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PROPOSALS FOR FOLLOW UP TO THE 110th SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS (Vilnius, 3 May 2002)

1. Introduction

1. On the basis of the terms of reference it received by the Committee of Ministers at its 109th Session in November 2001, the Multidisciplinary Group on international action against terrorism (GMT) finalised, for the attention of the Committee of Ministers at its 110th Session (Vilnius, 3 May 2002), a Progress Report on the action which the Council of Europe could usefully carry out in the field of the fight against terrorism (CM(2002)57). This Progress Report contains (i) a report on the “state of affairs” of the discussions on the update of the 1977 Convention on the Suppression of terrorism, (ii) an indication of the need to provide for a simple, flexible and specific follow-up mechanism in the field of terrorism in order to enhance the efficiency of Council of Europe’s action in this area and (iii) proposals for legal and policy actions to be undertaken, if so decided by the Committee of Ministers, by the Council of Europe in this field.

2. In the Final Communiqué of the 110th Session, the Ministers:

- “took note with satisfaction of the first report of the Multidisciplinary Group on international action against Terrorism (GMT) set up last November;
- expressed their political will that efforts be sustained in the areas identified by the GMT, including the strengthening of international cooperation, through the updating of the 1977 European Convention on the suppression of terrorism;
- reaffirmed their support for the Organisation's efforts to combat terrorism, in particular through examining the possibility of setting up a specific follow-up mechanism to the Council of Europe's action in this field;
- accordingly, instructed the GMT to prepare a draft protocol to the European Convention on the suppression of terrorism, and noted that a new report will be submitted to them for their next session.”
3. The Deputies, at their 795th meeting on 14-15 May 2002, on the basis of the Communiqué of the 110th Session, of the “Vilnius Declaration on Regional Co-operation and the Consolidation of Democratic Stability in Greater Europe” and of the Conclusions of the Chair, and in the light of the interventions made by the Ministers on 3 May 2002, inter alia, “instructed the Secretariat and the relevant experts’ committees (in particular the GMT and the CDDH), as well as their Working Group GT-Dialogue, to continue their work in the field of the contribution of the Council of Europe to the international action against terrorism and to report back when appropriate”.
4. Following these decisions, the Ministers’ Deputies, at their 796th meeting, when considering the Abridged Report of the 3rd meeting of the GMT, held an exchange of views on the future of the GMT and raised a number of questions, incorporated into a letter dated 28 May 2002 by Ambassador Gérard PHILLIPS (Luxembourg), in his capacity as Chairman of the Ministers’ Deputies, to the Chair of the GMT, Mr P. DE KOSTER (Belgium) (see copy attached to this document).

5. The letter addresses the following main 5 questions, which will be dealt with in the second part of this document: (a) indicate the order of priorities of the future actions by the GMT, (b) explain how the GMT intends to develop its proposals, (c) make proposals on which body has to implement and develop the actions proposed, (d) establish a time-table to implement the proposals for actions, (e) make proposals on the follow up of the implementation of the GMT proposals.

2. Follow up to the 110th Session of the Committee of Ministers

6. This part of this document takes as a basis the Progress Report on the action which could usefully be carried out by the Council of Europe in the field of the fight against terrorism, which was presented at the 110th Session of the Committee of Ministers in Vilnius on 3 May 2002 (see document CM(2002)57). Since the Progress Report deals already with the content of the various proposals, the indications below address only the questions put forward by the Deputies. Ultimately, it will be for the Committee of Ministers to take a final decision on whether and how these proposals ought to be implemented, bearing in mind the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the field of the fight against terrorism.

7. The GMT underlines that specific proposals for further actions of the Council of Europe in the field of the fight against terrorism are contained in the Progress Report and deserve to be developed further by the appropriate bodies within the Council of Europe.

a. Future actions by the Council of Europe

8. Amongst the various proposals made by the GMT, the following should be developed without delay by the Council of Europe1:

- further study the concept of «apologie du terrorisme » and of « incitement to terrorism» (see paragraph 8 of the Progress Report);
- special investigative techniques (see paragraphs 10-12 of the Progress Report);
- protection of witnesses and pentiti (see paragraphs 13-17 of the Progress Report);
- international law enforcement co-operation (paragraph 28-31 of the Progress Report);
- fight against the financing of terrorism (see paragraphs 31-42 of the Progress Report);
- IDs matters in relation to terrorism (see paragraphs 53-54 of the Progress Report);

9. The Council of Europe, while developing the activities in the fight against terrorism, should strengthen Human Rights and fundamental freedoms, multicultural and inter-religious dialogue through appropriate and concrete initiatives, such as education programmes, public awareness campaigns, social cohesion initiatives and initiatives aiming at facilitating the contribution of religions to the fight against terrorism (see paragraphs 67-71 of the Progress Report). These initiatives should be continued or implemented, as the case may be, in 2003.

b. Ways to develop the proposals

i. «apologie du terrorisme » and of « incitement to terrorism»

10. Consideration should be given to further study the concept of «apologie du terrorisme » and of « incitement to terrorism», and to identify, inter alia, the proper balance between freedom of expression and the need to prevent terrorism.

ii. special investigative techniques

11. Development of guidelines to facilitate and increase the effectiveness of special investigative techniques in cases of terrorism, bearing in mind Human Rights guarantees (see also the progress of the work of the DH-S-TER).

iii. protection of witnesses and pentiti

12. Preparation of guidelines and, if necessary, a convention to strengthen the protection of witnesses and of pentiti, including through an improved international co-operation in this area, taking due account of Recommendation No. R(97)13. It could also be considered to develop a comprehensive scheme for protecting witnesses and pentiti, which apply to organised crime and other related criminal activities as well.

iv. international law enforcement co-operation

13. Developing measures (i) to intensify and accelerate exchange of information, in particular concerning the actions and movements of terrorists and of terrorist groups and (ii) to improve mutual assistance in criminal matters in view also of the need for obtaining evidence.

v. fight against the financing of terrorism

14. (a) Strengthening further the work of the Select Committee of Experts on the evaluation of anti-money laundering measures (PC-R-EV) in order to enable it to give high priority in particular to the evaluation of the measures taken by States to comply with the Special FATF Recommendation on the financing of terrorism, (b) consider further these issues in the framework of the discussions on the possible update of the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (ETS N° 141) (c) call on States which have not yet done so to sign, ratify and implement the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the financing of terrorism.

vi. IDs matters in relation to terrorism
15. Preparation of a report on whether legal or practical problems exist in the field of identity and identity documents in relation to terrorism, and whether, and if so how, the Council of Europe could make a useful contribution.

c. Which body may implement and develop the actions proposed (including a time-table to implement the various proposals) ?

i. «apologie du terrorisme » and of « incitement to terrorism»

16. This question could be dealt with by the European Committee on crime problems (CDPC), in co-operation with other relevant Steering Committees (such as the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH), the Steering Committee on Mass Media (CDMM) and the Steering Committees in the education and culture fields) (by the end of 2004).

ii. special investigative techniques

17. This question being relevant to all crimes could be dealt with by the European Committee on crime problems (CDPC), in co-operation with the CDDH and the CDCJ (by the end of 2003).

iii. protection of witnesses and pentiti

18. This question being relevant to all crimes could be dealt with by the European Committee on crime problems (CDPC), in co-operation with the CDDH and the CDCJ (by the end of 2003).

iv. international law enforcement co-operation

19. This question could be dealt with by the European Committee on crime problems (CDPC) and, in particular, the PC-OC (by the end of 2004).

v. fight against the financing of terrorism

20.a Strengthening further the work of the Select Committee of Experts on the evaluation of anti-money laundering measures (PC-R-EV) in order to enable it to give high priority in particular to the evaluation of the measures taken by States to comply with the Special FATF Recommendation on the financing of terrorism: this is to be implemented by the PC-R-EV (this is an on-going activity, which should be strengthened as from the beginning of 2003).

21.b Consider further these issues in the framework of the discussions on the possible update of the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (ETS N° 141): this question could be dealt with by the CDPC (the CDPC should take a decision on this matter in 2002); if further action is required, time should be allowed until the end of 2004 to deal with it.

22.c Call on States which have not yet done so to sign, ratify and implement the 1999 UN Convention on the Suppression of terrorist financing: this question could be dealt with by the Committee of Ministers itself (this measure could be implemented without delay by the Committee of Ministers).

vi. IDs matters in relation to terrorism

23. The European Committee on legal co-operation (CDCJ) has proposed to the Committee of Ministers, at its last meeting from 27 to 31 May 2002, the setting up of a Group of Specialists (CJ-S-ID) to deal with this issue. The Committee of Ministers decided to set up such a Group, which will prepare a report by the end of June 2003.

d. Make proposals on the follow up of the implementation of the proposals

24. At their 110th Session, the Ministers “reaffirmed their support for the Organisation's efforts to combat terrorism, in particular through examining the possibility of setting up a specific follow-up mechanism to the Council of Europe's action in this field”.

25. The GMT agreed to propose to the Committee of Ministers to examine the opportunity to convene an expert meeting on terrorism towards the end of 2003. This meeting will aim at making appropriate proposals to the Committee of Ministers, on the basis of a report on the implementation of the proposals contained in this document and on the remaining proposals contained in the Progress Report, for any new activities to intensify to Council of Europe’s action in the field of the fight against terrorism, including preventive measures2, while preserving and promoting Human Rights and fundamental freedoms.

APPENDIX

Strasbourg, le 28 mai 2002

Monsieur le Président,

Les Délégués des Ministres ont procédé, le 22 mai 2002, lors de leur 796e réunion, à l’examen du rapport abrégé de la 3e réunion du Groupe multidisciplinaire sur l’action internationale contre le terrorisme (GMT). A cette occasion, un certain nombre de questions concernant l’action future du GMT ont été soulevées, que je tiens à vous soumettre par la présente.

A cet égard, le Comité des Ministres vous invite à :

1. indiquer par ordre de priorités les propositions d’actions futures du GMT ;
2. expliquer comment le GMT entend développer ses propositions ;
3. faire des propositions indiquant qui doit appliquer et développer les actions proposées ;
4. établir un calendrier pour l’exécution des actions proposées ;
5. faire des suggestions sur le suivi de l’application des propositions du GMT.

Je vous saurais gré de me faire parvenir aussitôt que possible les informations demandées que je m’empresserai de communiquer au Comité des Ministres.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Président, l’expression de ma considération distinguée.

Gérard Philipps
Président des Délégués des Ministres

Monsieur Philippe De Koster
Président du Groupe multidisciplinaire
sur l’action internationale contre le terrorisme
Ministère de la Justice
115 bld de Waterloo
B -1000 BRUXELLES