SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON COUNTER-TERRORISM
COMMITTEE TO HELP INCREASE MEANS AVAILABLE
TO STATES TO COMBAT TERRORISM
Committee Chair Briefs Council,
Some 30 Speakers Address Terrorist Threats to Peace, Security
NEW YORK, 16 October (UN Headquarters) -- The Chairman of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee briefed the Council this afternoon on progress made in implementing its mandate, after which some 30 speakers engaged in an extensive debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
At the conclusion of the debate, the representative of the United States, as President of the Council, read a statement by which the Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constituted one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism were criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The Council invited the Counter-Terrorism Committee, which was established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), in implementing its work programme for the next 90 days, to: focus on practical measures that would increase the means available to States to combat terrorism; help them identify and solve the problems in implementing the Council resolution; increase adherence to international counter-terrorism instruments; and deepen its dialogue with international, regional and subregional organizations active in related areas.
Noting that 48 Member States were late in submitting their reports, the Council called on them to urgently do so, in order to maintain the universality of response required under the terms of resolution 1373 (2001). By 31 October, the Committee Chairman will send to the Council the list of States late in submitting their reports.
During his briefing, Chairman Inocencio F. Arias (Spain), said the Committee’s work was moving from stage “A”, which basically related to seeing that legislation was adapted to the struggle, to stage “B”, which dealt with “real implementation” of those measures. It had taken more time to study the national reports and draft letters to governments. He had prepared a working paper on criteria for drafting the letters and the need to give equal attention to all States, while allowing for flexibility to follow-up implementation.
He said the Committee continued to apply the criteria of coordination, transparency and equality of treatment, while trying to adapt those to the circumstances of each individual case. Regarding technical assistance, the Committee was increasingly cooperating with States that were having difficulties in implementing provisions of the resolution. Ties had been strengthened with regional and subregional organizations. Steps had also been taken to ensure cooperation between the Committee and the “1267” Committee, which monitored the sanctions against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
All Member States had now submitted their initial reports, although, as of 30 September, 48 States had been late in their submissions. He would submit to the Council a list of States that had not submitted their reports, including second and third documents, on time. As indicated in his report before the Council (document S/2003/995), he would submit information on problems encountered by States to implement resolution 1373, as well as difficulties with the present structure and functioning of the Committee itself. The Committee would then hold a debate on steps to be taken, both by the Committee and the Council, to resolve those problems.
In the ensuing debate, speakers, recalling the bombing of the United Nations complex in Baghdad on 19 August, as well as other recent terrorist attacks, noted that while progress had been made in the fight against terrorism, the scourge was still a threat to all. Approving of the proposed programme of work, many speakers stressed that counter-terrorism measures should be taken in strict compliance with human rights, the United Nations Charter, international law, and international humanitarian law. The root causes of terrorism, such as injustice and dire poverty, should also be addressed.
While urging States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the 12 Conventions concerning terrorism, some speakers expressed regret that political differences were delaying the elaboration of a global convention to combat terrorism and nuclear terrorist acts. Stressing the importance of cooperation between the Committee and international, regional and subregional organizations, speakers also underlined the necessity of coordination in delivering technical assistance to those State that needed it.
The representative of Germany suggested that the Committee’s experts should form joint teams with members of specialized international organizations in order to actively assist countries in key areas covered by resolutions 1373 and 1456. Another idea would be, he said, to consider the creation of a high-level authority, such as a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator, who might help to better focus and streamline enhanced activities to counter terrorism on a global basis.
The representative of the United States, speaking in his national capacity, stressed that material submitted by States to the Committee should be verified. Given the important work that remained to be done, it was essential that the Committee received increased support from Member States, the United Nations system, and organizations engaged in the fight against terrorism. It must act with a renewed sense of urgency, “as though 9/11 took place yesterday, not more than two years ago”, he said.
Some speakers highlighted the connection between terrorist networks and international criminal organizations, particularly those involved in trafficking of drugs and human beings. The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said, in many instances, funds generated from those criminal activities helped finance terrorism. Terrorist organizations also sought to take advantage of migration flows in order to infiltrate countries and execute their deadly projects.
The representatives of Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea, United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, Syria, Russian Federation, Angola, Mexico and China spoke, as did representatives of Libya, Yemen, Peru (on behalf of the Rio Group), Switzerland, Uganda, Japan, Israel, Colombia, India, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Indonesia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Ecuador, Armenia and Lebanon.
The meeting, which started at 12:20 p.m., was suspended at 1:10 p.m. The Council reconvened at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2003/17 reads, as follows:
“The Security Council welcomes the briefing by the Chairman of the CTC on the work of the Committee.
“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
“The Security Council recalls the statement of its President of 4 April 2003 (S/PRST/2003/3), which recorded its intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC no later than 4 October 2003. The Council confirms the continuation of the current arrangements for the Bureau of the Committee for a further six months. It invites the Counter-Terrorism Committee to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s ninth 90-day period (S/2003/995), focusing on practical measures designed to increase the means available to States to combat terrorism, helping States identify the problems faced by States in implementing resolution 1373, attempting to find solutions to them, working to increase the number of States which are parties to the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism, and deepening its dialogue with international, regional, and subregional organizations active in the areas covered by the resolution. The Security Council invites these organizations to continue to find ways of improving their collective action against terrorism, and, where appropriate, to work with donor States to establish suitable programmes.
“The Security Council notes that 48 Member States are late in submitting their reports, as called for in resolution 1373 (2001). It calls on them urgently to do so, in order to maintain universality of response which resolution 1373 (2001) requires. By 31 October 2003, the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee will send to the Security Council the list of the States which at that date are late in submitting their reports.
“The Security Council invites the Counter-Terrorism Committee to continue reporting on its activities at regular intervals and expresses its intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC no later than 4 April 2004.”
The Security Council met this afternoon to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. At the last such meeting, on 6 May 2003, the Council was briefed by Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain, whose delegation now chairs the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee. The Prime Minister cautioned the international community against falling into complacency in the fight against terrorism. [For further information, see Press Release SC/7754].
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 deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts. Reports from States on actions they had taken to that end would contribute to monitoring implementation of that text.
INOCENCIO ARIAS (Spain), in his capacity as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, briefed the Council on the Committee’s status of work and programme of work. The past six months had been a period in which very serious work had been done to implement resolution 1373 (2001). He emphasized that the Committee reflected a consensus among all United Nations Members, which had affirmed the need to struggle, with all means possible within the United Nations Charter, against acts of terrorism. In terms of implementation of the resolution, the Committee had continued to study reports by States. The pace had slowed somewhat, because the Committee was steadily entering a more complex stage of its work.
He said the Committee’s work was moving from stage “A”, which basically had related to seeing that legislation was adapted to the struggle, to stage “B”, which dealt with “real implementation” of those measures. It had taken more time to study the national reports and draft the letters to governments. A balance should be sought between the levels of attention given to each State. For that purpose, he had prepared a working paper on criteria for drafting the letters and the need to give attention to all States on the basis of equality of treatment, while allowing for flexibility to follow-up implementation. In seeing to it that all States were adhering to the relevant international protocols and conventions, the Committee had studied that question with its team of experts and had reported on the status of implementation and on the work of the Committee itself.
On working methods, he said the Committee continued to apply the criteria of coordination, transparency and equality of treatment, while trying to adapt those to the circumstances of each individual case. Regarding technical assistance, the Committee was increasing cooperation with States, which, while possessing the necessary political will to implement the resolution, were having difficulties doing so. On transparency, the Committee’s web page had been completely redesigned and would be available in all official languages shortly. In terms of cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, ties had been strengthened with the Committee. On 7 October, a second meeting was held in Washington, D.C., with those organizations, and the next meeting had already been scheduled for March 2004.
He said that steps had also been taken to ensure cooperation between the Committee and the “1267” Committee. All members had now submitted their initial reports, although, as at 30 September, 48 States had been late in their submissions. He would submit to the Council, no later than 30 October, a list of States that had not submitted their reports, including second and third documents, on time. The Committee would also closely follow the flow of information with States, with technical assistance remaining a top priority. Ensuring sufficient coordination with regional and subregional organizations was another.
As indicated in paragraph 21 of the report before the Council, he said he would submit information on problems encountered by States in implementing resolution 1373, as well as difficulties with the present structure and functioning of the Committee itself. It would then hold a debate on steps to be taken, both by the Committee and the Council, to resolve those problems.
IYA TIDJANI (Cameroon) said the terrorist attacks of the last years were a timely reminder how vulnerable everybody was to terrorism, which was attacking all levels of society. The international community had decided to react firmly and had defined a global strategy in resolution 1373, which required strengthening of cooperation between all States and among States and international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as with civil society. A genuine policy to exchange information and assistance was essential, as was a general international regulatory instrument.
He noted with regret the political differences that were delaying the elaboration of a global convention to combat terrorism and nuclear terrorist acts. The fight against terrorism also required combating dire poverty. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had helped to consolidate consensus on the objectives to combat terrorism, and to strengthen national capacity and international cooperation. It had become the best tool to coordinate cooperation among States and international and regional organizations. He supported the new 90-day programme, which was both far-reaching in its objectives and practical.
CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said that the principles of transparency, cooperation and equality of treatment in the Committee’s work must be maintained. The Committee was making practical and effective efforts to apply those principles, case by case. That was what had made consensus possible and given legitimacy to international action. It was time now to move forward with practical measures, in order to effectively confront the terrorism scourge and help all States increase their capacity to prevent and react to such actions. Identifying the difficulties encountered by States in that regard was an essential task.
He said he welcomed the fact that the Committee had continued to broaden its contacts and cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. All of that cooperation and collaboration should lead to more concrete operational results. Technical assistance to those in need should also be among the constant concerns. The Committee was taking a more dynamic role in that field, and the Council should ensure that that approach was followed.
Given the status of reporting by States, the figures presented today were encouraging, he added. The Committee’s preparation of a working paper on criteria for drafting letters to States would make possible more dynamic contacts with them. Those were, after all, the main protagonists of those shared efforts. That relationship should be explored continually, so as to contribute together to resolving the problems associated with implementation of resolution 1373. That text had placed the Committee at the centre of the involvement of all countries worldwide.
STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said the Counter-Terrorism Committee was at the heart of the effort to combat the scourge of terrorism. Great results had been achieved in implementation of resolution 1373 and continued efforts were made to ensure transparency. Progress had been made in cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations. But, much remained to be done. He was concerned that 48 States had not complied with the timetable for submitting reports. Technical assistance should, therefore, be given to those States who needed it.
He said cooperation between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and regional and subregional organizations was important, for instance, with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Combating terrorism should strictly respect human rights, international law and international humanitarian law. There should be a more practical orientation within the Committee. A Committee report on difficulties encountered by Member States in implementation of resolution 1373 would be helpful.
ALPHA IBRAHIMA SOW (Guinea) said today’s meeting was one more opportunity to evaluate what had been accomplished by the Committee, which had contributed to a better understanding of terrorism and inspired trust among the various parties towards greater cooperation in eradicating terrorism. The submission of reports was an indication of the will and determination of the players to strengthen that cooperation. He supported the Committee’s proposals, as contained in paragraph 5 of its work programme, and he encouraged it to disseminate information on progress achieved by States, as well as solutions evolved to strengthen their capacities to implement resolution 1373.
He said he attached special importance to the working paper concerning criteria for the drafting of letters. Consideration of the passage from one stage to the other should be conducted carefully, in order to provide concrete responses to the problems confronting Member States. The suggestion in paragraphs 8 and 9 of the work programme deserved the fullest attention. On assistance, that remained fundamental for the strengthening of the capacities of certain players in that struggle. He welcomed the Committee’s preparation of a repertory of sources of assistance and information in counter-terrorism. He appealed to the donor community to give greater attention to that question, because the consequences of terrorism, which struck where the international system was weakest, were unforeseeable.
He, therefore, encouraged increased cooperation among Member States and among them and the Committee, which was the central assistance and coordination mechanism. He was also pleased at the transparency shown by the Committee. The road ahead towards eradicating terrorism was long and fraught with obstacles. The results achieved thus far had indicated a shared determination to eliminate terrorism. The Committee had made it possible to shed light on the interdependence of terrorism and other forms of organized crime, and of the global structure needed to combat it. Entry into force of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime had been another victory for the Organization. The Committee’s progress bore witness to its determination to fulfil its responsibility and revealed the political will of States to face their obligations.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said the United Kingdom fully endorsed the proposed programme of work. Sadly, the threat from terrorism had not diminished. If the Committee was to increase its successes, it must be further strengthened and given the expertise and the resources to do its work effectively. Technical assistance was a priority, as it was vital to help States implement the requirements of resolution 1373. Methods used to deliver assistance required better coordination and follow-up action to ensure that such assistance would help achieve the objective of implementing the resolution.
The value of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations was progressing, he said, as was shown by the meeting in Washington co-hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS). A global network was emerging to support the work of individual States and the Counter-Terrorism Committee in counter-terrorism measures. An important element in the fight was ratification and implementation of the 12 Conventions. Much had been done to encourage States to do that, but there were too many gaps. He, therefore, welcomed the proposal to examine the reasons for low levels of ratifications and to come up with practical situations for improvement.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that the fight against terrorism within the broadest possible international coalition remained one of his country’s most important policy objectives. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had done impressive work and he supported its new work programme. He also appreciated the ever-increasing links the Committee was establishing with international organizations and specialized agencies. Most important of all, the Committee had established a continuous dialogue with all Member States. The quality and intensity of that dialogue was unprecedented in United Nations history, and it was an asset that could be built upon.
While supporting the outlined work programme, he said the proposed evaluation would help the international community to further intensify cooperation by adopting a more operative approach. For example, one step forward would be, for Counter-Terrorism Committee experts to form joint teams with members of specialized international organizations, in order to actively assist countries in key areas covered by resolutions 1373 and 1456. Another idea would be to consider the creation of a high-level authority, such as a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator, who might help to better focus and streamline enhanced activities to counter terrorism on a global basis. The time had come to increase the effectiveness of the United Nations and Counter-Terrorism Committee action, within existing means, while respecting the framework of the Charter and international law.
JEAN-LUC FLORENT (France), supporting the statement to be made by Italy on behalf of the European Union, said that the Committee had done outstanding work in facilitating the implementation of the relevant Council resolutions. The increased cooperation with regional groups and the provision of technical assistance were particularly important.
The war on terrorism, he said, must remain a Council priority and could only be carried out with the determined participation of all. The Counter-Terrorism Committee must remain central and must become more active in intensively assessing measures taken by States to fight terrorism. National reports were not the only information needed in that effort. Other material could be received from regional and national bodies. With a more intensive assessment process, technical assistance must be further coordinated with the Group of 8 industrialized countries (G-8) and others, to make sure all active and passive support to terrorism was cut off. The Committee must also be better linked to political action through the Security Council. The coming report was important in that regard.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said the Committee had been meeting the requirements of its mandate due to the interaction between most Member States and the Committee in the framework of resolution 1373. Syria had submitted its third report in due time, and its President had recently issued a decree for fighting all illicit financial transactions, as part of its cooperation. For its part, the Committee had maintained transparency and facilitated technical assistance to States that required it.
He supported the ninth work plan of the Committee that covered the next
90 days, as well as the continuation of the current officers. He said that what most distorted global efforts to fight terrorism was toleration of crimes against humanity committed on the ground, which included annexation of territory and other violations of international law. There should be no double standard. Terrorism must also be distinguished from efforts to achieve national liberation. Syria reaffirmed its commitment to fight terrorism and to the work undertaken by the Committee.
MASSOOD KHALID (Pakistan) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee represented an international response to global terrorism. It was important that the Committee consolidated its activities within its mandate and avoid a policing role beyond that mandate. Pakistan had captured 500 terrorists, including key operators of Taliban and Al Qaeda, and deployed 5,000 troops near the border with Afghanistan.
Transparency of the work of the Committee was crucial for the cooperation of all States, he said. Reporting requirements must be balanced with adequate action on the ground. He supported the contacts with regional and subregional organizations, but said future meetings with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and other organizations should be held in different geographical regions.
He urged seeking a consensual and legal definition of terrorism, including State terrorism. The root causes of terrorism needed to be analysed. Human rights should be at the core of counter-terrorism efforts and those efforts should not be used as a cloak to violate them. States had made an opportunistic use of the fight against terrorism, as exemplified in Palestine and Kashmir. Attempts to deligitamize the just right of people to fight for self-determination should be resisted. Also, terrorism should not be linked with any religion.
SERGEY N. KAREV (Russian Federation) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee was a guarantor of harmonious and unified efforts in the fight against terrorism. The establishment of a reliable instrument for exchange of information was important. He welcomed the new and improved Web site of the Committee, but hoped that the Russian language would soon be added.
He urged universalisation of the 12 Conventions. Progress had been made in that area, but work in the area was far from being concluded. Developing countries needed assistance in preparing the necessary legislation. The Counter-Terrorism Committee, so far, could not fully use the potential that existed for technical assistance to countries that needed it. The tasks facing the Counter-Terrorism Committee would be difficult to resolve through existing means. A study was necessary of the new elements needed so it could fully implement its mandate.
JULIO HELDER DE MOURA LUCAS (Angola) fully endorsed the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the fight against terrorism. The fact that 48 States were late in submitting their reports, however, showed the degree to which assistance was needed in the financial, technical and human resource areas of the effort. In border control, smuggling and other challenges, developing countries required a long-term focus on such assistance, so they could wage an effective combat against terrorism. He welcomed the more proactive approach to such assistance.
He said that the sharing of information with regional and subregional organizations was particularly important. The African Union had been a pioneer in a regional approach to fighting terrorism and helping to apply standards and best practices.
CARLOS PUJALTE (Mexico), associating himself with the statement to be made by Peru on behalf of the Rio Group, said that an important development in the work of the Committee had been explicit information on machinery that States used to control all kinds of weapons, including small arms and light weapons. The Committee must, in addition, make sure counter-terrorist activities were carried out in full compliance with all human rights law. That consideration must never be weakened.
In the new work programme, he was pleased to note the intention of the Committee to consult individually with States to help define the priorities of each country. That should not replace the requirement of submitting reports, however. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should also continue to strengthen assistance to States that did not have the resources necessary to effectively combat terrorism, as well as continue to improve dialogue between the Committee and regional organizations
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said the Committee had achieved significant results over the last three months and had moved on to stage B in the case of some countries. On 7 October, it had organized, with the OAS, the second special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations. He supported the proposed work programme, but thought the Committee should further intensify its efforts to provide assistance, in particular to developing countries.
He said terrorism remained a threat to international peace and security. In counter-terrorism efforts, the international community should abide by the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. Eradication of root causes of terrorism should also be addressed and countries should be actively helped to eradicate poverty. Also, there should be no double standards in the fight.
GONZALO QUINTERO (Spain) proposed to include a paragraph in the presidential statement to be issued condemning all acts of terrorism.
The Council’s President, JAMES B. CUNNINGHAM (United States), speaking in his national capacity, said terrorism was an ever-present threat. Yesterday, an American diplomatic convoy was bombed in Gaza. They were there to interview candidates for Fulbright Scholarships to study in the United States. He not only condemned the attacks, but warned the attackers: you can run, but you cannot hide.
As one of the key Council counter-terrorism instruments, the Committee had given new international, legal and political authority to the counter-terrorism efforts of many nations and intergovernmental organizations. It had achieved universal engagement with all Member States. While much of the material submitted by States must be verified, the Committee had focused and organized States’ attention on counter-terrorism and laid the foundation for significant upgrades on capacity-building. However, the Committee must not be complacent. Working with relevant functional and regional organizations, the Committee should verify more effectively than before the steps States had taken to implement the resolution, and experts should visit several capitals to discuss implementation of resolution 1373.
He said that given the important work still to be done, it was essential that the Committee receive increased support from Member States, the United Nations system, and organizations engaged in the fight against terrorism. It must act with a renewed sense of urgency -- “as though 9/11 took place yesterday, not more than two years ago”, he said.
AHMED ELMESSALLATI (Libya) praised the work of the Committee and said that his delegation would continue to cooperate with it. He categorically rejected any attempt to link terrorism with any religion or culture, as the evils of terrorism have affected people from all cultures. Libya had been calling attention to the dangers of terrorism before the world became galvanized by the issue, having been a victim of it.
The lack of a definition of terrorism, he said, had been weakening efforts to combat it, since is must not be confused with liberation movements. State terrorism, such as that being waged against the Palestinian people, was the worst kind. Measures against all forms of terrorism must be strengthened.
ABDULLAH ALSAIDI (Yemen) said that the work of the Committee was an example of what could be established by exercise of the collective will of the international community. Only collective efforts, in fact, were effective in the struggle. Yemen had been aware of the dangers of terrorism for many years and had made the campaign against terrorism one of its priorities, and its efforts were reflected in its reports.
Terrorism, he said, was alien to Yemeni soil and was contrary to Muslim traditions. He emphasized, however, that international efforts up to now had been unable to contain the problem because of certain gaps, including the alleviation of poverty, the encouragement of good governance and the increase of justice. He called for a unified vision that included addressing root causes, and a global convention that defined terrorism, with the inclusion of State terrorism. In defining terrorism, peoples must not be denied their right to resist foreign occupation.
OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, condemned the terrorist attack on the United Nations in Baghdad and said it served as a reminder that no one was safe from terrorism. Nevertheless, organizations had made enormous strides in the fight against terrorism. For example, last week, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism had met at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., to discuss ways to increase States’ anti-terrorism capacities. Such transnational contacts were important, because, in an increasingly globalized world, national security policies had to be somewhat interconnected. In that regard, States had to responsibly cooperate in legal, policing, and budgetary areas, as well as sharing technology and information.
Echoing recent remarks by the Secretary-General, he said that, in order to efficiently combat terrorism, it was necessary to address its causes. He added that, with its range and legitimacy, the United Nations was in the best position to do that. Nevertheless, the international community was currently not showing enough political will in the area, as seen in its reluctance to work towards conventions against terrorism and to eliminate the acts of nuclear terrorism. In that context, he called for greater efforts to overcome the disagreements that were preventing negotiations.
JENÖ STAEHELIN (Switzerland) welcomed the role being played by the United Nations in fighting terrorism and said that the fight would succeed only if injustices were reduced, human dignity defended, and a dialogue developed between different cultures and religions. He then outlined the steps taken by his country to combat terrorism, including international police and judicial cooperation, a strengthened domestic legislative arsenal and measures to rapidly implement Security Council resolutions. Switzerland had also provided technical assistance to other countries and participated in negotiations on the adoption of global conventions.
He said that the international community must be firm to carry on long-term efforts against terrorism. At the same time, it must be vigilant not to sacrifice respect for human rights and the rule of law. Switzerland was convinced that it was not necessary to compromise basic freedoms to wage the struggle effectively.
ALDO MANTOVANI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Iceland, said the significant results over the past few years in the fight against terrorism should not be underestimated. Top leaders of terrorist networks had been arrested. Terrorist cells had been disrupted and attacks foiled. None of those successes would have been possible without close cooperation among the law enforcement, intelligence and judicial authorities of various nations. That type of cooperation was still the international community’s best approach to peace and security. Nonetheless, terrorist networks had shown an extraordinary resilience and a strong ability to adapt by decentralizing and reconstituting bases, especially in failed States.
He said the fight against terrorism must be conducted with full respect for human rights, rule of law and, where applicable, international humanitarian law. Ratification and implementation of the 12 international Conventions against terrorism were a top priority for the European Union. Regional organizations had a crucial role to play by actively monitoring the progress made in that regard. The fight against financing of terrorism was equally crucial. The Union had increased its effectiveness in that field, and a list of terrorist individuals, groups and entities was regularly reviewed and updated. Technical assistance aimed at strengthening capacity-building against terrorism was another basic tenet of the Union’s strategy.
He said special attention should be dedicated to the links between terrorism and organized crime, especially trafficking in drugs and human beings. In many instances, funds generated from those criminal activities helped finance terrorism. Terrorist organizations also sought to take advantage of migration flows in order to infiltrate countries and execute their deadly projects. Faced with the serious challenge of terrorism and its global threat to peace and security, the international community must continue to respond with a strategy of cooperation at all levels. To that end, the European Union supported the role of the competent United Nations agencies and bodies in helping to strengthen the United Nations capacity to counter terrorism.
FRANCIS K. BUTAGIRA (Uganda) said that the terrorists were forcing everyone to change their way of life, and they should not be allowed to do so. The money diverted to fight terrorist threats could have been used for development and advancing humankind’s potential. A lot of lives had been lost in those attacks and properties had been destroyed. The terrorist threats would not even spare those misguided elements or rogue nations who sponsored terrorism. Indeed, terrorists had gradually “upped the stakes” over the years. From conventional weapons, they were now reaching for weapons of mass destruction. The growing availability of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons had increased the chance of those weapons falling into the hands of non-State actors.
Particularly terrifying, he said, was the possibility of their falling into the hands of “mindless merchants of terror”. Should that come to pass, the world would be brought to a deadly and terrifying precipice. The time to act was now. The international community should work more urgently to ensure the non-proliferation and eventual total elimination of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons. Verifiable mechanisms for control and tracing of conventional weapons must also be evolved. The international community, and particularly the Council, should address, in a substantive way, the growing menace of international terrorism. Countries like his should be assisted financially and technically to build capacity for detection, prevention and combating that scourge. That assistance should take the form of training of security personnel, acquisition of the necessary equipment and restriction of movements of terrorists and their funds across borders.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said that recent incidents reaffirmed the importance of resolute international action against terrorism. Cooperation with regional groups should be strengthened in that effort; Japan had organized regional seminars. In addition, the importance of concluding the Convention on terrorist financing, and of strictly implementing the sanctions on Al Qaeda could not be overemphasized. But those efforts must be extended; for example, Japan had taken measures to freeze the assets of Hamas in the interest of the implementation of the Middle East Road Map.
To control arms that could be used to commit terrorist acts, he supported the registration of portable air defence armaments. The Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Council should also seriously address proliferation and weapons of mass destruction in that light. Japan, he said, would also continue to extend capacity-building assistance to developing countries. It was important to remember the necessity of addressing the root causes of terrorism, but those causes could never be accepted as justification for the use of terrorism.
ARYE MEKEL (Israel) said that on the days when terror attacks succeeded, gruesome pictures were broadcast across the globe, and people were overwhelmed by genuine sympathy for the victims. But their resolve to fight terrorism, not merely to condemn it, must be there even when the images faded. Extremist elements were willing and able to strike at any target, in any hemisphere, without concern or regard for human life. That had been demonstrated by attacks in Baghdad and Haifa over the past two months. And just yesterday, three American citizens had been killed in a terrorist attack in the Gaza Strip as their convoy was on its way to interview Palestinian students for scholarship grants.
Israel welcomed the efforts to develop a new activist agenda for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said. Global anti-terrorism conferences, such as those organized by the Committee and the OAS this month, served as instruments to establish the legal parameters for all regions and governments. Regional organizations served a vital role. Still, the pace was too slow. The development of practical counter-terrorism instruments and capabilities was an important achievement, but those measures only mattered if they were implemented on the ground. Paper must not be confused with progress.
It took only one non-compliant or complicit State to provide safe harbour for a terrorist operative and to enable perpetration of future attacks against civilians, he continued. Those who harbored terrorists or funded acts of terror were as guilty of terrorism as those who pulled the triggers, detonated the bombs or crashed the airplanes. Those who abused the language of resistance to justify the murder of innocents created the environment where murder could take place. For Israel, it was self-evident that the international fight against terrorism must begin at the national level. It could only succeed if every individual State made a sincere commitment to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons and dismantle the infrastructure and networks that sustained them.
Among the measures that needed to be taken, he mentioned the elaboration of standards for import and export of weapons, particularly in view of the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists. It was also important to increase efforts to combat the threat of Man Portable Air Defence Systems, also known as “MANPADS”. Finally, it was necessary to recognize the crucial role played by vicious incitement in the creation of suicidal terrorists and in fostering the environment that supported them. It was necessary to ensure that information in educational, political and religious institutions, as well as in the media, was used to promote progress and tolerance, knowledge and understanding, instead of serving as a tool to subvert them.
NICOLAS RIVAS (Colombia), associating himself with the statement made by Peru on behalf of the Rio Group of countries, said his country defended its democracy and the human rights of its citizens against the daily attacks of three terrorist organizations. A democratic security policy had been implemented since a year ago to uproot terrorism and was becoming effective. The country would deal with terrorism in strict compliance with the law and with democratic safeguards. In his country, terrorism, drugs, violence and insecurity were the same thing. He, therefore, implored the world to commit to the complete eradication of drugs.
He emphasized the fact that the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Council must address fundamental topics such as the close connection between terrorism and organized international crime, since terrorists used crimes such as drug trafficking and money-laundering to finance their acts. International financial networks using networks were similar to those using drug trafficking and illicit weapon trade. All terrorism, domestic or international, must be fought with the same determination. He suggested that the Committee and the Council prepare a list of international terrorist organizations. He said a definition of terrorism need not be further elaborated, as it existed in resolution 49/60 of the General Assembly.
A. GOPINATHAN (India) praised the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee team. He said that India had been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism for almost two decades, during which more than 60,000 Indians had lost their lives due to the scourge. Pluralistic democracies were particularly vulnerable to the global terrorist networks. Unfortunately, some States –- despite their claims to be part of the global alliance against terror -- regarded terrorism as a low-cost means of inflicting damage on their supposed adversaries. He said, for example, that arms used in the attack on the Indian Parliament had been said to come from Pakistan.
He said the Committee would need to go beyond reporting to a more serious examination of the actual actions taken by States, holding them accountable for their actions. Outlining some of the actions India had taken, he added that it was important to avoid endless, bureaucratic reporting. The larger realities must always be kept in mind. The undue emphasis on cooperation with other international and regional organizations should also be considered carefully; partner organizations did not bear the same responsibility as States, and often lacked the competence for counter-terrorism. Member States should be the primary contact point for the Committee. The independence of experts was also important.
YASHAR T. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) said his country highly appreciated the activities of the Committee, including its proactive cooperation with regional organizations and groups. As coordinator of the counter-terrorism issues within GUUAM (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), his country had actively participated in the two meetings of the Committee with international, regional and subregional organizations. Regular exchange of opinions and information on the subject would be of great benefit to the joint work.
He stressed that the fight against terrorism could not be successful if that evil was treated on its own, in isolation from such terrorism-breeding threats as organized crime, aggressive separatism, militant nationalism, drug trafficking and proliferation of small arms and weapons of mass destruction. It was imperative to target the huge financial assets feeding organized criminal groups that had close operational ties with international terrorist networks and illegally armed separatist movements. The territories that were presently controlled by unlawful separatist regimes, in particular within the zones of the so-called “frozen conflicts”, had been turned into “grey zones” of various criminal activities; illicit profits gained there were being used to bolster armed separatism and terrorism.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that two years after the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, that body itself was now at a critical juncture. While the world had witnessed a number of successes in the fight against terrorism in the past two years, there had also been a disconcerting number of setbacks and new attacks, such as the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. The work of the Committee, however, could not be measured against those events. The task was to prepare the ground for a common, sustainable approach of all Member States in the fight against terrorism. That was a task of utmost importance and delicacy, since it involved a constant search for balance between the sometimes conflicting goals of national and international security and the rights of individuals.
Human rights must not fall victim to the fight against terrorism, he continued. That required a clear commitment by the Organization and its Member States for the maintenance of human rights and the rule of law while countering terrorism, as well as considerable expertise. He commended the Committee’s increasing efforts to coordinate the provision of technical assistance, which should be tailored to meet the needs of human rights and the rule of law.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee’s reporting system was another pillar of its work, he added. Every Member State had reported at least once to the Committee, many had done so twice, and a number of States -- including Liechtenstein -- even three times. However, the number of reports submitted by a State was not a reliable indicator of its willingness and ability to implement resolution 1373. It would be one of the most pressing challenges for the Committee in the near future to address that issue in a manner that took into account the specific situations of individual countries, while, at the same time, establishing uniform benchmarks for all States. Also, as ratification of international Conventions was only the basis for action, he encouraged the Committee to continue its work in all relevant areas, including the increasingly important field of implementation.
REZLAN ISHAR JENIE (Indonesia) said that, at the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bali on 7 October, it was firmly agreed to continue to undertake and build on the specific measures outlined in the ASEAN Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism, which had been adopted in November 2001 in Brunei Darussalam. By that text, the Association committed itself to intensifying its efforts to prevent, counter and suppress the activities of terrorist groups in the region. The ASEAN also underlined the need to maintain practical cooperative measures among itself and with the global community. It further reaffirmed its determination to mitigate the adverse impact of terrorist attacks on ASEAN countries, and urged the international community to assist in those efforts.
He recalled that, at the meeting of heads of State and government of ASEAN member States and India on 8 October, the ASEAN-India Joint Declaration to Combat International Terrorism was adopted. Both parties reaffirmed the importance of a framework to prevent, disrupt and combat international terrorism through the exchange of information, intelligence and capacity-building. They also stressed their commitment to implementing the principles laid out in the Declaration, in accordance with their respective domestic laws and specific circumstances. They called on participants of the ASEAN-Indian dialogue to become parties to all 12 United Nations Conventions and Protocols relating to terrorism. Participants were also asked to designate an agency to coordinate with law enforcement agencies dealing with counter-terrorism financing.
FADL NACERODIEN (South Africa) said the United Nations had made great strides in the global fight against terrorism. A comprehensive approach was needed, however, that took into account conflict situations, poverty, human rights abuses and foreign occupation that prompted irrational acts of violence. Terrorism must, in addition, be combated globally and with full respect to international law and civil liberties.
To avoid singling out certain cultures, religions or countries, he said that objective criteria needed to be developed by the Security Council when drawing up lists of individuals or entities that committed terrorist acts. In addition, it must be noted that peoples living under foreign occupation had the right to resist. Caution was needed when cultural practices such as charitable donations were regulated, as well as when unsubstantiated travel advisories were issued. Those latter had negative economic impact, and credible intelligence must be shared so that preventive action could be taken instead. South Africa remained fully committed to the struggle against terrorism and to close cooperation with the Committee.
YERZHAN KH. KAZYKHANOV (Kazakhstan) said that, in light of the attack on the United Nations office in Baghdad last August, combating terrorism should remain a top priority on the international community’s agenda. In that context, he called Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) a “landmark in the global fight against terrorism” and said the Counter-Terrorism Committee was allowing governments to make progress in implementing it. Acknowledging that the Committee had been at the forefront in the fight to maintain international peace and security, he, nevertheless, encouraged it to intensify its cooperation with international, regional, and subregional organizations. He also lauded the Committee’s efforts to pursue open, transparent dialogues with Member States, assistance to countries to strengthen their anti-terrorism capabilities, and work in enhancing national legislation and mechanisms.
For its part, his Government had ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which had led to a national mechanism designed to contend with money-laundering, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. He added that it planned to accede to all 12 international instruments on terrorism. In a regional context, his President had initiated the process behind the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, in order to foster active cooperation among States. Kazakhstan had also contributed to the establishment of an anti-terrorist centre in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and submitted three reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee within the established time frame.
HENRIQUE R. VALLE (Brazil) associated himself with the statement made by Peru on behalf of the Rio Group and expressed appreciation of the work performed by all those involved with the Committee. He said the recent meeting of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States showed the wide possibilities that existed for cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations in the fight against terrorism. He looked forward to the follow-up on such cooperative activities in the latest work plan.
He said he also looked forward to the report of the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Widespread compliance with the initial stage of reporting was a considerable achievement, and showed that the far-reaching benchmarks set out in resolution 1373, although hard to attain, were possible. Through the work of the Committee and other bodies, the Security Council was carrying out its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
LUIS GALLEGOS CHIRIBOGA (Ecuador), associating himself with the statement of Peru on behalf of the Rio Group, said one of the most serious problems disrupting peace on earth was terrorism in all its manifestations and its connection with a broad range of illicit activities. He confirmed its strongest support for the initiatives and actions undertaken relating to anti-terrorism, particularly within the United Nations. He categorically condemned terrorism and called on the international community to redouble efforts to reach a broad and multilateral and legal framework to combat terrorism, while preserving the rights and dignities of human beings.
Hunger, poverty, failure to respect human rights, corruption and the overwhelming external debt burden of developing countries destabilized democratic institutions. Those daily harsh realities of the developing countries were also a threat to international security. The international community must simultaneously undertake a global strategy to promote world development and develop dialogue among human beings, as well as between States. Regarding elaboration of a global convention combating terrorism and a convention on terrorist nuclear acts, he appealed to all to overcome differences and work together to achieve the common good of international concord.
ARMEN MARTIROSYAN (Armenia) said that as a global danger, terrorism must be met with a broad international reaction, where measures at the national level would be complemented and supported by effective regional and international cooperation. It was imperative that all Member States increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and abide by the principles of international conventions and protocols relating to it. He stressed the significance of an internationally agreed definition of terrorism.
He said there was nothing inherent in any religion or civilization that generated terrorism. Terrorism by itself was primarily the weapon of the politically weak or frustrated, those who believed themselves to be unable to redress their grievances through conventional political or military means. However illegitimate terrorism was, the political concerns that gave rise to such violence often had a reasonable basis. Measures must be undertaken collectively to change policies that victimized vulnerable populations. Such victims often held others responsible for their suffering and thus became easy recruits for terrorist organizations.
SAMI KRONFOL (Lebanon) expressed appreciation for the work of the Committee and looked forward to its report. He strongly supported the Committee and condemned all violence that targeted civilians. He maintained, however, that the fight against terrorism must take into account its root causes, and objective criteria must be developed to describe terrorism along with methods for its eradication that were consistent with the principles of human rights and the United Nations Charter.
In addition, he said that partial solutions to the scourge could never succeed. Success depended on the consideration of all factors and the cooperation of all States. Lebanon was complying with resolution 1373, as well as with all of the anti-terrorism agreements it had signed, and its activities were documented in its reports to the Committee. His country also committed itself to further cooperation with the Committee.
Mr. KHALID (Pakistan), taking the floor for the second time to respond to Indian allegations, said he regretted India had used the platform to defame Pakistan. He rejected India’s allegations as false, malicious and self-serving. His country was proud of its role in the fight against terrorism and was engaged in interdiction operations against terrorists along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Allegations that the Taliban was regrouping in Pakistan were wrong.
He said an allegation had been made that the grenades used in the attack on the Indian Parliament had been exported to Pakistan by an Austrian firm. If the Austrian company, subject to an investigation, had exported them to Pakistan, they might as well have exported them to India. Regarding the article in The New York Times, he said he was certain that the article was based on false information given by those who wanted to malign Pakistan. India wanted to deflect attention from its own reign of terror, of its State terrorism, in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India had also indulged in terrorism against its own nationals, demonstrated by the killings of Muslims, and had sponsored terrorism against its neighbours, including Sri Lanka. He would confidentially communicate to the Counter-Terrorism Committee information on India’s activities to promote terrorism in Pakistan.
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