13 June 2014
General Assembly
GA/11523

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

Sixty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary

96th & 97th Meetings (AM & PM)


Reiterating Unequivocal Condemnation of Terrorism in All Forms, General Assembly


Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Global Commitment to Combating Threat

 


The General Assembly capped its fourth Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy today, with the adoption of a consensus resolution stressing the importance of keeping that ongoing effort “relevant and contemporary” in light of emerging threats, and calling for stepped-up efforts by States and others to implement its four pillars in an integrated and balanced manner.


The two-day review heard more than 60 speakers take the floor to describe their experience with the implementation of national strategies, especially to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism as set forth in the Strategy.  Adopted by the Assembly in 2006, the Strategy consists of four pillars:  measures to address conditions conducive to terrorism’s spread; measures to prevent and combat terrorism; measures to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations; and measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.


By today’s resolution, orally amended by Georgia’s delegate, the Assembly reiterated its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes.  It reaffirmed the principal responsibility of States to implement the Strategy, recognizing the need to enhance the role of the United Nations, including the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, in coordination with other international, regional and subregional organizations.


In such work, it called on States and United Nations entities to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights, due process and the rule of law.


By other provisions, the Assembly urged all States to respect the right to privacy, including in the context of digital communication.  Specifically, it urged States to ensure that any measures taken or means employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft, complied with their obligations under international law.


It deplored the suffering caused by terrorism to victims and their families, expressing its concern at the increased use by terrorists of information and communications technology to commit, incite, recruit for, fund or plan terrorist acts.  Further, it expressed concern at the increase in kidnapping and hostage-taking, calling on States to prevent terrorists from benefiting from ransom payments and political concessions.


During the debate, delegates from around the world stressed that terrorism could not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.  They outlined measures taken at national, regional and international levels to foster diversity, stressing that confronting violent extremism required concerted action across a broad front.  Several urged widespread and proactive implementation of the Strategy, as well as enhanced international cooperation.


On that point, Ukraine’s representative called on States to join such efforts in Ukraine, as his Government had been involved in a counter-terrorism operation since April.  Soldiers from the special operations unit of the Russian Armed Forces based in Chechnya, and members of the Russian Cossack “Wolf Centurion” were openly operating in the Ukrainian cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.  He urged the Russian Federation to stop supplying terrorists and weapons into his country and to withdraw its militants.


Judicial cooperation was another important area, said Venezuela’s delegate, reiterating his Government’s request to extradite a person who had planned a plane hijacking, in line with the 1992 extradition treaty with the United States.


To build capacity, Japan’s representative pointed to his Government’s announcement of funds for human resources development of 2,000 people in charge of anti-terrorism and security measures in North Africa and the Sahel region.


Tunisia’s delegate said security-focus efforts were not enough.  Regional and international strategies must take into account the changing nature of terrorism, and more cooperation was needed.


“We must constantly adapt our responses,” said the representative of Bangladesh, stressing that the global counter-terrorism strategy needed to evolve through continued dialogue and strengthened coordinated approaches.  The United Nations had a key role to play in capacity-building at the national and regional levels, as combating terrorism was a collective responsibility.


Lebanon’s delegate added that while it was deplorable that the reference to root causes was deleted from the final draft, it was important to address the causes that could lead to extremism and radicalism, including marginalization, impunity and double standards in compliance with international law.  There was also a need to differentiate between terrorism and the legitimate right to resist foreign occupation.


Also speaking today were the representatives of Iran, United States, Sudan, Serbia, Mali, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Paraguay, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Afghanistan, Uruguay, Guatemala, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Cameroon.


Representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the United Nations World Tourism Organization also spoke.


Speaking in general statement after action were the representatives of Sudan and Turkey.


The representatives of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Israel spoke in exercise of the right of reply.


Background


The General Assembly met today to continue its debate on the Organization’s counter-terrorism regime and consider the Secretary-General’s report on “the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:  activities of the United Nations system in implementing the Strategy” (document A/68/841).  It was expected to adopt a consensus resolution on the matter.


Statements


YURIY SERGEYEV ( Ukraine) shared concerns over increased kidnapping and hostage taking, as well as the direct engagement of foreign fighters and mercenaries in terrorist activity on the territory of certain States.  Since 13 April, a counter-terrorism operation had been ongoing in Ukraine, targeting militants in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.  “Our law enforcement agencies are opposed by well-trained and heavily armed foreign mercenaries, terrorists and criminals,” he said.  Citing incidents of trans-border terrorism, training and recruitment, hostage taking and the financing of terrorism, he said former soldiers of Russian Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies were potential supporters of terrorist movements in Ukraine.  Hundreds of soldiers from the Vostok Battalion — the special operations unit of the Russian Armed Forces based in Chechnya — and members of the Russian Cossack “Wolf Centurion” were openly operating in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.  He called on States to join efforts to fight terrorism in Ukraine, urging the Russian Federation to stop supplying terrorists and weapons into his country and to withdraw its militants.


WILMER ALFONZO MÉNDEZ GRATEROL ( Venezuela), associating himself with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was a valuable political platform to consolidate international efforts to fight that scourge, to be carried out in line with international law.  He voiced concern that the task had been adversely affected by unilateral lists of countries that supported terrorist activities, which violated international law and the United Nations Charter.  The use of information and communications technologies by terrorists to promote violence threatened peace and security.  He rejected the illegal use of such tools which violated State sovereignty, as well as people’s human rights.  Venezuela had been victim of such actions.  Judicial cooperation was another important instrument, and his country, in line with its 1992 extradition treaty with the United States, reiterated its request to extradite a person who had planned a plane hijacking, which had killed 73 civilians.


HOSSEIN GHARIBI (Iran), associating himself with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said that the President of his country, in the General Assembly last year, had spoken of a “fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism”.  Iran had been the target of terrorist acts, including State-sponsored terrorism for the entire post-revolution era, he said, citing attacks on the south-eastern border area.  Iran had high regard for the 17,000 Iranian victims of terrorism over the last 35 years, and the Government had taken all possible measures to address their needs.  He opposed any attempt to equate with terrorism the struggle for self-determination of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation, and strongly rejected the unilateral preparation of lists accusing other States of sponsoring terrorism.  He voiced similar concern over the misuse of multinational “financial action entities” that labelled States in terms of financing terrorism and money-laundering.


HIROSHI ISHIKAWA ( Japan) condemned recent terrorist attacks against Turkish diplomats in Iraq and the abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria, recalling that in January 2013, 40 people, including 10 Japanese, had lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Algeria.  Japan had carried out various actions to combat terrorism, including hosting the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in 2013.  In that connection, the Prime Minister had announced $1 billion in development and humanitarian assistance over the next five years.  In addition, Japan would provide human resources funds for the 2,000 people responsible for anti-terrorism measures in North Africa and the Sahel region.  At the national level, Japan had adopted a security strategy last year, which referred to the growing nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime.  More broadly, he urged effective coordination among United Nations entities and States in implementing the Global Strategy in order to maximize the outcome.


NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said the fourth Review had highlighted the necessity to address conditions conducive to the threat of terrorism, lessons learned, emerging threats and the importance of more effectively supporting the victims of terrorism.  While it was deplorable that the reference to root causes was deleted from the final draft of the Review, it was important to address the causes that could lead to extremism and radicalism, including marginalization and impunity and double standards in compliance with international law.  There was also a critical need to differentiate between terrorism and the legitimate right to resist foreign occupation.  Lebanon had suffered from the consequences of terrorism and its Armed Forces had made tremendous progress in ending those attacks by, among other things, defusing a significant number of car bombs.  He condemned acts of terrorism against Palestinians by Israelis and said such acts should be subject to prosecution by Israeli authorities.


HOWARD WACHTEL ( United States) said given recent terrorist attacks, the world had to rededicate itself to implementing the counter-terrorism strategy.  As new threats emerged, responses had to be tailored to address them, especially when terrorist groups were turning to practices, such as kidnapping for ransom, and foreign fighters were travelling to Syria to join extremist groups.  In 2013, more than 43,000 in about 16,000 improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and strategies should focus on addressing the use of those weapons.  Greater efforts should also be made to prevent violent extremism, including strong support for development initiatives.  The Global Terrorism Forum was an example of a good partnership that aimed at collectively tackling pressing issues.  As the rule of law capacity was being built, efforts should be made to stem the recruitment of individuals into extremist groups.  With the current situation in mind, he said that the need for a whole United Nations approach had never been greater.


Mr. AHMED ( Sudan) commended the Secretary-General’s report and the progress made in the global terrorism strategy, which should be implemented in an open and sustained manner.  Sudan had ratified all the international conventions related to countering terrorism and was active in efforts deployed to combat the scourge.  All national legislation was in line with those international efforts and Sudan had also adopted a strategy, amended laws with regard to money-laundering and passed a new law to fight human trafficking.  On a regional scope, Sudan had hosted several conferences and workshops to exchange experience and expertise, and programmes included raising awareness for civil society.


BORIS HOLOVKA (Serbia), associating himself with the European Union, noted that while the main regional security threat stemmed from violent extremism and other transnational organized crime, the global terrorism threat required a multidisciplinary approach.  For Serbia’s part, its central bureau of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in Belgrade had participated in regional efforts, including increasing cooperation with networks such as Europol and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre.  On a national level, Serbia had amended its Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure with a view to bringing counter-terrorism measures into line with international instruments and human rights law.  In trying suspected terrorists, it accorded them all constitutional rights and due process.  When combating terrorism, he said the guidelines in the United Nations counter-terrorism strategy were of paramount importance.


SÉKOU KASSÉ (Mali) said that given the grave situation of terrorism attacks around the world, his country had condemned those acts and had worked towards combating that scourge as it threatened international peace, security and stability.  Having suffered from terrorist attacks in the northern part of Mali, the Government had, among other things, adopted a law aimed at repressing terrorism and transnational criminals.  The terrorist attack in Aguelhok on 11 June must receive the Security Council’s prompt attention.  Dialogue was key in working against the principles of intolerance, he said, adding that a united front was needed to combat terrorism and religious intolerance.  Efforts, such as Morocco’s initiative of training 500 Malian imams, were being replicated in other countries of the region to promote Islam’s values of peace, tolerance and acceptance.  It was essential to promote international cooperation when combating terrorism, especially in light of current challenges facing the world.


KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV ( Kazakhstan) said his country was party to all major counter-terrorism conventions and supported the improvement of other related treaty mechanisms.  He supported measures to provide comprehensive assistance to terrorism victims, welcoming the creation of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and establishment of a post of Coordinator to combat terrorism.  Terrorism should not be merged with organized crime.  There was a need to eliminate drug trafficking which financed terrorism, especially through international cooperation.  For its part, Kazakhstan was involved in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, among other associations.  Urging efforts to combat nuclear terrorism, Kazakhstan had signed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization anti-terrorism convention and worked with the regional office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  As the 2010 Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Kazakhstan had hosted a conference on the prevention of terrorism.  He supported the adoption of today’s resolution by consensus.


SAUD HAMAD GHANEM HAMAD ALSHAMSI ( United Arab Emirates), associating himself with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said the Strategy must be adaptable and proactive in order to overcome all challenges in fighting terrorism.  The United Arab Emirates had constantly developed its national policy and executive procedures to counter terrorism, as well as money-laundering and the illicit trade in arms and drugs.  It had dedicated national assets and expertise in order to cooperate with relevant regional and subregional agencies, as well as to prevent any entities from using its airspace or territorial waters as staging areas for committing crimes.  It had enacted laws to fight terrorist crimes and acceded to 13 counter-terrorism conventions.  Further, it had promoted tolerance, including through securing religious freedom for all communities and achieving gender parity.  It ranked first among Arab countries in the gender equality index, part of efforts to fight extremism.  It encouraged all political efforts to settle conflicts and promote tolerance, having established an international centre for combating violent extremism in 2012, as an initiative of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.


TIWATOPE ADELEYE ELIAS-FATILE ( Nigeria) said terrorism was organized in a tightly woven network.  “It takes a network to defeat a network,” he stressed, noting that his country had faced an upsurge of terrorism by Boko Haram.  To counter that threat, the National Security Advisor had outlined a plan of action that was premised on national experiences and aspects of the Secretary-General’s report.  It comprised four streams.  The first of which focused on the de-radicalization of convicted terrorists, suspects awaiting trial and those who might be released through court orders.  The second aimed to use family and national values to galvanize society against terrorism.  The third sought to build capacity for communicating national values.  The fourth involved economic revitalization.  More broadly, he urged the Assembly to continue its coordinated approach to combat terrorism.


LUIS BENÍTEZ RODRÍGUEZ ( Paraguay) said international cooperation was the most efficient terrorism-fighting tool.  For its part, Paraguay had taken many steps in recent years to address terrorism from national to international arenas.  His country had ratified 13 international instruments related to combating terrorism and had, for its part, participated in national and regional initiatives, from passing counter-terrorism laws to joining efforts in the areas including fighting organized crime.  The Inter-American Counter-Terrorism Committee had elected Paraguay as Vice-President from 2014 and 2015.  In that role, his country would further support United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.


YASHAR ALIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said the world continued to suffer from the growing frequency and magnitude of terrorism.  Those threats required close cooperation among States, including through the establishment of a more coordinated, coherent and systematic United Nations approach.  While addressing all conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism was significant, he stressed the need of intensifying conflict resolution efforts on the basis of accepted norms and principles of international law.  Conflict-affected territories often provided fertile grounds for terrorists and other non-State actors that used terrorism as a means of achieving their goals.  The accumulation of arms and ammunition in those areas posed a threat to regional and international peace and security.  The war on terrorism should not be used to target any religion or culture.  For its part, Azerbaijan had taken steps, including promoting religious tolerance, and continued to work towards promoting international peace and security.


TOM MBOYA ADALA ( Kenya) said that terrorism remained among the greatest challenges to global peace and security as terrorists had adopted new strategies.  Kenya had made a number of efforts and had also played a pivotal role in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and his country continued to suffer from Al-Shabaab cross-border attacks.  Transnational crime and regional security challenges, such as illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, had a direct bearing on combating terrorism.  More remained to be done towards enhancing cooperation among United Nations bodies to support national and regional efforts to combat terrorism and developing a coherent international strategy.


ZAHIR TANIN ( Afghanistan) said his country was among the biggest victims of terrorism in the world, with civilians affected daily.  Condemning all acts of terrorism around the world, he said Afghanistan had adopted counter-terrorism policies at the centre of its national security strategy.  In addition to various Security Council resolutions, it was crucial that neighbouring countries played their role.  And that included putting an end to safe havens and sanctuaries used by terrorists and insurgent groups against the people of Afghanistan.  The country’s High Peace Council held the International Conference for Islamic Scholars and Peace that, among other things, saw participants declaring suicide attacks as un-Islamic.  Such initiatives were instrumental in promoting a culture of peace and dialogue.  Deeply concerned about the evolving challenge of non-State actors seeking weapons of mass destruction, he called on United Nations Member States to take necessary steps to ensure that never happened.  He also called to the widespread implementation of the counter-terrorism strategy.


RIADH BEN SLIMAN ( Tunisia) said the Assembly’s discussion had, among other things, recognized the threat of terrorism, including Al-Qaida movements across many borders.  His country was committed at national, regional and global levels and had, among other efforts, criminalized terrorism and reformed laws to include money-laundering and organized crime.  It also had strengthened institutional frameworks to combat those crimes and bolstered cooperation in those areas.  Bilateral accords with neighbouring countries helped to evaluate threats and identify financing sources.  Tunisia had participated in and hosted gatherings to address the changing threats of terrorism.  Regional and international strategies must take into account those changing realities and that security-focus efforts were not enough.  Conflict, disparities among groups and intolerance were among those realities and more cooperation was needed to fight terrorism.


ÁLVARO CERIANI ( Uruguay) said a recent visit to his country by the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Committee had highlighted that his country needed to focus on areas including enhanced border control and reigning in terrorist financing.  A follow-up visit would be important as a diagnosis was useless without treatment.  Turning to laundering of funds from illicit activities, he said targeted efforts must address the scourge on a regional and global level.  Money-laundering and financing of terrorism also needed to be addressed.  His country would continue to combat terrorism and support the United Nations strategy.  The definition of terrorism needed to be determined and a general international norm needed to be agreed upon, he said, hoping that those discussions would reach a successful conclusion during the General Assembly’s sixty-ninth session.


MASTAFIZUR RAHMAN ( Bangladesh) said he hoped the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.  While his country was committed to fighting terrorism, it was concerned about current trends.  The use of technology, information and social media, as well as the nexus between terrorist networks, non-State actors and transnational criminals, posed new challenges to States.  “We must constantly adapt our responses,” he said.  Bangladesh had, among other things, maintained a zero tolerance policy to terrorism, passing laws and taking part in strengthening cooperation at the regional level.  The global counter-terrorism strategy needed to evolve through continued dialogue and strengthened through globally coordinated approaches.  The United Nations had a key role to play in capacity-building at national and regional levels, as combating terrorism was a collective responsibility.


ANA CRISTINA RODRÍGUEZ PINEDA ( Guatemala) said given the spread of terrorism, more needed to be done to bolster collective efforts.  Success depended on Member States learning from past actions and helping the membership to implement the strategy.  The Review was an opportunity to reflect on actions taken.  The United Nations must play a leadership role in tackling terrorism, with the General Assembly in the lead.  A concerted effort by all countries was needed as the world had a common interest in eliminating terrorism.  There was also a need for consistency throughout the United Nations system and for the strengthening of international cooperation.  Only genuine cooperation would provide results at a global level.  Concerned about kidnappings, she said international law should regulate that crime and the Assembly should further examine the trend.  Despite efforts, there was a need to adopt a legal instrument against terrorism, which included existing tools to combat the scourge.


KOUSSAY ABDULJABBAR ALDAHHAK ( Syria) said the Review should lead to improvements in its implementation, reaching the common goal of eliminating the scourge.  The United Nations was the main entity for international cooperation in eliminating terrorism as a threat to peace and security and against the prosperity of nations.  To succeed in those efforts, the United Nations Charter must be respected.  Terrorist attacks that were plaguing Syria and other Member States revealed that despite efforts, terrorist organizations continued to launch attacks.  Certain Al-Qaida-linked organizations, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, were launching attacks throughout the world and profiting from the fact that some States were not serious in their commitment to fighting terrorism.  Efforts should include eliminating financing and weapons sources and preventing terrorists from using the Internet to promote their actions and luring youth around the world to join them.  The causes of terrorism must also be addressed, he said, asking how a youth playing football in Florida could be lured to being a suicide bomber dead at age 20.  Those who were facilitating their travels, helping them infiltrate borders and training them to use weapons must be identified, he said, noting that Syria had worked to raise awareness against terrorism and to address its roots causes.


ABDALLAH Y. AL-MOUALLIMI ( Saudi Arabia) said his country had implemented international resolutions and laws to bring an end to the financing and protection of those who perpetuated terrorist attacks.  Saudi Arabia had responded to all calls to combat terrorism and implemented all international resolutions to that end, while also acceding to all conventions regarding terrorism.  The worldwide threat included not only individual terrorists, but also well-organized foreign terrorists.  Saudi Arabia was leading the charge to address terrorism from a legal point of view.  Leaders in Saudi Arabia had undertaken many measures to combat terrorism and his country had pledged millions of dollars to the fight, while also supporting international initiatives, such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.  The international community must be certain that it was not creating more dangerous terrorists than those already being combated.


MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE ( Cameroon) said that to be successful in the fight against terrorism, there must be a worldwide strategy that was well balanced and the product of consensus.  That strategy must respect State sovereignty, while also being guided by the rules and norms of existing resolutions and conventions.  Combating terrorism required the full cooperation of the international community, and his country was prepared to do its part to make a real contribution.  Cameroon had taken an active role in that regard, particularly with regard to fighting Boko Haram in the northern part of the country.


THOMAS WUCHTE, Head of Anti-terrorism Issues, Transnational Threats Department, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said that while States bore the primary responsibility, the organization’s anti-terrorism, border security, cybersecurity and human rights work had contributed to the success of global counter-terrorism efforts.  Its activities had promoted the implementation of the international legal framework against terrorism, strengthened travel document security and countered violent extremism.  It had provided capacity-building assistance to States in a number of areas, including the security of international transportation.  It valued its close relationship with the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force, and other activities that were in line with the Global Strategy’s four pillars.


IVAN KOEDJIKOV, Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Council of Europe, said the Council’s Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism had broadened the scope of criminal offences that could lead to terrorism.  Its review mechanism was now functioning, the implementation of Article 6 — recruitment for terrorism — was ready, and the assessment of Article 7 — training for terrorism — was under way.  To promote cooperation, the treaty had modified the Council’s existing extradition and mutual assistance arrangements by excluding the political exception clause.  The response to terrorism must respect human rights.  All the Council’s actions addressed the conditions conducive to terrorism.  As for capacity-building, the Council had developed legal standards based on common values, monitoring their practice, and assisting States in building capacity to help them meet their standards.


Mr. RIFAI of the United Nations World Tourism Organization noted that travel and tourism had become a central global phenomenon, with more than 1 billion international tourists travelling the world in 2013.  The responsible development of tourism meant addressing security issues at an early stage, not only from the perspective of resilience and sustainability, but also taking into account respect for human security and dignity.  Security was crucial for healthy and sustainable travel, particularly as the tourism sector had become a key development pillar for many countries.


Action


The Assembly then adopted by consensus as orally revised a resolution entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review” (document A/68/L.50).


The representative of Sudan, in a general statement after action, focused on the resolution’s operative paragraph 26, emphasizing the importance of maintaining international efforts in combating terrorism through international and regional cooperation.  He rejected unilateral practices accusing some States of sponsoring terrorism, as those actions jeopardized the collective wisdom of the Strategy’s implementation.  He called on those States to refrain from practices inconsistent with international law and the United Nations Charter, reiterating Sudan’s firm commitment to continue cooperating in the fight against terrorism.


The representative of Turkey welcomed the resolution’s adoption.  As Facilitator, he had heard the views of many colleagues and conducted regional group meetings.  Transparency and comprehensiveness had been his guiding principles.  “We came a long way and we, altogether, made it,” he said, expressing appreciating for the Assembly’s spirit of cooperation.  The resolution was not a technical rollover, but rather, responded to new trends and challenges in fighting terrorism.


Right of Reply


The representative of the Russian Federation said it was unacceptable that, when under a flag of combating terrorism, Ukraine had implemented activities to suppress protests, with external support and blessings from abroad.  Ukraine used their forces against the civilian population, while being supported by radical nationalists.  That was an unacceptable type of violence that could lead to full-fledged civil war.  It was nothing less than a crime against its own people.  The idea that the Russian Federation was participating in the escalation of tensions was not true.  Such claims had not been proven.


He noted that it was especially unacceptable that there had been claims that his country had interfered with the situation in Ukraine by sending armed forces and weapons to the country.  The Russian Federation was not sending weapons into Ukraine and in recent times, had taken steps to decrease the number of Russian armed forces that were within his country’s own borders, close to the Ukrainian border.  In the last day, Ukrainian forces and armed vehicles had violated the State border with Russia, which must be considered a violation of the basic provisions of international law.  It was an illegal act that would not lead to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in south-east Ukraine.  The United Nations should study ways to overcome the radicalization of social and political views in order to end the violence in Ukraine and implement humanitarian tasks.  That was a danger that must be rooted out at the source, immediately and effectively.


The delegate of Ukraine, responding to his Russian counterpart, noted how the Russian Federation was keeping an eye on Ukraine, and at the same time, supplying weapons and armoured vehicles to those fighting against his country.  The world was used to the disinformation spread through Russian television.  The goal of the operation was to end terrorist threats in Donetsk and Lugansk, and to ensure peace for Ukrainian citizens.


He said that if the Russian Federation believed that that population was using anti-aircraft weapons, kidnapping children and shooting people in jail, it must be difficult to find something to discuss.  There was an enormous amount of proof.  “You cannot lie,” he said.  The General Assembly had given its verdict on Russian actions in Crimea and the Security Council had spoken out against its actions in eastern Ukraine.  “It is our task to fight terrorists on our land,” he stressed.  Double standards in combating terrorism were unacceptable.  “Prove to everyone that your words are not different from what you do.”


The delegate of Israel said a search was under way for three teens taken hostage and Israel held the Palestinian Authority responsible for their well-being.  Israel could not let others make “baseless” accusations against it when they harboured terrorists.  Lebanon had perpetrated human rights abuses and the newly established Government included members of the terrorist group, Hizbullah.  He urged examining the refugee camps in Lebanon, where Palestinians were kept in some of the worst conditions in the region, deprived of their rights and subject to violence and discrimination.


The representative of the Russian Federation repudiated the accusations against his country.  He urged Ukraine not to hide crimes against its people by calling it “combating terrorism”.


The delegate of Ukraine said his Government would be responsible for everything.  It was difficult to have dialogue when the opponent did not hear.  He urged the Russian Federation to “leave us alone and let us peacefully build our future”.


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For information media • not an official record