New Security Council counter-terrorism panel making progress, chairman says

New Security Council counter-terrorism panel making progress, chairman says

Work is progressing well in the United Nations Security Council committee monitoring the implementation of a broad counter-terrorism resolution adopted in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks against the United States, the panel's chairman said today.

"The point of all this exercise is to establish the highest common denominator of action against terrorism in every territory of Members of the United Nations for the long-term," Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom told reporters at a briefing in New York today. "We are there to help the world system upgrade its capability to deny space, money, support [and] haven to terrorism, and to establish a network of information sharing and cooperative executive action."

Resolution 1373 that set up the committee obliges every State to take specific action, "as opposed to reacting to a sanctions regime or supporting passively something that is happening in a narrow, specific area," Ambassador Greenstock noted.

He said the committee had already adopted its rules of procedure and agreed on a work plan, while advancing other aspects of its work. Under the work plan, the committee will send detailed guidelines to each State by the end of October on how best to fill out reports required under the resolution.

"We are also asking all Member States to set up contact points, both in New York and in their capitals, for efficient business but also to signal, by implication, that we hope that every Member State will see to the coordination of its own activities on counter-terrorism," Ambassador Greenstock said. A list of the contact points would eventually be published as a directory.

By the end of November, experts should be appointed to work with the committee on "what is already out there by way of models, machinery, executive action, etc., on counter-terrorism," he said. "Even the most sophisticated systems on this subject - and I think the United Kingdom may be one of them - have to develop new legislation or new executive action as a result of 1373."

According to the committee chairman, all Member States were expected to report to the panel by 27 December. "We're not expecting that those reports will say 'we have done it all;' on the contrary, those first reports will need to identify, for many Member States, those areas where action is in hand or needs to be completed to implement 1373," he said. "We will hear the needs, we will understand where help can be provided, and we'll put the two into contact with each other, with the help of other institutions."