|Date||13 November 2009|
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Rao Wu
|Mr. Do Le Chi
I wish to remind all speakers, as I indicated at the morning’s session, to limit their statements to no more than five minutes in order to enable the Council to carry out its work expeditiously. Delegations with lengthy statements are kindly requested to circulate the texts in writing and to deliver a condensed version when speaking in the Chamber.
I now give the floor to the Permanent Representative of New Zealand.
New Zealand welcomes today’s briefings by the Committees tasked with supporting the implementation of the Security Council’s measures to counter the threat to peace and security that is posed by terrorism.
The United Nations has an indispensable role in efforts to combat global terrorism. The framework provided by the United Nations Global Strategy on Counter-Terrorism, the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments, Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and their successors has established the principles, norms and mechanisms underpinning counter-terrorism efforts globally and provided them with authority and legitimacy. The sanctions implemented by the Committees form an important element of this framework.
Over the past decade, targeted United Nations sanctions have proved an effective tool in global counter-terrorism efforts. United Nations sanctions have played an important role in collective efforts to restrain and disrupt the activities of individuals, entities and networks engaged in or providing support to acts of terrorism, and to restrict their movement and access to weapons and resources. It is nevertheless essential to keep such measures under constant review to ensure that they remain effective, credible and relevant, and to consider further enhancements to their design and implementation.
New Zealand is a strong supporter of targeted sanctions, which offer the global community a means of achieving its political and security objectives while minimizing unintended humanitarian and human rights impacts. We have therefore been encouraged by this Council’s recent steps to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of its existing sanctions regimes, particularly through the changes introduced in resolution 1822 (2008) to strengthen procedures for listing and delisting, notification and availability of information relating to the consolidated list of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). New Zealand welcomes the progress made by the 1267 Committee in preparing publicly accessible narrative summaries outlining the reasons for specific listings.
Upcoming decisions on the renewal of the mandate of that Committee’s Monitoring Team will provide an important opportunity for the Council to take further practical steps to ensure that its sanctions regimes are effective, transparent and fair, and that its listings remain accurate, relevant and actionable. For example, in order to ensure that United Nations sanctions regimes are accurate, fair and capable of effective implementation, it is important that listings be backed by sufficient information. New Zealand supports further measures to promote a cleaner, leaner list of greater utility. We also support consideration of further steps to strengthen the Committees’ listing and delisting procedures to ensure these are as rigorous and transparent as the special circumstances of their work will allow.
Full and conscientious implementation of measures mandated by the Council under Chapter VII of the Charter is a fundamental obligation for all Member States. This in turn places a responsibility on the Council to ensure that such measures are practical, targeted and fair. New Zealand is conscious of the difficulties in meeting international counter-terrorism obligations faced by small developing States, including many in our own region. We therefore welcome recent efforts by the Secretariat to enhance engagement with small developing States in the Pacific and elsewhere to encourage and support compliance.
New Zealand is also determined to take all necessary measures at the domestic level to prevent and combat terrorism and to ensure that New Zealand is neither a target nor a source of terrorist activity. We continue to improve our legislative, policy and operational capabilities in line with international standards and obligations, including prioritizing work to ratify all 16 international counter-terrorism instruments. Last month, New Zealand enacted new legislation aimed at combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, and designed to implement fully the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. New Zealand was also pleased to host a highly productive visit by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate in July.
Much has been achieved over the past decade through the collective efforts of the global community to combat terrorism. Yet, sadly, continued attacks around the world remind us of the continued threat posed by terrorism and of the enduring need to combat it through international cooperation. New Zealand fully supports the vital contribution of the Council and its sanctions Committees to such endeavours, and encourages them in their efforts to ensure that their measures remain as effective, transparent and credible as possible.
We know full well that no single measure will be sufficient to counter the threat to peace and security posed by global terrorism, but equally we know that sanctions imposed by this Council play an indispensable role in efforts to combat that threat. New Zealand therefore reiterates its wholehearted support for this Council and its Committees in the implementation of those measures.
Mr. President, I thank you for convening this open debate, which constitutes an excellent opportunity for delegations to hear from the Chairs of key subsidiary bodies of the Security Council and to provide input into their activities. I also wish to commend the Chairs of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004) for their work and their briefings today.
Brazil’s federal Constitution enshrines the repudiation of terrorism as a guiding principle of our foreign policy. We therefore condemn terrorism unequivocally in all its forms and manifestations. Just as importantly, we are committed to fighting it with effective measures that prevent the planning, preparation and execution of acts of terrorism and other forms of transnational crime within our borders and beyond. At the United Nations, Brazil has duly submitted all the reports requested by the Committees.
My delegation has presented the Counter-Terrorist Committee with a total of six reports, in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). Furthermore, the Brazilian Government has provided the CTC with additional information regarding the national implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), as requested. We were pleased to note the positive remarks contained in the Preliminary Implementation Assessment regarding the Brazilian implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
My delegation welcomes the efforts exerted by all three Committees to present and combat terrorism while upholding relevant rules of international law, including human rights law. With regards to the 1267 Committee, currently under your capable guidance, Mr. President, it is encouraging to see that, despite difficulties, the Committee is making progress in addressing the key aspect of due process in the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities.
We note with satisfaction the update of its guidelines, the development of procedures for reviewing all names contained in the consolidated list and the preparation of narrative summaries giving the reasoning for listing each entry. Those are fundamental steps to enhance not only the transparency and legitimacy of the sanctions regime, but also its effectiveness worldwide. No victory over terrorism will ever be truly sustainable if it comes at the expense of the rule of law.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, ably chaired by His Excellency Ambassador Ranko Vilovi, has also made significant progress in assessing the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and facilitating technical assistance. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate has played a valuable role in gathering information from Governments and in assisting them in that regard. The adoption of adequate standards and criteria for determining implementation by Member States is crucial to ensure consistency in the work of the CTC and Committee’s Executive Directorate and, thereby, secure the continued support of Governments.
Important activities are also under way in the 1540 Committee. Brazil has participated in and closely follows the comprehensive review being carried out under the able leadership of Ambassador Jorge Urbina. The open session of the Committee, held from 30 September to 2 October, was an important step in this process, inasmuch as it allowed all Member States to express their views on an issue that directly affects them all. As we progress towards the final document of the review, we must continue to bear in mind the very concrete difficulties faced by many countries in fulfilling their obligations under the resolution. We must make sure assistance is available to these countries and guarantee that reporting requirements do not represent an undue burden on them.
My delegation noted with interest the assessment of the 1267 Committee with respect to the ninth report elaborated by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, as contained in document S/2009/427. We recognize that there have been significant improvements in the implementation of the sanctions regime established by resolution 1267 (1999).
However, the Committee could further enhance its procedures, in particular with regard to transparency and due process. Concrete ways must be found to ensure that the views of individuals and entities listed are taken into account to the largest extent possible. We share the view that the 1267 Committee should take into consideration, as appropriate, the opinion of a national court that has evaluated the reasons for listing presented by the Committee and undertaken its own fact-finding procedures.
Another important aspect is the need to improve the overall coordination among the different United Nations bodies that fight terrorism. The Committees and their respective subsidiary bodies should look at additional ways to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, not only among themselves, but also with other entities, including those related to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Further coordination among the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force of the General Assembly and the three Security Council Committees is necessary. Operating on several parallel tracks may prove to be excessively burdensome, especially for smaller States, and tends to lead to either duplication or reduced effectiveness.
Working with determination and a sense of shared responsibility, the Council has been able to improve some of its sanctions regimes. I am sure that, in the same spirit, it will make further progress, so that it can better prevent and fight terrorism, while upholding democratic principles and protecting human rights. Brazil is ready to engage in such an endeavour.
We would like to congratulate you for presiding over the Security Council, at a time when we examine such an important agenda item.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is firm and unequivocal in its condemnation of terrorism. It repudiates any terrorist activity committed by anyone, whether it is individuals, organizations or States. We need to recall that resolution 1373 (2001) prevents States from providing refuge to those who commit acts of terrorism and prohibits the refusal of requests for the extradition of terrorists for political reasons.
On this occasion we remember the serious crimes committed by terrorists in 1976, in which a fatal bombing of a Cuban airliner in Barbados took the lives of 73 innocent people. Among them were 24 members of Cuba’s fencing team, all teenagers, who were wearing their gold medals won at the Youth Fencing Championships in Caracas.
It was considered one of the worst acts of terrorism in civil aviation history. How did this crime happen? The explanations can largely be found in the United States. The declassification of official documents, now published on the Internet and available to all of us and circulated in books worldwide, has revealed the authorship of this flagrant act of terrorism.
Three months before the Cuban aircraft was shot down, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) informed its authorities that an extremist group planned to put a bomb on a Cubana Airlines flight. The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research reported to then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that a CIA source had overheard Luis Posada Carriles say, a month before the attack, “we are going to bring down a Cuban airplane”. The United States Government, with foreknowledge of this situation, did not warn the Cuban authorities about this terrorist threat.
It has been clearly shown that the masterminds of the attack were Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, and that those who planted the bombs on the plane were the Venezuelans Hernan Ricardo and Freddy Lugo. These individuals belonged to the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, an umbrella group of Cuban exile organizations that was formed in 1976, according to the FBI, to “plan, finance and carry out terrorist operations and attacks against Cuba”.
According to their confessions, Hernan Ricardo and Freddy Lugo placed the C-4 explosives aboard the aircraft in a tube of toothpaste and a camera. They got on the CU-455 flight in Trinidad at 12.45 p.m., bound for Barbados. During the flight, they placed the C-4 explosives. The terrorists got off the plane during its brief stopover at Seawell Airport in Barbados. Nine minutes after takeoff, a terrible explosion brought the aircraft down in full flight. It fell into the waters of Deep Water Bay, off the coast of Barbados.
In Port of Spain, the terrorists were arrested and interrogated by detectives from the Trinidad Police Department, to whom they confessed their guilt in writing and admitted to being CIA agents working for Luis Posada Carriles. Venezuelan police arrested Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch in Caracas and found, in Posada’s office in Caracas, a Cubana de Aviación flight schedule and an intelligence report written by Hernan Ricardo on Cuban diplomats and business entities in Barbados, Colombia, Panama and Trinidad.
After the arrests, Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and Cuba ceded jurisdiction over the downing of the passenger plane to Venezuela, and the four criminals were prosecuted in Caracas. Lugo and Ricardo were sentenced to 20 years. Orlando Bosch was released, supposedly, for good behaviour. But before the Venezuelan courts could issue a verdict on Luis Posada Carriles, he escaped in 1985 from the prison of San Juan de los Morros, Guarico State, Venezuela.
Luis Posada Carriles spent the next few years in various countries of Central America, working for the security services of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. But in the 1990s, he again turned his attention to Cuba. He recruited Salvadoran and Guatemalan mercenaries, smuggled explosives into Cuba, including bombs that exploded at hotels and restaurants in Havana in 1997, killing an Italian tourist, Fabio Di Celmo, and leaving several injured.
For a long time, Luis Posada Carriles, although not a United States citizen, lived in complete freedom in Miami. The authorities of this country knew of his stay but did not detain him. Upon learning of this situation, in May 2005 Venezuela asked the United States Government to detain Posada Carriles preventively so that he might face trial on 73 counts of first-degree murder in relation to the downing of the Cuban airliner. The extradition request made by Venezuela to the United States Government is based on three specific instruments: the extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela, which remains in force; the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation; and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.
Only after Posada called a news conference in Miami on 16 May 2005, at which he openly boasted that the State Department was not even looking for him, did the United States Government proceed to arrest him. Posada was charged, however, with illegally entering the United States. Thus began a legal charade designed to divert attention from the Venezuelan extradition request, which remains neglected by the Justice Department to this day.
On 11 January 2007, the United States Government, rather than charge him with murder and terrorism, accused Posada Carriles of seven counts of immigration fraud. Today, Posada Carriles is free and lives in Miami. He is a veritable czar of terrorism.
Our country has urged the Government of the United States to extradite this terrorist to Venezuela so that he may face trial. If the United States Government decides not to grant the extradition, international law obliges the United States to try him in court under article 7 of the Montreal Convention on Civil Aviation. By allowing Posada to remain at liberty in this country and by not accepting the request that he be extradited to Venezuela, the United States is in violation of resolution 1373 (2001), which we are discussing today.
The Bolivarian Government stands by the extradition request and calls on the United Nations to rule on this horrible case. For the past several years, Venezuela has told the Security Council that impunity is the absence of justice, and its prevalence over time is as ominous as the act of terrorism itself. Venezuela demands once again that the United States Government comply with its extradition treaty with Venezuela or prosecute and punish Luis Posada Carriles as a terrorist.
My delegation appreciates this opportunity to participate in this meeting of the Security Council, and congratulates Austria on organizing this open debate on the activities of the three Security Council counter-terrorism Committees. In this regard, I fully endorse the content of the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Sweden on behalf of the European Union.
Terrorism infringes on people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms, and has become a threat to peace and international security. To counteract terrorism, it is essential to formulate collective, all-inclusive and coordinated response in which the United Nations system must play a relevant role as an expression of an organized international community. To that end, we should all move forward towards an effective and balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its Action Plan (General Assembly resolution 60/288), adopted by consensus by the General Assembly in September 2006.
Spain, as a country that has suffered terribly from terrorism in its myriad manifestations, is actively engaged, both domestically and abroad, to prevent and combat it. We have learned from experience that we can be successful in this difficult task only within a multilateral framework and always in strict respect of international law and human rights.
I would like to thank the Chairmen of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) — the Counter-Terrorism Committee — and 1540 (2004) for the information they provided today and for the work of their respective expert groups in the fulfilment of their mandates. We commend their intention to strengthen cooperation among them, which should be intensified even further in order to make optimal the use of the available resources, avoid duplication and achieve better results. Likewise, we should strive for a better interaction between the work done by the Security Council and its specialized Committees and the work done by the General Assembly in the fight against terrorism, in order to allow for the participation of all in combating this shared threat.
First of all, we would like to highlight the work of the 1267 Committee, which ensures the implementation of the Security Council sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban and other associated groups, as well as the adoption of resolution 1822 (2008), which modified earlier procedures in order to arrive at more rigorous and transparent implementation of sanctions. In this context, I would like to point out that last week a delegation from 1267 Committee Monitoring Team visited Spain, which was very interesting and useful for both parties.
My delegation would also like to draw attention to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), which is now focusing on the implementation by Member States of anti-terrorism policies as well as the dissemination of best practices. Spain appreciates the tools employed by CTED to analyse the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) at the national and global levels, and values the Executive Directorate’s technical assistance and capacity-building activities aimed at strengthening its dialogue between donor and recipient States in order to achieve better performance in this task.
Since its creation, Spain has offered technical assistance to CTED in different regions of the world and in different fields, such as the development of legislation in the fight against terrorism and its financial sources or in areas such as border control or the work of police and security agencies. Additionally, Spain has strengthened the cooperation between CTED and other international, regional and subregional organizations by financing events such as the Conference on Terrorism and Cyber-Security, which took place in Madrid in April 2009.
The international community has before it the challenge of preventing the access by non-State actors to the use of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related material. In this respect, the efforts of the 1540 Committee to create control mechanisms aimed at the effective global implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and towards greater dialogue, assistance and cooperation among Member States are of the greatest importance. Spain underscores the need for Member States to comply with the obligations set forth in this resolution and to advance in areas such as legal prohibition of activities of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in their respective territories, the protection of sensitive materials and an effective export control system.
The scourge of terrorism continues to threaten the international community, as, unfortunately, we have witnessed throughout recent weeks. My delegation believes that, to combat this barbarism, it is imperative to reinforce the commitment of the international community to fight it while maintaining strict respect for human rights and international law.
For this reason, we consider these open debates to be extremely useful in order to allow all Member States to express their views, ideas and suggestions about the complex work performed by these three Security Council Committees dedicated to the fight against terrorism with a view to providing for its final eradication.
I have the honour today to speak also on behalf of Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, which together form the informal group of like-minded States. The Netherlands would also like to align itself with the statement delivered by the representative of Sweden, who spoke on behalf of the European Union.
We would like to present some additional considerations regarding the 1267 Committee.
Let me start by very briefly recapitulating the origins of the informal group of like-minded States, because today is the first time that this group presents itself here in the Security Council. The group dates back to 2005, right after the 2005 World Summit Outcome document called upon the Security Council
“to ensure that fair and clear procedures exist for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists and for removing them, as well as for granting humanitarian exemptions” (resolution 60/1, para. 109).
In March 2006, as part of a process instituted by the Governments of Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, the Watson Institute for International Studies released a paper entitled “Strengthening Targeted Sanctions through Fair and Clear Procedures”. The paper contained several recommendations and options to enhance far and clear procedures and was submitted to the Security Council in the spring of 2006.
The next step was taken in May 2008, when Denmark, Germany, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland suggested in a letter subsequently circulated as an official document of the General Assembly and the Security Council (A/62/891–S/2008/428), the establishment of an expert panel assisting the sanctions Committees in the consideration of delisting requests and thus addressing concerns regarding the right to review by an effective review mechanism. In 2009, Belgium, Costa Rica, Finland and Norway associated themselves with the informal like-minded group.
In the like-minded States’ view, resolution 1822 (2008) is an important step in the life of the 1267 Committee. The resolution added to the transparency and enhanced fairness and clarity of the procedures of the sanctions regime by introducing a number of important innovations, in particular the review process of all the names on the 1267 list by 30 June 2010 and the posting of narrative summaries for all the names on the Committee’s website. However, resolution 1822 (2008) did not remedy one remaining fundamental due process concern: the absence of an effective review mechanism that fulfils the requirements of impartiality, independence and the ability to provide an effective remedy.
Developments since the adoption of resolution 1822 (2008) have reinforced the need to address this one remaining fundamental due process concern. First, recent judgments by national courts worldwide and regional courts indicate that further steps are needed in order to guarantee fundamental human rights while preventing and combating terrorism. In particular, at stake here are the right of the individuals concerned to be informed of the sanctions taken against them, the right to be heard and the right to challenge the decision taken by the sanctions Committee before an independent body.
Secondly, a number of recently published authoritative studies and reports have also addressed these issues. An example of that is the second report by the Watson Institute. In our view, this question is a challenge to the efficiency, legitimacy and credibility of the entire United Nations sanctions regime, as was also pointed out in the tenth report of the Monitoring Team.
The group of like-minded countries therefore considers it imperative, while maintaining targeted sanctions as an effective instrument available to the Security Council, to look at the same time at the importance of improvements fundamental to due process. To this end, we have drafted a working paper entitled “Working on strengthening targeted sanctions — ideas and options”, which is annexed to my written statement. This working paper contains a broad range of suggestions, including that of a panel that might come up with possible ways to further strengthen the existing procedures by building on the listing, delisting, review and exemption procedures as well as the focal point process.
It should be emphasized that, although these ideas and options are primarily discussed in the context of the 1267 sanctions regime, they should, in our view, also apply, as appropriate, to the other sanctions regimes.
The purpose of this working paper is to share views with Security Council members, and this in order to constructively contribute to the work of the Security Council for the purpose of further strengthening the existing procedures. The informal group of like-minded States would like to express their appreciation to the members of the Security Council for the open exchanges of views on this matter.
I would like to strongly encourage the Security Council to continue to pursue an open and inclusive dialogue with interested States, including through its sanctions Committees, so as to achieve further improvements in its listing and delisting process, thereby securing the effectiveness of a sanctions regime that may otherwise be at risk.
We wish to stress that any decision on listing and delisting should be taken by the Security Council, thus keeping decision-making within the realm of the Council. We firmly believe that the required improvements to procedures can be achieved without in any way compromising the authority of the Council.
The new draft resolution on sanctions against Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban and their associates will constitute an important step to that end. We look forward to its adoption by the Security Council in December.
In conclusion, the suggested changes in our working paper will not weaken our sanctions regime. On the contrary, they are needed to secure the use of targeted sanctions as an effective tool in our fight against terrorism.
Australia wishes to place on record its appreciation and strong support for the work of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), as well for the assistance of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. (CTED). A global effort is needed to counter terrorism effectively. Multilateral action through the United Nations system is a vital element in any international strategy to address terrorism and violent extremism.
Australia encourages the three Committees and their respective expert bodies to continue to work closely together and with the broader United Nations system, including the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. In our view, cooperation is particularly important in relation to streamlined reporting regimes, assessment missions and the facilitation of technical assistance. We note, in that regard, the importance of all three Committees continuing to recognize the regional context of their activities. We also encourage the 1540 Committee, as it increases its focus on technical assistance, to work with CTED to identify effective approaches.
The relationship of the subsidiary bodies with other international organizations is also important. My delegation would like to draw attention to a recent best practices paper adopted by the Financial Action Task Force on implementing terrorist asset freezing obligations arising from both resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001). As Co-Chair of the project team that developed that paper, Australia would like to acknowledge the significant contribution to that work by both the 1267 Committee and CTED.
Effective relations with Member States — particularly, of course, with donor and recipient countries — are also critical to the success of the Committees’ work. In that context, we welcomed the recent visit to Australia, in July, by a CTED delegation. We appreciated the opportunity to share our approach to counter-terrorism efforts, both domestically and in the region.
Continual institutional review is crucial. We commend the 1267 Committee on its review of the Consolidated List and for the conclusion of procedures for drafting narrative summaries on the reasons for listing each entry. That approach could be a model for other regimes to follow. We also welcome the recent open meeting of the 1540 Committee that was held as part of its comprehensive review of the implementation of that resolution.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Australia’s active and ongoing support for the Council’s counter-terrorism bodies and our commitment to assisting efforts to advance their work. The United Nations has the unique capacity to set international norms and standards on countering terrorism, as well as to encourage adherence to them. That is a capacity that my delegation will continue to support.
Terrorism is one of the gravest threats to international peace and security. Addressing this problem requires an integrated and comprehensive approach. Clearly, the United Nations has made considerable progress, both in the areas of standard-setting and in implementing counter-terrorism measures. But despite all those efforts and activities, we have unfortunately witnessed an escalation in terrorist attacks in various parts of the world.
Genuinely combating terrorism very much depends upon how we identify its root causes. Foreign occupation, exclusion, selectivity and expansionist economic and political policies are among the factors that create conditions conductive to the spread of violent acts and terrorism. Furthermore, the double standard exercised by certain States in dealing with terrorism has aggravated the situation. On the one hand, they appear to confront some terrorist groups while, on the other, they overlook others. Perhaps one reason for the rise in terrorist activities in recent years, in terms of frequency and the advanced tactics used by terrorists, is the wrong and selective approach by certain States in dealing with terrorism.
On the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), we welcome the initiative to convene the open meeting of the comprehensive review on the status of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), which was held in October. The meeting was an opportunity to address a number of serious and valid concerns of Member States in connection with the work of 1540 Committee. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the work of the Committee should not have operative impact on the rights enshrined in internationally negotiated instruments such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, as well as the statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Islamic Republic of Iran also believes that any emphasis on the concept of prohibiting access by non-State actors to weapons of mass destruction and nuclear materials should not divert the attention of Member States from nuclear disarmament as the highest priority of the international community.
In line with the points I have just made, the Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted two reports to the 1540 Committee on the measures Iran has taken to implement the resolution.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has taken serious steps in implementing the Security Council’s resolutions on terrorism, including resolution 1373 (2001). We have submitted six national reports on our implementation of that resolution, in which we have set out the concrete steps that our country has taken to implement the provisions of that and other relevant resolutions. Those steps include stepping up border control security and surveillance measures at border entry and exit checkpoints. Moreover, we have intensified our fight against drug trafficking originating from Afghanistan. Given the fact that that menace serves as a feeding ground for terrorism, Iran’s efforts in that regard have undoubtedly made a fundamental contribution to the global fight against terrorism. Iran has thus far shouldered that burden almost single-handedly.
As one of the first victims of terrorism in the region, Iran made unwavering efforts to fight it and has always strongly condemned that vicious menace in all its forms and manifestations. As I stated earlier, the application of double standards in dealing with terrorism and terrorist groups is a matter of grave concern that seriously undermines the international community’s collective fight against terrorism. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been subject to various acts of terrorism by certain terrorist groups over the past three decades.
In that regard, particular reference should be made of the Mujaheddin e Khalq terrorist group, which has thus far perpetrated more than 612 terrorist operations in Iran, resulting in the killing and wounding of many civilians and officials and damage to private and government properties. That terrorist group has also devised many atrocious ploys to incite acts of terrorism inside and outside the country. This terrorist group was long supported and sheltered by the former regime in Iraq and was engaged in Saddam’s bloody campaigns against the Iraqi people, too.
Despite its heinous and appalling record of terrorist acts and incitement to terrorism, and although it was officially designated a terrorist group by the United States and others, elements and members of that group continue to enjoy support and receive safe haven in the United States and some European countries, including some States members of the European Union. The irony is that the European Union Council of Foreign Ministers, despite its own belief in and emphasis on the terrorist nature of the Mujaheddin e Khalq, decided, on 26 January 2009, to remove the name of this notorious terrorist cult from the European Union list of terrorist groups by invoking the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the European Court of Justice. The European Union decision has put on display the selective approach and double standard with which the European Union deals with the vicious menace of terrorism. It is obvious that this kind of attitude towards terrorist groups weakens the international consensus against terrorism and encourages terrorists to continue their inhuman activities. Such support is indeed in clear violation of the provisions of Security Council resolutions, particularly resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005).
There are certain other terrorist groups that have committed acts of terrorism against the Iranian people. In the past several years, the Jundullah terrorist group has attacked and killed dozens of people in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country in an attempt to create an environment of intimidation and insecurity. On 18 October, that group attacked participants in a conference of tribal and local leaders in the border city of Pishin in the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, killing at least 57 and injuring 150. This group also enjoys the support of some foreign countries. We expect all countries to uphold their international obligations in this respect.
I would like to conclude by reiterating that we should all strengthen our cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Only through a coordinated and comprehensive approach will the international community’s fight against terrorism yield lasting results.
I would like at the outset, Sir, to congratulate your country on its presidency of the Council for this month. We thank the Permanent Representative of Viet Nam and the members of his friendly delegation for their work last month. We also wish to thank the Chairmen of the Council Committees for their briefings at this meeting and for their efforts to coordinate international cooperation in combating terrorism.
The Syrian Arab Republic became aware of the threat posed by terrorism at an early date. It was one of the first States to highlight, in the mid 1980s, the need to foster efforts to eradicate international terrorism and to hold an international United Nations conference to draw up a specific definition of the concept of terrorism and to formulate an effective international strategy to combat it and distinguish it from the legitimate liberation struggle of peoples suffering under the yoke of occupation. The right to such struggle has been enshrined in international norms and instruments.
My country, the Syrian Arab Republic, emphasizes its condemnation of terrorism as an unjust, aggressive and criminal action that targets the lives and property of innocent people. My country calls for action on all levels to combat international terrorism in conformity with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of international law.
The crimes perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and against Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan are without a doubt war crimes. They are the very definition of terrorism. They constitute a blatant form of State terrorism and a grave violation of the principles of human rights, international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, including Security Council resolutions. The Syrian Arab Republic believes that the United Nations has a pivotal role to the play in combating terrorism and grappling with it internationally, and therefore fully cooperates with the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004).
The Syrian Arab Republic has established complementary national committees to ensure the optimal application of these resolutions and to achieve the best possible cooperation with the Security Council’s Committees. This cooperation stems from my country’s keen interest in successfully implementing resolutions of international legitimacy, including Security Council resolutions, and from our belief in the pressing need to cooperate with these Committees in order to eradicate terrorism. This is particularly true since the Syrian Arab Republic has suffered for decades from the scourge of terrorism and terrorist actions inflicted upon its territory, the most recent of which was last year’s military operation against al-Qazzaz.
Once again, the Syria states that terrorism constitutes an ongoing threat to international peace and security. We also reiterate our commitment to the relevant international resolutions on combating terrorism. We are persuaded that the United Nations has a pivotal role to play in grappling with international terrorism and establishing international consensus on this topic.
My country is of the view that the Committees of the Security Council established to combat terrorism contribute to efforts to coordinate international action to combat terrorism. However, we must state that the Committees show a kind of discrimination in dealing with Member States. For instance, we notice a focus on certain States or particular geographic groupings and not on others. While the Committees request certain States to submit reports on the implementation of terrorism-related resolutions, they turn a blind eye to other States.
The Syrian Arab Republic deploys strenuous efforts to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Syrian Commission for Combating Money-Laundering and Terrorism Financing has joined the Egmont Group, whose units seek to verify financial transactions in 108 States. The Group is responsible for gathering information and reporting on financial transactions suspected to be related to money-laundering or terrorist financing.
Syria has attended counter-terrorism workshops, including the Doha workshop on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and a national workshop held in Abu Dhabi from 28 to 30 June, organized in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Syria participated in the International Workshop for National Counter-Terrorism Focal Points, held in Vienna — your capital, Mr. President — on 12 and 13 October. Syria has submitted its national report to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the implementation of that resolution.
Syria was among the first States to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968. We do not possess any nuclear weapons, any means of their delivery or any material that can be used for their manufacture. We also signed a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1992.
Meanwhile, Israel is the only party in the Middle East that possesses a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and that refuses to accede to the NPT. Its facilities are not subject to any verification. Therefore, the accumulated negative impact of Israel’s non-compliance with the NPT reflects Israel’s disrespect for resolution 1540 (2004) and its disregard for the IAEA and all international efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament.
Finally, my country calls once again for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In that connection, we wish to refer to the draft resolution that my country submitted to the Security Council in 2003 during our Council membership (see S/2003/1219), calling for the establishment of such a zone in the region.
Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. We appreciate the approach that you have taken thus far in conducting the business of the Council, including in interactions with non-members. I would also like to thank you, in your capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and the Chairmen of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for your briefings.
I take the floor barely two weeks before the first anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai, in my country. The images of those heinous attacks remain deeply etched in the minds and hearts of the Indian people. They demand an early end to the scourge of terrorism which has plagued us for the past two decades.
Terrorism poses a grave threat to all States and all societies. It undermines peace, democracy and freedom, thus endangering the very foundations of the continued existence of democratic societies. Terrorism is a global threat and requires a coordinated and concerted global response. India is a party to all 13 sectoral conventions on terrorism that have been adopted under the auspices of the United Nations. India participated constructively in discussions leading to the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (see General Assembly resolution 60/288) in September 2006.
We at the United Nations have been negotiating a comprehensive convention on international terrorism for more than a decade. Nearly all the elements of the proposed convention have met with the agreement of Member States. It is important that we all put our heads and minds together with a common resolve to ensure the early adoption of the convention. Its time has really arrived, and we all need to act with the necessary political will to ensure the adoption of the convention.
India supports the anti-terrorism mechanisms established by the United Nations, including Security Council resolution 1267 (1999), related to sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban; Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), which led to the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee; and Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which addressed the issue of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. India also supports the subsequent resolutions that renewed, strengthened or amended those three original resolutions. We are fully committed to implementing our obligations under those resolutions.
India has been accorded observer status by the Financial Action Task Force. We are working towards full membership. We are reviewing our legislative, regulatory and institutional framework with a view to becoming fully compliant with the recommendations of the Task Force on combating money-laundering and terrorist financing.
Regarding our participation in the regime created by resolution 1267 (1999) and subsequent associated resolutions, it may be recalled that in January 2004, the Government of India enacted an order entitled Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism (Implementation of Security Council Resolutions), revised in March 2006, 2007 and July 2009, which enables the central and State authorities concerned to take necessary action as required under resolution 1267 (1999) in respect of the individuals and entities included in the 1267 list. In December 2008, the Government of India amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, in order to effectively implement resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001). At the same time, however, we are concerned that the process of listing and delisting on the consolidated list is subject to political will and pressure — a scenario that we can ill afford in our united fight against terrorism.
We received the first visit by the 1267 Committee’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team from 1 to 3 September 2009. From our perspective, the visit was very useful, as it gave us an opportunity to closely interact with the head of the Monitoring Team. We look forward to cooperating with the Team and the regime in the future.
Regarding our cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it is pertinent to note that India has submitted five national reports to the Committee on measures taken to implement resolution 1373 (2001). We also hosted a visit by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in November 2006. We encourage the ongoing stocktaking exercise with a view to the full implementation of the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001).
Since the adoption of resolution 1540 (2004), India has taken additional steps to further strengthen the existing legislative and regulatory mechanism for exercising controls over weapons of mass destruction (WMD). A major step was the enactment of the WMD Act in June 2005. The Act provides for integrated and overarching legislation on prohibiting unlawful activities in relation to WMDs, their delivery systems and related materials, equipment and technologies. The Act criminalizes a range of unlawful activities in relation to WMDs and their means of delivery. Separately, industry outreach activities and training programmes are organized to highlight various aspects of resolution 1540 (2004).
We support efforts to prepare guidelines for handling assistance requests by countries and to find means to address the most commonly found gaps in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). It is important that these activities be performed only at the request of a country and keeping in mind the varying national capacities, procedures and systems. Based on specific requests by countries, India remains ready to assist them bilaterally in capacity-building and in fulfilling their obligations under Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). With respect to the involvement of regional organizations, this may need to be carefully considered since this subject is rather specialized in nature and capability and expertise at the level of regional or subregional organizations may not often be available.
In conclusion, let me reiterate that we will continue to work closely with the counter-terrorism mechanisms established by Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004). The scourge of terrorism requires the international community to act in concert and in a comprehensive manner, including through termination of sources of its financing and stamping out its networks. The necessary political will and resolve needs to be constantly on demonstration for the international community to give a truly strong and unambiguous signal in our resolve to fight terrorism.
Colombia appreciates the briefings on the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council that were presented in today’s meeting. My Government particularly appreciates the work of these Committees.
Colombia emphasizes the importance of ensuring international cooperation and the commitment of each and every Member State to honour its international obligations in the fight against terrorism and associated criminal activities. My country makes this appeal based on its own experience. We, Colombians, have suffered from terrorist acts committed by illegal armed groups, some of them already demobilized and others still in existence, such as the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional.
Our firm and recognized democratic practices give us the authority to reiterate that today the only raison d’être for these groups is the criminal business of drug trafficking. These groups are not only repudiated by the Colombian people, but are also designated as terrorists on the lists of many countries, including several States members of the Security Council.
In order to overcome terrorist violence, in order to permit increased investment, growth, social development and well-being, Colombians since 2002 have carried out the Democratic Security Policy. That has reduced crime and brought about progress in guaranteeing rights and in strengthening our democratic institutions. In making progress towards those goals solidarity and international cooperation has also been essential. It is clear that no country can confront terrorism on its own.
International solidarity includes the repudiation of terrorist groups. In resolution 1465 (2003) the Council condemned the terrorist act that occurred in Bogota in February 2003 and urged all States to cooperate with Colombia, in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001), to find and bring to justice the perpetrators. That act was one of many carried out by FARC.
Plan Colombia, which was funded with significant national resources and supportive international cooperation, particularly from the United States, has made verifiable achievements in the fight against the global drug problem. The 2008 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime informs us of significant declines both in the illicit crops and the production of drugs, as well as a sharp increase in seizures of those substances. Those who question the effectiveness of Plan Colombia show a deep lack of knowledge of today’s reality that we the Colombians experience.
In Colombia we have also experienced the adverse effect of a lack of cooperation and the interference by another country in our internal affairs. In this regard, I must refer to the particular concern of the Colombian Government at the lack of willingness by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to cooperate in the fight against criminal groups that have inflicted great pain on my country. This lack of willingness is reflected in several ways and I will refer to some examples that the Government of Colombia has already brought to the attention of Council members.
Arms have been diverted from Venezuela to recognized terrorist groups that operate in Colombia. Recently, anti-tank weapons and their ammunition were found by Colombian authorities in a camp belonging to the illegal armed group FARC. There is a record of the legal sale of this weaponry to the Venezuelan Government. The Foreign Minister of Colombia sent a dossier on this matter to the Venezuelan Government, but to date no satisfactory explanation befitting the seriousness of the matter has been received.
Since the 1980s, Colombia and Venezuela have engaged in reciprocal cooperation mechanisms in matters of border security and the fight against drug trafficking. Nonetheless, the Venezuelan Government decided not to continue its cooperation within the framework of these mechanisms, which in the past had proven to be effective in achieving greater control of illicit drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
Moreover, the Venezuelan Government has generated disinformation regarding international cooperation agreements in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. It has referred to the agreement signed between Colombia and the United States of America. This agreement resulted from a long history of cooperation between the two countries and is limited to the sole purpose of combating illicit drug trafficking and terrorism in Colombia. It will be implemented in strict compliance with the principles of sovereign equality, the territorial integrity of States and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. Disinformation or distortion will not alter the legal soundness and political transparency of the actions of the Government of Colombia.
The people of Colombia do not understand why the Venezuelan Government insists on questioning the national and cooperation strategies implemented to confront drug trafficking and terrorism in my country. The people of Colombia are committed to their democratic institutions in the fight against those phenomena. They also do not understand and are dismayed by the threat of war uttered last Sunday by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, about which the Colombian Government informed the members of the Council in a timely manner.
My delegation shares the Council’s concern with regard to the connection between terrorism, international crime, illicit drugs and illicit arms trafficking. Colombia trusts that the Council will continue to promote measures to ensure that, in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001), all States refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to groups involved in acts of terrorism.
In this regard, my Government will continue to cooperate actively with the United Nations in the fight against terrorism. Likewise, we will continue to support other countries’ efforts to confront crime and drug trafficking. We will continue to contribute our experience and good practices in this field.
My Government wishes to thank those countries that, through effective cooperation, have contributed to the strengthening of our capacities in this fight, and we invite those that still have not done so to show their solidarity with a people that repudiates terrorism and desires to live in a country with development and well-being.
I now give the floor to the Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who has asked to make a further statement.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and in particular its President Hugo Chávez Frias, has been a major player in the quest for peace in Colombia. Through his activities in the area of peace, he has been responsible for the only release of prisoners held by armed groups, for which he has been widely recognized by the international community. The Government of President Hugo Chávez Frias has worked for peace in Colombia, a country that has suffered from a terrible internal war for more than 60 years. That internal war has affected not just Venezuela, but also various other neighbours of Colombia.
In the specific case of Venezuela, thousands and thousands of Colombians have come to our country. It is estimated that approximately 4 million have left Colombia for Venezuela and received help and protection from the Government of Venezuela, and benefit fully from our social programmes. Thus, the Government of Venezuela has a major interest in seeing the conflict in Colombia come to an end.
However, the Government of Colombia, far from seeking mechanisms for political dialogue in order to put an end to the terrible massacres and political violence, only foments further war and violence. That is clear from the fact that, far from seeking political dialogue as called for by the international community, it is instead fomenting and expanding war to other countries of the continent. That was clearly demonstrated by its invasion of the brotherly nation of Ecuador, which was condemned by the Rio Group at its meeting in Santo Domingo, leading President Uribe Veléz to ask forgiveness of the heads of State gathered at that meeting.
However, the Colombian Government, far from seeking peaceful relations with the other countries on the continent, insists on having recourse to violence and broadening the conflict, which has gone on for so long. Thus, he has concluded a political and military agreement with the Government of the United States that virtually converts Colombia into a mechanism for extending war into the whole continent and subordinates Colombia to the United States policy of aggression against the countries of the continent.
That is why the countries of South America, meeting in Bariloche, Argentina, declared their deep concern at the establishment of seven United States military bases in Colombia. The warlike intentions of President Uribe’s Government have been confirmed by documentation available to all, issued by the United States Departments of State and Defense, and by numerous official reports of the United States Government. These clearly establish that the United States military bases in Colombia will be used to monitor and control not just Colombia but the entire South American continent.
I would also like to refer to the unfounded statements made by the representative of Colombia at this meeting. Drug trafficking in Colombia is an endemic evil, and I would like to state here in a responsible manner that drug trafficking and its effects on Colombia and the world have not decreased but have actually increased significantly. The policy of democratic security has totally failed; it has instead intensified the war and prevented Colombia from working with other countries of the continent to fight both terrorism and drug trafficking.
The best demonstration that military bases are not being established in Colombia to fight terrorism or drug trafficking is the statement made by former President Ernesto Samper of Colombia, who has said that this rationale is false and that, on the contrary, the purpose is to convert the Colombian army into a military tool for bellicose expansion throughout the continent.
In the matter of the arms found in the possession of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, those were seized as a result of a military action that was carried out against the armed forces of Venezuela, when armed groups from Colombia seized arms that had been fully deactivated. Those weapons are now being presented as if they had come form Venezuela, which is a terrible falsehood and manipulation of historical fact. The Government of Venezuela would like to assert that we are in favour of peace, and calls on the Government of Colombia to cease its expansionist warlike policies and its transformation into a tool for spreading violence and war into neighbouring countries.
Venezuela loves peace. Venezuela and its Government are always interested in contributing to a peaceful solution to regional conflicts. Venezuela and its Government have the highest interest in the achievement of peace in Colombia, because peace in Colombia means peace in Venezuela, and because Venezuela is the country that has suffered most from the effects of the terrible war that the Government of Colombia is perpetuating and which the Government of Venezuela would like to help resolve peacefully. That is why, on the occasions when President Chávez has acted as facilitator in seeking alternative means to peace, he has done so at the special request of the Government of Colombia.
I give the floor to the representative of the United States of America, who has asked to make an additional statement.
I feel I must take the floor to correct the mischaracterizations we have just heard with respect to the Defense Cooperation Agreement that was just signed recently between the United States and Colombia.
The United States and Colombia on 30 October signed the Defense Cooperation Agreement, which facilitates United States access to Colombian bases in support of mutually approved activities within Colombia only. The Agreement harmonizes existing bilateral cooperation in eliminating narcotics production and trafficking and illicit smuggling of all types, and augments assistance efforts for humanitarian and natural disasters. The Agreement explicitly indicates that all activities will be consistent with the principles of sovereignty, non-interventionism and territorial integrity. It has no regional or extraterritorial application.
We also heard, I am pleased to note, of Venezuela’s interest in international cooperation against terrorism, which is an issue of global and regional importance. One of the reasons that we re-established relations at the ambassadorial level in July was to ensure a high quality dialogue with Venezuela on issues of mutual concern, including counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts. While the Venezuelan Government has not yet taken advantage of this opportunity, we are hopeful that its new-found interest in the topic, as evidenced by this discussion, will encourage a meaningful dialogue between our Governments.
The representative of Colombia has asked for the floor to make a further statement. I give her the floor.
My delegation does not seek to make an additional statement or to alter the scope of this meeting. We have taken note of the reference made to the information presented by Colombia to the members of the Security Council, and of the adjectives applied to it. The information presented today by the Government of Colombia is based neither on adjectives or baseless qualifications, nor on mere rhetoric; it is based on specific and verifiable facts. In my statement, I made reference to some of these. I thank the President and other members of the Council for the attention that they have given to that information.
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.