25 MAY 2004

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank Ambassador Munoz for his detailed presentation. It is truly regrettable that terrorist acts such as the one in Madrid, in which hundreds of innocent lives have been sacrificed, continue to occur even in the year 2004. Terrorism can never be justified for any reason whatsoever, and we strongly condemn such brutal acts. I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Today, the world is watching intently to see how effective the United Nations will be in undertaking counter-terrorism initiatives. In that connection, my government appreciates the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, which has demonstrated increasingly greater effectiveness in its efforts in the fight against terrorism. I should add that, in particular, Japan supports the Security Council resolution 1526, and wishes to offer its full cooperation toward the realization of an effective counter-terrorism policy through the implementation of the resolution.

Mr. President,

Having heard the Chairman's briefing and reviewed the recent activities of the Committee, I wish to emphasize the following points.

First, in the light of the continuing occurrence of terrorist acts, it is imperative that terrorist access to the sources of financing and of acquisition of weapons for terrorism be cut off. Furthermore, it is crucial that each and every Member State implement effective border control policies, including travel bans. Travel bans are necessary to prevent not only key Al-Qaida leaders but also the new generation of Al-Qaida members who have managed to elude capture in the international pursuit as well as resurgent Taliban elements from moving freely around the world to achieve their terrorist objectives. From that point of view, we strongly hope that more information will be submitted for inclusion in the consolidated list of the Committee so that Member States will have access to a more substantial list. Recently an Al-Qaida terrorist whose name has been included in the consolidated list was arrested in Germany. Through the investigation following the arrest, we learned that he had been engaged in some activities in my country for a certain period of time under false names. This incident has generated renewed interest in Japan in the consolidated list. We intend to add, in cooperation with interested countries, the other names used by this terrorist while in Japan so as to assist in making the consolidated list more substantive. We also consider it essential that the Committee work in closer cooperation with non-Security Council Member States and other organizations having expertise in this area such as the CTC (Counter-Terrorism Committee), with a view to facilitating technical assistance for the implementation of sanction measures by Member States.

Second, to our regret, according to the report of the Committee issued on April 27, less than seventy percent of Member States have submitted reports in response to paragraph 6 of Security Council resolution 1455. However, I am pleased to learn that, since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1526, the number of countries submitting reports has increased by thirty percent. Along with the overseas visits of the Chairman and the Monitoring Team, the reports to be submitted by all Member States are a source of useful information for the purpose of evaluating the implementation of sanction measures. We believe it is necessary to continue to request those Member States which have not yet complied to submit their reports promptly. We encourage the Committee to further enhance information sharing with the CTC, so that the United Nations as a whole will be able to implement prompt and effective counter-terrorism measures while avoiding duplication of efforts.

Third, according to paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1526, the new Monitoring Team established by that resolution is to submit three comprehensive, independent reports on implementation by States of the sanction measures, including concrete recommendations for improved implementation of the sanction measures and possible new measures. In this context, my government is deeply interested in the perspectives and the operational plan which the first report of the Team, due to be submitted by the end of July this year, is anticipated to provide. We do hope that the Monitoring Team will work vigorously for the improvement of sanction measures in accordance with such plan.

Mr. President,

We must continue our fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and its neighboring region, bearing in mind the foregoing points. At the same time, however, I wish to emphasize the importance of extending our efforts to peace and reconstruction assistance, so that Afghanistan may build resistance against terrorism. The political process in that country is now at a critical stage, with elections of the President and the Parliament coming in September, as announced by President Karzai at the Berlin Conference in March. Together with the UNAMA, Japan is leading the DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) process in Afghanistan, which is key, in our view, to the progress of the political process. Therefore, while highly appreciating the contribution of the various Afghan groups in the fight against the Taliban regime, we also strongly appeal to them to recognize that participation in the peaceful political process by way of DDR is the surest path to the reconstruction of their homeland. We also wish to appeal to Afghanistan's neighboring countries and the international community to provide necessary assistance for the process.

Mr. President,

The fight against terrorism will require a great deal of patience, and we must remain ever vigilant. This Committee plays a central role in our joint endeavor to combat terrorism. I would like to express our appreciation of the dedication of the Chairman of the Committee, Ambassador Munoz, and of his outstanding staff, as well as the efforts of the Committee Secretariat and of the Monitoring Team experts who have recently initiated their activities.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Counter Terrorism)
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