Expected Council Action
In November, the chairs of the counter-terrorism-related committees—the 1267/1989 Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), and the 1540 Committee—are expected to brief the Council. No Council outcome is anticipated.
Key Recent Developments
On 17 June, the Council adopted resolutions 1988 and 1989, which split the sanctions regime established under resolution 1267 into two separate regimes covering the Afghanistan Taliban (resolution 1988) and Al-Qaida (resolution 1989).
Under resolution 1989, the former 1267 Committee, now called the 1267/1989 Committee, will focus exclusively on Al-Qaida. Additionally, through the resolution, the Ombudsperson (whose mandate was created in 2009 through resolution 1904) is now empowered to make delisting recommendations to the Committee.
Resolution 1989 also mandates that within 60 days of a delisting request by a member state or by the Ombudsperson, delisting occurs unless the Committee decides otherwise by consensus. If there is an absence of consensus, a Committee member may request the chair to refer the issue to the Security Council proper. In such cases, the person or entity would be delisted unless the Council decides otherwise within a further 60 days.
- noted the relationship between terrorism and other transnational threats, including money laundering, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, organised crime, and the illegal movement of weapons of mass destruction;
- expressed concern with the use of new technologies, including the internet, by terrorists to conduct their activities; and
- emphasised the role of international and regional organisations in developing a stronger understanding of the dangers posed by terrorism and in facilitating cooperation internationally with respect to counter-terrorism.
Also in September, the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) assessed global counter-terrorism efforts with respect to implementation of resolution 1373 through a Global Implementation Survey. The survey pointed to ongoing counter-terrorism challenges, including the ability of terrorists to exploit porous borders, and the use of the internet to raise funds and gain recruits. The report also highlighted development activities, education, human rights and social integration as key elements in terrorism prevention.
On 20 April, the Council adopted resolution 1977, extending the mandate of the 1540 Committee for an additional ten years. On 17 June, in accordance with the resolution, the 1540 chair submitted the work plan for the Committee for 1 June 2011 to 31 May 2012, highlighting five priority areas:
- monitoring and national implementation;
- assistance (to member states);
- cooperation with other Council counter-terrorism committees and with international organisations;
- media outreach and transparency; and
- resources and administration.
The Committee was mandated by resolution 1810 (2008) to produce a report on compliance with resolution 1540 by April 2011. This report has not been published as of this writing.
A key issue is whether splitting the 1267 sanctions regime into two separate regimes covering the Afghanistan Taliban and Al-Qaida will facilitate the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Another key issue is what impact civil society may have on the work of the CTC and CTED, especially considering differing perspectives on this issue among Council members.
Regarding the 1540 committee, a key issue is whether country visits—such as the one the US hosted in September—will develop into a more regular practice and whether such trips would strengthen the Committee’s work.
Options for the Council include:
- listening to the briefings and taking no action at this time;
- adopting a press statement that encourages the work of the Ombudsperson and highlights the importance of terrorism prevention through means outlined in the Global Implementation Survey, such as development activities, education, human rights and social integration; or
- offering informal briefings to member states more regularly to enhance understanding of the committees, maintain support for their respective resolutions and enhance compliance with reporting requirements.
Council and Wider Dynamics
Concerning the 1267/1989 Committee, one sentiment in the Council is that it would be helpful to list individuals, groups and entities with ties to both Al Qaeda and the Taliban on the 1267/1989 list and on the 1988 Committee list. However, several members appear to believe that if such dual listings occur, they should only be done in exceptional cases when the linkages to both Al Qaida and the Taliban are particularly strong.
Regarding the CTC and CTED, there are differing perspectives on the Council regarding the level of engagement these entities should have with civil society. Many Council members believe that civil society has an integral role to play in collaborating with these bodies to combat terrorism, helping to promote transparency and ensuring that human rights and the rule of law are upheld. Other Council members, however, are more sceptical of the role that civil society should play in counter-terrorism efforts of the CTC and CTED.
Council members appear to share broad support for the 1540 Committee’s role in assisting member states in implementing measures related to resolution 1540.
Historically, joint briefings by the chairs of the counter-terrorism committees, held since 2005, have attracted broad attention among member states and were often followed by open debates. It is unclear if this will be the case in November.
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