(As delivered)



13 September 2004

Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to thank Ambassador Munõz for today's detailed presentation. As demonstrated by the recent cowardly terrorist attacks which took away the lives of many citizens, including a large number of innocent children, in the Russian Federation, and the terrorist bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, cases of terrorism seem to be on the increase rather than in decline, leaving us far from our goal of eliminating terror. The situation continues to deteriorate and is truly worrisome. Japan, while extending its deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the victims, strongly condemns these brutal acts and feels all the more acutely the necessity of further strengthening international cooperation with a view to preventing similar acts from occurring in the future.

Mr. President,

Having heard the Chairman's briefing and reviewed the first report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Sanction Committee issued last month, I wish to express my country's concern over the situation highlighted in the report. The threat of terrorism perpetrated by Al-Qaida and related groups remains as real today as it was three years ago, which is exemplified by the terror-related activities of the new generation of Al-Qaida members as well as the remaining Taliban elements in Afghanistan. Bearing in mind the continuing threat posed by terrorism worldwide, I would like to make the following three points.

First, Japan places importance on the consolidated list of the Committee, and we strongly hope that more information will be submitted for inclusion in the consolidated list in an efficient manner, so that Member States will have access to more substantial information. However, as my country has already learned through experience, inclusion in the list of the names of individuals or entities suspected of involvement in terrorism is not an easy process, because it can be done only through consensus, and there are several hurdles a submitting country must overcome to secure final approval of its application from the Committee. From this point of view, as recommended by the Monitoring Team in its report, Japan welcomes the Committee's policy of updating the list so as to make it a more effective and accurate tool for combating terrorism. We also regard it as important to establish a procedure which would facilitate amendments based on new information. In particular, based on our experience, we consider it necessary that effective methods be devised to deal with cases in which terrorists open financial accounts abroad by illegally assuming the identities of individuals in actual existence. Furthermore, we welcome the Monitoring Team's recommendation to add to the consolidated list the names of individuals and groups found to be supplying Al-Qaida-associated terrorists with materials and expertise for the construction of weapons designed to cause mass casualties. We believe that this will serve to hinder the terrorists' preparations for attacks.

Mr. President,

My second point concerns terrorist financing and weapons. As the report of the Monitoring Team indicates, in the recent terrorist attacks, which have been causing in a high number of casualties, Al-Qaida members have been operating at relatively low cost, relying on amounts in the five-figure range in US dollars. This tactic makes it difficult to detect transfers of funds and to cut off the sources of financing. The high frequency of suicide bombings, as seen in the recent attack near a subway station in Moscow, also represents an alarming situation, and it is an important task for us to discover a means to prevent devices and materials which are not covered under arms embargoes from being diverted for use in terrorists' weapons. The Monitoring Team's indication that sanction measures must be adjusted according to the changes in the methods the terrorists adopt is entirely appropriate, and we need to take effective measures to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of loopholes in our sanction measures. From that viewpoint, we understand that the Monitoring Team will undertake further study in order to make recommendations on stronger and more effective sanction measures, and we are looking forward to the outcome of these efforts.

The third matter I wish to emphasize is the need for greater intra-organizational cooperation within the United Nations. Japan has pointed out in the past that cooperation with the Counter Terrorism Committee in information sharing and analysis is important, and we appreciate that the Monitoring Team has already engaged itself on several occasions with the experts of the CTC in assessing threats and evaluating the needs of Member States in the area of capacity building. Cooperation with the Committee on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 is also crucial, since terrorists associated with Al-Qaida are using unconventional weapons to murder non-combatants on a massive scale. We believe it very important that the committees and other organizations related to counter-terrorism start cooperating more effectively among themselves in the fight against terror.

Mr. President,

As Ambassador Munõz has already emphasized on previous occasions, we need to pursue our counter-terrorism policy in a concerted manner, in view of the fact that the Al-Qaida network has a global reach, and the world is watching to see how decisively the United Nations will act to undertake counter-terrorism initiatives. Japan supports the work of the Sanctions Committee and the various related Security Council resolutions including resolution 1526, and wishes to offer its full cooperation toward the realization of an effective counter-terrorism policy through the implementation of the relevant resolutions. Finally, I would like to express our appreciation of the dedication of Ambassador Munõz, and of his outstanding staff, as well as the efforts of the Committee Secretariat and of the Monitoring Team experts whose activities are now fully under way.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Counter Terrorism)
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