Fifty-sixth General Assembly
45th Meeting (PM)
‘TERRORISM NOT A CHRISTIAN, BUDDHIST, JEWISH OR MUSLIM BELIEF’,
PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN TELLS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
‘It Is To Be Condemned, No Matter Who
The Perpetrator’, President Musharraf Says
The Islamic religion and Muslims in various parts of the globe were being held responsible for the trials the world was now facing, but that view was totally misplaced, Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, told the General Assembly this afternoon as it continued its general debate.
“Terrorism is not a Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or a Muslim belief. It is to be condemned no matter who the perpetrator, be it an individual, a group or a State”, he said. To his mind, the causes of such extreme acts were unresolved political disputes the world over -- in Bosnia, Kosovo, Palestine, Kashmir and other places.
Unfortunately, all those disputes involved Muslims, he continued, which tended to give a religious tinge to otherwise political disputes. The lack of progress in resolving disputes in territories such as Kashmir and Palestine, which had remained unsettled for decades, created a sense of deprivation, hopelessness and powerlessness.
Andres Pastrana, President of Colombia, noted that the world market for illegal drugs was the number one financier of terrorism. Yet, the international community simply demanded that narcotics trafficking be controlled by law enforcement, eradication and interdiction, forgetting that the scourge was much more than a cultivation and trafficking problem.
In fact, it was a complex transnational business, he said, and the profits of narcotics trafficking moved freely through international financial markets, where seemingly respectable businessmen prospered amidst the whole world’s tolerance. Lenient controls on tax havens were allowing criminals to amass fortunes that financed death.
The President of Bolivia, Jorge Ramirez, described terrorism and drug trafficking as Siamese twins that were the enemies of democracy. The international community must understand that supporting alternative development programmes in countries that had eliminated illegal coca was vital, he said.
Of more relevance now, he continued, was access to markets, the right to work, to produce and to sell. The decision by the United States and European Union to open up their markets for the products of alternative development had assumed a critical role.
Percival Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, said that military strikes could not on their own eradicate terrorism, but must be coupled with a new age of global development and prosperity. A sophisticated, increasingly affluent world currently coexisted with a marginalized underclass.
The hungry, homeless and destitute were less impassioned about the insecurities of terrorism or the damages of military warfare, he said. For those who were ill without health care, cold without heating, or old without social support, security was a meal, a roof, a job, medicines and warmth.
Stanislaus Mudenge, Foreign Affairs Minister of Zimbabwe, said he understood what the United States was experiencing with its anthrax threat because the people in his country had been the biggest victims of this weapon to date. Anthrax developed in South Africa during the apartheid regime had been spread in Zimbabwe during its liberation struggle more than 21 years ago, and continued to claim victims within the black population to this day.
The Foreign Minister of France, Hubert Vedrine, said efforts must be redoubled to make globalization human. That called for a fairer distribution of wealth to 3 billion people now living on less than two dollars a day, sustainable development, democratically framed international standards and an end to human distress.
The choice was a conflicted world with no future because injustice was too great, or an international community of United Nations worthy of the name. Building that world could mean sharing power and wealth and rewriting inviolable rules. Diplomatic cards were being reshuffled and the outcome could lead to new avenues in deeds, changing the coalition against terrorism into a coalition for an equitable world.
The Presidents of Peru, Alejandro Manrique; of Slovenia, Milan Kucan; of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba; and of Romania, Ion Iliescu, also spoke, as did the Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Andorra, Canada and Honduras also made statements.
The General Assembly will meet again Sunday morning at 9 a.m. to continue its general debate.
The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its general debate, which started this morning. (For more background information, see Press Release GA/9957 of 10 November.)
The Assembly was expected to hear from, the heads of State or government of Pakistan, Colombia, Peru, Slovenia, Bolivia, Zambia, Romania, Jamaica and Ghana.
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, President of Pakistan: Unfortunately, today the Assembly is gathered against the sombre backdrop of the terrorist outrage that the world witnessed in shock and horror on that fateful day of 11 September. At a time of such great turmoil, when there is indeed a need for clear thought and firm action, I come from Pakistan with a message of determination and resolve, as well as a message of peace for all peoples. The religion of Islam and Muslims in various parts of the world are being held responsible for the trials the world is facing. This point of view is totally misplaced. Terrorism is not a Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or a Muslim belief. It is to be condemned no matter who the perpetrator is, be it an individual, a group or a State. We need to ask ourselves what really causes these extreme acts around the world. To my mind, it is the unresolved political disputes the world over: disputes in Bosnia, Kosovo, Palestine, Kashmir and other places. Unfortunately all these disputes involve Muslims, and more sadly, the Muslims happen to be the victims in all which tends to give a religious tinge to these otherwise political disputes.
The frustration gets even worse when such disputes like Kashmir and Palestine remain unsettled for decades despite the United Nations Security Council resolutions. In Kashmir, Indian occupation forces have killed over 75,000 Kashmiris, attributing these killings to foreign terrorists. India must stop such deceit and United Nations Security Council resolutions must be implemented. All forms of terror must be condemned, prevented and fought against, but in doing so, the world must not trample upon genuine rights, aspirations and urges of the people who are fighting for their liberation and are subjected to State terrorism. To fight the extremist, one should deprive him of his motivation. The extremist survives in an environment where millions suffer injustice and indignity. Deprive him of his support by giving the world peace, security, justice and dignity for all peoples, regardless of faith, religion or creed.
After the events of 11 September, Pakistan took a deliberate principled decision to join the world coalition in its fight against terrorism. This decision has catapulted us, once again, as a front-line State in the battle against terrorism. While the people of Pakistan accepted this new reality, they still suffer from a sense of betrayal and abandonment, when they were left in the lurch in 1989 after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Then also, we were a front-line State and what we got in return was 3 million refugees, a shattered economy, drugs and Kalashnikov culture, to be faced single handedly through our limited resources. Pakistan only hopes that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated and Pakistan’s legitimate concerns will be addressed. Dealing with Afghanistan involves a three-pronged strategy -– the military, political and humanitarian cum rehabilitation strategies. It must remain the effort of the coalition to prevent a vacuum, leading to anarchy, after achieving military objectives, through immediate application of political and rehabilitation strategies.
A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the vital interest of the region and in particular of Pakistan. Conditions must be created for more than 3 million refugees in Pakistan to return to their country. We propose the establishment of an “Afghan trust fund” under United Nations auspices. Poverty and deprivation lead to frustration, making the masses vulnerable to exploitation by extremist organizations. It is the collective moral responsibility of the developed world to address this issue squarely, through substantive economic uplift, poverty alleviation and social action programmes in the developing countries. A major step in this direction would be to reduce, if not eliminate, the debt burden, hanging as a millstone around the necks of the poor and the underdeveloped. The bigger tragedy of the third world is that their rulers, together with their minions, plunder their countries’ wealth and are afforded easy access and safe haven to stash away the loot in the first world. I appeal to all the developed countries to legislate against deposits of ill-gotten money, to assist in investigation against the looters and to ensure that early return of the plundered wealth to the countries of their origin.
Pakistan is also deeply conscious of the nuclear dimension of the security environment of our region, the danger it poses and the responsibility it places on nuclear weapon States. We are ready to discuss how Pakistan and India can create a stable South Asian security mechanism through a peaceful resolution of disputes, preservation of the nuclear and conventional balance, confidence-building measures and non-use of force prescribed by the United Nations Charter. We are ready to discuss nuclear and missile restraints, as well as nuclear risk reduction measures with India in a structured, comprehensive and integrated dialogue. We are ready to formalize a bilateral treaty with India for mutual test ban. We have strengthened our export controls and have established multi-layered custodial controls on our nuclear assets. Let me assure you all, that our strategic assets are well guarded and in very safe hands. Pakistan is opposed to an arms race in South Asia, be it nuclear or conventional. We will maintain deterrence at the minimum level.
ANDRES PASTRANA, President of Colombia: The tragedy of 11 September had the positive effect of bringing us all together against the common enemy of terrorism, and it has served to accomplish something else. It removed the masks that disguised our words, it took out the hypocrisy from our discourse, it left behind the gray world we were so accustomed to and now we must work to replace it with a world that is free of ambiguity, in black and white.
We stand before an act of terrorism whenever dignity or civil populations are attacked. It does not matter whether such attacks are launched by a group of religious fanatics or organizations presuming to have political ideals. The horrendous acts of 11 September do not represent a collision of civilizations, religions or cultures. The only collision here is between a violent fanatic minority against all forms of civilization. If we do not wage our bet in favour of man and our values, then what will be left for us? What right have we to call ourselves the leaders of a civilization left adrift?
We know that the world market for illegal drugs is the number one financer of terrorism and death in the world. Yet, the international community was content with simply demanding that production centres control narcotics trafficking through law enforcement, eradication and interdiction actions, forgetting that this scourge is much more than a cultivation and trafficking problem. It is a very complex transnational business, and the overwhelming proceeds of narcotics trafficking do not stay in our country. Those profits move freely through international financial markets, where financiers and businessmen of respectable appearance prosper amidst the whole world’s tolerance.
We have learned that lenient control of financial institutions and tax and bank havens are like giving criminals a letter of marque to make and multiply their profits, to amass the fortunes that finance death. There should be no more coexisting with asset laundering, even if it means going after the major financial conglomerates of the world; no more uncontrolled production and sale of the chemical precursors used in illicit drug production; and no more illegal or uncontrolled manufacturing and sale of weapons that propagate death.
No country is free from the destructive consequences of the illegal drug issue. This criminal activity is global in nature. The drug problem and organized crime in general undermine institutional frameworks, conspire against democracy, cause governance to deteriorate and plant death and violence. They are a culture broth for corruption, eroding judicial systems and hindering the rule of law. We must work together to disarm the extremists’ financial structure. This is the only way of defeating the plague of violence and terrorism that springs from transnational drug empires.
ALEJANDRO TOLEDO MANRIQUE, President of Peru: Like millions of brothers and sisters of the Latin American continent, I know the face of deep poverty. To survive, I wandered around during my childhood selling newspapers and shining shoes. I have come today as the constitutional President of Peru to bring you the stories, the hopes and the dreams of millions of Peruvians. On behalf of the men and women of my country, I would like to thank the peoples and governments of the world for their active role and solidarity in helping us to regain democracy. Today, Peru has begun a new democratic dawn.
We are conscious that we have a great responsibility to achieve full-fledged democracy, strengthen our institutions and reactivate our economy, so that we can achieve sustainable growth that will generate decent jobs. The reinforcement of our institutions and the defeat of poverty form part of the same goal, because poverty, corruption and drug trafficking conspire against democracy.
Peruvians keep the horror of terrorism fresh in our collective memory. We lost 25,000 lives during the 20 years of terrorism. That is why I reaffirm our profound solidarity with the people and Government of the United States. We will actively contribute towards the work entrusted to the special committee of the Security Council. This week, we presented a draft for an inter-American convention against terrorism, and this morning, we deposited the Statute of the International Criminal Court and other instruments with the Secretary-General’s office and are now part of all international binding agreements against terrorism. We are determined unambiguously to fight terrorism, in the context of respect for religions of the peoples and their ethnicity.
Human rights violations and corruption are two faces of the same coin: impunity. It would not be possible to counteract corruption without linking this struggle with the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering. Nothing today would justify sacrificing development for the poor for an arms race. We are proposing a region-wide immediate moratorium for the purchase of offensive weapons, and to reach an agreement in the reduction of military expenses to reorient the financial resources towards social investment. We regret the recession in the major developed economies that is shrinking markets, eliminating jobs and impeding implementation of the measures foreseen in the Millennium Declaration. The next round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should seek to dismantle farm subsidies in developed countries, and liberalize trade in textiles and other labor-intensive products.
MILAN KUCAN, President of Slovenia: Every admiration goes to the United States for making the sessions of the Assembly possible, despite the recent tragic events. The tragic crime that affected the whole world has brutally confronted us with new, serious and long-term issues. Words of condemnation and solidarity cannot be enough. We must tell the world in one voice that we will cooperate in the fight against terrorism and in eradication of the roots of this evil. Resolute action must focus on those groups and individuals who brutally violate principles of sanctity of life and respect for human dignity.
States cannot arbitrarily do things that are in complete conflict with the values of the democratic world, and they cannot systematically violate basic human rights and freedoms through State violence. Last year’s position on humanitarian intervention was the first step in that direction, yet not a sufficient one. The escalation of internationally syndicated and organized terrorism demands further steps. I see such challenges in the profound divisions into owners of capital, knowledge and information technologies, and the billions condemned to ignorance, poverty and a life at the margins of society.
Global capital assumes no responsibility for people’s social position and prospects, for freedom and democracy, for people’s security. I see challenges in fundamentalisms of all kinds, even in the perverted understanding of competitiveness without caring about people and nature. I see them in the neglect of a comprehensive perspective on phenomena and processes, in disregard for the way in which they are interconnected. This applies to a host of phenomena, not just terrorism, but also ecology, food, genetics, finance, the information society and violence. I also see challenges in the lack of communication between the authorities and global civil movements. Protests from Seattle to Genoa are a powerful warning of the danger of two worlds, communicating solely through protests and violence.
Therefore, adapting the United Nations to these new circumstances will not be a simple task. We must accept the recognition that every society, including the global one, must subordinate itself to specific rules and standards, or else it is subject to the rule of crude force. What we urgently need is a joint political will to provide legitimacy to a universal system of institutions and bodies to which we have entrusted the power to prescribe common rules. The venue can only be a fundamentally reformed United Nations. It is within such a United Nations that both a durable coalition against terrorism and a durable coalition of common responsibility of all countries can be achieved.
JORGE QUIROGA RAMIREZ, President of Bolivia: I come to add Bolivia’s voice to the universal support received by the United Nations with the Nobel Peace Prize. The mediation performed by the Organization, the courage to assume risks and the willingness to offer lives for a cause are an example to all our governments. The active role of the Organization is now more necessary than ever. We must, after 11 September, tear down the wall of terrorism and intolerance that a few people wish to raise to divide the world. Let there be no doubt that Bolivia will always be on the side of democracy, freedom and tolerance. We want a life in peace and harmony.
Terrorism is incubated and fed to a large extent within the underground world of drug trafficking. We must not accept that to attack freedom, terrorism disguises itself as political claims. It is clear that terrorism and drug trafficking are Siamese twins and enemies of free democracies. We must fight each of them with the same vigour and determination. Bolivia, with all its limitations, is performing its task in fighting drug trafficking. International solidarity and support are now more important than ever. Bolivia needs two levels of support. It is necessary for the international community to become conscious that sustained support for the alternative development programmes is more necessary for the countries that have eliminated the most illegal coca and whose people have been displaced.
Secondly, and of more relevance now, is access to markets, the right to work, to produce and to sell. At this point, the decision by the United States and by the European Union to open up their markets for the products of alternative development assumes a critical and important role. Bolivia is the least developed nation of South America, the most open economy of the region and the only country that has achieved such a dramatic reduction in a poisonous and harmful product as cocaine. For those reasons, we feel that we have every right to call for access to markets through free trade: free from tariffs, free from subsidies and free from non-tariff measures.
Bolivia is facing another challenge that can decisively change its future. In a few years, the Bolivian natural gas reserves grew exponentially. We are now serving a growing part of the energy demand of Brazil and intend to reach the markets of the Pacific, in Mexico and the United States. The tragic events of 11 September saw to it that the energy and gas integration must be based on a long-term vision that takes into account extensive gas reserves underground, a reliable economy and a solid democracy above ground. Bolivia has all these three elements. The projects now studied and negotiated will transform the productive structure of my country, propel our growth rates, reinforce our role as the environmentally clean heart of the continent and increase our presence in the Pacific.
We realize that the long struggle for freedom and against terrorism is just beginning, and will only end when all the citizens of the world, men and women alike, are entitled to vote and elect, to offer their opinions and profess their faith, to freely move about and above all to live free from fear of terror. The United Nations must be the place where the world comes together to take this shared path and to build together this road to integration and peace.
FREDERICK CHILUBA, President of Zambia and Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), speaking in his dual capacities: The entire world seems more conscious of and gripped by the evil of international terrorism, which knows no boundaries. That affront to humanity is a cowardly act hated almost as much as apartheid or any form of racism. Fighting terrorism for a long time, Africa adopted a convention against terrorism in Algiers in 1999. Waiting for it to enter into force, Africa is looking for support to implement the strategies aimed at eradicating terrorism’s root causes.
The threat of terrorism must not override or detract from the burning issues on the global agenda, including the scourge of conflicts, poverty eradication, the debt problem and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Conflicts rage in many African countries from Sierra Leone to Angola and the Great Lakes region remains a tinderbox, but not because Africa lacks political will to find solutions or because it sits back waiting for outsiders to resolve them. Africa takes responsibility for conflicts and takes the initiative to resolve them. Africans serve as peacekeepers wherever peace breaks down because it believes peace is indivisible. What Africa needs and does not get is moral and practical support in resolving its conflicts. After the painstaking efforts to organize the inter-Congolese dialogue in Addis Ababa on 15 October, it could not take off due to insufficient funds, despite many pledges.
Conflicts do not stand alone or develop in a vacuum. Political conflicts and social tension result from imbalances in power, wealth and benefits, as well as from suppression, segregation or repression. Africa has been independent for a mere 40 years, after centuries of fractured development, deprivation of resources and suppression of its people. Those conditions are at the heart of the struggle to redress present imbalances. The Durban conference against racism brought that historical injustice into focus, and to the consequences which continue to ravage African societies today.
Africa is not asking for charity but for more accessible conditions to be given for its raw materials and products at fair prices, conducive to development. More African countries should have access to the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative to free up resources for poverty-reducing measures, to build infrastructure and provide safe drinking water. The OAU took a historical step forward by launching the African Union in Lusaka last July. By forging a more cohesive political union, the initiative will elevate Africa’s integration agenda. It will also create an economic community of nations to promote new levels of international partnerships, particularly in the areas of sustainable growth, peace and security.
ION ILIESCU, President of Romania: Probably the greatest challenge the international community faces is how to reduce economic and social disparities, and achieve sustainable growth and poverty reduction within all countries through appropriate policies and well-focused institution-building. The 11 September attacks have affected not only world security but the global economy, which was already showing signs of a slowdown. The consequences are likely to be far-reaching and much more dangerous than those of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. The volume of international trade that increased in 2000 by almost 13 per cent may decline by as much as 3 per cent in 2001.
Let us face reality. We live in a world where the developmental gap between centre and periphery, North and South, and rich and poor is big and getting wider. Existing mechanisms for transferring resources appear to have been sadly inadequate. The war against terrorism can only be truly successful if it also becomes a war against poverty, illiteracy, disease and intolerance. I trust that the collective wisdom and good will of responsible politicians everywhere should be able to produce new and effective international mechanisms to combine the vision of sustainable development with good governance and the observance of basic rights.
We see disturbing signs that increasing polarization in terms of wealth creation goes hand in hand with a deepening knowledge divide. The knowledge gap is compounded by the phenomenon of “brain drain”. How to reverse that trend into “brain regain” is another major challenge facing us all. To put it in simple terms, what we have here is a not-so-hidden steady flow of subsidies from the poorer nations to the richer ones. After all, most of the education budget comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket.
It may make sense to start thinking of some sort of legally binding international instruments that would be built on a broader interpretation of the concept of intellectual property to ensure a fairer distribution of the benefits of knowledge. Why should we not think of international intellectual partnerships, mutually beneficial for the countries having advanced technologies and infrastructure and likewise generating human creative energies?
P.J. PATTERSON, Prime Minister of Jamaica: The catastrophic attacks of 11 September, perpetrated on International Peace Day in the city that is host to the United Nations, have, in their wanton slaughter of innocents, sent shockwaves around the world. The messiahs of terror have, by the sheer magnitude and horror of their unprecedented crime against humanity, unified nations and people in the determination to remove the spectre of terrorism in all its many forms.
Military strikes cannot by themselves eradicate terrorism. The time has come for us to inaugurate a new era of peace -- not simply by preventing war, but by eliminating the cause that gives rise to strife and violence. I call for a rebirth of this Organization, which will empower it to foster a climate that ushers in a new age of global development and a dynamic partnership for human prosperity.
Today is a time of fear, not just in this country or here in this city, but worldwide. Fear for the lives of people, for the state of economics, national and global, fear that our propensity for wanton destruction may impair the capacity of the planet itself to sustain life. These fears are compounded by other factors; disease, ignorance, bigotry, ethnicity, religion, gender, cruel and autocratic governance and, most pervasive of all, poverty.
The expansion of the global economy in the last four decades has not eliminated poverty or even reduced its prevalence. A sophisticated, globalized, increasingly affluent world currently coexists with a marginalized underclass. The hungry, the homeless and the destitute are less impassioned about the physical insecurities of terrorist repression or the damaging consequences of military warfare. For the unemployed -- those who are ill without health care, cold without heating or old without social support -- security is a meal, a roof, a job, medicines, warmth and relief from poverty in general.
During the last decade, the process of globalization, deregulation and privatization has swept the world. It is incontrovertible that it has not been a golden age for a large proportion of the world’s people. Not just for the 1.3 billion of the absolute poor in developing countries the benefits of globalization seem to have bypassed, but for many millions in industrial countries also. We delude ourselves if we believe that all those engaged in street protest, whether in Seattle, Washington, Prague, Quebec City or Rome are simply anarchists. International institutions must not only be accountable, they must be subject to democratic governance.
It is becoming more widely recognized that a new global institutional architecture is needed to establish representative superintendence of the global economy, directed towards the enlargement of social and economic justice worldwide, targeted to a sharp redirection of the numbers mired in gross poverty and deprivation. Democratic superintendence of the global economy has to be a central feature of the fresh global architecture we seek to fashion during this decade. The new global architecture must incorporate appropriate arrangements for a start to be made in raising global resources for global purposes. The persistence of gross poverty, the long list of environmental abuses, the disturbing reduction in development aid and the vagaries of foreign private investment make the case for global revenues compelling.
ALHAJI ALIU MAHAMA, Vice-President of Ghana: The last century witnessed laudable achievements in the political, economic, scientific and technological spheres. Despite these positive developments, history, in the end, will remember it for the numerous conflicts with their attendant socio-economic disruptions, environmental degradation, the emergence of hitherto unknown diseases and the persistence of poverty among the greater majority of our people. As we forge ahead, our quest to free the world of terrorism would be enhanced by adequately addressing both the symptoms as well as the underlying cause that nurture such criminal acts. Developing countries should be provided with the necessary resources to play a meaningful role in confronting these challenges.
The proliferation of conventional weapons, notably small arms and light weapons, has been of great concern to the Government and people of Ghana. They are now the weapons of choice and the tools for promoting violence and conflicts in Africa. Such weapons have always been used against the most vulnerable in society, especially women and children. Conflicts, particularly in the developing world, have robbed us of the opportunities to improve the circumstances of our people. Sustainable development can only be achieved in an environment of peace and security. It is imperative that the international community take concrete steps to assist countries which have created the necessary environment for sound economic development. This will enable them to reach their potential for sustained growth through conducive policies on debt, market access, transfer of technology, increased flows of capital and foreign direct investment and enhanced official development assistance.
We believe that the success of our efforts at the global level would depend largely on the quality of governance in our respective countries. We cannot claim to uphold the dignity of every human being or make claims to social equity if we fail to uphold democracy and the rule of law and fail to combat corruption and strengthen institutions of governance. It is therefore gratifying to note that in the past few years, democracy has begum to take root in Africa. This trend should be encouraged and consolidated with support from the international community. It is for this reason that Ghana fully endorsed the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which rejects unconstitutional changes of government and reaffirms the respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good governance.
HUBERT VEDRINE, Foreign Minister of France: The military action in Afghanistan was inevitable and must be pursued until the leaders of terrorist networks and those who support them are dealt with once and for all. But the military action should naturally form an overarching strategy geared to the needs of distressed populations. France has put forward an action plan for Afghanistan. Once Mr. Brahimi sets down the broad outlines for United Nations actions, the United Nations must move quickly to support establishment of an Afghan government representing all Afghans, even as the common fight against terrorism is pursued in all is forms, including police, judicial and others.
Lasting victory against terrorism will not succeed without depriving terrorists of their breeding ground, however. That calls for eliminating the pretexts with which terrorists justify their actions, implying nothing short of changing the world. Many plans to remedy the world’s ills had failed to materialize until the events of 11 September left all in bitterness and incomprehension. Terrorists couldn’t be justified, but it was pointless to deny a clash of civilizations. The phenomenon was by no means wholly imaginary, and the fight was against those who would make it a reality.
That was a pressing reason for resolving regional crises, first and foremost in the Middle East. Efforts must also be redoubled to make globalization human, as people had called for in Seattle, Genoa and Durban. That required a fairer distribution of wealth than at present, to the 3 billion people now living on less than two dollars a day. It also called for other actions, such as ending impunity, guaranteeing sustainable development, democratically framing international standards and ceasing to tolerate situations of human distress. To achieve those ambitious objectives, different rules and mechanisms were needed.
The change should start with the long-overdue reform of the Security Council, respect for the General Assembly and ratification of major multilateral instruments. It should encompass steps towards greater fairness by such measures as a more appropriate use of sanctions, agreement on interference with extreme emergencies and financial reform. And while all countries as Members of the United Nations must cooperate on those challenges, the greater burden for change rested with the billion-plus people in the “rich” States.
The illusions of the last 10 years have been dispelled. The choice is a world of conflict with no future, because the injustice is too great, or an international community of the United Nations worthy of the name. For some, building that world means giving up privileges and sharing both power and wealth, rewriting rules held inviolable. The diplomatic cards are being reshuffled on a grand scale. The outcome could lead to striking down new avenues in deeds and not just words, changing the coalition against terrorism into a coalition for an equitable world.
JULI MINOVES-TRIQUELL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Andorra: We meet today almost two months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. We know that the United Nations Building might have been an objective for the terrorists, and that in an earlier terrorist attack of 1993 the United Nations was on the list. This seems to me proof, if any is needed, that the United States is not the only object of terrorism. No, rather it is the ideal of tolerance, religious and cultural diversity, exemplified both by New York City as well as the United Nations, that is the object of the rage of small group of men.
Let us therefore ask ourselves what it is these terrorists want. In the videotape he released the day the American bombing began, their leader announced the following goals: first, the removal of American troops from Saudi Arabia; second, an end to the bombing of Iraq; and finally, a resolution of the Palestinian problem. It is worthwhile to note that both the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia and the bombing of Iraq are the direct result of prior aggression. The international community has for decades sought a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, but a solution, if one is to be found, must come from within Israel and Palestine.
For the United States and its allies, it is a war against terrorism. But the terrorist networks pretend it is a religious war, pitting Christianity against Islam. This is a delicate issue, but we must speak bluntly and rationally to contain this crisis. Many commentators on the current war in Afghanistan see the war framed as a war between the Taliban, as Islamic extremists, and modernity. They cite the way in which the Taliban has banned all forms of mass media culture, and has insisted on a literal application of the Shar’ia for their laws. They argue that the Taliban is anti-modern; it is a regime that is trying to return its people to an earlier, pre-modern way of life.
And yet when we examine the terrorists of 11 September, we realize first, that they were not Afghans, and second, that they were not the wretched of the earth. They were middle class; most were students, some with advanced degrees. They never even had to work hard for a living, like most members of the middle class. These men were privileged murderers. They were fully modern. To be a terrorist demands that you enter, systematically and rationally, into the modern world, to turn its apparatus –- transportation, communication –- against it. An eye for an eye, that harsh principle from the Old Testament, will soon leave us blind. And blindness, rather than insight, is the curse of the ideologue, of people who do not want to see outside of their own skins, their ideas, their place. People who do not want to see the world. The world in its marvelous diversity, in its uncertainty, in its possibilities.
JOHN MANLEY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada: In the face of 11 September, the job was to transform sentiments into commitment and action. Horrific as the acts were, terrorism did not begin with them. It is now a global responsibility to end it, with the United Nations playing an indispensable role.
The attack had affected Canada as neighbour of the United States across the longest unmilitarized border in the world and the closest, most extensive and most profitable bilateral relationship anywhere. The entwined goals of protecting citizens, providing assurance to allies and preserving democratic diversity have guided Canada since 11 September in taking steps to comply with Security Council resolution 1373; ratify conventions on terrorism; and call for the political will to finalize the comprehensive convention to ensure all terrorist acts are condemned under international law. Regardless of a strong arms control policy, Canada’s concept of collective security was changed.
All the elements that undermine social stability, reduce human potential or obstruct progress must be addressed. Preventing conflicts is a priority, but leadership and commitment must move from a culture of reaction to one of prevention. The international community must increase efforts to bring the Middle East peace process back to the negotiating table and address the ravages of extreme poverty in Africa, a focus for the G-8 in 2002. In brief, the pledges of the Millennium Summit must not be overshadowed by events a year later. And as the world creates a strong and equitable global environment, the welfare of the Afghan people must remain sharply in focus. That country was so neglected, so abused and so driven into isolation by self-appointed rulers that it couldn’t be ranked on the last United Nations Human Development Index. Canada had added an additional $160 million to the United Nations humanitarian appeal over its usual aid. It would work with Mr. Brahimi and others to find a stable, fair and equitable administration to lead Afghanistan to a secure and hopeful future.
Such opportunities for progress have always existed but were invisible in a haze of self-interest and competing priorities. The enormity of 11 September cleared away the haze, concentrated minds and catalysed relationships throughout the world. Terrorism had globalized outrage and condemnation, just as it had compassion and the cry for justice. It must now be globalized into sustained commitment to bring about its end.
I.S.G. MUDENGE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe: As the people of the United States grapple with the threat posed by biological weapons of mass destruction in the form of anthrax, we in Zimbabwe, who have to date been the greatest victims of this weapon, know what it means and what you are going through. The anthrax was developed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and given to the racist regime of Ian Smith, which spread the anthrax spores, during our liberation struggle more than 21 years ago. Those spores continue to claim victims exclusively within the black population in our country to this day. We are thus not only vehemently opposed to this evil scourge and other forms of terrorism, but we know the pain and loss associated with it.
I wish to reiterate our appeal to the Security Council to more strongly and convincingly demonstrate its support for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the provision of adequate human, financial and other resources. We note that as of 30 September, unpaid assessed contributions to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) special account amounted to $246.9 million. In addition, the trust fund established by the Secretary-General in October 1999 to support the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had, two years later, only received the paltry sum of $1.1 million. The serious matter of inadequate resources was one of the factors that contributed to the curtailment, both in number of participants and duration, of the inter-Congolese dialogue in Addis Ababa last month. We must all play our part in restoring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and indeed to the Great Lakes region.
One of the most enduring features of the present and the latter part of the last century has been the persistence of the colonial legacy in many developing countries. We need not recall much further evidence of the persistence of this phenomenon than the proceedings at the World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, barely two months ago. Much in evidence was also the continued refusal by some former colonial Powers to acknowledge the devastating effects colonialism has had and continues to have in the economic development of most of the former colonies. It is not accidental that it is these former colonies who today occupy the lower rungs of the development totem pole.
In Zimbabwe, the colonial legacy is poignantly evident in the racially skewed land ownership structure in the country as a direct result of racist policies and laws of successive colonial regimes between 1890 and 1980. Over 70 per cent of the best arable land is owned and utilized by less than 1 per cent of the population, represented by approximately 4,100 white farmers mostly of British descent, while over 8 million black peasants eke out a living from the remaining 30 per cent of the worst arable land. Such a situation has to be corrected in the interest of equity, justice, social harmony and political stability in the country.
ROBERTO FLORES BERMUDEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Honduras: The international turmoil caused by the terrorist attack of 11 September against the people of the United States and against the highest values of the civilized world has altered the way we discuss international security. Invited by the President of Honduras, the Central American countries met on 19 September to adopt specific measures at the sub-regional level to combat terrorism, including control of migratory and financial flows and intelligence sharing, in the context of the Organization of American States (OAS). We note with deep concern the escalating violence in the Middle East. We recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to an independent State.
Apart from terrorism, there are other threats to peace and the well-being of people. The General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June resulted in a special fund to support measures against that epidemic. It raised the level of understanding of the scope of the epidemic, which went beyond health, as its impact was also social and economic. In particular, it is essential to reduce the cost of drugs, given the fact that most infected people and families cannot afford treatment. The Brazil model should be a goal for dealing with illnesses that threaten mostly developing countries. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is helping Honduras to establish a regional AIDS prevention centre.
Extreme poverty is also a source of adversity threatening peace. Eliminating poverty, overcoming educational backwardness and combating epidemics are all linked to economic output. For this reason, one also needs fairness and justice in international trade. There has to be better access to big markets. Subsidizing agricultural products in developed countries must be stopped. We must have a level playing field.
The President of Mexico has invited the States of the Caribbean area to a conference to stimulate the commitments they assumed on maritime limits under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a State party to that Convention, we support that initiative. We also applaud the efforts under the auspices of the OAS, Belize and Guatemala for a definitive solution to the centuries long territorial dispute. One could adopt stable agreements on the Gulf of Honduras with the participation of the concerned countries: Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. The Organization should expand its leadership and allow all international players, including the Republics of China and Taiwan, to participate.
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