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U.N. alters process for maintaining terror list

From Atitya Chhor, CNN
  • U.N. Security Council Thursday unanimously approved new measures
  • Measures strengthen a U.N.-maintained list of those connected to al Qaeda, Taliban
  • Previous problems with list include lack of revision and court cases from those listed
  • U.S. official says measures ensure appropriate changes can be made when necessary
  • United Nations
  • Terrorism
  • Al Qaeda

United Nations (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council Thursday unanimously approved new measures to strengthen and update the U.N.-maintained list of individuals and entities sanctioned for their connections to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The resolution, sponsored by the United States, creates the position of an ombudsperson to oversee the process of adding or removing names to the list.

"For the first time ever, people and entities who are listed will have the possibility to address an independent, impartial authority with their cases," said Austria's ambassador to the U.N., Thomas Mayr-Harting.

Problems faced previously with the listing process included a lack of revision, as more than 30 people on the list are believed to be dead, and the fact that many other individuals have filed court cases protesting their names being listed.

The U.N.'s sanctions committee plans to complete its review of all 488 individuals and entities on the list by mid-year 2010.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice explained that the point of Thursday's action is to make the listing "a living process," which means ensuring that anyone on the list is "in this world and not dead" and that the list is "refreshed and renewed" with appropriate changes being made when necessary.

Rice noted that the sanctions list "can and should be used to greater effect, globally, against terrorists and their supporters" particularly, "against those hindering peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

She stressed the importance of the ombudsperson in ensuring that the information provided by those wanting to be removed from the list of those linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban is understood and given "transparent and fair assessment" by the U.N. committee.