What's In Blue

Posted Tue 17 Dec 2013

Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate: Mandate Renewal

This afternoon (17 December), the Security Council is set to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) for four years. It seems that the draft resolution was circulated by the US to all the members of the Council on 27 November. After five rounds of negotiations, and some bilateral negotiations between two Council members, the draft was put under silence until yesterday morning (16 December) and then into blue.

The draft resolution recalls CTED’s crucial role in supporting the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in the fulfillment of its mandate, underscoring its essential role within the UN to assess issues and trends relating to the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). (Resolution 1373 decided that all states should prevent and criminalise the financing of terrorist acts and support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts. Resolution 1624 called upon member states to criminalise the incitement to commit terrorist acts.) The Council decides in the draft that CTED will continue to operate as a special political mission under the policy guidance of the CTC for the period ending 31 December 2017 with an interim review by 31 December 2015. The Council will also task CTED with producing updated versions of the Global Implementation Surveys of resolutions 1373 and 1624 by 31 December 2015.

The draft also includes operative paragraphs on tasks CTED is already undertaking even though they were not explicitly mentioned in the last resolution renewing its mandate (resolution 1963 of 20 December 2010). These tasks include: identifying emerging issues, trends and developments related to resolutions 1373 and 1624; and regularly reporting to the CTC on CTED’s activities.

It appears that there were several differences of perspective that needed to be resolved during the negotiations. One was whether and how to address the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as youth issues, in the draft. For example, there was discussion on whether to include a reference to resolution 2122 mentioning the importance of increasing attention to women, peace and security in threats to international security caused by terrorist acts. There was also disagreement on whether to indicate that CTED will take fully into account gender and youth considerations as cross-cutting issues through its mandate. Following opposition from a Council member questioning the relevance of this part of the draft resolution, and after the holding of bilateral negotiations, a compromise was agreed to drop the mention of gender and youth as cross-cutting issues, but keep the overall reference to resolution 2122 in a preambular paragraph.

Another issue that came up in the negotiations was how to refer to the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the adoption of the “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists,” since some Council members find these problematic, as they do not include paying ransom a crime in their national criminal codes.

It also seems that a Council member was reluctant to include as part of CTED’s mandate enhanced strategic engagement and communication with Special Envoys and UN peacekeeping and political missions, including during planning stages. The language finally agreed upon encourages CTED to enhance its dialogue and information sharing with the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including during planning stages of missions, as appropriate.

Finally, given the scope of CTED’s mandate, some Council members underscored the importance of making sure that the resolution is only relevant to CTED’s mandate on the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624. As a result, these two resolutions are mentioned in nearly every paragraph of the draft.

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