November 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 2 November 2009
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Counter-Terrorism Related Subsidiary Bodies of the Council

Expected Council Action
The chairs of the Council’s three counterterrorism committees, the 1267 Committee (Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions), the 1373 Committee (Counter-Terrorism Committee, or CTC) and the 1540 Committee (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction) are expected to brief the Council in November. They brief jointly twice each year. No formal outcome is expected but an open debate is expected.

Key Recent Developments
Since the last joint briefing of the Committees in May, the 1267 Committee has focused on reviewing names on its Consolidated List. As part of the review process, batches of names are sent by the Committee to designating states and states of nationality and/or residency to confirm that listings are accurate and remain appropriate. After responses are received, names are put on the Committee’s agenda for discussion. So far, four out of five batches of names have been sent out by the Committee and the review of 422 names has been initiated. Of the 68 names put on the Committee’s agenda to date, fifty have been confirmed to remain appropriate, eight have been delisted and ten are pending.

The CTC has continued its stocktaking exercise involving Preliminary Implementation Assessments. These are designed to assess progress by member states in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee has also continued to facilitate technical assistance and to conduct visits to member states.

A primary focus of the 1540 Committee has been the comprehensive review which it is undertaking of its mandated activities. From 30 September to 2 October the Committee held a meeting open to UN member states at large. International, regional and subregional organisations and other entities were also invited to attend. Pertinent background papers, statements made during the open meeting, and discussions with nongovernmental organisations continue to be incorporated into the review.

Key Issues
Maintaining support for its counterterrorism resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 remains a key issue for the Council. In this regard a lack of timely reporting by countries (some being late in reporting or failing to respond to Committee requests) is a continuing problem. The reporting issue is especially problematic for the 1267 Committee and the CTC, as many Committee activities hinge on information supplied by states.

The issue of merging the three committees into a single counter-terrorism entity seems to have receded. However, the need for better cooperation and coordination between the committees continues to be of concern.

The issue of the 1267 Consolidated List and related concerns about listing and delisting also seem to have receded a little in light of some improvements to the regime. However, due process concerns have continued to be voiced by some member states as well as human rights groups. Identifying a long-term solution that addresses these concerns, while providing robust implementation of the resolution, is an outstanding question.

Options
Possible options include:

  • providing more frequent informal briefings to member states to improve understanding of the committees, maintain support for their respective resolutions and improve compliance with reporting requirements;
  • continuing to explore alternatives to a single counter-terrorism entity, such as co-locating the Committees’ expert groups to improve communication and efficiency;
  • ensuring improved communication occurs between expert groups before country visits to increase efficiency and simplify interaction with member states; and
  • using the upcoming renewal of the 1267 Committee Monitoring Team mandate as an opportunity to debate possible options to further diminish due process concerns.

Council and Wider Dynamics
The biannual joint briefings provide member states and the Council with a valuable opportunity to gauge progress, and to consider the working methods of the Committees and their expert groups. When the briefings are followed by an open debate, as in the upcoming event, there is also an opportunity for member states to address counter-terrorism policy issues more generally. Interest in the joint briefings held during the past several years has been significant, with as many as 14 member states not on the Council participating and making statements.

Inevitably there will be further calls to address some of the legal and human rights concerns surrounding the implementation of resolution 1267, such as the process for listing and delisting names. Some members are looking to the Council to improve the regime so that regional organisations and states will have better assurance of the legal status of the lists when these are challenged in domestic courts. In general, however, it seems that many Council members feel that the new process for reviewing the Consolidated List now works much better, particularly once the Committee has received responses from contacted countries. However, it is apparent that the process is substantially hampered when member states choose not to respond to the Committee in a timely manner.

There appears to be general support among most Council members for the work done by the CTC and its Executive Directorate (CTED). There is some uncertainty on when the work programme for 2010 will be produced, as Croatia—which chairs the CTC—rotates off the Council at the end of 2009. It is expected that Turkey will succeed Croatia as chair. Members expect the November briefing will include an update on the status of the Committee’s stocktaking exercise, the results of recent joint country visits and workshops, cooperative measures taken with the other Committees and organisations, and the need for member states to improve cooperation with the Committees.

Council members are happy that the 1540 Committee’s 30 September to 2 October open meeting was well-received. Some discussion of what was achieved at the meeting seems likely.

Council members expect the briefing will touch upon coordination among the committees. The establishment of ongoing informal meetings of the Committee chairs has apparently resulted in some improvement in communication. However, some members believe that further progress is needed. There is some support for the co-location of the expert groups but a decision to call for this does not seem particularly likely. On the other hand it does not appear to be highly contentious, and would have the practical benefit of physically facilitating communication between the groups without altering their structure or that of their parent committees.

Selected UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1822 (30 June 2008) extended the mandate of the 1267 Monitoring Team until 31 December 2009.
  • S/RES/1810 (25 April 2008) extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee and expert body until 25 April 2011.
  • S/RES/1805 (20 March 2008) extended the CTED mandate until 31 December 2010.
  • S/RES/1540 (28 April 2004) established the 1540 Committee and its mandate.
  • S/RES/1373 (28 September 2001) established the CTC and its mandate.
  • S/RES/1267 (15 October 1999) established the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee and its mandate.

Selected Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6128 and resumption 1 (26 May 2009) was the last briefing by the chairs of the 1267, 1540 and CTC Committees.

Other

  • S/2009/502 (28 September 2009) was the letter to the Council transmitting the tenth report of the 1267 Monitoring Team.
  • S/2009/389 (27 July 2009) was a letter from the CTC to the Council transmitting the Committee’s current work programme for July to December 2009.
  • S/2009/289 (4 June 2009) was a report of the CTC to the Council regarding the interim review of the work of CTED.
  • SC/9612 (12 March 2009) was a press release regarding the 1267 Committee conducting a review of entries and posting narrative summaries on their website.

Other Relevant Facts

Committee Chairs

  • Ambassador Ranko Vilović (Croatia): CTC
  • Ambassador Jorge Urbina (Costa Rica): 1540 Committee
  • Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria): 1267 Committee

Useful Additional Sources

  • Global Terrorism, International Peace Institute, IPI Blue Paper No. 4, Task Forces on Strengthening Multilateral Security Capacity, New York, 21 August 2009

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