Statement on behalf of the Acting Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism.
(translation of statement made in French)
As you stated, Mr. President, I have the honour of making a statement on behalf of the Permanent Representative of France, who is not in New York today and who is the Acting Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), known as the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). It is my honour to brief the Security Council on the work of the Committee since the last briefing of 12 November 2008.
In the past six months, the Committee has pursued its activities according to its programmes of work, which have been issued as official documents of the Security Council. The Committee has continued to analyse the Preliminary Implementation Assessments of resolution 1373 (2001), documents that have been presented to all United Nations Member States by Ambassador Jurica and Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of the CTC, during information meetings. Since last November, it has approved 21 of them, which brings the current total to 191 files. It should formally approve the last two in the coming months.
One of the major undertakings of the Committee in this reporting period is the stocktaking exercise. After receiving their preliminary assessments in 2007 and 2008, Member States were usually given 12 months to send their comments and provide updates. The first deadlines have expired, and the Committee has endorsed a proposal on how to conduct the stocktaking of each Member State’s implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). That process is to be carried out in stages, involving the Committee and its subcommittees. The Committee can thus enhance its regular dialogue with the Member States and identify the areas where implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) is still inadequate.
In practice, the Committee is called on to provide follow-up to the recommendations drawn up for each Member State by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate. On the basis of those recommendations, among other activities, the Committee requests additional information on the gaps identified and invites permanent representatives to the meetings of the relevant subcommittees, at which they are reminded of their obligation to implement resolution 1373 (2001). The relevant subcommittee asks the Member States in question why they have not responded to the Committee’s communications and encourages the permanent representatives of those States to explore additional ways to help the Executive Directorate to obtain further information and updates. The Committee has already finalized 16 files in the context of that activity.
The Committee has continued to organize visits to Member States with their consent. That is a fundamental element of its activities to effectively monitor and promote implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Besides such comprehensive visits, which facilitate analysis of all aspects of implementing the resolution, the revised organizational plan of the Executive Directorate envisages a more flexible approach by planning shorter visits focused on one or two particular aspects of the counter-terrorism regime in the Member State concerned. In addition, the plan forms the basis for regional visits and for missions given the task of examining best practices and of resolving vulnerabilities.
Thanks to those innovations, the rate of visits has significantly increased, which has enabled the Committee to engage in a more in-depth examination of the problems in a greater number of countries in all regions. Over the past six months, the Committee has successfully concluded on-site visits to the following countries: Kenya, Uganda, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Bangladesh.
The Committee was seized of the results of the activities of the five cross-cutting technical working groups established by the organizational plan of the Executive Directorate, which covers the major areas of implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). The aim is to revise and harmonize the criteria for technical judgements of the elements of resolution 1373 (2001) and to draw up a technical guide that will facilitate the task of the Executive Directorate. The Directorate has submitted the guide to the Committee, which is currently considering it.
The Committee and the Executive Directorate have done their utmost to strengthen dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries so as to facilitate technical assistance. In that context, the Committee continues to look for and match current and potential donors and beneficiary countries in order to strengthen their mutual dialogue and to further the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
The Committee has approved a report on the implementation of the plan of action adopted at its fifth special meeting, held two years ago in Nairobi, Kenya. The Executive Directorate organized that review in consultation with the 77 international, regional and subregional organizations invited to participate in the meeting. It has been noted that more than 100 conferences, workshops and training sessions had taken place since November 2007 to promote the implementation of the plan of action. The Committee also posts on its website the technical assistance requests in a table and the directory of its assistance programmes.
In its dialogue with Member States, the Committee has continued to remind them that they must ensure that all measures taken to combat terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. The expert on human rights in the Executive Directorate regularly submits information for inclusion in the preliminary assessments, prepares the Directorate’s country visits — in two of which he himself has taken part — and promotes a consistent approach to human rights issues in the Directorate’s activities.
Regarding resolution 1624 (2005), the Committee has continued to include in its dialogue with Member States their efforts to implement that resolution. In total, 99 States have submitted reports to the Committee on their implementation of the resolution. The Committee continues to encourage the States that have not yet presented a report to do so. Recently, it endorsed a discussion paper, prepared by the Executive Directorate, on ways to advance the dialogue.
The Committee also continues to encourage the Member States to become party to and to implement the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments. The Committee plays its part in the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Under its guidance, the Executive Directorate has continued to participate actively in all relevant activities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. It has participated in the work of the three working groups of the Task Force, dealing respectively with addressing the financing of terrorism, protecting human rights while countering terrorism, and integrating assistance for countering terrorism. The Committee welcomes the intention of the Secretariat to co-locate the Task Force secretariat with CTED, which will be conducive to their closer collaboration within the framework of their respective mandates.
The Committee, mostly through its experts and in line with resolution 1805 (2008), cooperates and coordinates its activities with two other subsidiary bodies of the Security Council that deal with counter-terrorism, namely, the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004). More information on this cooperation has been presented earlier today in the common message of the three Committees.
Moreover, as part of its cooperation and exchange of information with counter-terrorism partners during its meetings in New York, the Committee heard several briefings by representatives of relevant organizations and United Nations bodies.
The Committee will need to accomplish a number of major tasks in the next six months. First, resolution 1805 (2008) requests an interim review of CTED by 30 June 2009. I am pleased to be in a position to report that the Committee has started informal consultations on this issue and will submit a report to the Council before the stipulated deadline. Moreover, in the coming period, the Committee will focus on concluding the major part of the stocktaking exercise. The Committee also expects to receive a new revision of the Global Implementation Survey of resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States and to further strengthen contacts within relevant countries in order to facilitate the delivery of technical assistance.
As terrorism remains one of the major threats to international peace and security, the Committee represents a crucial instrument of the international community to address that global scourge. The Committee benefits from the constructive engagement of its members, which assists it considerably in its work. Furthermore, support from and cooperation with Member States remains invaluable, especially in carrying out the stocktaking exercise. I should therefore like to thank all Member States for their important contributions, which enable the Committee to fulfil its mandate.
Finally, I would also like to extend the Committee’s gratitude to Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of CTED, and his team for their valuable assistance. I also appreciate the continuous support provided by the Secretariat.
Let me conclude with a few words in my national capacity, while aligning myself fully with the statement to be delivered later by the representative of the Czech Republic on behalf of the European Union. France is very committed to the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), the crucial importance of which is underscored by the very alarming events that have just taken place in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The obligations imposed by this resolution make good sense. Compliance has significant benefits to public health, through control of biological facilities, taxes through border control and, of course, security. France, which has just taken the chair of the 1540 working group on assistance, will spare no effort to ensure that States receive all necessary assistance for the full implementation of the resolution.
The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, as our Austrian colleague said earlier, has started the important work of reviewing the entire consolidated list of individuals, groups and entities subject to sanctions, as requested by the Security Council in resolution 1822 (2008). France considers the general review and the yearly reviews that will take place subsequently to be among the most important safeguards for individual freedoms surrounding the sanctions regime. My country participates actively in this work and invites all other Member States concerned to play their full role in this crucial exercise.