May 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 April 2010
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Counter-Terrorism

Expected Council Action
The chairs of the three counter-terrorism-related committees (the 1267 Committee, the CTC and the 1540 Committee) are due to brief the Council in May. The briefing will likely be followed by an open debate. The chairs of the three committees brief the Council jointly twice each year. The last briefing was in November 2009. No Council decision is expected.

Key Recent Developments
The 1267 Committee (Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions) has been reviewing the consolidated list of individuals and entities subject to the sanctions measures of the regime. Resolution 1904, which was unanimously adopted on 17 December 2009, requested that all states respond to information requests from the Committee related to the review by 1 March and directed the review to be completed by 30 June. The Committee appears to be striving to adhere to this deadline. However, late and incomplete reporting by states has continued to affect the speed with which it has been able to continue the review process. By mid-April, 136 out of 488 entries on the list had been reviewed. Of those 136 entries, 89 had been confirmed and 19 delisted (including five members of the Taliban removed from the list in January and two deceased persons) with the remainder pending. The Committee has also been updating its working guidelines to take into account new procedures established by resolution 1904 which are designed to improve due process and to ensure that delisting requests are addressed by the Committee in a more timely fashion. Notably, the resolution included the creation of an ombudsperson. The ombudsperson will serve as a point of contact for individuals and entities requesting that they be delisted, compile information on individual delisting requests from various sources including Committee members and the individual or entity involved, and facilitate engagement and possible dialogue with the petitioner. The ombudsperson is yet to be appointed by the Secretary-General. The appointment process appears to have gained momentum over the last several weeks, and a number of candidates have been identified by the Secretariat which is required under resolution 1904 to proceed in close consultation with Council members.

The Council Working Group established by resolution 1566 to consider measures against terrorists not covered by resolution 1267 met on 24 March for the first time in four years. This development is not expected to feature in the joint briefing. (It seems that the group remains reluctant to pursue the creation of a new terrorism list or a fund for victims.) There are currently no plans for the Working Group to meet again.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC, or the 1373 Committee) is conducting a continuing stocktaking exercise, which is meant to assess progress by member states in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373. The committee also continues to facilitate technical assistance, conduct visits to member states and maintain or increase dialogue and cooperation with international and regional organisations. The CTC streamlined some of its working methods in January to reduce the time spent on preparations for country visits and the adoption of preliminary implementation assessments which provide a review of member states’ implementation of resolution 1373. Part of the focus of these changes to the Committee’s working methods has been to improve the value of its thematic discussions by following them up with informal briefings to member states. (An informal briefing on international legal cooperation took place on 17 February, and another, on maritime security, on 8 April.) These formats are meant to enhance the transparency of the Committee’s work. The Committee also plans to host a seminar in July on the prosecution of individuals who carry out acts of terrorism.

The 1540 Committee (weapons of mass destruction and terrorism) submitted its comprehensive review to the Council on 29 January. It is now begun preparing a report on compliance with the 1540 regime that is due to be presented to the Council by 24 April 2011. It has identified five areas to concentrate on:

  • moving forward with recommendations made in the comprehensive review;
  • continuing examination of the implementation of the 1540 regime;
  • outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation to promote implementation of the 1540 regime;
  • enhancing cooperation among the counter-terrorism committees and between other international organisations; and
  • encouraging voluntary financial contributions and making more effective use of existing funding mechanisms to assist states in addressing implementation needs.

Key Issues
Timely reporting by states of information required by the Committees to carry out their work continues to be a key issue.

Cooperation and coordination between the Committees is also an ongoing issue.

With regard to the 1267 Committee, maintaining momentum gained last December in addressing due process and human-rights concerns, with the passage of resolution 1904, remains a key issue, especially concerning the timely appointment of an individual to the ombudsperson position.

Options
Possible options include:

  • a press statement indicating that the Council welcomes the evolving practice of the Committees, as evidenced by the informal briefings organised by the CTC, to adjust the working methods to include wider participation by all UN member states and has encouraged the Committees to continue providing more frequent informal briefings to member states to improve understanding of their work; and
  • a letter to the Secretary-General requesting co-location of the work space of the expert groups in order to improve communication.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Most Council members continue to support the joint briefings, which are often followed by an open debate. A significant number of states have requested to participate in the debate following past joint briefings, and it appears likely that this interest will continue. Several states not on the Council seem likely to emphasise the need to follow through quickly on the appointment of the 1267 Committee ombudsperson.

Council members continue to view the work done by the CTC and its Executive Directorate (CTED) as needed and valuable. Turkey, as chair of CTC, is taking an active role in seeking to improve the transparency of the Committee. Mexico, chair of the 1540 Committee, is likewise taking a proactive role in establishing regular and frequent meetings of that Committee. Some members continue to advocate the possible establishment of a voluntary UN fund to facilitate the 1540 Committee’s assistance activities.

Most Council members remain sensitive to the need for good coordination between all three Committees, but there is still no consensus on possible practical options for achieving this.

UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1904 (17 December 2009) renewed the mandate of the 1267 Committee Monitoring Team for 18 months. The resolution also included significant changes to the administration of the 1267 regime, including the creation for an initial period of 18 months an ombudsperson, intended to serve as a point of contact for individuals and entities requesting that they be delisted.
  • 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/1566 (8 October 2004) established a working group to consider measures against non-Al-Qaida and Taliban entities involved in terrorist activities and the establishment of a fund for victims of terrorism.
  • 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.6217 and Resumption 1 (13 November 2009) was the last briefing by the chairs of the 1267, 1540 and CTC Committees.

Other

  • S/2010/125 (5 March 2010) was the letter to the Council transmitting the 1267 Committee’s position on the recommendations contained in the tenth report of its Monitoring Team (S/2009/502).
  • S/2010/112 (26 February 2010) transmitted the 1540 Committee’s programme of work for 1 February 2010 to 31 January 2011.
  • S/2010/89 (17 February 2010) was a letter from CTC to the Council transmitting the Committee’s current work programme for January to June 2010.
  • S/2010/52 (29 January 2010) was the 1540 Committee’s final document on its comprehensive review.

Other Relevant Facts

Committee Chairs

  • Ambassador Ertu─črul Apakan (Turkey): CTC
  • Ambassador Claude Heller (Mexico): 1540 Committee
  • Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria): 1267 Committee

Useful Additional Source

The 1540 Hub (http://1540.collaborationtools.org) was created by the Stanley Foundation and the Stimson Center as an online clearinghouse for 1540-related resources.
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