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14 November 2012 – Security Council – Threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism – Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

(Committees 1267/1989, 1373 et 1540)

First of all, I would like to express France’s gratitude to the Chairs of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) , as well as to you, Mr. President, and to the representatives of South Africa and Germany. All three of you, Sir, have shown your strong commitment over the past two years, which we welcome.

I wish to associate myself with the statement to be made later by the observer of the European Union.

The threat linked to Al-Qaida did not disappear with death of Osama Bin Laden. It has developed today and become regional; indeed, it remains ever-present.

To cope with that reality, the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee plays an indispensable role. Its decisions, which must be implemented universally, are a key barrier against that threat. In order for the system to continue to be effective, several aspects are key.

First of all, the sanctions lists must follow the development of the threat. Its regular updating is therefore crucial, and, for that reason, we would encourage all States Members of the United Nations to continue to submit to the Committee requests for inclusion on the list in order that it may best ref lect the state of the threat. It was in that spirit that the Council called for the adoption of sanctions against Al-Qaida in Mali.

Next, in order for the list to be credible, the delisting system needs to be fair and accurate. In particular, the processes in that regard must uphold the fundamental freedoms of people on the list. By creating and strengthening the Ombudsperson’s mandate, the most recent resolutions have allowed for the bolstering procedural guarantees. The forthcoming revision of resolution 1989 (2011) must be an opportunity for us to continue along those lines.

France attaches particular importance to the work carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Committee with all of the States Members of the United Nations and, in particular, its awareness-raising role. In that regard, we welcome the holding of a special meeting of the Committee on 20 November to discuss combating the financing of terrorism. That topic, highlighted in resolution 1373 (2001), is a crucial part of any counter-terrorism strategy. The event will, inter alia, enable us to implement the best practices resulting from recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in terms of combating the financing of terrorism. We would like the Committee to continue to organize special meetings and we are in favour of ensuring that the one that takes place next year look at porous borders, which is something that has already been raised in the Committee.

I would also like to commend the ongoing efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) to carry out numerous regional workshops on important topics in combating terrorism, such as border management, legal prosecution of terrorism and freezing assets, and capacity-building. It is crucial for the most vulnerable States to enjoy ongoing support from the international community. Given the current situation of the terrorist threat, it is necessary to strengthen programmes on capacitybuilding for countries of the Sahel.

I would also like to remind the Council that the Committee, with the support of CTED, has thoroughly analysed the way in which Member States implement the relevant Security Council resolutions thanks to preliminary assessments. Revision work on this tool has been under way for some months now in order to improve it, and we would like to commend the efforts in that area. We very much hope that the new format for the tool will soon be available and operational.

Nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical terrorism are some of the main threats to our security.

The possibility that weapons of mass destruction may fall into the hands of non-State actors or terrorists is a real threat that affects us all. Since the Bashar Al-Assad regime confirmed in July the presence of chemical weapons in Syria, we are very concerned about the safety of those stockpiles and by the risk of uncontrolled proliferation, which would be catastrophic for the stability of the region.

Resolution 1540 (2004) is key in preventing those risks. As the representative of South Africa said in his statement, much progress has been achieved since the resolution’s adoption, in 2004. Today, most States have taken measures to implement it, and the work of the 1540 Committee is being shored up within the United Nations and elsewhere.

With the adoption of resolution 1977 (2011), complemented recently by resolution 2055 (2012), the Council endowed the Committee with the means to fulfil its mandate more efficiently, in particular by creating a group of nine experts responsible for supporting the Committee in its increasing number of activities.

Much remains to be done. Many provisions have not been fully implemented, for example, the definition by the Committee of specific priorities for its work, the sharing of good practices or the strengthening of cooperation between the Committee and other organizations, in particular, in the area of assistance. As the Council knows, my country coordinates the working group on this issue, and I welcome increased dialogue with Group of Eight Global Partnership Working Group in this area.

Combating terrorism must be coordinated. It is crucial to work to strengthen and coordinate the United Nations Committees. We also rely a great deal on the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to make progress in that coordination. Lastly, we support the recommendation of the Secretary-General to create a post of United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator. We very much hope that such a post will be set up soon. It would enable us to strengthen coherence and raise the profile of the United Nations in terms of combating terrorism.

Learn more on Fight against terrorism.

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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