UN Security Council toughens sanctions against Al Qaeda and Taliban

The UN Security Council toughened on Friday its sanctions regime against terrorist networks Al Qaeda and Taliban.

"We learned the lessons from the mistakes committed earlier," Chile's permanent representative to the UN, Eraldo Munos, who chairs the Security Council in January told reporters upon resolution adoption.

The first sanctions against Al Qaeda were introduced by the UN in 1999 after an indictment in absentia was brought in to Osama bin Laden for blowing up the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

In January 2003 the sanctions were supplemented and extended to the former leaders of the Afghan radical movement Taliban and persons and organizations associated with them. These measures included freezing financial assets, and banning trips and weapons deliveries.

The resolution adopted on Friday extends the list of financial assets subject to the sanctions and sets mechanisms of supervisory and punitive measures.

"The idea is not only to freeze economic resources. The resolution names other kinds of property besides bank accounts," Munos said. "A signal is given to the countries to attentively watch charity organizations, and not to forget about alternative systems of money transfers that may be used by terrorists." The resolution sets March 31, 2004 as a deadline by which the countries must submit written reports on antiterrorist measures taken by them. The list of countries that will fail to do so by the time indicated is to be made public by the sanctions committee.

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