The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union is pleased to participate in todays debate. We welcome the briefings from the Chairmen of the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee and of the 1540 Committee monitoring non-state actors access to weapons of mass destruction. The three committees play an important role in the work of the United Nations to counter the terrorist threat. We appreciate the opportunity to hear more about their work as part of an open and transparent debate.
Terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security in our world today. The EU reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We would like to commend the United Nations on significant progress in leading global efforts to combat international terrorism in a sustainable way.
Countering terrorism and addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism are international issues which require a global response.
The EU is committed to implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in cooperation with all Member States of the UN and supports the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), which aims to ensure coordinated and coherent efforts to counter terrorism, across the UN system. As members of the task force, the three SC Committees and their expert bodies also play an important role in the implementation of the Strategy. The EU continues to be committed to reaching an agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as soon as possible.
The 16 UN counter-terrorism conventions and protocols constitute the legal core for anti-terrorist measures. Universal adherence to these instruments is essential for the consistency of measures taken by the Member States as well as for the facilitation of international co-operation. The EU attaches great importance to full implementation of, all UN Conventions and Protocols related to acts of terrorism. In this context, the EU commends UNODC and its Terrorism Prevention Branch for its important work in delivering technical assistance to States to adhere to and implement these instruments.
The EU emphasises that any measures we undertake to prevent and combat terrorism must comply with our obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. We would like to reiterate that effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting but rather complementary and mutually reinforcing goals. Our action must be firmly based on due process and rule of law.
We commend the 1267 Committee for the considerable progress made with regard to improving the effectiveness of the Al Qaeda Taliban sanctions regime over the past few months. In doing so, the committee was effectively supported by the Monitoring Team. We look forward to the issuance of the 7th report of the Monitoring Team as an official UN document in order to be able to benefit from the analysis and recommendations made by the Monitoring Team.
The EU welcomes the measures taken by the committee to improve listing, notification and delisting of individuals and entities, to keep the consolidated list updated and to enhance public outreach and the efforts undertaken to implement them.
In this context, we take note of the first edition this year of the review pursuant to paragraph 6 i) of the Committees guidelines and encourage the members of the Committee to take full advantage of this new tool to further improve the quality of the listings. Regarding the updating of the lists, we welcome the work of the Committee in updating the Taliban section of the consolidated list and encourage the Committee to continue its efforts in this regard.
We commend the Committees efforts to enhance transparency, by updating and improving its website and making available useful information regarding its work and its procedures. In this context, we would like to mention the document prepared by the Monitoring Team compiling experiences of Member States, which is a useful tool to assist us in the implementation of sanctions.
The EU has always emphasized the need to strengthen fair and clear procedures with regard to targeted sanctions in order to enhance their effectiveness. Several EU Member States have contributed to this process. We note that tangible progress has been achieved over the past year, in particular in the 1267 Committee. In this regard we welcome the establishment of the focal point which has improved access to the SC by individuals requesting delisting from sanctions lists. The EU will observe the implementation of the new guidelines and procedures. In the light of this experience, other challenges may be identified.
Let me add that the credibility and effectiveness of UN sanctions regimes might also benefit from a greater harmonization of various procedures in place. In this regard, the EU would recall the recommendations developed by the Security Council’s Informal Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions and encourage the Sanctions Committees, as appropriate, to take these recommendations into account in their work.
As regards the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) the EU welcomes the work put forward by the Committee in approving the Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIA) in the framework of resolution 1373(2001). The EU Member States look forward to receiving these assessments and stand ready to engage in a active dialogue with the Committee in this regard.
The EU stresses the importance of strengthening the cooperation with international and regional organizations in the fight against terrorism. We note with appreciation in this regard the organization by the Committee of the 5th Special meeting with international and regional and sub-regional organizations held in Nairobi, on 29-31 October 2007.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the recent appointment of the new Executive Director, Mr. Mike Smith. The EU looks forward to a close and active cooperation with Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), under his leadership, and the CTC. The EU strongly supports the work of CTC and CTED promoting and monitoring the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624. These resolutions have set ambitious standards with regard to international cooperation and on the issue of incitement to terrorism. However, implementing these resolutions is and will remain first and foremost an obligation of the UN Member States.
The EU notes the expiration of CTED´s current mandate at the end of 2007 as well as ongoing informal discussions on ways and means to enhance CTED´s outreach and efficiency.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a growing threat to international peace and security. In this context, the European Union fully acknowledges the relevance of resolution 1540 (2004) as an important international instrument to deal with this threat in an integrated and comprehensive manner.
Let me mention at this point the EU´s own strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which is one of the pillars of the EU’s non-proliferation policy and contributes to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). It includes, among other things, a programme of assistance to States in need of technical knowledge in the field of export control thus reinforcing the efforts by the 1540 Committee.
In May, on the occasion of the last briefing by the Chairmen of the three Committees, the then German EU Presidency had the opportunity to draw the attention of the SC to some specific measures undertaken by the European Union in support of the Committee´s endeavour to implement resolution 1540 (2004). This included the provision of assistance to States on preparing and submitting national reports.
We understand that a new stage in the activities of the Committee is now planned and that it will foresee the shift from awareness and non-reporting states, to capacity building and states who showed a willingness to implement the resolution but still lack appropriate expertise in this field.
The EU stands ready to support the Committee in this new stage of its activities, in particular in building legal and administrative infrastructure, sharing our own experience of implementation and training relevant authorities.
We will do so in close coordination and cooperation with local authorities, the Committee and UN-ODA. In this respect, we wish to thank Ambassador Peter Burian for his acceptance of an invitation to meet in Brussels, two weeks ago, the group of EU experts on nuclear non-proliferation.
Today’s debate is an opportunity to look ahead and beyond the second implementation phase of resolution 1540 (2004) ending in April 2008. It is important that the mandate of the 1540 Committee is further extended because it plays a crucial role in preventing weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery or manufacture from falling into the hands of non-state actors world-wide. We would welcome timely preparations in this respect. Meanwhile, we believe that the Committee should not lower its efforts to promote full implementation of resolution 1540.
Finally, I would like to thank the Chairmen of the three committees, once again, for their work. The EU will continue to promote universal adherence to the conventions and protocols which form the legal basis for the work of the United Nations in countering the terrorist threat, and to support their global implementation. We commend the work of the Security Council as a vital component in the United Nations efforts to combat the terrorist scourge which is a threat to all States and to all peoples.
Thank you, Mr. President
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.