13 November 2003
Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee Chairman Calls for More Cooperation
Head of U.N. Security Council panel requests more
data from U.N. members
By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent
United Nations -- The head of the U.N. Security Council Sanctions
Committee on al-Qaeda and the Taliban November 12 called for more
cooperation from nations in identifying members and seizing all
assets of the terrorist organizations.
Ambassador Heraldo Munoz of Chile said that "we have 372 individuals
and entities on our consolidated list and this does not reflect
the extent of functioning of al-Qaeda and the Taliban given consideration
that about 4,000 individuals linked to this terrorist network have
been detained in over 102 countries."
Briefing journalists after a closed door Security Council meeting,
Munoz said that "we need member states to deliver appropriate information
to our committee ... and improve the quality of information" so
that nations have the necessary data to stop the terrorists at
"This is urgent," he said. "There are people dying on the streets,
innocent people. Therefore, when countries cooperate with us they
cooperate with themselves because we are a conduit for multilateral
cooperation. They cannot do it alone."
"Let us remember the main characteristic of al-Qaeda -- it is
a global terrorist network and that global terrorism is not defeated
unilaterally, but through cooperation," Munoz said.
Munoz said that he discussed several concerns with the Security
The ambassador said that countries are not seizing all the property
and assets of the people who are on the list. "Bank accounts are
not the whole picture. The whole picture is properties, businesses,
and other types of investments," Munoz said.
The committee has also found that countries are not providing
enough information on weapons and explosives seized. It is especially
concerned about getting sufficient data on portable surface-to-air
missiles that could be used in future terrorist activities, the
Another concern is "the way that al-Qaeda is circumventing the
sanctions," especially by using charities, he said.
"Charities continue to be abused and used to channel money to
terrorist activities. We have discovered that in several cases," Munoz
said. "Many countries do not act against charities because they
are linked to religious and cultural beliefs. ... But at the same
time we do know some of them continue to be a channel" for funds
and even enter into joint ventures with the terrorists.
For example, member states are clearly willing to freeze bank
accounts, but the committee's monitoring group has found that often
individuals and organizations related to al-Qaeda have property
and businesses that continue to function despite the fact that
some of those organizations are on the U.N. watch list, Munoz said.
"In addition, we have discovered that some individuals listed
in the consolidated list have violated the travel ban in fact to
engage in activities related to their financial and economic assets," he
The committee has asked the Security Council to consider strengthening
the sanctions regime, the ambassador said. "We want more teeth
in the sanctions."
Munoz also said that the number of countries reporting to the
committee is "disappointing."
"Only 84 countries have presented reports ... less than half the
membership of the United Nations. Yet we know that there have been
members of al-Qaeda and related organizations arrested in 102 countries," he