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UK Mission to the United Nations

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London 18:48, 02 Jan 2013
New York 13:48, 02 Jan 2013

‘The threat from terrorism and proliferation to international peace and security remains significant’

14 November 2012

Statement by Ambassador Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN, to the Joint Briefing of the Chairs of the 1989 1373 and 1540 committees
Hand grenades for sale at a local market. © Getty Images

Thank you Mr President,

Let me thank the Chairs of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267/1989, 1373, and 1540, Ambassadors Wittig, Puri Singh and Sangqu, for their comprehensive briefings today and for their effective leadership of those Committees.

Mr President,

It is important to remember why we come together for these regular meetings.

The threat from terrorism and proliferation to international peace and security remains significant.  The three Committees under discussion today are on the front line of the United Nations’ work to address those threats.  But the work of these Committees is only as strong as the action taken by Member States to implement their obligations.

We should redouble our efforts with Member States to ensure that dangerous people and entities have their assets frozen and movement restricted; to ensure that states work to tighten their borders and import and export controls; and to ensure that legislation is put in place so that those who commit or support terrorist acts are prosecuted.

Only in this way can we ensure that the fight against terrorism succeeds. And that the next attack, be it in Mumbai, in Peshawar, in London, or in our host city of New York, is prevented.

Mr. President,

Over the past few years we have seen the development of the Ombudsperson system as a part of the United Nations’ Al Qaeda sanctions regime. This development has been conspicuously successful.

We welcome the Ombudsperson’s conclusion in her fourth report to the Security Council that the process has, and I quote, “operated in conformity with the fundamental principles of fair process which it was designed to address”.

The United Kingdom thanks Kimberly Prost for the exemplary way in which she fulfils her mandate. We will continue to work with members of the Sanctions Committee, the Ombudsperson, and other interested parties, to consider further enhancements to the Ombudsperson process. We will redouble our efforts to improve further the implementation and effectiveness of that regime.

The United Kingdom also pays tribute to the consistently excellent work accomplished by the sanctions’ Monitoring Team. Their work has made a significant contribution to enhancing our understanding of the threat, engaging effectively with concerned countries, and helping to set the framework in which the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee operates.

Mr. President,

The third biennial review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy reminded us that the whole international community, and every part of the UN system, must work together to address this challenge.

The Committee has also done a great deal of work with CTED to improve the way it communicates with States.  Getting a clear understanding of progress against benchmarks set out by the Committee is essential to determine what more needs to be done to assist those States in need of help.

And we also look forward to next week’s special meeting on combating terrorist financing.

Mr. President,

The threat that terrorists may acquire weapons of mass destruction has been a growing concern to the international community over the last decade.

Security Council resolution 1540 represents the resolve of the international community to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors. But its effective implementation of resolution 1540 requires commitment and cooperation by all States.

The United Kingdom encourages all States to report their efforts to the 1540 Committee.

National reporting to the Committee has a direct impact on terrorists who may be trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. It also has a positive impact on States’ security through better border management, improved legislation and safer controls over dangerous materials. We encourage States to view the submission of 1540 national reports as an effective way to improve national and global security.

The Committee, as supported by the new group of experts, is well placed to provide assistance and expert advice.

Finally Mr President, to the three Chairmen,

I say that because of the changing nature of terrorism and proliferation, the work of these three Committees is never truly done.  As the threats evolve, so we must adjust and adapt.  The work of States, supported and guided by our three counter-terrorism and non-proliferation Committees, is critical. And as you come to the end of your time as Chairs of these important Committees, you can take credit for leading that work.  And I thank you for it.

And thank you, Mr. President.

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