As those who have spoken before me have done, I too would like to thank you, Mr. President, for having organized this meeting to jointly hear the briefings of the Chairpersons of the three Committees.
Together, the Committees provide a response to a broad range of the acute threats of terrorism and proliferation. In establishing them, the Security Council began the patient work of improving the capacity of all members of the international community to combat terrorism. The Council should continue to closely follow the work of the three Committees and to encourage proper cooperation and exchange of experiences among them in line with their respective mandates. We are pleased with the specific progress reported in that connection.
The three Security Council Committees and their groups of experts should also continue to participate actively in the work of the special team established to promote the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2006. This undertaking is contributing to greater coherence in the mobilization of the United Nations, which France believes continues to be essential.
While we fully endorse the statement to be delivered on behalf of the presidency of the European Union, I should like to underscore a few points.
The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) plays an important part in our operations to counter terrorism and proliferation. France hopes that it will achieve all the goals set out in its programme of work. As set out in Ambassador Burian’s briefing, significant progress has been made this year: new national reports have been received, matrices have been transmitted to States and there is a very clear trend towards intensifying communication and assistance efforts. However, much remains to be done.
Fifty-four States have yet to submit their national reports, and almost 40 States have provided only one report — and that perhaps two or three years ago. We are therefore far off the mark. No effort should be spared in assisting States to meet their obligations and provide information to the Committee. In that regard, we must make progress in establishing individual dialogue with those States, identifying best practices and developing working relationships with other organizations such as the IAEA, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The 1540 Committee has a key role to play in establishing a link between the supply of and demand for assistance.
France hopes that we will be able to make progress in those areas with a view to renewing the Committee’s mandate next April. With Ambassador Verbeke, we welcome the progress made by the 1267 Committee since the beginning of the year to improve the effectiveness of the sanctions regime.
First of all, my country, which was one of the originators of the concept, would like to welcome the Secretary-General’s establishment of a focal point. We also welcome the tailoring of guidelines for the various sanctions Committees initiated by the 1267 Committee. The focal point is now operational, and requests for de listing have been submitted to several sanctions Committees through it. That is major progress for sanctions regimes, beginning with the regime under the 1267 Committee, whose list includes several hundred persons.
The 1267 Committee has made efforts to improve the quality of its consolidated list by including several new identifying indicators. We have made our contribution in that regard and would like to thank all Member States who have provided such information. That will play a crucial role in the actual implementation of sanctions. This effort must continue to be a priority of the 1267 Committee.
But that will not be helpful if the consolidated list remains static. In resolution 1735 (2006), the Council said that it is vital to continually adapt the List to the reality of the threat posed by Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates. Adapting the section of the List relating to the Taliban appears to us to be a priority.
Finally, we welcome the adoption by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, chaired by Ambassador Arias, of the first Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) for about 50 Member States pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001). This required a great deal of work by the CTED and the experts of the three subcommittees. This effort must continue, so that the Committee can adopt as soon as possible a PIA for each State and will then be able, on that basis, to pursue a dialogue tailored to each respective State.
In order to strengthen the follow-up to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), the Committee will also, between now and the end of the year, need to complete its report on overall implementation. We hope that this study will show us where we are going and allow us to set priorities. Almost six years after the adoption of this fundamental resolution, the Security Council should be in a position to conduct an intermediate review. That is why we are going through this exercise, which is at the heart of the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the importance of questions raised by the representative of Congo. There will be no international action that is effective without collective ownership of the campaign to combat terrorism and proliferation, which requires, of course, the strengthening of cooperation with States that need international assistance in order to meet their obligations. We also serve for that purpose.