Chairpersons of three major United Nations Security Council anti-terrorism committees today updated the 15-member body on their efforts to improve their operations in the fight against the scourge, including through increased cooperation on a variety of fronts.
Diplomats heading the committees, dealing with Al Qaida and the Taliban, counter-terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, said reporting procedures should be streamlined and country visits coordinated in order to maximize results.
Cesar Mayoral of Argentina, Chairman of the Security Council Committee on Al Qaida, the Taliban and their associates, known as the 1267 committee for the resolution that established it, stressed the importance of improving the quality of the list of individuals affected by sanctions. “This has been one of my main concerns since I took over the chairmanship,” he said.
Describing recent visits to Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia – the latter two having suffered from Al-Qaida attacks – he said all three had made “significant contributions” in the fight against that terrorist group.
Officials from all three countries “expressed concerns about certain aspects of the Committee’s work,” he said. “One area discussed was the need for greater consultation with relevant States prior to placing an individual on the list,” he added. Officials said this type of consultations would not only improve compliance by Member States, but also serve as a way to improve the quality of the list.
Officials were also concerned about Al Qaida’s use of the Internet. “Many officials commended the Committee’s Monitoring Team for having organized meetings of heads and deputy heads of security and intelligence agencies to discuss the issue,” he said, noting that the Committee was considering a report by that team on Al Qaida’s Internet use.
Looking to further improvements, the Chairman said the Committee will continue to increase its dialogue with Member States, to strengthen links with global and regional bodies, and to work closely with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the experts supporting the other anti-terrorism committees.
Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, the Chairperson of the Security Council Committee established to implement the 15-member body’s landmark anti-terrorism resolution 1373 – adopted in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States – described work underway to revise the reporting regime, enhance dialogue with Member States needing technical assistance, and deepen its relations with international, regional and subregional organizations.
She said the 1373 Committee had again contacted all States that were behind in their reporting and urged those needing assistance in preparing their reports to speak up. The Committee had adopted the CTED’s implementation plan on facilitating technical assistance, while the Executive Directorate, in turn, was now working on creating results through the fulfilment of that initiative.
In the meantime, she voiced appreciation for potential donors who could provide assistance to countries in need. Besides discussions with potential donors in New York, the practice had also been established that the CTED would meet with potential donors specifically in connection with visits to States. The Committee would continue to discuss what more could be done to strengthen cooperation with donors, including by organizing an informal meeting with donors and assistance providers.
Peter Burian of Slovakia, the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution the Council’s resolution 1540 (2004) on weapons of mass destruction, said continuous monitoring of and support to the efforts by all States to fully implement the resolution required a lasting effort by the Council.
So far, he said 129 States and one organization had submitted first national reports to the Committee, while 62 Member States had yet to submit their first report. In response to the Committee’s examination of the first national reports, 83 States had provided additional information.
He said the Committee would continue to accord priority to facilitating reporting and the conduct of outreach activities to promote reporting. The Committee would also assist national authorities in the preparation of a first report, and it would continue to reach out to the members of all regional groups to discuss related issues.
At the same time, the Committee would maintain close cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1267” Committee on Al Qaida and the Taliban, and its experts would continue to work closely with their colleagues, making every effort to maximize synergies between and among the experts of those three bodies.
During the discussion that followed, delegates addressing the Council stressed the ongoing threat posed by terrorism and backed the work of the three committees. A number of participants also concurred on the need for greater assistance with reporting and on the need to improve procedures for adding or removing names to the list of those subject to sanctions.