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Security Council debates proposed measures to monitor sanctions against Taliban

Security Council debates proposed measures to monitor sanctions against Taliban

UN Security Council in session
Members of the Security Council today held a day-long open debate on a proposal to establish a new United Nations monitoring mechanism aimed at strengthening the international arms embargo against the Taliban and keeping track of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

The proposal is contained in the report of a group of experts set up by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the request of the Security Council. The five-member expert group recommended creating a UN office that would employ teams to work with various border control and counter-terrorism services in the six States neighbouring Afghanistan. The office would also employ specialists in illegal arms trafficking, drugs, money laundering and counter-terrorism.

Participants at today's Council's meeting voiced widespread agreement on the need to enforce the Council's sanctions, which were originally imposed in October 1999 to prompt the hand-over of indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden and the closure of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The measures, tightened last December, include an arms embargo, diplomatic sanctions and a flight ban which exempts humanitarian goods.

Introducing the experts' report, the Chairman of the Council's sanctions committee on Afghanistan, Ambassador Alfonso Vladivieso of Colombia, stressed the importance of a quick Council response to the panel's proposals. "We must act as soon as possible," he stated. Noting that the experts had worked expeditiously to produce their recommendations, he said, "now it is up to us to work in a more streamlined manner" to decide on the future course of action.

At the close of today's debate, which saw the participation of some 20 speakers, the current President of the Security Council, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury of Bangladesh, said the 15-member body would "consider the recommendations contained in the report by the committee of experts for action."