Sommaire: July 20, 2005: EU Presidency Statement at the Security Council Open Meeting on Terrorism, by H.E. Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union (New York)
I have the honour also to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this
I would like to thank the three Committee Chairmen for their briefings.
Each time the Council meets to hear the briefings of these Committees, we say that the scourge of terrorism is still with us. It is not a platitude, it is a grim reality. Recent events in the United Kingdom, Turkey and across the Middle East are a tragic reminder of the ongoing security challenges being faced across the world. This is an issue that affects us all. Our condemnation of these attacks has been unequivocal, and our message has been clear: terrorists who seek to use violence to impose their views will not succeed. Recent events must only serve to strengthen our resolve and intensify our counter-terrorism efforts. Substantial progress has been made on the counter-terrorism agenda over recent years. But we cannot let up. We must now redouble our efforts to take further steps towards our common goal.
The UN's role in this process is vital. We warmly welcome the Security Council's ongoing efforts to move forward on its counter-terrorism agenda, and the EU will continue to support the UN in its efforts. In the context of the upcoming Summit in September, the EU attaches importance to strong language in the outcome document condemning terrorism. There are no circumstances under which the deliberate attacks on civilians that we have seen terrorists commit can be justified. For its part, the EU is looking actively at its own counter-terrorism framework to establish if and where additional measures are necessary. We intend to complete this review by December 2005, and remain fully committed to the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Combating Terrorism.
Turning to the work of the three Committees that have briefed this afternoon, the EU would like to recognise the commitment and contribution of the three Chairs of the Committees.
We appreciate the visits Ambassador Mayoral has undertaken in his capacity as Chair of the 1267/Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee. EU officials were particularly pleased to meet with the Ambassador and his delegation during their recent visit to Brussels and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the sanctions regime with them.
The EU maintains an active interest in the work of the 1267 Committee. This was demonstrated most recently by when members of the EU - the Netherlands and the UK - volunteered to meet with the Committee to discuss their respective implementation of the measures. The EU Anti-Terrorism Co-ordinator Mr Gijs de Vries also briefed the 1267 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee on the EU's counter-terrorism work.
The EU would also like to commend the work of the 1267 Committee's Monitoring Team. Their travels on behalf of the Committee are extremely helpful to Member States in terms of outreach and in establishing how the sanctions are being implemented. We hope to receive their third report imminently and look forward to the Team's mandate being extended in the forthcoming new resolution.
In the context of that Resolution, the EU would like to emphasize its and other States' well-known position on the importance of respect for human rights in all counter-terrorism policies. A greater degree of transparency would be welcome, as would the provision of clearer guidance on listing, delisting and humanitarian exemptions. The EU believes that these measures would serve to increase the level of pro-active co-operation and contributions from Member States.
The EU remains fully committed to the obligations set out under UNSCR 1373, and continues to work to ensure that they are fully implemented.
The EU has been, and continues to be, actively engaged with the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee. The EU was particularly pleased to be able to participate in the recent visits of the CTC's Executive Directorate to Albania, Kenya and Morocco, and looks forward to building on this co-operation.
The EU welcomes the steps that have been taken to establish the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate at full strength. The arrival of further experts is a positive step. The EU welcomes the work that the Executive Directorate is already doing, and looks forward to seeing it fully operational as soon as possible.
The EU is also pleased to hear of the progress made by the 1540 Committee in its consideration of national reports from Member States. The arrival of additional experts to work with the Committee is welcome news, and we hope that this will allow the Committee to make further progress. We are pleased to see from the work programme that all of the first national reports from countries will be examined in the period of the work programme. While we are pleased to note that so many Member States have now submitted their first reports to the 1540 Committee, we urge remaining States to do likewise.
The issue of reporting is relevant to all three Committees. The EU attaches importance to full and timely reporting. Failure to supply reporting will only serve to undermine the Committees' efforts both to monitor implementation of the resolutions and to have the information that enables them to facilitate technical assistance.
The EU will play a full role in the area of technical assistance in the context of all three committees. The EU will reinforce its work with priority third countries, through increasing individual collective commitments to technical assistance and capacity building to support them, including in the area of countering radicalisation and terrorist financing.
The EU welcomes the ongoing co-operation between the three Committees and their experts, and hopes to see this continue. Co-ordination of their work is key to ensuring a coherent, effective Council output. Areas for co-operation appear to include information sharing, visits and technical assistance.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate the EU's full support for the Secretary General's proposals for establishing a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy for the UN. In this context, the EU welcomes the decision by the Commission on Human Rights to appoint a Special Rapporteur to provide guidance and advice to States on ensuring Counter-Terrorism efforts are in line with international human rights law, and hopes that decision will be ratified by ECOSOC in coming days.
The EU welcomes the agreement reached at the UN General Assembly on 13 April 2005 on the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and calls on all members of the United Nations to sign that Convention during the Summit in September. The EU attaches great importance to the early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and will work to the goal of its adoption in the 60th session of the General Assembly.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.