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13 November 2009 - Security Council: Terrorism (1267, 1373 and 1540 Committees) - Statement by Emmanuel Bonne, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

(Translation of statement made in French)

I would first of all like to express my delegation’s gratitude to Ambassadors Vilović and Urbina for their briefings on the work of the Committees over which they preside. I would also like to thank them for the important work they carry out as the Chairs of those Committees.

My delegation associates itself with the statement to be delivered by the representative of Sweden on behalf of the European Union.

We know the threat that terrorism poses to States and peoples. It affects the civilian population, who are the primary victims of terrorism. It is indeed an intolerable threat against which we have no choice but to unite and act together. France will continue to fulfil all its responsibilities in this respect.

As the United Nations so bitterly discovered recently, the Organization itself is also a target. We would like to pay tribute here to all the United Nations staff members who have fallen victim to terrorism. We remember in particular the men and women who were wounded or killed in Kabul on 28 October. We also welcome the United Nations determination to not give in to terrorist blackmail and to persevere in its mission in Afghanistan.

The United Nations now has a solid framework within which to fight terrorism, but we all know that terrorists will take advantage of any loophole in the system. That is why it is crucial for the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), with the support of their respective expert groups, to be able to implement the corresponding resolutions and enjoy the full support of all Member States.

Resolution 1822 (2008) has made it possible to improve the operation and procedures of the 1267 Committee, in particular through the revision of the list of persons and entities subject to sanctions. This is an enormous task that will enable the list to give us an accurate idea of the state of the threat. We hope that the renewal of resolution 1822 (2008) will be an opportunity to continue these improvements, and we believe that the resolution deserves to be more widely known by the public.

The work carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Committee to review the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) is crucial. That is why it must be very clear that the resolution is binding and that all States must comply with it. France has done its share in this regard. Of course, some States lack the means to implement the resolution. In such cases, they can and should benefit from technical assistance. Here, I would like to welcome the effective work of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the quality of the dialogue it has achieved with States aimed at helping them to honour their obligations. I would also like to thank CTED for having organized seminars on the regional situations that correspond to the priorities in the fight against terrorism. In that respect, the work of the 1373 Committee must be focused on the most strategic issues and give us a precise and dynamic understanding of the situation.

I would like to say a few brief words on resolution 1540 (2004). We all know that nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical terrorism remains one of the primary threats to our security. We must therefore continue to work tirelessly in that Committee. We have to increase its visibility and its effectiveness. We welcome in this respect the comprehensive review of resolution 1540 (2004) carried out on 1 October under the chairmanship of Costa Rica, which must serve as a basis for its work in the months to come. We should also pursue our efforts to ensure effective implementation of that resolution. To that end, the Committee’s operations must be improved, as its role is critical to coordinating assistance requests.

Indeed, we must focus all of our efforts today on assistance. The working group of the 1540 Committee, currently chaired by France, will do all it can to make concrete progress in that area. We must improve the timeframes involved in dealing with requests, improve follow-up to offers and carry out specific visits to certain countries.

We encourage all States that wish to enhance their capacity to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to make requests for assistance to the Committee. We also call on all States with the necessary capacity to assist the Committee in strengthening the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

We welcome the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which has strengthened the capacity of the United Nations and helped those involved in the fight against terrorism to share their experience and define common priorities. We believe that the Task Force has become a crucial tool in our kit, and we must now institutionalize it.

On our part, we will continue to play an active role within the three Committees and to do our utmost to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to fight terrorism in all its forms.

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