SECURITY COUNCIL, BRIEFED BY CHAIRMAN OF COUNTER-TERRORISM
Committee Monitors Implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001),
NEW YORK, 15 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon invited the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) -- the Counter-Terrorism Committee -- to continue its work for its third 90-day period and confirmed the current chair and bureau for a further six months. It took that step after a briefing by the Committee Chairman, who was followed by some 28 speakers addressing terrorist threats to international peace.
In a statement read out by its President, Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation), the Council made that invitation so that the Committee could, among other things: explore ways in which States could be assisted to implement resolution 1373 (2001); build a dialogue with international regional and subregional organizations active in the areas covered by the resolution, in accordance with the principles of the Charter and relevant Council resolutions; and identify issues on which concerted international action would further the implementation of the letter and spirit of the resolution.
Further by the statement, the Council said it considered it essential that those Member States that had not yet submitted a report in compliance with resolution 1373 did so as soon as possible. It invited the Committee to report on its activities at regular intervals and expressed its intention to review the structure and activities of the Committee no later than 4 October.
Resolution 1373 (2001), unanimously adopted on 28 September in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States, sets out wide-ranging steps and strategies to combat international terrorism. The text established the Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor the resolution’s implementation and called on all States to report on actions they had taken to that end no later than 90 days from the resolution’s adoption. Among the terms of the text, the Council decided that all States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for such acts.
During his briefing, the Committee Chair, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), said the Committee had thus far received 143 reports on compliance with resolution 1373 (2001). It had reviewed and responded to 62 States and was working hard to finish by the end of May the review of the remainder of reports received. It was following up with the 50 States that had not yet submitted reports. During the coming 90-day period, the Committee would complete its preliminary review of the reports it had received and, from 7 June, it would embark on its second review as the second round of reports began to arrive.
The Committee intended to be more direct in the second phase in identifying potential gaps and asking States what action they intended to take in addressing issues of concern, he said. As it went forward under the terms of its mandate, the Committee would remain aware of the interaction of its work with human rights concerns, among other things, through the contact it had developed with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Committee also intended to identify issues of cross-cutting concern, where the professional work of other bodies interconnected with the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), he said. It expected to continue to make contact with other international organizations with a view to encouraging them to take action on issues falling within their area of expertise. The Committee further intended to deepen its contacts with regional organizations.
In the discussion that followed, speakers affirmed their support for resolution 1373 (2001) and praised the work of the Committee in fulfilling its mandate thus far. Many called on the States that had not yet done so to submit to the Committee their reports as called for by resolution 1373 (2001), while noting that, in many cases, non-compliance might be due more to practical difficulties than to lack of political will. It was, therefore, important to facilitate assistance to those States which faced that problem. In that connection, Mr. Greenstock informed the Council that he was now in a position to move forward with the appointment of a seventh expert member to the Committee to help deal with the issue and would do so expeditiously.
Statements were made during the debate by the representatives of Singapore, Guinea, France, Bulgaria, United States, Norway, Syria, Cameroon, Colombia, Mexico, China, Mauritius, Ireland, Russian Federation, Spain (for the European Union), Chile, Japan, Canada, Ukraine, Costa Rica (for the Rio Group), Australia, Turkey, Cambodia (for the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)), Peru, Pakistan, Malawi (for the Southern African Development Community (SADC)), Malaysia and Israel.
In addition to his briefing, Mr. Greenstock took the floor twice during the debate to respond to questions and comments.
The meeting was called to order at 10:40 a.m. and suspended at 1:15 p.m. It resumed at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
The second meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. and adjourned at 4:33 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to discuss threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said that body had received 143 reports. It had reviewed and responded to 62 States and was working hard to finish by the end of May the review of the remainder of reports received. It was following up with the 50 States that had not yet submitted reports. In the course of monitoring the implementation of Council resolution 1373 (2001) in all States, the Committee would check the facts of the legislative picture, the administrative action taken and the way in which those tools were being used to prevent the territory of each State being abused by terrorists.
The Committee would continue the excellent dialogue begun with all Member States until it was confident that each had taken action on all the issues covered by resolution 1373 (2001), he said. Reaching that point of confidence did not equate to the Committee declaring any Member State 100 per cent compliant. Against a constantly evolving background, there may always be further work to do in meeting the objectives of resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee would, therefore, preserve the potential for dialogue with all States, although that would vary in intensity according to the capacity developed by the State concerned.
He said that during the coming 90-day period, the Committee would complete its preliminary review of the reports it had received and, from 7 June, it would embark on its second review as the second round of reports began to arrive. The Committee intended to be more direct in the second phase in identifying potential gaps and asking States what action they intended to take in addressing issues of concern. As it went forward under the terms of its mandate, the Committee would remain aware of the interaction of its work with human rights concerns, among other things, through the contact it had developed with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Committee intended to identify issues of cross-cutting concern, where the professional work of other bodies interconnected with the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), he said. It intended to continue to make contact with other international organizations, with a view to encouraging them to take action on issues falling within their area of expertise. The Committee further intended to deepen its contacts with regional organizations. It was in the interests of all States that their neighbours have proper safeguards in place to deal with terrorism. Regional organizations had a key role to play in ensuring that action was taken across the region. It would add impetus to the Committee’s work if countries of similar geographical and cultural identity cooperated proactively to keep terrorism out of their region.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) associated himself with the statement to be made later by Cambodia for the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). While the Committee had done extremely well, it was important to bear in mind that the battle against terrorism was a long-term task. Terrorism was as old as human history and had been practised worldwide since time immemorial. He hoped the need for a long-term commitment would be reinforced during the debate.
It would be useful for the speakers to ask how exactly the work of the Committee helped to eliminate terrorism, he said. If the public at large could see a direct connection between the Committee’s work and the battle against terrorism, there would be greater support for its work. He hoped that, with the work of the Committee, the rapidity of ratification of relevant Conventions to fight terrorism would increase. The Committee had deepened the mechanisms for information and intelligence exchange. That flow of information was very important. The Committee had pushed for assistance to Member States in the fight against terrorism. He hoped that would help close the loopholes in the international system through which terrorists could operate.
He then noted Mr. Greenstock’s appeal for increased translation services. The time had come for the United Nations to ask itself if greater resources were needed for such services.
FRANÇOIS LONSÉNY FALL (Guinea), noting the Council’s determination to combat terrorism, said his delegation was pleased with the regularity with which the Committee kept the Council informed of its work, clear evidence of the transparency that marked the Committee’s efforts. Guinea supported the current stage of its work and encouraged Member States to give even greater cooperation.
He said the examination of the first set of reports showed that the issue of financial and technical assistance was at the centre of the Committee’s concern. The Committee should identify the sources of such assistance and channel it to Member States, according to their needs.
Regarding the panel of experts, he emphasized the need for it to reflect an equitable geographical representation. That would permit taking into account the concerns and experiences of all. Furthermore, coordination among United Nations bodies, on the one hand, and between those bodies and other organizations, on the other, was equally important, especially regional organizations.
He said the review of the second round of reports would indicate the measures that the international community must take in the struggle against terrorism. In addition, Guinea hoped that the work of the Committee created by General Assembly resolution 51/210 on the elaboration of a draft convention on international terrorism would come to a fruitful conclusion. Guinea applauded the entry into force, on 10 April 2002, of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) endorsed the statement to be made later for the European Union by Spain. The Committee was an essential instrument that the Council had created to play a full role in the fight against terrorism. France attached the highest importance to the work of the Committee, because the international community would not be able to eradicate the scourge of terrorism unless it worked in unity, within the United Nations system. The struggle would take time and would involve persuading all States to have a legislative and administrative arsenal to help them in the fight against terrorism.
He noted that 143 States had made their national reports. The 46 others should be encouraged to send in their reports. The exercise being undertaken by the Committee involved a world audit on the state of the international community’s readiness to fight terrorism. The combined efforts of all, in particular, the Secretariat and the experts, made it possible for the Committee to continue its work. He underlined the dialogue of the Committee with regional organizations. Such organizations were probably better placed than the United Nations to enable a peer assessment among countries of a given region.
The Committee’s purpose was to help in bringing a coherent approach to the counter-terrorism effort, he stressed. He underlined the importance of the nomination of an independent expert who could help the Committee by tracing technical assistance employed for the benefit of countries that needed it.
STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said one of the greatest successes of the Chairman’s work was his openness, particularly to the media, and his constant efforts to explain an activity that was not always easy to explain to the general public.
While expressing satisfaction with the results of the Committee’s work, he noted that 46 countries had not submitted their national reports. It was clear that the causes for those delays were manifold, in particular, the fact that the fight against terrorism was completely new to some countries, which lacked the appropriate administrative machinery and means to face terrorism.
He said his country shared the Chairman’s opinion that virtually no country could pride itself on achieving all the objectives of resolution 1373 (2001). It was a long haul and an evolving process. After identifying the nature of the problem, it would be possible to identify ways of dealing with it. In the near future, the Committee would then be put through its paces, in that respect. The regional approach had great potential in the fight against international terrorism, and Bulgaria was delighted that it had been adopted. In that context, Bulgaria intended to organize the countries of South-East Europe in the near future to discuss their implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) said it was good to observe the significant progress achieved during the six months since the Committee was created. The Committee had seen great success in focusing international efforts against the global threat of terrorism. There was no deadline in the struggle and no foreseeable end to it, he noted. He welcomed that the Committee would preserve the potential for dialogue with all States. All States had an obligation to comply with the resolution.
He urged Members who had not done so to file reports in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001) and urged those with the requisite capacity to provide assistance to those who needed it. A number of States, including his own, were engaged in providing support, and he encouraged all to so. He joined others in emphasizing the role of regional and subregional organizations. They were well placed to encourage their members to implement resolution 1373. He strongly supported the deepening of contacts by the Committee with those regional bodies joining the fight against terror.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said the legitimacy of and global adherence to the Committee’s work was testified to by the number of reports submitted to it. He encouraged all who had not done so to submit reports. For the legal and financial measures envisaged in resolution 1373 (2001) to function as intended, it was essential that all Member States implement the same barriers on the transfer of terrorist funds.
As it supported the Committee’s approach to offering assistance to those States who had not been able to report on their implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), Norway had submitted information on available Norwegian experts in relevant fields. He then noted that Norway had recently concluded an agreement with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on a project aimed at effective implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). There was no contradiction between the obligations set out in the resolution and the obligation to protect human rights. Implementation of anti-terrorism measures should not be seen as an excuse to limit fundamental rights and freedoms.
MIKHAIL WEHBE (Syria) said the non-submission of reports by 50 States was no reflection of ill will or intention not to implement resolution 1373 (2001), but was a result of such reasons as the lack of financial, technical and administrative resources. The international community and the Committee should provide those States with the necessary assistance, in order to achieve a universal response to the resolution.
He said his country had always stressed the need to combat terrorism in all its forms, whoever the perpetrator, whether individuals or States. Today, more than ever, the international community was prepared to end the confusion brought about by the non-definition of terrorism. It must be admitted that the non-definition of terrorism had led some to ignore the values of human rights and international humanitarian law. That left the door open for some to make selective accusations of terrorism, even as State terrorism and war crimes were being perpetrated.
The international community must be more courageous and objective in describing the terrorism practised against hundreds of Palestinians who continued to languish under occupation, he said. He emphasized the need for genuine will to combat terrorism, and was prepared to undertake any effort to strengthen the work of the Committee.
MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon) said the tragic events of 11 September 2001 had resulted in a greater commitment by the international community to international peace and security and established a spirit of solidarity against terrorism. The unanimous condemnation in the wake of 11 September was evidence of the degree of reprobation aroused by those acts. The action of States, both individually and collectively, was key. That was why he attached great importance to adoption of frank measures and implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
Cameroon already had a general legal framework that underpinned the resolution, he said. The report submitted by his country was illustrative, in that regard. His country stood ready to provide any supplementary information. He fully supported the present structure of the Committee and its working methods. He had been particularly struck by the number of reports examined by the Committee in such a short time. The Council’s swift action deserved encouragement, as did the work of the experts and members of the subcommittees.
He supported the briefings held by the Committee and noted the increasing number of States participating in the debates. That was a testimony to the interest of States in the struggle against terrorism. The dialogue between the Committee and international organizations, including regional and subregional ones, was bound to promote the effective implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). He, therefore, supported an enhancement of the dialogue. Technical assistance to States that needed it was essential in the fight against terrorism, he added. An appointment of an expert exclusively concerned with such requests could be very useful. He stressed the need to work towards the achievement of an international convention on counter-terrorism.
ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the Rio Group, said that, during the next stage of its work, the Committee must move towards a broader overview to ensure security at the regional level. At the same time, it must establish truly effective tools at the regional level. By doing that, the Council would not be trying to interfere with the autonomy of States, but rather establish mutual bodies for technical and financial assistance and strengthen border monitoring to ensure compliance with the commitments that States had entered into, with the aim of eradicating terrorism.
Stressing the importance of establishing a team of experts and a directory of technical assistance, he also emphasized the importance of the quality of those experts, to whom the success of the Committee’s past period could be attributed. Colombia also emphasized the importance of an effective operative trust fund that would provide assistance to those States that required it.
ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico) said the creation of the Committee had been a novel response on the part of the international community to the issues at hand. Resolution 1373 (2001) was unprecedented, as it set obligations on all Member States of the United Nations. The Committee provided a tool to help meet those requirements and was a step forward in international law as it pertained to security. The Committee must continue to ensure cooperation, transparency and objectivity, and it must avoid politicization of its activities.
He said the capability of the United Nations and the Council to comply with its own resolutions must be strengthened; that was why the work of the Committee was so important. From credibility and transparency would flow the confidence of the international community. Credibility was essential to support both the legal and multilateral actions that might be taken by the international community in the fight against terrorism. The Committee must continue to hold dialogue with its members and the United Nations Member States.
Full respect for human rights and respect for international law was also essential, he said. Measures taken by the international community must not damage respect for human rights and the right of authentic refuge -- otherwise, the legitimacy of the Council’s efforts to eliminate terrorism would be diminished. International assistance that States might need was key to ensuring implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). States that could must continue to make contributions and, indeed, increase them. Efforts to combat terrorism must be undertaken within the confines of the United Nations Charter, he stressed.
WANG YINGFAN (China), also endorsing the composition and work programme for the Committee’s third period, expressed his delegation’s hope that an assistance fund would be set up as soon as possible to help Members States to implement resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee’s main objective was to help Members States to cooperate more effectively in the fight against terrorism.
Noting that the fight against international terrorism had been going on for more than seven months since last September, he said several practical problems had emerged. The question of whether the Committee should react and how it should react should merit the Security Council’s consideration. Members hoped it would continue to play its central role in the struggle against international terrorism.
BIJAYEDUTH GOKOOL (Mauritius) said the overwhelming response to resolution 1373 (2001) was telling evidence of the desire of each Member State to rid its territory of terror. The work conducted by the Committee was impressive. Most of all, he appreciated the transparent and even-handed manner in which it had been operating. As one of the vice-chairman of the Committee, he thanked the Council for the confidence placed in his delegation.
Terrorism could not be wiped out without true and genuine engagement of all countries, individually and collectively, he said. Constructive action to combat terrorism required more than promises. Effective domestic enforcement of international agreements would be a good start.
He noted that States had asked, during Committee deliberations, whether some questions asked in the draft letters were not beyond the scope and purview set out in resolution 1373 (2001). He believed that the objective set out in the resolution spoke for itself. Respect for human rights during implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) was key. Anti-terrorism measures should not be an excuse for violation of human rights. Terrorism was the enemy of life, peace, hope and society. To fight terrorism and root it out, it was important to address its causes.
GERARD CORR (Ireland) said resolution 1373 (2001) remained a defining architectural underpinning in the fight by the international community against international terrorism. The Committee had played an indispensable role in shaping the response of States in implementing the resolutions provisions. It had done that comprehensively and rigorously, as well as with sensitivity to the scale of the tasks involved.
He said it was of great importance that the Committee continue to intensify its present approach of dialogue and openness to the concerns of the Member States. For many States, the legislative and administrative requirements in implementing resolution 1373 (2001) were complex and daunting. There must be sustained appreciation of that need and concomitant support from those most capable of providing it. He stressed the need not to micro-manage or prescribe beyond the requirements actually laid down in the resolution. A realistic sense of the complexity of things, not any spirit of Manichaeanism, would continue to be the safest guide towards the agreed goals.
Ireland attached the utmost importance to the United Nations and the international community generally, supporting the efforts of developing countries where that was necessary to implement the resolution. That might involve the provision of expertise and assistance, as appropriate. He also stressed that the fight against terrorism could never be at the expense of human rights.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation), speaking in his national capacity, said the Committee should not limit itself to analysing the national reports, but also give advisory and technical assistance to enable States to comply with resolution 1373 (2001).
Bearing in mind that Member States expected the appointment of an additional expert to give new impetus to the Committee's work, he supported the proposed selection of new experts, with due attention to equitable geographical representation. The Russian Federation also supported the Committee Chairman’s appeal for the appropriate level of Secretariat support.
He said that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), of which his country was President, attached very great significance to the need for increased cooperation between the Committee and regional organizations and had set up the necessary legal mechanisms. In July last year, a branch of the counter-terrorism centre of the CIS had been set up to monitor and coordinate counter-terrorism efforts in Central Asia.
The Security Council had a strong general understanding that the Committee should not be a repressive organ or go beyond the limits of its mandate, he said. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that resolution 1373 (2001) had been set up in the wake of one of the most dangerous threats to international peace and security. Russia, as a permanent member and a vice-chair of the Committee, was ready to continue supporting its work.
INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain), speaking for the European Union, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Iceland, called on the States that had not yet done so to submit their reports as called for by resolution 1373 (2001). The Union understood that, in many cases, non-compliance might be due more to practical difficulties than to lack of political will. It was, therefore, important to facilitate assistance to those States that faced that kind of problem. Several of the Union member States, as well as the European Community, were in the directory of assistance offers published by the Committee, he noted.
The assessment of the country reports might prove beneficial in aiding States to identify areas where they should strengthen or complete their national legislation or administrative measures, he said. In keeping with the spirit of transparency, lessons learned from that evaluation process should be shared with all States, and he trusted that the Committee would know best how to do so. The main goal of the Committee should be to achieve a uniform, full and global application of the resolution. The measures against terrorism must be in accordance with the United Nations Charter, including the obligation to promote and respect human rights. That obligation should be taken into account fully when implementing resolution 1373 (2001).
He noted that the Union had undertaken, even before 11 September, a considerable effort in coordination, based on the understanding that terrorism took advantage of loopholes or differences among countries in their legal or administrative rules and practices. The Union gave maximum importance to the fight against terrorism, which was the top priority of the Spanish presidency. The Union’s common action was focused on an action plan adopted by the European heads of State and government. Their goal was to develop concrete, common or concerted measures against terrorism, within and outside the Union.
International cooperation was crucial in combating terrorism and in ensuring that the perpetrators be brought to justice, he added. The actions of the Union were aimed at individuals or groups of terrorists, never at peoples, religions or cultures. The goal was to strengthen international security, the rule of law and human rights.
J. GABRIEL VALDES (Chile), endorsing the statement to be made on behalf of the Rio Group, said that the current violence in the Middle East morally degraded all humankind and brought home the urgency of eradicating terrorism and resolving the situation in that region. Chile viewed terrorism as a rejection of the basic values of human coexistence. Combating terrorism was, therefore, the duty of every member of humankind.
He said it was essential to underscore the importance of multilateral cooperation in the complex task of eradicating terrorism. The fight must be waged within the framework of respect for international law and human rights, otherwise it would merely hinder efforts to eradicate it.
The oppression of peoples, extremist ideologies and the extreme poverty in which a majority of humanity lived legitimized terrorism and the degradation it perpetrated, he said. Warning against reducing the struggle against terrorism to the military level only, he said the Committee should compile experiences that would help in the development of a new understanding of development.
YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said the full implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) was a central task in his Government’s efforts to fight terrorism. Japan placed high priority on the swift implementation of the Council’s measures to deprive terrorists of any possibility of withdrawing funds before their assets were frozen. He noted that, in freezing the assets of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, in accordance with the relevant Council resolutions, Japan had taken the necessary measures at almost the same time as the sanctions Committee had taken its decisions.
He highly appreciated the fact that the Committee had been vigorously conducting its review of the reports that had been submitted by Member States on implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). It was, therefore, all the more important to urge those countries that had not yet done so to submit their reports promptly. He called on the Committee to expeditiously consider what must be done to help those countries that lacked the technical capacity to submit their reports. It was highly important to upgrade the Committee’s directory of assistance, which already existed in a limited fashion. To that end, he urged those countries capable of providing assistance to register their assistance programmes in the directory as soon as possible.
He said that his Government supported the intention of the Committee to take advantage of cooperation with regional organizations and other international forums to promote the full implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Japan would work to see to it that regional organizations and other forums to which it belonged would expand their cooperation with the Committee.
PAUL HEINBECKER (Canada) said that, since 11 September, the global community had moved beyond condemnation, condolences and solidarity to practical action to counter terrorism. To a large extent, that action was guided by the template provided by resolution 1373 (2001). He was pleased to see that forward momentum was continuing. "We remain acutely aware that we must work in the spirit of multilateralism and partnership to find new and creative ways of meeting common threats in our increasingly interconnected world", he said. He noted that Canada had implemented all 12 United Nations counter-terrorism instruments. Treaties were only ratified in Canada when all the necessary measures were in place to implement them.
He noted that the Group of 8 industrialized countries, under Canada’s chairmanship, had initiated a cooperative relationship with the Committee -– one which he hoped would mature into a strong and effective partnership. At the first meeting between the Group and the Committee, the issues of capacity-building and outreach had been discussed. In terms of capacity-building, the Group was aware that the global community was faced with challenges relating to both financial resources and human resources. Technical assistance was perhaps even more important, and definitely more enduring than financial assistance.
Multilateralism and partnership remained key if the international community was to develop long-term solutions to the horrific challenge facing it, he said. The Group of 8 was focusing on practical, multidimensional action. Canada was one of the most insistent countries on limiting the growth of the United Nations budget, he noted. Resources should be shifted to meet the needs of changing priorities, such as the struggle against terrorism.
VALERY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said that as the United Nations brought together the political, diplomatic, legal, economic, humanitarian and security dimensions of the counter-terrorism agenda, it provided an appropriate framework for national and international actions. As a transnational phenomenon, only multilateral action could successfully counter terrorism. A useful exchange of opinions and information between representatives of organizations, States and the Committee would definitely benefit the Committee’s work.
He said Ukraine attached great importance to the Committee’s continuing communication of regular information on its activities as provided in its programme for the next 90 days. Another direction that had been successfully covered was the provision of the appropriate assistance to those countries that were willing but unable to improve their counter-terrorism capabilities.
Outlining his country’s recent measures against terrorism, he said that this year Ukraine would become a party to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing. It was also expected that the ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism -- signed in June 2000 -- would be high on the agenda of Ukraine’s newly elected Parliament.
Mr. GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said he was grateful for the general support the Committee had had and for the careful thought that had gone into the presentations this morning. He underlined that the work of the Committee was a team effort. The virtual determination of Member States to do something about terrorism had taken off since 11 September. Among the measures taken were the passage of new legislation that was now going forward, an increase in the ratification of relevant conventions, and action taken to stop the financing terrorism.
He said there had been some confusion around the question of the number of reports to be submitted. There had been reports from United Nations Member States and others who were not Members of the United Nations -- that made a total of 193 reports. It was the Committee’s approach to liaise with non-reporters in a cooperative way; virtually all of them were not reporting because they needed assistance. He informed the Council that he was now in a position to move forward with the appointment of a seventh expert to deal with that issue and would do so expeditiously.
Regional organizations were absolutely vital, he said. State responsibility lay at the heart of effective implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee could be a catalyst for that, but at the end of the day it was States that must act. He thought the Committee had the balance right on the question of human rights. It was working up to its full mandate, but not beyond that mandate, he stressed.
The meeting suspended at 1:15 p.m.
When the Council reconvened at 3:10 p.m., BERND NIEHAUS (Costa Rica), for the Rio Group, said that last Friday in Costa Rica the presidents of the Rio Group had agreed on a declaration of principles reiterating their firm condemnation of terrorism. He had requested that the declaration be distributed as a document of the Security Council. As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had stressed, terrorism was a threat to the most fundamental human right -- the right to life. The Group fully supported resolution 1373 (2001), as well as the work of the Committee. The Committee had a key role to play in the coordination of universal action to fight terrorism.
Institutional procedures must be put in place if terrorism was to be effectively fought, he said. Drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking and money laundering were all issues that must be dealt with. Dialogue between the Committee, Member States and regional and subregional organizations was key. A document prepared by the experts of the Rio Group on implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) had been distributed to the Council, he noted.
As the High Commissioner for Human Rights had noted, the sources of insecurity must be tackled at the root. Political oppression, poverty and disease were among the issues that fuelled extremism. True and sustainable peace was born out of mutual respect, dialogue and rejection of violence. He called for more open and tolerant societies. The work of the Council and the Committee would make it possible to achieve that goal.
DAVID STEWART (Australia) said resolution 1373 (2001) provided a comprehensive framework for international action against terrorism. It was a blueprint for addressing current weaknesses, particularly in relation to suppressing the financing of terrorism. He encouraged all Member States to implement fully the text's provisions. Even before 11 September, Australia had in place substantial measures to combat terrorism. As host to the year 2000 Olympics, it had had recent experience in addressing the terrorist threat.
He said that since the submission of Australia's first report to the Committee in December 2001, the Government had introduced to Parliament comprehensive new laws specifically directed to: strengthen the capacity of law enforcement to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist acts; strengthen measures to detect, freeze and seize terrorist assets and eliminate terrorist financing; and enable Australia to become a party to the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Those efforts reflected Australia's firm resolve to further strengthen its domestic counter-terrorism laws and practices.
He said counter-terrorism could not be limited to efforts at the national level. Bilateral, regional and international cooperation was essential to effectively combat terrorism. He noted that Australia had signed a memorandum of understanding on combating international terrorism on 7 February with Indonesia. Australia was, further, actively contributing to promoting cooperation against terrorism throughout the region. It had co-hosted a Pacific Islands counter-terrorism workshop in Honolulu. It had also participated in an ASEAN regional forum workshop on financial measures against terrorism, held in Honolulu from 24 to 26 March. In Bangkok, from 17 to 19 April, Australia would co-host with Thailand an ASEAN regional forum workshop on the prevention of terrorism.
ÜMIT PAMIR (Turkey) said that terrorism posed a very great danger to civilization. It threatened the fundamental rights of the individual and endangered the fabric of societies everywhere. Terrorism was a violation of human rights and, as such, was a potent means of oppression. His country had been trying for a long time to impress the international community on the need to defend a unified position on the issue. There could be no leniency on a phenomenon that had absolute and irredeemable consequences.
He said it was deeply disturbing that some segments of the international community still shied away from a collective means of combating terrorism. It was high time to choose the only viable option -- intensify international cooperation. Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) deserved full support. As a testimony of Turkey's commitment to deal forcefully with terrorism, it had signed nearly 50 bilateral agreements on cooperation to combat it; it was party to 10 of the existing 12 United Nations conventions on the subject, and the process of ratification for the remaining two was under way.
Completion of ongoing discussions on the comprehensive convention against international terrorism and on the international convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism should occur sooner than later, he said. Turkey attached particular importance to the denial of safe havens to terrorists and their extradition. Terrorists must be stopped by a blanket regime. Regrettably, as an associate country of the European Union, he had been unable to align itself with the Union on that vastly important issue. He agreed with the general thrust of the statement made by the European Union, but felt that a credible fight against terrorism could not be sustained by addressing the problem partially and selectively. He sought a more "resolute stance" by the European Union.
OUCH BORITH (Cambodia), on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that ASEAN law enforcement agencies had deepened their cooperation in counter-terrorism through sharing of information and best practices. The ASEAN also recognized the importance of developing regional capacity-building programmes to enhance members' capabilities in countering terrorism.
The successful conclusion of the ASEAN Ad Hoc Experts Group meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, from 21 to 23 January 2002 to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime was another crucial step forward, he said. The meeting involved eight task forces looking into combating terrorism, trafficking in persons, arms smuggling, sea piracy, money laundering, illicit drug trafficking, international economic crime and cyber-crime.
Under the ASEAN Regional Forum, he said, members had recently participated in the Workshop on Financial Measures against Terrorism in Honolulu from 24 to 26 March 2002. Members had discussed an international framework for combating terrorist financial activities, the roles of regional and international multilateral organizations, as well as implementation of the international framework of financial measures against terrorism.
In addition to another ASEAN Regional Forum workshop organized by the Thai and Australian Governments and scheduled for Bangkok from 17 to 19 April, he said, the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime would be held on 21 May 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It signified the firm commitment of members to implement the "ASEAN Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism".
Though faced by a myriad of constraints and challenges resulting from the recent regional and global economic downturn, he said, ASEAN member nations had done their best to implement resolution 1373 (2001). All member countries had submitted their national reports and encouraged those who had not done so to follow suit without further delay.
MARCO BALAREZO (Peru) associated himself with the statement made for the Rio Group. He expressed his satisfaction with the progress made thus far by the Committee. He noted a recent terrorist attack in his country that had caused great suffering. The attack had negated the right to life, security and peaceful coexistence. However, it had reaffirmed Peru’s commitment to fighting terrorism.
The Committee had taken decisive steps in the fight against terrorism, he said. All efforts must be made to ensure that money laundering and other illicit activity did not serve as the source of terrorist efforts. Technical and financial cooperation must be expanded, so that all countries could control and protect themselves from terrorism.
He suggested the Committee help elaborate a programme of cooperation for legal assistance to ensure that domestic laws were synchronized with resolution 1373 (2001). A programme of "smart borders" would make it possible to coordinate trans-border monitoring efforts. Combating terrorism could become an obstacle to free trade by, among others, eroding profit margins. Barriers to normal commerce must not be raised. Victory against terrorism could only be obtained when democratic rule prevailed and the rule of law was observed. Combating terrorism must be done within the framework of protecting the rights of all. He added that he supported strengthening the work of the Committee at the regional and subregional levels.
SHAMSAD AHMAD (Pakistan) said terrorism had to be eliminated in all its forms. It also had many manifestations, which should be included within the ambit of Council resolutions and within the purview of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Those who employed State apparatus to trample upon fundamental and inalienable rights of people were also perpetrators of terrorism, he added.
He said Pakistan rejected and condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It had never condoned such actions and had been cooperating with the international community in combating that universal evil. His country would continue to abide by its obligations under the Charter, as well as those in Council resolutions. In spite of the challenges faced by Pakistan, it was determined to do what was right and just.
"These are unusual time demanding exceptional responses", he continued. "In effectively confronting terrorism, we cannot be oblivious of the need to address the source of this problem at its roots." It was time for courageous decisions, for correcting historical wrongs, and redressing endemic injustices. "Our universal obligation to fight terrorism must not deflect us from the need for a just, lasting and honourable settlement of the Kashmir and Palestine issues", he said. It was time for the Council to restore its credibility and legitimacy and work as true instrument of peace and security as mandated by the Charter.
ISAAC C. LAMBA (Malawi), on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said that in line with the OAU Convention on Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the group had agreed, in Luanda, Angola, to ratify and incorporate into national laws all anti-terrorism instruments adopted by the OAU and the United Nations.
The SADC had also agreed to combat all forms of terrorism that disrupted national and regional security, as well as constitutional arrangements and organizations of States, he said. The SADC States had also agreed to harmonize all legal instruments for the prosecution of terrorist groups. It had further agreed to prevent any attempts to use SADC member States as bases or support centres for terrorist groups or organizations.
He said Malawi's response to anti-terrorism included establishing domestic anti-terrorism contact points, and legislation against any terrorist activity, while reviewing existing laws for reinforcement, and strengthening membership in international conventions and protocols. It also included control of financial flows to deter irregular funding from external sources and tightening of security by the armed and security services.
However, Malawi and most SADC States, with their weak economies and limited resources, would require assistance from the international community, he pointed out. To facilitate their effective participation in the anti-terrorism struggle, their areas of need included technical assistance, capacity-building and human resource training, and upgraded technology and equipment to enhance efficiency.
ZAINUDDIN YAHYA (Malaysia) associated himself with the statement made on behalf of ASEAN. He wished to draw attention to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Declaration adopted at the extraordinary session of the OIC Foreign Ministers on Terrorism, held in Kuala Lumpur from 1 to 3 April.
The Declaration, which would be distributed to the Council in due course, stated the Ministers’ resolve to combat terrorism and to respond to developments affecting Muslims and Islamic countries in the aftermath of 11 September. They had rejected any attempt to link Islam and Muslims to terrorism, as terrorism had no association with any religion, civilization or nationality. They had reiterated that preventive action taken to combat terrorism should not result in ethnic or religious profiling, or the targeting of a particular community. They had condemned acts of international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism, irrespective of motives, perpetrators and victims, as terrorism posed a serious threat to international peace and security and was a grave violation of human rights.
They had underlined the urgency for an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, which differentiated legitimate struggles from acts of terrorism, he said. The Ministers had also emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of international terrorism and had reiterated the call to convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to formulate a joint, organized response to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The OIC session had also seen the reaffirmation of its members to take action at the national and international levels through a plan of action. The plan prescribed the establishment of a 13-member, open-ended ministerial level OIC committee on international terrorism.
YEHUDA LANCRY (Israel) said that since the establishment of his country in 1948, it had been a frequent target of terrorism and continued to be one today. As a result of such attacks, Israel had developed an extensive network of government authorities, a body of domestic legislation, a range of practical policies and an intense commitment to combat terrorism in all its aspects.
The landmark resolutions adopted following 11 September marked a major turning point in efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism, he said. The Council had rightly understood that terrorists did not operate in a vacuum, but depended on the support, assistance and safe harbour granted by States. It was those States that must be targeted no less than the terrorists themselves.
Ending State support for terrorism did not mean only disrupting State financing, but also ending the encouragement, incitement and moral and religious sanction for those acts, he emphasized. Terrorists must not only be denied the tools they required to spread fear among civilians; they must hear from their own societies that they would not permit acts of mass murder to be committed in their name.
He said religious leaders must not instruct their followers that murder and suicide were an expression of God’s will. Political leaders must view the perpetration of terrorist attacks by their citizens as a cause for grief and introspection, not for celebration. While poverty and despair must be combated, it must be made absolutely clear that no grievance justified terror.
Mr. GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said today, particularly in the second half, there had been a good example of the regional and collective approaches to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Mauritius had asked earlier about the Committee making judgements about the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). It had also asked about the Committee exceeding the scope of the resolution, whether the answers received from Member States really helped determine whether a State was truly compliant and what action would be taken if States were found not be in compliance.
Taking up those questions, he said the text of resolution 1373 (2001) was extremely broad. States were asked to do everything possible, in cooperation with others, to take measures to combat terrorism. The Committee had agreed that it would implement nothing less and nothing more than its mandate, and it was in no way exceeding the scope of the text. Regarding whether the Committee could judge compliance from the reports, he said, "yes, up to a point, but other things are necessary". Members of the Committee needed to be aware of their own individual and collective roles in making sure that all Members States were truly implementing the resolution.
He said the last question, on what would be done in cases of non-compliance, would be answered when it came up. The Committee was proceeding in the right way. There were questions that must remain in mind, but the resolution was the guide in that respect. The Committee would stick scrupulously the terms of the resolution, he stressed.
It was the Committee’s intention to be very frank and open about its experiences, he said. Three members of the expert team had put forward papers on their view about how things had gone thus far. He agreed that, as far as it could, the Committee should share its experience with the international community and Member States in terms of the global approach to deal with security problems of that nature.
He thanked "quite a broad range" of Member States that had begun or contemplated putting in place measures to help States implement resolution 1373 (2001). He said he would not re-enter definitional problems; it was not the business of the Committee to do so. However, he stressed that the Committee could do its job without stumbling over definitional problems.
At a second meeting, the Council PRESIDENT read out the following, which will be issued as document S/PRST/2002/10:
The Security Council welcomes the briefing by the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (28 September 2001) (the Counter-Terrorism Committee) on the work of the Committee, and other reflections by members of the Committee on its work so far.
The Security Council recalls the note by its President of 4 October 2001 (S/2001/935), which recorded that it would undertake a review of the structure and activities of the Committee no later than 4 April 2002. The Council welcomes and confirms the continuation of the current chairmanship and bureau arrangements for a further six months. It invites the Counter-Terrorism Committee to continue its work as set out in the work programme for the Committee’s third 90-day period (S/2002/318), including to explore ways in which States can be assisted to implement the resolution; to build a dialogue with international, regional and subregional organizations active in the areas covered by resolution 1373 (2001) in accordance with the principles of the Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions; and to identify issues on which concerted international action would further the implementation of the letter and spirit of the resolution.
The Security Council considers it essential that those Member States which have not yet submitted a report pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1373 (2001) do so as soon as possible.
The Security Council invites the Counter-Terrorism Committee to report on its activities at regular intervals and expresses its intention to review the structure and activities of the Committee no later than 4 October 2002.
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