November 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 October 2010
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Counter-Terrorism

Expected Council Action
The chairs of the three counterterrorism committees—the 1267 Committee, the CTC and the 1540 Committee—are due to brief the Council in November. (They usually provide a joint briefing of the Council twice each year.) No formal outcome is anticipated, but an open debate is expected to follow the briefing.

Key Recent Developments
1267 Committee (Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions)
The review of the list of individuals and entities subject to sanctions, which was mandated by resolution 1822 (2008), was concluded at the end of July. The committee’s monitoring team has produced a report on the outcome of the review noting that 488 names had been reviewed, with the committee finding that the listing remained appropriate for 380. Of the remaining 108 names, 45 had been removed from the list, including eight of deceased individuals. (Thirty-five of the names had been associated with Al-Qaida and ten with the Taliban.)

The committee delayed a final decision on the remaining 63 names pending further information. Under resolution 1904, delisting requests are to be decided within six months unless extraordinary circumstances require additional time, and this should apply to the 63 delisting requests still under consideration by the committee. Also, resolution 1904 urged the committee to resolve by 31 December 2010 all issues pending at the time of its adoption, including fifteen delisting requests.

The monitoring team made a number of recommendations with regard to the ongoing review processes mandated in resolution 1904, including that the committee take a flexible approach when deciding what documentation to accept as confirmation of an individual’s death. The committee is currently considering the report. (In the past, the committee has transmitted its position to the Council on recommendations contained in reports of the monitoring team, and this seems likely to happen with regard to the most recent report.)

Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC, or the 1373 Committee)
The stocktaking exercise, which is meant to assess progress by member states in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373, continues. The committee has also continued to facilitate technical assistance, conduct visits to member states and maintain dialogue and cooperation with regional organisations. In this context, CTC is organising a seminar for prosecutors expected to take place in December.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) has continued to be involved with a series of technical briefings for the committee and the broader UN membership, which have been part of the focus of the committee in the current year. However members are conscious that resolution 1805 (2008), which extended the mandate of CTED, expires on 31 December 2010. Discussion of mandate renewal will therefore be a feature in December. CTED has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of its work to aid the committee in advising the Council whether and under what terms the CTED mandate should be renewed. The committee is now considering this and plans to submit a report to the Council.

1540 Committee (weapons of mass destruction and terrorism)
Work on a report on compliance with the 1540 regime is due to be presented to the Council before the committee mandate expires on 25 April 2011. The committee appears to have carried on its practice of holding more frequent monthly meetings throughout the year. The committee has also undertaken outreach activities, including seminars meant to facilitate regional experience- sharing, as recommended in its January comprehensive review. Work among the committee’s four working groups (on assistance, cooperation, outreach and implementation) has also continued, though the groups meet less frequently.

Key Issues
There are no issues for the Council to decide in November. However, given the upcoming discussion in December of renewal of CTED, some Council members and others may use the debate to send signals of their concerns and whether and how the mandate might be altered. Another issue which may be highlighted especially with regard to the 1267 Committee is the extent of progress made in addressing due process and human rights concerns.

Options
Possible options include:

  • approving a press statement encouraging the committees to enhance their ongoing cooperation and reiterating its past request that arrangements be made as soon as possible for the co-location of the committees’ expert groups, as expressed in the Council’s 27 September presidential statement on terrorism; or
  • refraining from action at this time.

Council and Wider Dynamics
The biannual joint briefings are seen by some non-Council members as an opportunity to offer feedback on the work of the committees. However, some Council members view them as somewhat too formulaic. The UK, as president of the Council in November, seems to be hoping for the chairs to give some reflection on their experiences and perhaps advice with regard to the future of the committees. (Such a focus for this joint briefing may be particularly apt, considering that all three chairs will leave the Council at the end of December.) Some other members also want a more lively and forward-looking discussion. However, others believe the chairpersons should limit themselves in their remarks to texts previously agreed by consensus at committee level.

Despite the recent 27 September presidential statement which encouraged the CTC and CTED to continue their work, in close cooperation with the General Assembly Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, some Council members are cautious about the manner in which to proceed, and how quickly to do so. The status of the CTC as a subsidiary body of the Council rather than the General Assembly seems to be the driving factor.

With regard to the 1267 Committee, some members are concerned that even with the committee’s ombudsperson in place and with improved due process provisions included in resolution 1904, additional legal challenges to the regime are possible. Some members have noted the 25 October briefing to the 1267 Committee by Martin Scheinin, the Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism, and Scheinin’s recent report to the General Assembly presented on 26 October which concluded that resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1624 do not have a proper legal basis under Chapter 7 of the Charter, and recommended that they be replaced by a single resolution that is not adopted under Chapter 7. (At time of writing Scheinin was also expected to brief the CTC in late October.)

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 of an Office of the Ombudsperson, which is intended to serve as a point of contact for individuals and entities requesting that they be delisted.
  • S/RES/1822 (30 June 2008) directed the 1267 Committee to conduct a review of its consolidated list.
  • 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/1624 (14 September 2005) called on states to adopt measures to prohibit the incitement 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 Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2010/19 (27 September 2010) was a presidential statement adopted following a thematic meeting on terrorism.

Selected Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6310 (11 May 2010) was the latest briefing by the chairs of the 1267, 1540 and CTC Committees.

Selected Letters

  • S/2010/497 (28 September 2010) transmitted the report of the 1267 Committee’s monitoring team on the outcome of the review of the consolidated list.
  • S/2010/366 (12 July 2010) transmitted the committee’s current work programme for July to December 2010.
  • S/2010/125 (5 March 2010) transmitted 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/2010/52 (29 January 2010) transmitted the 1540 Committee’s final document on its comprehensive review.

Other

  • A/65/258 (6 August 2010) was a report by the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.

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
James Cockayne, Alistair Millar, and Jason Ipe, An Opportunity for Renewal: Revitalizing the United Nations Counterterrorism Program, an Independent Strategic Assessment, Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, September 2010.

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