Remarks Following Briefings by Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies of the UN Security Council

John Kelley
Political Minister Counselor
New York, New York
November 15, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. And we thank each Ambassador for your briefings and leadership in drawing attention to the work of the 1267, 1373, and 1540 Committees, which play complementary roles in assessing and countering terrorist threats and support for terrorism.

These three committees must coordinate their counterterrorism efforts in mutually reinforcing ways to facilitate implementation of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and enhance global peace and security.

The United States reminds all Member States of their obligations to criminalize terrorism, prevent its financing, and deny safe havens to terrorists.

As the world saw with Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks in Israel, the Council’s work to counter terrorism is far from complete.

Da’esh and al-Qaida branches and affiliates continue to expand their influence across the globe. We are especially concerned with the growth of threats in Africa. As we look forward to the Africa CT Summit in Abuja in April, we will work within the 1267 Committee and with Member States in the region to prioritize efforts to list key Da’esh affiliates in Africa, as well as Da’esh and AQ leaders and facilitators, by the 1267 Committee. Unfortunately, the 1267 Committee has only designated three individuals and one entity since the beginning of this year. Designations are one of the most important levers the Security Council has to deter terrorist activity. We look forward to the 1267 Monitoring Team’s upcoming bi-annual report, which will help shed further light on the complicated terrorist threat and landscape that the international community faces.

The Counterterrorism Committee continues to serve as a key platform for discussion on current and emerging terrorist threats. CTED’s assessments on Member States’ implementation of their counterterrorism obligations are invaluable. We urge Member States and the Global Counterterrorism Coordinating Compact Entities to use these assessments to identify capacity gaps and highlight some of the good practices outlined in such assessments. We urge all Council members to recognize and respect the importance and technical nature of these reports. Noting the importance of increased transparency and partnerships in the Global CT Compact’s efforts, we reiterate the importance of robust engagement with civil society at the Africa CT Summit in Abuja.

The 1540 Committee remains a cornerstone of international efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by and to non-state actors, including terrorist groups. The Committee and its Group of Experts play a key role in overseeing obligations to prevent non-state actors from benefiting from the transfer, manufacture, or use of WMDs or related goods and know-how. This is why we have been so disappointed by the recent obstructionism in the Committee to block the Chair’s almost year-long efforts to fill the gaps in the Group of Experts. Even more concerning is how this gap is being used as justification to block a Group of Experts from carrying out its responsibilities, aligned with the Committee’s mandate. This obstructionism is of course part of a larger disturbing downward trend in nonproliferation engagement that is making the world more dangerous, and is unraveling decades of hard-won cooperation among the nations of the world to reduce the threat posed by WMD. The vast majority of Committee members, and non-Committee members, rightfully continue to find the work of the 1540 Committee incredibly valuable. For that reason, we are grateful for Ecuador’s leadership, transparency, and consultations, and continue to urge all Committee members to engage constructively on this file.

This Council has explicitly encouraged cooperation among 1267, 1373, and 1540 Committees to advance broad counter-terrorism initiatives. In particular, Resolutions 1810, 1977, and 2325 reiterate the need to enhance cooperation between the 1540 Committee and other subsidiary bodies, including through “information sharing, coordination on visits to countries within their respective mandates, technical assistance and other issues of relevance to all three committees.” The 1540 regime is especially important in this regard since it requires Member States to adopt and enforce laws to prevent all non-state actors, including terrorists, private entities, and individuals who might unwittingly or intentionally enable terrorist acquisition of WMD-related assets.

In conclusion, Mr. President, greater cooperation, including through more regular meetings, more frequent joint visits, and increased sharing of information regarding current and emerging non-state proliferation threats, will help all three committees fulfill their mandates.

And with that I thank you sir.