UN terrorism sanctions panel preserved its credibility

Dian Triansyah Djani
Dian Triansyah Djani, Indonesia's Permanent Representive to the United Nations, who chairs the Security Council sanctions committee that added Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar to list of international terrorists, speaks to reporters at the UN on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Photo: UN/IANS) IANS

The Security Council's terrorism sanctions committee has preserved its credibility by finally declaring Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar an international terrorist, according to Dian Triansyah Djani, the Indonesian diplomat who chairs the panel.

"I think it is really time for us to work together, all countries regardless of whether it is in the Security Council or in other fora" against terrorism, he told reporters here on Wednesday.

"We have been able to preserve the sanctity and credibility of the committee" by listing Azhar as terrorist subject to sanctions, he said.

After a decade of resistance and four vetoes by China against attempts in the committee to declare Pakistan-based Azhar an international terrorist, it finally reached a consensus on Wednesday on adding him to the terrorists list and imposing sanctions that freeze his assets and ban travel.

Earlier, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin thanked Djani in a statement for seeing the decision through.

He "was instrumental in ensuring that the process went smoothly and in accordance with our agreed understandings", Akbaruddin said.

Djani said, "a consensus decision has been attempted where everybody has participated and once again as chair we have done our job in trying to facilitate consensus".

"I am just doing my function as the chair, trying to facilitate, to bring all parties together", he added, "I think it is not only the function of the chair but all members of the committee that has been working very hard" to reach a consensus.

Djani, who is the Permanent of Representative of Indonesia, took over the rotating presidency of the Security Council for this month on Wednesday.

After Indonesia joined the Security Council in January following its election last year, he was made the chair of three important committees dealing with terrorism.

Named for the numbers of the Council resolutions setting them up, they are the 1267 Committee on sanctions against Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and their affiliated groups and individuals, which listed Azhar as a terrorist; the 1373 committee on counter terrorism, and the 1540 Committee that oversees domestic controls on prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Djani said: "We are the only one now holding three chairmanships. I think that is a lot of work for me."

He said that his country has been a victim of terrorism and that was the reason Indonesia took responsibility to leading the Council efforts against terrorism. He added that Indonesia took the initiatives for five press statements by the Council on terrorist attacks, the latest in the New Zealand and Sri Lanka.