Counter-Terrorism Committes: Terrorism remains an extremely present threat - 16 June 2015 [fr]
Fighting terrorism – Committees 1267, 1373 and 1540 - Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the French Mission to the United Nations - Security Council - 16 June 2015
Allow me, at the outset, to thank the Ambassadors of Spain, New Zealand and Lithuania for their briefings and for the leadership of the Committees they respectively chair.
Terrorism remains an extremely present threat, as we are reminded by the all too frequent attacks that are currently taking place. I am especially thinking about the terrible attacks in N’Djamena yesterday, which we condemn in no uncertain terms, and wish to assure our colleagues in Chad of our complete support in this challenge.
As emphasized by the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, last year was characterized by the proliferation of crises linked to Al-Qaida and its affiliates, the emergence of Daesh, the ongoing actions of Boko Haram, the spread of radicalization, which the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters illustrates, and the situation in Libya. The Committee remains fully mobilized on those topics through the consideration of reports of the Monitoring Team requested by Security Council resolutions.
While the threat remains at a very high level, it is crucial that the sanctions list continues to best reflect terrorist threats. We would therefore encourage all United Nations States Members to continue to submit listing requests to the Committee. Furthermore, we encourage the members of the Committee to take very seriously requests from Member States noting allegations of violations. Violations of the sanctions regime harm its effectiveness and clout. The Committee has a responsibility to implement the regime, and therefore cannot simply say it has received the information. It must act. France is determined to work for respect for the sanctions regime.
For the list to be credible and to be up to date with regard to the threat, the delisting mechanism must be effective and must respect the fundamental rights of the persons listed. The establishment by resolution 1904 (2009) of the Office of the Ombudsperson in that mechanism was, in that connection, an unprecedented step by the Council to improve procedural guarantees. I would like to commend the exceptional work of the Ombudsperson of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ms. Kimberly Prost, who was able to give this function the stature that it requires. We deeply regret her departure and wish her much success in her future career.
The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), concerning counter-terrorism has a difficult task. Facing a multifaceted threat, it must be able to adapt its work in order to continue to best inform States of new threats. In that regard, we welcome the fact that the Committee closely monitors new threats linked to terrorism and regularly organizes public meetings in order to draw the attention of all Member States to those threats. With regard to combating foreign terrorists fighters, it is particularly useful to see the Committee working on the issue of travellers’ data, that is, the advance passenger information system. Moreover, it is important that the Committee continue its work in the fight against violent extremism and its prevention. In addition, the Committee has the responsibility to review the way in which States implement not only resolution 1373 (2001), but also many other resolutions— in particular resolutions 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014).
It is crucial for States to accept visits by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in order to audit their systems in the fight against terrorism. That is in fact in their own interests. France recently received a visit by the Executive Directorate. It enabled them not only to take stock of our national system in this area, but also to identify good practices. In the past few months, France adopted new legislation aimed at curbing the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. Based on those evaluations, technical assistance programmes need to be implemented by the United Nations for Member States. Therefore, we deem it crucial for the Executive Directorate to continue to work closely with other United Nations bodies responsible for combatting terrorism in order to ensure the realization of this type of project.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles, as well as the risk of these falling into the hands of terrorist groups, continues to present a real danger to international peace and security. The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) plays a key role in combating that danger. The 1540 Committee is at a pivotal point with the commencement of the overall review of the Committee, which will have to be completed by the end of 2016. Next year will be doubly important for reinforcing the international non-proliferation architecture, with the holding of the Nuclear Security Summit, in anticipation of which France has already made proposals.
Much progress has been made since the adoption of resolution 1540 (2004). An overwhelming majority of Member States have already translated the provisions of the resolution into their domestic legislation and have taken measures to decrease the risks of proliferation. We also commend the efforts made by the Committee and the Group of Experts to put States requiring technical assistance in contact with those able to provide that assistance — a matter that France considers particularly important.
Much remains to be done. After more than 10 years of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), there are many lessons still to be learned in order to improve our collective work. We have confidence in the comprehensive review process that began a short while ago, and today we mark that with the issuance of a press statement. The goal is to make the work of the Committee more effective, and thus to intensify the crucial fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.