What's In Blue

Posted Tue 22 Nov 2022

Briefing by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council

Tomorrow (23 November), the Security Council is scheduled to receive its annual briefing from the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees: Ambassador Trine Heimerback (Norway), the chair of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj (India), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC); and Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico), chair of the 1540 Committee. Heimerback will provide a joint briefing on the work of the three committees, including on the cooperation among them, followed by individual briefings by the respective counter-terrorism-related committee chairs.

Joint Briefing

The joint briefing is expected to focus on the cooperation and coordination activities of the three subsidiary organs, in line with their respective mandates. Heimerback may highlight the open briefing held by the CTC in February on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) with member states of South and South-East Asia, in which experts from the 1267 Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (Monitoring Team) participated. The CTC also held a joint open briefing in coordination with the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaeda sanctions committee on 7 April. This briefing aimed at analysing the evolution of the threat posed by ISIL in Africa, member states’ responses to the threat and continuing challenges.

Heimerback may outline the key findings from the mandated reports of the Secretary-General on the global terrorist threat. The 1267 Monitoring Team and CTED cooperated in the preparation of these reports, which highlight that the threat posed by ISIL is increasing and remains high, particularly in conflict-affected zones.

1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee

In updating members on the work of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, Heimerback may describe the activities undertaken by the committee in light of the evolving threat posed by ISIL, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates. She might highlight the periodic reports of the 1267 Monitoring Team, which are largely based on information obtained during its field visits. Despite the easing of travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel has remained challenging in the past year. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the team was able to conduct visits to Africa, Europe, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.

Heimerback may highlight elements of resolution 2610 of 17 December 2021, which extended the mandates of the 1267 Monitoring Team and the Ombudsperson for 30 months, until June 2024. A provision in the resolution calls on member states to provide updated information to the 1267/1989/2253 Committee on the freezing of assets and exemptions thereto, in line with a new reporting format developed by the Secretariat and the Monitoring Team.

Heimerback may also describe global and regional trends in the threat posed by ISIL. The Secretary-General’s 15th biannual strategic-level report on the threat posed by ISIL/Da’esh, dated 26 July, noted that “the situation in Africa, in particular in Southern and West Africa, has further deteriorated with an escalation of violence in countries that had been largely peaceful before the group and its affiliates started to operate within their borders”. The report expressed concern about “the potential impact of global food insecurity on West Africa, notably the Sahel, which may exacerbate fragilities and fuel local conflict dynamics”, thus fuelling the spread of terrorism.

1540 Committee

De la Fuente Ramírez is expected to provide an overview of the progress made by member states in the implementation of resolution 1540. He is also likely to note the activities conducted by the 1540 Committee in relation to the comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540, which was requested in resolution 1977 of 20 April 2011. After a two-year delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee held open consultations from 31 May to 2 June. On 5 July, the committee held informal closed consultations at which committee members exchanged views on the ideas presented at the open consultations. They also considered proposals to enhance outreach efforts and elements to be included in the final report of the comprehensive review. Negotiations on the final report of the comprehensive review are ongoing at the time of writing. Council members are also negotiating the renewal of the 1540 Committee’s mandate, which is set to expire on 30 November.

1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee

Kamboj may note the resumption and intensification of the CTC’s activities following the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, including its visits to the member states. In describing the regional activities undertaken by the committee in Africa and Asia, she might emphasise the persistent threat of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. Kamboj may highlight the adoption of the “Delhi Declaration”, the outcome document of the special meeting of the CTC held in India on 28-29 October. Participants at the special meeting focused on identifying measures to address the threats posed by the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes and took stock of the work of the CTC, CTED, and their operational partners in countering this threat. The declaration called for developing a “new set of non-binding guiding principles to assist Member States in countering the digital terrorism threat”.

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