22 February 2006
Security Council Briefed by Chairmen of Three Anti-Terrorism Committees; Strengthened Cooperation, Assistance to States among Issues Raised
Committees Aim Full Implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001), 1267 (1999), 1540 (2004)
NEW YORK, 21 February (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council was briefed today by the chairmen of its three anti-terrorism committees, after which speakers stressed the need for cooperation and coordination among the Committees and with international, regional and subregional organizations.
The three committees are: the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), the "Counter-Terrorism Committee"; the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions; and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, told the Council that the Committee had cleared the backlog of reports from States on their implementation of the resolution and that its Executive Directorate had been declared operational on 15 December 2005. She hoped that now greater progress could be made towards achieving the Committee's mandate and that Member States would profit from the additional resources available to guide and advise them in fully implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001).
The Committee's current work programme had three top priorities, she said, namely: revising the reporting regime; enhancing dialogue with States on technical assistance; and revisiting and deepening relations with international, regional and subregional organizations. As a first step, the Committee would focus on analysing individual States' accomplishments in implementing resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee was also updating its list of identified best practices to assist States and would further review its cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations.
César Mayoral (Argentina), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267, said that since his last briefing, 17 individuals and four entities had been added to the Consolidated List, while two individuals had been removed. The Committee had also approved a partial revision of its Guidelines and was continuing its discussion of listing and delisting issues. It had increased substantively its cooperation with Interpol, resulting in the issuance of that organization's four "Interpol-United Nations Security Council Special Notices" on individuals placed on the List.
Regarding the Committee's future work, he said the Committee would: consider its Monitoring Team's fourth report; continue its revision of the Guidelines with respect to listing and delisting; seek to minimize the number of pending requests before the Committee; ensure that its cooperation with Interpol was effectively executed; and develop new ties to other international and regional organizations. He also intended to undertake visits to selected States, focusing on non-reporting countries, of which there were unfortunately far too many.
Peter Burian (Slovakia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said his Committee's main task through the end of March was to complete the examination of additional information provided by States. As of today, 67 States had yet to submit any report, and he called on those countries to do so without further delay. He also announced establishment of a legislative database, which aimed to bring information about States' relevant legislation together in one place.
He said facilitation of further reporting and conducting outreach activities would remain high on the Committee's agenda. Only with all countries reporting could the Committee provide a truly comprehensive report to enable the Security Council to assess the progress all Member States had made in implementing the resolution. It was true that all States were vulnerable to being used by non-State actors who might want to gain access to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The best defence, then, was for States to implement resolution 1540 in full, such as by enacting and enforcing effective national legal and regulatory measures.
During the ensuing discussion, speakers stressed that, as no country was immune for the scourge of terrorism, all Member States should cooperate in implementing the relevant resolutions. China's representative said that the "poisonous snake" of terrorism could hurt people of every country: no country could hope to remain unaffected by minding its own business. Many speakers underlined that respect for human rights was a requirement for the effective fight against terrorism.
Welcoming the work of the three Committees, speakers also noted that many countries, especially developing countries, did not have the capacity to submit all the required reports on time and urged that the Committees work on consolidated reporting procedures. The importance of technical assistance to those countries in meeting their requirements was also stressed. Speakers further asked for more coordination between the Committees regarding country visits in order to prevent, as Ghana's representative called it, "visit fatigue". They also stressed the importance of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, including with the international financial institutions and the International Maritime Organization.
The representative of Israel said the world was witnessing the formation of an "axis of terror", comprised of Iran, Syria and Hamas. That new axis posed a major threat to regional and world stability and was a recipe for the world's worst pandemic. If that threat were neglected, the axis of terror might "be a seed of the first world war of the twenty-first century", he said, calling on the international community to act decisively and swiftly to prevent Iran from acquiring the capability and know-how to develop nuclear weapons. He also warned against the threat of terrorist organizations disguising themselves as democratic bodies.
Syria's representative said that the Arab region was suffering from terrorism every day -- State terrorism in particular, as practised by Israel in the form of its ongoing terrorist occupation of Arab lands. Israel's attempts to "market" what were in reality terrorist views from the Council's rostrum today, as well as its attempts to cast doubt on other States, was in fact a dangerous cover.
Statements were also made by representatives of Russian Federation, Peru, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Congo, Qatar, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Austria (on behalf of the European Union), Indonesia, Algeria, Brazil and Venezuela.
The meeting started at 11:21 a.m. and was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to hear briefings by the Chairmen of the three anti-terrorism committees: the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities ("1267" Committee); the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (Counter-Terrorism Committee); and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) ("1540" Committee) to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors, particularly terrorists.
The Council has before it a letter dated 15 December 2005 from Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) Chair Margrethe Løj (Denmark) on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) (document S/2005/800), prepared by the CTC in response to the Council's request to guide its upcoming CTED review.
Since the CTED became fully staffed in September 2005, it has provided the Committee with invaluable support, the report concludes. It adds, however, that due to the short period of time the CTED has been fully staffed, the CTC believes that it is possible to draw only limited conclusions. The Committee recommends, among other things, that the Council look into how the reporting lines of the CTED could be clarified and indicate that it stands ready to work with the Secretary-General on the matter.
The Committee also emphasized in the report that the CTED mandate flowed from the Committee and reaffirms that it has the sole responsibility for providing guidance to the Executive Directorate. The Committee also agreed to develop such policy guidance in all key areas of the Committee's mandate, to update policy guidance as necessary and review it at least once a year.
Also before the Council is a letter from the CTC Chair dated 15 February 2006 (document S/2006/107), which contains the panel's work programme, covering the months from January to March 2006.
Ms. Løj says the panel will continue to work with Member States within its mandate -- established by Council resolution 1373 (2001) -- and remain focused on strengthening the international consensus on the importance of countering terrorism, taking practical measures designed to enhance States' counter-terrorism capacity, helping to identify and address problems States' faced in implementing resolution 1373, and contributing to the process of increasing the number of States that are parties to the relevant anti-terrorism conventions and protocols.
Briefings by Committee Chairmen
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, presenting the Committee's eighteenth programme of work, said that the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate had been declared operational on 15 December 2005 and she hoped that now greater progress could be made towards achieving the Committee's mandate. She also hoped that Member States would profit from the additional resources available to guide and advise them in fully implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001).
She announced that the Committee had cleared the backlog of reports from States on their implementation of the resolution. Timely analysis of States' reports allowed the Committee to engage in substantial and essential dialogue with the States. The Committee's second priority during the last quarter had been to facilitate technical assistance to States that lacked the capacity to fully implement the resolution's provisions. The Committee had agreed on policy guidelines in that regard, which are accessible on the Committee's newly-redesigned website.
She said the guidelines stressed the importance of engaging with States that might need help in identifying needs and setting priorities, and described how the Committee could work with potential donors to link them to States with identified and agreed needs. The next step was to convert those guidelines into action.
The Committee had also continued to visit States, with the consent of the State concerned, in order to offer additional analysis to States already engaged in the fight against terrorism, she said. Executive Directorate staff members had visited Algeria and the United Republic of Tanzania and were making preparations for a visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In the months to come, the Committee would put more emphasis on enhancing visits to States.
She said resolution 1624 (2005) had entrusted the Committee with the task of including in its dialogue with Member States their effort to implement that resolution. The Committee had included some questions in that regard, which could also be found on the Committee's website. She encouraged all States to share the requested information with the Committee. The Committee had also prepared a report for the Council's comprehensive review of the CTED, which set out an ambitious agenda for the Committee and its Executive Directorate. The Committee would do everything it could to realize those goals.
The Committee's current work programme had three top priorities, she continued, namely: revising the reporting regime; enhancing dialogue with States on technical assistance; and revisiting and deepening relations with international, regional and subregional organizations. As a first step, the Committee would focus on analysing individual State's accomplishments in implementing resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee might need to request more information from a State, or might suggest that the CTED visit the State to obtain a clearer picture of progress made and enable a dialogue to take place about further steps needed. She hoped that streamlining of reporting procedures would encourage States to cooperate more fully with the Committee.
She said the 2005 World Summit had recommended that the Council look into consolidating States reporting under the three regimes, taking into account and respecting the different mandates of the Council's counter-terrorism subsidiary bodies. The CTC had asked the CTED, in cooperation with the 1540 experts and the 1267 Monitoring Team, to see how that consolidation could be most efficiently accomplished.
Continuing, she said the Committee would focus especially on States that had requested assistance, working with them to identify priority needs and to disseminate information about those needs to States and organizations that might be able to help. The Committee was also updating its list of identified best practices to assist States in implementing the provisions of the resolutions and hoped to post the update on the Committee's website shortly. The Committee was also reviewing its cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations in order to develop closer working relationships.
CÉSAR MAYORAL (Argentina), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, said that since his last briefing, 17 individuals and four entities had been added to the Consolidated List, while two individuals had been removed. The Committee had approved improvements to the information concerning 46 individuals and three entities. The Committee would soon implement its decision to render all names in their original scripture and was considering further improvements to the identifying information of individuals already on the List.
The Committee had also approved a partial revision of its Guidelines, he said. It was continuing its discussion of listing and delisting issues. He encouraged Member States to familiarize themselves with the new Guidelines, which improved the Committee's decision-making procedures, clarified rules concerning updating the List and the application of exemptions pursuant to resolution 1452 (2002). The Committee had also increased substantively cooperation with Interpol. On 6 December, Interpol had issued its first four "Interpol-United Nations Security Council Special Notices" on individuals placed on the List. The Committee would submit further names to Interpol to ensure that as many special notices as possible could be issued.
He said the Committee had considered the issue of Afghan nationals, placed on the List, who had joined the appeal of the National Commission for the Consolidation of the Peace Process and declared their support for peace and stability throughout the country. The Committee had noted that the removal of individuals from its List should be a requirement for the individuals' full reintegration into society. Further information was being sought from the Afghan Government, and the Committee's Monitoring Teams had been requested to assist Afghanistan in that regard.
The Legal Counsel of the United Nations had informed the Committee that the United Nations system had not entered into any contractual relationships with individuals or entities on the List, he said. However, it was noted that there was currently no uniform procedure in place to ensure that contractual or financial arrangements did not happen. The Secretary-General had decided to review all internal procedures with a view to developing a uniform approach in that regard. Such a uniform procedure should apply to other sanctions regimes as well.
He said, currently, the Committee had before it some 20 issues where no agreement had been reached. Those issues related to requests for listing and delisting, resolution 1452 notifications, and suggested technical updates to the List. The status of pending issues would be reviewed at least once a month.
Continuing, he said the Monitoring Team had completed its fourth report, which would be considered by the Committee in the coming weeks. An expert member of the Team had accompanied him on his recent visit to Japan and Indonesia, and Team members had travelled to Central Asia, East Africa and Australia to discuss issues regarding the effective implementation of the sanctions regime. The Team had also continued to build its links with international and regional bodies. Finally, the Monitoring Team, together with the Secretariat, had finalized plans for a comprehensive database, to be launched before the end of the month.
Reporting on his visits to Japan and Indonesia, he said he had been impressed in both countries with the high level of domestic and international coordination and cooperation. Such cooperation was essential in the international fight against terrorism and the visits helped bring awareness of the crucial role the United Nations played in that regard.
Regarding the Committee's future work, he said the Committee would: consider the Monitoring Team's fourth report; continue its revision of the Guidelines with respect to listing and delisting; seek to minimize the number of pending requests before the Committee; ensure that its cooperation with Interpol was effectively executed; and develop new ties to other international and regional organizations. It hoped to improve its website. He also intended to undertake visit to selected States, focusing this time on non-reporting countries, of which there were unfortunately far too many.
He said that, pursuant to resolution 1617 (2005), all Member States were called upon to report to the Committee by 1 March on specific actions taken with regard to individuals and entities added to the List. In that regard, he had sent a note verbale to all Member States reminding them of that. The note included a checklist to be used. That checklist was a new tool for the Committee in assessing the effectiveness of the sanctions. He strongly encouraged all Member States to submit that checklist in due time.
PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said that his panel's main task through the end of March was to complete the examination of additional information provided by States in response to letters sent to them by the Committee in the second part of last year. During that period, the Committee and its experts would also continue to engage in informal interaction with missions in New York and in capitals in order to clarify, where necessary, any issues arising from their correspondence with the Committee, in particular, on the issues related to national reports.
Stressing that the examination of national reports was an important part of monitoring States' efforts to implement resolution 1540, he said the outcome of that process would be addressed in a report that would be submitted to the Council by the end of April. He added that 64 States had provided additional information in their first reports. On the Committee's establishment of a legislative database, which aimed to bring information about States' relevant legislation together in one place, he was pleased to announce that the database had been finalized. It contained links to public sources of information about legislative and other regulatory measures relevant for implementation of resolution 1540.
The database had been built around information provided by reporting States, as well as on other relevant information that States had made public on their governmental websites or provided to international and regional organizations. He said that, in the spirit of transparency, the Committee would share the database with States to seek their comments and consent to make public the information about their relevant national legislations. The database would be placed on the Committees own website so that it could be used by countries seeking legislative references or other information.
He went on to say that facilitation of further reporting and conducting outreach activities would remain high on the Committee's agenda. Only with all countries reporting could the Committee provide a truly comprehensive report to enable the Security Council to assess the progress all Member States had made in implementing the resolution. As of today, 67 States had yet to submit any report, and he called on those countries to do so without further delay. It was true that all States were vulnerable to being used by non-State actors who might want to gain access to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The best defence, then, was for States to implement resolution 1540 in full, such as by enacting and enforcing effective national legal and regulatory measures. He stressed that he planned to continue to raise the issue of further reporting and to promote implementation of the resolution. He would also continue to formally and informally approach all countries that had yet to report.
ILYA I. ROGACHEV (Russian Federation) said his country fully supported coordination and cooperation between the three Committees, an important condition for strengthening the anti-terrorism capacity of the international community. He supported the priorities mentioned in the programme of work of the CTC, including differentiating between States, technical assistance and enhancing cooperation with international organization. Field missions of the CTC were also important. A clear step forward was enhancing the quality of compliance of Member States with the resolution and enhancing technical assistance. It was necessary to pay greater attention to the monitoring machinery, in compliance with guidelines and enhancing the dialogue with States regarding resolution 1624.
Priority should be given to the work of 1267 Committee, he said, as the threat emerging from Al-Qaida and the Taliban had increased. It was necessary to further increase coordination and ensure the compliance of all States, including Afghanistan. He welcomed the strengthening of cooperation with Interpol through joint special notices. A practice of country visits should be developed. That would allow, among other things, for consideration of technical assistance in implementing sanctions.
An important non-proliferation instrument was resolution 1540, he continued. Compliance with its provisions by all States was a priority. He supported the proposals made regarding working with those States that had been late in reporting, including through regional seminars. Because of the broad scale of the resolution, implementation should not be limited to listing responsibilities. Practical work should be undertaken on the item as soon as possible.
OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru) said his country, which had successfully fought terrorism at the national level, considered that the scourge must be faced in an integrated and holistic manner, taking into account legislative issues, coordinating intelligence services and fighting against poverty and social exclusion. He said that advances in cooperation between the 1267 Committee and Interpol were a clear example of how the United Nations could cooperate with specialized international organizations. Improving the List's quality was indispensable. The Committee should continue to review issues of listing and delisting, in which it was important to maintain respect for human rights and due process. He was concerned, however, about the lack of a procedure to ensure that the United Nations did not enter into contractual relations with individuals and entities that were listed.
As for the work of the CTC, he said the review of the reporting regime was a fundamental change. Analysing the individual States' achievements in implementation of resolution 1373 (2002) would clearly reveal the specific situation of each State, together with its challenges. Carrying out a case-by-case examination would reveal which tools were most effective for each country and the needs for technical assistance.
Highlighting the importance of the work of the 1540 Committee, he said that Committee had been established to prevent non-State agents from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. His country had submitted its national report. He urged States that had not yet done so to carry out whatever efforts necessary to submit them promptly. Peru would organize a regional seminar on the implementation of resolution 1540 by the end of 2006. He emphasized the importance of cooperation and coordination between the three Committees and their teams of experts.
WANG GUANGYA (China) said his delegation believed that, in the upcoming months, the 1267 Committee should, in connection with the revision of its work guidelines, further improve its procedures for listing and delisting to ensure the fairness and integrity of the consolidated list. That Committee should also work to reduce the number of matters that had been put on hold. For its part, the CTC should continue its efforts to help developing countries with capacity-building to combat terrorism and to expedite the implementation of resolution 1624. He said the 1540 Committee should focus its attention on the main task of producing by April a comprehensive, objective and balanced report. It was China's hope, overall, that the three committees and their subsidiary bodies would strengthen cooperation and coordination and put forward as soon as possible practical recommendations for improvement on questions relevant to such matters as simplifying reporting mechanisms.
He went on to say that terrorism continued to wreak havoc in various parts of the world. Numerous innocent civilians, including Chinese citizens, had been deprived of their right to life "in the most cruel manner". Indeed, recent events had shown that the "poisonous snake" of terrorism could hurt people of every country: no country could hope to remain unaffected by minding its own business. If one was only focused on individuals or entities endangering one's own country, but turned a deaf ear to the legitimate demands of other countries, or if one was only focused on entities currently plotting terrorist attacks, but showed leniency to or even shielded terrorist forces which lay low or concealed their true colours, there was little hope for international anti-terrorism cooperation. Only when every country regarded terrorists as a common enemy and joined hands to combat them could that scourge finally be eliminated.
KENZO OSHIMA (Japan) said that his Government believed that whatever the purposes of terrorists might be, terrorism must never be condoned. Japan strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms. Japan joined others today expressing strong hope that the upcoming meeting of the General Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee could reach an agreement on a relevant comprehensive anti-terror convention. At the same time, he called for greater cooperation among the counter-terrorism committees in order to enhance the Organization's overall anti-terror policy. He went on to welcome the fact that the Council regularly convened public meetings with the Committee Chairs, and he also welcomed the efforts to improve the Committee's respective websites, both of which were effective ways to enhance transparency and to respond to the interest and concerns of Member States.
He went on to say that the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee must continue to search for ways to make Council-imposed sanctions more effective, as they were unquestionably an indispensable part of the terrorism prevention measures being undertaken. Here, he noted the recent issuance of the first set of Interpol-United Nations Security Council "Special Notices", which had been a significant development, since linking that Committee's Consolidated List with related Interpol resources gave Member States access to a broader range of information.
On the CTC, which remained crucial in helping Member States build capacity in the area of counter-terrorism, he welcomed that the technical assistance policy guidelines approved by that panel last year were now being implemented. Japan hoped that the CTC would speed up its work, so that Member States' requests for technical assistance would be acted upon as soon as possible. In that connection, Japan was pleased that, as a result of the comprehensive review conducted in December, there was now a system in place to enable the CTED to vigorously engage in activities based on CTC policy guidelines.
He also welcomed that the 1540 Committee had approved its first programme of work under its new Chairman. Japan looked forward to examining the second reports submitted by Member States and intensifying its discussions on effective ways for technical assistance to be provided before the current mandate expired at the end of April. He added that the role the Committee was expected to play under any extended mandate needed to be determined in light of its work record over the last two years. Japan intended to participate actively in that discussion.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE (France) said the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, with which he associated himself, would emphasize that respect for human rights was a requirement for the effective fight against terrorism. The 1540 Committee supplemented already existing instruments for non-proliferation, in particular regarding access of non-State actors to weapons of mass destruction. As resolution 1540 constituted an important long-term tool for collective security, he was in favour of extending the mandate of the Committee for two years. The unity of the Council on that subject was absolutely necessary and should be demonstrated in that regard.
He said the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee had improved its working methods. The guidelines had been partially revised and made more transparent. The information on the List would now be more accessible. The Guidelines review should be concluded as soon as possible, especially regarding listing and delisting procedures. Apart from those procedures, effective implementation of sanctions should be undertaken and, in that regard, cooperation with Interpol was very useful. The number of Interpol-United Nations notices should be increased.
The CTC had submitted its eighteenth programme of work and the CTED was now fully operational, he said. Now, efforts in other matters of the resolution could be emphasized. Too many States were tardy in reporting and they should be helped. In that regard, adjustment to various situations was necessary and reporting requirements should be consolidated. Visits should also be increased, and should involve international and regional organizations that might give technical assistance, such as the European Union. The sprit of dialogue with States should be reflected by greater transparency.
ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom) said that continuing terrorist attacks around the world only served to confirm that the Council's three counter-terrorism committees were vital for the international community's efforts to fight the scourge on every level, wherever and whenever it occurred. Turning first to the work of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, he said his delegation was pleased that the panel had completed several major tasks, particularly the revision of its Guidelines. The United Kingdom fully expected that Committee to conclude its Guidelines revisions with the introduction of improved guidance on listing and delisting procedures in the near future. He also commended the Committee and its monitoring team for its work with Interpol.
Taking up next the work of the CTC, he reiterated how useful the Council's review of the CTED had been this past December in setting some clear priorities for the coming year and in agreeing that a further review would be appropriate by the end of 2006. The CTED was at last beginning to function as the Council had planned, and the United Kingdom had been pleased that the CTC, with CTED help, was intensifying its dialogue with Member States. The United Kingdom attached considerable importance to the need for clear objectives for the CTED, which would enable his delegation to measure and demonstrate the difference the Council was making. He looked forward to hearing, in concrete terms, what impact the CTED had made in the world outside New York.
On the 1540 Committee, he thanked outgoing Chairman Motoc and welcomed new Chair, Mr. Burian, which begged the question of how long, indeed, Mr. Burian would be employed. The United Kingdom strongly supported renewing the 1540 Committee's mandate, as it believed, among other things, that the panel's founding resolution remained a key strategic piece of the international community's defence against the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And while resolution 1540 would remain a vital tool in the global non-proliferation and counter-terrorism effort, with or without the Committee, there was much more work for the Committee to do.
The United Kingdom did not see that work completed by the end of April. Indeed, even though that Committee had amassed a significant amount of relevant information, it was not enough. The resolution's key challenges lay ahead -- to translate that knowledge into improved implementation of the resolution itself. Therefore, in looking at a new mandate, he urged the Council to consider the issues that would promote the implementation of resolution 1540, for instance, how to unlock technical assistance for States that needed it, including the potential for assistance from international and regional organizations. The key should be how the Committee could make a difference on the ground.
MARIA TELALIAN (Greece) said the United Nations was playing a leading role in containing terrorism and in giving legitimacy to a robust multilateral response to the serious threats the phenomenon posed. However, in order for such a response to be effective over the long haul, it had to be consistent with the very nature of democracy, the rule of law and respect for universal human rights and freedoms. She also stressed that the fight against terrorism required that the phenomenon be clearly defined, in order to provide "legal and moral clarity" and to create conditions for real unity in the global struggle against the scourge.
For that reason, Greece strongly urged the Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism, which was meeting next week, to make a real effort to finalize the negotiations on the comprehensive convention on international terrorism, so that the instrument could be adopted during the current session of the Assembly. She added that Greece likewise supported the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive United Nations strategy to fight terrorism, based on elements proposed by the Secretary-General. Turning to the work of the Council's anti-terrorism committees, she welcomed the work of the Al Qaida/Taliban Sanctions panel to improve the quality of its List and to revise some of its Guidelines.
Greece would urge that Committee to continue its mandated work, and to consider incorporating international due process standards within the listing and delisting procedures. That would increase the effectiveness of the relevant sanctions, as well as enhance the Committee's credibility. She reiterated Greece's position on the need to establish a mechanism to review, as a last resort, cases of individuals and institutions claiming to have been wrongly placed or retained on the Committee's watch lists. She then went on to welcome the eighteenth CTC work plan for the upcoming three months and noted that body's elimination of its backlog of reports as a positive development.
Another positive development had been the Counter-Terrorism Committee's elaboration of policy guidelines concerning its role in facilitating the provision of technical assistance by donor States. She stressed that it was now time for the CTC to take a more active stance on human rights issues. Turning to the work of the 1540 Committee, she welcomed progress in examining State reports, and urged submitters to fulfil their obligations and to fully cooperate with the Committee. Greece also considered the establishment of a database on legislative and other measures relevant to the implementation of resolution 1540 a useful development that would enhance the Committee's transparency and provide practical guidance to States in implementing its mandate.
NANA EFFAH-APENTENG (Ghana) said the CTC was the most important tool in the arsenal of the fight against international terrorism. He, therefore, welcomed the revitalization of the Committee and the establishment of the CTED. Lack of compliance with resolution 1373 could be due to a lack of a sense of immediacy of the problem, or a lack of capacity to meet the reporting requirements. There was a need for all Members to be sensitized to the problem, as no country was immune to terrorism. As for capacity-building, he suggested the organization of regional and subregional seminars, through which technical assistance could be channelled and best practices and common problems could be shared. He called for simplification of the reporting regime. The three Committees should speed up the consolidation of the three reporting regimes.
He welcomed a partial revision of the Al-Qaida Committee's Guidelines. Since its inception, the Committee had made an important impact on the global war on terror. The Committee needed to develop a strong global network of contacts with law enforcement and security agencies, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. That required serious cooperation from all Member States. It was also necessary to undertake measures to ensure that the Organization did not enter into any contractual relationship with any individuals or institutions on the List. The issue of listing and delisting raised certain questions. Some Member States had been under the mistaken impression that criminal proceedings in national courts were necessary before action could be taken against listed individuals. However, such an action was not to be substituted for decisions of the Committee. There was also the issue of confidentiality. Could a listed individual be denied the right to know the basis of his designation? he asked.
As for the work of the 1540 Committee, he said much remained to be done given the fact that 64 countries had not yet submitted their reports. That was not a reflection of inertia, but an indication of a lack of capacity. He welcomed the Committee's outreach activities in various regions. His Government was considering a request to host one such programme for Africa. The submission of reports was not an end in itself. Implementation efforts were critical. He welcomed the introduction of the legislative database to be used as a supplementary source of information.
BASILE IKOUEBE (Congo) said there was no threat nowadays as pressing and elusive as terrorism. The terrorist threat demanded constant vigilance and called for concerted solutions from the international community. Implementation of the relevant provisions of the three resolutions would reduce the scope of the threat. One of the most important jobs of the three Committees was helping States build the capacity to fight terrorism. Best practices should also be made available. The establishment of a legislative database by the 1540 Committee was a commendable initiative in that regard. It could be helpful to many developing countries that had yet to accede to the anti-terrorism conventions and protocols.
He stressed that greater interaction among the three Committees and their experts would definitively promote the best possible result. The same was true for enhanced cooperation between the Committees and regional and subregional organizations. He appealed, in that regard, for strengthening of cooperation between the Committees and the international financial institutions and other international organization, such at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
He said visits to the field were the best way of observing the progress made by States and becoming acquainted with their needs. However, those visits should be better coordinated between the Committees and should contribute to improvements on various levels, including technical assistance. Moreover, all regions should get the same attention. Regarding the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee, he said there was a need for clarity regarding the Consolidated List. He was concerned about the time involved in dealing with the delisting of certain individuals. He also called for a strengthened cooperation with Interpol.
NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER (Qatar) said that terrorism was still one of the main challenges facing the world today, and his country had addressed the issue head-on, adhering to the relevant international conventions against the scourges and working actively with the CTC. He said his delegation felt it was appropriate today to stress that the international community must work together to fight extremism. He recalled that relevant Council resolutions had not only called for such cooperation and coordination on the part of Member States, but had also called on the mass media to play a role in creating an enabling environment to promote dialogue and understanding among cultures.
He called upon the CTC to deal with that issue quickly and determinedly, and called also on Member States to stop demonizing certain religions and cultures. He also emphasized that the fight against terrorism must be undertaken in line with the tenets of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On the work of the Council's counter-terrorism committees, Qatar supported the work being undertaken by the CTC, and, respectively, called upon States to cooperate with 1540 Committee. That body should continue its work, to ensure that weapons of mass destruction did not fall into the hands of non-State actors. He urged all three committees to coordinate with each other to combat terrorism.
AUGUSTINE P. MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) said his delegation welcomed and encouraged greater cooperation between the Council's three counter-terrorism committees. On the work of the CTC, he praised that panel's effort to increase its cooperation and dialogue with Member States. To that end, he was pleased to announce that the CTED had just completed a visit to his country. He went on to say that it was vitally important to improve the 1267 Committee's Consolidated List. It was also important for the Committee to expedite the mechanisms for addressing the backlog of pending issues, as well as its listing and delisting procedures. He added that the 1540 Committee had, thus far, done laudable work in reviewing reports and should enhance its capacity-building efforts.
Speaking in his national capacity, Council President JOHN BOLTON (United States) said the committees' efforts were essential in the Council's fight against terrorism. The committees should be proactive and focused on achieving concrete results. Expanding collaboration between the committees was essential, including in reporting procedures and coordinating visits to States. Efforts to enhance cooperation with other international, regional and subregional organizations should also be coordinated, so that efforts would be complementary. The committees should also examine the issue of non-compliance. He encouraged the 1267 Committee and the CTC to give more attention to provisions that did not relate to financing of terrorism, such as denying terrorists safe haven, arms bans and travel.
Expressing support for the essential role the CTC and CTED played, he said the Committee should continue its work on identifying best practices, which would give States a better sense of what the CTC expected of them in implementing the resolution. The CTC could also play an important role in identifying priority needs for technical assistance. In that regard, the Committee must strike the right balance between facilitating delivery of technical assistance and monitoring State's implementation.
He said the 1267 Committee had made important progress, including in its cooperation with Interpol. The new measures would strengthen the sanctions regime. It should continue its robust dialogue with other organizations to replicate its success with Interpol. He supported the Committees work with the Government of Afghanistan. Resolution 1540 was a significant tool for addressing the threat posed by proliferation in weapons of mass destruction. He appreciated the work to examine the additional information States had provided in implementing the resolution, but was concerned that nearly 70 Member States had yet to report. He agreed that the Committee's mandate should be continued.
GERHARD PFANZELTER (Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, joined those calling for increased cooperation and coordination between the Council's three counter-terrorism committees and their respective experts in monitoring implementation of the Council's resolutions, as well as in the area of information sharing and coordinating country visits. He also emphasized the importance of respecting international law, human rights law and refugee law, including due process and the rule of law, in the fight against terrorism. On the work of the specific committees, he welcomed the 1267 Committee's efforts to further improve the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions regime, especially the consolidated list and the Committee's Guidelines. But he stressed that there still remained no agreement on the listing and delisting procedures, and expressed the hope that the Committee would continue to work on that issue.
He went on to say that he supported the CTC work programme that panel had presented today, and particularly welcomed the envisaged revision of the reporting regime by developing a "tailor-made" approach and by streamlining procedures, which would help address the problems of non-reporting and Member States so-called "reporting-fatigue". He said the European Union was pleased that the CTED had been declared fully operational on 15 December, and strongly encouraged the CTC, with the help of the CTED's human rights expert, to continue its efforts to streamline human rights throughout its entire work.
He said that the European Union remained deeply concerned about the danger of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their acquisition by non-State actors. The 1540 Committee played an important role in preventing the spread of deadly weapons and he stressed that, while that entity was set to conclude its work at the end of April, 67 States -- more than one third of the United Nations membership -- had yet to submit their first reports. He urged all States that had not yet done so to submit their reports, adding that the European Union would be glad to consider any assistance or advice to such States as might be required. Further, the Union believed that the mandate of the 1540 Committee should be extended as soon as possible.
But, despite the commendable work of all the committees, terrorism continued to pose one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. It was the European Union's view that it was imperative that the United Nations and its Member States continue to show their unity and resolve in the global fight against terrorism. To that end, the European Union supported the 2005 World Summit's call to make every effort to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism during the Assembly's current session. It also looked forward to the speedy adoption and implementation of a comprehensive United Nations counter-terrorism strategy, based on the Secretary-General's proposals.
REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia), reiterating his Government's strong commitment to combating terrorism, said the recent visit to his country by the Chairman of the 1267 Committee was fruitful, as experiences and the problems being faced by his country in implementing the sanctions had been shared. The quality of the Consolidated List should be continuously improved.
He said the programme of work of the CTC would enhance the effectiveness of existing counter-terrorism measures. He hoped aid to States who requested it to enhance their counter-terrorism capabilities would be made available. On the issue of visits to States, he said the planning of such visits should be coordinated with the 1267 Committee and the Monitoring Team, so as not to create "visit fatigue".
His country had submitted its report under resolution 1540 in October 2004. As for that Committee's mandate extension, he said he had no difficulties with such an extension, as long as the scope and modalities were clearly defined and did not go beyond the provisions of resolution 1540. Also, the possibility should be explored of formulating a comprehensive and multilaterally negotiated legal instrument to address the specific questions related to preventing the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors. He then went on to update the Council on his country's continuing efforts to combat international terrorism and said that terrorism was a problem affecting all nations that could best be fought through a multidimensional and multilateral approach based on international law and respect for human rights.
YOUCEF YOUSFI (Algeria) said the threat posed by Al-Qaida was still real and more vigilance was, therefore, called for. He welcomed the fact that resolution 1617 had permitted the 1267 Committee to refine its guidelines, particularly regarding issues of listing and delisting, and to update information on individuals and entities. He hoped that would help to overcome the hesitation of some States in acknowledging the existence of certain links between individuals and terrorist groups with Al-Qaida. He stressed the importance of cooperation between Member States in the framework of juridical treaties. The legal rule of "extradite or indict" should be the cardinal rule, in that regard. In that framework, he welcomed the cooperation between the Committee and Interpol.
He supported the work of the CTC and welcomed the fact that the CTED was fully operational. He also welcomed the visit of the Executive Director to his country. He hoped other Member States would volunteer to host similar visits. He appealed for technical assistance in fighting terrorism for those countries that lacked the capacity to do so, including many African countries. In Africa, terrorists had found fertile ground for operations and recruitment because of poverty, lack of security services and long borders. Algeria was, therefore, hosting an international seminar to promote cooperation in fighting terrorism in some regions in Africa, including the Maghreb and Sahel regions.
Resolution 1540 had filled a gap in the lack of international norms to prevent access by non-State actors to weapons of mass destruction. It was important to note that, in less than two years, the 1540 Committee had resulted in the important involvement of many Member States, through submission of their reports on schedule. His country, however, remained convinced that the best way in coping with the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was their total elimination.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) commended the efforts of the 1267 Committee in gathering a considerable amount of important information, which should allow for a more thorough understanding of the ongoing combat against Al-Qaida-related terrorism, as well as the identification of key mechanisms needed to proceed in the fight, including fine-tuning sanctions, when applicable. Further, Brazil believed more steps needed to be taken to increase the Committee's cooperation with Interpol, in order to improve the Al-Qaida-related sanctions regime.
There seemed to be ample opportunity to make efficient use of information-sharing mechanisms with Interpol, particularly in light of the similarities between Interpol's travel controls and on the basis of the lists under that organization's purview. He also said the importance of the 1267 Committee's contribution to the global fight against Al-Qaida-related terrorism was directly related to the international community's perception of its work, so the best way to ensure more effective sanctions was to make a genuine effort to incorporate relevant recommendations put forward by States. Further, the CTED should continue to focus its attention on providing technical assistance, with a view to enhancing the capacity of Member States in areas such as institution-building.
He said that, after the dreadful terrorist attacks if 11 September 2001, the Security Council had begun to step up its counter-terrorism activities. Those actions had resulted in legislative changes that concerned the entire international community. Under the United Nations Charter, the General Assembly was the only organ with universal representation that had the competence to make recommendations regarding general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security. The Counter-Terrorism Committee's work should be in line with that principle, including through the identification of best practices in the various areas related to the implementation of resolution 1373.
But "best practices" were not treaties, he said, warning the CTED to be very careful not to stray into areas that were the exclusive domain of Member States. On the 1540 Committee, Brazil was pleased to note that panel's recent conclusion of the consideration the first round of national reports. Brazil would encourage those States that had not yet done so to present their reports as soon as possible. He stressed that there was a clear difference between the obligations encompassed in Council resolution 1540 and the mandate of the Committee. Brazil, therefore, believed that the expansion of the Committee's two-year mandate beyond its April sunset date should be avoided, as that panel dealt with areas that were in the competency of the General Assembly.
DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) said the world was witnessing the formation of a dangerous alliance -- indeed, an "axis of terror" -- comprised of Iran, Syria and Hamas. That new axis posed a major threat to regional and world stability and was a recipe for the world's worst pandemic. If that threat were neglected, the axis of terror might "be a seed of the first world war of the twenty-first century", he said, calling on the international community, through its relevant organs, to take the joint efforts between Iran, Syria and Hamas seriously, and act decisively and swiftly to prevent Iran, an extreme and dangerous terror-supporting regime, from acquiring the capability and know-how to develop nuclear weapons. "Time is of the essence", he added.
He went on to say that the international community, which recognized "this new enemy called international terrorism" should upgrade its joint efforts against the threat of terrorist organizations disguising themselves as democratic bodies. Moreover, the battle against terrorism could not be fought by a handful of States, no matter how strong there resources might be. That dangerous phenomenon was a global crisis, and it was every States' moral duty to work to combat it. He also called on the international community to hold States accountable that provided safe haven for terrorists, hosted infrastructure, and promoted a culture of hatred and incitement.
Israel was particularly troubled by the connection between terrorism and money-laundering, he said, calling for all States to join and implement the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. On the work of the Council's counter-terrorism committees, he said that Israel believed the 1540 Committee provided valuable assistance in the fight against terrorism and should lead the way in setting international norms, priorities and objectives. Israel had also been pleased to see the "growing, almost universal" recognition, as stated in Council resolution 1624, that all acts of terrorism were condemned "irrespective of their motivation". The fight against terrorism could not be held hostage by any so-called "root cause". "There is no such thing as bad terror and good terror", he said, expressing the hope that that sentiment would extend to the forthcoming deliberations on the comprehensive anti-terrorism convention.
FERMÍN TORO JIMÉNEZ (Venezuela) said one of the purposes of the committees was promoting more effective ways of preventing terrorism. Actions in that regard should not only be directed at private terrorism, but should also encompass those States that sheltered terrorists and international terrorism directed from a State. The United Nations must respond to the general interest of all its Member States and should not be directed by the agenda of some Member States. The CTC should, therefore, avoid adopting double standards and not ignore State terrorism. It was unacceptable to provide shelter to a terrorist, such as Luis Clemente Posada Carriles, who, despite Venezuela's request for extradition, was still on United States territory. That was a case of disregard for resolution 1373, which prohibited States from offering shelter to those committing terrorist acts. It was incomprehensible that the Reverend Pat Robertson had publicly called for the murder of the Venezuelan President and that the United States had not undertaken any action in that regard.
He said the actions by the United States directed against Nicaragua had been condemned by the International Court of Justice, but remained still unpunished. The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq was another example to which the international community still not had responded. It would seem, therefore, that the provisions on terrorism were applied selectively. He urged the CTC to visit the United States to monitor that country's implementation of the resolution. The international community would, thereby, demonstrate its impartiality.
He said his country had ratified a large number of international conventions, developed a broad scope of national legislature to combat the phenomenon, submitted the relevant reports asked for, and condemned the use of terrorism as a political tool anywhere in the world. He also condemned as terrorism the daily lies and misinformation disseminated by the national and international media. It was wrong to state arrogantly and irresponsibly that Venezuela did not have the capacity to participate in the work of the Council. Its diligent and responsible attitude on the issue had won respect within the Organization. Its position was a position of principle, contrary to the system of double standards that had been applied to the issue of terrorism.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said his Government condemned terrorism and that his country, which had been a victim of terrorist activity, stood with those calling for a broad and cooperative strategy to combat the scourge. And while he supported the work of the Council's terrorism committees, he would urge the CTC to undergo a thorough review of its Consolidated List with a view to addressing listing and delisting procedures, particularly concerning the repetition or misspelling of the names of individuals or entities. And while he supported the work of the 1540 Committee, he stressed that that body should not supplant multilateral mechanisms working in the field. Syria was developing its own national legislation to combat terrorism and, in that regard, welcomed the committees' technical assistance efforts.
He called on the committees not to duplicate their work and he urged the Council not to interfere in matters that were clearly under the purview of the General Assembly. He also urged the Council to avoid using double standards in its fight against terrorism. Syria planned to participate actively in the upcoming discussions on elaborating a comprehensive international convention to combat terrorism. In that context, he urged the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the legitimate right of peoples to fight against occupation and to liberate their lands.
The Arab region was suffering from terrorism every day -- State terrorism in particular, as practised by Israel in the form of its ongoing terrorist occupation of Arab lands, continuous killing of countless Palestinians and construction of an illegal wall in parts of the West Bank. Israel's attempts to "market" what were in reality terrorist views from the Council's rostrum today, as well as its attempts to cast doubt on other States, was in fact a dangerous cover. Such actions had grave consequences, he said, adding that Israel had killed countless people in the past few days, and Syria was awaiting the Council's condemnation of those actions. He also expressed the hope that the Council would continue to ensure that the counter-terrorism committees continued to carry out their work in a fair and expeditious manner.
Speaking in his national capacity and responding to Venezuela's statement, Mr. BOLTON (United States) informed the Council that Mr. Posada had been detained on 17 May 2005 upon entering the country and remained in custody. Venezuela's extradition request was under review.
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