90-day report to the Security Council, to be delivered on 10 December 2010
- This is the sixteenth 90-day report in accordance with paragraph 18 (h) of resolution 1737 (2006). The report covers the period from 16 September to 7 December 2010, during which time the Committee held no meetings but conducted its work using the silence procedure.
- I would like to begin by noting that, on 5 November 2010, in consultation with the Committee, the Secretary-General appointed the Panel of Experts established by paragraph 29 of resolution 1929 (2010). The Committee welcomes this development and is scheduled to hold informal consultations with the members of the Panel on 10 December.
- During the reporting period, the Committee received communications from two Member States who reported two separate incidents of violations of paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007) which imposes a ban on the export and procurement of all arms and related materiel from the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the first case, a Member State informed the Committee that, at one of its wharfs, its security authority had inspected and seized 13 shipping containers of illegal arms reportedly originating from Iran, and that a comprehensive report on the results of its investigations would be forthcoming. The Committee responded, inter alia, by recommending that the Member State retain and store the seized containers until the Committee had concluded its consideration of the matter; and encouraged the Member State to invite the Panel of Experts, as appropriate, to visit and inspect the seized containers.
- In the second case, a Member State informed the Committee that, at one of its harbours, its customs and border authorities had inspected and seized a container onboard the vessel MS Finland, originating from Iran and destined for the Syrian Arab Republic, which contained a high-potential explosive known as “T4” or “RDX”. Further investigations were being carried out by the Member State. As in the first case, the Committee dispatched a response with appropriate guidance to this State. It is a matter of grave concern, Mr. President, that the apparent pattern of sanctions violations involving prohibited arms transfers from Iran, first highlighted publicly by the Committee a year ago, is continuing.
- In accordance with its work programme, on 1 November 2010, the Committee approved a hand-out describing implementation by States of resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1929 (2010); and on 15 November, a fact sheet explaining the respective roles of the Committee and the Panel of Experts in investigating and responding to reported sanctions violations. It is hoped that these two documents, which were subsequently dispatched to all Member States under cover of a note verbale and are also available on the Committee’s web site, will assist Member States in meeting their responsibilities.
- The Committee considered, and approved, a request submitted by a Member State for an exception to the assets freeze, to the benefit of a listed entity, under subparagraph 13(b) of resolution 1737 (2006). In addition, the Committee received three notifications from two Member States in connection with the receipt and/or unfreezing of funds in order to make payments due under contracts entered into prior to the listing of two entities, pursuant to paragraph 15 of the same resolution. The Committee also responded to two written queries, on the assets freeze measure and on an entity designated as subject to this measure. Finally, the Committee is aware of a de-listing request, submitted through the focal point process outlined in the annex to resolution 1730 (2006), concerning another listed entity and will be addressing this request in accordance with the same resolution.
- Allow me to conclude, Mr. President, by noting the important work that lies ahead of the Committee, including the consideration of the forthcoming interim report of the Panel of Experts as well as the conduct of a comprehensive review of the implementation reports submitted by Member States under the four resolutions. Thus far the Committee has received 92 reports under resolution 1737 (2006), 79 reports under resolution 1747 (2007), 68 reports under resolution 1803 (2008), and 45 reports under resolution 1929 (2010).
- Since this is the last 90-day report I shall deliver to the Council in my capacity as Chairman of the Committee, on my behalf and on behalf of my predecessor, Ambassador Takasu, I thank the members of the Committee for their cooperation.
- Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to share my personal observations on the activities of the 1737 Committee during Japan’s term in the Security Council, since my mandate will come to end as of 31 December.
- The largest event over the past two years concerning the 1737 Committee was the adoption of Resolution 1929. Pursuant to this resolution, the Panel of Experts was established and its activities have begun recently. As the role of the Panel is to assist the work of the Committee from an independent point of view, ensuring an appropriate environment for the Panel will serve in the best and long term interests of the Committee. They also need to jointly implement the Program of Work which was adopted on 23 July. As such, the Committee and the Panel of Experts should work in a coordinated fashion.
- It cannot be overemphasized that the most important work of the Committee is to ensure the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. This can only be done as long as all Member States are fully informed of the work of the Committee and the Panel, as well as their respective roles in fulfilling the obligations of these resolutions. Against such backdrop, I have attached emphasis in ensuring transparency and sharing information to Member States. We can now find on the website of the 1737 Committee, relevant documents such as the Fact Sheet, which explains the respective roles of the Committee and the Panel, as well as the Hand-out, describing the obligations of Member States under relevant resolutions. I hope that Member States have found such early dissemination of information helpful.
- A number of Member States reported promptly upon identifying violation cases under their jurisdiction. These actions demonstrate their strong commitment in carrying out the responsibilities under the resolutions. As a Chair, I have tried to respond to their sincerity by expeditiously issuing acknowledgement letters, so as to express strong interest of the Committee in cooperating with their investigations. Speedy and reliable communication between the Committee and reporting States constitutes a crucial element in carrying out the mandate of the resolutions. For future cases, the Committee should establish a means for the Committee and the Panel to share information with relevant parties in those cases and to closely coordinate with them.
- National implementation reports submitted by Member States provide factual foundation for the Committee to understand the situation surrounding the implementation of resolutions. It is therefore quite unfortunate that the number of submissions remains low. I would like to take this opportunity to remind and request the Member States to submit their reports obligated by all relevant resolutions. In other Committees, I understand that analysis of submitted implementation repots have helped them better understand approaches taken by Member States in carrying out their obligations, and also to identify challenges and difficulties Member States are faced with. It is therefore important and necessary for this Committee, with the assistance of the Panel of experts to analyze the content of reports. By doing so, the Committee can provide better guidance to the Member States in submitting their reports and additional information, and also to identify any vulnerabilities in fulfilling obligations under the resolutions.
- Last but not least, I would like to emphasize that the strong support of Member States bears critical importance in carrying out the work of this Committee. I have benefitted greatly from cooperation extended by many Member States. More can be done by the Committee, in my view, to gain even stronger support from Member States. One effective tool which this Committee can use in the future is to hold regular briefings to the Member States. This can be complemented by the active engagement of the Panel of Experts in outreach activities. The Panel can also support the work of the Committee and its Chair by joining open briefings. It is essential for the Committee to actively seek support for Member States in carrying out its mandate. Such an active role played by the Committee will strengthen not only its visibility but also its legitimacy in the long run.