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More than 100 reports due to UN anti-terror panels not yet submitted, chairs say

26 October 2005 More than 100 reports that countries are required to submit to United Nations anti-terrorism committees are overdue, the chairmen of those bodies told Security Council today.

As of today, 67 Member States have yet to report to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by non-State actors, particularly terrorists, said its chairman, Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc of Romania.

He called on those countries to submit their first reports without further delay, warning that unless they meet their obligations in full, their territories might be used for shipping WMDs and related materials, or for financing illegal activities, or as a safe haven to broker the sale of WMD-related material.

The chairman of the 1267 (1999) Committee concerning Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions, Ambassador Cesar Mayoral of Argentina, told the Council that 48 Member States had yet to submit reports to his committee and he urged them to do so as soon as possible.

He said his committee had substantially increased its cooperation with Interpol, the international police organization, which would allow a number or practical steps such as the issuance of new notices by Interpol showing that an individual had been placed on the committee's list.

He said he had no doubt about the existence of strong political will to combat terrorism, but stressed the need to consider what could be done to further assist countries requiring technical assistance.

The chairwoman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) established by resolution 1373 (2001) after the 11 September terrorist attacks against the United States, Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, reported that her committee had focused over the past three months on engaging with regional organizations and looking at better ways to facilitate technical assistance to Member States.

She said developments over the last three months, which included several large terrorist attacks around the world, had again proved that the CTC's work remained vital and urgent.

A number of delegates participating in the debate that followed echoed the call on countries to submit reports to the committees, and cited the continuing prevalence of terrorist acts as evidence of the urgency of their work.

Also today, Martin Sheinin, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism told reporters that he would work pro-actively to find best practices and offer technical assistance and advisory services.

“My approach is not primarily confrontational, but more trying to liaise with Governments and assist them in finding a way to deal with terrorism without sacrificing human rights,” said the Special Rapporteur, who was named in August as an unpaid expert serving in an independent personal capacity.

“So far the exercise of the mandate has been mostly about setting the scene, building the methodology and contacting governments with preliminary questions concerning their counter-terror legislation,” Mr. Sheinin added.

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