On behalf of the Chairpersons of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), 1373 (2001), and 1540 (2004), I have the honour to update the Security Council on the continuing cooperation among the three Committees and their expert groups, as requested by the Council in its resolutions 1989 (2011), 1963 (2010) and 1977 (2011) and earlier resolutions.
Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continue to pose a serious threat to international peace and security. It therefore remains important to ensure close cooperation and effective coordination between the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the “Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee” and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
The three Committees continue, moreover, to attach great importance to effective coordination and cooperation between their respective expert groups: the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the Monitoring Team of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the Group of Experts assisting the “1540 Committee”.
The three Committees welcome the continuing efforts of their expert groups to cooperate on outreach activities and country visits conducted within their respective mandates; enhance cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations; increase exchange of information; participate in joint meetings; and engage in reciprocal representation, as appropriate.
I am pleased to report that cooperation between the expert groups has increased in some areas. The Committees commend this increased cooperation. While striving to enhance their cooperation in accordance with their respective mandates, the expert groups should also continue to strengthen their outreach activities.
The need to strengthen capacities remains a key concern of many States faced with emerging counter-terrorism challenges. This is particularly true in respect of the challenges posed by exploitation of technological advances by terrorists and non-state actors. This includes but is not limited to the use of the Internet as an effective communication channel and for the public outreach. In this regard, the three expert groups can play a pertinent role. The Committee’s groups of experts can play a pertinent role in advising States seeking assistance in building counter-terrorism capacity.
The three Committees welcome all efforts aimed at enhancing the visibility of United Nations counter-terrorism activities and at strengthening cooperation, coordination and coherence among United Nations entities with a view to promoting transparency and avoiding duplication. The three Committees also note the invitation extended to the Secretary–General — in General Assembly resolution 66/282 of 12 July 2012, adopted within the framework of the review of the United Nations Global Strategy — to provide Member States with greater detail on the proposal for creating a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator.
The Committees look forward to the discussions to be held on this proposal, including within their respective mandates on further improving cross-institutional coherence in United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.
Outreach and country visits
The coordinated outreach activities and country visits of the expert groups are important tools for the three Committees in facilitating full implementation of their respective mandates. These tools strengthen dialogue with Member States, help to improve understanding of the distinct, yet complementary roles of the three Committees, and assist them in the implementation of the relevant resolutions.
I am pleased to report on some areas in which cooperation between the expert groups has been increased. Since May 2012, all three expert groups were represented at over a dozen workshops and other outreach events, and more meetings were attended by two of the groups.
For example, at the request of the Secretariat of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-money-laundering Group (or “ESAAMLG”), representatives of CTED and the “Al-Qaida Monitoring Team” organized a half-day workshop, on 25 August 2012, for the Chairpersons and members of the ESAAMLG Review Group for Post-Evaluation Implementation Plans. Their presentations focused on States’ obligations pursuant to the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Monitoring Team’s presentation focussed on the practicalities of implementing the Al-Qaida assets-freeze sanctions measure, and the CTED presentation focussed on the practical and operational elements of freezing pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001).
CTED and the Monitoring Team also conducted two joint visits and, in the course of their joint constructive dialogue with Member States, provided advice to two Member States concerning their respective implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions (focusing on freezing actions and, in close cooperation with UNODC, legislative drafting).
The Monitoring Team and CTED also continued to participate jointly in events hosted by non-United Nations bodies: for example, in the periodic meetings of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), during which the two expert groups notably participated actively, within the framework of their respective mandates, in the discussions on the revision of the FATF standards. All three expert groups participated, on 28 September 2012, in a high-level meeting on countering nuclear terrorism organized by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office.
Since their acceptance (along with that of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) as observers to the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), CTED and the Monitoring Team have begun the practice of making presentations on each other’s behalf, where possible, in order to facilitate engagement with as many partners as allowed by the available time and resources, and always bearing in mind their distinct, yet complementary roles. Several recent country visits conducted by CTED on behalf of the CTC included the participation of a representative of the Monitoring Team and, where applicable, of the “1540 Committee” Group of Experts.
Cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations
Since May 2012, the coordinated approach to organizations agreed upon by the three expert groups continues to be enriched by the significant contributions made by CTED and Monitoring Team representatives to conferences involving a large number of international, regional and subregional organizations.
Continued participation in such events enhances cooperation between and among the Security Council Committees and the participating organizations and also serves to promote full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. The outcomes of this interaction are used by the expert groups to refine the modalities of information exchange, enhance coordination on technical assistance facilitation and explore the potential for further sub-regional cooperation.
The CTITF continues to provide a platform for enhanced cooperation by the three expert groups, not only among themselves, but also with over 30 United Nations organizations, agencies and programmes concerned with various aspects of counter-terrorism. The expert groups also participate in the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism Initiative (I-ACT), which is co-chaired by CTED.
The Monitoring Team and CTED have also assumed leading roles in other working groups: for example, CTED as co-Chair of the Working Group on Border Management relating to Counter-Terrorism and the Monitoring Team as co-Chair of the Working Group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes. The relevant expert groups have also worked proactively within the framework of the CTITF Working Group on Dialogue, Understanding and Countering the Appeal of Terrorism.
The Monitoring Team and CTED experts participate jointly in meetings of FATF-Style Regional Bodies such as the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering and in the donor-group discussions held in parallel with such meetings, in order to maximize their respective efforts to facilitate delivery of technical assistance to States. This practice has also led to increased coordination in the provision of expert comments on the legislation of those bodies’ member States.
Exchange of information
Exchange of information among the expert groups is carried out on a regular basis. The three groups share information about forthcoming meetings and relevant activities with a view to coordinating activities while bearing in mind their distinct, yet complementary roles. CTED regularly shares with the other two groups the monthly reports submitted by its Executive Director to the CTC (including information on its recent missions, country visits and technical assistance activities), while the experts of the “1540 Committee” prepare information notes on the Committee’s outreach events and post them on the Committee’s website.
Joint meetings and reciprocal representation
The three expert groups continue to hold joint meetings where appropriate, whether involving the heads of each team or the expert teams, in order to prepare for country visits and relevant workshops and to exchange information on particular themes or activities in specific regions or countries. The CTITF Office continues to be invited to participate in these joint meetings.
In addition, the CTC extends invitations to the other two expert groups when arranging briefings by visiting officials from intergovernmental organizations or when organizing thematic briefings of mutual interest.
Further information concerning the activities and mandates of the three Committees and their expert groups may be found on their respective websites:
November 14, 2012