What's In Blue

Posted Fri 20 Nov 2020

Counter-Terrorism Briefings

On Monday (23 November), Security Council members are scheduled to receive the annual briefing (via videoconference) from the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees: Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), chair of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and of the 1540 Committee, which focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and Ambassador Tarek Ladeb (Tunisia), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).

1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee

In updating members on the work of the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Djani may underscore key themes from the Secretary-General’s 11th biannual strategic-level report of 4 August on the threat posed by ISIL (S/2020/774). In the report, the Secretary-General said that ISIL’s activity, including that of some regional affiliates, had surged during the reporting period. Among the issues in the report that could be raised in the briefing are the prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters and the fate of children born as a result of sexual violence, kidnapped and/or recruited by ISIL.

Ambassador Djani could also emphasise the disparities in threat trajectories in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with the statement of Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), during the 24 August Council meeting on “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist attacks”. In this regard, threat levels of terrorist groups have increased in conflict zones, while in non-conflict zones they have been reduced by the restrictive measures taken to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Djani might also note the importance of collecting and sharing information about terrorist activities among member states, a point made by Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), during the 24 August meeting.

1540 Committee

Ambassador Djani may provide an update of the committee’s efforts to gather information on the status of the national implementation of resolution 1540. At the time of his last briefing on 29 April on the work of the 1540 Committee, the number of states that had submitted their first report on the implementation of resolution 1540 had increased to 184, while 28 states had submitted updated reports.  At the start of 2020, the committee had planned focus on the comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540, which is due before the 1540 Committee’s mandate expires in April 2021. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee decided to postpone until 2021 all review-related activities, including the open consultations (with member states, international and regional organisations, and civil society) initially scheduled to take place in June in New York.  Members may be interested in whether there might be further postponements anticipated at this point.

 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee

Ambassador Ladeb may emphasise during his briefing the commitments to criminalise terrorism and the financing of terrorism that had been established by resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001 and reiterated in resolution 2462 of 28 March 2019. He may note actions taken by member states to curb terrorist groups’ access to funds and financial services.

 Generally, counter-terrorism enjoys the support of all Council members. There have been exceptions, however. For example, on 31 August, the US vetoed a draft resolution proposed by Indonesia on the prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters. The US argued that the draft failed to include references to repatriation of terrorist fighters to their countries of origin, where they should be prosecuted or rehabilitated.