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Afghanistan: Security Council moves to enforce sanctions against Taliban

Afghanistan: Security Council moves to enforce sanctions against Taliban

The Security Council today moved to establish a United Nations mechanism designed to enforce the international arms embargo against the Taliban, keep track of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, and fight the drug trade which is fuelling the country's conflict.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council requested Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish a mechanism - comprised of a New York-based Monitoring Group and a Sanctions Enforcement Support Team - which would offer assistance to "States bordering the territory of Afghanistan under Taliban control and other States, as appropriate, to increase their capacity" regarding the implementation of measures imposed by the Council. In addition, the mechanism, which should be set up in 30 days, would "collate, assess, verify and wherever possible, report and make recommendations on" those measures.

The Monitoring Group will include up to five experts mandated to examine the measures imposed by the Council, "including in the fields of arms embargoes, counter-terrorism and related legislation and, in view of the link to the purchase of arms and financing of terrorism, money laundering financial transactions and drug trafficking."

The Sanctions Enforcement Support Team will be comprised of up to 15 members with expertise in such areas as customs, border security and counter-terrorism. It will be located in those States being assisted by the mechanism.

By other provisions in the resolution, all States, the UN and concerned parties were called upon to cooperate "in a full and timely manner" with the effort. The Council also urged all States to take immediate steps to enforce and strengthen measures designed to prevent and punish violations of the sanctions against the Taliban. In addition, States were encouraged to contribute to a Trust Fund to be set up by the Secretary-General to support the mechanism.

The resolution also welcomed a report produced by an expert committee on the issue which was formed by the Secretary-General at the Council's request. Based on two months of fact-finding and information gathering work, the report explored the best ways to prevent the Taliban from acquiring arms and from selling narcotics to purchase those weapons.