Briefing by H.E. Mr. Ertuğrul Apakan, Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, to the Member States of the United Nations

Ertuğrul Apakan 08.04.2010
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear colleagues,

In my capacity as the Chairman of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, I would like to welcome you all at the first briefing of this year on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Following this briefing, you will also hear a presentation by Committee's Executive Directorate on "maritime security/terrorist acts committed at sea". The UNODC representatives will contribute to this presentation.

I am pleased to have with me Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, who will join me in this briefing and will provide you with further detailed information on recent activities of CTED. I would also like to thank Ms. Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, Chief of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC, for her participation in our briefing today.

As indicated in the Committee's work program for the first half of this year, the Committee decided to develop a more strategic and transparent approach to its work. We are also seeking to raise the visibility of its work within the wider United Nations and counter-terrorism community. For, we believe that CTC can and should play a more effective role in countering terrorism, which continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security.

In accordance with this understanding, the Committee streamlined in January some of its working methods in order to allow more time for substantive and analytical work in the Committee. Accordingly, the procedures for the adoption of preliminary implementation assessments (PIAs) and preparations for country visits have been significantly amended in a way that reduced the time spent in the Committee on these issues, while maintaining PIAs as one of the main instruments available to the Committee for effectively monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373. For more detailed information on the new procedures, I would refer you to the Committee's web-site.

Distinguished colleagues,

Another specific area which we are trying to improve and make better use of is the thematic discussions held in the Committee on counter-terrorism issues mentioned in resolutions 1373 and 1624. We feel that such discussions are highly useful in helping us understand certain issues in greater depth. This is why we are committed to make them more result oriented and to follow them on with concrete steps.

Let me give just one example of this approach. As you would recall, following a discussion in the Committee, CTED gave the first thematic briefing to the wider UN membership in February on international legal cooperation. This briefing set the stage for a lively exchange and many useful views were expressed. Now, based also on this debate, the Committee is working on a policy guidance on this specific issue.

With a view to better coordinate the counter-terrorism endeavors within the UN, the Committee will continue to invite all relevant UN bodies to participate in these thematic discussions. In this regard, the 1267 Committee Monitoring Team, the 1540 Committee Group of Experts, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the INTERPOL merit particular attention, as we have shared interests and concerns.

Apart from the thematic discussions, the Committee also decided to hold regional discussions, where the specific challenges of some regions, as mentioned in the Global Survey, will be taken up in detail.

Furthermore, I am pleased to inform you that the Committee decided to make public the technical guide on the implementation of resolution 1373. As you may know, this technical guide is aimed at revising and harmonizing criteria for technical judgments of elements of this resolution. Now, you can find this guide on the Committee's web-site.

Taking this opportunity, let me also mention that we are working on how to further improve our web-site and hope to make it even more helpful and user-friendly in the near future.

On another important area, the Committee places a special emphasis on maintaining and increasing its dialogue and cooperation with other relevant international and regional organizations. In line with this understanding, I have already visited two regional organizations in the course of the last three months. 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. It is our intention to continue such contacts.

Finally, allow me to mention three important events 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 mid-July in New York. This seminar will bring together a select group of national counter-terrorism prosecutors who have handled 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.

-The second event is a special meeting with international, regional and sub-regional organizations. The last such meeting was held in 2007 in Kenya. Currently, the preparations are going on regarding the place, timing and format of this meeting.

-The third is the special meeting in New York to review the global efforts to implement resolution 1373. We believe that this meeting is particularly important to take stock after almost one decade of the adoption of the resolution.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During this short briefing, I tried to touch upon just the main points of the work of the Committee. Of course, all other activities within the mandate of the Committee are going on as usual, such as;

-Country visits,

-Workshops,

-Meetings at the sub-committee level with representatives of Member States,

-Meetings at the Committee level with representatives of regional organizations,

-Committee's contributions to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and so on.

Before concluding, let me express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Smith and his team in CTED. In the last three months, I personally witnessed the excellent and efficient work that, under the leadership of Mr. Smith, all our colleagues at CTED are doing.

Thank you.