By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – Kazakhstan is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. Ambassador Kairat Umarov, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, chairs the Council’s Committees 1988 on the Taliban movement and 1267 on ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida.
Nearly two months ahead of Kazakhstan assuming the Council’s rotating presidency for January 2018, Ambassador Umarov led a Security Council delegation to Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. With the visit from October 28 to 31, the Security Council wanted to familiarize itself with the situation on the ground and receive first-hand information on how effectively sanction measures against the international terrorist organizations are being implemented.
The sanctions regime of Committees 1988 and 1267 provides for travel bans, assets freeze and arms embargoes against individuals, legal entities and organizations associated with the activities of terrorist structures.
During the visit, the delegation held meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and Chairman of Afghan High Peace Council Mohammad Karim Khalili as well as with the heads of Afghan ministries and departments responsible for ensuring security and combating the financing of terrorism.
The Afghan leadership informed the Security Council delegation, among others, about the efforts under way to ensure peace, promote national reconciliation and combat terrorism. The delegation was told that Kabul is determined to settle the situation in the country peacefully, including through the effective use of the mechanisms of the sanctions regimes of Security Council Committees 1267 and 1988 purported to advance the peace process.
President Ghani and other high representatives of Afghanistan underscored the role of the security-development nexus for strengthening stability. They also stressed the importance of regional cooperation.
Afghan authorities expressed their gratitude to Kazakhstan, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, for the support given to settle the situation in Afghanistan within the framework of the UN, and in the interest of the entire region and the international community.
In addition to discussing issues on the international agenda, President Ghani expressed his appreciation for the state of bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, together with his personal gratitude to President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his constant attention to ensure peace, progress and sustainable development in the Afghanistan.
SCO Conference in Tashkent
Early November, Ambassador Umarov participated in the conference of the Fifth Scientific and Practical Conference of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS SCO) on the theme of ‘Combating Terrorism: Cooperation without Borders’ in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan.
He called upon UN Members to cooperate more closely with the Security Council Sanctions Committees to expand the international community’s capacity to counter challenges and threats of global terrorism, and to suppress the activities of terrorists and their networks.
In his capacity as the Chair of the Council’s Committees 1988 on the Taliban movement and 1267 on ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaid, Ambassador Umarov spoke of UN assessments regarding the threats emanating from the terrorist groups, noting the escalation of their activities in northern Afghanistan. He underscored the need for Member States to use the mechanisms of the sanctions regime against these terrorist structures as part of their national anti-terrorism strategies.
The Conference on November 1-2 discussed major issues such as those of countering modern challenges and threats emanating from international terrorist organizations, with the participants underlined the complexity involved in predicting situations.
It was pointed out that as a result of the successes of anti-terrorist forces in the Middle East and the expulsion of terrorists from the region, the terrorists were redeploying themselves to other parts of the world, including Afghanistan. This was creating additional threats near the borders of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Conference also addressed how to counteract the use of Internet for terrorist and extremist purposes, and coordinating actions in the fight against the financing of terrorism.
The participants agreed on the need for closer cooperation in the following areas: the timely exchange of information; the search for terrorists, the strengthening of border controls, the training of personnel for anti-terrorist units, the mutual integration of information databases on combating terrorism, the conduct of antiterrorist exercises, and improvement of the legal basis for antiterrorist cooperation.
It was also emphasized that the fight against terrorism and extremism as well as international counter-terrorism cooperation, should be carried out with the UN playing a coordinating role, and strictly observing the UN Charter and norms of international law.
The representatives of the competent bodies of SCO member states and observers, as well as the Secretariat of the SCO attended the Conference. The UN entities present, such as the UN Office of Counter Terrorism, Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, the UN Security Council Sanctions Committees 1267 and 1988; the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia also made important contributions to the event.
Regional structures participated actively; and among key participants were the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
Other key organizations that added to deliberations were the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia; the Collective Security Treaty Organization; the Commonwealth of Independent States’ (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Center and the Coordination Service of the Council of Commanders of the Border Troops of the CIS. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 November 2017]
Photo: UN Security Council in a session in November 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten.
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