India slams secrecy in working of UN’s terrorism sanctions panel
United Nations, June 7 (IANS) Having won the battle to get the UN to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, India has slammed the secrecy in the working of the Security Council sanctions committee that thwarted for over a decade India’s efforts to have sanctions imposed on him.
The Council’s al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee and others like it "undertake their work outside of the contemporary norms of transparency and there is hardly any meaningful engagement with the membership to make the international community aware of their various decisions", Nagaraj Naidu, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative told the Council on Thursday.
"While we get to know of these committees decisions of listing of individuals and entities, the decisions on rejecting these listing requests submitted by member states are neither made public, nor are conveyed to the larger membership," he said during the debate on the working of the Council.
Without having to publicly justify its decision, China had blocked Azhar’s designation as a terrorist for 10 years in the secretive al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, which deals with groups and people associated with it and the Islamic State.
Under intense pressure from the US, France and Britain, Beijing finally allowed the panel last month to impose sanctions on the Pakistan-based terrorist like outlawing his travel and freezing his assets.
Saying they function in a "subterranean world", Naidu said, "Not only these subsidiary bodies have varied and custom-made working methods, these are overshadowed by obscure practices which do not find any legal basis in the charter or any Council resolutions."
Naidu also said that the engagement between the Assembly, which represents all the 193 members of the UN, and the Council that is dominated by its permanent members has to be restored and strengthened.
The reports of the Council to the Assembly are merely "factual markers of how many times the Council met and how many debates it had" instead of meeting the long-standing demand for them to be "more substantive and analytical," he said.
"Moreover, the manner in which these reports are tabled causes delays in how and when these reports are discussed in the General Assembly thereby the membership losing an important opportunity of engagement with the Council," he added.
He called for greater participation of the countries contributing troops in developing the peace-keeping operations that are mandated by the Council and for implementing their suggestions.
"While it is a common understanding that views and concerns of troop- and police-contributing countries is crucial for better implementation of peacekeeping mandates, what is even more significant is that this understanding needs to be translated into action," he added.