HC Deb 09 January 2001 vol 360 cc509-10W
Mrs. Golding

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes there have been in United Nations sanctions in relation to the Taliban. [144437]

Mr. Hain

UN Security Council resolution 1333 (2000), adopted on 19 December, imposed further measures against the Afghan fact on known as the Taliban, who also call themselves the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in response to their continued support for international terrorism and their failure to hand over Usama Bin Laden for trial in accordance with the demands of the Security Council in its resolution 1267 (1999).

The new measures will come into force on 19 January 2001. They are established for a 12 month period. At the end of this period, the Security Council will decide whether to extend them, having decided whether the Taliban have complied with the demands of the Council that they should: hand over Usama bin Laden for trial; cease the provision of sanctuary and training for international terrorists and their organisations; ensure that their territory is not used for terrorist installations and camps or for the preparation of acts of international terrorism; and co-operate with international efforts to bring indicted terrorists to justice; act swiftly to close all camps where terrorists are trained within the territory under their control.

The new measures are as follows: an arms embargo and a ban on the provision of military assistance to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan; closure of Taliban (non-diplomatic) offices overseas; closure of Ariana Afghan Airlines offices overseas; a ban on the supply of the heroin precursor acetic anhydride to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan; a ban on all international flights to or from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan (with exceptions for humanitarian flights); a non-mandatory call to all States to restrict the movement through their territory of senior Taliban officials; a non-mandatory call to States who have diplomatic relations with the Taliban to reduce the number and level of Taliban diplomatic staff at missions in their territory.

The resolution also imposes a freeze of the funds of Usama Bin Laden (UBL) and those individuals and entities associated with him, as designated by the UN Sanctions Committee, and a ban on making any funds available to such persons.

The resolution has been carefully designed to ensure that the new measures exert pressure on the Taliban, but do not have an adverse humanitarian impact on ordinary Afghans, who have suffered for too long already. We call on the Taliban to do everything in their power to ensure that international organisations and aid agencies can carry on their vital work in safety and without hindrance.

The freeze of Taliban funds and financial resources and the ban on international flights by aircraft owned, leased or operated by or on behalf of the Taliban, imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999), remain in force.

The EU arms embargo on the whole territory of Afghanistan imposed by EU Common Position 96/726/CFSP of 17 December 1996 also remains in force.

New Orders will be made under the United Nations Act (1946) to implement the new measures in the UK, the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Territories. Where appropriate, certain of these measures may be implemented by administrative means.

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