August 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 July 2010
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THEMATIC ISSUES

Counter-Terrorism

Expected Council Action
The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee completed in the last week of July its review of the consolidated list of individuals and entities subject to its sanctions regime. In August the committee’s monitoring team is expected to finalise its report on the outcome of the review of the list. At press time it was unclear whether there would be any related Council or Committee action in August.

Key Recent Developments
On 29 July the chair of the Al-Qaida and Taliban (1267) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, briefed the UN member states on the consolidated list review process.

In early June, the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee, appointed Judge Kimberly Prost of Canada, formerly a judge with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, to serve as the 1267 Committee ombudsperson. She will be assisting the Committee in its consideration of delisting requests received from individuals and entities subject to the 1267 sanctions who seek removal from the Committee’s consolidated list. Under the terms of resolution 1904, the ombudsperson will gather information, engage in dialogue with the petitioner and relevant states and present a report to the Committee with the principal arguments concerning the delisting request.

The just-concluded review of all names of individuals and entities under the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime had been mandated by resolution 1822 of June 2008 and was initially to be completed by the end of June. In December 2009, resolution 1904 requested all states to respond to information requests from the Committee related to the review by 1 March and reiterated the 30 June deadline for the completion of the process. It also requested that within thirty days of the completion of the review, the committee’s monitoring team produce a report on the outcome of the review, as well as the efforts made by the committee, the member states and the team itself. Meeting the 30 June deadline proved difficult, mainly due to the ongoing lateness of responses to questions posed by the committee. In late June the Council agreed to extend the deadline for completing the process until 31 July.

In June, the Government of Afghanistan issued a new and specific call for the removal of several former Taliban officials from the 1267 list, hoping to have the process completed by the time of the 20 July International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul. In a press statement issued on 23 July in the aftermath of the Kabul conference, the Council said, “While confirming the need for a full implementation of the UN Security Council sanctions regime, the members of the Council in this context acknowledged the intention of the Afghan Government to engage with the Council and the international community in an evidence-based and transparent process of delisting from the UN Security Council resolution 1267 sanctions list, in accordance with agreed procedures and common Afghan and international responsibilities.”

On 22 July the committee completed updating its working guidelines to take into account new procedures established by resolution 1904 that are designed to improve due process and to ensure that the Committee addresses delisting requests in a more timely fashion.

On 27 and 30 July, respectively, the Committee removed from the consolidation list eight entities and five individuals (two of them deceased).

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is whether the Committee’s review has had the desired effect of making the consolidated list more accurate, easier to use and effective.

The more complex issue is now moving the Council to consider requests for individual delistings. A related question is whether the information supplied by the Government of Afghanistan in its most recent delisting request is sufficient for committee members to base a decision, as well as whether committee members can come to an agreement on the desirability of delisting the Taliban names included in the Government of Afghanistan’s recent request. Questions include whether an individual’s participation in a peace process constitutes sufficient grounds for removal or whether additional criteria, such as renouncing violence, a pledge to respect the constitution and demonstrated lack of links to terrorism need to apply to each individual.

Another issue is maintaining the momentum in addressing due process and human rights concerns that was gained December 2009 with the passage of resolution 1904. In this context a key factor will be how quickly and effectively the ombudsperson will be able to begin functioning and assisting the Committee in its decisions.

Options
One option for the Council in August is to receive a briefing from the Committee chairman, Ambassador Mayr-Harting, on the completion of the process.

Another option is to mark the end of the review with a press statement.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Members of the Council have expressed satisfaction with the appointment of Prost as the ombudsperson. In a 15 July statement, the US said the appointment was an important step to improve the transparency of the 1267 sanctions regime and to make it a stronger and more effective counter-terrorism tool.

Several states not on the Council are following closely the work of the newly appointed ombudsperson to ascertain whether the position is having the desired effect of improving the human rights aspects of the process and whether it helps dealing with delisting requests in a timely fashion.

Regarding the issue of delisting former Taliban officials, there have been some differences among Council members. The US in particular had hoped to expedite the process prior to the July Kabul Conference. Several members, however, have insisted that the Committee must take cautious evidentiary steps before reaching any decisions. Russia in particular has raised concerns about delisting ex-Taliban members who have been involved in terrorist acts.

UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1904 (17 December 2009) renewed the mandate of the 1267 Committee Monitoring Team for 18 months, included significant changes to the administration of the 1267 regime and mandated the creation of an Office of the Ombudsperson for an initial period of 18 months.
  • S/RES/1822 (30 June 2008) mandated the review of the 1267 Committee consolidated list by 30 June 2010.
  • S/RES/1267 (15 October 1999) established the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee and its mandate.

Selected Council Press Statements

  • SC/9992 (23 July 2010) was the press statement on the Kabul conference in which the Council acknowledged the Afghan government’s intention to engage with the Council in evidence-based and transparent delisting process from the 1267 sanctions list.
  • SC/9947 (7 June 2010) was the press release welcoming the appointment of the 1267 Committee ombudsperson.

Selected Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6310 (11 May 2010) was the last joint briefing by the chairs of the 1267, 1540 and Counter Terrorism Committees.

Other

  • SC/9993 (26 July 2010) was the press release announcing the adoption of the revised guidelines for the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee.
  • 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).


Other Relevant Facts

1267 Committee Chair

Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

1267 Ombudsperson

Kimberly Prost (Canada)

Useful Additional Source

The 1267 Committee website: http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/index.shtml

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