Security Council urges global cooperation to bring terrorist actors to justice
Reiterating its strong condemnation of recent terrorist incidents, from the deadly attacks which rocked London’s transport system to assassination of Egypt’s ambassador-designate in Iraq, the United Nations Security Council today urged all States to work together to bring to justice, extradite or prosecute, the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of acts of terrorism.
“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism…constitutes one of the most serious threats to global peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” said Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, which holds the Council's Presidency for the month of July, following an open briefing by the Chairmen of its three anti-terrorism committees.
Reading out a statement at the close of the meeting, Ambassador Vassilakis said recent incidents highlighted the urgency and necessity of redoubling efforts to combat the scourge and reiterated the 15-nation body’s condemnation of the Al-Qaida network and other terrorist groups for ongoing and multiple criminal terrorist acts, aimed at causing death, destruction of property and undermining stability.
The Council also 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.
Ambassador Vassilakis also 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, sadly, it seemed that whenever he briefed the Council, he had to start by mourning the losses caused by new heinous acts of terrorism. The attacks on London on 7 July had brought new evidence of the threat to peace and security caused by terrorist acts. He added that the world was faced with a threat from Al-Qaida that was radically different from the threat posed when the sanctions regime had first been imposed.
It was believed that Al-Qaida terrorism now comprised three distinct but interlinked groups, namely, the old leadership whose names were well known, the fighters who had attended the camps in Afghanistan and had graduated as experienced terrorists, and a new and growing generation of supporters who might never have left their countries of residence but had embraced the core elements of the Al-Qaida message.
The Committee was increasing its focus on the third group, and he encouraged the Council to make clear to Member States that the term “associate with” must cover such groups also to ensure that the sanctions regime adapted to new threats. The Council was currently considering a new resolution to further enhance the sanctions measures, providing the Council with an opportunity to strengthen a number of elements.
Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), said the fact that the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) was not fully staffed had continued to have an impact on the Committee’s capacity to deliver an ambitious work programme. She expected the Directorate to be at full capacity before the end of the upcoming 90-day period.
She said the CTC, through CTED, had conducted three visits to States, with their consent – Kenya, Albania and Thailand. The visits had provided the Committee with a more thorough understanding of the situation in those countries, as well as further insight into what difficulties States might face while seeking to ensure full implementation. Proper follow-up to those visits was important, and the CTC was committed to ensuring that technical assistance needs identified during the visits were met.
Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc of Romania, Chairman of the Committee dealing with weapons of mass destruction, said the panel had already examined more than 50 national reports and was confident that the goal of completing the examination of first-round country reports could be attained by October 2005.
As of today, 118 States had submitted reports to the Committee. The majority of Member States had presented information about their domestic non-proliferation provisions, including their contributions to international cooperation in the field. However, 74 Member States had yet to report, and he called on those who had not yet done so to submit reports without delay.