Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Committees 1267/1373/1540
National statement delivered by Minister Counsellor Joakim Vaverka on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the 1267/1989/2253 Committees, the 1373 Committee and the 1540 Committee, 3 October 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Let me join others in welcoming you to the Presidency, and assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation through the month of October. I’d also like to congratulate the US delegation for their excellent stewardship of the Council during the month of September.
Thank you for your briefing today, as well as for your important work as Chair of the 1540 Committee. Let me also thank the Permanent Representatives of Kazakhstan and Peru for their leadership in chairing their respective committees.
Since we met in this format in May last year, there have been numerous encouraging developments in global efforts to counter terrorism, both inside and outside this Council. We have seen that through concerted efforts, our ability to fight this scourge has improved. However, we are far from done. Acts of terrorism remain a serious threat to international peace and security, and we must continue to develop our tools to counter and prevent further terrorist acts.
One of the most notable developments within the UN during the last year is of course the establishment of the Office of Counter Terrorism. We recognize and appreciate that the Council committees and the UNOCT are now working together to strengthen their coordination on a number of important aspects.
The adoption of several counter-terrorism related resolutions, among them resolution 2396, on returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, is another significant development. Effective implementation of these resolutions must now be ensured.
Continued cooperation and unity of this Council is a prerequisite for the further development of our ability to combat terrorism. Sweden welcomes the well-functioning cooperation and information sharing between the three committees, as well as their respective expert groups.
The 1267 sanctions regime remains a vital tool in our counter-terrorism efforts. It is true that Da’esh has lost territory over the last year. However, as many colleagues have observed today, this network clearly remains a grave threat. There is also a surge in the threat from Al-Qaeda. Continued efforts to improve the functioning of this regime is thus key.
We welcome the appointment of the new Ombudsperson, Mr. Daniel Kipfer Fasciati. The Office of the Ombudsperson is of crucial importance for due process and therefore for the efficiency and compliance of the sanctions regime. In the future, we should look at some kind of procedure to ensure that longer vacancies of this key post is avoided.
Currently, only individuals and entities listed under the 1267 sanctions regime have access to the Ombudsperson, while due process concerns exist also in other sanctions regimes. We should consider the possibility of gradually extending the mandate of the Ombudsperson also to other sanctions regimes, as appropriate.
The 1373 Committee is a vital venue for dialogue on counter-terrorism related challenges within the framework of the CTC. The continued engagement between the Committee, CTED and other relevant actors such as civil society, the CTED Global Research Network and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, remains essential. We recall the important discussion held last week in the CTC on the impact of counter-terrorism on human rights, and we welcome efforts made at streamlining human rights and gender issues throughout all committee and CTED activities, including during assessment visits and thematic briefings, as outlined by Ambassador Meza-Cuadra in his presentation. Both of these perspectives are key, not least from the point of view of preventing terrorism.
Sweden also welcomes the increased attention on issues relating to the impact of terrorism – and counter-terrorism – on children, made possible through the adoption of resolution 2395 last year. We thank the CTC Chair for highlighting the role of the UN University in this important discussion. The UNU:s research briefs on children and extreme violence fill an important void. Sweden is considering ways of deepening our cooperation with the UNU, especially on how to improve reintegration interventions for individuals associated with groups deemed as terrorists or violent extremists.
The 1540 resolution and its Committee remains an important complement to the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The threat from non-state actors is real. That 181 states have submitted their initial reports on national implementation is testimony to an increasing commitment to address this urgent threat. This urgency has become even more evident as the international norm prohibiting chemical weapons use has been violated repeatedly over these past few years.
The evolving nature of the threat from non-state actors requires us to stay one step ahead. We must take into account the rapid advances in science and technology to foresee potential risks. Sweden, together with Bolivia and the 1540 Group of Experts, will cohost an event on emerging technologies later this month, to share experiences among member states and national and international scientific societies on this topic.
This Council has repeatedly underscored, in its various resolutions, that all counter-terrorism measures undertaken by member states must comply with their obligations under international law, and made it clear that failure to comply with international obligations is one of the factors that contribute to radicalization and violence.
There is no doubt that terrorists must be held to account and that there cannot be any impunity for the atrocities committed by terrorists. Meanwhile, we must remember that counter-terrorism efforts cannot come at the expense of human rights. If we are to succeed in eliminating terrorism, we must also uphold the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, online as well as offline. They are the basis of an open society, critical thinking, and for fostering resilience against terrorist propaganda. Let me therefore conclude by reiterating the importance of assuring that all counter-terrorism measures are carried out in accordance with international law, including human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law.