Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Maria Zabolotskaya at the brifing by Chairs of Security Council Committees 1373, 1267/1989/2253, and 1540
We thank you for convening a traditional briefing by heads of the three Security Council subsidiary bodies that have competence in issues of countering terrorism.
We also thank Chairs of the three Committees for their reports on the work performed and highlight their personal contribution to the implementation by the Security Council of counter-terrorism and non-proliferation tasks.
We share the positive assessments of the cooperation established among the committees. This includes the convening of joint meetings, launching monitoring missions, and exchanging information.
The threat of terrorism does not abate, which is why effective interaction remains crucial. Terrorist organizations are adapting and adjusting to modern conditions, capitalizing on conflict situations and using latest and emerging technologies for their criminal purposes. It is not enough for the Council's specialized structures to keep up with these new trends; they need to stay a few steps ahead of the terrorists.
Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) should focus on monitoring implementation by member states of specialized resolutions of the Security Council. Particular attention should be paid to countries located in the regions with an increased level of terrorist threat.
We urge the leadership of states on CTC’s list of on-site assessment visits to not postpone coordinating such visits with the leadership of the CTC and its Executive Directorate (CTED). The benefits of such visits are obvious. They help, among other things, to identify gaps in national legislation and law enforcement practice. Recommendations based on the results of the visit enable states to take an informed decision on whether to fill such gaps themselves or to request technical assistance from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism. We are convinced that the planning and development of capacity-building programs should take into account first and foremost the wishes of the recipient state, as well as the Committee's expert assessments and recommendations.
We note with satisfaction the high quality expert support provided to the Committee by CTED. We thank the Executive Director, Ms. Natalia Gherman, for stepping up the implementation of CTED’s key tasks – conducting assessment visits and preparing reports on behalf of the Committee.
At the same time, we should like to emphasize the importance of maintaining the balanced nature of the assessment tools, without getting carried away by secondary topics and subjects. We are convinced that the key criterion for the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism remains the ability of a state to counter the financial and ideological support of terrorists and to ensure the inevitability of punishment for crimes committed.
The CTC has a number of briefings planned for this year. Besides, time has come to identify the topics to be discussed at the CTC next year. In our view, the problem of repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters and their families from Syria and Iraq, as well as the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime and the supply of weapons to terrorists, is an extremely topical issue.
As for involvement of experts both in meetings on topical counter-terrorism issues, including open and closed briefings of the Committee, and in the development of analytical materials, it is important to maintain a balance in the representation of regions and points of view. This is an aspect to which we would ask the CTC Chair and Executive Director Gherman, to pay particular attention.
We extend our appreciation to the Maltese Chair of Security Council Sanctions Committee 1267/1989/2253 on ISIL and Al-Qaida for their leadership and willingness to address issues in a constructive manner.
We take a positive view of the work of the Committee. We consider it to be one of the Council's most effective mechanisms in the counter-terrorism area.
We prioritize questions of effective implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the anti-terrorist sanctions regime against ISIL/al-Qaida. It is gratifying that their key provisions are reflected in the guidelines for the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267.
We closely follow the dynamics of the development of modern terrorism threats around the world, including in Syria and Iraq, South and South-East Asia and on the African continent. Despite the efforts of de facto authorities, the Afghan wing of ISIL remains one of the key factors destabilizing the situation in the country. Their expanding ideological, propaganda and recruitment activities with the skillful use of information and communications technologies pose an additional danger. We see ISIL’s continued presence in the country as a threat to the bordering states of Central Asia. Another focal area is terrorist activity in a number of African countries (caused largely by the socio-economic consequences of the colonial and neo-colonial policies of Western countries), as well as efforts of regional states to respond to challenges.
We underscore the need to continue to focus on the problem of FTFs that are on the anti-terrorist sanctions lists in order to prevent and suppress their criminal activity, and on the issues of their further repatriation.
We support the effective work of the Monitoring Group, whose reports are an important support to the Committee's work. We call on all member states to work closely with the experts. In that connection, we trust that the reports of the Monitoring Group will be as objective as possible and based only on verified sources of information.
We consider the country visits of the Monitoring Group to be an important factor. We believe priority attention should be given to its visits to countries that have armed confrontation with international terrorism and to states that are closely confronted with manifestations of terrorism.
We take note of the active work of Committee 1540 and the efforts of its Chair, Permanent Representative of Ecuador, Ambassador Hernán Pérez Loose.
Resolution 1540 remains relevant as a universal international document aimed at cooperation and providing assistance to states in establishing effective barriers at national level to prevent WMD, their means of delivery and related materials from falling into the hands of non-state actors. We believe that the continuation of work in Committee 1540 in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration is fundamentally important in terms of ensuring the effective and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1540 by all states.
We continue to emphasize that the key areas of work of Security Council Committee 1540 should remain the monitoring of the implementation of the provisions of resolution 1540 and the coordination of global activities in the area of providing technical assistance to states in this process at their request. We should be mindful that the Committee should not "forcibly" impose any "offices" on members of the international community. Its approaches, i.a. as regards providing assistance to states, should be tactful and ensure a sufficient level of confidentiality.
Speaking of the scope of today's briefing, we should like to emphasize that the activities of the subsidiary bodies of the United Nations Security Council taking part in the meeting are clearly differentiated. Security Council Committee 1540, as a preventive non-proliferation and monitoring body, has neither the mandate nor the technical capacity to carry out activities to identify and respond to terrorist threats, which the specialized committees of the UNSC have. Changing the focus of 1540 Committee to counter-terrorism would threaten to dilute the non-proliferation vector of its activities and change the nature of resolution 1540 itself, introducing non-core elements to it, up to and including attribution and interference in states’ internal affairs.
Against this backdrop, we believe that attempts to find some kind of "synergy" and a "crossover of competences" between Committee 1540 and Committees 1267 and 1373 are superfluous and counterproductive – first and foremost from the point of view of achieving the objectives of Security Council resolution 1540 itself. We note that UNSC resolution 2663 (adopted last year) while pointing out the difference in the mandates of the three Committees, confirmed that the same framework for possible interaction between them – information exchange and coordination in the planning and conduct of country visits – remains in place. We believe that the annual joint briefing of the three Committees is quite sufficient for fulfilling these tasks.
We must not forget that the resolutions refer exclusively to cooperation between the Committees themselves, with no direct interaction between their panels. Given the specific mandates of the Committees and, in the case of Committee 1540, strict accountability of its Panel of Experts, including with regard to external contacts, any proposals in this regard should be considered by the Committees on a case-by-case basis.
My country remains open to constructive interaction with a view to promptly and effectively resolving both the substantive and organizational challenges that Committee 1540 is faced with.