Following is the text of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's message delivered to the preparatory meeting for the International Symposium on Terrorism in Cairo today by the Acting Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), K.P. Moorhty:
Although I cannot be with you today, I am always keen to participate in international meetings held in Egypt, and in particular at the Al Ahram newspaper where I continue to consider myself as a part of the "family of Al Ahram".
You are meeting today to discuss a subject of particular urgency. Terrorists threaten the very foundations of civilized life. By seeking to achieve their aims through violence, they reveal their unwillingness to subject their views to the test of a fair political process.
It is with this sense of urgency in mind, that I offer for your discussion three points:
-- Terrorism is not an isolated phenomenon. Terrorism cannot be separated from a number of illegal activities. Terrorists thrive on the illegal trade in arms and ammunition. Recent experience has shown that they often use financing derived from the laundering of the profits of trade in narcotics and illicit drugs. Their links to crime, despite the political mask terrorists try to wear, are evident in financing, procurement of arms and refuge following their action.
-- Terrorism is not limited to one geographical area or to one particular social or national group. Terrorism knows no boundaries. It can strike as easily in America as it can in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia or in Africa. No continent, no country is immune from terrorism. Terrorism, therefore, is a global threat.
-- As a global threat, only global action can eradicate the evil of terrorism. One State alone cannot be successful, as terrorists themselves know no frontiers. The cooperative action of all is required to eradicate this threat to all nations.
- 2 - Press Release SG/SM/5992 29 May 1996
As a contribution to this global action against terrorism, I participated in the Summit of the Peacemakers held at Sharm El-Sheikh on 13 March. At this meeting, I stressed the pioneering role of the General Assembly in adopting a Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism on 9 December 1994. This Declaration was reaffirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 50/53.
The United Nations is thus the only global forum where countries have come together to work against terrorism. It is through policies debated at the United Nations, through decisions taken at the General Assembly, that States can find the instruments to combat terrorism as a global threat.
I applaud your decision to hold an International Symposium on Terrorism. Knowing Al Ahram, I am convinced that the ideas generated at this meeting will be bold and innovative. I am pleased to extend my good wishes for a productive meeting and look forward to the result of your deliberation.
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