Briefings by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council - Security Council, 9201st Meeting

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23-Nov-2022 01:52:24
Speakers call for greater cooperation among counter-terrorism committees to combat evolving global threats, as subsidiary body chairs brief Security Council.

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The Security Council heard the annual briefing from the Chairs of its three counter-terrorism Committees today, as members underlined the need for greater cooperation among the three bodies to better address evolving global threats.

Trine Skarboevik Heimerback (Norway), Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Da’esh, Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, said that, since her last briefing to the Council in December 2021, the United Nations, Member States and international and regional organizations, among other things, have continued to implement sanctions measures to prevent ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and their affiliates from undermining prospects for international peace and security.

In some regions in Africa, particularly in Southern and West Africa, the situation further deteriorated during the reporting period, she continued. Also concerning are ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida’s active presence in Central and South Asia and the Levant, she said, adding that the implications of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan also remains a major concern. Turning to north-eastern Syria, she said the situation in prison and detention facilities there is a constant concern. Further, the international community must do more to address the threat of foreign terrorist fighters.

Given the ongoing global terrorist threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and their affiliates, and evolving trends and emerging challenges, the 1267 sanctions regime must remain a high priority on the global counter-terrorism agenda, she stressed. Member States must continue their proactive engagement with the Committee and the Monitoring Team, as this is essential for keeping the sanctions list up to date and ensuring the effective operation of the sanctions regime, she said.

Ms. Heimerback also spoke on behalf of the Chairs of the three counter-terrorism Committees, noting that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the subsidiary bodies continued to cooperate and coordinate their work to ensure an effective and efficient approach to counter-terrorism and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by non-State actors. Outlining a range of activities undertaken during the reporting period, including open briefings and informal working lunches, on topics ranging from ISIL (Da’esh) in Africa to transitional justice and terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin, she said the three Committees will continue to cooperate and coordinate their work under their respective mandates, including through joint visits at the invitation of States.

Meanwhile, the three experts’ groups will also continue to work under the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact working groups towards achieving the objectives of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, she went on. Furthermore, the Committees reaffirm their continued commitment to supporting Member States in those global efforts by providing guidance and direction to their expert groups to strengthen their collaboration and cooperation in line with relevant Security Council resolutions.

Ruchira Kamboj (India), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, said that during 2022, the Committee held several open and closed briefings, addressing a variety of regional and thematic topics relevant to the implementation of Council resolutions. The Committee focused on the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and several parts of Africa, as the terrorist threat continues to persist and grow in these regions. It also focused on thematic areas, such as countering terrorist narratives; preventing and countering the use of the Internet and new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes; inviting the participation of civil society in the Committee’s briefings and open meetings, among other topics.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), reported that although States have made significant progress towards the full implementation of the resolution, this remains a long-term task, requiring enhanced cooperation among the three Committees. While in 2021 the Committee postponed a number of planned activities due to the pandemic, it nevertheless continued with its comprehensive review process through open-ended consultations with States, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia, among others. Following the renewal of its mandate in February 2022, it has continued to promote the full and effective implementation of resolution 2622 (2022); assist States, upon request, on strengthening national capacities; and has participated in 19 outreach activities.

In the ensuing discussion, the United States’ representative expressed concern that a permanent member of the Council is seeking to obstruct cooperation between the 1540 and 1267 Committees and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, despite their clear mandates for such cooperation. He also expressed disappointment that the 1267 Committee has only agreed to designate one entity since the start of the year. The politicization of such issues only benefits terrorists, he added.

Meanwhile, the delegate of the Russian Federation stressed that one of the 1267 Committee’s priority tasks remains expanding the Council’s anti-terrorism sanctions regime to cover individuals and organizations that are members or direct affiliates of the Afghan branch of ISIL (Da’esh). The growing competition between ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida over sources of funding, media resources and new converts, as well as other factors, including a struggle for leadership in such groups, have led to an increase in terrorist activity, along with an update in the tactics and methods employed by such groups, she added.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates was among several delegates who welcomed the adoption of the “Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes” at a special meeting convened by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in October, as a response to the collective threat posed by technologies, including the deployment of uncrewed aerial vehicles. He emphasized the need for the international community to avoid inadvertently lending credibility to terrorist narratives which exploit religion to justify their crimes, reiterating his country’s call on Member States and the United Nations system to use ‘Da’esh’ instead of ‘Islamic State’, ‘ISIL’ or ‘ISIS’, “as there is nothing Islamic about terrorism”.

For his part, Brazil’s representative took aim at listing requests, noting that when they are submitted to the 1267 Committee, they are presented only with allegations that any given individual or entity fulfils the criteria of association with ISIL (Da’esh) or Al-Qaida, not with proper evidence “except for the back channel of bilateral inter-agency communications between select partners”. Listing requirements should be submitted with supporting evidence, so that all Committee members can judge every request on its own merit and avoid the politicization of listing requests.

Nonetheless, the representative of Kenya stressed: “The evolving nature of the threat posed by terrorists and other non-State actors requires us to be ahead of the curve.” Member States must also implement asset freezes and travel bans on sanctioned individuals, groups and entities so as to curb the planning and execution of terror attacks as well as to combat illicit financial flows involving terrorists and other non-State actors, he added.

Also speaking today were representatives of China, Mexico, Norway, India, Gabon, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Albania and Ghana (Council President for November in his national capacity).

The meeting began at 10:11 a.m. and ended at 12:04 p.m.

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