UN tells members to enforce sanctions on Al Qaida . . . or else

Thursday, February 5, 2004

The United Nations Security Council has pledged to focus on countries that violate Al Qaida sanctions having replaced a controversial panel that had been monitoring violations.

Scores of countries have failed to cite assets of Al Qaida and Taliban.

Other countries were said to have failed to freeze the assets of organizations that have been determined to have financed these Islamic insurgency groups.

Under the sanctions, UN members must prevent the flow of money and Al Qaida and Taliban insurgents, Middle East Newsline reported. The members must also halt the supply, sale and transfer of weapons, training and material to those on the UN sanctions list.

UN officials said the Security Council has launched an effort to tighten sanctions against Al Qaida and Taliban through a 15-member body led by Chilean ambassador Heraldo Munoz. The effort would cite countries that have failed to honor the UN sanctions regime. The council would also establish a panel of experts that would report on the implementation of the improved sanctions regime.

"We`ve learned the lessons of our past errors to close the gaps that we had in the previous regime system," Munoz said. "The decision has been made to upgrade to improve the sanctions against the terrorist network of Al Qaida and the Taliban."

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On Jan. 30, the Security Council dissolved a five-member panel to monitor Al Qaida sanctions in July 2001. The council approved a new eight-member panel called the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team that would be come under closer oversight by the council.

"I would like a monitoring team that is efficient, that is independent and that can closely collaborate with the committee," Munoz said. "The idea is to, through renewed efforts, not only freeze assets and economic resources, but very specific reference is made to properties, to concrete resources other than bank accounts," Munoz said.

The UN has set March 31 as the deadline to submit reports on the measures against Al Qaida and Taliban. Munoz said those countries that do not comply will be placed on a list circulated by the Security Council committee that monitor the implementation of the sanctions.

"I think that is a strong signal so that countries do what they have to do in other words, comply with the Security Council resolutions," Munoz

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