(As delivered)


21 February 2006

Mr. President,

I thank the Chairs of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the 1540 Committee for their briefings today and express our appreciation for their hard work and the achievements in their respective committees. I also congratulate Ambassador Peter Burian of the Slovak Republic on assuming the chairmanship of the 1540 Committee, and thank his predecessor, Ambassador Mihnea Motoc of Romania, for his remarkable contributions during his tenure.

My government firmly upholds its position on the fight against terrorism. Whatever the purposes of terrorists may be, terrorism must never be condoned. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

One of the key issues in the follow-up of the 2005 Summit Outcome Document on counter-terrorism is reaching agreement on a pending comprehensive convention on international terrorism. We have come fairly close to reaching an agreement on the convention, and it is our strong hope that at the resumed session of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly next week, all Member States will strive to achieve agreement at an early date. At the same time, we must act in parallel in the Security Council, by promoting greater cooperation among the committees charged with fighting terrorism, so as to enhance the Organization's overall counter-terrorism policy.

Mr. President,

Another point I wish to stress is that non-member States of the Security Council follow with great interest the activities of the subsidiary organs of the Security Council, such as the three counter-terrorism-related committees, because those committees' activities affect the concerns and interests of non-members in important ways. Transparency and inclusiveness are therefore critical, and I welcome that the briefings from the chairs of the three committees are being provided in a public meeting. I also welcome the efforts that are being made to improve the websites related to the activities of these committees. They serve as an effective means to enhance transparency and respond to the interests and concerns of Member States.

In this connection, let me mention that I have recently been appointed Chair of the Council's Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, and in that capacity I intend to work closely with members of the Council and listen to non-members' views in order to help improve the working methods of this body in all its aspects, including its subsidiary organs, for greater transparency and inclusiveness in the work of the Council, as required by our leaders in the Outcome Document. To this end, we hope to be able to draw upon the opinions and views expressed in today's discussion.

Mr. President,

We are pleased that the three committees are further broadening the range of their activities and doing so with resolve and consistency.

First, with regard to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, it is necessary to continue to search for ways to make the Council-imposed sanctions more effective, as they are unquestionably an indispensable part of the terrorism prevention measures being undertaken. My government is therefore grateful for the recent visit to East Asia, including Japan, by the Committee's Chairman, Ambassador Mayoral of Argentina, which benefited my country and, I believe, also the region as a whole, in its efforts to improve effective implementation of sanctions measures.

Among the measures for which the Committee has been responsible recently was the issuance of the first set of "Interpol-United Nations Security Council Special Notices" last December, which was the result of cooperation between the Committee and the International Criminal and Police Organization (Interpol). This was a significant development, since linking the Committee's Consolidated List with related Interpol resources gives Member States access to a broader range of information and enables them to implement travel restrictions more effectively.

As discussed during the Chairman's visit to Asia, it is essential to increase the precision of the Consolidated List by inviting Member States to submit any additional related information they may have. Japan, for its part, is taking preventive measures including full implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as stipulated in Security Council resolution 1617. We are also strengthening our travel ban measures.

The fourth report of the Monitoring Team, which was submitted to the Committee recently, includes recommendations to improve sanctions. My government looks forward to the discussion of this report in the Committee in the near future.

Second, the role of the CTC remains crucial in enhancing the capacity-building of Member States in the area of counter-terrorism. We welcome that the technical assistance policy guidelines approved by the CTC in December last year are now being implemented. As Chairman Ambassador Løj has mentioned, the conditions and requirements are different in each individual State, making it inevitable that the process involve some degree of trial and error. We hope, however, that the CTC will accelerate its work so that the requests from Member States for technical assistance will be acted upon as quickly as possible.

In that connection, we are pleased that, as a result of the comprehensive review conducted in December last year, we now have a system to enable the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) to engage vigorously in activities based on the policy guidelines approved by the CTC. We hope that, under the leadership of Executive Director Rupérez, the CTED will facilitate work between States requesting assistance and the donor community, thereby making tangible progress in building Member States' counter-terrorism capacity. We also hope that the best possible use will be made of limited resources for State visits. Furthermore, we look to the CTC to pursue closer cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) and with relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations in carrying out its mandate.

Third, we welcome that the 1540 Committee has approved its first programme of work under the new Chair. We look forward to examining the second reports submitted by Member States and intensifying our discussions on effective ways for technical assistance to be provided before the current mandate expires at the end of April. The role the Committee is expected to play under its extended mandate needs to be determined in light of its work record over the last two years, and we intend to participate actively in that discussion.

Mr. President,

It is clear that all the critical tasks entrusted to the three committees cannot be fully addressed without the expertise and dedication of the experts who serve in each body. My delegation would like to express its appreciation to the experts on the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, including Mr. Richard Barrett, the coordinator, and members of the CTED, and to the experts on the 1540 Committee, for their unstinting efforts and excellent work. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Guillermo Kendall of the Permanent Mission of Argentina, who has contributed immensely to the work of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee in assisting the Chairman, as he has recently assumed another important post.

My government will spare no effort to cooperate with other Member States in advancing the work of the three committees, so that the Security Council's crucial work on counter-terrorism will be further enhanced.

Thank you.

Related Information (Counter Terrorism)
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