UN CounterTerrorism Committee key tool in fighting menace Chairman says

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) has played a significant and worldwide role in combating the scourge since its creation one year ago, CTC Chairman Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom told the Security Council today. “Global activity on [resolution] 1373 [which set up the CTC] is taking place far beyond the walls of Conference Room 7, in every capital of every Member State of the United Nations,” Ambassador Greenstock said. Governments throughout the world have responded by adopting new laws and reviewing the strength of their anti-terrorism institutions. A growing number of States have ratified the 12 international conventions and protocols related to terrorism. “A year ago, only Botswana and the UK had ratified all 12 instruments; today, 24 States have done so,” the Chairman said. “We want the pace to accelerate further.” Recognizing that no nation is safe from terrorism if its neighbour is not, States are working together against the threat, he said, citing examples from the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), the African Union and other regional organizations. While calling the UN membership’s response to CTC “remarkable,” Ambassador Greenstock said support was not yet universal. Sixteen Member States have not filed a report with the CTC, including seven – Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Swaziland and Tonga – that have not made any kind of written contact. “The CTC is actively following up, with a view to offering advice on preparing a report,” he said, urging those countries to submit their reports. Nearly 180 countries have reported to the CTC, he said, adding that the Committee had responded to almost all of these first reports, and had begun to review the 86 follow-up reports which States have provided. To date, the total number of reports received by the CTC stands at 265. “We are determined to make the next months even more productive,” he pledged. In the ensuing debate, which saw the participation of some 40 speakers, delegates described their national efforts to combat terrorism and related ills, such as money laundering and arms trafficking. There was widespread praise for the work of the CTC, with several countries urging those that have not yet reported to the panel to do so without delay. Other participants took the occasion of the Council’s discussion to caution against letting the wider fight against terrorism serve as a pretext for violating human rights or marginalizing any religious or ethnic group.