SECURITY COUNCIL, MOVING TO SUPPORT GLOBAL EFFORTS,
Submissions Awaited from 17 Member States; Current Debate Concludes on
NEW YORK, 8 October (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council today called on the 17 Member States that had not yet submitted a report to the Counter-terrorism Committee, in compliance with resolution 1373 (2001), to do so urgently. It made that call, in a presidential statement, as it concluded a meeting, which had begun on Friday, with a briefing by Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), the Chairman of the Committee, on its first year of work, along with a statement by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the fight against terrorism.
Through the statement read out by its President, Martin Belinga Eboutou of Cameroon (document S/PRST/2002/26), at the further meeting early this afternoon, the Council also expressed satisfaction that 174 Member States and five others had submitted the required reports.
In addition, the Council invited the Counter-terrorism Committee to pursue the programme of its fifth 90-day phase of operations, focusing on the domestic legislation of Member States, which it said should cover all aspects of resolution 1373 and the ratification of all 12 international conventions related to terrorism. Other priorities for the period would be the creation of mechanisms to suppress terrorist financing and the building of dialogue with international and regional organizations, according to the statement.
Before the statement of the President, the Council -- resuming its meeting begun last Friday -- heard the last of 48 representatives speaking on the Committee's report and the fight against terrorism. While praising the Committee's efforts, speakers continued to stress the importance of universal participation by Member States in the fight against terrorism. They underlined the importance of regional organizations in that effort, calling for international assistance to help States create the legal and structural frameworks required. Speakers also called for the root causes of terrorism to be addressed, along with related problems such as organized crime.
The need for a clear definition of terrorism was also raised by several speakers. Peru's representative said that, following the lead of Amnesty International, terrorist groups should be defined as those who committed human rights violations. The Permanent Observer for the African Union said consensus on a universally accepted definition of terrorism was urgently needed for a coherent fight against the scourge, to differentiate it from national liberation movements of people under occupation.
Israel's representative said that, in the face of overwhelming evidence, it was odd that distinctions continued to be fabricated between "good" terrorism and "bad" terrorism, between the justifiable targeting of civilians and the unjustifiable targeting of civilians. Such distinctions were not only wrong, he said, but also profoundly dangerous. If the international community accepted any terrorist tactics as good, it would undermine all international efforts for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Also speaking this morning were the representatives of Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ethiopia, Zambia, Lebanon and Nepal.
Jeremy Greenstock, the Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Committee, gave a concluding response to comments made by speakers.
Having been suspended on Friday evening, the meeting was called to order at 10:14 a.m. today, adjourning at 12:10 p.m. A new meeting was immediately called to order, during which the presidential statement was read. That meeting adjourned at 12:17 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to resume its consideration of threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council is reviewing implementation of its resolution 1373 (2001), a wide-ranging and comprehensive resolution on steps and strategies to combat international terrorism, unanimously adopted on 28 September 2001 in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
By the terms of the resolution, the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, decided, among other things, that States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts.
The Council also established a committee to monitor the resolution's implementation, the Counter-terrorism Committee, and called on all States to report on actions they had taken to that end, no later than 90 days after the date of the adoption of the resolution.
The Security Council’s current consideration of the issue began on Friday, 4 October, when it heard from the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan; the Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Committee, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom); and 31 delegates.
OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru) said his country had no tolerance for terrorism. It was a party to all 12 anti-terrorist conventions, and it was cooperating closely with the Committee.
He described domestic legislation in Peru meant to fight terrorism. In fighting terrorism, he said, it was essential that multilateralism and human rights be respected. The previous Government in Peru had not respected human rights in that fight, and now reparations were being made. In accord with representations of Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations, terrorist groups should be defined as those responsible for human rights violations. It was necessary to agree on a list of terrorist organizations in that light. Not all governments had done so.
He said it was also important for countries that accepted asylum-seekers to make sure that terrorists did not benefit from their humanitarian laws, and that political refugees did not abuse their status by conducting subversive activities or helping to finance terrorist activities. He referred to propaganda campaigns organized by the "Shining Path" group in New York and in Europe.
No country should feel safe from the danger that terrorism posed to international peace and security. For that reason, he urged that all States institute firm legislation to combat it.
YEHUDA LANCRY (Israel) said that as a country which had endured the perpetration of countless acts of terrorism, and which continued to deal with that threat on a daily basis, Israel was acutely aware of the dangers terrorism posed to free and open societies. The country stood ready to assist States by sharing the many strategies and techniques it had developed during its decades-long struggle against terror.
He said one of the lessons learned from the tragic 11 September events was that terrorism did not exist in a vacuum, but could survive only with the support and complicity of States. Without the safe haven that Al Qaeda had enjoyed in Afghanistan, those attacks would likely have been impossible. In the Middle East, many terrorist groups received training and funding from States in the region, including payments to the families of suicide bombers. The amount of money and training required to perpetrate a massive act of terrorism was frighteningly small. The Counter-terrorism Committee must, therefore, insist on full compliance with resolution 1373 (2001) by every Member State. The failure of even one State to comply with the resolution’s provisions could portend widespread disaster.
Another lesson learned was that, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, certain parties continued to fabricate distinctions between different types of terror, he said. They distinguished between "good" terrorism and "bad" terrorism, between the justifiable targeting of civilians and the unjustifiable targeting of civilians. Such distinctions were not only wrong, and contrary to the most basic principles of international law, but also profoundly dangerous. As the Secretary-General had said, there could be no acceptance of those who would seek to justify the deliberate taking of innocent civilian life, regardless of cause or grievance. The reason for terrorism was fundamentally the success of terrorism, he said. If terrorist tactics succeeded in intimidating the international community and extracting concessions from it, further terror would be invited.
He said the success of any terrorist organization served as inspiration to terrorist organizations elsewhere. Conversely, the defeat of terrorism anywhere, and collective refusal never to succumb to terrorist threats, would send a clear message to terrorists everywhere. Those who trampled on the most fundamental values by targeting innocent civilians, and those regimes which did not act to prevent such atrocities by failing to fulfil their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001), must be made to pay a price. It was the responsibility of the Council to set a high price for such actions and to take the necessary steps to exact it.
MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) said it had taken the disaster of 11 September to reveal the full scope and hideous face of terrorism. Until then, it was something that happened to other people, such as in Algeria and Egypt. Not since the anti-Nazi coalition had the world experienced such a keen awareness of a common enemy. The United Nations, through resolutions and the establishment of the Counter-terrorism Committee, had taken a decisive role in the struggle.
However, despite those efforts, much still had to be done, he said.
Al Qaeda had not yet been liquidated. The financial circuits of terrorist organizations had been replaced by other means. The Swiss Prosecutor General had stated that most of Al Qaeda’s resources had been converted into gold and diamonds. Terrorism always arose from its ashes. The battle would be long and difficult, and could not be executed by one or one group of States. The appropriate framework to pursue action should be the United Nations. Any solo adventure might fail.
He said it was the duty of States to adapt national laws relating to the need to combat international terrorism. Police vigilance and vigilance of security services should be enhanced, especially at borders. It was also imperative to have inter-State cooperation in exchanging information. Establishment of the Counter-terrorism Committee had made it possible to centralize important information. Everything must be done to prevent the use by terrorists of weapons of mass destruction. Only by sharing ideas and proposals could a decisive step be taken towards eradication of terrorism.
ATOKI ILEKA (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said terrorism must be combated in all its forms and manifestations, and he welcomed United Nations efforts in that regard over the past year. The success of those efforts depended on the adherence of each Member State to international conventions on the issue. For that reason, his country had created a national committee for the coordination of the fight against international terrorism, and was in the process of ratifying conventions and formulating legislation.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said, was a victim of State terrorism committed by its neighbours, with incalculable consequences. That kind of terrorism was the greatest threat to international peace and stability. He added that, in addition to strengthening legal instruments to suppress terrorism, an integrated approach must be taken that aimed to tackle armed conflict, poverty, injustice and transnational crime. His country would request assistance in building its capacity to fight terrorism and the fight against fear.
VALERY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine), speaking for the GUUAM Participating States (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), said those States supported the work of the Security Council and the Counter-terrorism Committee in the fight against terrorism. He stressed the central role of the United Nations in that fight, and underlined the importance of the Committee’s efforts to strengthen the capacities of regional organizations as part of the multinational anti-terrorist coalition.
The GUUAM Participating States, he said, had committed themselves to consolidating their efforts against terrorism. At a recent summit and a later meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, they had reaffirmed the determination of their countries to provide political, legal and organizational mechanisms to overcome terrorism along with separatism, intolerance, extremism, organized crime and related illegal actions. For those purposes, the GUUAM attached great importance to strengthening legislation and, in particular, countering the use of criminal proceeds for financing terrorist activities.
MADINA B. JARBUSSYNOVA (Kazakhstan) said that since 11 September international terrorism had become a matter of the highest priority, and since then, the Counter-terrorism Committee had been standing at the forefront of the fight against terrorism. Her Government had submitted two reports to the Committee and had engaged in a dialogue with it on the issues relating to resolution 1373 (2001). It expected from the Committee more practical results, to eliminate the breeding ground for new terrorist attacks. That breeding ground still existed in Afghanistan. It was important for the Committee to strengthen its efforts to search out the financing and specialized technical support for terrorists.
Kazakhstan had been actively engaged in developing a system for countering terrorism at the regional and international levels, she said. Among the bilateral and multilateral agreements concluded by her country was the Tashkent Agreement between four Central Asian States on joint action to fight terrorism, political and religious extremism and transnational organized crime, which threatened the stability and security of the parties to the Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism between member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Kazakhstan had also contributed to the establishment of the Anti-terrorism Centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In June this year, she went on, the first summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia had taken place in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The resulting Almaty Act and Declaration had extraordinary important significance. They declared that member States of the Conference would cooperate on a bilateral and multilateral basis to combat terrorism, including its possible sources. Participants in the process would unite their efforts in order not to allow terrorism in any form to be prepared, assisted and financed from the territory of any State or to provide terrorists with safe haven and protection.
ALTAY CENGIZER (Turkey) said that as a threat to the very existence of individuals, nations and human civilization as a whole, terrorism was a means of oppression, which obstructed the development of humanity. Terrorism was a violation of human rights. The only way to overcome terrorism was coordinated action among the members of the international community. Resolution 1373 was an effective instrument, and his delegation was prepared to lend its full support to its implementation. Turkey had submitted two comprehensive reports to the Counter-terrorism Committee and looked forward to working closely with the Committee.
Turkey was working with other States, both in its region and within international organizations, to combat terrorism, and was party to all 12 international conventions against terrorism adopted so far. It called upon all States that had not yet done so to become parties to them. Moreover, it expected that States fully implement the bilateral, regional and international conventions, which they were party to.
He also looked forward to further progress in the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee on the convention against international terrorism and on the instrument to suppress nuclear terrorism. In taking those measures, it was important to ensure that there was no safe haven for terrorists in any country, regardless of their motivations or the type of crimes they had committed.
He emphasized the urgent need to cast aside selective attitudes based on political motivations and tolerance for or condoning of certain terrorist movements. All States should pursue a consistent and determined approach against terrorism without any leniency whatsoever.
ABDUL MEJID HUSSEIN (Ethiopia) said that before 2001, the date of 11 September had always been celebrated as the Ethiopian New Year. That was no longer the case. However, the 11 September 2001 events had invigorated his country’s previous fight against terrorism. For 10 years prior to 2001, Ethiopia had fought against terrorists nationally and within the region.
His country supported the Council’s resolution 1373 (2001), he said, and it emphasized that countries should continue to take measures against those collective funds for carrying out terrorist acts. He welcomed the initiative of the Counter-terrorism Committee to deepen its relationship with regional, subregional and international organizations. That was a new initiative that would stimulate countries to coordinate anti-terrorist activities better in a regional and subregional context. He called on that Committee to give whatever technical assistance was possible in that regard, and to coordinate bilateral assistance. Ethiopia would continue to cooperate with the Committee and others in the fight against terrorism.
MWELWA C. MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) said terrorism had grave consequences on life, business and development. Statistics from the aviation industry about the impact of the tragic events of 11 September on international travel were but one example of the consequences of terrorism, which could undo gains achieved over many years. Zambia had always condemned acts of terrorism in all their aspects. It had worked through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the newly launched African Union to promote collective efforts in the fight against terrorism. Multilateral efforts within the framework of the United Nations would be more effective than efforts taken at the national level, he said. Strengthening multilateralism should be the core principle of ongoing reforms of the United Nations to make it more effective and relevant to the changing times.
He said all countries should ensure that terrorist groups were prevented from gaining access to nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations and regional organizations should take a lead in that effort. The Security Council should ensure that collective efforts were not based on emotions and pre-conceived notions that only served to make global efforts even more difficult.
As a developing country, Zambia was concerned that the fight against terrorism would overshadow the efforts against poverty and diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The fight against terrorism should also be extended to its breeding ground, poverty. International efforts should not be limited to military action. Terrorism was a common enemy of all countries and peoples. The fight against terrorism should unite, and not divide, countries, religions and cultures.
AMADOU KEBE, Permanent Observer for the African Union, said the 11 September events had reverberated like an earthquake, and the world had become aware of the fact that a hideous monster was lurking in the shadows. But in third world countries, such as in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, the alarm had been sounded a decade ago, calling for concerted international action to overcome the international network of terrorism. Nobody, however, had listened to those voices from far away and from Asia, even though many of the terrorist groups had been present in the great capitals of the world, where they had been tolerated to a fault.
He said terrorism was present throughout the world and adapted itself to new circumstances. The international community had not been able to find a clear and usable definition of terrorism, to expose it for what it was to the world. His organization could not accept that people fighting for their rights were considered terrorists. Consensus on a universally accepted definition of terrorism was urgently needed, for a coherent fight against the scourge, to differentiate it from national liberation movements of people under occupation.
He said the international community should not focus only on the manifestations of terrorism. It was not sufficient to prune the branches of the monster, but to dig out the deep roots of terrorism. Poverty, injustice, frustration and marginalization, which afflicted nearly two thirds of the world's population and which provided fertile ground for terrorist acts and their justification, must also be combated.
HOUSSAM ASAAD DIAB (Lebanon) said the United Nations had a key role in the fight against terrorism. The development of a comprehensive international convention on the issue should differentiate between terrorism and liberation struggles. Lebanon itself had suffered much from the activities of terrorist groups on its own territory, including those on the Committee’s terrorist list. It had acceded to 10 of the international conventions on terrorism and was working on acceding to the two others. The ratified conventions were, indeed, in force in Lebanon and took priority over national legislation.
However, he said, no legal or other partial solution could alone succeed in fighting terrorism. Political aspects of the problem had to be dealt with as well; just and comprehensive solutions must be sought for long-term conflicts, in particular, the Middle East conflict. Then the sources for such violence would dry up. Lebanon hoped to continue its cooperation in finding such solutions to the problem of terrorism, which afflicted the entire international community.
MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal) said that his country, like many others, had been living through the horrible uncertainty and brutality caused by Maoist terrorists as they waged a bloody war against human rights, the constitutional monarchy of his nation and national unity. On 11 September, however, the whole world woke up to the horrors of terrorism. It became evident that the global community had to work in concert to stamp out the menace from the face of the earth. He strongly supported the work of the Counter-terrorism Committee over the last year in that regard.
Nepal, he said, was party to five anti-terrorism treaties and additional legislative steps were being taken. In its work with individual Member States, the Committee must ensure specificity and clarity in its questions, in order to get concrete and factual answers from countries and help them identify the gaps in the measures they were taking. Once gaps and difficulties had been identified, the Counter-terrorism Committee should assist those States that needed help in strengthening legal and structural frameworks for anti-terrorism instruments.
There was also, he said, an imperative for a comprehensive convention against terrorism. In addition, concerted efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development were critical in the fight. The poor must be given opportunity and hope so they could not be sold the utopian dreams offered by the terrorists. However, there were no good terrorism or friendly terrorists. They were all evil and they seldom spared their benefactors, let alone their sworn enemies.
Chairman of Counter-terrorism Committee
Commenting on remarks made in the Council’s discussion, the Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Committee, JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom), said the debate had been very informative and supportive of the Committee’s programme. The unity of Member States in combating terrorism had been fully sustained over the past year. The programme of his committee -- a programme of coordination, stimulation of activity, of assistance to those who needed it and of assessment of the gaps -- had been warmly supported. The Committee would begin to get more pointed in calling for effective action to fill the gaps.
He said several interventions had focused on human rights: the denial of human rights by terrorism; and the need to remain aware of the need to protect them. There had also been references to the 12 international conventions to combat terrorism and the need for widespread ratification of them. He emphasized that each Member State must understand that, beyond ratification, it was necessary to move on to operational action to give expression to what those conventions called for. Ratification of conventions was a necessary but not sufficient step. Continuous action in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001) was needed, as well.
He said he was pleased to hear about subregional actions to complement the work of the regional organizations. In that regard, it was vital that assistance was available to regional and subregional organizations. The Counter-terrorism Committee would facilitate such assistance, but would not be its operational purveyors.
He noted that several references had been made to the fact that poverty and poor development was a breeding ground for terrorist activities. Although not a subject for the current debate, he said eradication of terrorism would be enhanced by effective sustainable development, which was the responsibility of the whole of the international community.
The President of the Council, MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon), adjourned the 4618th meeting of the Council. He opened the 4619th meeting and said that after consultations with Council members, he had been authorized to make this statement on behalf of the Council:
"The Security Council welcomes the briefing by the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (28 September 2001) (the Counter-terrorism Committee) on the work of the Committee in the year since its establishment, and other reflections by members of the Committee.
"The Security Council recalls the statements of its President of 15 April 2002 (S/PRST/2002/10) which recorded its intention to review the structure and activities of the Committee no later than 4 October 2002. 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 Committee's fifth ninety-day period (S/2002/1075), focusing on ensuring that all States have legislation in place covering all aspects of resolution 1373, a process in hand for ratifying as soon as possible the twelve international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, and effective executive machinery for preventing and suppressing terrorism financing; exploring ways in which States can be assisted to implement resolution 1373 (2001), in particular in the areas of primary focus; and building a 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 with satisfaction that 174 Member States and five others have submitted a report to the Counter-terrorism Committee pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1373 (2001). It calls on the 17 Member States which have not yet submitted a report to do so urgently.
"The Security Council invites the Counter-terrorism Committee to report on its activities at regular intervals and expresses its intention to review the structure and activities of the Committee no later than 4 April 2003."
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