Fight against terrorism
The United Nations is involved in the fight against terrorism through several mechanisms.
Sanctions regimes against entities and individual associated with Al-Qaida (1267 Committee) and the Taliban (1988 Committee)
The UN introduced a sanctions regime against entities and individuals associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban within the framework of resolution 1267 of 15 October 1999, (arms embargo, travel bans and the freezing of assets). This resolution established a Sanctions Committee, known as Committee 1267, which brings together all of the Security Council members. The Committee benefits from the support of a “Monitoring Team” made up of independent experts appointed by the Secretary-General.
The arrangements put in place by resolution 1267 were improved by resolution 1822 (2008) and by resolution 1904, co-sponsored by France and adopted unanimously by the Security Council on 17 December 2009. Resolution 1904 brought substantial improvements to the functioning of the Sanctions Committee established by resolution 1267 in terms of efficiency, transparency and fairness.
The resolution created an Ombudsperson who will study in an impartial and independent manner the requests for delisting by individuals under UN sanctions, and will report to the Sanctions Committee. These requests will be submitted directly to the office of the ombudsperson. The Secretary General appointed Ms. Kimberly Prost, a Canadian judge, as ombudsperson in June 2010.
The sanctions regime was overhauled with resolutions 1988 and 1989, adopted unanimously on 30 June 2011, which separates the Taliban and Al Qaeda lists. France cosponsored both these resolutions.
— Resolution 1988 creates a country-specific sanctions regime for the Taliban and those associated with them in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security ofAfghanistan. It establishes a new sanctions committee. The sanctions remain the same (asset freeze, arme embargo, travel ban). The resolution calls upon Member States to coordinate their delisting requests with the government of Afghanistan.
On 15 July 2011, the Security Council decided to withdraw 14 names from the list sanctioning the Taliban, bringing to 123 the number of sanctioned individuals (learn more about Afghanistan).
— Resolution 1989 maintains the 1267 sanctions committee which now applies only to Al Qaeda. A new delisting process is set up: whereas before, any delisting required a unanimous consent from the Committee (composed of all members of the Security Council), now a delisting recommended by the Ombudsperson or requested by the designating State will be effective after 60 days unless there is a consensus by the Committee that the individual or entity should remain on the sanctions list. Each member of the Committee will have the possibility to request a decision of the Security Council on the matter.
After resolution 1904, resolution 1989 made substantial new improvements to the functioning of the Sanctions Committee established by resolution 1267 in terms of efficiency, transparency and fairness, in particular by strengthening the powers of the ombudsperson.
- Fight against terrorism - 1373 Committee
Resolution 1373, adopted on September 28, 2001, following the September 11 terrorist acts, imposed obligations on all States with regard to fighting terrorism and established theCounter-Terrorism Committee (CTC, or 1373 Committee). This Committee brings together the members of the Security Council, oversees the implementation of resolution 1373 by the States, which must give regular reports on the measures taken for this purpose.
The Committee benefits from the support of an executive directorate (Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate – CTED) established by resolution 1535 (2004), the mandate of which was defined and extended by resolutions 1805 (2008) and 1963 (2010) for three years.
Through this resolution the Security Council invited the Committee to give an annual report on the global implementation of resolution 1373.
- Measures to prevent non-state entities from having access to weapons of mass desctruction - 1540 Committee
The Security Council decided in resolution 1540 (2004) that the entire international community should adopt appropriate measures to prevent non-state entities, particularly terrorists from having access to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons or their components.
The main objective is for States to pass legislative and regulatory measures in order to criminalize, monitor and deter any activity that would enable such groups to acquire these assets. The Security Council asks states in particular to control and monitor the possible production, transit and transfer across borders of such goods and also to establish controls with respect to their security and protection.
A committee (1540 Committee) was established to ensure compliance with these measures and to provide crucial assistance to states.
The mandate of the 1540 Committee was successively extended for two years by resolution 1673 (2006), for three years by resolution 1810, and then for ten years by resolution 1977 on 20 April 2011. Adopted under Chapter VII, resolution 1977 reiterates the obligation imposed on States to adopt national measures to control proliferation. It gives the Committee the means to ensure its mandate more effectively by creating a group of experts to assist it and enhancing the action of the Committee regarding assistance, in order to help States to implement resolution 1540.
- The Security Council meets every six months under the item "Threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism", to hear presentations by the chairpersons of committees 1267, 1373 and 1540. The chairmen of these committees are permanent representatives of member countries of the Security Council (currently: Germany for 1267, India for 1373, and South Africa for 1540).
- The General Assembly adopted a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 6 September 2006. Within the framework of this strategy a task force, entitled United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), was established. This task force, led by French Judge Jean-Paul Laborde, brings together the entities of the UN family concerned by this issue, including the three committees above. A review of the Global Strategy took place in September 2010 and stressed the usefulness of this Task Force.
- Thirteen conventions and three protocols relating to the fight against terrorism have been adopted since 1963. A draft comprehensive convention on terrorism is under consideration but after several years of work has not yet been finalized due to the fact that, in particular, a consensus on the definition of terrorism has not been reached.