FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM WOULD BE LONG WITH NO
SHORT CUTS, COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
Committee Work Programme Presented;
25 Speakers Review Progress, Problems
NEW YORK, 23 July (UN Headquarters) -- The fight against terrorism, which should be a priority of the United Nations, would be long and have no short cuts, the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee told the Security Council this morning as it considered, in a public meeting, the threat of terrorism to international peace and security.
Council President, Inocencio F. Arias (Spain), briefing the Council in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (the Counter-Terrorism Committee), said the Committee was a tool of the international community with the greatest scope available for combating terrorism. Adoption by the Council of resolution 1373 (2001) had given the Committee a power commensurate with the threat it faced. And, in one and a half years, that body had carried out a tremendous amount of work.
The goals of the Committee’s work programme over the past 90 days had been met, and in some cases, exceeded, he said. A first set of relevant organizations had been contacted and 385 reports had been reviewed, exceeding the goal set in the work programme. The Committee also had taken measures to help 36 States that had fallen behind in submitting reports. Technical assistance to States that needed it and strengthening cooperation with international organizations were priorities for the next three months.
While endorsing the Committee’s programme of work for the next 90 days, speakers stressed that everyone had a responsibility to support the Committee and cooperate with it. Speakers also called for an analysis of reasons why States were falling behind in submitting reports, and they suggested offering assistance to those countries in addressing the problems. Some speakers, among them the representatives of France, Cameroon and Nepal, called for the establishment of an anti-terrorism fund to assist States who lacked the necessary capacity to implement resolution 1373.
Several speakers warned that weapons of mass destruction might fall into the hands of terrorists, and called on the Committee to redouble its efforts to prevent that. Other speakers noted the link between terrorism and the proliferation of, and easy access to, small arms and light weapons.
The representative of the United States warned that, as long as a few States were not acting quickly enough, all remained vulnerable, as the fight against terrorism was only as strong as its weakest link. Implementation of resolution 1373 required more than submitting reports and adopting legislation -- it required all States to apply relevant laws and to cooperate with others in prosecuting all suspected terrorists.
Noting that the Committee had discharged its responsibilities fully, the Syrian representative said that progress had indeed been achieved in promoting the capability of Member States to harmonize their national legislation with the provisions of resolution 1373. Moreover, the Committee had succeeded in having an open and transparent dialogue with Member States and had provided assistance to those States in need, in their efforts to combat terrorism. The danger of international terrorism required collective work by the international community. His country had cooperated fully with the Committee and would undertake all efforts to achieve the goals of its work programme.
In the fight against terrorism, zero tolerance was the only moral option, Israel’s representative stressed. The weakest link in that fight were those regimes, which were able, but unwilling, to take the necessary actions on their own territories. In the Middle East, there was a real chance for marked improvements in the international security situation, but there could be no genuine ceasefire among organizations committed to the murder of innocents in the pursuit of a fundamentalist agenda. Greater effort must also be made by to combat the education infrastructure, which bred incitement to hatred and violence. “No baby is born wanting to be a suicide bomber”, he added.
The representative of Angola noted that all States falling behind in submitting reports were developing countries with a lack of capacity to meet the requirements imposed by resolution 1373. Therefore, long-term assistance in national and regional capacity-building was necessary. Although he also condemned the methods and tactics employed by terrorists, attention must be paid to the root causes, namely, injustice, extreme poverty, and social and economical exclusion.
The representatives of the Russian Federation, Guinea, Chile, United Kingdom, China, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Germany and Mexico also spoke, as did the representatives of Italy (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Japan, Republic of Korea, Peru (on behalf of the Rio Group), Ukraine, Indonesia (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), Uganda and Colombia.
The meeting, which started at 10:17 a.m., was adjourned at 1:12 p.m.
As the Security Council met this morning to consider terrorist acts as a threat to international peace and security, it had before it a letter dated 15 July from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism addressed to the President of the Security Council (document S/2003/710), to which the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s eighth 90-day work programme was attached.
The Council established the Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor resolution 1373 (2001), which called on member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and to deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts. Reports from States on actions they had taken towards that goal would contribute to monitoring implementation of that text.
According to the letter, the Committee will continue to operate on the principles of cooperation, transparency and equal treatment. Its main objectives will continue to be: raising the international community’s awareness of the fact that every terrorist is a threat to international peace and security; identifying sources of assistance for those States that are experiencing difficulty in implementing resolution 1373; continuing the process leading to universal participation in the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to counter-terrorism; and taking all necessary steps to facilitate full implementation of resolution 1373.
The work programme indicates that the Committee will continue to review the reports submitted by States. By 30 June, the Committee had received 385 reports from States and others, including first reports from 191 member States, second reports from 154 member States and third reports from 35 member States. To date, all States have submitted their first reports. That is a significant step towards obtaining, from all member States, a universal commitment to the fight against terrorism.
Nevertheless, 36 States are late in submitting their reports. The work programme also notes that, while in September 2001, fewer than a dozen States were parties to all 12 pertinent international conventions and protocols, by 30 June, the number had increased to over 40.
It explains that the Committee has divided its work into three stages: focusing on legislation; emphasizing strengthening of States’ executive machinery; and establishing and reinforcing cooperation mechanisms at different levels. While pursuing a case-by-case approach, the Committee will bear in mind all international best practices, codes and standards, which are relevant to the implementation of resolution 1373.
The work programme further states that the provision of technical assistance to such countries as need it will remain one of the Committee’s priorities. It has used two tools for that purpose, namely the "Matrix of Assistance Requests", which offers a centralized, comprehensive overview of States' assistance needs, as well as information on any assistance programmes being delivered, of which the Committee has been made aware, and the Directory of Assistance. The Committee is currently acting as a channel of communication between States that need assistance and donors.
In the near future, the work programme continues, that role will have to be enhanced, in order to allow the Committee to take a more active approach, whereby, not only does it put requisite States in contact with donors, but it also exerts influence over both supply and demand elements of technical assistance.
Also according to the plan, the Committee will continue to expand its contacts and cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, as agreed following the first meeting held on 6 March. The Committee’s Chairman has sent letters to 17 international organizations asking them to strengthen their existing cooperation and proposing specific aspects on which he felt such cooperation should focus.
In October, the second Committee meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations will be held at the headquarters of the Organization of American States, the programme states. On 15 May, the Committee held a meeting with representatives of the World Customs Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and Interpol.
The work programme further states that transparency will continue to be a hallmark of the Committee’s work. It will continue to provide information on its activities on a regular basis. The Chairman and Committee experts will also continue to maintain close relations with organizations and agencies of the United Nations system on aspects relevant to international counter-terrorism efforts, within the scope of the mandate of resolution 1373 (2001).
Briefing by Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairman
The President of the Council, INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain), speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (the Counter-Terrorism Committee), said Spain’s commitment to combating terrorism had not only included the Government, but also civil society. His country had been suffering from terrorism for more than 30 years, with more than a 1,000 victims. Combating terrorism should be a priority of the Organization; the fight would be long and there would be no short cuts. At the same time, measures adopted to combat terrorism must be in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, and all actions in that regard must be done with legitimacy, with reason and within the law.
He said that the Committee was a tool of the international community with the greatest scope available for combating terrorism. Adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) had given it a power commensurate with the threat it faced. In one and a half years, a tremendous amount of work had been done. In September 2001, only two States were parties to all 12 Conventions and Protocols regarding international terrorism, but by June 2003, there were over 40 parties. The Committee had received 385 reports from States pertaining to measures contained in resolution 1373 (2001), and had worked intensely in the field of technical assistance.
He stressed that the Committee was ruled by transparency, equal treatment and coordination. It faced two challenges. The first was the issue of technical assistance. The universality of the Committee should serve to help States that demonstrated political will to combat terrorism, but encountered difficulties in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001). Towards that end, the Committee had two instruments available: the Directory of Assistance and the matrix. Both tools had shown usefulness in the past, but now those displayed limitations. Thus, the Committee must play a greater part in promoting and coordinating available international assistance and it should develop the criteria to prioritize.
The second challenge consisted of developing closer links with international, regional and sub-regional organization, he stated. On 6 March, a plan of action had been adopted for that purpose, and the Committee had sought contacts with several organizations. On 7 October, a follow-up meeting would be held.
He said that the goals of the work programme over the past 90 days had been met. In some cases, the goals had been exceeded. A first set of relevant organizations had been contacted, and 385 reports had been reviewed, exceeding the goal set in the work programme. Within the spirit of cooperation with States, the Committee had taken measures to help 36 States, which had fallen behind in submitting reports. Technical assistance and strengthening cooperation with international organizations would be priorities for the next three months.
Speaking in his national capacity, Mr. Arias said his country would spare no effort to ensure that the Committee would achieve concrete and practical results.
SERGEY N. KAREV (Russian Federation) said that Ambassador Arias had successfully taken over the chairmanship of the Committee, which was continuing to work in an effective and creative way. Thanks to the efforts of Council members, Committee experts, the Secretariat staff and the countries submitting reports, the Committee was successfully complying with its mandate, as the central coordinating body for efforts to combat terrorism. He emphasized that it was necessary for it to step up cooperation with regional and international organizations, which had the capacity to implement projects. That would allow for the establishment of a global system to combat terrorism.
He said he supported the Committee’s efforts to establish contacts with 17 new organizations and to increase its list of partners. The Committee’s cooperation with the Group of Eight Industrialized Countries (G-8) task force on terrorism was especially promising. That task force had been established to flesh out existing multilateral anti-terrorism mechanisms and to provide assistance. He hoped the second meeting of the Committee with regional and international organizations in October, in Washington, D.C., would give further impetus to its work. In making the transition from one stage to another, the Committee must learn to work at different speeds, taking into account the differences in national capabilities. Those more advanced States must not wait for those lagging behind to catch up; they must move forward promptly in implementing all measures.
JEAN MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE (France) said he was gratified with the intense work of the Committee, particularly that of its experts, in their evaluation of the reports submitted by States. The evaluation of the large number of reports was impressive, but the contents of the evaluations must be more closely adjusted to the situation of a given country, in terms of measures taken to implement 1373. For a number of States with the required legislation and measures, the evaluation should be based on the measures implemented. He fully supported the importance attached by the Committee, with the cooperation of regional and international organizations competent in the field, to combating terrorism. It was crucial to pursue those efforts by adopting concrete efforts in keeping with the capacities of the relevant organizations. The second meeting between the Committee and such organizations in October would deepen that dialogue.
He stressed the priority nature of technical assistance to help countries implement resolution 1373. Efforts already made to facilitate the transfer of technical assistance must be encouraged. He believed in giving a more active role to the experts in that field. As a representative of the country chairing the G-8, he mentioned that the Group’s task force against terrorism, created in Evian, France, had met for the first time in Paris on 2 July in the presence of representatives of the chairmanship of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. The task force, in close cooperation with the Committee, had been trusted with evaluating the needs of States with regard to technical assistance to combat terrorism. The task force, designed to strengthen global capacity to tackle terrorism, would meet again in October. He was gratified that the Committee Chairman would inform the Council, in the next report, of the difficulties encountered by States in implementing resolution 1373. That would enable the Council to carry out a better evaluation of efforts under way.
BOUBACAR DIALLO (Guinea) said that, thanks to the perseverance of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, all initial reports from member States had been submitted. The reason why some States were falling behind, however, should be addressed. He welcomed further cooperation between the Committee and international organizations and hoped that the upcoming meeting in October would strengthen that cooperation. Designing an inventory and matrix for technical assistance was encouraging, but the Committee should ensure better coordination. There was also a need to strengthen national measures to implement the provisions of resolution 1373. He called for accession to all 12 pertinent international conventions and protocols. His country recently had ratified two such conventions.
He said that combating terrorism required stamina, and success in that endeavour depended on ongoing solidarity. Taking note of cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the “1267 Committee” (the Committee monitoring Taliban, Al Qaeda sanctions), he said there was a need to harmonize the actions of those Committees with the relevant Committee of the General Assembly (GA 51/210 Committee), as well as with the Group on Implementation of Anti-terrorist Policies of the United Nations.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) expressed gratitude to the members of the Committee, its experts, and Secretariat staff for their work towards making the Committee a success. The Committee, through its intensive work, had been able to discharge its responsibilities fully, and had achieved progress in promoting the capability of member States to harmonize their legislation with the provisions of resolution 1373. That success had been manifested in the actions of member States, particularly in submitting the required reports. All States had presented their first reports. Syria had been one of the 35 that had submitted its third report, which was another expression of its seriousness in promoting international efforts to combat terrorism.
He said that the Committee had an open and transparent dialogue with member States and had provided assistance to those States in need, in their efforts to combat terrorism. He supported the programme of work for the next 90 days. His country had cooperated fully with the Committee and had reaffirmed its willingness to make all efforts to achieve the goals of that work programme. He commended the efforts of the Secretariat regarding the Committee’s Web site, and stressed the need for full parity with regard to all six official languages on that site. The danger of international terrorism required collective work by the international community. It was necessary to look seriously at its roots and to diagnose its causes, in order to treat it. It was also necessary to distinguish between terrorism and the right of peoples to liberate themselves.
ISMAEL ABRAAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said it was undeniable that, thanks to the Committee’s activities, the international community had a more effective legal framework to combat terrorism. There was also a clearer picture of existing legislation, as well as of gaps that remained to be filled. There was now a need to extend assistance to a number of developing countries to make their legislation against terrorism more global and effective.
Noting that almost 40 member States were late in submitting second and third reports -- all of them developing countries -- he said that that had not been due to a lack of commitment, but to the lack of capacity, national, regional and subregional, to meet the resolution’s requirements. Long-term assistance in national and regional capacity-building, therefore, was necessary. Although condemning the methods and tactics employed by terrorists, he called attention to the root causes: injustice; extreme poverty; and social and economical exclusion.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) highlighted the reference made to the principles of cooperation, transparency, and equal treatment, which guided the Committee’s work. The Committee was carrying out efforts to implement those principles, with the help of its members, experts and Secretariat staff. The international community was vulnerable to terrorism. Just yesterday, Spain was struck by terrorist attacks, which he deplored. Protection could not, therefore, be unilateral. It was necessary to pursue efforts to construct a common structure to combat that scourge, and to help all countries fight it.
He stressed the importance of progress, in terms of practical measures to increase the capacity of States to tackle terrorism. He supported strengthening cooperation between the Committee and regional, subregional and international organizations. In that regard, he looked forward to the second meeting in October at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), under the auspices of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism. The rate of response in terms of the submission of reports had been satisfactory. More satisfying had been the cooperation between the Committee and States, enabling them to comply with the provisions of resolution 1373. As chair of the “1267 Committee”, he intended to continue to promote a greater interconnection between the two Committees, on which he would soon report.
ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was becoming more technical and complex, while the memories of 11 September were fading. Progress had been made, but the threat remained, and another event like 11 September could not be precluded. Terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction was a key concern. The Committee would have to redouble its efforts in that regard.
One of the key challenges was maintaining the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said. All had a responsibility to ensure that the Committee was effective by supporting it and fully cooperating with it. The Committee needed to build on its technical assistance work and strengthen the team of experts in that regard. It also needed to be proactive in discussing its conclusions with States concerned, including contacts with capitals.
There was a need for sharper analysis of the reasons that States were falling behind in cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said. There was also a need to strengthen contact with other organizations. He hoped the experts would explore what more could be done to get regional organizations to address the issue of counter-terrorism.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said that, under Ambassador Arias’ leadership, the Counter-Terrorism Committee had witnessed new progress, reviewed progress reports submitted by countries and had started the review of phase B implementation. Its counter-terrorism assistance had been carried out at a deeper level. The Committee had continued to strengthen its cooperation with regional, subregional and international organizations. It had also sent letters to 17 organizations, indicating areas for cooperation.
He supported the new 90-day work programme presented. On the Committee’s future work, he said it was important to further strengthen counter-terrorism assistance. Practical measures were needed so countries could meet their needs. That way, the Committee could serve as a bridge between donor and recipient nations. The new work programme had good ideas on counter-terrorism assistance, and he hoped action would be taken to turn those ideas into reality.
It was important for the Committee to maintain its position of leadership in the field of counter-terrorism efforts, he said. Its authority was irreplaceable. Other organizations should work in cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. China had always supported the global fight against terrorism and the work of the Committee, and it would continue to work closely with Ambassador Arias so that the Committee could better serve the interests of member States and counter-terrorism efforts.
STEFAN TAVROV (Bulgaria), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said he supported the programme of work, as set out by the Committee Chairman. Terrorism remained an immediate threat to peace for all States in the world, without exception. Combating it was a fundamental priority in the foreign policy of his country. Full implementation of resolution 1373 was a priority challenge for all member States. Any action taken to combat terrorism, however, should fully conform to the norms of international law and comply with human rights and international humanitarian law. Although more than 40 States now had acceded to the 12 pertinent conventions and protocols, their implementation was key.
He said the Committee had become the “pulse” of the fight against terrorism. It was important that relations developed with other international organizations be broadened and reinvigorated. He stressed that international organizations, in their measures, had included the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Universalizing international conventions in the area of non-proliferation and disarmament was fundamental in that regard. It was troublesome that some countries had not undertaken adequate measures to implement resolution 1373 because of a lack of resources.
MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) said that, since its establishment about two years ago, the Committee had made significant contributions in the field of counter-terrorism. The dialogue it had maintained with member States and its role in facilitating the provision of technical assistance had been helpful in enabling States to improve their domestic legislation and administrative machineries to combat terrorism. The Committee needed to further intensify its efforts to encourage donors to extend technical assistance to States to enhance their capacities. He appreciated the Committee’s efforts to promote transparency and efficiency in its work. Efforts to improve coordination with the “1267 Committee” would further facilitate that process.
Terrorism, he noted, was an international concern requiring global cooperation. The need for a definition of terrorism, which maintained a distinction between the right of people for self-determination, and terrorism, was greater today than ever before. Such legal clarity would be extremely useful in providing a legal framework for the common struggle against terrorism. It would be a travesty of justice if human rights were not upheld in the fight against terrorism, he added.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) thanked Ambassador Arias for the able way in which he had maintained, in his initial four months as Committee Chairman, the continuity and momentum of that body’s efforts. He supported the Committee’s new work programme, in all its aspects, and he especially welcomed its ever-growing emphasis on technical assistance. Germany maintained technical assistance programmes with more than 30 countries worldwide, primarily in the field of police, customs, law enforcement and financial law and practice. Together with its partners in those projects, his Government strove to strengthen the rule of law through efficient judicial and law enforcement structures. “Our common fight must respect national and international law, human rights and the United Nations Charter. The rule of law must always prevail”, he said.
Turning to the plight of the world’s least developed countries, he said that, some days ago, the United Nations High Representative for Least Developed Countries stated that 11 per cent of the world’s population lived on less than a dollar a day. It was obvious that such extreme poverty made them vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists. That was one of the reasons why the fight against poverty, social injustice and other breeding grounds of terrorism must remain high on the international agenda. Germany was determined to remain a reliable and active partner in the international coalition against terrorism, within the framework of the Charter and international law.
JOHN D. NEGROPONTE (United States), endorsing the work programme for the next 90 days, said that since the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been established, it had raised the capacity of all Member States in fighting terrorism. It had also ensured that the issue remained high on the Council’s agenda and that the Council continued to lead in the worldwide effort against terrorism.
Still, he said, a lot of work remained to be done. Over 150 more States needed to accede to the 12 Conventions and Protocols, and many States still did not have adequate legislation in place to combat terrorism. In addition, some States’ reports contained little evidence of efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001). As long as a few States were not acting quickly enough, all remained vulnerable, as the fight against terrorism was only as strong as its weakest link. Implementation of resolution 1373 required more than submitting reports and adopting legislation -- it required all States to apply relevant laws and to cooperate with others in prosecuting all suspected terrorists. States that did not do all they could in the fight put all States at risks.
While the Counter-Terrorism Committee had made important contributions in the fight against terrorism, it had a lot of work to do in reviewing the reports, facilitating and coordinating assistance and expanding cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, he said. It was essential that the Committee continued to receive the support and cooperation of Member States. Given the Committee’s various tasks, it was time to think how it might best accomplish them. It must be ensured that the Committee had what it needed to be as effective as possible.
ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico) said that it was necessary to recognize that terrorism was not an isolated phenomenon, but was prepared and carried out in conjunction with other factors and with other criminal activities, including the proliferation of and easy access to small arms and light weapons. For the fight against terrorism to be effective, it must be coordinated. His country had promoted the actions of the Committee to ensure that the measures carried out were done so with full respect for human rights. The Committee had included in its letters to all States the need to ensure that any measure to combat terrorism must be compatible with international law. The meeting of the Committee with the Human Rights Committee had been very useful for exploring areas for future action.
He said that access to weapons by terrorist, and the opportunities provided to them by legal vacuums, was another important aspect. The daily threat posed by small arms and light weapons must not be forgotten. The recent biennial meeting on that issue had demonstrated the growing linkage between those weapons and terrorism. He welcomed the Committee’s decision to act on the Mexican initiative to put forward questions to States on measures taken to combat the trafficking in small arms and light weapons. The progress made in strengthening the Committee’s cooperation with regional, subregional and international organizations had been positive and had served to complement the work of the Committee.
He recognized the work done by Ambassadors Arias and Muñoz to strengthen cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee. Thanks to their work, it had become apparent that the 1267 Committee was a sanctions organ, while the Counter-Terrorism Committee was oriented towards cooperation and the provision of assistance. On facilitating assistance, he recognized the crucial part played by the Committee’s experts in identifying the needs of Member States in implementing resolution 1373. In many cases, non-compliance had been the result of a lack of technical capacity. Providing assistance should remain the backbone of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon) said the fight against terrorism must be based on a clear strategy, which mobilized the commitment, solidarity and cooperation of all Members of the United Nations. It required an ongoing flow of information among the different bodies that dealt with terrorism. The Committee had allowed all members of the international community to become better aware of the scope of the terrorist threat to international peace and security. It had become a tool to encourage dynamic cooperation among States and international organizations, and it had stepped up its contacts with international, regional and subregional organizations through its periodic meetings. Those meetings had highlighted what needed to be done simultaneously to establish or build capacity for those involved combating terrorism. Establishment of a special fund, as proposed by France, deserved particular attention, he said.
He asked how the Committee should be shaped to the contours of a broader fight against terrorism and how it could follow up resolution 1456 (2003). (That text on combating terrorism was adopted by the Security Council in January at the level of Foreign Minister.) He also asked how implementation of recommendations that had emerged from the meeting with international organizations could be guaranteed and how synergy could be created with other Committees of the Council, along the lines of the established cooperation with the 1267 Committee.
The new programme of work for the next 90 days, he said, would allow for strengthening dialogue and cooperation among the various players, as well as assistance to countries that needed it. Noting that misery, poverty, injustice and intolerance were often at the root of terrorist acts, he stressed that his country needed assistance in its fight against terrorism.
MARCELLO SPATAFORA (Italy), on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union condemned all acts of terrorism as criminal and remained convinced that no terrorism was justifiable, irrespective of its motivations and objectives, forms and manifestation. The Union was strongly committed to defeating the threat of terrorism. Efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism must be conducted in full respect for common values, including respect for human rights, humanitarian law and the rule of law. In its internal anti-terrorist legislation, the Union had set high standards for the protection of human rights.
The Union supported the central role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism everywhere, he said. It attributed high priority to the signature and ratification by all Member States of the twelve United Nations conventions against terrorism in all its forms. European Union members and the acceding countries were now parties to the vast majority of the conventions.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, since its establishment under resolution 1373, had provided the international community with a solid, valuable and shared basis to counteract terrorism, he said, adding that the Union worked in close coordination with international, regional and subregional organizations. It also actively collaborated with the United Nations and its agencies in the fight against terrorism. To support third countries in implementing their commitments under resolution 1373, the Union had established a strategy for providing those countries with additional and streamlined technical assistance projects.
The fight against the financing of terrorism remained a top priority for the Union, he said. It was committed to further strengthening internal procedures to prevent groups from obtaining funds that were directed towards charitable purposes. Further work had been undertaken regarding the freezing of funds and economic resources in order to prevent terrorism funding. Legislation targeting Al Qaeda and the Taliban had been updated several times so as to bring it in line with the amendments decided by the Council’s Sanctions Committee. He added that special attention should be devoted to the possible links between terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking. Terrorist organizations might exploit migration flows in order to penetrate borders.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery constituted a threat to international peace and security, he said. The acquisition of such weapons or related materials by terrorists would represent an additional threat to the international system with potentially uncontrollable consequences. The Union was committed to further elaborating, before the end of the year, a coherent strategy to address the threat of proliferation and to continue to develop and implement the European Union Action Plan as a matter of priority with a comprehensive and regularly updated threat analysis as a starting point. In its approach, the Union would be guided by its commitment to implement multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said that much remained to be done, despite the international community’s efforts in the field of counter-terrorism. It was now more important than ever for all members of the international community to show the political will to take forceful counter-terrorism measures, and to have the capacity to implement them. Regarding political will, many countries had expressed their resolve with respect to that issue on many occasions, but, those nations also needed to give substance to their words by taking actions, such as becoming parties to all of the counter-terrorism conventions and protocols.
Concerning capacity, he said that it was increasingly important that assistance for capacity-building be extended to developing countries. He appreciated the clearing-house function performed by the Committee in that regard. Information and knowledge accumulated through the assistance matrix and the exchange of letters between the Committee and Member States were very useful tools in promoting international counter terrorism capacity-building. He welcomed the current 90-day work programme, which sought to further strengthen such efforts.
He said his country had, in the past, stressed that, in combating terrorism, it was essential to deny terrorists the means to commit terrorist acts by preventing its financing and denying access to false documents and weapons. Also critical was to deny terrorists safe haven and ensure that they were prosecuted or extradited for prosecution. Vulnerability to terrorism could be overcome by enhancing domestic security measures. The importance of those measures was confirmed in the G-8 Action Plan, which had been adopted in Evian.
DAN GILLERMAN (Israel) said anything less than total cooperation by all States in international efforts to counter terrorism was unacceptable. Zero tolerance for terrorism was the only moral option. The weakest link in the fight against terrorism were those regimes, which were able, but unwilling to take the necessary actions on their own soil, and had turned a blind eye to the continuation of arms trafficking, financing and recruitment, to further their own agendas. States must be held accountable for criminal acts committed by terrorists operating from their own territory.
Similarly, he said, just as States could not tolerate the practice of terrorism within their own borders, States could not be expected to turn a blind eye when their citizens were attacked. In the Middle East, there was a real chance for marked improvements in the international security situation, but one had to be uncompromising in the war to eliminate the terror weapon. There could not be genuine ceasefire among organizations committed to the murder of innocents in pursuit of a fundamentalist agenda. A promise to temporarily halt such brutal attacks was not a concession to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations.
He said that greater effort should be made by the counter-terrorism community in combating the education infrastructure, which bred incitement to hatred and violence. “No baby is born wanting to be a suicide bomber”, he said, but if incitement was not eliminated, it would be impossible to move away from terror and violence towards the path of dialogue and the building of a better future. The threat posed by “Man Portable Air Defence” systems (MANPADS) also required the intensive cooperation of the international counter-terrorism community. Efforts should be redoubled to combat the threat of “MANPADS”, by both strengthening counter-measures and reducing the danger of proliferation. He also warned against weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists, and he called for implementation of initiatives to halt the illicit transfer and proliferation of those weapons.
KIM SAM-HOON (Republic of Korea) said that, in light of the progress made in counter-terrorism, resolution 1373 had garnered renewed significance as a legally binding and universally applicable framework. He commended the Counter-Terrorism Committee for its crucial role in ensuring Member States’ national preparedness to counter terrorism.
He said that the Committee had demonstrated remarkable competence in addressing potentially weak links in the international community’s efforts to prevent and combat terrorism. He further commended the Committee’s progress in enhancing the legal and legislative aspects of international efforts to counter terrorism. His country was currently party to 10 of the 12 terrorism-related international conventions and protocols. Having already signed the remaining two, it was expediting the process of enacting the necessary domestic legislation for their early ratification before the end of the year, he said.
He added that the Republic of Korea had also begun offering training programmes in air and seaport security and customs services. It also planned to provide training courses in cyber-terrorism, soon.
JOSE ANTONIO DOIG (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group of countries reiterated, once again, the Group’s complete repudiation of terrorism and its support for the Committee’s work. Since the Council’s last meeting on the topic on 4 April, several relevant developments had taken place. The first had been the declaration of heads of State and government of the member States of the Rio Group. At its annual summit on 23 and 24 May in Cusco, Peru, the Group reiterated its condemnation of terrorism, and emphasized the need to continue to combat it, along with related problems. The declaration had also underlined that combating terrorism should be done in accordance with the full respect for human rights.
He highlighted as the other major development the entry into force, on 10 July, of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, which had been adopted by the Organization of American States (OAS) in June, 2002. Those two events emphasized the progress and intensification of policies being developed for years by the countries of the region. All Rio Group members had submitted their initial reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee. The Group also supported the effective application of the Programme of Action on Preventing, Combating and Eradicating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
The Committee, in its next work programme, should continue to identify the assistance needs of Member States and modernize its Web site, he said. The Rio Group renewed its call for the completion of the international legal framework on terrorism, including the completion of a general convention against terrorism and a convention against acts of nuclear terrorism. He expressed satisfaction at the fact that the next meeting of the Committee with regional and international organizations would be held in October at the headquarters of the OAS. He was confident that it would facilitate the extension and deepening of cooperation between the Committee and such organizations.
VALERY P. KUCHYNSKY (Ukraine) said that combating terrorism remained a top priority on both the international community’s and United Nations’ agendas. As the threat to international peace and security required sustained, long-term and global action, the Security Council continued to play a central role in facilitating cooperation between governments in that fight.
The Council had set the necessary framework for a global response to international terrorism and strengthening the potential of the anti-terrorism coalition, he said. It was now important that the capacity of each nation’s legislation and executive machinery was improved to achieve tangible results. It was important that terrorists were deprived of all means supporting their activities.
He said the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons was directly linked to drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and terrorism. The international community should, therefore, be more active in preventing the transfer of those weapons to criminals and terrorists and ensure they were not diverted to illicit commerce.
Ukraine had consistently supported United Nations efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and had in that regard, established a comprehensive national system to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. He said winning the fight against terrorism would take the long-term commitment of the international community.
REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia), on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said ASEAN supported measures to enhance the counter-terrorism capability for States requesting aid. In that respect, he reiterated the importance of cooperation by Member States on capacity-building for those States who needed assistance. ASEAN condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and emphasized the need to address its root causes. It rejected any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, race, nationality or ethnic group.
Providing an update on recent ASEAN efforts, he said that during the Association’s ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh in June, Foreign Ministers had expressed satisfaction with current counter-terrorism measures and reviewed the cooperation among Member States, which had facilitated the arrest of persons engaged in terrorist activities. Renewing regional resolve to pursue the purposes of the 2002 Declaration on Terrorism by the eighth ASEAN Summit, the Foreign Ministers had affirmed their commitment to working with ASEAN law enforcement authorities in carrying out the specific measures set out in the 2001 Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism. In addition to regional initiatives, the ASEAN Regional Forum continued to play a key role in enhancing counter-terrorism among the Forum’s participants. To coordinate its counter-terrorism efforts, an intersessional meeting on counter-terrorism and transnational crime was held in Malaysia, in March. The Forum remained fully committed to strengthening counter-terrorism efforts among its participants.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers had also welcomed the establishment of the South-East Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism, in Kuala Lumpur, in July, he continued. The Centre’s emphasis would be on creating public awareness, through conferences, education programmes, training on terrorism and counter-terrorism measures, as well as on the management of post-terrorism consequences, including those involving chemical, nuclear and biological warfare. ASEAN reiterated its support for the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the full implementation of resolution 1373.
FRANCIS BUTAGIRA (Uganda) called on countries to pull their efforts together in the fight against terrorism in all its manifestations, which, he said, had become a threat to mankind. It was naïve for any nation to think it was immune to acts of terrorism merely because of its geographical location, because terrorism knew no boundaries.
Additionally, many countries’ energies that would be harnessed to advance science to benefit mankind were diverted to fighting terrorism instead. That resulted in job losses and other negative economic effects, he said. Uganda had experienced terrorism of a particularly “horrendous kind” in the north of the country where a total of 25,000 children had been abducted and maimed since 1986; women and girls had been raped; and sometimes human beings had been cooked and eaten. Just a few days ago, terrorists, who often had bases in neighbouring countries, had drowned 45 children.
He called for the cooperation of neighbouring countries in eliminating terrorism and urged the Security Council in particular, and the international community in general, to provide the resources needed to dismantle those bases. In the fight against terrorism, the international community should also look at the underlying causes. While poverty might not be the only cause for resorting to terrorism, it provided an environment for it to flourish. In that regard, poverty eradication as emphasized in the Millennium Development Goals, should feature prominently in the fight against terrorism, he said.
LUIS GUILLERMO GIRALDO (Colombia) said that while recognizing the progress made by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he believed the Committee and the Security Council should engage in other initiatives pertaining to the fight against terrorism. All forms of terrorism, whether domestic or international, had to be equally rejected and fought with the same determination.
He said the possibility of the Committee and the Security Council drawing up a “general” list of international terrorist organizations worldwide, similar to the one produced by the 1267 Committee for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, deserved serious consideration. Further, the nature of terrorism should not only be determined by the place where they were committed, or by their global or national reach, but also by the origins of their sponsorship and of the money that financed them.
He said that it had been demonstrated that the international financial networks that used terrorism were similar to those that underpinned the illegal drag traffic and illegal trade in weapons. That was why Colombia insisted on the urgency of developing a frontal assault on terrorism and connected crimes on the basis of shared responsibility. In reiterating support for the Security Council’s and Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work in the fight against terrorism, he recalled Columbia’s appeal to the international community to cooperate with the legal and police actions called for in Resolution 1373 (2001).
MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal) said that combating terrorism should be the top priority of the international community in its quest for peace. Terrorism disrupted economic processes and undermined human rights. His country strongly condemned terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, as it had had first-hand experience with such crimes, which had only strengthened its resolve. As terrorism had a global reach, sustained international, regional and subregional efforts were necessary.
He said that now that the Committee had collected a considerable amount of information and had identified gaps, it should pay more attention to giving financial and technical assistance to those countries that needed it. In that regard, the Council should create an anti-terrorism fund. The international community must also speed up the process of finalizing the international terrorism convention, and address the root causes of terrorism, and not only the symptoms. Poverty was often a breeding ground for terrorists and only a reduction in abject poverty would help to put the “genie” of terrorism back in the bottle.
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