Press Releases

    GA/9921
    2 October 2001

    EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE GLOBAL SECURITY MUST INCLUDE ACTION ON POVERTY AND INJUSTICE, GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS TOLD

    Condemning Terrorism, Delegates Say Counter-Measure
    Should Be Directed against Extremists, Not Wider Community

    NEW YORK, 1 October (UN Headquarters) -- Security would never be universal unless the dire poverty suffered by increasing numbers of people, as well as the sheer humiliation and injustice to which entire populations were subjected, were overcome, the representative of Morocco told the General Assembly this afternoon, as the Assembly continued its consideration of measures to eliminate international terrorism. Restoring hope to the oppressed should figure among the international community’s priorities, he said.

    Reiterating his unreserved condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, he said any attempt to hold one group responsible for the acts of a few of its extremists paved the way to serious breaches against the human person, varying from day-to-day racism to institutionalized discrimination and even crimes against humanity. While security remained the first form of freedom, the pursuit of security should not jeopardize the freedom of individuals.

    The representative of Costa Rica said prevention of terrorist attacks demanded that the structural and economic injustices that fed terrorism were confronted. The danger of making martyrs of terrorists must be avoided. In the long term, respect for human rights and democracy was the best protection against terrorism.

    The representative of France said that on 28 September the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373, a resolution that would stand out in history. It was for the Council to take, when necessary and in accordance with the responsibilities and prerogatives conferred on it under the Charter, the necessary measures to ensure respect for the obligations spelled out in that resolution. The Council had given itself a follow-up mechanism to ensure compliance, by all States, of the measures decided upon, particularly in the action against the financing of terrorism.

    Cuba’s representative said in the few cases where the Security Council had addressed specific acts of terrorism, it had done so in the direct interest of some of its permanent members. In its recently adopted resolution the Council had been pushed to give legal support to "hegemonic and arbitrary" decisions that violated the United Nations Charter and international law, as well as trespassing on the sovereignty of all States.

    The representative of Turkey said that the United Nations agenda should include the following elements: to become party to conventions and protocols on combating terrorism; to elaborate a comprehensive convention on terrorism without delay; to implement fully the bilateral, regional and multilateral anti-terrorism conventions; to deny safe haven to the terrorists, as well as to those who support them in any way; to ensure the apprehension and prosecution or extradition of the perpetrators of terrorist acts; to dismiss the claims of political motivation as grounds for refusing requests for extradition; and to recognize the fact that terrorism was contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Sergey A. Ordzhonikidze, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and the representatives of Mongolia, Netherlands, Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, Chile (speaking on behalf of the Rio Group), Bangladesh, Singapore, Tunisia, Nigeria and Liechtenstein also addressed the Assembly.

    The Assembly will meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, 2 October, at 10 a.m. to continue its debate on measures to eliminate international terrorism.

    Background

    The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its consideration of measures to eliminate international terrorism.

    Statements

    BERND NIEHAUS (Costa Rica) said New York City had become the victim of the most despicable terrorist attack. Since 11 September, the city had raised itself up and was an example of humanity and solidarity. He conveyed to the mayor of the host city his country’s condolences and most profound fraternity with the people of New York and the United States. His country condemned terrorism categorically in all its form and wherever it took place. Terrorism was a most serious crime against humanity, and there was no political, philosophical or religious motive that could justify it. He also condemned all States giving support to terrorist acts.

    Those events called for a coordinated response from the international community, and flag of civilization, tolerance and brotherhood had to be raised. Innovative models of public security and mature police institutions were necessary to protect society, he said. Prevention of terrorist attacks could not be limited by adoption of police measures, however. It demanded that the structural and economic injustices that fed terrorism be confronted. The danger of making martyrs of terrorists must be avoided, and in the long term, respect for human rights and democracy was the best protection against terrorism. The fight against terrorism should promote more tolerant and open societies. His country was making its own contribution through the University for Peace.

    He welcomed the progress attained by both the Special Committee and the Working Group tasked with drafting a series of legal instruments to proscribe and punish terrorism in all its forms. The Working Group should finalize this year the draft of the General Convention against Terrorism, which must preserve the delicate balance between the obligation to punish those crimes within each state’s legal regime and to protect the basic rights of the accused. It should also guarantee the customary human rights principle of non refoulement and the integrity of international humanitarian law which established clear conditions for launching military operations and never granted immunity to those who committed terrorist attacks within an armed conflict.

    SERGEY A. ORDZHONIKIDZE, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said the unprecedented terrorist aggression against the United States was a brazen challenge to humanity, and underscored the fact that the international community had not a day to lose. Only through common efforts could terrorism be eliminated on the planet. The priority task was to establish a global system to counteract new threats and challenges, which would ensure, among other things, the inevitable punishment of all those responsible for organizing and perpetrating terrorist acts. The key role of universal coordinator of the efforts of States to create such a system was undoubtedly to be played by the United Nations.

    His Country was doing its best to ensure a sound international legal regime in fighting terrorism. It had this year ratified several of the twelve existing conventions on the subject. It was important that the Security Council embark upon a substantive discussion of international terrorism. It had given a clear and timely exposition of its fundamental approaches in resolutions 1269, 1368 and 1373. For the first time, resolution 1373 had initiated a mechanism of international control by the Security Council over the compliance by all states with United Nations decisions in the area of combating terrorism. The full and unconditional implementation of measures provided for in that resolution was a must if one was to deal a powerful blow to the forces of international terrorism and deprive them of their roots and refuge across the globe, he said.

    With respect to enhancing the Organization’s antiterrorist capacity, the need to strengthen relevant Secretariat structures must not be overlooked. In that context, he called for discussing the prospects of reinforcing the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna with additional staff and financial resources.

    The future global antiterrorist system should be built on the foundation of regional and sub-regional structures and institutions active in that field, he said. In that context, he attached great importance to relevant work carried out within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Treaty on Cooperation Among CIS States in Fighting Terrorism formed the legal framework for interaction among competent authorities in preventing, disclosing, suppressing and investigating terrorist attacks. The Anti-Terrorist Centre, established last year, was now in operation. He expected a lot from the antiterrorist structure which was being formed within the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation. He also expressed his appreciation for interaction in fighting international terrorism pursued within the framework of the Group of Eight.

    MOHAMED BENNOUNA (Morocco), reiterating his unreserved condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, said that the tragic events of 11 September had so gravely shaken the universal conscience that it had become imperative to reconsider the approach adopted so far to combat terrorism. Any attempt to hold one group responsible for the acts of a few of its extremists paved the way to serious breaches against the human person, varying from day-to-day racism to institutionalized discrimination and even crimes against humanity.

    He said that the sectoral approach adopted in international conventions with a view to criminalizing certain terrorist acts had proved inadequate. On the other hand, all those who believed that the mere invocation of terrorism would suffice to heap shame and discredit on others trivialized the concept of terrorism. It was high time the United Nations started a process of clarifying the concept in the light of recent developments in international law, particularly the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. Henceforth, notorious criminals could no longer seek refuge within state borders and invoke the principle of non-interference.

    While noting that security remained the first form of freedom, he said that the pursuit of security should not jeopardize the freedom of individuals. The United Nations had a role to play in disseminating the voice of the international community, which was also the voice of wisdom. That required addressing the serious imbalances that still plagued the world, driving disadvantaged groups to seek refuge in extremism. Security would never be universal unless the dire poverty suffered by increasing numbers of people, as well as the sheer humiliation and injustice to which entire populations were subjected, whether in Palestine or elsewhere, was overcome. Restoring hope to the oppressed should figure among the international community’s priorities.

    JARGALSAIKHANY ENKHSAIKHAN (Mongolia) said the international coalition against terrorism rightly believed that its actions would yield practical and long-term results, if a much broader and permanent coalition was built around the United Nations. Military operations alone, however successful, would not be sufficient to root-out terrorism. The full force of national laws and international norms, in combination with addressing the root causes of terrorism, was needed. Mongolia's participation in international conventions against terrorism was based on its firm belief that international terrorism affected all. Therefore all States, including those not directly affected, could make a difference. Terrorists might pursue their aims in or through small and weaker States, seeing in them the 'weak link' in opposing or fighting terrorism.

    He said the General Assembly must address all the different aspects of terrorism, including legal, socio-economic and even cultural aspects, all of which remained outside the Security Council's resolution and its powers. The General Assembly’s Legal Committee should finalize both the convention against nuclear terrorism and the comprehensive convention against terrorism. The pace of establishing the International Criminal Court must be accelerated, as a timely response to crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. The question of adding aggression, the threat or use of nuclear weapons, terrorist and environmental crimes with grave international consequences must also be addressed. He said recent terrorist acts had also demonstrated that biological and chemical terrorist acts were becoming a real and present danger. The long-standing international problems, on which terrorism fed, must be resolved as soon as possible. It was not enough to address only the symptoms and various manifestations of terrorism. Poverty, deprivation, frustration and despair that brought suffering to millions of people were fertile breeding grounds for terrorism. The General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies must redouble their efforts to address the questions of reducing and eliminating poverty, in line with the objectives of the Millennium Declaration and promoting good and responsible governance.

    MEHMET UMIT PAMIR (Turkey) said Turkey's own experience with terrorism had clearly shown that fight had two fundamental dimensions. The first was the moral pillar. If there were any arguments that terrorists might also have a defensible cause, 11 September must have put this to rest for all times. There were no gray areas in the fight against terrorism, nor were there 'good terrorists' and 'bad terrorists'. This was a time for the international community as a whole to condemn, unequivocally, all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations. Likewise, it was high time to recognize that that scourge was a human rights violation in one of its most blatant forms.

    The second pillar was about the scope and the effectiveness of the international mechanisms to combat that evil, he said. This required the full use of the means already in place and bolstering them in a fashion that would progressively establish an effective system to strangle the terrorists’ livelihood. This system needed to be all-encompassing, integrating its capabilities with those instruments utilized in the fight against all types of organized crime, first and foremost including drug-trafficking, the natural ally of terrorism.

    He said the United Nations agenda should reflect the following priorities: the need for States to become party to conventions and protocols on combating terrorism; to elaborate a comprehensive convention on terrorism without delay; to implement fully the bilateral, regional and multilateral anti-terrorism conventions; to deny safe haven to the terrorists as well as to those who support them in any way; to ensure the apprehension and prosecution or extradition of the perpetrators of terrorist acts; to dismiss the claims of political motivation as grounds for refusing requests for extradition; and to recognize the fact that terrorism was contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and posed a serious threat to international peace and security.

    DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands) associating his views with those of Belgium on behalf of the European Union, said the international community was united both in its grief, for those who had perished in the recent calamity, and in its resolve for justice and prevention of further crimes. The Netherlands stood ready to work against terrorism, as called for by Security Council resolution 1373, and was committed to a comprehensive convention on the problem. For that purpose, there should be no problem defining terrorism; in its true manifestation it defined itself and had no justification.

    The actions of various United Nations organs, he said, needed to be complementary and coherent. Resolution 1373 fit in with previous instruments, and so the ratification of the 12 existing conventions against terrorism was of paramount importance. The Netherlands had signed all of them, and should soon complete ratification of the two that had not yet been ratified. To monitor their implementation, a single mechanism could be set up by a General Assembly resolution. In that connection, there could be merit in closer cooperation between the Office of Legal Affairs in New York and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna.

    The Netherlands was also committed to the early conclusion of convention for the suppression of nuclear terrorist attacks, he said, and other measures to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. In addition, the International Criminal Court would be a powerful instrument to bring to justice those who had committed crimes against humanity. Eradicating poverty, furthering education and resolving conflict were other important activities in the fight against terrorism, and humanitarian aid must be given to both victims of terrorism and populations which would suffer in the struggle against it. The Netherlands was prepared to offer $29 million in such aid to Afghanistan and its neighbours, in addition to previous contributions.

    MARIO ALEMAN (Ecuador) said his country, which had lost dozens of its compatriots in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, firmly and unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, for whatever motivation, as an unjustifiable crime taking innocent lives and attacking universal values such as liberty, the rule of law, and peaceful coexistence. Those values were an integral part of the international order. The international community through the United Nations must confront terrorism through the collective action of its members in accordance with international law, the Charter of the United Nations and international instruments. The concerted action of States must also be aimed at strengthening the relevant international legal framework. The comprehensive convention against terrorism, which was being negotiated now, should be adopted as soon as possible.

    Cooperation should be strengthened within the framework of the anti-terrorist conventions of the United Nations, and it was urgent that States gave priority to becoming parties to those instruments. The International Convention for Suppression of Financing of Terrorism contained elements and mechanisms that made it a very relevant tool against terrorism. Joint action at the regional level was also important. Ecuador cooperated with the Intra-American Committee against Terrorism, which sought exchange of information and identification of sources of financing, he said.

    It was not enough to take apart the terrorist networks. It was also vital to avoid their taking a new form by detecting and intercepting sources of finance and logistics, and eliminating their training centres. Those harbouring and protecting terrorists must be held responsible. Those actions must go hand in hand with new policies laying the economic and social foundations to avoid the spread of terrorist networks. Other acute problems which could be a source of possible violence must be addressed. If the world showed it could move forward in creating a more just and human community, then terrorism would have failed, he said, quoting the Secretary-General.

    JORGE EDUARDO NAVARRETE (Mexico) said his country had been directly affected by the terrorist attacks of 11 September, as the victims included a high number of Mexican nationals. His Government reaffirmed its readiness to strengthen national measures to prevent and thwart terrorist acts in its territory and also to contribute to international cooperation aimed at the prevention and eradication of terrorism. However, while bringing to justice the perpetrators of international terrorism, the protection of civilians was a primary concern.

    He said Mexico was party to ten of the twelve international instruments against terrorism. His country also participated actively in regional efforts to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism. He urged all States that had not done so to become parties to and implement international instruments in that field. Terrorism could be eliminated only through a common approach that was rigorously implemented by States in accordance with international law.

    The special committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/12 must conclude without delay the draft international Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and continue to work towards the elaboration of a comprehensive convention on terrorism. It might be necessary to consider the inclusion of terrorism among crimes that fell within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Mexico was ready to participate in and support the adoption of practical, realistic and long-term measures that would enable the Organization to develop and strengthen a new security framework for dealing with the threats faced by nations in the new century.

    BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said that instead of war, it was necessary to launch effective global actions in accordance with international law, the United Nations Charter and the relevant international conventions, based on consensus and the sovereign will of all States. The United Nations was precisely the universal coalition needed to fight terrorism. No coalition, military organization or group of States, no matter how powerful, could replace it in global and legitimate action against terrorism. The Organization should neither give up its functions and prerogatives to any country nor indulge hegemonic interests.

    He said the United Nations had made great efforts to fight terrorism, as proven by the existing conventions and other instruments, as well as the many resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and other bodies. To move forward, Member States must address –- with total honesty and avoiding hegemonic interests or national ambitions –- all forms and manifestations of terrorism in every corner of the world without exception, including State terrorism. The political will of States to fully implement international instruments must prevail without double standards, political selectivity, without treating differently those living in affluent societies, and without allowing the most powerful States to act in disregard of legislation and international law.

    In the few cases where the Security Council had addressed specific acts of terrorism, he said, it had done so in the direct interest of some of its permanent members. When Cuba had asked the Council to act when Cubana aircraft CUU 455 was blown up in flight, killing 73 people on board in 1976, draft resolution S/23990, submitted by Cuba, had not even been considered. The Council had recently adopted a resolution that ordered States to work on urgent legislative modifications, demanded immediate reports and created a sort of antiterrorist general staff. The Council had been pushed to give legal support to hegemonic and arbitrary decisions that violated the United Nations Charter and international law, as well as trespassing on the sovereignty of all States. It had once again usurped the functions of the General Assembly –- the only body whose universal composition and democratic method could legitimize such far-reaching decisions.

    ARNOLDO M. LISTRE (Argentina) said that his country, in the last decade twice a target of international terrorism, involving more than 100 casualties, understood like few others the need to adopt measures to prevent and punish acts of terrorism. He said the United Nations, because of its universal character and global nature, was called upon to play a critical role in the fight. For too many years, action at the United Nations had been conditioned by the ideological confrontation of the cold war, and by erroneous arguments that had forestalled the unequivocal acknowledgement of the criminal nature of terrorism. Measures recently taken indicated a clear shift, opening the prospect of responses that would be more effective in today's political environment.

    There was no doubt that terrorist practices were, in every case, criminal and unjustifiable acts, whatever the aim of their authors might be. It was important to highlight, when the emotions from the tragic developments of 11 September were still fresh, that terrorists were common enemies of all societies , that they did not come from any particular religion, culture or nationality. No people and no religion should be targeted because of the aberrant acts of some individuals.

    The drafting of treaties was not itself enough, he said, unless it was accompanied by effective implementation. Only then would the real will and commitment of all States be seen. Argentina reaffirmed its commitment to continue adopting the legislative, police, intelligence, financial and other measures needed in this common fight. He stressed the importance of coordinating control and monitoring activities on the transfer of material, equipment and sensitive technologies for double use, together with the exchange of information among pertinent agencies of States.

    JUAN GABRIEL VALDES (Chile) on behalf of the States members of the Rio Group, said the current debate must result in concrete decisions adopted by the General Assembly to complement those adopted by the Security Council. It was not possible to discuss the issue without recalling the terrible images of the attack on New York, and Chile could not remain neutral in the face of such crimes against humanity, as its president had proclaimed at a recent rally in solidarity with the victims. The attack was not just against the United States, but against the kind of pluralistic civilization represented by the United Nations. To defend that pluralism, concerted international action must be taken against terrorists along with those who provide them with financing, protection, training or any other assistance.

    The United Nations, he said, had a key role in combating the scourge. Security Council resolution 1368, together with Article 51 of the Charter, gave legitimacy to any actions that might be taken to punish those who were responsible for the recent attacks. The General Assembly’s resolution of 12 September was a basis for the formation of a global coalition against terrorism. Other measures, broader in scope, needed to be adopted now; existing measures needed to be ratified; and a comprehensive convention needed to be approved. Solutions needed to be developed, in particular, to problems in the existing draft convention on acts of nuclear terrorism.

    At the same time, he said, in a globalized world all problems are inter-linked, and terrorism developed in the most neglected cracks in society. In addition, certain painful situations pending in the international arena must be addressed resolutely, including that of the Middle East, the insecurity of which had never been a greater threat to world peace. He also supported efforts to meet the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. And finally, he joined fully in repudiating any attempt to make the fight against terrorism a conflict between civilizations and creeds, and hoped that all efforts to eradicate it would uphold the value of life and the dignity of the person.

    JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said his President Jacques Chirac of France was the first Head of State to be received by the President of the United States and the first to go to New York after 11 September. President Chirac had reaffirmed the unfailing determination of France, a country that had many times been victim of terrorist acts, to take part in the war against that scourge. Resolute action by all nations was required. By virtue of its universal composition, the United Nations was the forum where countries had to mobilize, where the various elements of coordinated response must be formulated, with respect for the aims and principles enshrined in its Charter.

    On 28 September, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373, a resolution that would stand out in history. It was for the Council to take, when necessary and in accordance with the responsibilities and prerogatives conferred on it under the Charter, the necessary measures to ensure respect for the obligations spelled out in that resolution. He said the Council had given itself a follow-up mechanism to ensure compliance, by all States, with the measures decided upon, particularly in the action against the financing of terrorism.

    During this session the General Assembly must, in the framework of its Sixth Committee (Legal), complete the negotiation of the two draft conventions on terrorism which were before it: the draft convention on nuclear terrorism and the draft global convention on terrorism. The precedent of the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, introduced by France and adopted after only one year of negotiation, showed that if the international community really was resolved to act, it could succeed quickly, in spite of the complex and sensitive nature of the subjects being addressed.

    SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh) said the United Nations provided the best forum to bring the people of the world together to combat, by all means, the menace of terrorism. The twin objectives of the struggle were prevention and justice. The international community must muster the collective determination and will to implement the international conventions and regional instruments against terrorism. Bangladesh was party to a number of international and regional instruments on terrorism and was currently reviewing the remaining documents with a view to early accession. He supported the elaboration of a comprehensive convention to provide a basis for global consensus for dealing with terrorism.

    He said the United Nations provided a forum not only to define the juridical framework and principles for addressing terrorism but also for building universal political understanding and forging a global coalition, having the full legitimacy to wage war against international terrorism.

    He stressed the need to understand and reflect on the climate that fosters terrorism. Those conditions must be confronted to rid the world of such wanton acts of destruction. However, actions against terrorism should not in any way compromise the safety and well-being of innocent civilian populations, he said. He expressed particular concern over the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. Last month's attacks had helped the world close ranks against the perpetrators and a great international solidarity had been achieved. The international community should make every effort to build on that momentum. He appealed to all Member States, particularly their leaders and media managers, not to allow anything that might destroy that unity of purpose.

    KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said that Singapore condemned, in the strongest terms, the United States attacks and all other forms of terrorism. The Unites States and the international community would have to respond. It was a fight between people who stood for civilized society, and those out to destroy it. It was not a fight against Islam. Muslims from all around the world, including Singaporean Muslims, had expressed revulsion against the crimes committed in the name of their faith and had pledged their solidarity with this struggle. Terrorism was a deep-rooted problem that would not go away easily, he said. The terrorists had built up a sophisticated and complex global network, and other societies too were at risk. Countering terrorism, therefore, must be a global endeavour. To successfully 'surgically remove' terrorist 'cells' would require a decisive, forceful response. However, the task did not end there. To succeed in the ultimate goal, the driving forces of international terrorism needed to be rooted out and their networks comprehensively destroyed.

    Despite the fact that terrorism was not a new phenomenon -- many Member States had had unhappy experiences with it. Coherence in international cooperation had been sadly lacking, he said. To date, the prevailing attitude had been that the problem of terrorism should be tackled and managed primarily by domestic and regional measures. He stressed that that attitude must change, and change quickly. The time had never been more urgent for all organs of the United Nations to examine their respective responsibilities and tools at their disposal so as to undertake this collaborative mission in the most effective manner.

    The problem of terrorism was not going to disappear soon. In the short term, it was more likely to get worse, and no one was immune. Security, once measured by the might of a nation's army, was not a matter of protecting individuals against the risk of living in an open global community. The Chinese term for 'crisis' was appropriately designated by two Chinese characters meaning 'danger' and 'opportunity'. The dangers were clear. The opportunity before the Assembly today was to channel the global outrage following the events of 11 September into a strong global commitment and action to eradicate terrorism. He concluded by quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in saying: "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools".

    NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) aligned his statement with that of the current presidency of the Arab Group. He said that his country had immediately condemned the recent terrorist acts. The scourge of terrorism could only by fought through the coordinated efforts of the entire international community. Extremist groups were threatening the lives of peoples and the security of nations around the world, and the phenomenon must be eradicated definitively and irreversibly. Since 1988, Tunisia had repeatedly warned against the threat of terrorism in both regional and international contexts and had suggested a global approach in putting into action an international strategy which would cut off the financial resources of the terrorists.

    The adoption of resolutions was an important first step, he said, reaffirming the importance of adopting a comprehensive plan to eradicate different manifestations of terrorism. Terrorist networks abused international law, using religion as a pretext to endanger international peace and security. An important focus must be those States who knowingly allowed terrorist networks to exist on their territories. He also drew attention to the importance of the depriving people connected to terrorism from so-called political asylum. Containing those elements and carefully examining their cases was an international responsibility incumbent upon all States.

    The Security Council resolution aimed at eradicating the phenomenon of terrorism would lead to nothing unless international efforts were truly concerted in the definition of respective responsibilities. It was imperative to contain and eradicate all forms of support and assistance to groups or people directly or indirectly involved with terrorism. He reminded the Assembly that that terrorism consisted of several dimensions. Poverty, depravation and marginalization were some of the reasons why people might turn to fanatical movements. Tunisia had defined a comprehensive policy to battle terrorism through the creation of a culture of tolerance, moderation and openness, with a strong focus on the social, economic and political arena in order to ensure the participation of all levels of society.

    ARTHUR MBANEFO (Nigeria) said the events of 11 September had "traumatized the world." He spoke of "the mind-boggling scope and brazenness of the attack" in its organization and execution. He recalled that Nigeria’s embassy had been destroyed during the 1998 attack on the American embassy in Tanzania while many Nigerian citizens had died in the World Trade Center attack, as had many foreign nationals from different counties.

    Noting the dozen United Nations instruments already in existence against terrorism, he said a comprehensive convention would be an invaluable contribution to the struggle. In particular, the international community must guard against terrorism that used weapons of mass destruction. The network of international cooperation must be strengthened, since terrorists had become more sophisticated and their activities were intrinsically linked to the flourishing illicit trade in small arms, drug trafficking, money-laundering and the smuggling of precious stones.

    States must exchange information about terrorist organizations and their activities. They must act to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism in their respective domains, refraining from all actions that aided terrorism.

    He said there should be a conference to formulate a joint, organized international response to terrorism, at the level of Heads of State and government. Such a conference would facilitate the consensus on strategies that could combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The root causes of terrorism must be identified. The question had to be asked: what makes someone so desperate as to give his life to kill others and reverse global progress in the manner of 11 September? The recent terrorist attacks on the United States, typified the extent to which terrorists could translate their evil intentions into action. Such faceless criminals must not be allowed to continue spreading fear and havoc on global society.

    CLAUDIA FRITSCHE (Liechtenstein) said that 11 September, a day of disgrace and inhumanity, should mark a turning-point in multilateral cooperation. The recognition of a need for enhanced international cooperation had been almost unanimous immediately after the attacks. The General Assembly and the United Nations were now asked to turn that abstract call into concrete action. Security Council resolution 1373 provided the United Nations with a set of tools to significantly enhance international cooperation in the common fight against terrorism.

    She said that the Foreign Minister of her country would tomorrow sign the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Liechtenstein was committed to early ratification of the Convention, particularly in light of the fact that implementation of its main thrust would form part of its national implementation of Security Council 1373. Liechtenstein was determined to prevent and criminalize the financing of terrorism, and to act as a reliable partner in eradicating international organized crime.

    Bringing to justice those who committed egregious crimes also required enhanced judicial cooperation, she said. A functioning system of international criminal law as established in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was the most effective expression of such cooperation. There was no doubt that the attacks of 11 September constituted crimes against humanity as defined in the Statute.

    It was hoped that the understanding of the International Criminal Court as an ideal tool to bring such criminals to justice would lead to an early entry into force of the Statute. The Assembly’s work to establish an international legal framework must be continued and finalized, she emphasized. The Assembly had the main responsibility to address the root causes of terrorism as the only way of addressing the scourge in the long term. Effective ways must be found to combat the real threat of potential terrorist acts through weapons of mass destruction in order to prevent a catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions.

    Establishing or strengthening existing verification regimes in related fields of disarmament must constitute an important of those efforts.

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