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 11.05.2010
Thank you Mr. President,

Before starting my briefing, I would like to recognize Ambassador Ranko Vilovic of Croatia, from whom I took over the Chairmanship of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) five months ago. I thank him once again for his country's excellent leadership of the Committee in 2008 and 2009.

The CTC continues to work actively in advancing the global fight against terrorism and today it gives me great pleasure to brief the Council on the work of the Committee in the past six months.

Mr. President,

Although nearly a decade has passed since the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001), terrorism continues to be a major threat to international peace and security, compelling us to be ever vigilant and steadfast in our fight against this scourge. As such, the provisions of the Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) are as relevant as ever and the Counter-Terrorism Committee plays a critical role in promoting and facilitating their implementation.

Before dwelling on the substance of the issues related to the work of the Committee, let me touch briefly upon the changes that the Committee made early this year regarding its working methods. As indicated in the work program of the Committee, which covers the first half of 2010, the Committee decided to adopt a more strategic and transparent approach in its deliberations, while raising the visibility of its work within the wider United Nations and counter-terrorism community.

Based on this understanding, in January, the Committee streamlined some of its working methods in order to devote more time to substantive work. Accordingly, the procedures for the adoption of preliminary implementation assessments (PIAs) and the preparation of country visits have been significantly amended in a way that reduced the time spent in the Committee on these issues. That said, the PIAs remain one of the main instruments available to the Committee for effectively monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).

The Committee is trying to improve and make better use of the thematic discussions it organizes on the issues mentioned in Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). In the last six months, the Committee has taken up issues such as border control and security, implementation and assessment of resolution 1624 (2005), maritime security/terrorist acts committed at sea, implementation of the extradition requirements and law enforcement. 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. For instance, based on our thematic discussion, the Committee is now working on a policy guidance on international legal cooperation, which we expect to finalize soon.

In fact, this issue was also subject of one of the two thematic briefings held open to all Member States in February. The other was in April on maritime security/terrorist acts committed at sea. These open briefings set the stage for a lively exchange and many useful views were expressed. The Chief of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC also contributed to the second briefing. Taking this opportunity, I wish to thank Member States for their attendance and contributions to these discussions.

Apart from these thematic discussions, the Committee also decided to hold regional discussions, where the specific challenges of some regions will be taken up in detail. These issues have already been indicated in the Survey of the Implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) by Member States and the first such regional discussion will be held this month.

Another step taken by the Committee to provide more transparency was to make public the technical guide on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). Now, this technical guide is posted on the web-site of the Committee. It is also being translated into all UN languages and will be a very relevant tool for use in the country visits by the Committee.

The Committee has already started working to further improve its web-site with a view to making it more helpful and user-friendly for all. With the technical support of the Committee's Executive Directorate (CTED), we hope to finalize this work soon.

And finally, as part of our efforts to render the Committee more transparent, the Committee's Executive Director, Mr. Mike Smith, and I gave a briefing to the UN Member States on 8 April 2010 about the work of the Committee in the first three months of this year.

Mr. President,

Now, let me briefly mention some of the core activities of the Committee that are undertaken in accordance with its mandate and work program.

First, as regards PIAs, I am pleased to report to the Council and to the wider membership that the Committee has finalized the analysis and adoption of these documents for all Member States. Now, the ensuing stocktaking exercise 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. The Committee has already finalized 48 files within the framework of the current stocktaking 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.

Secondly, the Committee has continued to organize and conduct visits to Member States, with their consent. These country visits are fundamental component of the Committee's efforts to monitor and promote implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). 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 successful on-site visits to Timor Leste, Brunei Darussalam, Tunisia, Greece and Yemen. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Governments of those Member States for their exemplary cooperation before and during the visits.

Thirdly, the Committee and CTED have worked to enhance their ongoing dialogue with Member States, donors and beneficiaries on the facilitation of technical assistance. In this context, the Committee continues to look for opportunities to match current and potential donors with recipients in order to enhance the cooperation between the donor community and recipient States. Since capacity building remains one of the main challenges in our fight against terrorism, the Committee will make an assessment in June on this issue to explore ways of further facilitating the provision of assistance to relevant Member States.

Finally, the Committee has continued to include in its dialogue with Member States discussion of their efforts to implement resolution 1624 (2005). Thus far, a total of 108 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.

The Committee also continues to encourage Member States to become parties to and implement the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments.

In its dialogue with Member States, the Committee has continued to remind them 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,

Now, I would like to give you a few examples of the Committee's cooperative activities with its partners.

First, the Committee through CTED continues to participate actively in the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force with a view to implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. CTED co-chairs the Working Group on Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism (I-ACT) and also participates in the work of the two other Task Force Working Groups, which deal with countering-financing of terrorism and with human rights and counter-terrorism.

Secondly, 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 Counter-Terrorism Committee invites to its thematic discussions the Monitoring Team, the Group of Experts and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the INTERPOL.

Thirdly, in accordance with its work program, the Committee has placed a particular emphasis on maintaining and increasing its dialogue and cooperation with other relevant international and regional organizations. So far, I have visited two regional organizations. During my visit to Addis Ababa, I had a meeting with the officials at the African Union. Later, in Washington D.C., I attended the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism of the Organization of American States. Both visits proved useful in enhancing our dialogue and exploring new areas of cooperation with those regional organizations.

In the past six months, the Committee has also continued the practice of hearing briefings from relevant international and regional organizations and United Nations bodies.

Mr. President,

Before concluding, allow me to just mention the three important events that the Committee is planning to hold in the upcoming period. The first one will be a seminar on "Bringing Terrorists to Justice" to be held in New York. 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. We will make sure that the participants represent different regions, different levels of development and different legal systems. Apart from this seminar, the Committee is also considering to organize two special meetings: one with international, regional and sub-regional organizations and the other one to review the global efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001).

Mr. President,

As I mentioned in the beginning of my statement, we will continue to work in the Committee with vigor and determination. Our emphasis will be on raising awareness and strengthening implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). And we will try to do so in a more strategic and transparent manner, so that we can more effectively contribute to the global counter terrorism efforts within our mandate.

To this end, Mr. Mike Smith and his team in CTED continues to provide valuable assistance to the Committee. I would like to express our sincere appreciation for their excellent work. I also wish to thank the Secretariat for their continuous support.

Last but not least, Mr. President, I would also like to take this opportunity to report, as the Chairman of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004), that a meeting of this Working Group was held in March 2010 after a four year interval. At this meeting, Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, the Head of Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, gave a briefing on assistance to victims of terrorism, which was followed by a general discussion as to both aspects of the Working Group's mandate.

Thank you, Mr. President.