Any acts of terrorism are 'criminal, unjustifiable,' Security Council reaffirms
Following an open briefing by the Chairmen of its three anti-terrorism committees, the Security Council expressed its "grave concern" at the risks posed by non-State actors who attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery. It also welcomed the General Assembly's recent adoption of the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Reading out a statement at the close of the meeting, Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, which holds the Council's Presidency for the month of April, stressed the three different mandates of the Committees – dealing with, respectively, sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban, counter-terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) – and reaffirmed the Council's call for enhanced cooperation between the bodies and their respective experts in monitoring implementation of relevant Council resolutions.
Ambassador César Mayoral of Argentina, Chairman of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions committee, said that since the panel's creation in 1997, it had accumulated a long and fruitful experience in dealing with its mandate: making the operations of Al-Qaida and the Taliban more difficult worldwide. Today, its sanctions regime was being implemented globally, and thanks in particular to the submissions of Member States, its consolidated list of individuals and entities related to Al-Qaida/Taliban was updated periodically.
He stressed that the counter-terrorism sanctions regime was, in the first place, about the accuracy of targeting the right individuals and entities and the political will of all States to make it effective through strict sanctions implementation. It was difficult to envision a world completely free from terrorist threats, but a common mission sought to prevent such threats from materializing. The work of all three Committees on today's agenda had distinct and crucial roles in that mission.
The Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, said that panel had enhanced its dialogue with Member States, including through its first country visit – to Morocco last month – which included participation from the World Customs Organization, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol and the European Union. A key to the success of that, and all other visits, was follow-up, she said, adding that similar trips were planned to Albania, Kenya and Thailand.
Recalling that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had referred directly to the central role of the Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) in the fight against terrorism, she said that, for technical reasons, the latter had not become fully operational, which had seriously limited the CTC's ability to sustain the various types of dialogue with Member States on which it had embarked. Many reports from Members, for instance, still required a response from the Committee and a lack of experts had prevented the drafting of such responses.
Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc of Romania, Chairman of the Committee dealing with weapons of mass destruction, said that since his last report in December, the panel's work had been concentrated mainly on shaping its methodology and "tool kit" for considering national reports by States. Committee experts had developed a matrix to be used as an internal tool in the process of examining the national reports. It was a "living document," built on the provisions of the Committee's founding Council resolution, 1540.
Stressing that the Committee had been given a two-year mandate by the Council, he said the panel would have to consider at least 40 national reports in each remaining trimester programme of work, thereby concluding the reporting review process by the end of this year.
To date, 115 States and one organization had submitted reports. He called on countries that had not yet done so to submit their reports, so the Committee could present the Council with an objective picture of what had been achieved in terms of implementation, as well as what should be done going forward.