Statement by H.E. Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on the Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
We are grateful to the Permanent Representatives of Australia, Morocco and the Republic of Korea for their reports on the Committees they head. What they do is an important contribution to strengthening the central coordinating role of the United Nations and its Security Council in the area of international cooperation on anti-terrorism.
Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, terrorism remains one of the chief threats to international peace and security. We are reminded of this by the unceasing terrorist attacks in various regions of the world that claim the lives of innocent people, including children, day after day. It is clear that terrorism is rapidly adapting to new realities. Terrorists are making active use of the latest advances in the field of information and communications technologies. They recruit new extremists in cyberspace, move freely across porous borders and take advantage of gaps in criminal law.
One extremely dangerous trend today is how terrorism has become woven into the fabric of regional conflicts, a phenomenon that continues to have serious explosive potential in North Africa, the Sahel, the Middle East and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Terrorist methods are widely used by anti-Government groups in Syria. Eradicating the threat of terrorism can only be achieved by intensifying the collective efforts of all members of the international community, focused around the United Nations, and in strict compliance with international law.
The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning Counter-Terrorism (CTC) remains the cornerstone at the base of the entire counter-terrorism architecture of the United Nations. Ambassador Loulichki’s skilful chairmanship has contributed in no small measure to its effective functioning during the reporting period. In our view, that the recent reforms improving the Committee’s procedures and changing the format of its evaluation documents, together with continuing the important practice of sending visiting missions, are helping the CTC fulfil its mandate under resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1963 (2010).
There is growing attention being paid, including in the Security Council, to an integrated approach to counter-terrorism with an emphasis on preventive measures for combating this evil. In that connection, a hugely important task is preventing the radicalization of social attitudes and incitement to religious and sectarian confrontations collisions all over the world. It is therefore vital that States continue efforts, under the auspices of the United Nations, to reduce the attractiveness of terrorist activity and to combat the production of terrorist ideology and violent extremism, as well as terrorists’ use of the media and the Internet.
We believe it is important to strengthen the CTC’s contacts with other structures and organizations in order to expand the network of antiterrorist cooperation under the auspices of the United Nations. In that regard, we note the collaboration of the CTC, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) at the Conference on Terrorism Issues for chiefs of special services and security and law enforcement bodies held by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. We intend to continue the practice of holding briefings for representatives from the Conference and the CTC.
We value the role of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) in assisting the CTC and commend the energetic efforts of the new Executive Director, Mr. Laborde, aimed at tackling the major tasks facing CTED under his mandate. We hope that the concerns we voice today will be taken into account in the preparation of the draft resolution extending CTED’s mandate, scheduled to be adopted next month.
The 1267/1989 Committee is one of the Security Council’s most effective mechanisms in the field of combating terrorism, and we would like to note the active efforts of Ambassador Quinlan in his capacity as its Chair. The Committee’s sanctions list should adequately reflect the terrorist threat posed by Al-Qaida, and we support proposals by Member States for the inclusion of new entities on the list. We also believe it is essential that the Committee react rapidly to the changing nature of the threat of terrorism and without unnecessary red tape when considering relevant requests. In that context, it is regrettable that the Committee has still not listed Storsjö, Djabrailov and the non-governmental organization Imkander, whose links to an Al-Qaida entity on the list, the terrorist
organization Imarat Kavkaz, are more than compelling.
The powers of the Ombudsman and the procedure for considering delisting requests laid down in resolution 2083 (2012) ensure an optimal level of transparency in the Committee’s work. A more important task, however, is improving the effectiveness of the sanctions mechanisms, which are entirely dependent on States’ implementing their obligations in that area. Unfortunately, as practice has shown, there are still unresolved problems here. Thus, for example, despite paragraph 4 of resolution 2083 (2012), the Kavkaz Centre website, the information arm of Imarat Kavkaz, is still active.
The task established in resolution 1540 (2004) of preventing weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery from falling into the hands of terrorists remains relevant. Russia has consistently pushed for the resolution’s implementation by every State and with full recognition of the complexity and long-term nature of its requirements. We are grateful to Ambassador Joon Oh and his predecessor Kim Sook for their effective leadership of the 1540 Committee, and we note the useful work of Committee’s Group of Experts in giving them substantive support. Among the Committee’s activities over the past six months, we would highlight the efforts to help build States’ capacities to meet the requirements of resolution 1540 (2004).
The Committee continues to develop cooperation with States and specialized international and regional organizations. One of the outcomes of that work has been the reduction in the number of States with reports still pending, now that both Liberia and South Sudan have submitted their first reports in implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). We hope that further progress in that area will take place next year, when we are due to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the
The adoption in September of resolution 2118 (2013) on the destruction of the Syrian chemical-weapons arsenal has again reaffirmed the role of resolution 1540 (2004) as a key non-proliferation instrument. We should remember that States are now committed to briefing the Security Council on any violations, so that the Council can take appropriate steps. In the light of reports of the use in Syria of chemical weapons by opposition armed groups, a number of which are linked to Al-Qaida, that
point is particularly pertinent.
With regard to the further work of the Committee, we believe that it is necessary to continue prioritizing the provision of assistance to States. The coordinating role of the Committee in the efforts of the international community to comply with the resolution is extremely important. For its part, Russia will continue to actively participate in those activities, including in the context of our cooperation with the member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States on issues relating to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).