May 2014 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 May 2014
Download Complete Forecast: PDF

Counter-Terrorism

Expected Council Action

In May, the Council is scheduled to hold a semi-annual briefing by the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees, possibly followed by a debate. The briefers will be Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), chair of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda MurmokaitÄ— (Lithuania), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), chair of the 1540 Committee, concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. (For the 1540 Committee, please refer to the separate brief on non-proliferation.)

Key Recent Developments

1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee

According to its annual report, the Committee maintained a proactive approach to discharging its mandate in 2013 and enhanced its role in countering Al-Qaida-related terrorism, convening 15 informal consultations (S/2013/792). On 26 December 2013, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team assisting the 1267/1989 Committee circulated its 15th report to the Committee (S/2014/41). The report stresses that even though Al-Qaida has not been able to recover its former strength, it remains a threat, mostly through its often autonomous affiliates. The report focused on enhancing the implementation of sanctions (i.e., asset freeze, travel ban) through deterring ransom payments, using biometrics and changes to national inadmissible passenger criteria as well as improving measures to limit component availability for improvised explosive devices. Since the 27 November 2013 briefing, one individual has been added to the sanctions list: Malik Muhammad Ishaq, one of the leaders of the Pakistan-based group Lashkar i Jhangvi.

The Ombudsperson, Kimberly Prost, who is responsible for making recommendations on the requests for removing names from the sanctions list, submitted her seventh report to the Council on 31 January (S/2014/73). Since 1 August, two new cases had been submitted to the Ombudsperson, bringing the total number of petitions submitted since the establishment of the office to 51. During the reporting period, six individuals and three entities were delisted on her recommendation. One of them, Jaber Abdallah Jaber Alhmad al-Jalahmah of Kuwait, was delisted on 3 January following the Ombudsperson’s recommendation and then listed again that same day. In a press release, the Committee stated that it had received new information concerning his recent support for Al-Qaida-related entities. The information had not been made  available to the Ombudsperson at the time she delivered her report, so the Committee simultaneously approved the petition for removal from the list based on her report and decided to re-list him based on the new information. In one additional case, a separate Committee decision resulted in the delisting of an individual during an active Ombudsperson case, making that case moot.

On 18 July 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the Kadi II case. The original Kadi case has been the most significant legal challenge to the 1267 sanctions regime so far and concerned an EU regulation implementing Council-mandated sanctions. The ruling in Kadi II, whose political significance goes beyond its original purpose (Kadi was delisted in 2012), states that, despite the improvements added, the procedure for delisting and ex officio re-examination at the UN level does not provide to the person listed “the guarantee of effective judicial protection”. The courts of the EU must therefore verify the allegations made against the listed person to ensure that the listing decision is grounded in a “sufficiently solid factual basis”.

1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee

On 28 March, the chair of the CTC circulated the 2014 work programme for the CTC and CTC Executive Directorate (CTED). Beyond the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624, the work programme focuses on the need for a comprehensive approach to prevent the spread of terrorism and violent extremism, conducting regular follow-up activities after CTED country visits, identifying the regions that are struggling with the scourge of terrorism and doing so within the broader human rights and rule of law framework.

On 17 December 2013, the Council decided in resolution 2129 that CTED would continue to operate as a special political mission under the policy guidance of the CTC for the period ending 31 December 2017. The resolution recalled CTED’s crucial role in supporting the CTC in the fulfilment of its mandate, underscored its essential role within the UN to assess issues and trends relating to the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624 and included tasks that were not explicitly mentioned before, such as identifying emerging issues, trends and developments related to resolutions 1373 and 1624 and regularly reporting to the CTC on CTED’s activities.

On 25 April, the CTC held a high-level open briefing on preventing the misuse of travel documents by terrorists, traveller identification management and document security.

Key Issues

A key issue for the 1267/1989 Committee is to address patterns of non-compliance with the sanctions regime by member states, either due to lack of will or capacity.

The de-listing and listing of an individual on the same day by the 1267/1989 Committee might have a negative impact on the perception of the guarantees for a fair process in the Ombudsperson procedure. Whether to address the challenges raised by the Kadi II case regarding the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection will be a further issue.

An issue for the CTC and CTED, as well as for other UN entities, is to improve coordination within the broader UN counter-terrorism architecture in light of the review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy currently underway.

Council Dynamics

On the 1267/1989 Committee, the recent re-listing of an individual whose delisting was recommended by the Ombudsperson has evidenced that some Council members are reluctant to share relevant intelligence with the Ombudsperson. Although some Council members have shown their disappointment over the ECJ ruling in the Kadi II case, some Council members do not feel the need to significantly strengthen or widen the Ombudsperson procedure.

On the CTC, discussions have focused on increasing the visibility of its work without disregarding the follow-up to CTC activities and CTED visits, concentrating on what is realistic and sustainable by different member states. It seems particular differences have been raised in relation to specific topics to be discussed, such as how to implement the provision in resolution 2133 encouraging CTC to hold a special meeting on kidnap for ransom.

UN DOCUMENTS ON COUNTER-TERRORISM 

Security Council Resolutions
17 December 2013 S/RES/2129 This resolution renewed the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate for four years.
17 December 2012 S/RES/2083 This resolution renewed the mandate of the Al-Qaida sanctions committee (1267/1989) Ombudsperson for 30 months.
Security Council Meeting Record
27 November 2013 S/PV.7071 This was the semi-annual briefing of the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees: Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), who chairs the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee; Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco), who chairs the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee; and Ambassador Kim Sook (Republic of Korea), who chairs the 1540 Committee, concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Security Council Letters
28 March 2014 S/2014/233 This letter included the work programme of the CTC and CTED for 2014.
31 January 2014 S/2014/73 This letter included the report of the Ombudsperson.
22 January 2014 S/2014/41 This letter included the report of the Monitoring Team.
31 December 2013 S/2013/792 This was a report on the activities of the 1267/1989 Sanctions Committee to the Council.
10 December 2013 S/2013/722 This was a report on the work of the CTC and CTED from 2011 to 2013.