STATEMENT BY MR. KENZO OSHIMA
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON COUNTER-TERRORISM-RELATED ACTIVITIES
30 May 2006
I thank the respective Chairs of the Council's three counter-terrorism related committees for their briefings this morning, detailing progress being made and challenges ahead, which we found very informative and useful. In expressing our thanks to the three Ambassadors, H.E. Ms. Ellen Løj, H.E. Mr. Cesar Mayoral and H.E. Mr. Peter Burian, let me also state that we welcome the resumed practice of ad hoc briefings by the respective committees to inform Member States of their activities on a more frequent basis. We also commend the excellent, dedicated work of the members of the CTED, the experts on the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the experts on the 1540 Committee and the Secretariat.
Today's meeting offers an opportunity for Council members not only to be briefed on the progress made in three committees' work but also to hear the views of Member States on the work being done by those committees. This is important because, in the ongoing debate in the General Assembly on a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, comments and opinions have been expressed by Member States about the manner in which the three committees of the Security Council do their work. This is also relevant in the context of the currently debated mandate review and of the follow-up of the 2005 World Summit Outcome.
One of the areas in which rationalization will be required in the work of the committees, and about which many States have voiced concerns, relates to the easing of the reporting burden of some of the Member States. While emphasizing the central importance of reporting by Member States for effective work of the committees, the three Chairs expressed their understanding of the need to take action on this problem of burdens arising from reporting obligations. Japan supports the consideration in the Council on the possibility of consolidating reports to the greatest extent possible to ease their burden where necessary. For those non-reporting States that have the will but lack the capacity to prepare reports, it is necessary to consider possible provision of assistance. We appreciate, in this regard, the efforts by Ambassador Løj and Ambassador Mayoral in holding dialogue with several regional groups, including the Pacific Islands Forum and CARICOM members. We also encourage the expert groups of the three committees in their efforts to consolidate in a single questionnaire the questions addressed, and we hope that such consolidated questionnaire will be agreed and put into practice as swiftly as possible.
Another rationalization measure worth undertaking would be consolidating committee visits to Member States. Although the manner of consolidation of these visits would obviously require careful consideration and in some cases adjustment, given that each of the committees has related but distinct purposes deriving from their respective mandates, it seems that there is ample room for coordination and consolidation of visits. We believe that, among the three committees, the CTC and the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, in particular, should be encouraged to coordinate the timing of their visits, so that they may be conducted jointly, while respecting the requests of the States to be visited. Such a step would also enhance the effectiveness of the dialogue with the States' authorities and improve information gathering and sharing. At the same time, we understand that there may be cases in which separate visits will be necessary. When individual visits are required, it is indispensable to share with the other committees the outcome of those visits, so that the findings will be utilized to the full. Such consideration for rationalization of the visits will not only help relieve the burden on the part of the visited States but will also create the kind of cooperative relationship between the committees and those visited States that we hope to see enhanced.
The CTED's responsibility to identify specific assistance needs of States on the basis of information gained through State reports and State visits continues to be one of its important tasks. To this end, we expect that development of closer cooperation between the CTED and the CTAG (G8 Counter-Terrorism Action Group) will be achieved through such efforts as participation in local CTAG meetings, where relevant, during CTC and CTED visits abroad. Japan expects the CTED to play a clearing-house role to match the identified needs for assistance with actual donor support, and in this regard we note and appreciate that the CTED has recently begun to engage in active dialogue with potential donors. We hope that such proactive efforts on the part of the CTED and the work of the CTC will begin to produce concrete results, and that needed assistance will begin to reach those States requiring it. The Japanese government wishes to share its experience and information in this regard, as both a donor and a CTC member.
In this connection, my government has established a new funding facility - grant aid for cooperation on counter-terrorism and security enhancement - providing approximately US$70 million for the current fiscal year, beginning in April.
Another matter raised is the listing and delisting of individuals and entities on the consolidated list of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, as well as the issue of due process. This is also of great interest and concern to many Member States. Unfortunately, a final conclusion is yet to be reached in the Committee. It is essential that sanction measures be fully implemented and terrorist activities effectively prevented. To that end, it is necessary to find a solution to this issue of listing and delisting expeditiously and to enhance confidence in the consolidated list.
It is therefore encouraging that serious discussion on this matter has resumed in the Committee. We expect that this will soon result in a fairer and more transparent procedure, taking into consideration the various proposals put forward by the Monitoring Team, Member States, think-tanks and others.
Finally, we welcome the extension of the mandate of the 1540 Committee by two years, in a decision taken in April by resolution 1673. Under this resolution, submission of additional information by Member States will continue to be required as one of the pillars for implementation of the resolution, while enabling the Committee to assist Member States more proactively in fulfilling that goal. It is important to enhance the implementation of the resolution through multiple means, including provision of technical assistance, outreach activities and holding of seminars. The Committee has just embarked on the discussion regarding the work programme for the coming twelve months. We regard this work programme to be highly important as a guideline for the activities of the Committee, and we intend to contribute constructively to the discussion.
In conclusion, the three committees must not only continue to pursue their respective practical activities but also achieve substantive results in the improvement of procedural matters, as has repeatedly been pointed out by Member States. Our intention is to continue to play an integral role in advancing the work and reform of the three committees, giving full support to their respective Chairs and members.
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