11 October 2006
General Assembly
GA/L/3296

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Sixth Committee

2nd Meeting (AM)


AGREEMENT ON COMPREHENSIVE TERRORISM CONVENTION REMAINS ELUSIVE,


ASSEMBLY’S LEGAL COMMITTEE IS TOLD


Outstanding Issues Discussed; Need to Seize Opportunity

Provided by Momentum of United Nations Global Strategy is Stressed


Agreement on the outstanding issues holding up a comprehensive convention on terrorism remained elusive, the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard this morning as it began its consideration of measures to eliminate international terrorism.


The Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism, where the draft convention is being negotiated, Rohan Perera ( Sri Lanka), introduced the report, and told the Committee that this year, again, agreement had not been reached.  He said the international community must seize on the momentum gained through the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and continue its work by further developing the necessary comprehensive legal framework.


The representative of Liechtenstein said negotiations on the comprehensive convention should focus on the merits of the text rather than its political implications.  The convention would not give the final, overarching definition of terrorism.  It would mainly fill the gap between existing conventions, since they were based on the description of specific acts.


The representative of Algeria cautioned that the negotiations on the comprehensive convention should avoid a simplistic lumping together of terrorism and a right to self-determination.  Combating terrorism must also address such root causes as foreign occupation, poverty, injustice and denial of human rights.


Other speakers on terrorism were the representatives of United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Palau, Sudan, Qatar, Finland (on behalf of the European Union), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Tunisia, Colombia, Kuwait, Vietnam (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), United States and Libya.


Also this morning, the Committee completed its discussion of the annual report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with the remaining speakers on the topic addressing the Committee at the opening of the meeting. Those speakers were the representatives of Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic countries), China, Japan, Russian Federation, Kenya, Canada and Iran.


The Chairman of UNCITRAL, in his concluding remarks, expressed the hope that his appeal for more resources for the UNCITRAL trust fund, to meet the needs of technical assistance and capacity-building, would be heeded.


The Committee will meet again tomorrow, Thursday, 12 October, at 10 a.m. to continue hearing speakers on the issue of “measures to eliminate international terrorism”.


Background


The Sixth Committee (Legal) met this morning to hear the remaining speakers on its list concerning the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and to begin its consideration of the topic “measures to eliminate international terrorism”.


For background information on the UNCITRAL report see Press Release GA/L/3295 of 10 October.


As the Committee takes up its agenda item on terrorism, it will be considering the report of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996, more commonly known as the Terrorism Committee (A/61/37).  It also has before it the report of the Secretary-General containing information from States and international organizations on their activities in pursuit of the prevention and suppression of international terrorism, as well as an inventory of responses from the Secretariat’s various divisions (A/61/210).  Member States offered information on two main categories:  status and implementation of existing agreements; and information on incidents caused by international terrorism and criminal prosecutions and sentencing.


Also, under the agenda item is a letter from Cuba (A/61/280) expressing “outrage” at the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, “vacating -- in contravention of legal principles -- the unanimous verdict of the panel of three judges which had rescinded the judgment handed down in Miami against five Cuban anti-terror heroes”.


The Ad Hoc Committee reported on the two major issues under consideration: progress in the negotiations on the draft comprehensive convention on terrorism; and the question of convening a high-level conference on terrorism.  The report stated that article 18 of the draft convention, covering those who would be excluded from the scope of application of the convention, continued to be the key focus of the discussions.  Bilateral contacts appeared to be the most conducive framework for advancing the negotiations.  All delegations expressed a willingness to explore options that might lead to a consensus solution, although no concrete proposals for article 18 had, as yet, been submitted.


As to the convening of a high-level conference, first proposed by Egypt in 1986, no decision was made and consultations were to continue among delegations on the matter.


Speakers on UNCITRAL Report


JERZY MAKAROWSKI ( Sweden), speaking for the Nordic countries, said he greatly appreciated the coordination by the Commission to maintain close cooperation with other international organs and organizations active in the field of international trade law.  Extended cooperation and awareness in the field of international trade law today were generally seen as a key to success in global trade and economic development.


Concerning secured transactions and arbitration, he said an important achievement was the adoption of the new provision on interim measures of protection and the form of arbitration agreement.  That reflected the aim to facilitate the use of arbitration as a method of settling disputes in the context of international commercial relations.  The revision of the Model Law on Procurement reflected new practices, in particular the use of electronic communications in public procurement.


GUAN JIAN ( China) said that the UNCITRAL main items were forward looking and represented areas in international trade for which harmonization and unification were urgently needed.  The fact that the session was attended by participants from countries and regions with varying degrees of economic development and different legal regimes, and also by those from various international organizations, demonstrated the representative and authoritative nature of the work carried out by UNCITRAL.  He said he was pleased to note that, as a result of joint efforts by all the participants, the annual session completed its deliberation of all the items on its agenda and achieved consensus on how to deal with those items in the future.


Noting that China had just signed the Convention on Electronic Communications, he said the Convention would help China’s adoption of and compliance with international rules and regulations in the field of e-commerce.  It would, therefore, facilitate international trade and promote China’s e-commerce development.  Legal instruments such as conventions and model laws on international trade drafted by UNCITRAL played an important role in promoting the healthy development of international trade.  He called upon the Assembly to continue to provide strong support to UNCITRAL.


HIROSHI TAJIMA ( Japan) said it was essential that the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services be adjusted in response to changes such as the recent expansion of the use of electronic communications and electronic reverse auction in the area of procurement.  He expressed appreciation for the completion of the revision of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, and said modernization of arbitration rules was an important task, since they were widely used in arbitration practice.  He observed that the Commission’s work to produce uniformity in Transport Law with respect to international carriage of goods was of great importance.  Once completed, the instrument would establish clear rules that would facilitate the resolution of problems that existing legal frameworks did not address.  Careful deliberation would be required as the present text presented some difficulties, including the scope of application.  The Government of Japan had sent an expert to the informal correspondence group to help in the drafting process.


He said Japan considered the formulation of a legislative guide for security interests in goods to be essential.  That included legislative recommendations with respect to security rights pertaining to movable property.  The guide would promote the provision of credit and enhance economic growth and international trade.  Careful consideration should be given to other recommendations to facilitate construction of a harmonized international legal regime.  He expressed Japan’s deep appreciation of the contribution of the Commission –- of which it had been a member since 1966 -– and pledged active participation in its work.


GENNADY KUZMIN ( Russian Federation) shared the assessment about the UNCITRAL success in handling its work.  In his view, the Commission’s most significant achievements last year included approval in principle of the key objectives and major policies of a draft legislative guide on secured transactions, and the adoption of revised legislative provisions on interim measures of protection.  He believed it was useful for the Commission and its working groups to continue their work in areas such as transport law and procurement.


He said particularly welcomed the signing by China, Singapore and Sri Lanka, in the course of the Commission’s thirty-ninth session of the Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.  High applicability of that document could be attributed to a significant increase in the number of trade operations conducted with the use of modern technologies and intensive introduction of electronic documentation.  He referred to the forthcoming UNCITRAL elections, expressing the hope that the Commission’s new members would continue its fruitful work, and he wished the Commission success in its further efforts to improve the legal foundation of international commerce.


WANJUKI MUCHEMI ( Kenya) said the draft legislative guide on secured transactions had the potential of realizing significant economic benefits for States, by attracting low-cost credit both from domestic and foreign lenders.   That would in turn promote domestic and international trade.  The broad scope of the draft guide would remove obstacles to the international lending system by eliminating prevailing ambiguities in the rules that governed key areas.  In recognizing the value of arbitration as an effective method of settling international commercial disputes, he said he welcomed the updating of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules to align them with current developments and practices in international trade.


After commenting on the progress made by the Commission’s working groups, he turned to the “important question of capacity-building and technical assistance for developing countries”.  He encouraged the Commission to explore more reliable sources for funding those activities.  He said he was greatly concerned about the persistent lack of resources in the trust fund for travel assistance to members of developing countries who were members of the Commission; as many developing countries could not keep up with the high cost of attendance, the Commission’s meetings were increasingly becoming a preserve of trade law experts from developed countries.


MEAGHAN SUNDERLAND ( Canada) said she was pleased to note the work accomplished by UNCITRAL at its last session.  The legislative guide on secured transactions represented an important step in the development of a global model for a modern secured financing regime.  She said she supported the decision to undertake new work in insolvency law and to begin revising the UNCITRAL arbitration rules.  She also considered the work on procurement issues to be of great value.  As the Commission moved toward its fortieth session, Canada wanted to take the opportunity to reaffirm its support for its unique work.  The harmonization of commercial law was a key element in the development of international trade.


M.H.GHANIEI ( Iran) said it was evident that the UNCITRAL arbitration rules enjoyed a wide-ranging recognition and had served as a model for the national legislation of numerous countries as well as for dispute settlement mechanisms in bilateral investment protection agreements.  The Commission should, therefore, take a cautious approach to a revision of the rules, so as not to harm the desired flexibility it enjoyed now.  He said he commended the decision to prepare a note discussing the scope of future work by the Commission on intellectual property financing to ensure the participation of relevant international organizations and experts from various regions of the world.

The Chairman of UNCITRAL, STEPHEN KARANGIZI, made concluding remarks.


Report on Terrorism


ROHAN PERERA ( Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism, introduced the Report.


Statements


ABDALLA HAMDAN ALNAQBI ( United Arab Emirates) said terrorism should not be associated with a certain religion, civilization or culture.  He called for joint efforts to promote tolerance and dialogue among various cultures and civilizations, and the enhancement of understanding among peoples.  He reiterated his delegation’s support for the proposal concerning the convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to give a precise and clear definition for terrorism, to strengthen existing anti-terrorism legislation and laws, and to differentiate terrorism from the legitimate struggle of peoples under foreign occupation for national liberation and self-determination.


He said his country had adopted a set of legislative and legal measures to address the phenomenon of terrorism.  There had been established a national counter-terrorism committee, comprising principal Government agencies, to implement relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly 1373 and 1267.  That was in addition to the Federal Law Concerning Counter-Terrorism Crimes, which was promulgated in 2003, and which provided a definition for terrorist acts.  The Government of the United Arab Emirates had also enacted new laws and legislation to prohibit affiliation to terrorist groups, or association with the activities of terrorist groups in the country.  At the regional and international levels, he said his country had strengthened its cooperation with other States and organizations in the area of information exchange.  It had now acceded to 14 international conventions on terrorism, the latest of which was the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism of April 2005.


RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD ( India) said his delegation was convinced that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of its motivations, was a criminal and unjustifiable act.  It could not be conditioned or accepted as legitimate in any situation.   In recent months, he said, his country had again been subject to horrific terrorist attacks.  In July, simultaneous bombings in seven trains in Mumbai and elsewhere in India claimed more than 200 lives and injured more than 100.  Thereafter, a bomb attack near a place of worship killed 35 people.  Those bombings were clearly designed to spread terror among common people, harm the economy and trigger communal clashes.  He said that the senseless killing of innocent civilians in India and elsewhere reinforced the continuing importance of strong international resolve and a coordinated global approach to confront the threat posed by terrorism.


He said Member States must work together for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention against international terrorism.  India reiterated its view that the proposed international conference under United Nations auspices should be convened only after the conclusion of the draft convention.


MUNIR AKRAM ( Pakistan) said his country was taking extensive measures to help restore peace, stability and economic development in neighbouring Afghanistan.  It had deployed 80,000 troops along its borders with Afghanistan; it had conducted more than 80 operations in their frontier regions to eliminate and arrest Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists.  He said that through close cooperation, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the international community could succeed in arresting and defeating the resurgent Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.


He said State terrorism was another cause of terrorism by individuals and groups, especially when being utilized to suppress the right of self-determination or to perpetuate foreign occupation.  The unfair and bigoted portrayal of Islam and Islamic beliefs, he continued, added fuel to the fire of extremism and terrorist strategies, and exacerbated the divergence in attitudes and perceptions between the Islamic and the Western worlds.  An honest dialogue between Islam and the West had become a political imperative; the dialogue among civilizations could be pursued through the panel on the “Alliance of Civilization” and other such initiatives, including that of Pakistan’s President on “Enlightened Moderation”.


He said the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of the recent General Assembly would be of little value unless it was transformed into action by an effective implementation mechanism.  He, therefore, proposed that an ad hoc committee of the Assembly be established to monitor the implementation of the Strategy and to set out midterm and long-term objectives.


IFTEKHAR AHMED CHOWDHURY ( Bangladesh) said terrorism was all-pervasive.  It crossed the boundaries of race, religion, culture and States.  None was immune.  It was regrettable that there was a growing tendency to try to associate it with one religion.  That was not only unfair but imprudent.  It was causing distrust and division, and would erode much of the good work done at the United Nations and elsewhere on the issue.  He commended to all delegations a Bangladeshi-sponsored resolution on the Culture of Peace.  Noting that Bangladesh had achieved its independence through a war of liberation, he said there should be a clear distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle against foreign occupation, and for self-determination and independence.  The adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was a watershed achievement in the global fight against terrorism; the next target must be the comprehensive convention.


STUART BECK ( Palau) said his country faced a unique danger from terrorism, in that a single attack on its soil could have a devastating effect on its tourist industry, and thus, its development.  The comprehensive convention would send a strong signal of international unity and would strengthen the moral authority of the United Nations.  The final product of the negotiations should be consistent with the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and should not be seen as condoning some acts of terrorism while condemning others.  Terrorism was never acceptable, no matter how righteous or justified the cause.  The comprehensive convention, when completed, must reflect that simple, yet critically important concept.  Also, the negotiations should avoid creating redundancy and confusion in international law.  Behaviour already regulated by international humanitarian law should be excluded from the coverage of the convention, which should seek to address behaviour not already covered by internal law regimes.  He said he thought the time was not ripe for the convening of a high-level conference on the question of international terrorism; however, such a conference might be appropriate once a comprehensive convention was concluded.


STEFAN BARRIGA ( Liechtenstein) said negotiations on the comprehensive convention should focus on the merits of the text rather than its political implications.  The Convention would not give the final, overarching definition of terrorism.  Indeed, it would have little to add in terms of scope.  Virtually all terrorist attacks, which were committed over the past years, would by their nature fall under the scope of the Bombing Convention.  The comprehensive convention would mainly fill the gap between existing conventions, since they were based on the description of specific acts.  In addition, the comprehensive convention would be relevant in cases which relate to States that were not parties to an otherwise applicable, sectoral convention, but, which are parties to the comprehensive convention.  Furthermore, in his view, the phrase that there should be “a distinction” between “terrorism” and “the right to self-determination” was easy to misunderstand and should be avoided.  He also noted that the Convention would not explicitly address the concept of “State terrorism” but, it would also not exclude it.


ABDELMAHMOOD ABDELHALEEM ( Sudan) said his country condemned all forms of terrorism, including State terrorism.  Sudan had acceded to most international anti-terrorism instruments.  It supported efforts to conclude the comprehensive convention on international terrorism which must deal with the question of the definition of terrorism and its root causes, as well as the issue of foreign occupation and the legitimate struggle of peoples against it.  He said Sudan had set up national institutions to combat terrorism and supported regional efforts towards that end.  He said the recent General Assembly Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was “disappointing and weak” in several respects.  It did not define terrorism nor deal with the issue of State terrorism.  It also did not distinguish between the rights of people under foreign occupation to struggle against that occupation.  He finally said the Strategy did not adequately address the root causes of terrorism and called for its urgent review.


ABDULHADI KHALIL AL-HAJIRI ( Qatar) condemned all acts of terrorism and said his country had adopted anti-terrorism laws to deal with the scourge.  It had also acceded to international anti-terrorism instruments.  He welcomed the General Assembly Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  However, it did not recognize the rights to self-determination of people in unoccupied lands; a distinction should be made between their struggle and acts of terrorism.  States must find a consensus formula that would lead to agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  He said definition of terrorism was needed; his country repudiated the use of force to combat terrorism.  Dialogue between civilizations must be encouraged.


He said he supported the convening of an international conference under United Nations auspices to deal with the question of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  There was a need to counter unlawful trafficking of arms and drugs which provided fertile grounds for terrorism.  He said the non-permanent members of the Security Council –- which currently included Qatar -- had a role to play in the fight against terrorism.


ANNA SOTANIEMI ( Finland), speaking for the European Union, welcomed the counter-terrorism (implementation) task force, and said Member States needed to secure the necessary resources for it.  The long-term sustainable success in defeating terrorism could be achieved only if the conditions conducive to terrorism, including unresolved conflicts, were addressed.  The activities of networks and individuals who drew people into terrorism must be disrupted, and efforts should be made to ensure that mainstream voices prevailed over those of extremism.  The European Union was currently implementing its own strategy for combating radicalization and recruitment to terrorism.  The prohibition by law of the incitement to terrorism was very important to the European Union and it urged Member States to match their national legislation with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1624 (2005).  The Union would continue its efforts to strengthen dialogue and promote mutual understanding between cultures and civilizations.  She welcomed the recommendation by the Secretary-General that his report be cut down in order eliminate duplication of reporting requests.


MARGARET HUGHES FERRARI (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), speaking for the members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), recalled the 1976 explosion of a Cuban Airways plane off the coast of Barbados in which all 73 people aboard were killed, and for which no perpetrator was brought to justice.  The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy should signal that the international community would not tolerate those who gave comfort to terrorists, or those who wilfully failed to take the necessary steps to curb terrorism within their borders.  It was important that States move to implementation without delay.  The Action Plan of the Strategy had identified examples of conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, such as unresolved conflicts; dehumanization of victims of terrorism; lack of rule of law; human rights violations; ethnic, national and religious discrimination; and political exclusion and socio-economic marginalization, among others.  She said it would be counterproductive, as well as disingenuous if the international community sought to tackle terrorism without addressing those underlying conditions.  She also emphasized the importance of respecting human rights and civil liberties in any actions in the fight against terrorism.


YOUCEF YOUSFI ( Algeria) said States must join efforts and work within the appropriate frameworks, in particular the United Nations, to combat terrorism.  His country had paid the highest price as a result of terrorism.  The consensus adoption of the global strategy made international efforts more consistent, and it strengthened cooperation and collective action.  In the negotiations on the comprehensive convention, avoiding a simplistic “lumping together” of terrorism and a right to self-determination was very important.  There should also be a categorical condemnation of the crimes committed in Lebanon and Palestine.


He said combating terrorism must also address such root causes as foreign occupation, poverty, injustice and denial of human rights.  Also, terrorism was not the monopoly of any one religion or culture.  Citing the initiatives to promote a dialogue between cultures and civilizations, he said that people of science and religion should be in the avant-garde of that noble endeavour.  He said Algeria believed the General Assembly should play the central role in combating international terrorism.  He, therefore, supported the establishment of a Sixth Committee working group to finalize the comprehensive convention.


ADEL BEN LAGHA ( Tunisia) said States must overcome their differences and find a solution to the problem of terrorism.  The General Assembly had a central role to play in the quest for a consensus on combating terrorism.  He noted the recent adoption by the General Assembly of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  He said agreement was required for the conclusion of the negotiations on the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  Differences should not be allowed to prolong that achievement.


He said terrorism was an international scourge and he supported an international code of conduct to combat it.  He referred to “double standards” applied by some States towards the question, and said he believed tolerance and dialogue, as well as increased understanding, could contribute to international efforts to deal with the problem.


CLAUDIA BLUM ( Colombia) said cooperation between Member States and the United Nations constituted a central element to carrying out the commitments enshrined in the General Assembly’s United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  Dialogue between civilizations and education for human development were relevant factors of convergence and understanding.  She said her delegation had supported a plan of action that incorporated concrete operative measures to prevent, contain and penalize those involved in terrorist acts, subject to rule of law at the national and international levels.  Adoption of that plan must now be translated into the strengthening of international cooperation.


She said efforts must be made to strengthen the national capacity of States to prevent and combat terrorism.  She noted the clear commitment in the General Assembly Strategy to take on terrorism with full observance for human rights and the rule of law.  She referred to actions taken by her Government to combat terrorism, saying that the number of terrorist acts in municipalities and rural areas had fallen by 84 per cent in the past four years.  The homicide rate in 2005 was two thirds what it was in 2002.


REHAM AL-GHANEM ( Kuwait) condemned terrorist acts, saying they were contrary to human values and religions.  She said that human rights must be respected in combating terrorism.  Strategies to combat it should be reviewed from time to time so that they remained a living instrument.  A comprehensive convention was needed which must define terrorism and differentiate it from the struggle of people under foreign occupation


She said her Government had taken steps to combat terrorism.  Nationally, it had convened seminars to educate the public on terrorism.  Kuwait would present its report on actions it had taken to combat terrorism to the Security Council as required by its relevant resolutions.


LE LUONG MINH ( Viet Nam), speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  They continued to uphold the view that anti-terrorism measures should be comprehensive, balanced and in compliance with international law, particularly the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.  At the same time, he said, those actions emphasized the need for the root causes of terrorism to be addressed.  They held that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.  They believed that the United Nations should continue to play a leading role in the fight against terrorism, and reaffirmed their commitment to prevent, suppress and eliminate international terrorism in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.


He said that for the ASEAN countries fighting terrorism and other related crimes was always a priority; in the past year, they had spared no efforts in building and strengthening coordination and cooperation in the region and between regions towards that end.  Their members had signed the regional treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, which would improve the effectiveness of cooperation in combating transnational crime and terrorism through mutual legal assistance.  They were now working towards the early conclusion of an ASEAN convention on counter-terrorism, as set out in the Vientiane Action Programme adopted in November 2004.


JOHN SANDAGE ( United States) said the United Nations must play a critical role in the joint efforts to end the scourge of terrorism.  He hoped that the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy would furnish a platform for concrete and practical improvements in United Nations programmes relating to counter-terrorism.


The United States was particularly eager to see more cooperation and coordination among the United Nations bodies that worked on terrorism issues, so as to avoid inefficiency and duplication of work.  He said mote should be done to integrate the disparate programmes and they should be results-focused, and he added that they should also be calibrated to maximize their impact.


The United States, he said, strongly believed that counter-terrorism should be addressed across the United Nations system, including in the specialized agencies, in a coherent and coordinated way.  Enhanced United Nations counter-terrorism capacity would have far-reaching benefits.  It would reduce the likelihood of conflict and social unrest, and contribute to increased foreign investment, good governance and long-term development.


He said the United States was eager to see an enhanced emphasis on ensuring that States complied with international counter-terrorism obligations, which were critical to the common purpose of making the world more peaceful, safe and secure.   There must be standards of accountability against which the compliance efforts of each State could be measured to ensure the implementation of those obligations.  States that had the will but not the means to comply must be given assistance, he said.  The United States was eager to work with its United Nations partners on capacity-building, and to help the willing to stand against terrorism.  Those States that had the means but not the will must be called to account for themselves, he added.


MOHAMED EL-SAGER ( Libya) said terrorism was a universal phenomenon that threatened all States.  Combating it could not be undertaken unilaterally; rather, it required the concerted efforts of the international community.  An effective approach required an objective study of the phenomenon and a clear, precise definition of “terrorism”.  The motives behind those activities and the root causes should not be overlooked.  There was also a need to differentiate between an act of terrorism and the rights of self-determination and self-defence.  Combating terrorism should not be used as a pretext for violating the sovereignty of States nor for violating human rights.  State terrorism was a terrorism as dangerous as the terrorism that the international community sought to eliminate through a comprehensive convention.  He commended the Convention on Nuclear Terrorism and expressed the hope that no State would resort to the use of such weapons.


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