4 May 2016 - Fight against terrorism: For a better understanding of the ongoing terrorist threat [fr]
Public debate on the fight against terrorism - Committees 1267, 1373 and 1540
Intervention by Mrs Marie Audouard, Deputy Political Adviser of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 4 May 2016
I would like to thank you, Mr. President, and the Ambassadors of New Zealand and Spain, for today’s briefings and for the leadership shown by all three countries in chairing the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities. Terrorism continues to be one of the world’s greatest threats to international peace and security, as the all-too-frequent attacks that saturate the news remind us.
The Chair of the 1267 Committee emphasized that the past year saw the Committee’s activities refocused on the threat posed by Da’esh and its affiliate groups. In that regard, the adoption of resolution 2253 (2015) was an important step forward in addressing the current terrorist threat. The 1267 Committee carries out at least two essential tasks that France considers extremely important:
a- One of them being analysing the terrorist threat through the very detailed and valuable reports of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team pursuant to resolutions 1526 (2004) and 2253 (2015) concerning the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities. But I should also commend the quality of the joint briefings with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate on such major subjects as foreign terrorist fighters and combating terrorism financing.
b- The second is the implementation and rigorous monitoring of the sanctions list. In that regard, we encourage all States Members of the United Nations to continue to submit requests for the inclusion of names on the list. But in order to maintain the regime’s credibility, its procedures must also respect the fundamental freedoms of the individuals on the list. The establishment of the post of an Ombudsperson for the regime represents an unprecedented effort on the part of the Council to improve its procedural safeguards, and I should commend Ms. Marchi-Uhel’s outstanding work on the job.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee also fills two essential and complementary functions:
a- The first is doing as much as possible to raise States’ awareness of new trends in the ever-changing terrorist threat. In that regard, the Counter Terrorism-Committee Executive Directorate’s recent work on the issues of data on travellers and on foreign terrorist fighters returning from conflict zones is particularly important.
b- The Committee’s second function is monitoring States’ implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and their fight again terrorism and its financing generally, but also their efforts regarding other resolutions, such as 1624 (2005), on combating incitement to commit acts of terrorism, and 2178 (2014), on foreign terrorist fighters. It is therefore crucial that States accept visits from the Executive Directorate so as to enable it to assess their systems for combating terrorism and make the best possible recommendations. It is also essential to ensure that the United Nations can implement technical assistance programmes based on those assessments and recommendations. We therefore consider it fundamental to ensure that the Executive Directorate continues to work closely with the other United Nations bodies involved in combating terrorism in order to carry out such projects.
Finally, I would like to comment briefly on the important work of the 1540 Committee under Spain’s dynamic leadership.
a- Unfortunately, the risk of biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists is real. The especially worrying information reaching us from Iraq and Syria means that we can no longer rule out that possibility. To that we have to add the doubts that remain regarding Syria’s declaration of its chemical programme to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the potential for the existence of residual capacity in Syria, which only increases that risk and which we take very seriously.
b- However, it would be unfair not to emphasize the significant achievements of resolution 1540 (2004) since its adoption. Today an overwhelming majority of Member States have adopted measures translating the resolution’s provisions into national legislation. In areas such as securing sensitive materials and goods, strengthening border controls and even, when necessary, establishing mechanisms for export controls, the international community is working to ensure that such sensitive materials and goods cannot fall into terrorists’ hands.
c- The ongoing comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) will be an opportunity to adapt and strengthen our tools against this threat. By identifying implementation gaps, strengthening assistance mechanisms and the dialogue of the Committee with other international organizations, we will be able to better prevent the risk of non-State actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
The meetings in Madrid in a few days, and especially the open meeting here in New York in June, will be major landmarks that we must build on. Spain can count on the support of France to make this year a success.