I thank Ambassadors Wittig, Puri and Sanqu for their briefings and for their work chairing the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011), 1373 (2001) and 1549 (2004). The Council has recently had the chance to demonstrate its resolve in the fight against terrorism in the debate held on 4 May (see S/PV.6765). The work of the three Committees is a crucial response to the ongoing and varied threats posed by terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
I align myself with the statement to be made by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union.
The threat posed by Al-Qaida has changed but remains an immediate danger. Efforts to improve the implementation of resolution 1989 (2011) must therefore be pursued. In that regard, I commend the work of the Monitoring Team, which, through regular contact with Member States, contributes to improving the implementation of sanctions. It has also helped to make the sanctions list more functional by finding mechanisms to improve its accuracy and by modifying its procedure so as to facilitate its implementation and by States and financial institutions.
To continue to adapt to the threat, it is important that the Committees continue its cooperation with INTERPOL and the Financial Action Task Force. Inasmuch as the threat posed by Al-Qaida has expanded to new regions, we believe that the Monitoring Team should concentrate more intensively on those areas. We recall that resolution 1989 (2011) improved guarantees of due process, thanks especially to its strengthening of the role of the Ombudsperson, whose excellent work we commend. Strengthening the role of the Ombudsperson not only promotes the rights of individuals and entities on the list, but is also a key factor in guaranteeing the list’s legitimacy.
The implementation of sanctions against Al-Qaida is crucial, but we know that it alone cannot constitute a response to the threat of terrorism. All States must therefore build up prevention and suppression mechanisms. The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), with the support of its Executive Directorate, helps States to do that. The Committee has studied in depth the resources and needs of all States, thanks to resolution 1373 (2001), producing preliminary evaluations. We commend the efforts under way to improve that analysis tool. Since the last Council meeting on the subject (see S/PV.6658), the Committee has also studied the Directorate’s global survey of the implementation by Member States of resolution 1624 (2005) (see S/2012/16), which aims to prevent incitements to terrorist acts. It is vital that the report dedicate a section to upholding human rights on that complex subject. We also wish to welcome the efforts of the Committee, and in particular of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), in involving other organizations in those activities, in particular the contacts on the Sahel between CTED and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.
Finally, the holding of thematic workshops should be encouraged, as they allow us to raise specific subjects related to countering terrorism at the regional level and to step up regional cooperation. As an example, I would cite regional workshops conducted on the prevention of the abusive use of non-profit organizations for funding terrorism. We know the difficulties that certain non-governmental organizations can encounter in trying to protect themselves from that risk.
Nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical terrorism remains one of the main threats to our security. The Council reiterated that point in its presidential statement of 19 April (S/PRST/2012/14) during the debate on nuclear security (see S/PV.6753). Progress has been made in responding to the threat. The issues and actions arising from resolution 1540 (2004) since 2004 have been widely taken up throughout the United Nations, and States have adopted numerous measures to implement the resolution. In particular, since we are meeting just a few weeks after the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, major efforts have been made at the very highest levels to better combat the nuclear terror threat and to safeguard the most vulnerable sources.
In that respect, we are pleased that the Seoul Summit took fully into account the question of radiological terrorism. It also provided an opportunity for reiterating our collective support for existing instruments and mechanisms to strengthen nuclear security and highlight the need for the relevant resolutions to be fully implemented by all the States concerned. For its part, France recently revised its rules for the physical protection of nuclear materials. All those efforts must be continued ahead of the third summit in the Netherlands in 2014.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, resolution 1977 (2011) gave it the tools to better carry out its mandate. We are welcome the progress that the Committee has made in its implementation since our last meeting by conveying to the Council its annual review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and its recommendations for the group of experts. But that is not enough. It is vital above all for the group of experts to be established. Only three experts are currently helping the Committee, and their contracts will expire on 31 May. That situation is not tenable when the workload continues to grow. Moreover, it is necessary for the Committee to define, as stipulated in the resolution, specific priorities for its work and to develop knowledgesharing and good practices. It is by making full use of those new instruments that the 1540 Committee will see its capacities improved and that we will be able to offer real help to countries in fighting proliferation and adapting to new challenges in that realm.
I now come to assistance in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). As the Council knows, my country coordinates the Working Group on that issue. Much progress has been made, although there is still a long way to go. The Committee regularly updates its database of requests for and offers of assistance; that data was presented at the Group of Eight (G-8) meeting in Washington, D.C., in late January. In that respect, we welcome the attempt of the Committee and its experts to step up dialogue with the G-8 working group in that area. Moreover, the development of countryspecific visits is a step forward that should be continued. Finally, other efforts are under way to improve the Committee’s procedures for providing assistance, better respond to relevant requests, and continue regular dialogue with the various stakeholders regarding assistance.
It is paramount not only to continue unceasingly to improve coordination among the United Nations counter-terrorism committees, but also to strengthen cooperation with other United Nations forums and external forums, for example, the Global Counter- Terrorism Forum. We are counting on the Counter- Terrorism Implementation Task Force to enhance that cooperation.
Finally, as the review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy will take place in June, it is vital to strengthen coordination of the various United Nations counter-terrorism bodies. In that respect, we support the recommendation of the Secretary-General to create the post of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator.