The Security Council today authorized the creation of an ombudsperson to help deal with the question of removing individuals and entities from the list of those subject to sanctions in connection with Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The Office of the Ombudsperson would function for an initial period of 18 months and follows a report to the Council last month by Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting of Austria, chairman of the so-called 1267 (1999) Committee on sanctions against individuals and entities linked to the two groups, in which he called for the sanctions regime to be updated to keep pace with the evolution of the threat.
In a unanimous resolution, acting under Chapter VII authorizing the use of force, the Council reaffirmed much that was contained in previous resolutions, calling for immediately freezing funds, other financial assets or economic resources of those linked to the groups, preventing their entry into or transit through Member States’ territories, and banning the direct or indirect supply of arms, related materiel and paramilitary equipment.
“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and… any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” the 15-member body said, condemning unequivocally Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and those linked to them.
“Sanctions are an important tool under the Charter of the United Nations in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security,” it added, stressing the need for robust implementation in combating terrorist activity.
In his presentation to the Council last month, Mr. Mayr-Harting said UN efforts to combat terrorism must keep up to date with the evolving threat through effective counter-measures such as sanctions and reinforced regional cooperation to prevent the smuggling of materials for weapons of mass destruction.
“Ten years after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1267, the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban persists, both worldwide and especially in South Asia,” he added. “At the same time, over the years this threat has evolved considerably and we must ensure that the existing sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban remains a relevant and effective tool in countering terrorism.”
He stressed that his committee was reviewing all entries to ensure that the sanctions list “remains dynamic and accurately reflects the current threat.” As of then there were 504 entries.