UN Counter-Terrorism Committee making ‘excellent progress,’ Chair reports

UN Counter-Terrorism Committee making ‘excellent progress,’ Chair reports

Since its establishment following the 11 September attacks against the United States, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) has received broad cooperation from countries around the world, the panel’s chairman said today.

Briefing reporters in New York, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom said that during its first 90 days of operation, the Committee had succeeded in informing Member States of what they must do to comply with Council resolution 1373, which was adopted in the wake of last year’s attacks and established the CTC.

So far the Committee had received reports from 117 countries – an “extremely good start in terms of the response of Member States to the requirements of the CTC by the historical standards of the UN,” Ambassador Greenstock said, calling this an “excellent response … worldwide to the need to address terrorism operationally and comprehensively.”

A global consensus on fighting terrorism “is absolutely vital, otherwise the practitioners of terrorism will just dive into those areas where they find greater protection,” stressed the Chairman. He added that 95 per cent protection against terrorism was not enough if the remaining 5 per cent of the world’s territory was able to foster, protect and finance terrorists. While the CTC could not itself deal with that “immense” objective, it could serve as a coordinating mechanism and catalyst for action by Member States.

Using the advice of six experts and working through subcommittees, the CTC would aim to process 15 reports each week, maintaining a brisk momentum in the fight against terrorism. “We haven’t got time on this subject,” said the Chairman. “There is stuff out there that needs to be dealt with and it is the obligation of Member States to deal with it on their territory. There’s no time to be lost.”

Concerning Member States which would require follow-up action in order to come into compliance with 1373, Ambassador Greenstock said, “we will enter into areas of discussion, debate, maybe controversy, maybe at some point an adversarial stage, depending on the nature of the case and the attitude of the State concerned.”

“That’s all entirely normal and expected in a process of this kind, against the background of what is inevitably quite a controversial subject,” he added.

Ambassador Greenstock will brief the Security Council on the CTC’s work at an open meeting scheduled for 18 January.