PERSONS SUSPECTED OF FINANCING TERRORISM SHOULD BE EXTRADITED AND PUNISHED, AD HOC COMMITTEE TOLD

18 March 1999
L/2917

PERSONS SUSPECTED OF FINANCING TERRORISM SHOULD BE EXTRADITED AND PUNISHED, AD HOC COMMITTEE TOLD

18 March 1999

Press ReleaseL/2917

PERSONS SUSPECTED OF FINANCING TERRORISM SHOULD BE EXTRADITED AND PUNISHED, AD HOC COMMITTEE TOLD

19990318 Representative of Cuba Addresses Committee; Representative of United States Speaks in Right of Reply

Persons suspected of financing terrorism should be extradited and punished if the international community really wanted to make a contribution towards ending their activities, the representative of Cuba this morning told the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly which is elaborating an international instrument on financing terrorism.

Cuba had been the victim of various acts of terrorism which had caused significant material and other damage, he said. The Government of Cuba was determined to negotiate and reach agreement on the definition of international terrorism.

Also, referring to specific incidents, he said his country was prepared to take joint and coordinated steps with the United States to stem actions taken in Cuba by citizens of foreign countries.

The representative of the United States spoke in exercise of the right of reply. He said his country unequivocally condemned terrorism and had stated on numerous occasions that those responsible for terrorist acts should be held accountable. Terrorism was a serious problem and the United States was prepared to work with the Ad Hoc Committee in the elaboration of a convention to deal with it.

The representative of Cuba also made a statement in right of reply.

The Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996 has, since the beginning of its third session on Monday, 15 March, been giving a first reading to the text of a draft international convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism, sponsored by France. Discussion on the text is being conducted in a working group of the whole.

Informal consultations have also been going on among interested delegations on another instrument being elaborated by the Ad Hoc Committee: a draft convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism, submitted by the Russian Federation.

The Ad Hoc Committee will meet again in plenary at a date to be announced.

Committee Work Programme

The Ad Hoc Committee on instruments to combat international terrorism met this morning to hear a statement by the delegation of Cuba.

Statements

BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said that the topic before the Ad Hoc Committee had pride of place since it threatened the stability of society. There were different forms of terrorism, some of which were pursued while others were ignored. Cuba had been the victim of various acts of terrorism which had caused significant material and other damage. The Government of Cuba was determined to negotiate and reach agreement with all governments on the definition of international terrorism.

He said his delegation hoped that the instrument being drafted by the Ad Hoc Committee would eventually lead to a method of punishing those who made available to mercenaries the means to perpetrate actions directed at hurting the economy of Member States. That was not theoretical.

A Salvadorean had been accused and had confessed to acts of terrorism in Havana in which an Italian tourist had died, he said, quoting extensively from an editorial in Granma, the official organ of the Government of Cuba, on a recent terrorism trial in Havana. A certain Posada Carriles had been trained by the Central Intelligence Agency in guerrilla warfare during the 1960s and had been used by that Agency to unify terrorist organizations. An investigation into a bomb at the Cuban Mission in New York and into drug smuggling had been strangely given up.

He said that high-ranking authorities in the United States had been provided with all kinds of information, including sensitive information. They had said they would respond in two weeks but nothing had been heard. If the international community really wanted to make a contribution to ending the financing of terrorism, people should be extradited and some kind of punishment should be made. Cuba had provided ample proof and was prepared to take joint and coordinated steps with the United States to stem actions that had been proved to have taken place in Cuba by citizens of foreign countries.

Ad Hoc Committee on Assembly - 3 - Press Release L/2917 Resolution 51/210 18 March 1999 10th Meeting (AM)

Right of Reply

HALEY D. COLLUMS (United States), speaking in right of reply, said that it was unfortunate that the representative of Cuba had taken the valuable time of the Committee, which could have been used in work on the draft text [on an international convention for the financing of terrorism]. The United States unequivocally condemned terrorism and had stated on numerous occasions that those responsible should be held accountable.

The reference by the representative of Cuba to Posada, a Cuban exile resident somewhere in the Caribbean, and to the interview published by The New York Times was unfortunate, he said. Posada was a confessed terrorist, he said, and he left it to the Ad Hoc Committee to make its own judgement. He said the United States had repeatedly asked Cuba for details of his activities but had not received any response.

He also said four individuals interdicted by the United States Coast Guard off Puerto Rico had been indicted and their prosecution would be pursued. The Cuban statement was political against the United States, he said. Terrorism was a serious problem and the United States was prepared to work with the Ad Hoc Committee in the elaboration of a convention to deal it.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba), exercising the right of reply, said that there was need to point out that his country was not talking about political issues, but terrorism. States had an obligation to prevent and to suppress terrorism. The terrorist activities he had referred to had been organized and financed in North America. He said the United States authorities had a lot of information on the subject, including classified information.

He hoped the comments of the United States representative would be translated into action. He reiterated that nine months ago, representatives of the relevant United States authorities had provided information. They had been supposed to return, but had not been heard from since then, he said.

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For information media. Not an official record.