Statement at the UNSC Briefing by Chairs of the 1267, 1373 and 1540 Committees
Statement23 November 2022
Thank you Mr. President.
At the outset, let me thank each of the Chairs for their informative briefings this afternoon.
I also want to express Ireland’s sincere gratitude to all three Chairs for their excellent stewardship of their respective Committees during the course of 2022.
Today’s briefings underline the unfortunate reality that terrorism remains a grave threat to international peace and security.
Terrorist groups – in particular ISIL, Al-Qaida and their affiliates - are growing in strength throughout Africa. ISIL-K continues to pose a severe threat in Afghanistan, while Al-Qaida finds safe haven in the country under Taliban rule. And ISIL retains the capacity to mount high-profile attacks in Syria and Iraq.
For Ireland, these negative developments highlight the need to course correct, and readjust our counter-terrorism responses.
The Council must place a greater focus on tackling the underlying drivers of terrorism and violent extremism. Instead of solely focusing on containing terrorism, the Council must seek ways to prevent it.
Effectively doing so requires whole-of-society approaches, which are inclusive of civil society, and are gender responsive.
Throughout Ireland’s Council tenure, we have consistently stressed the importance of placing human rights at the heart of all counter-terrorism responses. Too often however, human rights are either sidelined or actively undermined.
In this regard, we recently hosted an event, which spotlighted the ways counter terrorist financing measures are misused to target civil society, humanitarian actors and human rights defenders.
Such measures are counterproductive to efforts to counter terrorism, and can constitute violations of international human rights law. That is why Ireland believes that the Council must work harder to ensure that counter-terrorism measures – including sanctions – do not impede humanitarian action.
In this regard, Ireland, together with our US colleagues, has introduced a draft resolution providing for a humanitarian exemption across all sanctions regimes. We urge all Council members to support this initiative, thereby allowing aid to reach populations at risk.
Mr President, in a challenging global security environment, the risk that non-state actors, including terrorists, may acquire, develop, traffic in or use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, remains deeply concerning.
And we are not dealing here in hypotheticals, Mr President. UNITAD’s investigative work reveals evidence of chemical weapons attacks by ISIL in Iraq and the incentivisation of the use of such weapons by ISIL’s senior leadership.
UNITAD’s work reaffirms the importance of maintaining and expanding cooperation between the 1540, 1267 and 1373 Committees, as well as their expert groups.
Such cooperation includes regular meetings, the sharing of relevant information and engagement on issues of mutual concern. Ireland also underscores the importance and value of joint visits, including the participation of the 1267 Monitoring Team and 1540 Group of Experts on relevant CTED country visits.
We would also like to take this opportunity to commend the Chair of the 1540 Committee for the conduct of the Comprehensive Review. The Comprehensive Review has been an important opportunity to review the work of the Committee, including with the broader UN membership, on a key part of the non-proliferation architecture.
To conclude, Mr President, Ireland looks forward to the renewal of the mandate of the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts later this month.