SOME RECENT SUCCESS ACHIEVED AGAINT AL QAEDA,
BUT RECENT ATTACKS UNDERSCORE CHALLENGES AHEAD IN
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD
Chair of Committee Monitoring Sanctions against Taliban/Al Qaeda Says
Consolidated List Improved, Number of Member State Reports "Disappointing"
NEW YORK, 29 July (UN Headquarters) -- Although the international community had achieved some success against Al Qaeda, among other things through the arrest of senior leaders, recent bombings in various countries had underscored the dangers and challenges ahead in the fight against international terrorism, Heraldo Munoz (Chile), Chairman of the Committee established to oversee implementation of sanctions imposed on Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, told the Security Council this morning.
Briefing the Council on the Committee’s activities during the first half of the year, he said implementing the arms embargo, freezing of assets, and travel ban called for in the resolution establishing the Committee, 1267 (1999), and subsequent resolutions was a daunting task against a dangerous and determined foe. Thus, the effectiveness of the measures adopted to deal with the threat must be addressed on a regular basis to determine how they could be strengthened and improved.
The Committee is one of two established by the Council to combat terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee, whose chair briefed the Council last week, was established by resolution 1373 (2001) following the 11 September 2001 attack on the United States. It is not a sanctions body, but rather monitors steps taken by States, through the adoption of laws and regulations and the creation of administrative structures concerning terrorist finance, customs and border control, among others, to combat terrorism.
Mr. Munoz told the Council that the “1267 Committee” had improved the format and content of the “consolidated list of individuals and entities belonging to or associated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda”. He strongly encouraged States to submit to the Committee any information missing from the list that they would be able to provide and stressed that, if there were significant absences in the reporting, the Committee would have no choice but to reflect that reality in its year-end written assessment.
He said the overall response in submitting reports had been disappointing. To date, 64 reports had been received, barely 30 per cent of the membership of the United Nations. According to available information, individuals or entities associated with Al Qaeda were believed to be active in some way in a significant number of the States that had not yet submitted a report.
Al Qaeda had a built-in resilience and flexibility which contributed to its survival as a global network, Mr. Munoz continued. Moreover, Al Qaeda was profiting from the sale of heroin and opiates originating from Afghanistan. As States improved measures, such as stifling the flow of funds, the emphasis of the international community’s efforts must move to greater control over, and transparency of, the accounting methods of charitable foundations. Another concern was the fact that many Al Qaeda operatives had received training in such activities as making improvised explosive devices or crude forms of weapons of mass destruction.
He said the 1267 Committee had been engaged in a very full programme of work in the first half of the year. He hoped that in the second half of the year, the wider membership of the United Nations would do its part to implement that demanding resolution.
Welcoming progress made in implementation of the various resolutions concerning terrorism, speakers stressed that the sanctions regime must be improved, particularly in the areas of access to arms, freedom of movement, and financing. It was also important that the 1267 Committee work in close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001). They expressed disappointment with the low level of reporting and urged States that had not done so to submit their reports and extend all possible cooperation to the Committee.
The representative of the United States said his country remained strongly committed to helping willing States achieve greater counter-terrorism successes through increased assistance and capacity-building. However, States unwilling to implement their obligations must be encouraged and, if necessary, pressured to do more. The international community could not allow intransigence by some to be the weak link that undermined shared counter-terrorism efforts. In the area of the financing of Al Qaeda, he drew attention to informal money transfer systems, such as “hawala”, regulation of which warranted closer Council attention.
Noting the evidence that terrorists were using international drug traffic as a financial source, Colombia’s representative said the link between illicit drugs and terrorism was not only found in one region of the world and in the Al Qaeda network, but existed around the world. The link had developed into a transnational phenomenon, profiting from globalization, free trade and integrated financial systems. There was, therefore, a need to strengthen mechanisms to detect and block the links between terrorism and illegal drug trafficking, something which should be addressed in the guidelines for the preparation of national reports.
The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law was essential in the fight against international terrorism. Sanctions should be implemented on the basis of transparent, technical criteria in order to create maximum legal certainty. Terrorism had to, and could be, defeated within the requirements of the Charter of the United Nations and international law by a sustained comprehensive approach that involved the participation and collaboration of all States, international and regional organizations, and redoubled efforts at the national level.
Pakistan’s representative stressed that a legal definition of terrorism was necessary to prevent its abuse by certain States, who visited all kinds of hardships on innocent civilians in the name of fighting terrorism. Unless actions were controlled by subjecting them to the limitation of a legal definition and a political commitment to address the problem in its entirety, it would not be possible to avoid abuse of human rights, denial of the right of self-determination or prevention of State terrorism.
The representatives of China, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Syria, Angola, Guinea, Germany, France, Russian Federation, Mexico, Cameroon, Spain, Liechtenstein, Japan, India, Argentina, Israel, Ukraine and Australia also spoke.
At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Committee addressed questions and comments from delegations, as did the Chairman of the Monitoring Group established pursuant to resolution 1363 (2001), Michael Chandler (United Kingdom).
The meeting started at 10:10 a.m. and was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to review the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), otherwise known as the Taliban/Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, or the “1267” Committee.
Last week, on 23 July, the Council held a public meeting to review progress made by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), or the Counter-terrorism Committee. (For details, see Press Release SC/7823).
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on 15 October
1999, the Council established the “1267” Committee, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1267. The Committee was to report to the Council on the impact of the measures imposed by that resolution, to consider alleged violations, and to ask States for information on their implementation.
Those measures included a demand that the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden to appropriate authorities in a country where he would be brought to justice. The Council also decided that all States would freeze funds and prohibit the take-off and landing of Taliban-owned aircraft, unless or until the Taliban complied with that demand.
At the time of the adoption of that resolution, Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda had been indicted by the United States for, among other things, his role in the 7 August 1998 bombings of United States embassies in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, and for conspiring to kill United States nationals.
The latest action by the Council on the “1267” Committee was on 17 January 2003, when, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1455 (2003), it decided to improve implementation of the wider measures taken against the Taliban and members of Al Qaeda, including: freezing of funds and other financial resources of the Taliban, as well as that of Osama Bin Laden and individuals and entities associated with him, as designated by the Committee; an arms embargo; and travel bans.
Prior to that, on 19 December 2000, the Council asked the Committee to maintain an updated list, based on information provided by States and regional organizations, of the individuals and entities designated as being associated with Osama bin Laden, including those in the Al Qaeda organization.
The Council had before it a letter dated 7 July from the Chairman of the Committee to the Council President containing the first report of the Monitoring group pursuant to resolution 1455 (2003) (document S/2003/669).
By the terms of that resolution, the Secretary-General was asked to reappoint five experts, drawing on the expertise of the members of the Monitoring Group established pursuant to resolution 1363 (2001), to monitor, for a further 12 months, implementation of the measures against the Taliban and the Al Qaeda organization (detailed in the first operative paragraph of that text) and to follow up relevant leads relating to any incomplete implementation of those measures.
Briefing by Committee Chairman
HERALDO MUNOZ (Chile), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), said implementation of measures called for by the Council, such as an arms embargo, freezing of assets and a travel ban of individuals and entities belonging to or associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban was essential, and the effectiveness of those measures must be assessed on a regular basis.
Since adoption of resolution 1455 (2003), the international community had achieved a certain measure of success against Al Qaeda, among other things through the arrest of senior leaders. However, bombings in Saudi Arabia, the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, Morocco, Yemen and Afghanistan underscored the dangers and challenges ahead. At least 263 individuals had lost their lives in such incidents since December 2002.
The Committee had improved the format and content of the consolidated list of individuals and entities belonging to or associated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. That list was the fundamental tool available to States in implementing the sanctions. The Committee had also revised and expanded its guidelines to assist States in submitting additional list-related information. He strongly encouraged States to work actively to seek out and submit to the Committee any information missing from the list that they would be able to provide.
The Committee and the Monitoring Group had worked hard to disseminate to all Member States transparent guidelines to assist them in preparing their implementation reports. It could only improve its future guidance to States if sufficient responses to its present guidance were received. He stressed that if there were significant absences in the reporting, the Committee would have no choice but to reflect that reality as it prepared its year-end written assessment to the Council. Sensitive parts of implementation reports could be designated as confidential and would not be made public.
He said recognition of the possible presence of Al Qaeda or those associated with the network within its territory appeared to be a stigma to some States. Consequently, detailed information concerning the activities of the Al Qaeda operatives and supporters, many of whom were trained in Afghanistan or in other Al Qaeda associated or run facilities, was not being presented to the Committee. The Monitoring Group had often stressed that even if a particular State perceived no threat to its own security, the presence of Al Qaeda-related individuals might pose a threat to other countries.
He said the overall response in submitting reports had been disappointing. To date, 64 reports had been received, barely 30 per cent of the membership of the United Nations. According to available information, individuals or entities associated with Al Qaeda were believed to be active in some way in a significant number of the States that had not yet submitted a report. A review of the reports indicated that, for the most part, countries had taken steps to implement the specific requirements of the resolution. On the other hand, some reports had offered only a brief account of the legislative measures taken, while others had concentrated mostly on practical steps taken in the areas of ongoing investigations and enforcement actions.
Contacts between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee had recently become more regular. The two Committees had agreed to issue a joint press release that clearly set out the mission and goals of the two committees.
The Monitoring Group had continued its programme of visits to Member States, including Afghanistan, Bulgaria, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United States, and had participated in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Vienna on the security of cross border movements of legal and illegal radiological sources and a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force in Berlin, Germany. The Group had submitted its first report to the Committee on 16 June, noting successes in the fight against the Al Qaeda network. However, the Group had identified important shortcomings and he, therefore, warned against complacency by States in the political will required to enforce the measures called for by the Council.
He said Al Qaeda had a built-in resilience and flexibility, which contributed to its survival as a global network. That encouraged support for the network among elements of the population in many countries, producing sympathy for the ideology, new recruits and funding. Al Qaeda was also profiting from the sale of heroin and opiates originating from Afghanistan.
As States improved measures, such as stifling the flow of funds, the emphasis of the international community’s efforts must move to much greater control over, and transparency of, the accounting methods of charitable foundations. That was one of the areas in which the Group was concentrating its efforts, Mr. Munoz said, and called on all States to cooperate fully with the Group and give them the maximum assistance possible, when so requested.
Another continuing concern, he said, involved the many Al Qaeda operatives who had received training in such activities as making improvised explosive devices or crude forms of weapons of mass destruction, or conducting assassinations. Any such individuals who were known to the authorities should be listed, in order to reduce the opportunity for them to move around freely. The Group had also noted that Al Qaeda and the Taliban were still able to acquire adequate quantities of weapons and explosives.
He said while the analysis and follow-up of implementation reports was a critical avenue of communication between the Committee and Member States, it was not the only one. He intended to continue to hold periodic briefings open to all Member States and to undertake in October visits to selected States. The 1267 Committee had been engaged in a very full programme of work in the first half of the year. The Committee members felt they had done their utmost to lay the groundwork for the successful implementation of resolution 1455 (2003). He hoped that in the second half of the year, the wider membership of the United Nations would do its part to implement that demanding resolution.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said that terrorism was a common enemy of the international community. Recently, the terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Morocco and Afghanistan had indicated that the Taliban and Al Qaeda still constituted a serious threat to both international and regional peace and security. The 1267 Committee, as a sanctions mechanism, shouldered the important task of studying and analyzing changes in the threat posed by Al Qaeda. Continuously updating the list of entities and individuals under sanctions, assisting in States’ implementation of the required measures, and monitoring and improving those measures was crucial.
He said that the success of the Committee depended upon whether the links between the sources of funding and weapons in the planning and carrying out of terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda could be effectively severed, and whether illegal cross-border actives by terrorist elements could be forcefully combated. That was the important and indispensable part of the Security Council’s, and the whole world’s, counter-terrorism struggle. Recently, the 1267 Committee had carried out a series of active measures to implement Council resolutions and to improve its work. Those had included improvement of the consolidated list, expansion of the Committee’s guidelines, and the drawing up of guidelines for the formulation of implementation reports.
Currently, however, the Committee still faced an arduous task, he said. It should strengthen its capacity for analysis and research. He also encouraged the Committee and the Monitoring Group to acquire first-hand information and use precise evidence, as a basis to strengthen that analysis. In that regard, he appealed to States to cooperate with the both bodies. Strengthening coordination and cooperation between the Security Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee was also critical. Strengthening the exchanges between them would help avoid duplication, improve efficiency and help to move forward the struggle against terrorism. He also favoured improving and enhancing the practicality of the consolidated list, as that was a key basis through which Member States could carry out their sanctions.
Through the Committee’s efforts, he said that the operability of the consolidated list had been improved. He hoped more work could be done in that regard to ensure that the information provided was detailed, accurate and specific. East Turkestan forces had been receiving funding by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and those forces were creating terrorist incidents in China and elsewhere. Last year, at the request of China and other relevant countries, the Committee had placed them on the consolidated list, in the name of the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement. He hoped that other such organizations would also be included on that list.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), addressing the Council for the first time in his capacity as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said he was privileged to join such a distinguished group. Today’s meeting was important because it, once again, focused the Council’s attention on the scourge of terrorism. The sombre words of the Committee Chairman should remind everyone of the political necessity to maintain that fight and to move onto the practical, but technical implementation, of how to do that. The report of the Monitoring Group had showed how Member States were fulfilling their responsibilities. The addition of experts to that group had also been welcome. He hoped they would add to a substantive analysis of implementation and offer guidance on how to improve it.
He said that focusing on case studies was also important, particularly on charitable foundations, in order to ensure that those were not abused by Al Qaeda. Stopping the financing of terrorism was at the heart of the international effort to disrupt, combat and eventually defeat it. The cooperation of Member States was vital in that fight. Also important was the role of regional organizations, including the European Union, in combating illegal financing. Combating such financing did not work, however, without an effective, comprehensive network. Otherwise, financing sought out the weakest points, through which funds were then diverted. Cooperation to avoid duplication and clarify respective roles between the Monitoring Group’s experts and the Counter-Terrorism Committee was another imperative.
MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) said, as the Committee needed international cooperation, it was important that Member States continue to extend to it their fullest cooperation. The Committee’s efforts to bring more transparency in its work would be helpful in encouraging greater cooperation. Clarification of the roles of the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee would remove confusion. Regarding reporting, he said the factors that might lead to “reporting fatigue” needed to be addressed.
He said Pakistan spoke from its own experiences when it came to terrorism. It had had to pay a heavy price during the last two decades for its principled position against terrorism and in support of the right of people for self-determination. Terrorism had become the bane of all countries alike, and could not be solved through domestic actions alone. The measures to combat the problem should be based on international cooperation and coordination. A long-term solution was needed. The international community needed to pay greater attention to such factors as the correlation between poverty, religious and political persecution and injustice and terrorism.
He stressed that a legal definition of terrorism was necessary to prevent its abuse by certain States, who visited all kinds of hardships on innocent civilians in the name of fighting terrorism. Unless actions were controlled by subjecting them to the limitation of a legal definition and a political commitment to address the problem in its entirety, it would not be possible to avoid abuse of human rights, denial of the right of self-determination or prevention of State terrorism. Securing consensus for a definition of terrorism might be difficult, but it was not impossible.
RAYKO RAYTCHEV (Bulgaria) said the success of the fight against terrorism required collective action based on shared information and clear-cut goals. Further, a well-measured balance of transparency of purpose and secure, confident interaction at the subregional, regional and international level was necessary to facilitate common goals.
He said it was important that genuine transparency and publicity were maintained in the Committee’s work. Also, closer coordination and cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee, as well as more operational interaction between the experts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Monitoring Group, was necessary. More active and efficient cooperation with the existing subregional and regional groups and organizations was also needed.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said that, given that the Committee essentially governed international efforts to combat terrorism, its work was particularly important in the context of implementing the series of resolutions adopted by the Council to meet that major international challenge. The statement by Mr. Munoz, particularly on the progress made by the Committee, had clearly demonstrated the enormous amount of work already done to implement the provisions of those Council resolutions. Several Member States had submitted reports, and the guidelines adopted by the Committee had facilitated their preparation. Those guidelines had also facilitated the Committee’s study of those reports. He encouraged States that had not yet done so to submit their reports as soon as possible. His country had submitted all reports requested of it.
He said that the consolidated list had become more valuable, as its information was more detailed, easier to read, and contained additional data. Similarly, the reports of the Monitoring Group had also become more valuable, more targeted, and more extensive. They were more credible and more transparent, and also reflected information from all sources, including from missions conducted in the field by the Group. Given the importance of its work, the Committee had been strengthened through the addition of several advisers, which would help it analyze States’ reports. He took note of the joint communiqué, adopted by both counter-terrorism Committees. That had allayed any ambiguity about their work.
Countering international terrorism was a major task, which required honest cooperation among States and needed to be planned carefully, he said. It was not enough to say “we are combating terrorism”; the Organization must be sure that that campaign was actually taking place. Certain measures had been adopted, but the international community should clearly condemn terrorist acts. Much remained to be done. Obtaining information and making that available to Member States was a long, painstaking task, which required cooperation among the Secretariat, the Security Council the United Nations systems, as well as with and between Committees.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said reinforcement of cooperation between Member States and the Committee was critically required in achieving implementation of the relevant Council resolutions. He was pleased to note considerable progress achieved during the last two years, in particular in identifying and stopping the financing of terrorism.
Significant progress had also been made in tracking and detaining entities and individuals belong to the Al Qaeda network, he continued. However, despite progress made, there needed to be an awareness of the fact that efforts to curb the network were far from over. Training in specialized forms of terrorist activities and in the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction were very serious issues. Further success in the fight against terrorism and Al Qaeda required a sustainable international effort, including cooperation, coordination and information sharing between the Committee and Member States.
He said his country had presented its report within the time required and had also developed activities in reinforcing international cooperation in combating terrorism. The 12 international conventions regarding terrorism had been integrated into his country’s national legislation. Although the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee shared the same objectives, the activities of the Committees were different, but complementary. He, therefore, welcomed discussions on how the two Committees could better coordinate. Technical assistance to countries who lacked resources to implement the various resolutions should be a priority of the Committee.
BOUBACAR DIALLO (Guinea) said that the meeting was another opportunity to assess progress made in implementing the measures imposed by the Council against Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated persons and entities. The notable success made in combating Al Qaeda since last April had been noteworthy. That had included the arrest of certain leaders, the establishment of certain mechanisms to attack their financial support, as well as the submission by certain Member States of their reports on implementation. Clearly, the arrest of key members of Osama bin Laden’s command team had harmed the operation and made it possible to obtain useful information about how the group functioned. Nevertheless, that network had enough resources to rebuild, and consequently wage more devastating attacks.
He noted that significant progress had been made through the adoption by several Member States of laws, rules and procedures to identify and combat the financing systems of Al Qaeda. That had been possible due largely to the greater vigilance shown by governments, banks and other financial institutions, as well as improved exchanges of information. Notwithstanding that “relative” success, much remained to be done to eliminate Al Qaeda’s supply lines. In addition, several sources of financing still needed to be identified. That organization was increasingly using informal mechanisms and parallel types of payment, which enabled it to cast an ever-wider net of operations and continue to conduct recruitment activities around the world.
All Member States must sign and ratify the international Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, he urged. They must also increase their efforts to identify and freeze the assets of Al Qaeda’s donors and sympathizers, and to take steps to combat money laundering. International drug trafficking was another significant source of financing for Al Qaeda’s activities. It had been proved that Al Qaeda used contraband to increase its financial assets. Everyone should strive to combat that phenomenon. Despite the travel ban, practice showed that the use of the consolidated list continued to cause some problems. That list, therefore, should be made more precise, supplemented and kept updated.
In addition, he said that new minimum identification data should be added, greater attention should be given to submission of names according to cultural positions, and titles should be modified. In order to enrich the list, he urged Member States to communicate the names of persons or entities recruited or trained for terrorist purposes. The point of the travel ban was to limit the movement of Al Qaeda members, but they remained mobile and continued to commit terrorist acts, often using assumed identities. Member States, thus, must increase exchanges of information and adopt new techniques for the easy identification of those individuals, in order to block their activities. Since the adoption of the arms embargo, the Committee had not been advised of any violations, but the facts on the ground indicated that that network still had ways of procuring weapons and explosives when they needed them.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) said that, as terrorism continued to claim the lives of countless innocent people, the United Nations sanctions regime targeting members or associates of Al Qaeda and the Taliban remained a major tool for combating the global scourge. As Mr. Munoz pointed out, the primary responsibility for making those sanctions work lay with the Member States. It was appropriate, therefore, that for the first time the debate on that key issue was open to all Member States. That should become a regular practice.
He said his country would continue to help to strengthen the credibility and efficiency of the targeted sanctions. Germany had contributed to improving both the consolidated list of targeted individuals and entities, as well as pertinent watch lists and the border-crossing information systems. His country had submitted reports and additional information to the Committee as required, and had cooperated closely with law enforcement, judicial and security authorities worldwide.
A major source of credibility for the sanctions regime was the fact that it targeted specific individuals or entities on the basis of the consolidated list. Clear criteria should be developed, however, which would specify under which objective conditions a given individual or entity should be added to that list. Perhaps national practices should be discussed, leading to a widely-accepted manner in which cases for listings were presented and considered by the Committee. Concerning de-listing, some core elements of due process should be applied. For example, perhaps targeted individuals could bring their case before the Committee for consideration.
EMMANUELLE D’ACHON (France), associating herself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said constant success in the struggle against Al Qaeda was seen, but the organization had shown its capacity to rebuild, and its threat to international peace and security persisted. Therefore, efforts to combat the organization should increase.
She welcomed improvements in the area of transparency in the work of the Committee and increased coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. She stressed that efforts in the area of combating terrorism would only be more effective if all Member States cooperated fully with the Committee, and she urged States that had not done so to submit reports. The quality and contents of reports and the adoption of national measures in the fight against Al Qaeda should also intensify. Progress in the fight against terrorism would be possible only by continuing to work resolutely together internationally.
GENNADY M. GATILOV (Russian Federation) said his country knew from bitter experience the danger posed by terrorism, as well as how difficult it was to combat that scourge. Terrorism knew no borders, and combating it was something that “we need to do together”. He commended the practical work of the Committee in drawing up and constantly updating the sanctions list. Ongoing additions to the list had demonstrated the consistency of the measures adopted by the Committee concerning persons implicated in terrorism. That was an important way of having an impact on terrorism -- on its ideologues and its financial sponsors, who tried to evade accountability. His country would continue to provide timely information to the Committee. That list was mandatory for Member States, which had to take steps, pursuant to the list, to extradite such persons from their territories.
He urged timely and due implementation of operative paragraph 6 of resolution 1455 (2003), which called on all States to submit updated reports. Those were intended to indicate to the Committee the practical problems in the functioning of the sanctions regimes. He appealed to Member States that had not yet done so to submit their reports as soon as possible. He was extremely concerned at information that a significant number of States on whose territories Al Qaeda was presumed to be operating had not submitted their reports. He also stressed close cooperation between the two counter–terrorism Committees. He commended the work done by the Monitoring Group and looked forward to concrete, practical results from the intensive regional visits planned by the head of that Group. He also drew attention to the growing threat of narcotics traffic from Afghanistan, given its increasing connection to terrorist operations.
ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico) said combating terrorism was a fundamental priority for his country, which had taken a number of measures to implement Council resolutions in the area of identification of funds for the use of terrorist entities. Key to such efforts was international cooperation. The readiness to cooperate and coordinate efforts was crucial for the effectiveness in the fight against terrorism. Members of Al Qaeda and Taliban would only be brought to justice through coordinated efforts of the international community.
He said in its last report the Monitoring Group had emphasized the persistent threat of Al Qaeda, because of its capacity to adapt. Vigilance was, therefore, necessary. Al Qaeda still had resources and funds. It was important to note that there were indications that drug trafficking emanating from Afghanistan continued to be a source of financing. The report had also called attention to the fact that the submission of national reports had fallen below expectations. The Council must double its efforts to ensure that all States would fully comply with obligations under Council resolutions. There was a need for closer cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee so there would be no duplication of work that could discourage countries from lending support. The two Committees should also support States in facilitating resolution implementation.
He said in the fight against terrorism many dilemmas had to be faced, such as the risk that innocent people could be affected, as well as that restrictions could be imposed on freedom and on fluidity of financial transactions. There was also the risk to activities of legitimate charitable organizations. Those risks should be carefully weighed by the Council and the Committee. In that regard, the work of the Monitoring Group was essential. Better cooperation and exchange of information would also be essential. Finally, he drew attention to the close link between the fight against terrorism and against organized crime. Control of the illicit trafficking of arms was also needed.
JOHN D. NEGROPONTE (United States) said attacks in diverse parts of the world reflected the true global dimension of the Al Qaeda network and served as a reminder that only international cooperation could prevent future attacks. Freezing terrorist assets remained a top priority of his Government. Approximately $135 million in terrorist assets had been frozen worldwide since the attack of 11 September 2001. However, more could be done to find, follow and freeze funds. Thirty-nine Member States had not yet introduced domestic legislation enabling terrorist-linked assets to be frozen. He urged those States to enact appropriate laws. Regulation of the informal money transfer systems, such as “hawala”, also warranted closer Council attention. He expressed disappointment that more States had not taken the opportunity to convey information that was essential to make improvements to the sanctions regime.
He expected the yearly assessment of the Committee in December to be a robust analysis containing an array of recommendations to the Council, including on issues such as “hawala” and charities. Expectations for Member States in counter-terrorism should remain high, he said, and he strongly encouraged willing and able States to do more, his own government included. His country was still learning how to better address the threats at its borders, skies and across its territory. The sea ports were an area of recognized vulnerability. Coordination with Canada and Mexico must be supplemented by robust international cooperation that extended beyond his nation’s physical boundaries.
He said the United States remained strongly committed to helping willing States achieve greater counter-terrorism successes. Increased assistance and capacity-building was key in that effort. However, States unwilling to implement their obligations must be encouraged and, if necessary, pressured to do more. The international community could not allow intransigence by some to be the weak link that undermined shared counter-terrorism efforts. Improved sanctions implementation -- made possible by vigilant Council oversight and better Member State responsiveness -- would send the right message to all governments and translate into improved implementation.
MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon) said that the timing of the two meetings on counter-terrorism had demonstrated the desire of Spain’s presidency of the Council to draw attention to the evils of terrorism. The close link between the 1267 Committee and Counter-Terrorism Committee was evident; he sought the evolution of a true symmetry among the other Council bodies, with complementary roles and activities. Because the relevant Council resolutions were the backbone in the international community’s resolute struggle to defeat terrorism, they must be strictly implemented by all countries. Today’s meeting was an opportunity to assess implementation of the relevant resolutions and the work of the Committee.
He said that the Chairman of the 1267 Committee had talked about the consolidated list, whose format and content had been improved. He had also talked about clear and transparent procedures in processing the data submitted by States and international and regional organizations, as well as about precise guidelines to help Member States prepare their national reports. He had also discussed the creation of an open dialogue with Member States. Those were all helpful devices, aimed at implementing measures to counter the methods used by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, including their misuse of charities for deadly ends. Many ringleaders had been arrested, but, unfortunately, third generation terrorists had emerged. Trained in Afghanistan, they were now scattered throughout the world.
“We should tirelessly hunt them down”, he urged. Counter-terrorism was a long-term endeavour, about which all must be constantly vigilant. The struggle was painstaking and required that all States be mobilized to participate. It also required organized cooperation by all stakeholders and partners involved in that battle. States needing assistance in capacity-building should receive it, and pledges of the World Bank and others should be acted upon. He thanked the World Bank for its recent support of the bank of Central African States, in the context of the activities of the countries of Central Africa seeking to combat money laundering and terrorism. He also supported the planned activities of the 1267 Committee and those of the Monitoring Group.
Speaking in his national capacity, the Council’s President, INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, emphasized the achievements attained since adoption of resolution 1455 (2003), including improvements in the consolidated list, guidelines in preparing reports and an increase in the transparency in the Committees. He also welcomed increased communication between the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Success in the struggle against terrorism depended on the cooperation between States, he said.
MARCELLO SPATAFORA (Republic of Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said irrespective of it motivations and objectives, the Union remained convinced that no terrorism was justifiable and deserved unequivocal condemnation. The Union was committed to defeating the threat of terrorism and recognized and supported the United Nations central role in fighting it everywhere.
He said respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law was essential in that fight; and the European Union shared the Security Council’s approach contained in resolution 1452 (2000) aimed at defining criteria for the granting of such exemptions, in specific cases, based on grounds of humanitarian needs. He called for the promotion of due process in the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s proceedings and welcomed the adoption by that Committee last November of guidelines for the conduct of its work.
Continuing, he said sanctions should be implemented on the basis of transparent, technical criteria in order to create maximum legal certainty in the matter. Terrorism had to and could be defeated within the requirements of the Charter of the United Nations and international law; by a sustained comprehensive approach that involved the participation and collaboration of all States, international and regional organizations, and redoubled efforts at the national level, he added.
The Union urged all States that had not yet do so, to provide to the Committee’s Monitoring Group all possible information that was requested of them that would facilitate proper identification of all listed individuals and entities targeted by restrictive measures.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said on 9 July his country had deposited the instrument of ratification for the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Liechtenstein had now ratified all the 12 relevant international conventions and protocols and was currently in the process of amending its legislation in order to implement the Convention. His country was determined to prevent abuses of its financial centre for terrorist activities and in that regard appreciated international cooperation, particularly with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Security Council in that area.
He commended the Security Council’s steps to improve the effectiveness and precision of the sanctions and to address humanitarian concerns, as well as those of transparency and due process. He said the guidelines of the Counter-Terrorism Committee for the conduct of its work, which now included rules for the work of the Monitoring Group in updating the sanctions list, were an important tool in that respect. Such rules were crucial not only for the effective work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Monitoring Group, but also for the cooperation with Member States and the protection of individuals’ rights, he noted.
At a time when the Security Council increasingly made decisions which had a direct impact on the rights of individuals, it was important to provide for avenues which allowed individuals to address concerns stemming from such decisions, he said. Therefore, he wanted to encourage the continuation and widening of a process of rulemaking that would improve cooperation and the flow of information among the Committee, the Monitoring Group and Member States, with a view to strengthening respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in the fight against terrorism.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said the 1267 Committee was an extremely effective tool in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. However, there seemed to be no end to the terrorist incidents suspected to have been committed by Al Qaeda. Challenges posed by the Taliban and Al Qaeda must be overcome by an integrated approach, including resolute action in the field, as well as strict application by the international community of the imposed sanctions and capacity-building to enable developing countries to implement the measures.
He said, although efforts to detain key Al Qaeda leaders had made progress, there were still leaders who had managed to escape international pursuit. Also, a new generation of trained Al Qaeda members had emerged and the network had retained a dangerously high degree of mobility around the world. It was urgent to take effective travel ban measures by strengthening information sharing and cooperation among law enforcement authorities and enhancing the consolidated list. It was also important to note that substantial funds were still available to Al Qaeda from the illicit drug trade and through charities. Further efforts must be made to completely suppress all resources available to them. In that regard, further cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee would be useful.
He said access to illicit arms enhanced the threat posed by Al Qaeda. Implementation of strict measures to address arms trafficking was, therefore, essential. It was of absolute importance that the international community prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. He urged, in that regard, States to join the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. It was also important to address the problem of small arms and light weapons. It was further important for all Member States to incorporate without delay any update of the list in their domestic regulations. In that regard, it would be helpful for the Committee to establish guidelines on the timing of domestic implementation of the update.
V.K. NAMBIAR (India) said that a review of the work of the Committee was particularly timely and essential, given the propensity of those organizations to strike at will at different parts of the world. Equally disturbing had been recent developments in Afghanistan’s southern and south-eastern borders, indicating the regrouping and increasingly damaging activism of the Al Qaeda and Taliban there. It was vital that all members of the international community were united in their preparedness, and, more important, their willingness to tackle that growing menace. The Monitoring Group had correctly concluded that, despite some marked success in the fight against terrorist groups, recent events had demonstrated that Al Qaeda and its associates still posed a significant global threat.
He noted the conclusion of the Monitoring Group that the Committee’s list only included a small subset of known Al Qaeda operatives. In a welcome development, the Afghan Government had recently proposed changes to the Taliban section of that list. Resolutions 1390 (2002) and 1454 (2003) made it incumbent upon States to list any member of the Taliban and Al Qaeda organization, and any individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with that organization. Member States should be proactive in proposing all names available to them for inclusion on that list, including those who had participated in training camps or other related activities. Without such an exhaustive listing, the Committee would be “severely handicapped” in the implementation of its mandate.
The Monitoring Group had also drawn attention to the possibility of Al Qaeda’s access to nuclear and chemical weapons, he went on. India had consistently cautioned against the potential dangers of terrorists acquiring mass destruction weapons, and it had piloted a consensus resolution on that issue in the last General Assembly session. He urged the 1267 Committee to place emphasis on the study of the possible proliferation of weapons of mass destruction among non-State actors, such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The nexus between drug smuggling and terrorism, the organized flow of arms across Afghanistan’s borders, and the increasing attacks on coalition forces told their own tale of complicity and deceit. The conclusions of the Monitoring Group had indicated the limitations of the sanctions regime when applied to nebulous non-State groupings, such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which transcended boundaries and utilized informal systems to attain their logistical objectives.
He stressed, that, in light of those conclusions, perhaps it was necessary for a more in-depth examination of new tools, which could be applied to make sanctions more focused and effective. The Council could revise procedures to make it necessary for States to communicate their approval of the list within a limited and defined time period. He also urged all States to submit an updated report to the Committee. He agreed with the Group’s conclusion that its work could only be meaningful if all States took concrete measures against the individuals and entities on the Committee’s list. The will of the international community to enforce the provisions of the relevant landmark resolutions of the Security Council against terrorists and their supporters could only be as strong as its weakest link would allow.
LUIS ENRIQUE CAPPAGLI (Argentina) reiterated his country’s commitment to the struggle against terrorism. Argentina had twice suffered from that scourge. It had submitted the required reports on implementation of resolutions 1390 (2002) and 1455 (2003) and hoped all States which had not yet done so would submit their reports.
He was concerned that, despite progress made in the fight against Al Qaeda, the organization continued to be a threat to international peace and security and continued to recruit, raise funds, and to have access to weapons. Drug trafficking continued to be an important source of income for terrorist groups. Monitoring and control measures in that regard must, therefore, increase. The international community must take all measures to intensify the fight against terrorism and the sanctions regime must be improved, particularly in the areas of access to arms, freedom of movement, and financing. It was important that the Committee work in close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
ARYE MEKEL (Israel) congratulated the Council for the important steps it had taken, together with the Monitoring Group, in assisting and monitoring State implementation of resolution 1267, and subsequent relevant ones. In taking those decisive actions to counter the terrorist capacity of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the Council had made a significant contribution to the efforts of the global community in combating the pervasive threat of terror and to maintaining international peace and security. As everyone was aware, the activities of the Taliban and Al Qaeda were not confined to Afghanistan. Indeed, there had been several foiled attempts by Al Qaeda to establish a military infrastructure in the region of the Middle East, and to recruit Palestinian terrorist operatives.
In addition, he said, there had been attempts by Al Qaeda operatives carrying foreign passports to penetrate Israel, in order to gather intelligence and perpetrate terrorist attacks. In the wake of those attempts, Israel had taken all necessary measures to implement the required sanctions, and to prevent future actions by that organization and other terrorist groups. No country could prevent terrorism in isolation, however, and success in bringing down the networks of terror required a sustained international effort, along with increased international cooperation, information sharing and coordination. Only such common efforts would pay dividends in the face of that threat. The weakest link in that fight were those regimes that were able, but unwilling, to join that campaign.
It took only one non-compliant State to provide safe harbour for Al Qaeda, and to enable it to regroup, plan and perpetuate deadly attacks against civilians, he said. Given that reality, it was troubling that so many States had failed to submit their implementation reports to the Council. Moreover, as noted in the report of the Monitoring Group, minimal effort had been made by States to locate and freeze financial assets and economic resources. The 1267 Committee had demonstrated ways in which the Council could actively and aggressively target specific terrorist organizations, beyond the scope of Al Qaeda, as part of the Council’s broader counter-terrorist agenda, and in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001).
He said that the terrorist threat would not remain static, and new threats would emerge, so it was crucial for States to have an operational model at their disposal -- similar to the 1267 Committee -- as part of the fight against terrorism. The 1267 Committee was not about “grabbing headlines”; it was about the nuts and bolts of fighting terrorism. It was about staying the course and addressing the multifaceted elements that made up the terrorist infrastructure. While it was but one component of the broader confrontation with the terror weapon, it served as an important example of international resolve. The members of the international community should not only cooperate with that Committee, but should draw inspiration from its methodical and sustained approach to the fight against terrorism.
LUIS GUILLERMO GIRALDO (Colombia) said there was serious evidence that terrorists were using international drug traffic as their financial source. Of the $6 billion in profits produced last year from narco-trafficking, $1.2 billion had originated from Afghanistan. Those profits were left in the hands of warlords, some of whom were residues of the Taliban/Al Qaeda network. Also, no economic assets had been frozen, just financial assets. Al Qaeda had developed new techniques to acquire, use and distribute funds around the world. It should be investigated if money from illicit drugs had financed the attacks in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and elsewhere.
He said that the link between illicit drugs and terrorism was not only found in one region of the world and in the Al Qaeda network. It existed around the world and in one third of the international terrorist organizations included in the list of the State Department of the United States. Those links were natural as they existed in poverty struck regions where States control was difficult. It had developed into a transnational phenomenon, profiting from globalization, free trade and integrated financial systems. There was, therefore, a need to strengthen mechanisms to detect and block the links between terrorism and illegal drug trafficking. Guidelines for the preparation of national reports should address that link.
There was also a need, he continued, to strengthen international cooperation to combat money laundering, control the sale of chemical precursors and to fight against the traffic of explosives and small arms and light weapons. He, therefore, supported proposals to strengthen the technical capacity of the Committee.
VALERIY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) noted that some progress had been made in recent months. In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai had taken resolute action towards establishing and affirming the Government’s authority in the provinces. He recalled the resumption, after nearly two months, of demining work along the Kabul/Kandahar road, one of Afghanistan’s most important routes for commerce and relief aid. He fully supported the efforts of the Afghan Transitional Administration in that field. Also, a Ukraine governmental delegation visited Kabul on 4 July and discussed with President Karzai and other high-level officials the problems of security, reconstruction and the establishment of bilateral trade relations.
He said that, despite efforts to stabilize the security environment, the situation remained a serious impediment to progress and a major risk to the constitutional process. He was deeply concerned about the outbreak of hostilities in some provinces and the recent attacks against International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces, and he strongly condemned all such acts of violence and intimidation. He shared most of the assessments in the report of the Monitoring Group, with the major one being that Al Qaeda and associated groups continued to pose a significant threat to international peace and security. Substantial funds were still available from the illicit drug trade, uncontrolled charities and donors for the recruitment and training of new terrorists.
The main efforts in the struggle against the Al Qaeda and Taliban networks, therefore, should be concentrated in the financial sphere, he said. That required increased political and economic pressure, international cooperation and coordination, as well as the provision of substantial additional technical assistance and financial aid to States in need. His country had undertaken a set of administrative and legislative measures authorizing appropriate actions against persons or entities designated by the Committee’s list. Ukraine also ratified the International Convention on Suppressing the Financing of Terrorism, as well as all other anti-terrorist instruments of a universal character. He shared the views of many States that there were still some difficulties in tracking down bank accounts and other financial and economic assets of the designated individuals and entities, because of a lack of sufficient and accurate data.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said that the bombings in Bali on 12 October 2002 exposed Australia to the harm of terrorist attacks “on our own doorstep”. But, Australia remained defiant against the perpetrators of those crimes and remained committed to seeing that justice prevailed and further attacks were prevented. Additionally, recent Saudi Arabian and Moroccan attacks had shown that Al Qaeda and associated bodies remained a threat to international peace and security and continued to challenge the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
To ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach to preventing further terrorist attacks, it was important for the 1267 Committee to work effectively with other arms of the United Nations system. To that end, he welcomed the closer working partnership between that Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Australia, for its part, continued to attach high priority to the fight against terrorism. It had created an ambassador-level position on the issue and was working bilaterally, through its network of counter-terrorism arrangements, regionally and multilaterally in the United Nations system, to ensure a future free from terrorism, he said.
Mr. MUNOZ, taking the floor to respond to the discussion, expressed gratitude for the strong and broad support for the reports submitted on behalf of the 1267 Committee. He was also grateful for the clear support for the work to be undertaken in the next semester. The comments today had been useful and practical, and he would take those into account in the work of both the Committee and the Monitoring Group. Important recommendations had been made, but he would not summarize them all now.
For example, he said that many delegations had attached importance to the work of collecting first-hand information, as well as to coordination between the two anti-terrorism Committees. The idea had also emerged of focusing investigation on informal methods of financing terrorism, as well as on the growing link between drug trafficking and terrorist activities. The advisability of focusing on suspicious financial transactions had also been underscored. Another recommendation had been made to establish case studies, after national reports had been submitted, so that those could be followed up by Member States.
MICHAEL CHANDLER (United Kingdom), Chairman of the Monitoring Group, thanked the Council members, who had given the Group support and recognition for its small, but important, contribution towards implementing resolution 1455. He asked States to provide any information the Group asked for as quickly as possible. He very much looked forward to the still outstanding reports from Member States. He believed, from his knowledge of Al Qaeda’s activities around the world, that those reports would enrich the process, if they were comprehensive.
He said that the outstanding reports would also enhance the Committee’s report, which would be submitted by the end of the year. It had been extremely fruitful to have visited certain countries, which had gone out of their way to highlight areas of concern and provide the necessary information. It was on that basis that he had been able to give the sort of report it had provided, thus far.
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