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More Work With Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee

More States See Need To Work With Security Council's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Panel Says

Because many countries around the world faced the problem of terrorism, they were now more aware of the need to cooperate with the United Nations Security Council committee responsible for the implementation of sanctions against Al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associates, according to the head of an expert panel monitoring the measures' effectiveness.

"The impression we have from many Member States is that not only do [they] understand their obligations to implement sanctions as laid down by Security Council resolution 1267, but they are also much more aware of the national benefit of doing so," Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the eight-member Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, told a press briefing yesterday on its latest report.

Resolution 1267 was adopted in 1999 and includes a freeze on the assets of members of Al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, an arms embargo and a travel ban against the individuals and entities included in a roster compiled by the Security Council from information provided by Member States.

Throughout the report, Mr. Barrett said, the Monitoring Team addressed two fundamental issues: the extent of global implementation of Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions, and whether and how the sanctions measures could and should be improved.

He said the document's basic premise was that the sanctions were useful. Certainly, a great deal of work was being done internationally on financial measures, and the engagement of the official – and to some extent unofficial – banking systems was encouraging. Much thought was also being given to means of improving the travel ban and the arms embargo measures. The travel ban, in particular, could benefit from closer cooperation with INTERPOL, and that was one of the recommendations that had emerged in the past months.

In connection with the arms embargo, Mr. Barrett stressed the importance of the work of the Committee set up under Council resolution 1540 concerning the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors and emphasized the links between the two Committees. The members of the Team were contributing to that work, where they could, because "the biggest fear we all have is the possibility of terrorists getting hold of some means of causing mass casualties," including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials, he said.

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