December 2005 Monthly Forecast

Posted 23 November 2005
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THEMATIC ISSUES

Counter-Terrorism Committee Issues

The Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), which has been fully staffed as of 6 September 2005, has not yet been declared “operational” by the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Secretary-General. This is expected in the context of preparation by the CTC and the Secretary-General for the Council’s comprehensive review of the CTED, which is due before 31 December 2005.

Comprehensive Review of CTED
Resolution 1535 of 26 March 2004, which established the CTED for an initial period ending 31 December 2007, required the Security Council to undertake “a comprehensive review” of the CTED’s work by the end of 2005.  Although the CTED has not been formally declared operational, it has begun to carry forward the work entrusted to it pursuant to the organisational plan, which, as stipulated in resolution 1535, is to “enhance the Committee’s ability to monitor the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and effectively continue the capacity-building work in which” the CTC had been engaged with its prior support structure. 

The CTED will be reviewed for its relevance and effectiveness on the basis of its performance of the tasks entrusted to it.  However, in light of the long delay in establishing the organisational structure and making it operational, the comprehensive review will necessarily be limited in scope.

The CTED is expected to have the support of the CTC and the Secretary-General and will be given the opportunity to continue to build on the work already done.  High expectations continue to exist within the broader UN community for the work of the CTED not only in its capability to provide assistance to the CTC in its monitoring functions but also in effectively facilitating assistance to states needing help to build their counterterrorism capacity and effectiveness.

Work Programme
In keeping with their respective and joint mandates, both the CTC and the CTED have set out in detail their respective work programmes for the 90-day period ending 31 December 2005 (S/2005/663), which include  goals to be achieved during the period and new initiatives to enhance the work of the CTC.  The improved resources of the CTED are expected to enhance the work of the CTC in the following areas that will bear watching during the period.

Outreach to Regional Groups
1. Taking advantage of this new capability, the CTC intends to reach out more to regional and sub-regional groups in a number of ways. By recognising the vital importance of regional groups in supporting the CTC in facilitating technical assistance in each region or sub-region, the CTC and its CTED will seek ways to assist regional and sub-regional groups and organisations to build their capacities to develop counterterrorism programmes relevant for each region or sub-region.  This should include facilitating the provision of guidance and assistance to regional and sub-regional groups and organisations in evaluating the special needs of their members to implement the provisions of resolution 1373 and the 13 international antiterrorism instruments.  Such evaluations would form the basis for facilitating and targeting assistance to each state.  In carrying out these activities, the CTC and the CTED should be mindful of the special needs of land-locked states and small islands developing states (SIDS) in their efforts to implement counterterrorism measures.  It will be incumbent on these States to raise these concerns with the CTC and its CTED.

Concerns about Reporting Requirements
The CTC intends to further this outreach by undertaking a review, in collaboration with the 1267 (Al-Qaida/Taliban) and 1540 (terrorism and weapons of mass destruction) committees, of the reporting regime required of states to comply with the requirements of the relevant resolutions (13731267 and 1540).  In addressing the so-called “reporting fatigue” that has drawn complaints from a number of small and disadvantaged states, the CTC should give consideration to the suggestions raised by the Pacific Islands Forum with regard to regional reporting (S/PV.5293 of 26 October 2005). While it is not possible to delegate fully the responsibility of each state in meeting its individual obligations under the UN Charter, it should be possible to facilitate an appropriate level of regional response to the reporting requirements, particularly where region-wide standards comply with international standards and are implemented and monitored by a competent regional authority.  The CTC’s approach in engaging States on their implementation of the provisions of resolution 1624 (2005) with regard to the prohibition of incitement to terrorism should be mindful of starting a new round of reporting and thereby aggravating the so-called reporting fatigue.

Capacity Building
2. The CTC will continue to build upon its efforts to strengthen its dialogue with states in the preparation of technical assessments of needs and in sharing these with potential assistance providers.  This should include not only expanding the involvement of the donor community beyond the members of the G-8’s Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG), but also further and deeper involvement of UN bodies, agencies and programmes that are already engaged in capacity-building assistance and have programmes that are relevant to counterterrorism capacity-building. It should include a dialogue with those that have the capability within their mandates to contribute to these efforts but have so far failed to do so.

Links with International Organisations
3.  The CTC will be able to achieve greater collaboration with the international organisations (IOs) with mandates and capabilities that are relevant to its work.  In addition to collaboration in, and support of, country visits and possible provision of assistance following from such visits, the CTC should provide collation in a matrix of the specific programmes of IOs related to implementation of resolution 1373.  This collation should include programme descriptions, methodologies, eligibility for benefiting in these programmes, and up-to-date contact information for accessing and receiving assistance under these programmes.  Such a matrix containing the relevant programmes of IOs, institutions and regional organisations had been prepared and used in the past to facilitate assistance to a few states, but it was never published in the working languages of the UN and made available to all member states.  Hence its usefulness in facilitating assistance was never maximised.

Human Rights Perspective
4.  The CTC will complete discussion on how a human rights perspective should be appropriately streamlined into the CTC’s policy and work.  Already, in dialogue with states, the CTC reminds them that action taken to suppress and prevent terrorism should comply with standards of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws.  Now with the CTED fully staffed, including with a human rights expert, the CTC is expected to complete discussions and agree on the mandate and functions of the human rights expert before declaring the CTED operational.  In keeping with the practice established by the first Chairman of the CTC, the decision taken in this regard should be published as a document of the Security Council so that UN member states and the wider community will be made aware of what is expected of the CTED with regard to human rights within its mandate and the type of guidance and assistance that might flow from this in the implementation of resolution 1373 and other counterterrorism measures.

Country Visits
5. Despite its original intention to conduct two country visits before year-end, it now appears likely that the CTC/CTED will only visit Algeria, as the Philippines was not ready to accommodate such a visit.
Full forecast