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15 November 2010 - Security Council - Acts of terrorism - Statement by Mr. Emmanuel Bonne, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

First of all, as other speakers have done before me, I would like to express my delegation’s gratitude to the Chairs of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) — namely, Ambassadors, Thomas Mayr-Harting, Ertuğrul Apakan and Claude Heller. I would like very much to commend them and their teams, who have demonstrated constant commitment in the course of the past two years. My delegation associates itself with the statement to be made shortly by the representative of the delegation of the European Union on behalf of the Union. Allow me to say a few words about each of the three Committees.

- With regard to the 1267 Committee, we have come to the end of a process that involved two ambitious tracks, as mentioned by the representative of Austria. Throughout that process, France has sought to improve the efficiency of the sanctions regime, both as a counter-terrorism tool and to strengthen its legitimacy by taking into account the rights of listed persons as much as possible.

We must ensure that the reforms set forth in resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1904 (2009) are fully implemented so as to restore balance to the Committee’s procedures in order to better take into account the fundamental rights of individuals and entities on the list. It is also essential that members of the Committee cooperate as far as possible with the Ombudsperson, an independent and autonomous body. The new legal context leads us to reflect on a new reform of the Committee that would reflect the concerns of all members of the Security Council and make it possible to preserve the current sanctions regime.

It seems to me that that would be the best way to respond to recent criticism of the 1267 sanctions regime. To condemn the regime is to draw the wrong conclusions from the current situation. We must all preserve the authority of the Security Council and defend its actions in fighting terrorism.

Current events from the Sahel to Pakistan have shown that we need more than ever an coordinated international response against the terrorist threat. We are convinced that the Committee can play an important role in the inter-Afghan reconciliation process with those who have chosen to renounce violence, cut ties with international terrorism and respect the Afghan Constitution.

- Secondly, the Counter-Terrorism Committee has in recent months continued to refocus on more strategic tasks. It has highlighted specific difficulties related to various regional contexts, as well as issues of concern to all Member States, such as border control, the financing of terrorism, incitement to terrorism and judicial cooperation. France is very committed to the Committee’s in-depth work with each Member State of the United Nations. For us all, that is a way to ensure that the international measures we take are as effective as possible.

This year, Ambassador Apakan has organized several meetings open to all Member States on specific subjects, which made it possible to share the results of the Committee’s work as widely as possible. We would like the Committee to continue this informationsharing work and develop, together with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, a guide of good practices in the most sensitive areas that would be accessible for all.

Whatever the commitment of the Chair of the Committee, it is as effective as it is because it can rely on the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). In just a few years, the CTED has become a key body of the United Nations for countering terrorism, and many States have benefited from technical assistance thanks to its assistance. Of course, we shall support the renewal of its mandate in several weeks.

- Finally, I turn to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). Terrorism and weapons of mass destruction continue to be a major threat to our security. Resolution 1540 (2004) provided the Council’s concrete and appropriate response to that threat, which, of course, does not exclude actions by other bodies. Together with Germany, France presented in the First Committee this year a draft resolution on preventing the acquisition by terrorists of radioactive sources (A/C.1/65/L.46), which was adopted by consensus. I would also like to recall the holding in April of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., which gave political impetus at the highest level to efforts to counter nuclear terrorism. We welcome the new summit is to be held in 2012 in Seoul.

Resolution 1540 (2004) is now well established in the United Nations landscape, but we must pursue our efforts to implement it effectively. The 1540 Committee remains a crucial tool in this effort, and we hope that its mandate will be renewed after 25 April 2011.

We must also increase the visibility and effectiveness of the Committee. The Mexican chairmanship and the Group of Exerts have spared no effort to that end, and we thank them for that.

One area where particular progress could be made is assistance. As the Council knows, my delegation coordinates the working group on this subject. Some progress has already been made, and we now have an effective follow-up mechanism for offers of and requests for assistance. We have just adopted procedures to rationalize, improve and accelerate our response to these requests. Other areas in which we are working include developing specific visits to some countries, but we need the help of States for the Committee to play its role as an effective mediator. Here, I would appeal to all of those who offer or receive assistance in implementing resolution 1540 (2004) to so inform the Committee.

For its part, France will make the most of its presidency of the Group of Eight to encourage continued reflection on supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), in particular with respect to offers of assistance.

The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) continues its work in coordinating with different actors, including the three Committees that we are discussing today. We welcome the appointment of its Chairman as the Director of the CTITF Office. The strengthening of the Office will allow it to better enhance its actions to implement all the pillars of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The review of the Strategy, which has been under way since September, has been an opportunity to welcome the effectiveness of the Task Force. Once again, I welcome that work today.

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