(As delivered)


12 JANUARY 2004

Mr. President,

The 1267 Committee continues to play an important role in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaida and groups associated with them, and we very much appreciate its activities. Terrorism, as seen in the activities of the Taliban and Al-Qaida, continues to spread across national borders today. It is a challenge for the international community to take effective measures in solidarity against the terrorists because this will have a great impact on our future peace and security. We cannot afford to relax our efforts in the fight against terrorism at any time.

Mr. President,

The Report released last month by the Monitoring Group, which was established pursuant to the Security Council Resolution 1363, states that the Al-Qaida ideology has continued to spread, and Japan is deeply concerned about this situation. More than two years have passed since the shock of 9/11, and it is a matter of serious concern that the sense of crisis shared jointly by the international community at that time seems to be fading. We find it very serious that, as observed in the Report, Member States' cooperation is not adequate for the activities of the 1267 Committee, which aims at taking concrete measures to control Al-Qaida. In particular, we would like to comment on the following three issues mentioned in the Report.

First, it is pointed out in the Report that since the time when the consolidated list was established, there has not been a single report by any Member State of the arrest of any listed individuals at its borders. It is also mentioned that there remain cases in which border control authorities in Member States have not included sufficient information from the consolidated list in their national stop lists. It is regrettable because these facts indicate that our efforts are not yet sufficient. The report also cites the activities of foreign entities and individuals in Iraq, but we must avoid at all costs allowing Iraq to become a sanctuary of terrorism after our efforts in Afghanistan. At this juncture, Japan welcomes the adoption of a new constitution for Afghanistan through democratic processes. We hope that the various factions in the country will work together to hold elections for the establishment of the permanent administration in accordance with the new constitution, and call upon the international community to extend further support and cooperation. However, the resurgence of the Taliban and the continuing activity of Al-Qaida in the border regions are matters of great concern, and it is crucial that the international community act in unison to ensure that Afghanistan does not revert to being a safe haven for terrorism. For that reason as well, strict border control policies in the states sharing national borders with Iraq and Afghanistan are essential, and we expect those states to take further measures in addition to the efforts made so far.

Second, the media have widely reported that the Report of the Monitoring Group contained worrisome accounts indicating that Al-Qaida had already decided to use chemical and biological weapons. Japan, as the country that experienced the subway sarin attack perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyo cult group, is strongly aware of the danger posed by the acquisition and use of such weapons by terrorists. We therefore call for more rigorous arms embargo measures to be taken by all states, so that such weapons and materials will not fall into terrorists' hands. In this connection, Japan supports the Monitoring Group's recommendations with regard to (a) the adoption of measures incorporated in the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects; (b) the encouragement of ratification or implementation of international instruments such as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), the CWC (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction), the BWC (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction), the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings; and (c) controls on MANPADS, man-portable air-defense systems. Japan has taken actions in this regard, which include hosting a seminar for Southeast Asian countries in Tokyo last October to encourage the conclusion of treaties and protocols related to the prevention of terrorism.

Third, as stated at the outset, Japan is greatly concerned with the situation pointed out in the Report regarding the inadequacy of Member States' cooperation in the activities of the 1267 Committee. On the other hand, with regard to measures to freeze assets, the lack of uniformity in the notation of data in the list of designated individuals and entities, the notable lack of necessary information, and the lack of transparency in the process to add to or alter the contents of the list make it hard for the Member States to identify if suspicious individuals or entities within their states are the same as those included in the list, and thus the Member States face difficulties in implementing the required measures domestically. Japan would like to ask the Committee to make further efforts towards improvement in this respect. As far as Japan is concerned, we have introduced a system to implement domestically any changes in the consolidated list expeditiously once changes have been announced. As the Report indicates, it is extremely important that the updated version of the consolidated list issued by the 1267 Committee be reflected in the domestic regulations and measures implemented in each State without delay. For that purpose, as suggested in my statement in the public meeting on this issue held in July of last year, we would consider it helpful for the Committee to establish guidelines on the timing of domestic implementation of updates, 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 addition, the Report points out that there are situations in which entities suspected of being associated with terrorists are allowed to continue their activities. Although we are fully aware of the difficulty in regulating activities of such entities including charities, it is necessary, in our view, to ensure the transparency of the activities of such entities by, for example, working out means to gain a clearer understanding of where the money from charities has gone. Activities such as the use of illegal underground financing should also be prevented through strict controls.

Mr. President,

In closing, I would like to reiterate our appreciation of the dedication of Your Excellency as the Chairman of the Committee, and of your outstanding staff, as well as of the efforts of the Secretariat and the Monitoring Group experts. We trust the committee will continue to function with ever greater efficacy in the future.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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