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28 May 2014 - Security Council - Fight against terrorism - Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

Allow me, first of all, to thank the Ambassadors of Australia and Lithuania and you, Mr. President, for your briefings and leadership as the Chairs of the respective committees.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement that will be made by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union.

Terrorism is a threat more present than ever, as illustrated by recent tragic events. France joins others in condemning with the greatest firmness the terrible killings that took place at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. We express our full solidarity with the Belgian people in that ordeal and offer our condolences to the families of the victims.

For the struggle against the terrorist scourge to be effective, the Council, through its Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, must have at its disposal a flexible tool enabling it to implement swift sanctions when an emergency requires it. In that regard, several days following the Paris summit on security in Nigeria held on 17 May, the Committee took a decision, on 22 May, to place Boko Haram under sanctions, a decision that my country co-sponsored.

It is important to continue our efforts to update the sanctions list so that it correctly reflects the emerging threats in the fight against Al-Qaida. Today, France is particularly concerned about a new phenomenon, that of foreign combatants. These fighters are self-radicalized young people who travel to fight alongside terrorists. They represent a threat not only to the countries to which they travel, but also to their countries of origin, where they will probably return to settle. It is urgent that the sanctions Committee take action against that phenomenon, and in particular against the networks that aid and abet them.

Finally, the listing and delisting procedures of the sanctions list must respect the fundamental freedoms of the persons on the list. By creating and strengthening the Ombudsperson’s mandate, the latest resolutions have allowed us to improve the procedural guarantees. While the Council is about to review the mandate of the 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) Committee, it is important that it continue to improve those guarantees.

Besides the Al-Qaida sanctions Committee, the issue of foreign combatants, which poses a new threat, must be taken seriously by all United Nations counter- terrorism bodies. We therefore encourage the Counter-Terrorism Committee to continue to address that issue, especially as its new mandate, defined by resolution 2129 (2013), includes the need to focus on recent trends in the field of terrorism. We also commend the Committee’s particular focus on new threats through the holding of discussions on resolution 2133 (2014), on abductions for ransom.

Lastly, we would like to thank the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate for its programme of work, including several follow-up visits, to ensure the due implementation by Member States of the Council’s requirements in the fight against terrorism, namely, resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). It is essential to pursue that dialogue with Member States by carrying out regular follow-up visits.

With regard to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), I would like to recall that the proliferation of nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery and the risk of their falling into the hands of terrorists pose a genuine threat. Resolution 1540 (2004) and its rigorous implementation by Member States plays an important role in averting that risk. In that regard, I would like to thank and congratulate you, Mr. President, for the successful organization of the high-level Security Council debate to commemorate the tenth anniversary of resolution 1540 (2004) (S/PV.7169) in early May. Presidential statement S/PRST/2014/7, which the Council adopted on that occasion, also serves as a road map for the work of the 1540 (2004) Committee.

Since its adoption in 2004, the progress noted in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) has been important. Today, a majority of States in the world have adopted measures to replicate the provisions of the resolution in their national legislation, and the main international, regional and subregional organizations have adopted strategies to promote and implement that important resolution. In that regard, we must continue to encourage countries that have not yet done so to provide the Committee with a report on the implementation of the resolution in their national legislation.

Over the past 10 years, the Committee has also continued its cooperation with several international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as with other subsidiary bodies of the Council whose activities are aligned with the goals of resolution 1540 (2004). The Committee has much to gain from expanded cooperation with the international bodies responsible for combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular in developing partnerships related to technical assistance. We hope that this cooperation will continue unhindered.

In the light of those developments, the Committee should undertake a strategic review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the longer term and to incorporate the results of that analysis in the Committee’s comprehensive review in 2016. The presidential statement adopted at the start of the month paves the way for conducting that important exercise.

In conclusion, to meet the growing challenge of terrorism, we must continue to promote close cooperation between all structures combatting that phenomenon. It would be useful for the fourth review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which will take place in June, to address strengthened coordination, as well as emerging problems, such as that of foreign combatants, so that the international community is better equipped to confront those threats.


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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