(Committees 1267/1989, 1373 and1540)
Like previous speakers, I thank Ambassadors Quinlan, Loulichki and Oh for their briefings and their leadership of their respective Committees. I also associate myself with the statement to be made by the observer of the European Union.
I should like to speak briefly about each of the three Committees, beginning with the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities. The threat of Al-Qaida is unfortunately still alive, as the Nairobi attack a few weeks ago and the murder this month of two French journalists near Kidal, Mali, reminded us.
If the fight against Al-Qaida is to progress, we must remain vigilant in the implementation of sanctions. It is therefore crucial that the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee continue to work closely with all Member States in order to ensure the effective implementation of the sanctions regime and the regular updating of the list, which must optimally reflect the state of the threat. In this regard, we welcome the Committee’s holding of meetings dedicated to the fight against the spread of this threat, such as that held in April on Mali and that to be held in early December on the Sahel. The organization of such events, involving the States of the region in the debate on sanctions against Al-Qaida, ensures that the regime responds to the new challenges in the fight against that organization in areas particularly affected by this threat.
Above and beyond the importance we attach to the effective implementation sanctions, we also feel it to be essential that they respect the fundamental freedoms of persons on the list and that the sanctions regime has adequate procedural safeguards. Ambassador Quinlan was right to insist on that point in his briefing. We welcome the outstanding work of Ombudsman Kimberley Prost, who has been doing critical work to that end for more than three years.
Over the past year, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism has done rich work and focused on pursuing several initiatives, in perfect tune with topics of interest to the Council. On the Sahel, for example, several events have taken place, including a conference convened in March in Rabat on border control in the Sahel, and the organization of a special meeting on the Sahel in September.
Next month, the Security Council will renew the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. I wish to make two comments in that regard.
In its new mandate, it is essential that the Committee continue to attach the greatest importance to the due implementation by Member States of the Council’s decisions concerning the fight against terrorism, namely, resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). In recent years, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate has carried out a significant number of visits to inform the Committee on the status of implementation of those resolutions by Member States. It will now be crucial to pursue that dialogue with Member States by ensuring regular follow-up to those visits.
The second point I would like to make is that it is essential that the Committee continue to accord the highest importance to respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism. In that respect, I would like to welcome the fact that on 24 October Ms. Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, paid a visit to the Committee. I wish to highlight that regular dialogue between the Committee and the Office of the High Commissioner is an excellent practice, one that should continue.
I would like to pay tribute to Mike Smith, who has done an outstanding job at the head of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. I take this opportunity to congratulate his successor, Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, on assuming his functions and wish him every success.
Finally, I would like to say a few words on the 1540 Committee. I wish to recall that the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery and related materials and the risk of them falling into the hands of terrorists are real threats, and that States should maintain and strengthen their commitment to fighting those threats. The implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) plays an important role in the prevention of those threats, and the progress achieved since its adoption in 2004 is important.
Today, a majority of States around the world have adopted measures to include the provisions of that resolution in their national legislation. In that regard, we welcome the efforts of the South Korean chair aimed at encouraging the handful of countries that have not yet done so to report to the Committee on the implementation of that resolution in their national legislation.
However, for those reports to be relevant, they must above all be sincere, and that is not always the case. In that respect, the 1540 Committee received a new report from Syria in May. In that report, as in previous ones, Damascus once again failed to mention the existence of its military chemical programme. Since the chemical attack at Ghouta, in August, Syria has acknowledged that it owns several tons of chemical weapons. Under international pressure, it agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and, consequently, to destroy those weapons. Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own population reminds us that we must remain vigilant with regard to Syrian statements. We must not lower our guard.
I note that the implementation of resolution 2118 (2013), on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, which requires that the Council be informed of any violation of resolution 1540 (2004), will contribute to improving the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and thus to strengthening our collective security.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the fight against terrorism must be coordinated. We also rely heavily on the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and its working groups to make concrete progress in that coordination. That will strengthen the coherence and visibility of the United Nations efforts in the fight against terrorism.
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