May 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 April 2012
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Counter-Terrorism

Expected Council Action
In May, the chairs of the counter-terrorism-related committees—the 1267/1989 Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (1373 or CTC) and the 1540 Committee, concerning weapons of mass destruction—are expected to brief the Council. No outcome is anticipated.

Key Recent Developments

1267/1989 Committee

On 20 December 2011, the Council received the report of the analytical support and sanctions monitoring teams on linkages between Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The report was previously submitted to the 1267 Committee and the Taliban Sanctions Committee (established in resolution 1988) on 16 September 2011 and remains under consideration in both committees. The report notes that ties between the Taliban and other listed groups aligned with Al-Qaida are weak. It states that the 1988 list can be a useful tool for the promotion of a political process in Afghanistan while the Al-Qaida sanctions list remains a key part of international counterterrorism international efforts. Therefore, it concludes that dual listings should be avoided unless there are clear and obvious reasons to introduce them so both lists achieve their goals. Some Council members are of the view that ties between the two organisations are stronger and that dual listings are highly warranted.

On 20 January, the Ombudsperson submitted to the Council her first biannual report summarising her activities, pursuant to resolution 1989 of 17 June 2011. (The Ombudsperson is an independent and impartial appointee mandated by the Council to review and make recommendations on delisting requests from individuals and entities seeking to be removed from the 1267 sanctions list.) In the report, the Ombudsperson praises the overall positive cooperation by states, including from key states holding the most relevant material. However, she notes that some of the information submitted continues to lack the detail and specificity necessary for meaningful analysis and in some cases information is not received in a timely manner.

The report notes that all nine delisting cases taken in accordance with the revised procedure under resolution 1989 have resulted in delisting and concludes that the revised process encourages states’ cooperation with the Ombudsperson and enhances the fairness and transparency of the decision-making process.

In addition, the Ombudsperson asked the Council to consider mandating her office to follow up on claims of continued application of sanctions against delisted individuals and entities and to transmit exemption requests from individuals and entities directly to the 1267 Committee for its consideration.

CTC

The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) conducted its first comprehensive visit to Myanmar from 21 to 25 November 2011. The delegation visited Myanmar to monitor and promote the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624 (that prohibits incitement to commit terrorism). Since 2005, CTED has completed 65 visits to UN member states.

CTED organised, with the cooperation of the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism, the first regional workshop on cash couriers, held in Malaysia from 15 to 17 November 2011. The workshop brought together customs officers, prosecutors and officials of financial intelligence units from ten states of the subregion.

From 29 November to 1 December 2011, representatives of nine East African states, international and regional organisations and local civil society met in Nairobi, Kenya, at a regional workshop on the implementation of resolution 1624.

A workshop for police officers, prosecutors and judges on bringing terrorists to justice in South Asia was held in New Delhi from 20 to 22 March. The regional workshop was hosted by the government of India, in association with CTED.

On 9 January, CTED submitted to the Council its global survey of the implementation by states of resolution 1624. The report assesses the evolving nature of the threat posed by incitement to terrorist acts. It concludes that strengthened international cooperation and exchange of information, along with the development of comprehensive and integrated national responses may be among the most effective ways to counter and prevent incitement.

On 9 April, CTC Chairman Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri (India) and CTED Executive Director Mike Smith briefed the UN membership on the work of the CTC in the past 9 months.

1540 Committee

On 1 February, the Committee submitted its first annual review to the Council, pursuant to resolution 1977. (As part of its intention to monitor the implementation of resolution 1540 more closely, resolution 1977 requires the Committee to submit an annual review to the Council on top of the five-year comprehensive review.) The report, prepared with the assistance of the group of experts, listed several steps that the Committee can take to implement its mandate, including:

  • increasing efforts to identify assistance needs through dialogues at workshops and other venues;
  • developing a committee strategy on engaging international, regional and subregional organisations and other entities;
  • cooperating with relevant civil society entities with, as appropriate, their state’s consent, on sharing information with the Committee on relevant activities; and
  • improving the methodology for visits to states and country-specific activities with the benefit of the experience gained and lessons learned from those already conducted.

Key Issues
Improving implementation by member states of all counter-terrorism Council resolutions is a key issue.

A new key issue is assessing the implications of the wider mandate of the Ombudsperson under resolution 1989 and whether her mandate should be further adjusted.  

Regarding the 1540 Committee, a key issue is whether country visits will develop into a more regular practice and whether such trips would strengthen the Committee’s work.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Concerning the 1267/1989 Committee, Council members are currently reflecting on the perceived weakening in Al-Qaida’s capabilities, with the death of Osama Bin Laden and several of his deputies, and how this situation might impact the Committee’s work. This issue and the work of the Ombudsperson to ensure listings are done under fair and clear procedures are likely to be touched upon in the chairman’s briefing.

Regarding the CTC and CTED, Council members are looking forward to CTED’s internal review of its own work, due to be submitted to the CTC by 30 June. Another point of discussion is the ways in which the CTC and CTED can assist states in prohibiting and preventing incitement to terrorist acts, in light of the recent global implementation survey of resolution 1624 (2005).

Council members appear to share broad support for the 1540 Committee’s role in assisting member states in implementing measures related to resolution 1540.  

Points that are likely to arise in all three chairmen’s briefings are the issues of compliance with, and implementation of, the regimes. In the past months Council members have shown a growing interest in capacity-building and assistance to states in order to enable them to better comply with sanctions and their obligations under the regimes. 

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 May.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1989 (17 June 2011) empowered the Ombudsperson to make delisting recommendations to the 1267/1989 Committee.
  • S/RES/1977 (20 April 2011) renewed the mandate of the 1540 Committee for ten years.
  • S/RES/1963 (20 December 2010) extended the mandate of CTED until 31 December 2013.
  • S/RES/1624 (14 September 2005) called on states to take measures to prohibit by law, and to prevent, acts of incitement to commit 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.

Latest Joint Meeting Record

Other

  • S/2012/79 (1 February 2012) was the 1540 annual review.
  • S/2012/49 (20 January 2012) was the Ombudsperson’s biannual report.
  • S/2012/16 (6 January 2012) was the CTED global implementation survey of resolution 1624.
  • S/2011/790 (20 December 2011) was the report on linkages between Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Committee Chairs

CTC

Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri (India)

1540 Committee

Ambassador Baso Sangqu (South Africa)

1267/1989 Committee

Ambassador Peter Wittig (Germany)

Full forecast