Sanctions Committee Chair Introduces Monitoring Mechanism Report
NEW YORK, 22 February (UN Headquarters) -- The role of diamonds in fueling conflict, penalties for sanctions violators ("secondary sanctions") and a possible permanent monitoring mechanism for United Nations sanctions were among the issues raised this afternoon, as the Security Council took up the report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions and heard 30 speakers.
The Mechanism was established last April to investigate violations of the sanctions imposed by the Council against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) for its failure to cooperate in the Angola peace process. A follow-up to a Panel of Experts established by the Council in May 1999 to investigate sanctions violations, the Mechanism issued its report on 21 December 2000. On 26 January this year the Council extended its mandate for three months, requesting that it submit a written addendum to its report by 19 April.
"The United Nations sanctions regime against UNITA is working", the Chairman of the Committee established by the Council in 1993 to monitor sanctions in Angola, Richard, Ryan (Ireland), told the Council. He said the Monitoring Mechanism, which consisted of five experts, had two points of departure -- the report of the Panel of Experts and the current situation on the ground in Angola -- and had focused on four main areas: arms and military equipment; UNITA representation and travel; the role of transport in violating sanctions; and sanctions and the diamond trade.
He added that persistence and financial resources would be required to implement the recommendations contained in the report. The Angola case history, and the work of the Monitoring Mechanism, had directed a sharp, investigative beam into a hitherto largely uninspected network, driven by greed for profit regardless of the cost in human lives and misery. The United Nations presently lacked the necessary permanent capacity for following up on the findings. The challenges they posed, however, and their cost, did not diminish their absolute necessity. An effectively monitored sanctions regime would, over time, remove any international support for the politically motivated violence in Angola.
Joao Bernardo de Miranda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, said that despite violations of the sanctions, they had proved to be a fundamental tool in persuading UNITA to abandon the path of war and embrace the peace accords. The sanctions' primary impact was clearly reflected in the significant reduction of the rebels' military capacity. Accordingly, Angola was experiencing a climate of greater "politico-military" and economic stability.
Despite the diminishing systematic sanctions violations, some countries and entities continued to challenge those sanctions, he added. Of particular concern was the involvement of networks of organized crime operating in direct support of the rebels. Given that situation, it was imperative that the Council reinforce the monitoring mechanism and adopt concrete measures to combat the scourge of transnational organized crime networks in Africa. Imposing measures against countries that continued to facilitate propaganda activities in favour of the armed wing of UNITA should also be considered. He hoped that the Council would consider secondary sanctions against countries that violated the sanctions regime.
The representatives of Mauritius and Mozambique also supported the concept of secondary sanctions, as they would enhance the credibility of the Council and the effectiveness of the sanctions.
The representative of France said, however, that to stop sanctions violations, States, regional organizations and other actors should be assisted, rather than punished. Secondary sanctions were a false response to a real problem. To be credible and effective, the use of sanctions must be limited. He also recommended the creation of a permanent monitoring mechanism to gather in one location the necessary expertise to monitor sanction violators and to cross-reference situations.
Speaking on behalf of the three observer States to the Lusaka Protocol (Portugal, Russian Federation and United States), Portugal’s representative said the three observer States would continue to support the only principle by which the people of Angola could be delivered from the scourge of war: the demilitarization of political parties in return for their full freedom to compete for the people's support. They welcomed the intent of the Government of Angola and the parliamentary opposition to hold elections in 2002.
Regarding sanctions, he emphasized the need to focus on outcomes rather than process -- the outcome of peace through improved implementation of sanctions, among other measures. However, neither sanctions nor military action could bring Angola a just and lasting peace. Only good governance, respect for human and civil rights, and better social and economic conditions could bring the Angolan conflict to a lasting conclusion.
Several other countries, among them Burkina Faso, Togo and Rwanda, responded to allegations in the report, and reiterated their commitment to cooperate with the Monitoring Mechanism.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe, I.S.G. Mudenge, also spoke, as did the representatives of the United States, Singapore, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Colombia, Russian Federation, China, Mali, Norway, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Canada, Swaziland, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Romania and Namibia.
The meeting, which began at 3:25 p.m., was adjourned at 8 p.m.
When the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it a 21 December 2000 note from the Secretary-General (document S/2000/1225) transmitting the final report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions, which was established by the Security Council in resolution 1295 (2000) of 18 April 2000 for a six-month period. On 23 January of this year, the Council extended the mandate for 3 months and requested a written addendum to the report by 19 April. The report provides an extensive overview of the Mechanism's activities since its establishment, as well as conclusions and recommendations.
The Mechanism had two points of departure: the report of the Panel of Experts established in May 1999, and the current situation on the ground in Angola. The Panel of Experts delivered its report to the Council on 10 March 2000 (document S/2000/203). That report revealed how the sanctions against National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), put in place by three Security Council resolutions, were being violated and made extensive recommendations on how the sanctions regime could be further strengthened. The Mechanism was charged with collecting additional information and investigating relevant leads initiated by the Panel.
The report of the Mechanism covers a wide range of issues, among them sanctions-busting on arms and equipment, findings on arms and equipment in specific countries, UNITA representation and travel, the role of transport in the violation of sanctions, and sanctions on diamond trading and financial assets.
The report states that it decided to give priority to investigating violations of Council measures in the area of arms and equipment, as well as following up on new and old leads. To that end, the Mechanism undertook extensive visits to the countries cited in the report of the Panel of Experts.
There is no doubt, the report goes on to say, that the sanctions, together with the military operations carried out by the Angolan armed forces and the vigilance of the international community, are hurting UNITA’s ability to wage war. Nevertheless, it is difficult to assess with a degree of certainty the scope of this judgement. However, since peace has not yet been achieved, the international community cannot leave the Angolan situation unattended. Only strict compliance with the sanctions will assist in forcing UNITA, at some time, to fully comply with the peace process it has betrayed.
Peace in Angola will also have an important impact in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Sierra Leone, where so many efforts are being deployed to stop the conflicts that have ravaged those countries, the report adds.
The Mechanism recommends that, in order for the measures against UNITA to be taken seriously, the Security Council should consider applying sanctions against any government found to be intentionally violating them. Arms-exporting countries, it further recommends, should strengthen their systems pertaining to arms exports, in particular verifying the authenticity and country of issuance of the relevant documents.
The Mechanism also recommends that the importation of arms should be subject to adequate legislation and should be managed through a mechanism that can define clearly the responsibilities of all agencies and officials involved. Such a system should include provisions designating in person the officials authorized to sign end-user certificates.
The Mechanism also recommends that governments consider putting in place systems to allow for the speedy exchange of information and verification of the validity of end-user certificates, through the designation of a contact authority in the arms exporting and importing side, or by any other way deemed appropriate. The international community should give full support to the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) moratorium and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) action plan for the control of light weapons, the report states.
In the area of travel and representation, the Mechanism recommends that the United Nations list of senior UNITA officials and their adult family members, which is a major tool for the implementation of the sanctions, be continually updated by the Sanctions Committee. To that effect, the Secretariat has, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Committee, an essential role to play, providing the Committee with the information necessary for the updating process.
Among the Panel's recommendations on diamonds and finance is that Member States consider implementing the certificate-of-origins scheme with the minimum of delay. Those countries that lack the technical resources to implement the system should be aided in setting it in place. This will both protect the legitimate industry and begin to clarify the problem of illicit diamonds.
On transport, the Mechanism recommends that Member States consider putting in place tighter controls on operators using "flags of convenience". Thus, if an aircraft operator wishes to use a certain country as a base, that country would become the designated country of registration.
Sanctions busters should have their aircraft de-registered, the Mechanism recommends. An international list of companies, individuals and aircraft breaking sanctions should be maintained by the United Nations on a permanent basis and provided to those countries that export arms.
Aware that any vacuum or discontinuity in the exercise of vigilance by the international community will affect the aims of the Security Council sanctions against UNITA, the Mechanism recommends that the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee be asked to report to the Security Council on actions taken to follow up on the conclusions and the recommendations contained in the present report. The Mechanism further recommends that the Council consider ensuring that a system allowing for the continuity of the monitoring of the implementation of sanctions is put in place.
The five members of the Mechanism are: Juan Larain (Chile), Chairman; Lena Sundh (Sweden); Christine Gordon (United Kingdom); James Manzou (Zimbabwe); and Ismaila Seck (Senegal).
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) spoke in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993). He said his country would not make a national statement today, but would associate itself fully with the statement by Sweden on behalf of the European Union.
He said following the adoption last April of resolution 1295 (2000), the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee, established a Monitoring Mechanism consisting of five experts. In conducting its work, the Mechanism employed only the strictest evidentiary standards in its investigations. It also allowed the right of reply to all those against whom allegations concerning sanctions violations had been made.
He said the work of the Mechanism had two points of departure: first, the report of the Panel of Experts and, second, the current situation on the ground in Angola. Regarding the report of the Panel of Experts, the Mechanism focused its efforts on four main areas that had been exposed as being susceptible to sanctions-busting. The first area was arms and military equipment. The second was UNITA representation, travel and residence outside Angola of that organization's senior officials and their families. The third was the role of transport in violation of sanctions. The final area was sanctions and diamond trading.
He went on to say that the Mechanism had made a number of specific recommendations in all four areas. While those recommendations ranged from the general to the highly specific, what was clear about all of them was that they required action by the United Nations, individual States and the international community. It was also clear that effective responses to and action on those recommendations would require committed and sustained engagement, not only by the Council and the United Nations system, but certain organizations outside of that framework.
He said that for the international community to effectively implement the recommendations contained in the report would require persistence and financial resources. The Council had recently done innovative work on sanctions issues. The new thinking had breathed a renewed sense of capacity into some intractable cases, which had hitherto been regarded as close to the outer edge of that body's collective capacity -- if not beyond it. Real progress, however, on the most difficult cases required not only new thinking. It also required good old-fashioned ingredients, including political will and determination, preparedness to stay the course for as long as it took, and direct engagement with all involved States, international organizations, agencies and individuals.
He said the Angola case history, and the work of the Monitoring Mechanism, had directed a sharp, investigative beam into a hitherto largely uninspected, but highly organized and active network, driven by greed for profit regardless of the cost in human lives and misery. The monitoring work would, "if we reiterate our determination and match it with sustained cooperative action", encourage careful reflection by any actors who considered it safe to derive financial gain from conflicts. That included governments that might turn a blind eye towards the now largely identified profiteers.
He said that the United Nations presently lacked the necessary permanent capacity for following up on the findings of the reports of the Panel of Experts and the Monitoring Mechanism. Determination and financial resources would be required to implement the Mechanism's essential recommendations. The challenges they posed, however, and their cost, did not diminish their absolute necessity. An effectively monitored sanctions regime, would, over time, remove any international support for the politically motivated violence in Angola.
CAMERON HUME (United States) said the United States subscribed fully to the statement Ambassador Antonio Monteiro (Portugal) would make.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) aligned his country with the statement to be made by Sweden on behalf of the European Union. There was no doubt, he said, that the Sanctions Monitoring Mechanism had helped strengthen the pressure on Jonas Savimbi and his movement. It was necessary to continue to find concrete ways to strengthen the effectiveness of measures against UNITA and to stop the traffic in diamonds, fuel and arms, as well as networks for transportation and falsification of documents -- such as the false end-user certificates.
In that context, he said, most important was that a list of the UNITA leaders and their family members be kept current. In that regard, he welcomed the imminent publication of such a list by the Sanctions Committee. Also, a global regime of diamond certification must be put into place. He welcomed the encouraging results, in that effort, of the international conference which had taken place in Windhoek last week. The goal should be to submit a draft convention to the fifty-sixth General Assembly next fall.
In other areas, most of the other recommendations of the report, he said, were highly relevant. However, he reiterated the position of France on secondary sanctions. To stop sanctions violations, States, regional organizations and other actors should be assisted, rather than punished. Secondary sanctions were a false response to a real problem. To be credible and effective, the use of sanctions must be limited. Finally, noting similarities between the problem at hand and that of Sierra Leone, he emphasized the attention that must be paid to organized crime and merchants of war, such as Victor Bout and his company. He recommended the creation of a permanent monitoring mechanism to gather in one location the necessary expertise to monitor sanction violators and to cross-reference situations. In addition, it was essential that States be requested to undertake inquiries and take measures against such merchants of war.
CHRISTINE LEE (Singapore) said the findings of the report were sobering. The illicit trade in diamonds was the cornerstone which fueled conflict, as was the case in Sierra Leone. The network used for trafficking in arms and diamonds could almost be admired for its success, if were not for the fact that the people of Angola had paid for it with their blood. People and companies involved were instrumental in facilitating war and armed conflict. There was, however, some good news: inroads made into areas previously held by UNITA, together with the effects of the sanctions, had shown a diminishment of UNITA’s capacities.
She said the report also focused on circumvention of restrictions on travel by UNITA’s officers. A number of States had been involved, but the circumvention had been attributed more to front organizations. As to diamond sanctions, she said loopholes had been used to veil the true source of diamonds. The report had also pointed out that well-known clients of De Beers were knowingly buying rough diamonds from UNITA.
She said countries of origin of arms to UNITA should address the issues brought forth in the report. The common criminals named in the report were the same who were active in Sierra Leone. If sanctions busters continued to be rewarded and not punished, the damage would not be limited to Angola. It would also undermine the credibility of the Council and threaten stability in neighbouring countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was time to work for a comprehensive peace in Angola.
M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said that the work of the Sanctions Committee and the Mechanism had broken new ground in the fight against sanctions violations. "Naming and shaming" had, in particular, proven effective. She called for serious consideration, therefore, for an ongoing capacity to monitor the implementation of sanctions. Sanctions regimes could then be more incisive and targeted.
She supported the broad thrust of the recommendations in the report. In particular, she supported a certificate-of-origins scheme for diamonds, complemented by a licensing system for diamond buyers. The efficiency of the technology involved, however, needed to be assured before such systems were put into place, so as not to create too onerous a burden on certain countries.
In addition, she said, arms-exporting countries should strengthen their regulatory systems pertaining to arms exports, verifying documents and establishing an accurate database for the export of their weapons. She commended regional arms-control measures and urged that the international community give full support to the implementation of the ECOWAS moratorium and the SADC action plan for the control of light weapons. She urged that full support also be given to recovery and relief operations for Angola, with emphasis on long-term programmes encouraging greater self-reliance.
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said there was a growing interest in the situation in Angola. More effective sanctions must be an important element of the solution to the conflict there.
The Monitoring Mechanism had produced a detailed report, he continued, and its findings were disturbing. He endorsed a global rough-diamond identification scheme: a simple, workable international framework protecting the legitimate diamond trade, while dealing a death blow to the illicit trade. He also supported a dedicated capacity within the United Nations Secretariat to assist the Monitoring Mechanism. If there was to be a permanent Monitoring Mechanism, it should receive adequate resources and staff. His delegation had proposed the creation of a database of experts, who could advise the Secretary-General on all aspects of sanctions.
He supported the continual update of the list of UNITA officials. In order to be effective, the Government of Angola should provide regular information, to add and remove names. The report had identified a number of individuals and companies who violated the sanctions, and a number of countries from which they operated. The United Kingdom would fully investigate those facts, when necessary, and he urged other States to do the same. He was alarmed by the role of individuals, such as Victor Bout, whose name cropped up again and again, and called on all Member States to assure that their territory was not used for such activities. There should be no sanctuary for such criminals, he said.
ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said that the sanctions regime against UNITA had some unique aspects. The eight-year duration was a telling sign of the rebel regime’s ability to survive. That was partially a result of the porous borders, which were a legacy of the cold war and the fact that a regional economy in illicit trade had prospered in the area of the conflict. He supported the request that arms-exporting countries regulate their exports and establish an international certificate-of-origins system for conflict diamonds, along with a system of trafficker injunctions.
The fact that sanctions were against a non-State agent presented, he said, special problems requiring well-directed measures, such as the "name and shame" method. Sanctions on sanctions violators held risks, but he wanted to hear what other delegations had to say about the issue.
The formation, he said, of the 1999 Panel of Experts was commendable. That kind of attention was needed, in addition, to investigate the financial assets of UNITA. With such a study, it was essential, however, not to reduce the role of States in conducting their own investigations of financial improprieties. He supported the proposal to create a permanent monitoring mechanism. It was crucial that States firmly took responsibility for the effectiveness of the sanctions.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) aligned himself with the statement to be made by the permanent representative of Portugal. He believed that sanctions against UNITA were the most effective instrument against that organization’s ability to wage war. He reiterated that peace in Angola could only be restored on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol. The report would help to increase the effectiveness of the sanctions. His country would promote steps to see to it that all Member States would observe the sanctions, in particular Angola’s neighboring countries.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that China supported sanctions against UNITA for the purpose of making that organization return to the peace process as soon as possible. So far, those sanctions had produced marked results. But, UNITA was still engaged in the trade of diamonds and weapons and continued other activities in violation of the sanctions. The effectiveness of the sanctions should, thus, be strengthened. The recommendations of the Monitoring Mechanism’s report, he said, should be implemented to enhance that effectiveness. All countries should cooperate in making those measures effective.
SEKOU KASSÉ (Mali) said the Monitoring Mechanism was very useful and the sanctions imposed had undermined UNITA’s ability to wage war. That should encourage a willingness to strengthen sanctions. Arms-exporting countries should strengthen their verification processes for the authenticity of documents, and he supported improvement of end-user certificates for arms. An exhaustive inventory of intermediaries in arms imports and exports would be helpful, and improvement of air surveillance should also be taken into account.
He said he was in favour of extending the diamond verification system. Countries that did not have the capacity to carry out such verification should get assistance. He also supported the Kimberly process.
He said secondary sanctions against States violating sanctions should only be imposed after all other means had been exhausted. He stressed, in that regard, cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. He also welcomed the cooperation between the Monitoring Mechanism and the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS. The financial network of UNITA was the weak link in the mechanism.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said that every effort must be made to put the Angolan peace process back on track. He supported recent peace initiatives and the implementation of previous agreements. The need for continued sanctions, however, was also obvious. Norway also encouraged the Government of Angola to play a constructive role in the revitalized peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It was unfortunate, he said, that the United Nations sanctions regime was not fully complied with. The Monitoring Mechanism’s report provided useful suggestions on how each State could help strengthen that sanctions regime. More efforts were needed in transparency and accountability in the trade of diamonds. Norway supported the establishment of an international diamond-certification system as soon as possible.
In the control of arms, he said, control of the validity of documents was particularly important. He also welcomed the suggestions on controlling the trade in petroleum and controlling travel and representation by UNITA members. He said caution should be taken before secondary sanctions were applied, though, and then they should only be applied pursuant to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter; that is, where such violations represented a threat to international peace and security. A permanent monitoring mechanism also merited serious consideration.
VOLODYMYR G. KROKHMAL (Ukraine) expressed satisfaction with the transparent and effective working methods of the Monitoring Mechanism. Following a visit to Kiev by officials from the monitoring body last June, his Government had pledged its willingness to conduct thorough investigations into alleged violations of sanctions against UNITA. He believed that the Mechanism’s principle of conveying any information regarding possible violations to the relevant States for prompt investigation should become basic procedure for any monitoring bodies established in the future.
He said the report, coupled with the investigation of UNITA’s financial assets, constituted an important step towards identifying the sources fueling the conflicts in Africa. Turning to specific aspects of the report, particularly those concerning Eastern European arms-producing countries, he said all deliveries of weapons and dual-use goods could be undertaken from Ukraine only after the authenticity of end-user certificates had been determined. For deliveries to regions of special concern, Ukraine also received approval from relevant export control bodies. He recognized, however, that it was important to strengthen existing mechanisms and to create ways to enhance information exchanges and document verifications between countries and regions. To that end, the Council should support the report’s recommendation of the development of a registry of arms import and export brokers.
He considered the recommendations on diamonds useful frames of reference. While recognizing the need to improve diamond-certification procedures to meet international minimum standards, the Council should also recognize that such issues were being discussed in other forums. Any decisions must be taken in light of the Kimberly process. He stressed, however, that preventing UNITA’s access to world diamond markets must remain a priority. He also agreed with the report that the travel restrictions on UNITA representatives under resolution 1127 should be fully implemented. There should also be tighter controls on aircraft operators to ensure they did not find ways to circumvent sanctions. While adoption of such measures remained the sovereign prerogative of each Member State, the Council played an important role in encouraging States to take strong action with respect to sanctions violations.
SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh) expressed appreciation for the work done in reviewing arms export and import procedures, the issuance of end-user certificates and uncovering of forged ones, and profiling firms or brokers involved in the export and import of arms. However, the last remained unfinished and should be a key task for the Mechanism in the future. There was a need to make the issuance of end-user certificates more secure and to facilitate verification of their authenticity by authorities in arms-exporting countries.
He expressed support for recommendations relating to tighter controls on aircraft registration procedures and agreed that aircraft used in sanctions-busting should be deregistered and their pilots stripped of their licences. In addition, a regularly updated United Nations list of senior UNITA officials and their adult family members formed the basis for action by governments to effectively implement sanctions relating to the travel ban and UNITA representation abroad.
Regarding diamond smuggling, he said that such measures as licensing miners and buyers, profiling production from mines and recording characteristics of diamonds from each mine would be required to settle disputes relating to the origin of diamonds. The Angolan single channel buying system was a laudable effort to that end. On the other hand, standardization of statistics and custom codes by diamond centres would be useful in monitoring the movement of diamonds.
ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius) said the nefarious trade in conflict diamonds involved not only sellers, but also buyers and those who supplied weapons to rebel forces paid for with the sale of conflict diamonds. Not only private business people were involved in this, but also political leaders who allowed their territories to be used as transit points for movement of illegal arms and fuel for personal gain. That was done with impunity, in violation of sanction regimes established by the Council. The Council must go beyond "naming and shaming" and impose appropriate sanctions against those found guilty of complicity in sanctions-busting.
He strongly supported the report’s recommendations for setting up a global certification scheme for the diamond trade. Weapons-exporting countries should further strengthen their controls in order to prevent their arms from reaching the forces of rebellion against legitimate governments. He also supported strong action against aircraft, ships and persons in the transportation industry involved in busting embargoes on arms shipments. He called upon the international community to provide the necessary financial and technical support to the SADC, so that it could assume responsibility for air surveillance in the southern African region.
He supported France’s proposal for the establishment of a permanent monitoring mechanism and in the meantime supported extension of the existing Mechanism for another three months.
The Council President, SAID BEN MUSTAPHA (Tunisia), speaking in his national capacity, said the responsibility for the continuation of the conflict in Angola lay squarely on UNITA and its leader, Mr. Savimbi. Sanctions were an important means to force UNITA back to the peace process. The compelling evidence of sanctions violations, in turn, made necessary the comprehensive efforts to stop the resupply of UNITA and the travel of its representatives. He welcomed suggestions on strengthening the system of certifying diamonds.
He said the sensitive nature of the subject made it essential to completely investigate the nature of certain sanctions violations, namely the trade of diamonds and arms through countries in the region. Many countries might not have the capabilities to stop that trade. They must be assisted and it must be a collective responsibility. Information in the report should help them, and all States, to close the remaining loopholes.
JOAO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, said that despite violations of the sanctions, they had proved to be a fundamental tool to persuade UNITA to abandon the path of war and embrace the peace accords. The sanctions' primary impact was clearly reflected in the significant reduction of the military capacity of the rebels. Combined with internal measures undertaken by the Angolan Government, in particular political and military measures aimed at restoring order and State authority, the sanctions had left no other way out for the military wing led by Mr. Savimbi than to embrace the path of reason.
He said that the number of former rebels joining the efforts for national reconciliation and reconstruction was increasing daily. They were adhering to the recent amnesty law. Accordingly, the country was experiencing a climate of greater "politico-military" and economic stability. The gradual evolution of that stability was enabling Angolans to face the future with confidence and optimism. The Government was pursing political and economic reform. It was currently creating conditions to permit the next general elections to be held in the second half of the year 2002.
The present report of the Sanctions Committee brought to light clear evidence of the statements made in the so-called Fowler report and in the Council Chamber itself, he said. Investigative work must continue and, for that reason, he supported the Council's decision to extend the mandate of the Mechanism established under resolution 1295 (2000). Despite the diminishing systematic sanctions violations, some countries and entities continued to challenge these sanctions that had been imposed in the interest of peace in Angola and the entire southern and central African region.
Of particular concern was the involvement of networks of organized crime operating in direct support of the rebels, he said. Given that situation, it was imperative that the Council reinforce the Monitoring Mechanism and adopt concrete measures to combat the scourge of transnational organized crime networks in Africa. Pressure on the rebels to follow the path of peace should also encompass the strengthening of sanctions as provided for in resolution 1295 (2000). Imposing measures against countries that continued to facilitate propaganda activities in favour of the armed wing of UNITA should also be considered.
MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) said certain conclusions of the report concerned Burkina Faso. He did not want to indulge in any kind of polemics, but simply took note of it. He wished to stress, however, that his country had cooperated in perfect harmony with the Panel of Experts. During its stay in Burkina Faso, that group had conducted its activities in full independence without any hindrance.
After the first report on Angola had been published, a presidential decree had established an inter-ministerial committee for implementing the sanctions against UNITA. That decree, among other things, had denied entry to Burkina Faso of 83 officials of UNITA. That, and other measures, contradicted the affirmations of the report. As for insinuations that certain UNITA officials were still in his country, he said those allegations belonged in the realm of hypothesis. Other steps taken by Burkina Faso were the condemnation of UNITA, the interdiction of trafficking in precious stones and metals coming from conflict zones and the creation of a "High Authority" to control the import of weapons, which had been placed under the supervision of the United Nations.
He said there were about 40 countries mentioned in the report as clearly implicated in sanctions-busting or as sensitive. It was therefore easy to incriminate any country. The Panel of Experts had stated that throughout its investigations, the Panel was struck by the scope of the violations. Consequently, instead of continuing to accuse certain Member States, the Council should, with the cooperation of regional and sub-regional organizations, organize better monitoring of diamonds and arms trafficking. The Council had, in resolution 1336 (2001), decided to extend the Monitoring Mechanism mandate. He was convinced of the pointlessness of further investigations as long as a permanent mechanism did not exist.
PAUL HEINBECKER (Canada) said that the report of the Monitoring Mechanism demonstrated that progress was being made and that some Member States –- Belgium and Bulgaria, for example -– had taken serious steps to correct the deficiencies identified by the Panel of Experts. Also welcome was the conclusion that the sanctions were hurting UNITA's ability to wage war. It was distressing, however, that a small number of Member States had not been respecting the decisions of the Council regarding UNITA.
In its resolution 1295 (2000) the Council had expressed its readiness to consider appropriate action in relation to States that had violated the measures against UNITA, he continued. An initial decision in that regard, which was to have been taken by 18 November of last year, was missed because of the delays in the appointment of the Monitoring Mechanism. Now it was crucial to take that difficult decision soon. In cases where the Council's decisions were deliberately flouted, the Council must not shrink from making an appropriately vigorous response. Imposition of secondary sanctions targeting the sanctions busters was an entirely appropriate option.
Other options for Council action might include a requirement for States deemed to be in violation of the sanctions to report regularly to the Council, he said. That could be supplemented by periodic visits to those States by delegations of Council members. Violators should be censured by the international community until they complied with the standards of behaviour imposed by the Security Council. Resolution 1295 (2000) provided a blueprint for further action in each of the areas covered by the sanctions regime. When fully acted upon, it stood to further degrade UNITA's capacity to wage war by reducing its revenues, increasing its costs and choking off its supply.
Significant progress had been made in some of those areas, he said, and action in other areas was under way. More remained to be done, however -- by no means in Africa alone. While full implementation of resolution 1295 should be a priority for the Council, so should be the implementation of additional recommendations contained in the report of the Monitoring Mechanism.
He went on to say that in the course of Canada's work as Chair of the Angola Sanctions Committee in 1999-2000, his Government had become convinced that enforcement monitoring was necessary if targeted sanctions were to work. Quite simply, if the Council was not willing to enforce its sanctions, there was no point in pretending to impose such measures or retaining them. While welcoming the extension of the Monitoring Mechanism's mandate for three months, he said that the existing ad hoc monitoring arrangements were not sustainable over the medium or long term. The draft resolution before the Council would allow for "regularization" of the Council's monitoring arrangements.
The monitoring office proposed in the draft would not constitute a supra-national entity, untethered to the Council and its Sanctions Committees. Nor would it evolve into a large and costly bureaucracy -– a small, dedicated office with ongoing contacts with other organizations would suffice. It would enable the monitoring of targeted sanctions to be made more effective and efficient. Until a monitoring office was put in place, the Secretariat should continue to improve its ability to interact with other relevant bodies and to facilitate cooperation between them.
In conclusion, he said that it was essential that sanctions were preserved, and enhanced as an effective, precise and credible diplomatic tool. Effectiveness depended on monitoring. He was not talking about unwarranted interference, but about enhancing the United Nations effectiveness. With respect to Angola, the sanctions' objective was to foster a durable political settlement to the war by curtailing UNITA's ability to pursue its objectives through military means.
JOEL NHLEKO (Swaziland) said the violation of sanctions against UNITA was a matter of critical importance to his country and to the entire subregion of the SADC. UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi had refused to abide by the peace agreements he had concluded with the Angolan Government. He had resorted instead to the use of armed force, and the conflict remained an obstacle to peace, reconciliation and reconstruction in Angola.
He expressed gratitude to those countries that had adopted new measures against UNITA. The SADC was considering the deployment of mobile radar systems in the subregion to detect illegal flights across national borders. Strengthening sanctions was not an end in itself, but a tool to create the necessary conditions for a final political solution to the Angola question.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal), on behalf of the three observer States to the Lusaka Protocol (Portugal, Russian Federation and United States), said that while Lusaka may not be completed as originally envisioned, it contained fundamental principles that offered the only viable solution for peace. Key principles had already been translated into reality: Angola's multi-party National Assembly; a government of national unity and reconciliation; and an integrated armed forces. It had the beginnings of an independent media and an increasingly vibrant civil society movement.
He said the three observer States would continue to support the only principle by which the people of Angola could be delivered from the scourge of war: the demilitarization of political parties in return for their full freedom to compete for the people's support. They welcomed the intent of the Government of Angola and the parliamentary opposition to hold elections in 2002, which would be an opportunity for all parties to seek a popular mandate through a peaceful and democratic political process.
Regarding sanctions, he emphasized the need to focus on outcomes rather than process -- the outcome of peace through improved implementation of sanctions, among other measures. However, neither sanctions nor military action could bring Angola a just and lasting peace. Only good governance, respect for human and civil rights, and better social and economic conditions could bring the Angolan conflict to a lasting conclusion. The support for sanctions by the three observer States was part of a broader policy to engage the Angolan Government in good governance as its best counter-insurgency tactic.
PIERRE SCHORI (Sweden) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the associated States of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
He called upon the Angolan Government to extend State administration to areas previously controlled by UNITA, in a manner consistent with the principles of democracy, good governance and human rights. The United Nations, particularly through its Office in Angola, could also help that Government to achieve those objectives.
He said UNITA had continued to seek alternative methods to evade United Nations sanctions, thereby allowing it to pursue military activities and further hinder implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The report of the Monitoring Mechanism, while confirming that significant and systematic violations had continued both from within and beyond the region, also indicated that sanctions were restricting the supply routes to UNITA and making imports more costly for the rebel movement.
He said the international community could not disregard the fact that the actors violating the sanctions in both Angola and Sierra Leone were, to a large extent, the same. Those situations must not be seen in isolation, and measures must, therefore, be taken in a coordinated manner. There was clearly a need to give urgent consideration to the establishment of a global certification scheme on diamonds and the harmonization of trade practices, such as statistics and custom codes.
He said the Monitoring Mechanism had made a wide range of important recommendations aimed at addressing violations of sanctions. The proposal that the Council should consider applying sanctions against any government that was an intentional and systematic violator merited further discussion. The effective implementation and monitoring of sanctions against UNITA could reduce its capacity to prolong the conflict in Angola. Member States should, therefore, be ready to make available adequate resources for effective monitoring. Wholehearted support should be given to the Monitoring Mechanisms, expert panels, the Sanctions Committee and any future United Nations initiatives in that regard. Attention must also be paid to avoiding the duplication caused by the simultaneous existence of different panels of experts.
ARNOLDO LISTRE (Argentina) said that among the most important recommendations made by the Monitoring Mechanism was the need for weapons-exporting countries to strengthen their monitoring systems, including more effective control of end-user certificates. To that end, the Wassenaar arrangement might prove useful. In the area of diamonds, the report clearly showed that there were loopholes that needed to be closed in even the most recently established controls.
He agreed with the importance of international certification regimes, serious campaigns of awareness and the cooperation of all sectors in the areas of diamonds and arms. In addition, violations of sanctions should not be left unpunished and monitoring mechanisms were essential. For those reasons, he said, the Security Council should take the next step, establishing a comprehensive and semi-permanent monitoring mechanism for all sanctions regimes.
In the Angolan situation, he said, long-term monitoring measures had to be taken to avoid a relapse. The international community must avoid asking itself, a few years from now, about the message that was sent by a sanctions regime without effective controls and the consequences stricter controls might have had on the peace process.
ROLAND Y. KPOTSRA (Togo) said his Government cooperated with the Monitoring Mechanism, despite the fact that certain allegations had been brought to its attention. It had implemented measures aimed at ensuring strict compliance of national legislation with standards of the Council. In that context, it had set up an inter-ministerial commission.
By a ministerial decree of 15 May 2000, it had expelled from its territory 56 Angolans, even though they were not mentioned in the list of UNITA leaders and their adult family members. By a directive of the Ministry of Defence, entry to Togo was prohibited for all persons mentioned in resolution 1127 (1997). In another directive, transit of all military materiél for UNITA through Togo had been prohibited.
The Monitoring Mechanism had established that the 18 end-user certificates for military materiél from Togo had been false documents. He deplored that arms had been sold on the basis of those certificates. It was important that the exports regime should be strengthened. In particular, the form used to deliver the end-user certificate should be drawn up in a standardized format, in order to prevent falsification. The report had mentioned that South African records of rough diamonds had revealed an import of diamonds emanating from the presidency of Togo. He had difficulty in admitting that such transactions had taken place, if the identity of the seller was not revealed.
He said that last Tuesday he and the Defence Minister of Togo had a working meeting with members of the Monitoring Mechanism, in which they were provided with explanations about the military materiél in transit in 1997. The discussion had also touched upon the matter of expelled Angolan nationals. Any more detailed information from the Angolan Government about Angolan nationals would be helpful. Togo would institute procedures against individuals and companies that through their actions might tarnish its image.
VLADIMIR SOTIROV (Bulgaria) said he aligned himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. He welcomed the final report of the Monitoring Mechanism as a further step towards ensuring the effective implementation of the Council's sanctions against UNITA. He assured Council members that if any Bulgarian national was found guilty of violating those sanctions, as a result of investigations currently under way by the competent authorities, the person would be prosecuted in accordance with his country's established criminal law.
He said that measures recently undertaken or currently designed by his Government to address some of the Panel's recommendations included a July 2000 decree providing for strict implementation of Angola-related resolutions by the respective Bulgarian authorities, nationals and corporate entities. A comprehensive regulatory mechanism was under consideration to impose strict control of arms-export operations in potentially risky markets. In addition, submission of a delivery verification certificate by the importing party was now mandatory for each arms transaction to non-embargoed countries in Africa and Asia that were situated close to risky or embargo-subjected areas.
Also, a stringent verification regime had been applied to ensure the end use of the imported equipment and to prevent the possibility of unauthorized re-export, he said. The registration of companies acting as brokers was being put in place to improve control on transnational channels of arms supplies, with the aim of preventing illegal diversions of arms from their intended destinations. Those measures sought to reinforce and complement the existing two-tier system of control over the foreign arms transactions in Bulgaria, including the provision of more safeguards to prevent diversion of weapons to embargoed countries. All States should strive to avoid inconsistencies and gaps in national approaches. Identifying good practices could provide additional incentives.
He said he strongly believed in the need to establish internationally recognized norms in the field of arms transfers, but that appeared to be a challenging goal for the international community. Despite the considerable progress made in recent years to increase awareness about the need to prevent illegal arms flows to conflict areas, much remained to be done. Full implementation of the Council's sanctions, including those against UNITA, could only be achieved through a synergy of actions at national, regional and global levels. Improved international cooperation and the coordination of national policies were indispensable for the attainment of that goal.
ENIO CORDEIRO (Brazil) said the strict observance of the sanctions regime contributed to outlawing any support for UNITA and showing that the international community did not accept its leader as a credible interlocutor in the Angola peace process. The Council must be firm in conveying an unequivocal message to those who persisted in violating the sanctions --- they were prolonging the instability in Angola, and also risking public exposure by their actions.
He said the implementation of sanctions was also no special favour to the Angolan Government. The international community must not fall short in its responsibilities towards the people of Angola. Cooperation meant taking the allegations and recommendations put forward by the Mechanism seriously and acting upon them. Member States could also cooperate by assisting other States in setting up an appropriate air-traffic control system and taking action to disrupt or destroy the sanctions violators network through concerted law enforcement.
Sanctions alone could not, however, resolve the instability in Angola, he went on to say. The serious humanitarian situation should be addressed on a priority basis. United Nations bodies could help the Government of Angola to generate the necessary environment for humanitarian assistance in the field. A comprehensive and long-standing solution for the humanitarian question, however, depended on a political process that would lead to the transformation of UNITA into a political party committed to democracy, tolerance and pluralism.
SORIN DUMITRI DUCARU (Romania) stressed his Government’s determination to contribute to solving the problems raised by the report of the Monitoring Mechanism. His country was a committed participant in the discussions, processes and developments regarding the illicit trafficking in small arms within the framework of the Wassenaar arrangement of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
His country was also actively improving the internal mechanisms aimed at controlling the export of arms. Institutional change would improve the coherence, the efficiency and the effectiveness in controlling arms exports. The report’s recommendations on arms and military equipment should be implemented by the Council, especially those mentioned in paragraphs 228, 229 and 231. It was important for every Member State to benefit from additional information about third parties involved.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said that UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, was responsible for the continuing devastation of Angola, through its persistent refusal to comply with the Lusaka Protocol. The sanctions against UNITA were the most appropriate way to force Mr. Savimbi to abide by the peace process. The reports of the Monitoring Mechanism showed the necessity to maintain the pressure of those sanctions.
He welcomed the recommendations contained in the report, particularly those which asked the Security Council to consider applying sanctions against governments that violated the sanctions against UNITA. That measure would certainly enhance the credibility of the Council and the effectiveness of the sanctions. He called upon all countries to promptly comply with those sanctions, remaining vigilant and exercising tight control.
He welcomed the initiative by Angola’s President Eduardo dos Santos of offering amnesty as a measure to encourage the rebels to abandon the war, and also welcomed the Angolan Government’s reaffirmation of the validity of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol. He also commended Angola’s participation in recent regional efforts towards peace, stability and prosperity. It was now time to unite in the fight against organized crime, and the traffic in blood diamonds and small arms, which were fueling conflicts in many parts of the world.
GERHARD THERON (Namibia) said the report of the Monitoring Mechanism had sketched a detailed picture of the complex strategies UNITA employed in its war against the Angolan people. It was of deep concern that some countries still provided assistance to UNITA. He was pleased to hear that UNITA had been hampered in the production of diamonds. The international community should make every effort to prevent further sale of those diamonds. The report had highlighted that monitoring UNITA’s financial dealings, especially electronic transfers, had been difficult. That area should, however, not be neglected.
He supported all efforts aimed at improving the sanctions and supported implementation of the recommendations of the Monitoring Mechanism as soon as possible. The report had mentioned that Namibia, in its capacity as Chair of the SADC, had held discussions with the Monitoring Mechanism concerning possible controls of the movements of petroleum in the subregion. He stressed that the report’s recommendation that the international community should consider assisting Member States, where necessary, in acquiring equipment for control of national and regional air spaces was pertinent. Any vacuum in the exercise of vigilance would enhance UNITA’s capacities to wage war. He welcomed extending the mechanism’s mandate for three months.
I.S.G. MUDENGE, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe, said the report confirmed that "the true cause of UNITA’s war against the Angolan people is not so much the loud discourse of grievance we hear from Savimbi’s spin doctors, but the silent force of greed". In the case of Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the abundance of a natural resources, such as diamonds, had become a curse. He urged Member States to implement the certificate of origin scheme with a minimum of delay and called upon the international community to provide technical assistance to those countries that lacked the resources to implement such a certification regime.
Certain countries had established structures and mechanisms for the formulation of a proper policy to enforce implementation of sanctions, he said. Some of the structures identified included the establishment of task forces. The SADC had always recognized that the successful implementation of Council sanctions against UNITA depended on the capacity and commitment of the Member States to deny UNITA the use of the subregion’s land routes, airports and airspace. In recognition of that fact, an Ad Hoc Committee on Cross-Border Crime was set up under the chairmanship of Zimbabwe. That Committee had set up a task force to ensure that sanctions imposed on UNITA by the United Nations were not violated by Member States, he said.
The task force had recommended the establishment of national information centres that would coordinate the collection of data, and a regional information centre, which would process information received from the national centres. The experience in the SADC had shown that the sharing among Member States of both strategic and tactical information was an effective method of reducing UNITA’s war-making capacity, he said.
JOSEPH MUTABOBA (Rwanda) supported, in general, the Monitoring Mechanism and its report. However, he noted that Rwanda was mentioned in various paragraphs of the report and that only paragraph 213 consisted of tangible and verifiable fact. The other paragraphs contained speculative material. In paragraph 58, for example, there was a reference to contradictions that was not clear. It was true that Rwanda had breached Angolan territory -- with the permission of its Government -- but there was no question of contacts with Mr. Savimbi and Rwanda did not envisage any such contacts in the near future.
He hoped that other paragraphs, such as number 191, could be reviewed and made factual. Rwanda was not promoting the kind of projects mentioned there. Also Victor Bout was never based in Kigali, as maintained in the report, and authorities have made sure he would be arrested if he passed through Rwanda.
War diamonds, he affirmed, would not be processed or exchanged in Rwanda. He also confirmed that Rwanda had taken the decision not to cooperate with anyone found to be friends of UNITA. On that note, he hoped for success in the monitoring effort, and said that Rwanda remained willing to work together with the Monitoring Mechanism to make sure its reports were accurate, so that it could effectively complete its task.
Mr. MIRANDA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, taking the floor a second time, thanked all members who had taken the floor and expressed his gratitude for the manifestations of solidarity. He hoped that the Council would consider secondary sanctions against countries that violated sanctions.
Regarding the statement of the representative of Rwanda, he said that three years ago Rwandan troops were in the North of Angola in territory under UNITA control. There never had been any contact between Rwanda and the Government of Angola concerning the transit of any troops.
Mr. RYAN (Ireland), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864, said, in responding to the debate, that it was clear that the issue of sanctions on UNITA continued to be of great concern to Member States.
As the members of the Mechanism prepared to depart on missions to continue their work, he said they would take with them the firm conclusion that the United Nations and the international community had reiterated its support for continuing the sanctions regime. The message was that the Monitoring Mechanism was on the right track and should continue with diligence, and that the international community should do its part with vigilance and determination. There was clear agreement that support for UNITA’s violent agenda must be ended definitively.
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