High-level Security Council meeting calls for urgent action against terrorism

High-level Council meeting on combating terrorism

20 January 2003 – Foreign Ministers meeting at the United Nations Security Council today called for all countries to take urgent action to prevent and suppress all active and passive support to terrorism, and to comply fully with Council resolutions dealing with the scourge.

The call came in a declaration on the issue of combating terrorism that was adopted unanimously at a formal meeting of the Council chaired by Foreign Minister Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin of France, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the 15-nation body. Foreign Ministers from 13 of the countries were in attendance and all Council members participated in the discussion.

In their declaration, the Ministers called on States to take a number of steps to fight the menace, including by becoming a party to all international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism; helping each other in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of acts of terrorism, wherever they occur; and cooperating closely to implement fully the sanctions against terrorists and their associates, in particular Al-Qaida and the Taliban and their associates.

Highlighting the role of its Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Council said that the CTC must intensify its efforts to promote the implementation by UN Member States of all aspects of resolution 1373, which was adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks against the United States, by reviewing their reports and facilitating international assistance and cooperation.

The declaration said that States must also ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, and should adopt such measures in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law.

The adopted text encouraged international organizations to evaluate ways in which they can enhance the effectiveness of their action against terrorism, including by establishing dialogue and exchanges of information with each other and with other relevant international actors. The declaration also emphasized the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in working with the CTC and other international organizations.

The Council stressed that continuing international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden the understanding among civilizations "will contribute to international cooperation and collaboration, which by themselves are necessary to sustain the broadest possible fight against terrorism."

The declaration also reaffirmed the Council's "strong determination" to intensify its fight against terrorism in accordance with its responsibilities under the UN Charter, and invited Secretary General Kofi Annan to present a report within 28 days summarizing any proposals made during today's meeting.

Video of Council debate

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