 2008, the subcommittees of the 1540 Committee have concentrated their work on examining the information that is in the matrices of Member States, as reviewed by experts, on the basis of new information coming from the States and other data from official sources. The information has provided the factual data used as a basis for preparing the report of the 1540 Committee that will be submitted to the Security Council, covering the period starting on 28 April 2006. The report will be presented to Council as soon as possible, or by 31 July 2008 at the latest.
On 25 April 2008, the Security Council adopted resolution 1810 (2008), by which it extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee for a three-year period and, among other provisions, decided that the Committee would continue to intensify its efforts to promote complete implementation by all States of resolution 1540 (2004).
I thank Mr. Urbina for his briefing.
In accordance with the understanding reached among Council members, I wish to remind all speakers from now on 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 their texts in writing and to deliver a condensed version when speaking in the Chamber.
First of all, I would like to thank Ambassadors Jurica, Verbeke and Urbina for their substantive briefings as Chairmen of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), respectively.
In highlighting the struggle with the threat of international terrorism as one of the most important tasks confronting the United Nations and its Security Council, Russia is giving a positive assessment of the results of the activity of those Committees during the six-month period just passed and is taking note of the substantive contribution that each of them, in accordance with its mandate, is making to the efforts of the Council to enhance the effectiveness of international counter-terrorism cooperation.
We welcome the joint steps in favour of interaction and coordination among the three Committees and, above all, their expert groups, within the framework of the ongoing dialogue with Member States.
The Russian Federation has taken an active part in drawing up and reaching agreement on resolution 1805 (2008), which not only extended the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to the end of 2010, but also made specific adjustments to the organizational structure and methods of work of that body.
We have already expressed our assessments regarding the reform of the work of the CTED within the framework of the broad discussion of this issue that took place in March of this year. Without repeating these issues, I should like to note the most important thing: the CTC now has received additional significant possibilities not only to monitor the implementation by States of the fundamental anti-terrorist resolution 1373 (2001) but also to play a more active role in the support required for their multifaceted efforts in coping with the threat of terrorism.
We welcome the readiness of the CTC, acting through the CTED, to devote priority attention to the coordination of technical assistance and to expand direct contact with potential donors and interested States. We view that as an important factor in strengthening the entire system of international anti-terrorist cooperation and reaffirming the central coordinating role of the United Nations in this sphere.
Under the leadership of the CTC, work has been concluded for the preparation and adoption of a preliminary assessment of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) with regard to all Member States. Russia fully shares the resounding positive assessments of the achievements of the CTC and, as Chairman of one of the subcommittees of the CTC, is ready to continue to make its contribution to the dynamic process of producing those assessments. What lies ahead is a complex period of renewal and clarification of those documents in the light of the reactions of States, and the political guidance role of the CTC at this stage will only grow stronger. In this context we attach great importance to the organization by the CTED of trips of various types and with various objectives to States and monitoring the results of their work.
We also believe that, together with an assessment of national potentials, the CTC very soon can also adopt the global survey of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The need for such a document is obvious to us. It could serve as a basis for a continually updated general overview of the achievements and shortcomings in the anti-terrorist sphere. It would also enable the Security Council to organize its work in this field in a more systematic way, including within the framework of implementation of the objective of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
I should like to confirm that the Russian Federation considers that one of the most important elements of the CTC mandate is to consider the work with States on the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). In this connection we welcome the decision of the CTC to hold a discussion on the question of possible measures to render technical assistance to States on the implementation of the provisions of the resolution.
We continue to consider the 1267 Committee and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team as one of the effective and viable mechanisms of the Security Council in the counter-terrorist field.
Unfortunately, we are obliged to note with regret the continuing spread of extremist ideas and of the influence of the Taliban both in the territory of Afghanistan and beyond its borders. Terrorists do not sit on their hands. This has been clearly demonstrated in their recent brazen terrorist act during the military parade in Kabul.
We welcome the efforts of the 1267 Committee and the Monitoring Team to support the sanctions list in its updated form, reflecting the real nature of today’s terrorist threat. We call upon States to submit to the Committee requests for the inclusion on the list of individuals and organizations linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaida and also to provide any additional information regarding such individuals previously included on the list.
We consider the strengthening of cooperation of the Committee and the Monitoring Team with INTERPOL and other professional regional and international organizations to be of considerable importance. We consider it necessary to continue the practice of country visits by the Chairman of the Committee and members of the Monitoring Team and other forms of direct dialogue by the Committee with Member States. That makes it possible to certify the commitment of States to the cause of the struggle against terrorism and to see at first hand the best practices and methods in such a struggle.
It is precisely full and conscientious implementation by all States of their obligations in this field that will determine the success of our common efforts to counteract the real and changing threat to international peace and security coming from the Taliban and Al-Qaida. We favour closer coordination in this area, above all with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate.
Regarding the activity of the 1540 Committee, we first would like to welcome the unanimous adoption on 25 April of resolution 1810 (2008), which extended the Committee’s mandate for three years. As initiator and a sponsor of resolution 1540 (2004) and also of subsequent resolutions 1673 (2006) and 1810 (2008), the Russian Federation considers it one of the major international instruments for preventing weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials, including dual-use goods and technologies, from falling into the hands of non-State players, first and foremost terrorists.
We believe that despite the magnitude and complexity of these tasks, through joint multilateral efforts by the members of the international community, with the United Nations in the leading role, the Security Council will be able to close the remaining proliferation gaps in national legislation and to strengthen the basis for coordinated resistance to the black markets in weapons of mass destruction.
During the period that has elapsed since the previous briefing, which was marked by the adoption of resolution 1810 (2008), the 1540 Committee has with confidence entered a new stage of its activity, linked to stepped-up efforts to assist States in the implementation of the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004) and to coordinate close international cooperation for those ends.
At this stage it will be important to focus efforts on the weak aspects of national monitoring systems, identified as a result of the study of information on measures undertaken by States, as submitted in the national reports to the 1540 Committee. In this context we believe it important not to forget about the need to implement another key objective of the first stage of the Committee’s work, linked with the submission by States of their first national reports on measures they have undertaken in implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
We note with satisfaction data to the effect that after last November the number of States that have submitted their first national reports has now increased to 150. Those States that have at least once sent the Committee additional information now exceeds 100. We believe this demonstrates that the Committee’s active position is yielding tangible results. It is precisely for this reason that targeted work with States that have not yet submitted their first national reports must be continued.
It is important to continue work on reaching agreement on the report of the Security Council Committee on the results of the work for 2006 through 2008. We believe that the report must above all reflect the work of the Committee itself in implementing its objectives, whose priorities are clearly spelled out in resolution 1540 (2004). We are ready to participate constructively in further work on the draft, taking into account the remarks we have already made in this regard, in compliance with the clear time parameters laid down in resolution 1810 (2008).
The delegation of China thanks Ambassadors Jurica, Verbeke and Urbina for their respective briefings on the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). China appreciates the effectiveness of the work of the three Ambassadors and their respective teams.
We appreciate the fact that the 1267 Committee has been making steady progress in all its work. The Committee has made fresh progress in further improving the integrity and accuracy of its sanctions list, improving the transparency of its work, strengthening its website and increasing the exchanges and dialogue with the Member States and competent international organizations, fully acknowledging such progress.
China believes that maintaining the authority and understanding of the Committee requires the vigorous support of all Member States of the United Nations. China encourages all countries, in dealing with issues involved, to provide the Committee with detailed information to the greatest extent possible so as to improve the effectiveness and fairness of the sanctions mechanism. China supports the Committee in continuing to improve its working methods — including its listing and de-listing procedures — and in increasing its cooperation with mechanisms such as the CTC.
China congratulates Ambassador Jurica on his assumption of the chairmanship of the CTC. We believe that he will lead the Committee to further success in its work.
Since the previous briefing to the Council on the CTC, the Committee has adopted a revised organizational plan for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). The implementation of the plan has had a positive impact on the work of both the CTC and the CTED — a fact that China appreciates. We have also noted that the CTC has done a great deal of effective work in reviewing Preliminary Implementation Assessments, carrying out technical assistance visits to Member States and increasing the transparency of its work.
China believes that Security Council resolution 1805 (2008) has not only extended and clearly defined the mandate of the CTED, but has also pointed out the direction for the future work of the CTC. China hopes that the CTC and the CTED will follow the provisions set out in resolution 1805 (2008), will continue to follow the principles of cooperation, transparency and even-handedness and will advance their work in all areas, thereby making the Security Council’s counter-terrorism mechanisms more comprehensive and effective.
China welcomes the fact that the mandate of the 1540 Committee has been renewed without difficulty. We hope that the Committee will, in accordance with resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1810 (2008), formulate a comprehensive and balanced programme of work as soon as possible in order to effectively promote the comprehensive implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). China values the role played by the Committee, and we have been participating constructively and actively in the Committee’s work in all areas. We are prepared to continue our active support for that work and to contribute to facilitating the comprehensive implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), to building consensus on non-proliferation and to promoting cooperation on non-proliferation throughout the world.
Over the past few months, despite the international community’s tireless efforts to combat terrorism, terrorists and their violent acts have continued to be widespread worldwide. Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the international community. Therefore, the United Nations should continue to play a central role in the international fight and cooperation against terrorism.
China believes that the Security Council’s adoption of resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008) in swift succession demonstrated its members’ common resolve to strengthen its counter-terrorism machinery and to strongly combat terrorism by sending a positive signal to the international community. China hopes that the three Committees will continue to pool their resources, improve their effectiveness and pay closer attention in their work to the views of developing countries and their counter-terrorism needs, so that the Council’s counter-terrorism mechanisms can better meet the expectations of all Member States.
In September, the General Assembly will assess the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. That assessment will be of great importance for the counter-terrorism work of the United Nations. China supports the three Committees in actively implementing the Global Strategy within their respective mandates, so that the Security Council and the General Assembly can complement and coordinate with each other in their counter-terrorism efforts and can create favourable conditions for assessing the Strategy.
Permit me, Sir, to congratulate you and your delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May and on having organized this debate. I also thank Ambassadors Jurica, Urbina and Verbeke for their briefings on the work of the Committees over which they preside. In particular, my delegation would like to recognize the work done and the dedication shown by Ambassador Verbeke as Chairman of the 1267 Committee, related to Al-Qaida, and to wish him every success in his new duties as Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon.
Effective compliance with the mandates of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) requires constant review of their working methods. Panama welcomes the important work done by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, because it has developed methodologies for deleting names of individuals, entities and deceased persons from the consolidated list. As Ambassador Verbeke indicated, that will produce a dynamic list that reflects the evolution of the threat to international peace and security represented by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The views of interested Member States in that regard must be duly heard and heeded.
My delegation also highlights the significant progress made in recent months by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in assessing the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) in each of the countries Members of the Organization. The approval and referral of more than 167 Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) and the ongoing review of the study on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) are the Committee’s main mechanisms for defining the current state of implementation.
It is worth pointing out that those documents are only practical tools for defining priorities and improving compliance with obligations under resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee should bear in mind that the PIAs and the study are living documents of a technical nature, adapted to the particular circumstances of a country, a region or a point in time. We must also strive for greater cooperation and coordination with the special Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, established by the General Assembly in 2005.
Panama attaches great importance to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With the adoption of resolution 1810 (2008), the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) moves from merely monitoring the implementation of obligations to promoting best practices that facilitate the attainment of the objectives of its mandate and promoting dialogue among the Committee, States and other organizations or entities, in particular those having a broad and representative membership. We highlight, inter alia, the important work of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, established among States of the Caribbean basin, which supports countries in the region in implementing legislative and financial measures to prevent the financing of terrorism.
In order to more effectively accomplish the tasks entrusted to them, these subsidiary bodies must strengthen cooperation among themselves and with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, always mindful that the diversity of approaches among the Committees represents a truly integrated response to the scourge of terrorism. All cooperation must focus on common areas under those bodies’ respective mandates. Any proposal to merge the mandates and structures of these Committees must be examined very carefully, given the different objectives and nature of each mandate.
Finally, we should recall that we must always wage the fight against terrorism mindful of the importance of protecting and promoting human rights and respect for the rule of law.
First and foremost, I wish to congratulate you, Mr. President, and the United Kingdom for assuming the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I would also like to congratulate South Africa for having accomplished its presidency in an excellent manner.
My delegation welcomes this open debate of the Council, which provides an opportunity for the Chairs of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to brief the Council and the larger United Nations membership on their work since their last joint briefing in November 2007. We take this opportunity to thank the three Committees, under the able leadership of their Chairmen, and the expert bodies — the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team and the expert group of the 1540 Committee — for their great efforts in discharging their respective mandates.
Allow me to begin by reiterating my country’s unwavering position that international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitute serious threats to international peace and security. Viet Nam has always been committed to the implementation of its obligations under the international treaties to which it is a party and Security Council resolutions in those areas. Since Viet Nam became a member of the Council, it has made constructive contributions to the work of those Committees, including through its assumption of the vice-chairmanship of the CTC.
My delegation shares the assessment of the three Committees Chairmen on the achievements made in the past six months. We would like to underline the activities of the 1267 Committee aimed at improving the effectiveness and the full and fair implementation of the sanctions regime under resolution 1267 (1999), in particular through improving the quality of the consolidated list, holding discussions to reach a consensus understanding among the members of the Committee on the three sanctions measures, and exploring ways to further improve the Committee’s procedures.
For its part, the CTC has adjusted the organization and methods of work of CTED to improve the quality and consistency of its technical judgments and dialogue with Member States. We support the CTC efforts in considering the preliminary implementation assessments, which serve as a tool to intensify dialogue with every Member State on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). In that regard, my delegation wishes to express its special thanks to members of the Committee, especially those of sub-Committee C, CTED experts and the Committee’s secretariat, for their cooperation. We will continue to participate in the discussion of the survey on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States, considering that document as providing a global picture of counter-terrorism efforts and identifying areas for further international cooperation to improve existing efforts.
My delegation appreciates the efforts made by the 1540 Committee during the past six months, including those to encourage States to meet the reporting requirements, its various outreach activities to promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and its work to coordinate the assistance to implement the resolution. We welcome the adoption of resolution 1810 (2008), which extended the mandate of the Committee until April 2011. In that regard, we wish to reiterate that the Committee’s work should be in accordance with its mandate, international law and the Charter of the United Nations, thus actively contributing to the cooperation of the international community in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation.
With regard to the cooperation between the three Committees through their expert groups, my delegation takes note of the activities as presented in the joint statement. We look forward to seeing concrete cooperative actions undertaken by the three expert groups within the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, in the context of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
My delegation wishes to promote the Committees’ work in the coming months and takes this opportunity to highlight the following points.
First, the quality of the Committees’ work depends very much on the cooperation of Member States in providing updated information on their implementation of the related obligations. The Council should continue to encourage the three Committees to work out further innovative ways to improve meaningful dialogues with Member States and enhance their support for the work of the Committees.
Secondly, the principal mandate of the Committees is to monitor the implementation of the relevant Council resolutions. The Committees should continue their efforts in trying to get as detailed and correct a picture as possible of the efforts made by Member States, understanding the difficulties and challenges they face and engaging them in finding appropriate measures to improve implementation.
Thirdly, while further efforts could be sought to define possible areas of common interest to improve coordination among the three Committees and their expert groups, that should be done with a very clear understanding of the different mandate of each body as laid out by the Council.
In conclusion, my delegation registers its continued commitment and cooperation for further success in the work of the three Committees.
I would like to thank the three Committee Chairmen for their briefings and for their joint statement on the cooperation among the three Security Council Committees that deal with the issues of terrorism and non-proliferation. The Chairmen’s dedicated leadership is central to the effectiveness of those three subsidiary bodies, and we commend them for that leadership.
Since this is Ambassador Verbeke’s last briefing on this matter, I would like to thank him for his service to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). He served with distinction, and we will miss his leadership in that Committee. I also would like to extend our appreciation to the experts groups of the three Committees for their invaluable support to the Committees.
Today’s briefing is timely, given the recent renewal of the mandates of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and the upcoming consideration of the mandate of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). All three are now well established and ready to begin a new phase of their work.
I would like to focus on several ways in which the Committees can help counter the dual scourges of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which represent the pre-eminent threats to international peace and security today.
We believe a concentration on capacity-building is essential. Reports have been received and analysed. It is time to act on the findings of those evaluations. Resolution 1805 (2008) rightly stresses the important mandate of the CTC in that area. We welcome the new tools the CTC has developed, such as the technical assistance matrix and directory of assistance on the CTC website. We urge the CTC to continue its coordination with the G8 Counter-Terrorism Action Group and to organize regional meetings for States seeking and offering assistance. The 1267 Committee also has a key role in that area. To that end, it should continue to share with the CTC information concerning States’ technical assistance needs.
The 1540 Committee should work with States as an effective clearinghouse, using the information it has collected from States. It should then set about the work of building capacity. The Committee should proceed with its efforts to post its implementation matrices for resolution 1540 (2004) on its website, subject to States’ consent. By doing so, the Committee can help States seeking to provide assistance to plan and execute assistance programmes. We also hope that States will use the new technical assistance template of the 1540 Committee to submit requests to the Committee. States should also submit action plans to the Committee, as my Government has done, so the Committee can use those plans to match requests with offers of assistance.
The United States is pleased to play its part in addressing States’ technical assistance needs. Last year, for example, the United States Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) trained over 4,500 participants from 64 countries. ATA’s courses emphasize law enforcement under the rule of law and respect for human rights. In an effort to address the conditions that terrorists exploit for recruitment and ideological purposes, United States assistance programmes administered through the United States Agency for International Development and other agencies are increasing access to education, improving health care and focusing on democratic and economic reform. To support the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), the United States has provided over $2 billion annually for assistance or other programmes.
We look forward to the completion of specific projects mentioned in the briefings. In particular, as Chairman Verbeke indicated, the 1267 Committee must continue to give priority to updating the consolidated list to ensure that it accurately reflects the current threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. We encourage other Member States to contribute to that effort by providing information for further listings and de-listings. The Committee should also continue its efforts to update the Taliban portion of the list by designating new Taliban who are responsible for the upsurge in violence in Afghanistan. Similarly, the Committee should de-list former Taliban who have severed their ties to the organization, and add new and updated biographical information to the list so that States can better enforce the sanctions.
The Committees have accomplished much. United Nations Member States have frozen $150 million in terrorist assets by implementing the sanctions under resolution 1267 (1999). But we must not lose sight of the remaining challenges. Al-Qaida has expanded its operations and the Taliban are resurgent.
Finally, the prospect of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction remains the gravest threat imaginable. To counter terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Committees must continue to focus on practical and concrete activities that can promote the capacity of States to implement the respective resolutions. We pledge our support in that essential fight.
Allow me to thank and to congratulate Ambassadors Jurica, Urbina and Verbeke for their statements regarding the three Committees under their chairmanship, namely, the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004) and 1267 (1999), respectively. Members of the Council are unanimous in believing that theirs is effective and serious work that deserves our encouragement in moving ahead.
My delegation, which has always advocated strengthened cooperation among all United Nations bodies working to combat terrorism, very much appreciates this joint briefing, which clearly illustrates the joint, effective and complementary work being done by the three Committees. Moreover, the workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, in September 2007 for West African countries was a good example of the benefits of that cooperation. It is also gratifying to note that the three Committees have not lost sight of the need to provide appropriate technical assistance to States in accordance with their needs. That will enable States requesting such assistance to enhance their capacity to combat terrorist threats. As this is a collective and unified undertaking, it is important that, if possible, all States achieve the highest possible security standards in order to avert any potential breech that could be exploited by terrorist groups.
In their efforts to carry out joint visits to Member States, we must in particular encourage the 1267 and 1373 Committees to continue the process of improving their methods. Those visits, which are certainly very useful, could perhaps benefit from being more flexible and focused on specific objectives and the main concerns of the countries visited.
With regard to the 1540 Committee, we welcome the considerable increase in the number of countries that have submitted their initial reports. We of course encourage countries that have not yet done so to meet their obligations under the resolution. It is also important that Member States continue to cooperate with the Committee, especially as regards providing the required reports and additional information.
Given the great importance of this issue that concerns us all, my delegation would like to propose the idea of having the three Committees hold regular joint briefings for all Member States. That would make for greater interaction with the Committees and all Member States, which could then have an exchange of experiences and information from which useful lessons could be learned. That would also ensure greater transparency in the Council’s counter-terrorism efforts. Lastly, it would bring about better involvement by all Member States in combating international terrorism. Such an initiative is clearly useful and possible, as each Committee already holds annual public information meetings.
I would also like to thank and congratulate the 1267 Committee for the dialogue and open exchange it hosted yesterday, along with the representatives of Denmark, Liechtenstein, Sweden and Switzerland.
In conclusion, Burkina Faso encourages the participation of expert groups in the efforts of the United Nations system in the framework of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We call for the strengthening and improvement of cooperation between regional and subregional organizations and United Nations bodies with the responsibility of combating terrorism. In that regard, it is important to note that the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, located in Algiers, is an excellent vehicle for, and good example of, cooperation between United Nations and African Union bodies.
Let me first express our heartfelt congratulations to you, Sir, and to the British delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of May. Allow me also to thank and commend the South African delegation for its stewardship during the month of April. We also wish to underscore our gratitude to the Chairs of the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council for their comprehensive briefings and contributions to the joint efforts against international terrorism. We also welcome their initiative to increase mutual cooperation so as to maximize synergy, avoid duplication and lower the burden on Member States.
While aligning itself with the statement to be delivered shortly on behalf of the presidency of the European Union, Italy will limit its remarks to the following few points.
I would like warmly to thank Ambassador Verbeke, who will soon leave his position as Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) — a task he fulfilled with great precision, responsibility and leadership.
The briefing we heard a few minutes ago gave us just a sampling of the many activities of the 1267 Committee. The sanctions list continues to be an essential tool in the fight against international terrorism. It is important that, with the continued support of the wider membership, it be constantly updated as a living document corresponding to the ever-present threat of Al-Qaida and the Taliban. We believe that improving the quality of the consolidated list should be one of the key priorities of the Sanctions Committee. That is because only complete identifiers and a regular update of the list can provide Member States with the precise information needed to more effectively apply the sanctions regime that has been established.
We acknowledge that legal challenges have been raised to the sanctions list at the national and international levels and that the Committee and the Council have the responsibility to do everything reasonable to improve the handling of specific cases. We see the merit of the Security Council continuing on the path of improving existing procedures, as was done in the recent past with resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006), so as to reconcile security demands with respect for fundamental rights.
We would also like to express our utmost gratitude for the high professional skills shown throughout these years by the Monitoring Team, whose contribution to the general debate on sanctions is all the more relevant, and we look forward to the negotiations for the renewal of its mandate.
The Security Council has recently renewed the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) confirming its main tasks and responsibilities, while endorsing the reorganization plan, which lays the groundwork for more efficient action. To that end, Italy truly appreciates all the efforts made by the Executive Director, Mr. Smith. We hope that, with more focused action, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and CTED can better exploit their role and potential as instruments of dialogue with Member States. We also have to reinforce every opportunity to better coordinate international cooperation with donors, other partners — such as the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004) — and their groups of experts, as well as all the participants in the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
We further encourage CTC and CTED to continue to work with external organizations, such as the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) of the G8. Italy is committed to strengthening such cooperation during its presidency of the G8 next year. In that area, we welcome the methodology introduced by CTED, successfully implemented during the 17 April Tokyo meeting with CTAG, aimed at identifying with the G8 presidency specific cases, countries, regions or themes of mutual interest to be jointly discussed. That methodology should contribute to the prevention of duplication and overlapping in the provision of technical assistance to interested countries.
Italy welcomes the recent adoption of resolution 1810 (2008), which renews the 1540 Committee’s mandate for three more years. We support the new emphasis placed on the need to step up efforts to promote the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), in particular through outreach activities and international assistance. To that end, the sharing of experience and lessons learned between the 1540 Committee, the membership and relevant international and regional organizations will be crucial. Enhancing cooperation between the 1540 Committee and the Al-Qaida and Counter-Terrorism Committees will also be essential to ensuring compliance with resolution 1540 (2004).
We look forward to fruitful discussions within the 1540 Committee on how to make the best use of and improve existing funding mechanisms to assist States in meeting their non-proliferation obligations. We also look forward to the next comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), due by January 31 2009.
Let me conclude by saying a few words about the September review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Several initiatives have already been produced in the framework of the Strategy. Member States have a responsibility to continue on that track in order to achieve progress in all areas of the broad plan of action that was approved with the Strategy. We welcome the Task Force’s efforts thus far to achieve specific goals in many important areas, and we appreciate the contribution that both the Monitoring Team and CTED have provided. Italy feels that those joint efforts should continue and, if possible, be strengthened. We look forward to the briefing that the Task Force and its working groups will provide in the near future.
I, too, would like to thank the Chairpersons of the three Committees for their informative briefings.
I will make a few general remarks that are applicable to all three committees and some specific comments on the resolution that was recently adopted renewing the mandate of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
The Chairmen of the three committees are making noteworthy efforts to ensure that there is better coordination between the Committees, as well as between their experts. Joint visits by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee help to prevent duplication. However, the issue of duplication can be adequately addressed only by the adoption of decisions by the Security Council that would further consolidate the work of the Committees.
Improving transparency in the work of the three subsidiary bodies is very important. If Members continue to be in the dark on important processes that directly affect them, it will merely perpetuate distrust of the Council. Open briefings and direct meetings between the subsidiary bodies and Member States, such as those that have already been held, are important measures to clarify issues and to improve transparency.
The Chairmen also briefed the Council on their work in the promotion of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Global Strategy is an attempt by the United Nations membership as a whole to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as to identify the conditions conducive to its spread. It is therefore important that the three subsidiary bodies complement the implementation of the Global Strategy, and we have noted significant progress in that regard since the Strategy’s adoption.
I would now like to make some specific comments with regard to the 1540 Committee.
I would like to begin by reiterating South Africa’s firm conviction that weapons of mass destruction do not guarantee security, but rather detract from it. As long as those weapons exist, the world will always face the threat of nuclear catastrophe. Non-proliferation and disarmament are mutually reinforcing processes. We therefore welcome the fact that the recently adopted resolution 1810 (2008) includes language on disarmament, arms control and the right to the peaceful uses of nuclear, chemical and biological technology, within appropriate safeguards.
South Africa shares the international community’s concerns regarding the existence of networks dealing in the illicit transfer of nuclear-related technology and believes that closer international cooperation is necessary to root out the phenomenon of the illicit trade in technology that could be used in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. Our experience with illicit networks, in which South Africa is the only country amongst many affected countries to successfully prosecute suspects thus far, suggests that there is considerable room for improvement, also in the most developed countries, with regard to international cooperation and enforcement machineries.
That experience has prompted us to insist on the inclusion of language on networks in the current resolution. It is clear that the greatest threat posed by weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, materials, financing and delivery systems falling into the hands of non-State actors originates from the States that possess or are capable of possessing such weapons, and from countries with an advanced industrial base.
With its mandate extended through resolution 1810 (2008), the immediate challenge for the 1540 Committee will be to develop a balanced programme of work that will address the real challenges at the heart of the proliferation risks posed by non-State actors, such as how the international community should respond to illicit proliferation networks.
I am pleased at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. We will strive to cooperate most positively with you. We also express our high appreciation for South Africa’s effective leadership of the Security Council in April.
We thank Mr. Jurica, Mr. Verbeke and Mr. Urbina, Chairmen, respectively, of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1373 (2001), 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004), for their valuable briefings. We highly appreciate their efforts to ensure the Committees’ success.
The progress achieved by the sanctions Committees in promoting national counter-terrorism capacities, implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and fulfilling international transparency commitments can only enjoy our support as a very important step towards eradicating both the causes and the symptoms of terrorism.
Our unanimous determination to reject any justification for terrorism cannot be at the expense of dealing objectively with the causes of terrorism. Occupation, the levelling of accusations against civilizations and cultures, the denial of the legitimacy of resistance to occupation and the application of double standards in the implementation of international instruments: those all give rise to much anger and violence.
With respect to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), we have no doubt that the large number of Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) that have been adopted, as noted by the Chairman in his briefing, reflect the easing of demands on States to update their reports. We all hope that the new PIA matrices devised by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate will reflect every State’s performance in keeping with the criteria of transparency and objectivity and will take account of human rights issues. We hope that the overall review of resolution 1373 (2001), which is expected to be included in the Committee’s next report to the Council, will be accurate, cautious and realistic and will avoid hasty classifications.
Turning to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) — the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee — Libya considers that there is a great need to improve the criteria for adding and removing names from the consolidated list, with a view to enhancing the accuracy and completeness of the list. We believe that the Committee should set criteria and terms for the submission of names for inclusion on the list, including the provision of accurate information on the individuals or entities in question. Libya stresses that our measures should be just and that the work of the Committee should focus on human rights; this would enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of the sanctions regime established under resolution 1267 (1999).
We therefore appreciate the Council’s adoption of resolution 1735 (2006), which establishes coordination mechanisms to handle requests for the removal of names from the consolidated list, as a very important step towards improving the sanctions regime and increasing its transparency. We believe, however, that this step is not enough and that it does not meet the need for transparency in guaranteeing justice and clarity in these sanctions measures. We urge the Committee to continue to implement the provisions of resolution 1452 (2002) regarding exemptions, with a view to easing the severity of the sanctions on listed individuals and their families and addressing the humanitarian difficulties they may be facing. Here, we stress that the Committee should consider the obstacles that impede speedy action on requests for exemptions, in particular the use of delays and holds to stymie such requests.
With respect to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), Libya once again denounces the existence of weapons of mass destruction. We are convinced that the only guarantee against access by non-State actors to such weapons is their total elimination. Libya therefore believes that the goals of disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually supportive; continuous, irreversible progress must be made on both fronts. Libya believes it important to ensure that there is no contradiction among the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004), the United Nations Charter, existing multilateral treaties on weapons of mass destruction, other instruments adopted within international organizations in this sphere, and the role of the General Assembly.
We believe that the important issue of preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of non-State actors requires the active participation of all Member States. We believe that the subject should be considered in the General Assembly with a view to agreement on a legally binding instrument on this issue.
In conclusion, Libya once again reaffirms its support for all international counter-terrorism efforts and its support for all efforts to reach the international community’s goal of eradicating terrorism and bringing about a world of peace and security for all.
I wish at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, and the United Kingdom delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. My thanks go to Ambassador Kumalo and the South African delegation for their very effective work last month.
I thank you, Mr. President, for having organized this meeting to hear briefings by the Chairmen of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the Committee on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors. The Council should continue to follow the work of these Committees attentively and to encourage good interaction and exchanges of experience among them, in conformity with their respective mandates, as it has recently done through resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1810 (2008). We welcome the progress on this point and the issuance of a statement to the press on the initiative of Ambassadors Jurica, Urbina and Verbeke — whom I thank for their briefings this morning.
The Permanent Representative of Slovenia will soon make a comprehensive statement on behalf of the European Union, to which, clearly, my country fully subscribes. I wish now to emphasize a number of elements that my delegation views as particularly important.
The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) is a very important part of our counter-terrorism and non-proliferation machinery. France hopes that it will successfully attain all of the objectives set in its programme of work. The biennial experts’ report — to whose finalization by the Committee my delegation is looking forward — should show significant progress in the implementation of the resolution.
But a great deal remains to be done. Some 40 States have yet to report. National reports still show weaknesses in several key areas: the biological segment is almost entirely in progress; gaps remain in the fight against the financing of proliferation and the control of transport and of sensitive exports.
That is why France has been actively engaged in updating the Committee’s mandate. With resolution 1810 (2008), a qualitative leap forward should be possible on assistance to States requiring it; that is one of the most promising areas for the future. The extension of the mandate will make it possible to better plan and finance assistance activities. The Committee has received very clear instructions to play an active role in coordinating offers of and requests for assistance. Many practical provisions were included in the resolution to facilitate this.
The Committee is also mandated to promote the sharing of experience that would be useful for the implementation of the resolution. This is of great importance, because many States have requested specific examples.
Finally, resolution 1810 (2008) provides explicitly for the possibility of visits by the Committee to countries in order to heighten awareness and offer assistance.
Neither these provisions nor the extension of the mandate constitute a blank cheque. The resolution provides for regular meetings with the Security Council and increased dialogue with interested States, which will further bolster the legitimacy of the resolution. The provisions sketch a road map for the future. Three years will not be excessive: it is essential for the Committee to get under way as quickly as possible in order to fully implement the mandate entrusted to it. In the short term, it should adopt its biennial report without delay. It should then ensure that its mandate is faithfully and fully reflected in its programme of work, and it should spare no effort in helping States to implement the resolution.
As our colleague, the Permanent Representative of Croatia, has just recalled, the Council adopted resolution 1805 (2008) of 20 March, renewing the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and endorsing the revised organizational plan of the Directorate, which plays an essential role in supporting the Counter-Terrorism Committee. We spoke of this in March (see S/PV.5855), and I shall not revisit the issue. I wish merely to highlight three fundamental aspects of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on which there has been progress in recent months.
My first point relates to the need to ensure coherence. The Committee must use identical criteria during its assessments of the data made available by States. This does not however mean automating a system which must take careful account of the distinct features of each country.
My second point relates to the importance of dialogue. The Committee carries out visits, adopts Preliminary Implementation Assessments and participates, through the Executive Directorate, in numerous international meetings regarding various aspects of the fight against terrorism. There is a need to make use of these channels for dialogue to meet the simple but far-reaching objective of raising the level of counter-terrorist means available to States and to achieve the fullest and broadest possible implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We must work together to build a bastion against terrorism.
My last point relates to the multiplying effect of other agencies or organizations active in combating terrorism. This is particularly true regarding the participation of the Executive Directorate in the Secretary-General’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, and the numerous meetings held with specialized bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Counter-Terrorism Action Group. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should be at the core of a network of partner entities. Here, the European Union has already responded to this appeal.
I would not wish to conclude without saying a word on the 1267 Committee and, above all, without paying a tribute to the work of Ambassador Verbeke, who has done a great deal to strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions regime in all its aspects.
The first aspect is the adaptation of the list to the nature of the threat. This effort is reflected in the de-listing of certain entries which no longer met the criteria of association with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida or the Taliban. New names have also been added. This flexibility of the list is critical and we need to preserve it. The Committee has begun the essential task of updating the entries on the list in order to identify wrong, incomplete or outdated entries. A particular effort should be made regarding deceased individuals.
The second aspect relates to monitoring the implementation of the regime. It is up to the Committee and its Chairman to identify cases of non-compliance with the sanctions and to deal with them appropriately. At the same time, the work of explaining the parameters of these obligations, as is being carried out in particular through the Committee’s Internet site, is also pivotal. This necessary vigilance regarding the implementation of sanctions goes hand in hand with the related task of ensuring the quality and reliability of the information on the list.
The third and final aspect relates to the improvement of procedures to make them clearer and more transparent. Thus, the Committee has adopted a standard form for requests for de-listing; it has updated its procedures regarding exemptions to assets freezing; and it is doing similar work regarding exemptions to the travel ban. These efforts benefit from the robust and credible nature of the sanctions regime and must be encouraged.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that, taken together, these three Committees form the core of the Security Council’s response to the grave threat to international peace and security posed by terrorism, proliferation and the convergence of those threats. We have reaffirmed on numerous occasions in this Chamber, and together with the Security Council, that terrorism is criminal and unjustifiable. This is particularly true of Al-Qaida and of its associates, who have targeted not only States on all continents, but also the United Nations itself, as in Algiers last 11 December. Allow me once again to pay tribute to the memory of the victims and to their families, and to reaffirm France’s unswerving determination to thwart the designs of terrorists wherever they may be active.
My delegation too wishes to congratulate you, Sir, and the delegation of the United Kingdom on your assumption of the presidency for this month. We also wish to thank South Africa and to congratulate it on its able stewardship of the Council last month.
My delegation appreciates the important briefing by the Chairmen of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the 1267 Committee and the 1540 Committee. We would like to express our appreciation to the Chairmen for their able leadership of the work of those Committees.
Today’s briefings clearly reflect the significance of the close cooperation among the three Committees dealing with counter-terrorism issues. We are of the view that this cooperation will not only be crucial for the work of the Committees, but also will be essential for synergy and coherence in the Council’s contribution to countering the threat posed by terrorism. To this end, my delegation recalls the intention of the Council to provide guidance to the three Committees on areas of common interest in order to better coordinate counter-terrorism efforts stipulated in resolution 1805 (2008).
With regard to the briefing on the Counter-Terrorism Committee, we duly note the Committee’s accomplishments on several key initiatives, which will serve as a sound basis for its future work. My delegation is of the view that the revised organizational plan could strengthen the role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to enhance the CTC’s ability to monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). We share the view that the recommendations contained in the organizational plan could consolidate the achievements of CTED, and could eventually intensify the work of the CTC.
My delegation recognizes the significance of the adoption of Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) as a tool to intensify dialogue between the CTC and Member States on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). PIAs are dynamic documents, and we hope that the CTC will continue to further improve the consistency and accuracy of their content. On the issue of a revised version of the “Survey of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States”, we would like to underline the need for the CTC to present a more accurate picture in finalizing the survey.
On the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), my delegation reiterates the importance of CTED’s support for the work of the CTC in ensuring comprehensive implementation of the resolution. For its part, Indonesia actively continues its efforts to promote cultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding with religious communities and among civilizations.
With regard to the briefing on the 1267 Committee, I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our strong commitment to the promotion of the effective implementation of the sanctions regime adopted under resolution 1267 (1999) by improving the quality of the consolidated list. We are of the view that our joint efforts to improve the quality of the consolidated list, particularly through enhancing its completeness and accuracy, should contribute generally to the effectiveness of the implementation of resolution 1267 (1999). In this context, my delegation fully supports the intention of the Committee to evaluate the review mechanism of the consolidated list, as provided for in paragraph 6 (i) of the Committee’s guidelines.
While fully supporting the effort to identify possible cases of non-compliance, my delegation maintains its view that the Council, in considering the compliance of Member States, should also take into account their achievements in combating Al-Qaida and its affiliates through robust national criminal law enforcement. The problem of non-compliance may be caused not only by lack of political will or insufficient understanding of the sanctions regime, but also by legal deficiencies of procedure applicable to the listing and de-listing processes. My delegation therefore is of the view that the Security Council should give its utmost and urgent attention to the issue of further improving fair and clear procedure. We are convinced that addressing this issue will also improve and promote effective implementation of the regime at the national level.
Turning to the briefing on the 1540 Committee, I would like to reassert Indonesia’s support for the main tasks of the Committee, namely promoting global capacity and raising international standards for implementing the resolution. We are also pleased to note that the Council, through resolution 1810 (2008), has extended the mandate of the Committee for a period of three years.
Since the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) is a long-term objective and an ongoing process, we hope that in its future work the Committee will continue to place priority on dialogue and cooperation with Member States on their need to fulfil their obligations under the resolution. In this regard, my delegation stresses that the responsibility for implementation of the resolution rests fully with national Governments, whereas international and regional organizations can continue to assist them upon their request and needs.
Finally, my delegation reiterates the importance of continued and strengthened cooperation among the 1267, Counter-Terrorism and 1540 Committees. My delegation would also like to underline that full implementation of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) can be effectively carried out through continuous efforts, patience, dialogue, cooperation and assistance.
I should now like to make a statement in my capacity as representative of the United Kingdom.
I would like to join others in thanking Ambassadors Verbeke, Jurica and Urbina for their briefings to the Council this morning. I would like to thank not only them, but also their staffs and the expert groups of each Committee, for their time and commitment. Ambassador Verbeke’s leadership of the 1267 Committee will be much missed.
On the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee the United Kingdom welcomes the revised organizational plan for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the adoption of Security Council resolution 1805 (2008) extending the Directorate’s mandate. We welcome the renewed emphasis on tailored dialogue between States and the Counter-Terrorism Committee and, in particular, the need for increased focus on the delivery of technical assistance as key to full implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
We look forward to early progress on the global survey of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) that is under discussion in the Counter-Terrorism Committee. This will be the first substantive report from the Committee on the strengths and weaknesses in our collective efforts to tackle terrorism, and on what more needs to be done. We look forward to considering the report’s recommendations here in the Security Council.
On the 1267 Committee, the United Kingdom believes that we need to improve the quality of the consolidated list of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. The list must reflect the current threat. Its legitimacy depends on the quality and extent of the information within it. We must continue to update the list at every opportunity and ensure our procedures for listing and de-listing are efficient and effective. At present, they are not. Our ability to remove individuals that no longer meet the criteria is as important as listing additional names that do. Additionally, I would like to reinforce the importance of cooperation between the 1267 Committee, the Monitoring Team, Member States and regional and international organizations. We hope that this cooperation continues to grow.
The United Kingdom welcomes the extension of the mandate of the 1540 Committee, in particular the clear focus on capacity-building and sharing of know-how. The unanimous adoption of resolution 1810 (2008) sends a strong signal of the international community’s determination to ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into the hands of criminals, terrorists and would-be proliferators. We look forward to early agreement on the Committee’s report on compliance with resolution 1540 (2004).
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Slovenia, to whom I give the floor.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union (EU). The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Armenia, align themselves with this declaration.
At the outset, let me congratulate you, Sir, upon your assumption of the presidency for the month of May. I would also like to thank South Africa for its stewardship of the Council in the previous month.
The European Union is pleased to participate in today’s debate. Due to time limitations, the EU will shorten its statement. The full version is being distributed and constitutes our official statement.
We welcome the briefings from the Chairmen of the three Committees. These Committees play an important role in the work of the United Nations in countering the terrorist threat. We appreciate the opportunity to hear more about their work as part of an open and transparent debate.
Terrorism is a global threat that requires a global and comprehensive response. The EU reiterates once again that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable. The EU is convinced that any measures taken to fight this scourge must be in accordance with obligations under international law in particular international human rights law, refugee law, and international humanitarian law. Effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting, but rather complementary and mutually reinforcing, goals. Our action must be firmly based on due process and the rule of law.
The EU would like to welcome efforts by the three Security Council Committees and their expert groups to enhance coherence and avoid duplication. Further, the EU would highly encourage the expert bodies of the Security Council Committees to continue enhancing their mutual cooperation. A coordinated approach will not only prevent duplication of work but also help maximize resources and ensure synergy in Security Council counter-terrorism work.
We commend the 1267 Committee for the considerable progress made with regard to improving the effectiveness of the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. In doing so, the Committee was supported in an effective manner by the Monitoring Team. We welcome the issuance of the seventh report of the Monitoring Team as an official United Nations document (see S/2007/677) containing relevant analysis and recommendations that will further improve the effectiveness of the Committee’s work. We also look forward to receiving the eighth report of the Monitoring Team.
The EU welcomes the continued determination of the Committee to improve procedures for listing, notification and de-listing of individuals and entities, to keep the consolidated list updated and to enhance public outreach and the efforts undertaken to implement these objectives. The EU has always emphasized the need to strengthen fair and clear procedures for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists and for removing them, in order to enhance the effectiveness of targeted sanctions.
In addition, the EU welcomes the decision of the 1267 Committee to address the problems in implementing the sanctions regime due to a lack of identifiers. Addressing these problems and providing additional identifiers will enhance the accuracy and quality of the list itself, thereby strengthening the effectiveness and credibility of the sanctions regime.
In this regard, we welcome the decision of the Committee to continue to review and update the list and to consider which elements of its methodology could be improved. The Committee’s decision to update a number of the tools and documents related to the consolidated list and to enhance dialogue between the Committee and States by creating a tool for voluntary, informal reporting will further improve its work.
The EU recognizes the need to bring the consolidated list to wider attention, in particular to the attention of financial institutions. We believe that, in doing so, it would be useful to add more information to the list as to the primary reason for listing. We welcome the decision of the Committee to separate section E of the list from the rest of the list.
We note that the Monitoring Team has reported some cases of non-compliance with the obligations under the sanctions regimes. In this respect, the EU welcomes the fact that the Committee has developed a methodology to identify possible cases of non-compliance and to address them in the most appropriate way. We look forward to the development of specific and general recommendations on what can be done to prevent the occurrence of such cases.
As regards the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the EU welcomes the adoption of Security Council resolution 1805 (2008), which extended the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). The European Union recognizes the crucial role of CTED in supporting the CTC in the fulfilment of its mandate. The effective continuation of CTED’s work of facilitating capacity-building and advising the CTC on issues of implementation, including legal and technical issues, will enhance the CTC’s ability to monitor implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005).
The European Union welcomes and fully supports the organizational plan for CTED prepared by its Executive Director, approved by the Counter-Terrorism Committee and endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1805 (2008). The EU believes that the revised organizational plan provides an excellent basis for CTED’s future work.
The EU supports additional briefings to States and further visits to selected States, with their consent. These briefings and visits provide a means of direct communication and of listening to the suggestions and concerns of States. They also provide for better understanding of all that sanctions regimes can offer to assist States in their fight against terrorism.
The EU welcomes the work put forward by the Committee in preparing the Preliminary Implementation Assessments within the framework of resolution 1373 (2001). We welcome the decision of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to reassess the status of implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by all States and to report its findings to the Council. We look forward to seeing the results of the global survey of implementation, which will provide valuable information for the further work in the fight against terrorism.
The EU welcomes the adoption of Security Council resolution 1810 (2008) and is encouraged by the extension of the mandate of the 1540 Committee until April 2011, as well as by its enhancement. The EU commends the work of the 1540 Committee and its role in addressing the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, the EU believes that the efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including to non-State actors, must be strengthened and intensified.
The EU is keen to see the Committee strengthen its role as a clearing house for facilitating technical assistance to help countries achieve full implementation of all aspects of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). The EU also believes that a longer, three-year mandate will be key to ensuring better planning and funding of assistance. Country-specific outreach events, now explicitly authorized under the resolution, are also a promising development.
The EU remains fully committed to lending its full support to the work of the 1540 Committee in order to promote the universal implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). We are in the process of preparing a new Joint Action, within the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, to support the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), which will reflect the new tasks and priorities identified in resolution 1810 (2008).
In that respect, the EU believes that making better and broader use of voluntary funding for the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) is essential, and we look forward to the forthcoming proposals of the 1540 Committee in that regard. The EU looks forward to the 1540 Committee’s presentation of a comprehensive report to the Security Council no later than 31 July 2008, as requested in resolution 1810 (2008).
To conclude, I would like once again to thank the Chairmen of the three Committees for their work. The EU will continue to promote universal adherence to the conventions and protocols forming the legal basis for the work of the United Nations in countering the terrorist threat, and we will continue to support their global implementation. We commend the work of the Security Council as a vital component in the efforts of the United Nations to combat the terrorist scourge, which is a threat to all States and to all peoples.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Cuba, to whom I now give the floor.
On behalf of the delegation of Cuba, Sir, I wish you every success in the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. I also take this opportunity to offer special congratulations to the Permanent Representative of South Africa and his entire team for the excellent work accomplished during the month of April. In addition, I wish to thank the Chairmen of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for the information provided at this meeting.
For years, as everyone knows, our country has been submitting to the Security Council detailed information about the terrorist actions committed against Cuba by various individuals and organizations and about the complicit protection provided to them by the Government of the United States. On many occasions, we have spoken in this Chamber and sent letters to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Security Council, denouncing specific cases of flagrant violations of resolution 1373 (2001). Unfortunately, nothing has been done so far.
This very week, 8 May will mark the first anniversary of the permanent release in the United States of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who is rightly considered to be the most notorious terrorist in the Western Hemisphere. Despite the fact that the Government of the United States itself has acknowledged that he is a dangerous terrorist, and despite all the evidence of its long relationship with him at its disposal and provided by Cuba since 1998, Posada Carriles was charged by United States authorities with only minor immigration crimes.
The release of that terrorist and former agent of the Central Intelligence Agency demonstrates that his insignificant trial in the United States was a farce. One need only read the news to see that Posada Carriles freely walks the streets of that country, making press statements to anyone who will listen, and is honoured and recognized in Miami for his terrorist acts against Cuba. Nothing more need be said.
Cuba is appearing once again in the Security Council to strongly denounce and condemn the complicit inaction of the Government of the United States and the protection that it is providing to Posada Carriles. While it insists on presenting itself as the leader of its self-proclaimed “war on terror”, the Government of the United States continues to ignore the request for Posada Carrile’s extradition filed on 15 June 2005 by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Government of Cuba demands once again that Washington return the terrorist to Venezuela or try him on its own territory, in conformity with article 7 of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation.
The Government of the United States has even had the nerve to allege that it cannot hand Posada Carriles over to Venezuela or Cuba because he is in danger of being tortured. This falsehood is even more outrageous when one considers that the accusing Government is precisely the one that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq; that authorized the torture at Abu Ghraib and at the Guantánamo naval base, a part of Cuban territory illegally occupied by the United States; and that is an accomplice in kidnappings, disappearances, secret flights and clandestine prisons.
While confessed and unscrupulous terrorists walk free, the Government of the United States holds hostage in high-security prisons five young Cubans who were only trying, with great altruism and courage, to obtain information about Miami-based terrorist groups in order to prevent their violent acts and to save the lives of Cuban and United States citizens. Once again, Cuba demands the immediate release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González. For fighting terrorism, our five heroes will have served 10 years of unjust and cruel imprisonment in United States prisons on 12 September 2008.
Cuba reiterates its request to the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee to urgently address the detailed information that our country has provided them and to take all measures necessary under the relevant resolutions. Double standards cannot prevail. The Security Council cannot continue to maintain a complicit silence in the face of this gross affront to the victims of terrorism throughout the world. It will be impossible to eliminate terrorism if some terrorist acts are condemned while others are ignored, tolerated or justified, or if the issue is simply manipulated to promote narrow political interests.
Cuba has never permitted, nor will it ever permit, its territory to be used for terrorist actions against any State, without exception. As always, we shall continue to strongly fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As it has always done, Cuba will continue to abide strictly by Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and will maintain its cooperation with the subsidiary bodies established pursuant to them.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of India, to whom I now give the floor.
At the outset, please accept my felicitations, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. We are happy to participate in today’s joint debate on three Security Council items, whose implementation requires not only the fullest collective effort by the entire membership, but also their fullest participation in processes that affect the collective security of all nations equally. I will limit my remarks to a few comments, proceeding from my last statement on this subject, in March this year, before this body (see S/PV.5855).
To begin with, let me reaffirm India’s abiding determination to work to conclude the long-pending effort to finalize a comprehensive convention on international terrorism, moving beyond debates that essentially miss the larger point. Such a convention must be agreed upon to create a strong interlocking network of Member States, international organizations and specialized agencies working in unison to counter terrorism. The adoption of such a convention through the exercise of the lawmaking powers of the General Assembly would be in the interests of all Member States and would reinvigorate the multilateral and collective dimensions of counter-terrorism efforts. India continues to call upon the world to act as one in denying terrorists, their ideologues and their financiers access to arms, funds and means of transportation for their deadly goods, as well as safe havens.
If those overarching goals are to be achieved, there is also a need for a more genuinely inclusive approach to be adopted by the Security Council, taking along the larger membership of the General Assembly. While India remains committed to fully cooperating with all existing counter-terrorism mechanisms, as a State with long experience in dealing with terrorism, we are of the view that better cooperation between the Council and the General Assembly will provide our collective efforts greater legitimacy and ownership.
There are also operational benefits to be achieved from greater collective pragmatism in tackling terrorism through multilateral mechanisms. Not the least of those potential benefits is better implementation of the resolutions relating to counter-terrorism, namely resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and their successor resolutions.
However, to reach that stage of pragmatic, goal-based cooperation, we need to do much more than we have done thus far. It is also unclear whether better implementation of those resolutions can be secured by upgrading their existing mandates, as in the recent case of resolution 1810 (2008), or by working to identify genuine barriers to better implementation and promoting a more collaborative system of extending assistance and utilizing available regional expertise and appropriate technologies. Implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), including reporting, remains a national responsibility on the basis of national legislation, arrangements and regulations. There may also be merit in an approach that provides incentives for cooperation rather than the current effort to continually raise the bar for implementation by adding newer and more intrusive reporting obligations, irrespective of whether those are currently described as voluntary tasks.
That apart, however, I also wish to reiterate at this juncture India’s continuing emphasis on the need for closer and more comprehensive international cooperation to root out the phenomenon of illicit activities such as clandestine proliferation of sensitive technologies, which could contribute to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.
The Security Council should also consider whether its existing procedures need some overhauling, in particular with regard to the sanctions regime imposed upon Al-Qaida and Taliban operatives, entities and their supporters. While at one level the effort to improve modalities for review and delisting is to be welcomed, there is also a need for the Council to examine its own practice of selectively evaluating the provision of information that it seeks from Member States, which, for unrelated and procedural reasons, is sometimes not utilized.
With regard to the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), we are encouraged by the positive efforts of the dynamic new Executive Director. Greater dialogue and consultation with all Member States and better operational coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force is the correct way forward for a mechanism that eventually has a larger responsibility to the entire membership of the United Nations.
Ultimately, we will collectively benefit from the furtherance of the ongoing process of making the CTED a completely professional, apolitical body that goes beyond analysis of reports. However, the CTED can only transcend the minutiae of examining reports and preliminary implementation assessments once it is no longer perceived as a largely political body, but as an apolitical, professional organization.
In conclusion, I would venture the following suggestions.
Better coordination between the various arms of the Council’s counter-terrorism mechanism must begin at home. In other words, inter-related aspects of the work of the 1267 Committee, the 1540 Committee and the CTC should be dovetailed with those of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. Those tasks should also be more closely linked with the core tasks of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and others.
While supporting the greater emphasis on the extension of technical assistance bilaterally, regionally and internationally, we should keep in mind the primary task of ensuring the fullest implementation of the relevant Council resolutions before we take the process forward to more technical and potentially intrusive areas of implementation that may add to the sense of report fatigue among many Member States.
India remains willing to provide all assistance in the larger effort to counter the threat of terrorism. Our commitment to do so is already on record, in India’s fifth report, submitted to the CTC in March 2007. We are willing to share information with other relevant United Nations mechanisms that work in those fields. Such assistance can be provided by India bilaterally or multilaterally, especially to countries that are themselves not directly threatened by terrorism but whose participation is vital to the success of the larger international effort.
Our comments here today are in the spirit of pressing for further forward movement in bringing existing mechanisms to deal with terrorism closer together in operational terms. We welcome more efforts to use such open dialogues as a mechanism to build closer cooperation within the international system. We therefore look forward to working in a pragmatic manner to alter the regrettable perception outside these walls that the role of the United Nations in combating terrorism is limited to statements and speeches and does not include concrete measures. For that, we must not only work to foster better institutional cooperation and “jointedness” — if I may use the word — within the international system, we must also focus on implementing goals that can be achieved before mandating new and potentially challenging commitments.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency for the month of May and express my deep appreciation to you for convening today’s debate. I would also like to thank the Chairs of the Council’s three counter-terrorism committees for their respective briefings.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy sets out the shared understanding among Member States on how to address the common threat of terrorism. In order to implement the Strategy, most importantly, each Member State must strengthen its national counter-terrorism capacity and promote international cooperation as a matter of urgency. As the Chair of the G8 this year, Japan places high priority on building national capacities to combat terrorism and organized crime, and we are making great efforts to achieve that objective.
We highly value the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) in identifying specific needs for counter-terrorism technical assistance through site visits and preliminary implementation assessments. One of the major challenges is how to match appropriate supporters with the assistance needs identified by the CTED. For such matchmaking, well-focused dialogue among CTED, the CTC and Member States will be useful, as stated in paragraph 5 of resolution 1805 (2008). Japan, as the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Action Group, is making every effort to promote effective coordination with the CTED. We are jointly striving to strengthen information-sharing in New York and to coordinate the best response to the counter-terrorism assistance requirements of concerned countries.
Japan also welcomes the readiness of CTED to participate actively in and support the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. We hope the CTED will make a significant contribution to the implementation of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy through its active participation in the Task Force and its working groups.
The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities is playing a crucial role in that field. It is our view that its mandate should be extended beyond June, and we welcome the efforts made in improving the quality and procedures of its consolidated list. We encourage the Committee to continue that effort. Japan places great importance on de-radicalization as an essential element of counter-terrorism. We therefore appreciate the Committee’s continuous engagement in the working group on de-radicalization under the Task Force.
Japan welcomes the recent decision of the Security Council to extend and enhance the mandate of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). Japan sees the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) as a key element in our global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Japan has taken an active initiative to promote the universalization of resolution 1540 (2004). As the Chair of the G8, it is our intention to promote the examination of how G8 countries can contribute further to the work of the 1540 Committee.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy review conference is slated for early September 2008. The Strategy is a valuable instrument for the Member States to work collectively in combating terrorism. The United Nations and its Member States must achieve greater cooperation to further advance global efforts. We have high expectations that the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council will do their utmost to implement the Strategy. At the same time, it will be important for the three Committees to coordinate and streamline their activities and to avoid duplicating efforts in their visits and assessments of the reports submitted by the Member States. We would also appreciate it if the Committees could provide regular informal briefings, in addition to briefings such as this morning’s, to ensure accountability and guidance to Member States.
Allow to me to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council this month and to thank you for convening this important debate. My delegation also congratulates the Chairpersons of the subsidiary bodies on their able stewardship and thanks them for their briefings this morning.
The struggle against terrorism is a global one and, as such, the United Nations has an important role to play in coordinating the efforts to combat that scourge. States must remain vigilant not only in meeting their obligations to prevent terrorism but also in providing support to those States that lack capacity. We therefore encourage enhanced cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, subsidiary bodies of the Council and other relevant entities of the United Nations. We also stress the importance of a comprehensive approach within the United Nations system to deal with the threat of terrorism and measures taken to address it. To that end, we look forward to the review of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy this coming September.
While Israel has specifically experienced the threat of terrorism, it is well known that terrorism transcends geographical boundaries, borders and nations. It is therefore incumbent upon all States to adhere to their obligations under international law, including the relevant resolutions adopted by the Council, in particular resolution 1373 (2001). Some States not only neglect their responsibilities to enforce their borders and prevent the movement of terrorists; worse, they host, support and sponsor terrorism. The granting of safe haven to terrorists — as we see today in parts of our region — is a threat to international peace and security. The international community must press for an end to State support for, and sponsorship of, terrorism. Those States that lack the capacity to implement their international obligations should be assisted through the appropriate channels.
Resolution 1624 (2005) is part and parcel of the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). We note the Chairperson’s reference in this morning’s briefing to the Committee’s agreement to initiate discussions to explore the technical assistance needs of States in implementing that resolution. We emphasize the urgency and pressing need to address the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005) beyond States’ reporting. We believe that no counter-terrorism strategy is complete without addressing the issue of incitement.
In March of this year, the Council extended the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. We support that extension and the organizational change made within CTED, which allows for better quality, consistency and flexibility in its work. We appreciate the dialogue among the Executive Director, the Chairman and Member States. Those efforts have led to greater transparency and positive engagement with CTED. We look forward to their continuation.
Although nine years have passed since the Council adopted resolution 1267 (1999), the Committee’s work and impact on countering terrorism is more relevant than ever. Israel fully supports the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). We encourage efforts to ensure that fair and clear procedures continue to be utilized in the listing and de-listing process. We welcome the further consideration of how to improve and expand the procedures so that the lists remain imbued with quality and not merely quantity. At the same time, we note that much progress has been achieved under resolutions 1730 (2006) and 1735 (2006). In that regard, we look forward to the deliberations of the Council in the lead-up to the extension of the mandate next month.
On a related note, we support taking a fresh look at the working group established under paragraph 9 of resolution 1566 (2004) to consider and submit recommendations to the Council on practical measures to be imposed on individuals, groups or entities involved in, or associated with, terrorist activities, other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee.
Similarly, Israel supports resolution 1540 (2004) and believes it is a significant step towards the implementation of international standards against the threats of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). We are committed to its full implementation, and we welcome resolution 1810 (2008), which extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee for three more years. In that context, allow me to briefly highlight some of Israel’s national policies.
As a State facing conventional and non-conventional threats, including missiles and daily terrorism, Israel has taken legal and practical measures designed to prevent the proliferation of WMDs. Export controls have been put into practice through the adoption of the control lists of the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. That was effected by the entry into force, in January 2008, of Israel’s Export Control Act. The list is updated in accordance with international standards.
Extensive counter-terrorism legislation exists in Israel. We are committed to act against any form of support for terrorism. Accordingly, we actively confront any attempt by non-State actors to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.
I wish to note that Israel’s support for curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction extends to other mechanisms and initiatives as well, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Container Security Initiative and the United States Megaport Initiative.
As many know, Israel is a country that has been forced to live under the threat of terrorism, before its inception and since. The vast majority of Israelis have first-hand knowledge of the devastating effects of terrorism. For us, terrorism is not a technicality or abstract matter; it is a reality with devastating consequences for our civilian population. Israelis feel the threat of terrorism today, whether from the north, the south or the heartland. For that reason, Israel remains prepared to continue to work with the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council to advance its objectives and improve cooperation and engagement with other Member States. We appreciate this opportunity for dialogue and an exchange of ideas and are prepared to continue to do our part.
Australia welcomes the opportunity to participate in today’s debate and thanks the Chairmen of the three Committees for their briefings.
The comprehensive legal framework of the United Nations in the field of counter-terrorism is of fundamental importance in developing a global response to the evolving threat of terrorism. Australia strongly supports the work of the United Nations counter-terrorism Committees. We encourage close engagement by the Committees with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to ensure appropriate coordination, avoid duplication and encourage the effective implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Australia is focused on enhancing security and capacity-building efforts with partner countries to combat terrorism and prevent terrorist attacks. Regional counter-terrorism successes are continuing to have an impact on the primary terrorism threat to our region, namely, Jemaah Islamiyah. Australia remains committed to working at all levels with Member States to overcome the grave threat to our security posed by terrorism.
Australia strongly supports the work of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate. We also support the Committee in its efforts to monitor the implementation of counter-terrorism measures. We welcome the Directorate’s engagement with donors active in the counter-terrorism field and its focus on matching donor capabilities with recipients’ needs. Effective relationship-building between donor and recipient countries and a practical focus on capabilities and needs are critical for success.
Australia welcomes the steps being taken by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) to engage more closely with Member States and regional bodies in order to better coordinate its work. That will be important if global counter-terrorism efforts are to be effective, as a strong legislative and regulatory framework is essential in disrupting terrorist networks and dealing with specific threats. Indeed, in March of this year, Australia significantly increased the maximum penalties under our legislation for terrorist offences.
Australia welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 1810 (2008) and encourages the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to continue to build on its efforts of the past four years in support of the universal and effective implementation of the resolution. Australia in particular commends the Committee for seeking to promote and develop greater Asia-Pacific coordination and cooperation, including facilitating assistance to countries of the region.
As Chair of the Australia Group, we work with 40 other member Governments and the European Commission to strengthen the Group’s control lists. Through outreach efforts, we complement the goals of resolution 1540 (2004) and that Committee’s own outreach efforts. Australia will also chair the planning meeting of the 34-member Missile Technology Control Regime to be held in Canberra later this year. That will provide us with a further opportunity to contribute to strengthening international non-proliferation frameworks and norms.
Finally, Australia welcomes the emphasis — particularly in resolution 1810 (2008) — on enhancing ongoing cooperation between the 1540, 1267 and 1373 Committees. That will be particularly well received in the Asia-Pacific region, where countries are focused on cooperating in developing their counter-terrorism capabilities.
Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on behalf of my country on your accession to the presidency of the Security Council for May. I should also like to thank your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of South Africa, for his excellent guidance of the Council last month.
Moreover, I thank Ambassadors Verbeke, Urbina and Jurica, Chairmen of the sanctions Committees, for their briefings to the Council on the work of their Committees.
The millennia-long history of Syria is replete with examples of the authenticity and deep-rooted nature of its Arab traditions and of the Islamic and Christian influences on its rejection of extremism and fanaticism. Syria’s history reflects its reliance on home-grown traditions and its acceptance of all cultures and civilizations and the religious and intellectual beliefs of others. My country has always been devoted to its ethical position of principle, despite the extreme changes that have occurred in the international situation and in the language used to describe those constant changes.
What has not changed is Syria’s ongoing condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of the source or the perpetrators, be they individuals, groups or States. That is because terrorism is manifested in criminal acts of aggression that target innocent people, their lives and their property, in violation of the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and regional security of States. Terrorism knows neither nationality nor religion. It strikes indiscriminately, and no one can escape its horrors.
Terrorism is thus the very antithesis of all religions, races, nationalities and civilizations. It must be fought in the framework of international legitimacy, under the United Nations Charter and in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the provisions of international law.
The crimes that Israel has daily perpetrated for decades against the Arab people in the occupied Arab territories and the occupied Syrian Golan are an egregious example of State terrorism. They have been denounced by the international community through hundreds of resolutions adopted by this international Organization. They are undeniably crimes of war.
Regrettably, however, acts of terrorism are subject to varying standards. In that respect, we reiterate that the most serious threat faced in the global war on terrorism in which we are engaged is posed by Israel’s changeable, unilateral interpretations of the counter-terrorism struggle and of the resolutions of international legitimacy. Indeed, according to Israeli logic and views — which, unfortunately, enjoy the sponsorship and support of some States — Israel’s practice of organized and systematic State terrorism against the Palestinian people, and its pursuit of policies based on murder, destruction, the infliction of hunger, tyranny, injustice, the imposition of collective punishment and the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, are all justified by claims of self-defence against air, electricity, water and food — in other words, against humankind — under the pretext of combating so-called Palestinian terrorism. What kind of legitimate self-defence can authorize acts that flout international resolutions and the provisions of international law?
Syria joined the consensus on the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on the basis of its support for all international efforts in that field. Syria knows that the Strategy provides important support for international cooperation on counter-terrorism. However, as it did in the debates preceding the Strategy’s adoption, Syria reaffirms the need to adopt a coherent and comprehensive national, regional and international approach to counter terrorism and deplete its sources. To that end, Syria calls for a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of terrorism and of the circumstances that promote the spread of that scourge in order to build a common international understanding of the best way to address it and combat it.
Syria reiterates that terrorism poses an ongoing threat to international peace and security. It also reaffirms its respect for the relevant international counter-terrorism resolutions. Syria is convinced in that respect that the United Nations plays a pivotal role in building international consensus in the struggle against terrorism. Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001), 1267 (1999), 1526 (2004), 1540 (2004) and 1566 (2004) have created a cohesive legal framework for fighting terrorism at the international level.
On that basis, Syria is cooperating fully with the United Nations and with the Security Council’s sanctions Committees through the consideration by the relevant Syrian parties of the observations set down by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in its Preliminary Implementation Assessment. Syria is now amending legislative decree No. 33 of 2005, as noted in its fifth report to the Committee.
The Syrian Arab Republic is sparing no effort in the struggle against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. To that end, Syria has acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and has joined the Edgemont Group, whose membership includes financial investigation units from 106 States and which is designed to receive and address notifications of financial transactions suspected of being operations to launder money or finance terrorism. Syria’s efforts have been acknowledged internationally in the joint report, which underscored Syria’s success in recent years in adopting measures and enacting important legislation to that end, in accordance with relevant international recommendations. The report has thus greatly contributed to strengthening the confidence of a number of international financial institutions interested in the subject.
Syria supports the efforts of the Security Council Committee mandated to monitor the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), which Syria considers a positive step towards ensuring the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and guaranteeing international peace and security. Syria does not possess such weapons and it has no intention of possessing them. Moreover, it has declared this in numerous public statements in the United Nations, including before the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the First Committee of the General Assembly.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, to whom I now give the floor.
My delegation congratulates you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May, and thanks the Chairmen of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for their briefings today.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates its firm and categorical condemnation of terrorism and reaffirms its commitment to combat terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations with full respect for international law, international standards on the protection of human rights and international humanitarian law. The essential expression of this commitment has been the strengthening of our legislation aimed at combating terrorist acts, and the adoption of measures to intensify our regional and global cooperation in fighting this scourge, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
In this context, our delegation would like once again to recall before the Security Council the request for extradition, which almost three years ago the Venezuelan Government submitted to the Government of the United States with regard to the notorious criminal and international terrorist Luís Posada Carriles, a fugitive from Venezuelan justice who is responsible for carrying out many terrorist plots, the most well known of which was the attack on the Cubana de Aviación aeroplane, which caused the death of 73 innocent civilians in 1976 in Barbados. That request has been ignored by the United States even though Venezuela has complied with all of the relevant requirements. In this context, the United States authorities have accused Posada Carriles only of minor immigration crimes.
The delegation of the United States has repeatedly argued that, since 27 September 2005, when the immigration judge ordered the expulsion of Posada Carriles, the competent authorities have been considering how to carry out that order. As has been stated in this Chamber by the United States delegation, the immigration judge ordered that this person could not be deported either to Cuba or to Venezuela, because it was probable that, if he were transferred to those countries, he would be tortured.
Such arguments are unacceptable and are simply technical legal manoeuvres designed to bypass our request for extradition while this terrorist continues to walk freely on United States territory. Since 1961, Venezuela has been a State party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and has always respected our commitments under international law. We request the extradition of Posada Carriles so that he can be tried for terrorist acts, with the due process guaranteed by our national legislation.
To conclude, it is necessary for all States to cooperate in accordance with international law in order to find, deny haven to, capture and bring to justice, on the basis of trial or extradition under national legislation, anyone who finances, plans, supports, prepares or commits terrorist acts or provides safe haven, or who participates or intends to participate in any such activity.
Once again, we bring our request to the Counter-Terrorism Committee to review and verify compliance by the United States with its obligations in fighting terrorism, specifically in the case of Luís Posada Carriles, in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001), the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the bilateral extradition treaty signed in 1922, the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation.
Double standards should not prevail in the fight against terrorism.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Qatar, to whom I now give the floor.
At the outset, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening this open debate on an item that concerns one of the most important challenges to international peace and security. I should also like to extend our thanks to the Chairmen of the three Security Council Committees for their briefings. We are pleased to make the following observations, which we had previously expressed during our two years as a member of the Security Council, but whose importance we would like to underline in the light of the briefings we heard this morning.
In general terms, we note that the Security Council deals with terrorism without a clear definition of the word, and without addressing its root causes and the reasons behind its spread. Nor does the Council take into proper account the issues of human rights and international law, including international humanitarian law. Thus, the Council is neglecting one of the most important elements of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which two years ago was adopted by the General Assembly as its resolution 60/288.
Secondly, the Security Council adopts means to deal with terrorism without sufficient coherence or coordination with other United Nations organs, such as the General Assembly and its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other committees and counter-terrorism mechanisms in the United Nations system, including the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. It is thus important to assess and review the Council’s policy regarding terrorism.
I turn now to the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001). Despite the fact that the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) was renewed in resolution 1805 (2008), no end date for the work of the Committee itself has been set. One of the most encouraging things is that by mid-2009 the role of the Committee will be reviewed by the Council; we hope that this will be a comprehensive review, taking into account the lessons learned. It was important that the resolution included some positive elements, such as underlining the importance of States, in their counter-terrorism activities, complying with their obligations under international humanitarian law, international law, human rights law and refugee law. The resolution referred to CTITF and the importance of the participation of the CTED in activities undertaken in the framework of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The organizational plan for CTED contained in document S/2008/80, which was submitted by the Executive Directorate in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1787 (2007), sets forth a number of important points, such as the establishment of a centre for quality control to review all documents before they are issued and a proposed amendment of the working methods of CTED so that it may better focus and adapt its visits to countries in all areas. But we hoped to see in this resolution and in the organizational plan a fuller explanation of those positive aspects and a clearer timetable for the resolution’s implementation.
It is very important that the Council should deal non-selectively with all aspects of terrorism, but in particular efforts at preparing Preliminary Implementation Assessments should be fair and the visits undertaken by CTED should be balanced and comprehensive, since resolution 1373 (2001) requires all States without exception to pass counter-terrorism legislation. Accordingly, we should not focus only on visits to certain regions or countries, while exempting other States because they are developed or because they export technical assistance to other countries.
Experience and recent events have proven that there is a deficiency in the laws of some developed countries that do not fit the requirements of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) concerning the prohibition of incitement. Such acts of incitement to hatred have been occurring repeatedly, particularly with regard to sacred matters, and have thus provoked great emotion. Those acts violate resolution 1624 (2005) and create an environment not conducive to counter-terrorism efforts, thereby undermining efforts undertaken in the context of the Alliance of Civilizations. Such acts prevent dealing with the underlying causes of terrorism that are outlined in the Global Strategy.
With regard to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, the listing and de-listing of names and groups on the consolidated list does not take into account due process. It is quite politicized, which strips the Council of important credibility in the counter-terrorism arena. The nature of the work of the Committee’s Monitoring Team also needs to be reviewed. The reports presented by the Team include at times undocumented judgments that could be interpreted as an implied accusation of terrorism against specific countries and specific regions.
With regard to the Security Council Committee on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), we should not introduce controversial issues in the work of that Committee. The committee should concentrate on prohibiting the acquisition of WMDs by non-State actors. The best means of doing that is basically the disarmament of those weapons and the prohibition of their proliferation by implementing international treaties in that regard. We should not take resolutions prohibiting the proliferation of WMDs as a pretext for preventing States from enjoying technology and rights for peaceful purposes, in accordance with international treaties in that area.
On the basis of our position supporting efforts to combat terrorism, whether nationally or through multilateral agreements, we emphasize the importance of full compliance with international law and international humanitarian law, as well as all related conventions and protocols, so that such efforts to counter terrorism would not be vindictive, leading to an increase in terrorist acts, rather than addressing the causes of terrorism.
Also, we should not equate terrorism with the legitimate struggle against foreign occupation. Since the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, it is therefore very important to enhance the credibility of this organ and to build the deepest trust between it and the States Members of the United Nations, so that its policies concerning counter-terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can be activated and implemented in full.
The representative of the United States has asked for the floor to make a further statement.
The Council is here today to review the work of the 1267 Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee. Most speakers have engaged constructively in discussing ways to increase cooperation and advance the work of the three committees, and we appreciate those contributions. It is disappointing, therefore, that two representatives in particular departed from the focus of the debate to introduce allegations that distort the facts of two cases being adjudicated in the United States.
In the case of Mr. Luis Posada Carriles, the United States has taken a number of legal actions with respect to Mr. Posada. In taking these steps, the United States has acted in ways that are consistent with international law and with our domestic legal framework, which provides various constitutional safeguards to protect individual rights. As with all democracies that follow the rule of law — as opposed to other systems of governance — those safeguards provide that an individual cannot be brought to trial or extradited unless sufficient evidence has been established that he committed the offense for which he has been charged. In the United States, this standard is described as “probable cause”. Let me present a brief overview of steps my Government has taken with respect to Posada within this legal framework.
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. On 27 September 2005, an immigration judge ordered Posada’s removal from the United States but granted a deferral of removal to Cuba and Venezuela under the regulations implementing the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The court ordered that Posada “be deported and removed from the United States to any country other than Cuba and Venezuela willing to accept him”. This order remains in effect. The United States has been seeking ways to implement it, consistent with the terms of the order and United States regulations that implement the obligations of the United States under the Convention against Torture.
Moreover, the United States sought and obtained a criminal indictment charging Posada with violations of our immigration laws. The United States District Court handling that case dismissed the indictment. As is well known, our judges are wholly independent of the executive branch of our Government. They enjoy tenure for life and are fiercely independent. This federal judge, not sitting in Florida but in Texas, reached her decision according to her reading of the law.
In our system, as in all those that respect the rule of law, a decision by the courts must be obeyed unless and until it is overturned by a higher court. The United States filed a notice appealing the district court’s decision dismissing the case on 5 June 2007, but that appeal has not yet been decided.
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 with respect to Posada, consistent with our legal requirements, due process and the rule of law.
In the case of the five Cubans accused of spying, in 2001 the individuals in question were convicted in United States federal courts of conspiracy to commit espionage, among other charges, which included conspiracy by one of those individuals to commit murder, having supported and implemented a plan to shoot down United States civilian aircraft. On 31 October 2005, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a previous ruling by a three-judge appellate panel that ordered a new trial. On rehearing, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals as a whole affirmed the propriety of the trial on the challenged ground and returned the rest of the appellate issues to the three-judge panel for a decision. The remaining appellate issues await a decision by the court.
The five convicted spies are serving their prison sentences while the case is processed in the United States judicial system. The United States has always provided the five defendants with all the guarantees of due process inherent in the independent and impartial United States judicial system. Despite the frustration expressed by the two speakers who raised these cases, we assure them that United States courts and administrative procedures are independent and that they fairly and impartially interpret and apply the law.
The representative of Cuba has requested the floor to make a further statement. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
On behalf of my delegation, I wish to thank you, Madam President, for the opportunity to address this body once again to respond to the comments made by the representative of the United States. I do not believe that the claims presented by Cuba distort the objective of this debate. It is in our interest to contribute constructively to Security Council debate on terrorism so as to promote cooperation and the true fight against that scourge.
We are dealing with a case of the clear violation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001). Time and again, we hear the same baseless arguments. Once again, Council members and the other delegations present in this Chamber await specific responses regarding actions by the Government of the United States to deal with a clear and infamous case of international terrorism.
The reality is far different from what they would have us believe. Thursday, 8 May, will be the first anniversary of the permanent release of the terrorist Posada Carriles. To date, despite all the evidence at its disposal, the Government of the United States has not charged Posada Carriles with his terrorist activities. We are witnesses to ridiculous and shameful efforts by the prosecution to continue to delay this case, which are a legal delaying tactic to prevent justice from being done. At the same time, the terrorist’s legal defence is being given countless deadlines in order to continue an endless immigration trial, which we know does not ultimately guarantee the imposition of any kind of punishment for his terrorist acts. Once again, we reaffirm in this Chamber the falseness of the claim that the United States authorities have acted in accordance with international law.
The double standards, the hypocrisy and the lies seem to be limitless. Among the arguments used against the extradition of Posada Carriles to Venezuela, they say that he runs the risk of being tortured. The accusing Government is trying to evade the criminal past of Posada Carriles, who, at the command of the Central Intelligence Agency, tortured young Latin Americans. Obviously, it is protecting him. The accuser seems to forget that it has been exactly four years since the atrocities committed by the United States occupation forces at Abu Ghraib came to light. It wishes to forget the approval of torture at the illegally occupied Guantánamo naval base, the secret kidnappings of people throughout the world, the secret flights and the clandestine prisons, all on the pretext of fighting terrorism.
The United States ought to be silent — at least for the sake of decency — concern itself with resolving its problems and become a true fighter against terrorism by complying with the international legal order.
Fortunately, the Cuba in which acts of torture were committed ceased to exist long ago. It was the Cuba of drunken Marines in the streets of Havana desecrating our national monuments — the Cuba of the dictator Fulgencio Batista, murdering or torturing students with the tacit complicity of the United States leaders of that era. On 1 January 1959, Cuba freed itself from the terrorist assassins and torturers of the Batista dictatorship, who left our country to go to their true safe haven, the United States of America.
Despite the rigged trial that took place in Miami against our five heroes, the struggle of our compatriots against anti-Cuban terrorism has been amply demonstrated in the United States. They were convicted solely for having risked their lives to fight terrorist groups that operate freely in that city. The whole illegal trial against our five heroes has amounted to scandalous support for the anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating there. It is truly embarrassing that, while our five heroes are unjustly imprisoned and subjected to draconian sentences and punishments and while their human rights are brutally violated, the terrorist hijackers of Cuban ships and aircraft receive easy terms of bail, and some of them are even set free in the United States. This demonstrates once again that the United States Government does not punish the crime of terrorism when it is perpetrated against countries that do not bow before its imperialist policy. The five heroes must be released. They cannot be compared to Posada Carriles, who has committed acts of a different kind: terrorist acts.
The struggle against terrorism requires seriousness, commitment and, above all, political will. Cuba reiterates its urgent request that the Security Council, using the means at its disposal, duly consider our claims and act accordingly.
The representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has also requested the floor to make a further statement. I invite her to take a seat at the Council table and to make her statement.
We would like to thank you, Madam President, for this second opportunity to take the floor, and we apologize to those present for once again taking the floor. However, for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this Council is an important forum in which to address these issues, which are indeed a priority for our country. We do not share the opinion of the Mission of the United States that this is not the appropriate forum. Yes, this is the appropriate forum.
What the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is again requesting in this Council is compliance with commitments undertaken by States under international treaties. We do not understand why the United States cannot comply with the extradition treaty that has been signed by our two countries. They are simply disregarding an extradition request that we have put forward, which complies with all the requirements that the treaty establishes. Why do they ignore our request for extradition, and try the terrorist Posada Carriles only for immigration violations? We reject the argument that Posada Carriles cannot be extradited to our country because he could be tortured there. We reiterate that Venezuela complies with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Our country always guarantees due process. The torturers are others.
The Government of the United States has all the necessary documentation to prove the terrorist nature of the activities of Posada Carriles. Their concern in this case therefore makes a mockery of justice, the memory of the victims of terrorist acts and the suffering of their families. It is also an example of the double standards of a Government that says it fights against terrorism, but in its actions supports terrorist methods.
The Security Council must examine the case, and the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) must verify compliance by the Government of the United States with its commitments in fighting terrorism in accordance with international law.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.