Sumario: 11 May 2010, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by Pedro Serrano, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the implementation of resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540
I wish first of all to thank you for inviting the European Union to participate in this debate on a topic that remains high on its agenda.
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.
I also wish to thank the chairs of the Committees established under resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 for their timely and informative briefings and to commend them for their excellent work. The EU attaches great importance to these regular briefings.
The attempted attack on an airplane flying to the United States last December and the failed attempt to detonate a vehicle in New York two weeks ago are only the latest reminders of the fact that international terrorism continues to be one of the most serious threats of our time.
The European Union will continue to support firm multilateral action against terrorism and is committed to implementing and improving the multilateral counter-terrorism framework. The effectiveness of our measures however builds on their credibility and perceived legitimacy and procedures need to be fair and clear.
In this regard, the Al Qaida and the Taliban sanctions regime continues to play a crucial role but needs to be constantly improved in order to adequately tackle the changing threats. The adoption of Security Council Resolution 1904, at the end of 2009, constitutes a significant step forward in the continued efforts of the Security Council to ensure that fair and clear procedures exist for listing and de-listing in order to uphold efficiency and legitimacy of the sanctions regime. We welcome in particular the continued focus on greater transparency by providing the publicly available narrative summaries of reasons for listing. We also welcome the establishment of the Office of an eminent, independent and impartial Ombudsperson for delisting and we hope that the appointment of an Ombudsperson fulfilling the criteria set out in resolution 1904 can be made soon. The EU stands ready to offer its full support to that office.
Given the constantly changing threat, the Consolidated List needs to be as accurate as possible. Therefore, a dynamic process for listing and de-listing as well as for reviewing entries on the List is indispensable. We therefore commend the Committee's efforts to review all entries on the list by the end of June and welcome the provisions for periodic reviews introduced in Resolution 1904. We are pleased that this process provides a qualitative review of all entries. This is particularly important to ensure the credibility of the list. As you know, EU Member States have been actively supporting this process.
Regarding the new operative provisions of resolution 1904, we also welcome that the measures on countering terrorist financing now expressly cover the payment of ransoms to individuals and entities on the list.
In the past year, the EU has revised its procedures for the implementation of sanctions under Security Council Resolution 1267, in response to pertinent rulings by the European Court of Justice. These changes in the EU's regulations and working methods provide in particular for fairer and clearer procedures through which respect for the fundamental rights of a person affected by targeted measures is ensured. However, it will require reinforced collaboration between the EU and the UN - primarily with the Al Qaida and the Taliban Sanctions Committee. The provisions of resolution 1904 facilitating the cooperation of the UN with international organisations such as the EU will be greatly beneficial in this regard. We welcome the existing good cooperation with the 1267 Committee and we hope to continue to build on it for the future.
The EU remains committed to further enhancing the transparency and fairness of the UN procedures. We believe that ensuring procedural guarantees for the individuals and entities designated by the Al Qaida and the Taliban Sanctions Committee will strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions, and contribute to their credibility, and trust that further changes to the UN procedures will be considered where necessary.
In relation to the implementation of resolution 1373, the European Union would like to commend once again the excellent work carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate (CTED) to monitor compliance with Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) and to facilitate technical assistance to countries requesting it. In this context we would also like to commend the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. The European Union welcomes procedural simplifications in the Committee's work as well as the enhanced cooperation between the CTC and relevant bodies in the UN system, and other international organisations, for example the Council of Europe, especially on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of the fight against terrorism. We encourage deeper integration of human rights in the CTC's and CTED's work with Member States.
We appreciate the discussions in the CTC over recent months in areas such as mutual legal assistance and effective judicial cooperation. At the same time, we would like to highlight the efforts of the CTED to facilitate the provision of technical assistance and its intention to undertake a permanent dialogue between donor States and recipients with a view to achieving greater efficiency. This will be an important element to have fully reflected when the mandate of the CTED will be renewed later this year. I would also like to commend the interesting and informative meetings with the wider UN membership that the CTC and the CTED have organised since the last open debate in the Security Council on this subject. In this context, the EU would also like to encourage mainstreaming questions related to counter terrorism and sanctions throughout the United Nations system, including, but not limited to, human rights, mediation support and peacekeeping operations.
Today, new threats to international peace and security are linked to the proliferation and trafficking of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of non-State actors. That is why the European Union would like to express its full support for the work of the Committee established by Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and its efforts to create monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of the resolution and to work towards its universal implementation.
UNSC resolution 1540 gives a strong legal basis to the EU's diplomatic and financial efforts to tackle proliferation by explicitly addressing illicit trafficking and procurement networks, and in particular, the involvement of non-state actors, including terrorists, in the proliferation of WMD technology, as set out in the EU strategy against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of 2003. This Strategy was complemented in 2008 by the EU New Lines for Action, adopted by our Council of Ministers, which focus on very concrete action-oriented projects to be undertaken by the end of 2010.
Full compliance with this resolution is not an easy task. The EU has been active in contributing to the implementation of UNSCR 1540 both internally, inter alia through regular updates of its regulation on export controls on dual-use goods, and externally, by promoting the implementation of UNSCR 1540 in third countries. Beyond export control, the EU foresees around €300m being spent on CBRN cooperation with third countries in the period 2007-2013. Our objective is to develop a strong regional approach, in line with 1540 requirements, through the creation of regional CBRN centres of excellence in partnership with key regions such as the Middle East, South East Asia and parts of Africa.
Despite these efforts, we are aware that a number of issues still need to be addressed as regards the universal implementation of Resolution 1540. This demonstrates the need for a long-term approach to confront the challenges of proliferation through the cooperation between the Committee and Member States as well as among Member States themselves. Let us not forget that UNSCR 1540, which was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, is legally binding on all UN Members.
In this context we welcome the adoption of UNSCR 1810 and the comprehensive review process which took place last year. We fully support the clearing-house role of the 1540 Committee in matching assistance requests and offers.
In closing, Mr. President,
I wish to commend once again the crucial and complex work of these three specialized Security Council committees to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms. The European Union hopes that the three committees will continue their important work in order to effectively tackle terrorist threats. At the same time, however, this work must be carried out with the strictest respect for international and human rights law, the fundamental basis of all counter-terrorism efforts.
Thank you, Mr. President.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.