A United Nations diplomat has slammed U.N. sanctions against al Qaeda and the ousted Taliban as inadequate, blaming member countries for failing to cooperate.
Less than half of all member states were supplying the required information on al Qaeda and related terror-linked data to a special U.N. committee, said Heraldo Munoz, the Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations and the chairman of an al Qaeada sanctions committee.
“It’s disappointing … there’s a reticence on the part of many member states to provide the United Nations with adequate information”, Munoz said Wednesday.
The ambassador promised to reveal names of countries not turning over information by the end of the year.
Eighty-four countries have reported to the committee under an existing Security Council membership. The total U.N. membership is 191 countries. Munoz said it was also disturbing because al Qaeda members had been arrested in 102 countries, more than the total of nations actually reporting.
The ambassador confirmed Iran had turned over 200 names to the committee of suspected al Qaeda members. The Chilean said he appreciated the gesture, but added more information was needed on the names provided.
Overall, the ambassador said countries were still reluctant to act on names given to the committee. He said people on the lists were still violating sanctions by flying despite travel bans. In addition, he said more information on arms and explosives seized was needed.
Munoz also said freezing bank accounts was not enough. Seizing businesses and properties would be helpful. He added that he wanted “more teeth” in the sanctions.
The briefing occurred on the same day as the latest attacks in Iraq and a day after two U.N. aid offices were targeted. Asked to compared his work and the crisis in Iraq, Munoz said, “It’s urgent. People are dying.”
He said countries must realize the best way to combat terrorism was by working together on a multilateral basis.
The ambassador said charities continued to be abused and used for funneling money for terrorist activities. He said many countries did not act because they were linked to religious purposes or connected to legal or worthwhile activities.
Munoz spoke to reporters after briefing the Security Council following his return from a trip that included Afghanistan, Singapore, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
The tour was aimed at evaluating the successes and problems of implementing the sanctions.
The council shifted sanctions from the government of Afghanistan to terror leader Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and remnants of the Taliban in January 2002, after a U.S.-led force ousted the Taliban.
Munoz said the sanctions committee was concerned “about the way al Qaeda is circumventing the sanctions.”