CONFLICT PREVENTION, NOT REACTION, SHOULD BE BASIS OF STATES' RESPONSE TO TERROR, ASSEMBLY TOLD

4 October 2001
GA/9926

CONFLICT PREVENTION, NOT REACTION, SHOULD BE BASIS OF STATES' RESPONSE TO TERROR, ASSEMBLY TOLD

04/10/2001
Press ReleaseGA/9926

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Plenary

18th Meeting (AM)

CONFLICT PREVENTION, NOT REACTION, SHOULD BE BASIS

OF STATES' RESPONSE TO TERROR, ASSEMBLY TOLD

A culture of reaction only continued the spiral of intensifying conflict and eluded peace and should be avoided, the representative of Fiji told the General Assembly this morning, as it continued its debate on measures to eliminate international terrorism.

He appealed to Member States to seize the chance to strengthen a new culture of conflict prevention as the critical base for their work for international peace and security in the new millennium, and not to languish in further reprisals or violent reactions.  Sadly, conventions and treaties had failed to deter terrorists from their path of destruction, he noted.

A number of speakers this morning stressed the importance of cooperation on the regional and sub-regional level in the fight against terrorism.  The representative of Senegal said his President had launched the idea of an African covenant against terrorism.  He had warned that the direct threat of terrorism was clear, but that there was also an indirect threat if an African country was involved in aiding terrorism, as retaliation would affect the whole continent 

The representative of Lithuania, stressing that the fight against terrorism was one of the most important fields for closer political and practical cooperation between international organizations, said his country supported statements of the North Atlantic Council and had aligned itself with the conclusions and plan of action of the Council of the European Union of     21 September.

The representative of Swaziland reiterated a call by the twelfth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Durban, South Africa in 1998 to convene an international conference to facilitate consensus among States on measures to combat terrorism, and encourage a climate of confidence and cooperation.

The representative of Côte d’Ivoire, quoting extensively from provisions of the Organization’s Charter that spoke of peace building through the fostering of tolerance, human rights and justice, and from the Millennium Declaration reaffirming those priorities, said the United Nations had been tolerating a lack

General Assembly Plenary            - 1a -            Press Release GA/9926 

18th Meeting (AM)                                      4 October 2001 

of democracy in certain regions.  While respecting the sovereignty of its Member States, the Organization must work for the spread of democratic principles and for the strengthening of international law.

The representatives of Ghana, Poland, Slovakia, Malta, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, Portugal, United Republic of Tanzania, San Marino, Namibia, Canada, Lebanon, Congo and the Dominican Republic also spoke.

The Assembly will meet again today from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to continue its consideration of the subject.

      Background

The General Assembly met this morning to continue its debate on measures to eliminate international terrorism.  The debate, which has more than 160 participants, is expected to last through Friday, 5 October.

For background, see Press Release GA/9919 of 1 October.

      Statements

NANA EFFAH APENTENG (Ghana) said the (11 September) terrorist attacks, even though directed against the territory of the United States, constituted an act against the noble values of freedom and the rule of law, and humanity as a whole must respond to it in unity.  Ghana, which lost some nationals in the attacks, was also impressed by the overwhelming sense of unity, fellow-feeling and generosity that had been thrown up.  It reiterated its condemnation of those acts and reaffirmed its determination to collaborate in the global struggle against terrorism.

There was need to identify, understand and to address the underlying causes that permitted such hatred to grow and fester, the Ghanaian representative said.  He added that it would be ironical, if in this year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, the recent terrorist acts were misconstrued as a clash of civilizations.  No State was today immune from the brutal wrath of terrorism, and the problem must be addressed globally.

Ghana emphasized the need for States to identify and keep open channels of communication for exchange of relevant information on terrorist activities, he said.  There must be genuine cooperation and concerted action to track and freeze financial and other assets that enabled terrorist organizations to exist.  National investigative and enforcement institutions must be strengthened, and all terrorists who fell under national jurisdictions must be extradited or their cases vigorously prosecuted.  The international community must also redeem all turf adopted by terrorist organizations as bases for their evil machinations.

Ghana looked forward to participating, at an appropriate future date, in the proposed high-level conference under United Nations auspices to formulate a joint organized response by the international community to terrorism.  Such a conference, which enjoyed great political support of non-aligned member countries, was useful and should carefully choose its priorities and agenda.  Ghana called for an early definition of the concept of terrorism, and for the galvanization of broad international support in the fight against it.

JANUSZ STANCZYK (Poland) said it was impossible to overestimate the importance of an international convention for suppressing acts of nuclear terrorism.  Remaining differences preventing conclusion of that document should be resolved quickly.  It was also important for the work on a draft comprehensive convention on terrorism to continue in a constructive spirit.  That convention should contain effective provisions for interstate cooperation.  It should also take into account similarities in operating methods of terrorist and criminal organizations.  To that end, it should draw on the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The Assembly should launch an urgent appeal to universalize all major conventions against terrorism, he urged.  A monitoring mechanism to facilitate implementation of existing conventions should be considered, to ensure that those conventions were respected and implemented uniformly.  A comprehensive overview of existing conventions should be conducted to evaluate their effectiveness and identify areas requiring further regulation. 

He said that, in addition, cooperation at regional and bilateral levels should be encouraged and facilitated even in the absence of a legally-binding instrument between the States concerned.  That was particularly critical for information exchange and for cutting terrorists off from their sources of financing.  Poland attached great importance to international standards and its domestic legislation contained specific provisions to repress and prevent terrorist acts.  This week it would sign the convention on suppressing the financing of terrorism.

AMRAIYA NAIDU (Fiji) said that, sadly, conventions and treaties had failed to deter terrorists from their path of destruction.  He therefore applauded the Secretary-General’s call for a broad coalition of States to maintain vigilance, cooperate on extraterritorial legal processes, share technical expertise and best practice models, and to act as a forum in which to continue discussion of terrorism.  This was all the more important, as terrorism seemed to be taking on a geopolitical face which challenged the evolving international order.

He appealed to Member States not to languish in fear of further reprisals or violent reactions.  This was an opportunity to seize the new culture of conflict prevention as a critical platform for Member States to work towards international peace and security in the new millennium.  The culture of reaction only continued the spiral of intensifying conflict.

Some Member States engaged in illicit drug trafficking, sponsored organized transnational crimes, laundered proceeds of crime or terrorism, or were crippled by encroaching pressures of international terrorism –- under the pretext of legitimate economic activities.  Still, others actively nurtured elements in foreign jurisdictions for their political gain.  Some States thrived on internal terrorism, providing lending legitimacy to the politicization of violence, which itself was an anathema to a culture of peace, stability and human rights.  Fiji was a victim of terrorism, which had impacted its body politic and undermined nation-building in the last two decades.  It was not surprisingly that terrorism had defied attempts at its definition.

PETER TOMKA (Slovakia) said that what was now required were efficient steps and speedy action that could prevent horrible terrorist attacks including in their nuclear, biological and chemical forms.  He confirmed that the Slovak Republic was determined and ready to cooperate with all peace-loving countries, under the leadership of the Security Council, in all efforts to eradicate international terrorism.  He called upon all States to ratify and fully implement without delay all anti-terrorist conventions, and work towards a speedy conclusion of the work on the drafts of a comprehensive convention against terrorism and the convention against nuclear terrorism.  Since one could not exclude the possibility that terrorists may have access to weapons of mass destruction, he believed that all international conventions banning weapons of mass destruction must be supplemented by a strict regime of verification.

This century could be the century of the resolute fight against terrorists, he said.  In fact, terrorists were hostis humani generis, enemies of all humanity, and as such must be viewed as outlaws.  New measures should be taken to combat it that allowed law enforcement organs and criminal justice institutions, and intelligence and security services to face effectively these most dangerous crimes.  One country alone could not adequately respond to terrorists, he said.  All nations must join together in the fight against this threat and, when needed, States must not hesitate to adapt the international legal framework for such a struggle against a common enemy.

CLIFFORD S. MAMBA (Swaziland) said acts of terrorism by their nature and links to narcotics and small arms trafficking and organized crime, destabilized social and political institutions and put economic development in jeopardy.  Heads of State and Government had, in the Millennium Declaration, resolved to take concerted action against international terrorism and to accede as soon as possible to all relevant international conventions.

The Organization’s role as an indispensable instrument to maintain international peace and security and to mobilize the world against new threats needed to be strengthened, he said.  There was much the United Nations could do to help prevent future atrocities.  He welcomed Security Council resolution 1373, which laid down the blue print Member States must follow if they were to succeed in the fight against terrorism.

There was no better opportunity than now, he said, for the international community to address the question of convening a high-level United Nations conference to formulate a joint response to terrorism.  He reiterated a call by the twelfth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Durban, South Africa in 1998 to convene such a conference to facilitate consensus among States on measures to combat terrorism, and encourage a climate of confidence and cooperation.

DJESSAN PHILIPPE DJANGONE-BI (Cote d’Ivoire) said there could be no justification for the recent terrorist acts.  He conveyed condolences to those affected, and he saluted the courage of the emergency workers as well as the unity of the American people in the face of such adversity.  He strongly supported Security Council resolution 1373, as well as the proposed high-level conference for creating a concrete response to terrorism in all its forms.

When considering the role of the United Nations in the struggle against terrorism, he said, questions about its definition and causes had to be taken seriously.  He quoted extensively from provisions of the Charter of the Organization that spoke of peace-building through the fostering of tolerance, human rights and justice, and from the Millennium Declaration that reaffirmed those priorities.  The United Nations, however, had been tolerating a lack of democracy in certain regions, and had not been adequately encouraging efforts at democratic governance.  While respecting the sovereignty of its Member States, the Organization must work for the spread of democratic principles and for the strengthening of international law.

Also crucial, he said, both for the fight against terrorism and a humane process of globalization, was international solidarity, and he quoted Secretary-General Kofi Annan to that effect.  The real power of the United Nations lay in the will of Member States to work in concert, and in that way eliminate an evil that affected all countries, all races and all regions.

GEDIMINAS SERKSNYS (Lithuania) said his Country strongly condemned the terrorist actions of 11 September and expressed its solidarity and support, both political and practical, to the United States as well as its determination to stand alongside the international community in its fight against terrorism.  He highly valued the work of the United Nations in its complex action against terrorism.  The Organization had established effective political and legal responses to those who were engaged in terrorist activities.

He also attached great importance to the role of other international fora on terrorist issues and supported statements of the North Atlantic Council.  His Government had aligned itself with the conclusions and plan of action of the Council of the European Union of September 21.  The fight against terrorism was one of the most important areas requiring closer political and practical cooperation between international organizations.  His Government would reassess its relations with certain countries in the light of support which those States might give to terrorism.  It would strengthen the control of import, transit and export of strategic goods and technologies.

Regarding the necessity of practical and political cooperation between the United Nations and other international organizations, he said there existed a broader set of relevant international instruments than the 12 basic United Nations multilateral instruments directly designed to suppress terrorism.  The Council of Europe had successfully elaborated a number of treaties, and there was sufficient ground for exchange of experience and good practices between the Organization and the Council of Europe.  The documents of the European Treaties System were opened to States other than members of that Council. 

PAPA LOUIS FALL (Senegal) said that terrorist actions originating from individuals, States or groups could not go unpunished, nor could they be excused or given legitimacy, no matter what the motivations or circumstances were.  He welcomed the responsible and remarkably speedy actions the Assembly and the Security Council had taken in condemning those barbaric actions against humanity, its security and future.  Those acts were repudiated by ethics, religion and common sense.

In the wake of the tragic events and before adoption of Security Council resolution 1373, his President had launched the idea of an African covenant against terrorism.  African countries should be involved through direct action in a global struggle.  The direct threat was clear, but there was also an indirect threat if an African country was involved in aiding terrorism, as retaliation would affect the whole continent.  The President had contacted the Head of State of Zambia, the current Organization of African Unity (OAU) president, to establish an African covenant against terrorism.  He had suggested measures such as establishing a Steering Committee to cooperate and commit each African State to refrain from participating in terrorist action, not to finance it, and to refuse access for any individual or group with terrorist intention, among other things.

The Non-Aligned Movement had launched the idea of convening an international Conference under the auspices of the United Nations to strengthen cooperation in the key field of combating terrorism on the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.  No State alone could win the war against terrorism.  The struggle required cooperation on the global, regional and sub-regional level.  Also chemical, biological and nuclear terrorist action deserved to be taken into account seriously.

His country supported the appeal of the Secretary-General who had urged Member States to adhere to the 12 conventions against terrorism.  It was important to hasten their entry into force.  It was also necessary to go beyond controversy on the definition of terrorism.  International consensus must urgently be established on the basis of Council resolution 1373.  The draft convention had to be completed on an urgent basis.  He emphasized the need to tackle with determination the inherent causes of terrorism by stemming the scourge of poverty and injustices, which were a fertile ground for it.

WALTER BALZAN (Malta) recalled that on the very day the Assembly was to have started work on an agenda already packed with urgent matters, global terrorism on an unprecedented scale had imposed itself at the top, in order of importance.  While terrorism was not a new item, the discussion of the last few days had brought home the reality of it, through the sheer monstrosity of the tragedy, as evidenced by the way it had moved all the speakers.  The events of 11 September had bolstered the Security Council’s resolve.  The Council had taken dramatic and far-reaching action to strengthen international cooperation in the exchange of information and to stifle the financial flows underpinning terrorism.

He said the Council had quickly taken up proposals and prescriptions already in existence, and had brought them into the realm of international law.  With the strength of law behind them, those new measures for exchange of operational information and for cutting off the financial lifeline of terrorist operations could be implemented as a single constituent action.  Within a broader chain of strategies and mechanisms, that itself could seriously impair terrorists’ ability to act.

Using national, financial and regulatory bodies, he said his country had been carrying out an intensive investigation into possible ties between suspect organizations and local financial institutions.  The search had proved negative so far.  The scrutiny continued, however, in solidarity with an international community determined to deny terrorists the means to repeat the dastardly acts of 11 September.  In a remarkable expression of political will and decisive action, the international community had brought a new sense of common purpose out of the debris.

ALEXANDRU NICULESCU (Romania) said there must be no political or religious justification for terrorist violence, and no people or religion should be blamed for acts of mindless individuals.  Unity and not division of humanity was the right response to that common enemy, which knew no national borders and could target any society.  Terrorism must be universally condemned and fought on a global front.  The international community must be united, on the basis of shared values, in building a universal coalition and defining a global, legitimate, long-term strategy to fight terrorism.

Member States were required to take the necessary steps, within their own systems, to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, he said.  Those steps should include:  provision of an early warning system; denying financing, support and safe haven to terrorists; sharing information to protect against terrorist acts; and becoming parties without delay to the 12 conventions and protocols on international terrorism adopted under United Nations auspices.

He added that all efforts should be made to speed up concluding and adopting a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  His country was prepared to take an active part in building an agreement on outstanding issues, including the definition of terrorism.  The National Annual Plan of Romania's preparation for adherence to NATO for 2001-2002 included a chapter with special measures aimed at facilitating regional cooperation to combat terrorism.  Those measures included amending national legislation, and ratification of the above-mentioned anti-terrorism conventions and the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

GAILE ANN RAMOUTAR (Trinidad and Tobago) said that as events had unfolded, it had become clear that the international community must solidify its efforts to eradicate the evil of terrorism from the world.  It was incumbent upon all States to put in place effective measures to strengthen cooperation and to ensure the punishment of the perpetrators of acts of terrorism and those who supported them.  The international effort required commitment and solidarity, and she was encouraged by the support of the international community for global efforts to eradicate terrorism on all fronts.

Trinidad and Tobago had always opposed transnational criminal activities and, only last week, had signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.  There was a need for constant vigilance, given the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, which took many forms including the illicit trafficking in drugs, and weapons, especially small arms and light weapons, and money-laundering. She said that these manifestations of terrorism led to the destabilization of the world economy, and also heightened the negative impact on the economies of developing States. 

It was time to redouble efforts to free the world of the scourge of terrorism.  The time had come to act immediately to ensure that all peoples could live in an environment of freedom and democracy.  Citizens must be able to carry out their normal daily activities free from fear.  At the dawn of the third millennium, a failure to act decisively would have a grave impact on all of humanity.

FRANCISCO SEIXAS DA COSTA (Portugal) said that terrorism had prospered and achieved public support among populations subjected to poverty, social or political exclusion and inequality.  Those factors did not in any way justify terrorism, but they contributed to increased tensions, promoted conflicts and provided fertile ground for extremism and other violent forms of political expression.  The international community must fight terrorism on all fronts, from constraining action to education, and from the enforcement of justice and crime prevention to the promotion of development.

The practical conditions were now in place, he said, to begin a rigorous international response that would bring to justice those responsible for the crimes of 11 September in the United States.  The fight must be conducted under the essential values of democracy, and rule of law, and must also respect human rights.  He stressed that this was not a fight between civilizations, not a struggle between the West and the Muslim world.  His country had Arab and Muslim countries among its best friends and would never equate a most respected religion with a group of fanatics who had irresponsibly acted in its name.

He urged Member States to consider taking all necessary measures to develop a framework of international judicial cooperation on criminal matters, since that was the only way to ensure exchange of information and permit law enforcers around the world to tackle the spread of international terrorism.  He welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1368 and 1373, adding that Member States should also accede, sign, ratify and implement the 12 existing conventions dealing with different aspects of international terrorism.

DAUDI MWAKAWAGO (United Republic of Tanzania), expressing condolences to those affected, unreservedly joined in the collective expression of outrage at the recent horrific acts.  Following the 1998 attacks in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi, the East African subregion had established a Joint Committee to counter terrorism; he reaffirmed his country’s determination to root out the scourge in all its forms and manifestations.  The United Nations was the appropriate forum for proceeding in a sustained, coordinated, comprehensive and fair manner.

A comprehensive convention to counter terrorism, he said, was urgently needed, and existing instruments required unconditional support and implementation.  Cooperation of law enforcement at an international level was also essential to sort out legitimate from illegitimate flows of funds.  In all such efforts, no people, religion or region should be stigmatized, so that the international community could stand united.

Effective national measures, he said, must go hand in hand with such international action.  Tanzania was keenly aware of its domestic responsibilities.  Capacity for the effort must be built in some nations, and he supported relevant bilateral and multilateral measures to that regard.  It was, after all, in the common interest to eradicate the scourge.

GIAN NICOLA FILIPPI BALESTRA (San Marino) said that the dramatic events of 11 September in the United States had forced the international community to face a new type of conflict, different in nature and connotation from past ones.  The conflict was neither a State against another, nor a State against a political entity, and not even a State against a group of rebels or belligerents.

The sovereignty and integrity of a nation had been violated by an obscure enemy without a face or identifiable structure, he said.  For those reasons, the enemy was merciless and extremely frightening.  All countries in the world, regardless of their size, ethnicity, political organization or economic condition were exposed to this new form of violence, that could and must be eradicated.

“The world is no longer a network of States coexisting side by side, but rather a dense and sinister net of organized criminality extending its tentacles towards all corners of the planet”, he said.  Complete and unconditional international cooperation among States was the only weapon the international community possessed to fight this threatening phenomenon.  The international community needed to ratify and implement a whole body of international laws against terrorism, which should be complemented by new measures and international agreements.

MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said that while the United Nations had discussed various measures to eliminate international terrorism, many innocent people continued to be victims of terrorist attacks in many parts of the world.  In the Southern Africa region, terrorist activities of Jonas Savimbi had gone beyond the boundaries of Angola.  For years the Angolan people had been deprived of peace, security and development.  Away from the cameras, their silent cries, their agony and their gruesome pain remained hidden from the world.  Many Namibians had been killed and maimed by the terrorist acts of Savimbi and his National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).  Namibia, together with other member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had continued to call for further strengthening of Council sanctions against UNITA.

He said the attack on 11 September and terrorist activities around the globe must strengthen collective determination to ensure security and prosperity for all people in the world.  Regional cooperation and coordination of efforts were essential in combating terrorism, and the need for financial support to regional organizations to combat that evil could not be over-emphasized.  In addition, regional organizations should coordinate their activities with the relevant United Nations agencies.  On the international level, new legal instruments were needed to counter specific forms of terrorism.  Of paramount importance was the need to put in place a comprehensive convention for combating international terrorism.  He supported the Non-aligned Movement’s call for an international summit or conference to formulate a joint response to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  All efforts must be made to implement the Plan of Acton of the Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

He stressed the importance of differentiating the definition of terrorism from the legitimate struggle for self-determination and national liberation of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation.  The Non-aligned Movement, in addressing the legitimate aspirations of people denied their right to self-determination, had reaffirmed its position under international law on the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation.  That did not constitute terrorism.  He went on to say that to a people which, for centuries, had been subjected to colonial domination and which had resorted to a national liberation struggle, such a distinction was vital.

PAUL HEINBECKER (Canada), expressing condolences to families of the victims of the recent attacks, conveyed his nation’s resolve neither to forget nor to forgive the perpetrators of those heinous acts, nor to rest until they are brought to justice.  Canada would fully participate in the coming struggle.  The right of self-defence was clear under international law, and had been invoked by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

He fully supported ratification of all existing anti-terror instruments.  Canada was currently completing its efforts to ratify those that remained.  Cooperative and coordinated action, combining domestic defence with an active offence, was needed.  He supported the wide range of action in Security Council resolution 1373, particularly the decision to establish a monitoring committee.  Canada was already largely in compliance with the resolution, and was currently reviewing existing legislation to see where it could be strengthened.  It was also contributing an additional $6 million for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and stood ready to help other nations in capacity-building efforts.  It was working with the United States to make North America as secure as possible.  An ad hoc Committee had been created to oversee the Canadian effort, which would review legislation, regulations, policies and programmes, and enable prompt adjustments to public security measures. 

In addition to such national and bilateral activities, he said, it was urgent to enhance international treaties for nuclear non-proliferation, and for the control of missile technology, biological weapons, small arms, and landmines.  To strengthen coordination, new, specific anti-terrorist bodies might need to be created, possibly borrowing some features of the existing missile control regime.  A dedicated secretariat body, with a mandate for research and capacity-building, and a high-level officer in charge of such efforts, should also be considered.  Through continued unity, expressed in concrete action, the victims would be honored and the rule of law would prevail over hate.

SELIM TADMOURY (Lebanon) said his country was prepared to cooperate with the United States and the United Nations in combating terrorism within the framework of international law and the sovereignty of States.  But he reaffirmed the need to avoid linking terrorism with Arabs and Muslims, which could lead to a confrontation between civilizations and religions.  There was also a need to differentiate between the just struggle of people against repression, and terrorism.

The battle against terrorism must not be military alone, he continued.  The international community must be called upon to make further efforts to resolve fundamental conflicts slowly festering in many regions of the world today.  Every day brought forth more frustration and violence.

He mentioned, in particular, the conflict between the Arabs and Israelis. The peace process had now halted and that wasted precious time.  Surely a just and comprehensive settlement would reinforce peace and security in such a vital region.  History had taught us that dialogue, tolerance and understanding were the means for civilizations to interact.  The world was no longer a place for isolationism.

LUC JOSEPH OKIO (Congo) said that in the attacks of 11 September, “black Tuesday”, a message had been written in letters of blood.  In attacking the United States the terrorists had showed their true colours, the appalling nature of their ideology and the rampant threat they represented.  They had sent a challenge to the international community.  Congo joined other States in condemning these barbaric acts.  On the national level, the Government of Congo had immediately protected American interests on Congolese soil. 

The terrorist act had posed the question:  Who would be next?  He added that the threat of terrorism was more present than ever.  Congo had also experienced terrorism in 1989, when more than 200 individuals had died.  As a tribute to the victims of this attack, the Government of Congo had built a memorial at the centre of its capital.  Furthermore, 19 May had been declared a day to combat terrorism, in order to demonstrate condemnation of terrorism.  Developments in Africa highlighted an increased level of terrorism, he said.  One fundamental question was how one could combat a scourge that transcended borders of States.  The very nature of terrorism proved that the only way to combat this scourge was through cooperation with other States.

The Congo supported all concerted action designed to strengthen international cooperation, he said.  However, it was important, at a time like this, that there was a new vision as part of the approach.  A new vision could guide the present session and improve the efficiency of existing legal frameworks.

HUGO TOLENTINO (Dominican Republic) reiterated his country’s condemnation and grief in response to the recent terrorist attacks, as well as its support for the resolution adopted by the meeting of the OAS held on September 21.  He also supported recent measures aimed at strengthening United Nations efforts to combat terrorism, along with international cooperation in that regard, and called for the ratification of all existing international instruments and the development of further legal mechanisms.

It was important to remember, he said, that human rights must never be set aside in this effort, which should be driven by international law and justice and  not by vengeance.  The leaders of the United States had honored the democratic tradition of that nation by respecting those concerns.  The sad circumstance must not be allowed to divide the international community.  In addition, terrorism was linked to multiple circumstances, and its causes, rooted in social illnesses and injustices, must be dealt with in order to behead the thousand-headed hydra it had become.  The Special Committee on Terrorism should, therefore, study in detail the economic, social and cultural causes that could foster terrorism.

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For information media. Not an official record.