(As delivered)


29 JULY 2003


Madam President,

The 1267 Committee is an effective tool in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida and groups associated with them, and we are very grateful for its activities. I regret to note, however, that there seems to be no end to the terrorist incidents suspected of having been committed by al-Qaida in certain countries. In Afghanistan, their former stronghold, the remnants of Taliban and al-Qaida are still active. These groups thus continue to threaten international peace and security. Japan is cooperating in the activities of the coalition force fighting against them in Afghanistan, by engaging its Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels in the replenishment activities in the Indian Ocean. We must overcome the challenges posed by the Taliban and al-Qaida through an integrated approach, including resolute action in the field as well as strict application by the international community as a whole of the sanctions that have been imposed and capacity-building to enable developing countries to implement those measures.

Madam President,

The recently released report of the Monitoring Group established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1363 is a detailed and extremely interesting document, and we greatly appreciated it. However, we are deeply concerned about the following three issues pointed out in the report.

First, although the efforts to find and detain key al-Qaida leaders have made progress, there are still some leaders who have managed to escape the international pursuit. Furthermore, the monitoring group has pointed out that a new generation of al-Qaida members who have been trained outside of Afghanistan has emerged, and that members of the network have retained a dangerously high degree of mobility around the world. These facts highlight the seriousness of the matter. It is urgent that we take effective travel ban measures by strengthening the information sharing and cooperation among law enforcement authorities and enhancing the consolidated list of the committee, and thereby close in on the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Second, while substantial progress has been made in promoting new legislation and regulations in member states through CTC, FATF and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which has resulted in the freezing of many Taliban- and al-Qaida-related funds and assets, it is important to note that substantial funds are still available to al-Qaida from the illicit drug trade and through charities, and that they are still able to distribute funds through mechanisms such as hawala. We need to make further efforts in order to completely suppress all resources available to them and render them powerless to carry out their activities. It is in this regard that further cooperation between the CTC and the 1267 Committee, through strengthening of the relations between CTC experts and the Monitoring Group, will be useful.

Third, an environment which enables access to illicit arms enhances the threat posed by al-Qaida. Implementation of strict measures to address arms trafficking is therefore essential. Above all, the international community must absolutely prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. Japan therefore supports the recommendation of the Group to urge member states to join the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, including states which have no domestic nuclear programme. It is also important for the member states to address the problem of small arms and light weapons.

Madam President,

The Consolidated list of the 1267 Committee has been constantly enhanced, but sometimes insufficient information in the list still presents difficulties for member states in identifying the individuals or entities listed. We urge all states, including those which originally submitted the names of the individuals or entities included, to make a greater effort to put supplemental information on the list.

It is also important for all member states to incorporate without delay any update of the list in their domestic regulations. In this connection we would consider it helpful for the Committee to establish guidelines on the timing of domestic implementation of the update, indicating that any update should be domestically implemented within a certain period of time after the press release or official notification to the member states by the Committee.

In closing, Madam President, I would like to reiterate our appreciation of the dedication of Ambassadors Valdes and Munos, the former and present Chairmen of the Committee, and their outstanding staff, as well as the Secretariat and the monitoring group experts. We trust the committee will continue to function effectively, under the leadership of Ambassador Munos.

Thank you, Madam President.

Related Information (Japan-Afghanistan Relations)

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