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11 May 2010 - Security Council - Transnational threats to international peace and security - Acts of terrorism : Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations

(UN Translation)

At the outset, I should like to express France’s gratitude to the Chairs of the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) — Ambassadors Mayr-Harting, Apakan and Heller, respectively. Their dynamism and ongoing commitment enables the Security Council to play a growing role in the fight against terrorism.

I also associate myself with the statement to be made by the representative of the European Union.

Since our last meeting on this subject in November (see S/PV.6217) new acts of terrorism have demonstrated to all the extent to which the threat, including to the United Nations itself, remains real.

We have just heard the briefings of the Chairs of the three Committees highlighting not only the progress that has been made, but also the challenges ahead. From our perspective, the three Committees that we created between 1999 and 2004 are not only most important politically, but also of operational utility. We must continue to improve their functionality.

I should like to comment on each of the three Committees in turn.

- With respect to the 1267 Committee, in 2006, at the initiative of France, we created a focal point allowing individuals and entities on the list to request to be removed therefrom. The adoption of resolution 1904 (2009) went even further by permitting them a facilitated exchange with the Committee and full clarification by a high-ranking official with regard to communications received. That is a useful tool for the Committee in its decisionmaking process. We welcome the forthcoming appointment of an ombudsman.

The Committee has also done a great deal of work in revising the entire list in order to ensure that it remains commensurate with the threat. Such highly technical revision may seem fastidious. Why would one bother looking for information on a terrorist if one has lost track of him? However, there is no doubt that many terrorists have been prevented from carrying out plots because their financing has been cut off or they have been unable to travel. In this way, many lives have been saved. It is, unfortunately, easier to quantify the victims of terrorist acts than the absence of victims of acts that have not taken place. Our meticulous work thus touches every Member State, and it is therefore essential that all States affected by the revision assist the Committee.

- The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) has done essential work and demonstrated that we all have responsibilities to live up to. Like all other States, France is subject to the Committee’s consideration.

This is a way for all States Members of the United Nations to ascertain that our national measures are as optimal as possible. This is not only our common duty, but also in everyone’s interest. We welcome the Committee’s work under the leadership of Turkey. It not only analyzes and gives accounts, but above all makes recommendations to all Member States. The CTC is called on to play a more strategic role within the United Nations system by developing measures already adopted by the international community to take the terrorist threat better into account, in particular through its regular focus on certain geographical areas, while also ensuring respect for human rights. We therefore believe it to be very useful to open the thematic debates to all States Members of the United Nations. In the most sensitive areas, we hope that the Organization will be able to provide practical guidance to all.

- With respect to the 1540 Committee, nuclear, biological and chemical terrorism remains a principal threat. In that regard, we welcome the summit held in Washington, D.C., and the commitments undertaken there, as well as the possible convening of another such summit in Korea. A great deal remains to be done.

More than 30 States have yet to report, and we thank the Mexican presidency for its efforts. On thing is clear — we must all feel involved in the implementation of the resolution and respond to requests for reports. There is no sanctuary and no one is immune to nuclear, bacteriological and chemical terrorism. One particular area susceptible to progress is that of assistance.

There is another area in which States must help the Committee to improve its own work. I appeal to all those that offer or receive help in implementing resolution 1540 (2004) to so inform the Committee. Only thus will it be able to play its full role.

The creation of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force was an essential contribution to the system. It brought together various actors, including the three Committees, and helped us to share best experiences. We should continue to support the Task Force, and we have no doubt that the review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to take place in September will enable us to gauge the usefulness of that tool.

In conclusion, I wish to express once again the thanks of my delegation for the work accomplished by Ambassadors Mayr-Harting, Apakan and Heller and their teams, and by the groups of experts that assist them. They have done sterling work.

France will continue to play an active role in the Committees and do its utmost to ensure that the United Nations is strengthened to fight terrorism in all its forms.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU