I thank Ambassadors Wittig, Puri and Sangqu for their briefings.
I should like at the outset to associate myself with the statement to be made later by the representative of the delegation of the European Union (EU) on behalf of the EU.
International terrorism remains a serious threat to international peace and security. The death of Osama Bin Laden does not mean the end of Al-Qaida. The relentless fight against those criminals must continue and involve all States Members of the United Nations.
The United Nations must remain mobilized through the work of its three sanctions committees.
First, the sanctions regime set up in 1999 against Al-Qaida and the Taliban must continue to evolve, which will not weaken but strengthen it. The upcoming review of resolution 1904 (2009) will provide an opportunity for us to assess the effectiveness of sanctions, their adaptation to a constantly evolving threat and their legitimacy. To that end, we must take into account the changing relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaida over the past 10 years and their respective objectives. We should like also to see the sanctions regime have a more direct impact on the quest for a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Thus we wish to bolster the legitimacy of the current regime by responding to a number of criticisms, some of which are justified, by improving the mechanisms set up pursuant to resolution 1904 (2009).
Secondly, 10 years after its creation, the Counter- Terrorism Committee (CTC) is continuing to make progress in the fight against terrorism at the global level, even as States continue to face new challenges. I should like to touch on two areas in which the Committee, as a result of the support of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), adds value that is recognized by all: border protection and the fight against the financing of terrorism.
In that context, the regional workshop held recently by the CTED in Nouakchott with the participation of practitioners from the Sahelian region opens the door to improved regional cooperation in an area that is especially affected by terrorism. The combat against terrorism also requires that many States improve their technical capacities. France is making a contribution in this area and is determined to support the work of the CTED in this field.
Thirdly, with respect to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), I, too, should like to welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 1977 (2011), which extends for a further 10 years the mandate of the Committee. The Council is thus sending a clear and unified signal on the need for long-term action by the international community to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
Security Council resolution 1977 (2011) also provides the Committee with the means to more effectively fulfil its mandate. These include the strengthening of the Group of Experts charged with assisting it; the five-year review mechanism; and the drawing up of a list of specific priorities in the area of the sharing of experiences and best practices and in the promotion of an active dialogue, including on the ground, between the Committee and States regarding their implementation efforts. We also welcome the fact that resolution 1977 (2011) strengthens the work of the Committee in the field of assistance, an area to which we attach particular importance. France is thus ready, in cooperation with the Office for Disarmament Affairs, to host a conference in Paris on assistance.
We must not only raise awareness about resolution 1540 (2004) but also focus our efforts on its concrete implementation by all Member States. Resolution 1977 (2011) provides us with a clear road map for the next years. It is now up to us to use these new tools, and we intend to work actively in that respect with the other members of the Committee.
Finally, coordination is important. That is why France lends its full support to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which will continue to coordinate the work of various actors, including the three Committees we are dealing with today.