Statement by Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative, in the Security Council, on the 1267, 1373 and 1540 Committee Briefings

Alejandro Wolff
Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 13, 2009


Mr. President, I would like to thank each of the Chairmen for their briefings.  Their dedicated leadership is central to the effectiveness of the 1267, the 1373, and the 1540 Committees.  Today we have an opportunity to focus on the accomplishments of the three committees over the past several months.

The United States supports the important role the United Nations plays in reinforcing national and regional counter-terrorism efforts.  As President Obama said in his September 23 address to the General Assembly, the United States has “set a clear and focused goal:  to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies – a network that has killed thousands of people of many faiths and nations, and that plotted to blow up this very building.”

Ambassador Mayr-Harting, the United States appreciates the leadership and personal commitment you have displayed as Chair of the 1267 Committee.  We also commend the work of the Monitoring Team, which has played a vital role as an independent and objective fact-finding body.

Countering threat posed by al-Qaeda and the Taliban remains one of the most important challenges facing this Council.  Without the efforts of Member States to work collectively, the world would be much more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.  What can we do to ensure the 1267 regime remains a vital and effective multilateral tool to respond to this threat?

First, we can reaffirm the international community’s commitment to full implementation of the 1267 measures.  The 1267 regime can only function well if states actively participate in the regime, such as by proposing new names for listing.

Second, we should continue our efforts to ensure that the Consolidated List is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, ensuring that our procedures for imposing sanctions are fair and clear.  Resolution 1735 and 1822 introduced new measures to help the Committee confirm the accuracy of the list.  The Committee’s work to implement what is perhaps the most significant measure in 1822 – the review of every name on the Consolidated List by June 2010 – will continue in the coming months.  The United States is committed to ensuring that this review is meaningful and is working with Member States to finish this review on time.

And, third, we should continue our efforts to ensure that the sanctions are applied in a fair and transparent manner.  Resolution 1822 and its predecessors introduced significant enhancements to ensure fairness.  The Council will negotiate, in the coming weeks, a new resolution to renew the mandate of the 1267 Monitoring Team and will take the opportunity to enhance the regime and improve our ability to counter the al-Qaeda and Taliban threats.  The United States believes this resolution should take additional steps to ensure that the process for listing and delisting individuals is as fair and transparent as possible.  We believe there is room to improve the way in which the 1267 Committee decides to list individuals and how it considers requests from those seeking to be removed from the list.

Regarding the Counter-terrorism Committee, I would like to thank Ambassador Vilovic for doing an exceptional job of guiding the Committee’s meet.  Ambassador Vilovic fostered greater efficiency in the Committee’s work. As this is the last time you will be reporting on your Chairmanship, we wish you well and we thank you for your leadership.

The United States welcomes significant improvement in CTED’s performance under the leadership of Mike Smith. We are pleased to see more CTED engagement outside of New York, in capitals and with experts in the relevant ministries on the ground.  This is where the United States would like CTED to place even more emphasis.  We applaud CTED’s work in South Asia.  We encourage CTED and the wider UN to explore similar opportunities in North Africa.

Mr. President, the United States welcomes efforts to develop a more holistic UN counter-
terrorism program that is more integrated with the wider UN efforts to promote international peace and security, and involves working with states around the world to build the capacities needed to confront a range of inter-related transnational security challenges, including terrorism.  This effort involves not just the Security Council, but the General Assembly and other relevant UN bodies.  In this context, the United States looks forward to further participation of the Security Council committees and their expert groups with CTITF.

We welcome the recent visit by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay to the CTC and her constructive recommendations for strengthening existing approaches to underscore the role of human rights in the fight against terrorism in the work of CTC and CTED.

Regarding the 1540 Committee, I would like to take a moment to praise Ambassador Urbina for his leadership and enthusiasm in guiding the work of this important Committee.  As Chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Urbina has promoted greater transparency and supported a range of ideas to make the Committee’s work more effective and relevant.  Ambassador, since you too will be making your last appearance in this capacity today, we wish you well and we thank you for your leadership.  You will leave behind a Committee with a strong mandate and a clear vision.

In the six months’ time since these three Committees addressed the Council, the world has seen a growing interest in the work of the 1540 Committee.  With the unanimous adoption of resolution 1887 on September 24, this Council sent a loud and clear message that resolution 1540 is an essential tool for building the non-proliferation regime.

Resolution 1887 affirms the need for full implementation of Resolution 1540, welcomes the work that the 1540 Committee has done to date on funding mechanisms, and reinforces the Security Council’s commitment to ensure effective and sustainable support for the Committee’s activities, including capacity building.

Within a week of adopting resolution 1887, the Committee conducted its Comprehensive Review of the Status of Implementation on Resolution 1540.  This three-day event offered an inclusive forum to all States and relevant inter-governmental bodies to share experiences and express their views on various aspects of implementation of the resolution.

Success of the 1540 Committee lies in its ability to move forward with its work program to fully implement 1540’s provisions.  We urge the Committee to streamline the assistance request process to make requests more transparent and to ensure that requests are answered in a timely and efficient manner.  As part of this effort, the United States is committed to the establishment of a voluntary fund to help provide the support and expertise necessary to facilitate implementation of Resolution 1540.

In conclusion, Mr. President, regarding all three counter-terrorism related bodies, there needs to be more cross-fertilization among them.  Good practices in one should be adopted more regularly by others.  This does not happen often enough.  We would especially like to commend the successful outreach efforts by the 1540 Committee including through the unprecedented three day meeting organized this fall as part of its comprehensive review, as well as its successful efforts to reach out to civil society and involve it in the committee’s work.

All of the Council’s counter-terrorism related committees should remain mindful of the need to enhance the transparency of their work, make it more accessible to the wider UN community and national actors, regional organizations, and civil society.  We encourage further engagement by the three committees with Member States on a broad range of issues to ensure the committees’ work is fully understood and relevant to Member State’s efforts to combating terrorism.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2009/270