Briefing to the Security Council by H.E. Mr. Ertuğrul Apakan, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter terrorism

Ertuğrul Apakan 15.11.2010
Mr. President,

I have the honour to brief the Council, in my capacity as the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), on the work of the Committee since the previous briefing in May.

Mr. President,

As we have seen in many parts of the world in recent months, terrorists continue their activities unabated. There have been terrorist attacks that have killed innocent people. Fortunately, some of the attempts with the same heinous target could be prevented. In light of this ongoing and evolving threat, we must continue our common efforts and act in full cooperation with each other. We should be as vigilant and resilient as ever and counter-terrorism should remain a priority for the international community. For, in today’s world, no country is immune to the threat of terrorism. It is a threat to all of us, irrespective of where we live and what our religion, nationality or ethnic origin is.

Since its establishment, the Committee has played an important role in the fight against terrorism. Now, the Committee continues to work actively in advancing our global efforts with its more strategic and transparent approach. The CTC tries to increase awareness on the need for more effective implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) and enhance cooperation among Member States. The Committee also aims to raise the visibility of its work within the wider United Nations and counter-terrorism community.

The Committee continues to effectively monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). One of the main instruments available to the Committee in this regard is the preliminary implementation assessments (PIAs). The ongoing stocktaking exercise, in accordance with its new guidelines, allows the Committee to enhance its regular dialogue with Member States, and to further identify areas where the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) is still inadequate. Over the last six months, the Committee has finalized 17 files within the framework of this current exercise. The Committee and CTED stand ready to assist Member States, wherever possible, in the preparation and submission of their responses including further information on their efforts to implement the resolution.

The Committee organizes and conducts visits to Member States. These consensual country visits are a fundamental component of the Committee’s efforts to monitor and promote implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). They enable us to establish direct contact and dialogue with the national practitioners on the ground and help us better understand the challenges that individual countries are facing. CTED, acting on behalf of the Committee, conducts not only comprehensive visits, but also shorter and more targeted visits that focus on one or two specific aspects of the resolution. CTED is also conducting regional visits aimed at analyzing examples of good practices or addressing regional vulnerabilities. Over the past six months, the Committee has concluded a successful focused visit to Bolivia. There have been positive feedback and cooperation from those visited States on this tool of direct interaction and dialogue with the Committee.

In addition to the PIAs and country visits, the Committee, through its Executive Directorate, is also making use of alternative technologies to enhance its dialogue with Member States. For example, through its increasing resort to video conferences to connect with officials in the capitals, a constructive dialogue has been established between the Committee and various States.

The Committee and CTED have placed particular emphasis on capacity building of Member States, which is one of the main challenges in our fight against terrorism. The Committee held a thematic discussion on technical assistance to explore ways to further facilitate the provision of assistance to relevant Member States. The Committee and CTED have also worked to enhance their ongoing dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries in this regard. They have looked for opportunities to match current and potential donors with recipients in order to enhance the cooperation between the donor community and recipient States.

Mr. President,

In the past six months, the Committee has tried to make better use of the thematic discussions it organizes on the issues mentioned in Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). These discussions proved to be highly useful in helping us understand these issues in greater depth and consider any possible concrete steps that the Committee could take. The Committee has taken up issues such as “crimes that fund terrorism”, “facilitating the provision of technical assistance to Member States”, “human rights in the context of resolution 1373 (2001” and “helping Member States to implement the ‘safe haven’ requirements of resolution 1373 (2001)”. Based on one of our thematic discussions earlier, the Committee adopted in June a policy guidance on international legal cooperation, which can be found now on the web-site of the Committee.

As part of its more transparent approach, the Committee and CTED have organized such thematic briefings also to wider membership on four different areas. Since May, briefings have been held on the following areas; “facilitation of technical assistance and capacity-building for Member States”, “terrorist financing: links with transnational organized crime and new payment technologies”, “the human rights aspects of counter-terrorism in the context of resolution 1373 (2001)”, and “helping Member States to implement the ‘safe haven’ requirements of resolution 1373 (2001)”. We intend to continue this practice, which helps to acquaint Member States with the recent developments on various aspects of our global fight against terrorism.

In addition to the thematic areas, the Committee has also started discussions on the challenges that some regions face. These discussions provided the Committee with more in-depth evaluation of the progress and challenges in each region. Throughout the past six months the Committee discussed Southeast Europe, West Africa, East Africa, South East Asia, and South Asia. The Committee intends to continue this useful exercise.

In accordance with its work program, the Committee maintained and increased its dialogue and cooperation with other relevant international and regional organizations. In this regard, in June, an open meeting was held with four regional organizations and bodies. The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, the League of Arab States, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa kindly accepted the invitation of the Committee and attended this meeting. The meeting was useful in terms of sharing experiences and informing the Member States of the strides that these organizations have been making to counter terrorism in their respective regions.

The Committee has also continued the practice of hearing briefings from relevant international and regional organizations and United Nations bodies. In this respect, Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, Counter-Terrorism Coordinator of the European Union and Mr. Felipe Tam Fox, Chairman of Financial Action Task Force of South America (GAFISUD), kindly briefed the Committee on their work in the field of counter-terrorism. Moreover, the Committee also had briefing from Mr. Martin Scheinin, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

Mr. President,

In light of the focused and regional approach the Committee and CTED are pursuing, I wish to mention briefly some of the workshops that have been organized in the past six months in different parts of the world. These workshops have proved particularly important to bring together the relevant officials of the countries and regional and sub-regional organizations to strengthen coordination and cooperation, and to ensure better information and experience sharing among each other. I would like to touch briefly upon only three of the most recent workshops.

The first one was the three-day practitioners’ workshop held in Nairobi in June. This workshop was organized by CTED, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, and with the participation of operational-level officers from relevant agencies of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, as well as a large number of experts from international and regional organizations. A frank and open discussion has been held on matters related to effective border control. This event has provided new insights into the challenges they face, the strategies and technologies available to address these challenges.

In October, CTED organized another workshop in Sarajevo. It brought together senior officials dealing with counter-terrorism coordination from 13 countries in the region and the representatives and was jointly organized with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the SECI Center and UNODC and was supported by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). During the two-day event, the participants explored ways to enhance national coordination and regional cooperation in the region.

Last week, CTED organized a workshop at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia. This workshop focused on community policing, new payment technologies and investigations using cell phone records and communications. During this event, an additional set of working group sessions was held for counter-terrorism coordinators from South Asia.

Mr. President,

The Committee continues to include in its dialogue with Member States discussion of their efforts to implement resolution 1624 (2005). Thus far, a total of 109 States have submitted reports to the Committee on their implementation of the resolution. The Committee will continue to encourage those States that have not yet done so to submit the relevant information to the Committee as soon as possible.

On the other hand, the Committee encourages Member States to become parties to and implement all international counter-terrorism instruments.

The Committee considers effective counter-terrorism measures and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as complementary and mutually reinforcing. They are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort. Therefore, the Committee has continued to remind Member States that any measures taken to combat terrorism must comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

Mr. President,

I would also like to give you a few examples of the Committee’s cooperative activities with its partners.

The Committee, through CTED, actively contributes to the work of the CTITF. CTED participates in six working groups, namely on border control, of which CTED is the coordinator, integrated assistance for countering terrorism (I-ACT) initiative, of which CTED is the co-chair, countering terrorist financing, human rights and counter-terrorism, use of the internet for terrorist purposes, preventing and resolving conflicts. CTED frequently contacts and interacts with the newly-created Secretariat of the Task Force to share information and provide advice and technical support as needed.

The Committee and CTED continue to engage actively with the other Security Council subsidiary bodies and other relevant entities working on counter-terrorism issues, namely, the 1267 Committee and its Monitoring Team, and the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts. In this regard, the CTC invites to its thematic discussions the Monitoring Team, the Group of Experts and the CTITF, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the INTERPOL. In this context, let me also mention the need for the co-location of the three expert groups. This is important for better and closer coordination, avoidance of any possible duplication and thus rendering their efforts more effective.

Mr President,

Now, I wish to touch briefly upon some activities that the Committee is planning to organize in the near future.

One of them is the seminar on “bringing terrorists to justice” which will be held in New York between 1-3 December 2010. I wish to recall that resolution 1373 (2001) requires all Member States to bring terrorists to justice. This seminar will bring together a select group of national counter-terrorism prosecutors who have been involved in highly visible cases within their national jurisdictions. The Committee made sure that the participants will represent different regions, different levels of development and different legal systems. The participating practitioners from various Member States are envisaged to share their experiences and best practices in this important area, within the framework of the Committee and the CTED to support States’ efforts to identify, share and promote their respective good practices in all areas of the resolution for the benefit of all Member States.

A second event that the Committee plans to hold is the next special meeting with international, regional and sub-regional organizations. The Council of Europe has kindly offered to host this meeting in Strasbourg. Let me express the Committee’s appreciation to the Council of Europe for their generosity. The Committee accepted this offer and decided to hold this special meeting in April 2011 and on the topic of prevention of terrorism. The Committee believes that such interaction with international, regional and sub-regional organizations will contribute to identifying good practices and assisting States in their implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions.

Mr. President,

To fulfill its mandate, the Committee relies on the cooperation of and dialogue with the Member States. Taking this opportunity, I wish to express the Committee’s appreciation to Member States for their cooperation with the Committee and its Executive Directorate, either during the preparations of the PIAs, at the country visits, workshops and briefings, or through their permanent missions in New York. The Committee and CTED wish to continue this dialogue and cooperation with all Member States.

In accordance with this understanding, the Committee and CTED have attached particular importance to keeping the Member States abreast of their work. In this regard, the Committee’s Executive Director and I gave a briefing to the UN Member States on 21 July 2010. We intend to organize another similar briefing in the upcoming weeks.

Before concluding, I would like to underline the valuable contributions and excellent work of CTED, under the able leadership of Mr. Mike Smith. CTED continued to provide the assistance the Committee needed in the course of the last six months. I also wish to thank the Secretariat for their continuous support.

Thank you.