04 March 2004
U.S. Urges Strengthening of U.N. Counter-Terrorism Committee
Ambassador Negroponte's U.N. Security Council remarks on CTC
The U.N. Security Council must remain at the forefront of the
international community's campaign to rid the world of the scourge
of terrorism, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said March 4.
In a speech to the Security Council, Negroponte said that the
council must act with "a renewed sense of urgency and commitment" to
the counter-terrorism effort. He supported proposals to restructure
the council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) support staff which
would enable the CTC to provide technical assistance to individual
countries as well as international and regional organizations in
identifying gaps in counter-terrorism capabilities and implementing
"Finding innovative ways to address the ongoing threat to
international peace and security posed by terrorism presents the
council with a unique challenge," the ambassador said. "The
council must not become complacent in this search."
The council also heard a presentation by Ambassador Inocencio
Arias of Spain, who is CTC chairman. He said that the CTC must
be restructured so that it can become more proactive in evaluating
the implementation of the landmark anti-terrorism resolution and
step up efforts to facilitate technical assistance to nations and
promote closer cooperation. The restructuring plan calls for a
plenary composed of Security Council members who will focus on
strategic and policy decision and a bureau of expert and secretariat
Anti-terrorism Resolution 1373 was adopted September 28, 2001.
It called on nations to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism
and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, and commit
acts of terrorism. The resolution also established the CTC to monitor
states' compliance with the resolution.
The 15 council members, as well as other nations who spoke during
the open meeting, voiced support for strengthening the CTC.
Following is the text of Negroponte's remarks:
Statement by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, United States Representative
to the United Nations, on the Work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee,
in the Security Council
March 4, 2004
Thank you very much, Mr. President. I would like to join other
members in thanking Ambassador Arias for his report to us this
morning, and also to congratulate him for the work that he has
done as the chairman of the CTC over the months.
Mr. President, perhaps the most significant contribution by the
Security Council to the global campaign against terrorism has been
the adoption of Resolution 1373, which established the Counter-Terrorism
Committee. Through its capacity-building and global coordination
initiatives, the Committee has become a significant element of
the worldwide campaign against terrorism. It has helped energize
states and organizations around the world to pay more attention
to combating terrorism, whether through the adoption of new or
the improvement of existing counter-terrorism legislation, or the
development and implementation of counter-terrorism action plans.
While the Committee has performed admirably, much work remains
to be done.
In the two and a half years since the adoption of Resolution 1373,
despite the global counter-terrorism effort, the terrorists and
their supporters have continued to strike, whether in Bali, Moscow,
Casablanca, Riyadh, Baghdad, Istanbul, Haifa, Jerusalem, Karbala,
Quetta or elsewhere. Terrorism has continued to spread, raising
the specter of further deadly attacks on innocent victims and continuing
threats to international peace and security.
The Security Council must remain at the forefront of the international
community's campaign to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism.
To do so, it must act with a renewed sense of urgency and commitment
to a sustained and determined effort to defeat this global scourge.
It must act as though 9/11 took place yesterday, not more than
two years ago. It must not wait for the next major terrorist act
to occur to become energized. The Council and its Counter-Terrorism
Committee must never forget that so long as a few states are not
acting quickly enough to raise their capacity to fight terrorism,
we all remain vulnerable.
The Committee has initially responded to the challenge. It has
identified not only the difficulties states are having in implementing
Resolution 1373, but it also highlighted its own internal structural
problems that are preventing the CTC from performing more effectively.
It must continue to innovate and evolve.
After months of deliberations, the Committee has agreed that restructuring
its support staff is needed to enable the Committee to carry out
all of the current and new tasks in its approved work program,
particularly in the facilitation of technical assistance and coordination
among international, regional, and sub-regional organization. The
proposal presented by Chairman Arias, not only reflects the views
of all 15 Committee Members, but also takes into account detailed
discussions with the Secretariat.
Once the proposed restructuring becomes a reality, the CTC can
become more effective in fulfilling its mandate of monitoring states'
efforts to implement all of the provisions of Resolution 1373.
It will be able to work more closely with states in identifying
gaps in their counter-terrorism capabilities and in finding the
necessary technical assistance to fill these gaps. In addition,
it will expand its efforts to galvanize organizations worldwide
to adopt and implement best practices, codes, and standards and
ensure that their members are implementing requirements of the
resolution. Of course, it will do this while respecting what have
become its hallmarks: transparency, cooperation, and even-handedness.
Finding innovative ways to address the ongoing threat to international
peace and security posed by terrorism presents the Council with
a unique challenge. The Council must not become complacent in this
search. It must continue to explore ways to enhance its contribution
in this area. The adoption of Resolution 1373 and the creation
of the Counter-Terrorism Committee were central elements of the
Council's extraordinary response to this unique situation. We view
the CTC's restructuring proposal should be viewed as a continuation
of this response and as a managerial reform after the experience
of 30 months of work. The CTC has fulfilled its responsibility
by studying the problem and proposing the solution. The Council
must now do its part and take the necessary action to make the
proposal a reality.
Thank you, Mr. President.