4618th Meeting* (AM & PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS TERRORISTS THREATS TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE, SECURITY
Secretary General, Chairman of Counter-Terrorism Committee
Address Meeting; Several Speakers Stress Need to Address Terrorism’s Root Causes
Terrorism was an assault on the fundamental principles of law, order, human rights, and peaceful settlement of disputes on which the United Nations was established, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Security Council today as it considered terrorist threats to international peace and security.
The United Nations had a clear obligation to deal with that global threat, and was well placed to do so, he continued. Through its work, the Counter-Terrorism Committee [established by Council resolution 1373 (2001) after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001] had become an important agent of international anti-terrorism conventions. He endorsed a three-pronged strategy: dissuasion, denial and cooperation.
It was essential to remember that the fight against terrorism was above all a fight to preserve fundamental rights and sustain the rule of law, he said. To pursue security at the expense of human rights was short-sighted, self-contradictory and, in the long run, self-defeating. In places where human rights and democratic values were lacking, disaffected groups were more likely to opt for a path of violence.
Just as terrorism must never be excused, he said, so must genuine grievances never be ignored simply because terrorism was committed in their name. For the United Nations to defeat terrorism in the months and years ahead, "we must act with equal determination to solve the political disputes and long-standing conflicts which generate support for terrorism. Only then can we truly say that the war on terrorism has been won”.
Briefing the Council on the efforts to counteract terrorism, the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom) said cooperation, assistance to Member States and transparency were among the priorities of the Committee. The Committee was not a tribunal and did not judge States, but it did expect every State to implement the far-reaching obligations of resolution 1373. The Committee would continue to offer encouragement, advice and guidance to States on the implementation of resolution 1373, focusing on assistance in the areas which needed to be tackled first. For most States, that would entail bringing domestic legislation in compliance with the resolution,
* The 4617th meeting was closed.
ratifying relevant conventions and protocols and putting in place machinery for suppressing terrorist financing.
With 174 reports submitted to the Committee, the response of Member States to resolution 1373 had been remarkable, he said. Still, 16 States had not yet filed a report. Of those, seven -- Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Swaziland and Tonga -- had not made any kind of written contact.
Praising the Committee's efforts and Chairman Greenstock's leadership, speakers in the debate emphasized the need to move to action and strengthen regional and subregional anti-terrorism structures. Also emphasized in the debate was the need to mainstream anti-terrorism efforts and address the root causes of terrorism, including poverty and lack of social development. Another issue raised was the need to address enforceability of international anti-terrorism measures.
Several speakers also stressed that war against terrorism should not provoke a clash of religions and cultures. The representative of Pakistan said that some quarters had a vested interest in utilizing the war against terrorism as a vehicle to spread hatred against Islam and Muslims. The veil of mutual suspicion and ignorance between the West and Islam could only be lifted through an open and sustained dialogue. He added that the international community must initiate comprehensive and effective steps to address the root causes of terrorism. The Council should embrace the endeavour of addressing those root causes, in particular through the promotion of just and peaceful solutions to conflicts and disputes and promotion of the prosperity of all peoples.
The representative of Colombia said the Committee’s greatest achievement so far was its assistance in forging a global and uniform framework of cooperation to combat terrorism. Regarding future challenges for the Committee, he said that it needed to develop measures specifically designed to combat States, individuals and organizations directly involved in terrorism, moving to the practical consideration of specific cases. The Committee would need to re-evaluate its mandate in that context. Terrorism in particular regions could be another specific sphere of focus, with agreement from all members of the Council.
The representative of Tunisia warned that the comprehensive strategy to prevent and fight terrorism should not jeopardize the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination and the legitimate struggle of peoples against foreign or colonial occupation. It was essential not to confuse those rights, recognized and protected by the Charter of the United Nations and by international law, with acts of terrorism targeting civilian populations.
Responding to speakers' comments and suggestions, Mr. Greenstock agreed that the 12 existing international anti-terrorist conventions had broad relevance to the resolution. He had noted that speakers had focused on the “weakest link” in the chain of counter-terrorism efforts, which could break the whole chain. So far, the Committee had not got to the issue of enforceability, as it had focused on capacity-building and creating political momentum. Once it had dealt with those areas, objectivity was created. The Committee could then consider how to approach failure to comply.
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The representatives of Council members Mauritius, Syria, Bulgaria, Guinea, Mexico, Singapore, Norway, Ireland, China, United States, Russian Federation, France and Cameroon also spoke.
The representatives of Fiji (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum), Iran, Japan, Yemen, Australia, Cambodia (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), Liechtenstein, Republic of Korea, Denmark (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Georgia, Yugoslavia, Costa Rica (on behalf of the Rio Group), Egypt and India also addressed the Council, as did the observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The meeting, which began at 10:45 a.m., was suspended at 1:43 p.m. It was called to order at 4:15 p.m. and adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. It is expected to review implementation of its resolution 1373 (2001), a wide-ranging and comprehensive resolution with steps and strategies to combat international terrorism, unanimously adopted on 28 September 2001 in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
By the terms of that resolution, the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, decided, among other things, that States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts.
The Council also established a committee to monitor the resolution's implementation, the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and called on all States to report on actions they had taken to that end no later than 90 days from the resolution's adoption date.
Statement by United Nations Secretary-General
Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN said the Council’s decision, one year ago, to establish the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been a swift and concrete reaction to the terrorist attacks of 11 September, showing that the Council was willing to act in defence of every country and every citizen threatened by international terrorism. Terrorism was a global threat with global effects. By its very nature, it was an assault on the fundamental principles of law, order, human rights, and peaceful settlement of disputes upon which the United Nations was established. Countering terrorism, therefore, was in the interest not only of States and intergovernmental institutions, but also of local, national and global civil society.
The Organization had a clear obligation to deal with that global threat, and was well placed to do so. It had an indispensable role to play in providing the legal and organizational framework within which the international campaign against terrorism could unfold. Through its work, the Counter-Terrorism Committee had become an important agent of international anti-terrorism conventions. It had helped to strengthen global capacity in that field through a coordinated programme of needs-assessment and technical assistance. He welcomed the Chairman’s intention to consult with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
He said that last autumn he had set up a policy working group on the United Nations and terrorism to identify the long-term implications and broad policy dimension of terrorism for the Organization. In June, the group had submitted a report with recommendations on steps the United Nations could take. He endorsed the three-pronged strategy suggested by the report, with three goals: dissuasion, denial and cooperation. Would-be perpetrators must be dissuaded from terror by setting effective norms and implementing relevant legal instruments; by an active public information campaign; and by rallying an international consensus behind the fight against terrorism.
It was essential to remember that the fight against terrorism was, above all, a fight to preserve fundamental rights and sustain the rule of law. Terrorist acts were grave violations of human rights. Therefore, to pursue security at the expense of human rights was short-sighted, self-contradictory and, in the long run, self-defeating. In places where human rights and democratic values were lacking, disaffected groups were more likely to opt for a path of violence.
Would-be terrorists must be denied the opportunity to commit their dreadful acts, he said, by helping monitor compliance with resolution 1373; by greater efforts to achieve disarmament; and by giving technical support to States seeking to curb the flow of arms, funds and technology to terrorist cells. A strategy of denial must be grounded in both international and domestic law, and those laws must also be implemented. Given the levels of inhumanity of modern-day terrorists, efforts to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had assumed new urgency. Other legal instruments, such as those dealing with transnational crime, narcotics, and money laundering, were essential to denying sources of finance for terrorist networks.
He said there might be a need for the General Assembly to consider making more resources available to ensure that the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was effective and sustainable. The Committee’s effort to review national reports on the implementation of international legal instruments relating to terrorism had stretched, almost to breaking point, the Secretariat’s resources for processing documentation.
Cooperation must be sustained in the struggle against terrorism on as broad a basis as possible. Cooperation was essential in overcoming so elusive a transnational threat as terrorism. The United Nations was committed to working with international partners in the fight against terrorism and to achieving unity of purpose and action, he said.
Just as terrorism must never be excused, so must genuine grievances never be ignored simply because terrorism was committed in their name. “As the United Nations unites to defeat terrorism in the months and years ahead, we must act with equal determination to solve the political disputes and long-standing conflicts which generate support for terrorism”, he said. “Only then can we truly say that the war on terrorism has been won.”
Statement by Chairman of Counter-Terrorism Committee
Briefing the Council, the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said that the way the Committee had responded to the challenges of fighting terrorism was well known to the Council. Cooperation had been the first hallmark of the Committee’s modus operandi, because resolution 1373, while mandatory on all Member States, had to be implemented voluntarily to make a difference. The natural ally of partnership was transparency. The Counter-Terrorism Committee was not a tribunal and did not judge States, but if did expect every State to work to implement the far-reaching obligations of resolution 1373.
There was still much more to do before terrorists found that there was no safe haven because the bar against terrorism had been raised in every country. The Committee would continue to offer encouragement, advice and guidance to States on the implementation of resolution 1373, focusing on assistance in the areas which needed to be tackled first. For most States, that would be by ensuring that they had legislation in place and a process at hand for swift ratification of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. They also needed effective executive machinery for preventing and suppressing terrorist financing.
As a tool for States, there was now on the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Web site a comprehensive directory of information and sources of assistance in the field of counter-terrorism, he continued. The Committee’s experts were in direct contact with Permanent Missions to discuss provision of assistance.
While the response of Member States to resolution 1373 had been remarkable, it had not been quite universal, he said. Sixteen Member States had not yet filed a report with the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Of those, seven, including Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Swaziland and Tonga had not made any kind of written contact. The Committee urged all those States to submit a report and participate in the dialogue with the it on the steps needed to implement resolution 1373. The Committee did not expect any State to report that it had fully implemented that resolution -- indeed, the Committee would not declare any State fully compliant -- but it did expect every State to strengthen its capacity against terrorism by implementing the resolution in question with all possible speed.
He emphasized the importance of collective regional efforts to ensure that no gaps were left within States’ overall territories. The Committee intended to deepen its relationship with international, regional and subregional organizations. The Committee would also remain in touch with the new High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Turning to “how the global environment for terrorists had changed since October 2001”, he said that now -- 40 meetings, 83 Sub-Committee meetings and 19 briefings later -- global activity on resolution 1373 was taking place far beyond the walls of United Nations conference rooms, in every Member State. Governments throughout the world had responded to the challenges of preventing and suppressing terrorism. While a year ago, only Botswana and the United Kingdom had ratified all 12 international anti-terrorism instruments, today, 24 States had done so. States had also worked together in practical ways to improve regional capacity against terrorism. The European Union, for example, had introduced new measures to tackle terrorism, including the Common European arrest warrant. Across the Atlantic, the Organization of American States (OAS) had agreed on a regional convention and developed practical ways of sharing best practices. Last month, members of the African Union had adopted an action plan on the question.
He went on to say that at the global level, the Committee had enjoyed unprecedented support from the United Nations membership. Already, 174 States and five others had reported to the Counter-Terrorism Committee on the action taken and planned. Cooperation between States, particularly in the form of assistance, had increased. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Financial Action Task Force of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) were developing programmes to help States establish measures to stop their financial systems from being abused by terrorists. The Commonwealth Secretariat, with major funding from the United Kingdom and Canada, was offering help to 46 members and others with legislative drafting. The United States had already offered training to representatives of over 48 countries.
Jagdish Koonjul (Mauritius) said it was a mark of the international community's level of commitment to resolving the terrorism problem that 173 Member States had submitted their reports as required by resolution 1378. Mauritus had taken major steps to combat terrorism at the national level, including the passage of measures like the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Financial Intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Mauritus had also become a party to the International Convention for the Prevention and Suppression of Financing of Terrorism, and had aligned itself with all international and regional initiatives in the fight against terrorism.
While urging Member States which had still to submit their reports to do so, Mauritus observed that many countries faced difficulties in their efforts to implement the resolution, such as a lack of necessary expertise and absence of regulatory and legislative framework. He suggested that such countries should liaise with the Counter-Terrorism Committee to address such problems.
He noted that the work of the Committee remained extremely relevant, and suggested that the monitoring exercise should continue. But care must be taken to preserve basic human rights in the fight against terrorism. He said the cornerstone of resolution 1378 was to work out a concerted approach to deal with terrorism, so that the events of 11 September would not be repeated. However, great care must be taken to ensure that basic individual human rights were not sacrificed in an obsessive drive to fight terrorism.
FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said the success of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was based on an open dialogue with governments in a framework of full transparency to achieve the Committee’s objective -- to enhance counter-terrorism mechanisms within Member States and to bridge gaps in national legislations to pursue terrorists and to ensure that there would be impunity for none.
His country welcomed the continuing work of the Committee, the establishment of its bureau, and its plan for the next 90-day period. He appreciated Mr. Greenstock's assurance that resolution 1373 would not be allowed to be used for narrow interests. He welcomed the Committee’s assistance to States directly or through States which had expressed readiness to do so. The Committee’s success had also been enhanced by cooperation on the regional, subregional and international levels, for example within the Arab League and the Arab Convention to Combat Terrorism. Syria had been among the first States to submit its initial report, and had already submitted its second.
Solid legislation was necessary to confront the threat of terrorism with full respect for international law and for human rights. Arab States had condemned the attacks of 11 September. Despite the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and despite the fact that the events had been linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, it was strange that the blame had been shifted to Arab States, he said.
ANDRES FRANCO (Colombia) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s greatest achievement so far was that it had helped to forge a global and uniform framework of cooperation to combat terrorism. Today, members of the international community had the obligation to comply with global standards, as defined in resolution 1373. The Committee had done a great deal of work on information gathering and monitoring. It had also arranged assistance to those States which had requested it to comply with the requirements of the Security Council.
The Committee had achieved many important results, he continued, particularly in the area of cooperation. However, those achievements could not be regarded as points of arrival -– they were points of departure for future efforts. National and international instruments and machinery needed to be strengthened, and subsequent action would make it possible to produce more tangible results aimed at stamping out the threat terrorism posed to international peace and security. The greatest risk in connection with the work of the Committee lay in the possibility that States might assume that compliance with the Committee’s requests automatically implied success in the fight against terrorism. Another risk was that reporting mechanism would become exhausted, and it was important to review the scale of the challenges and proportionality of response.
Regarding future challenges for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he said that it needed to develop measures specifically designed to combat States, individuals and organizations directly involved in terrorism, moving to the practical consideration of specific cases. The Committee would need to re-evaluate its mandate in that context, and resolution 1390 (2002) might serve as an initial frame of reference to that end. Terrorism in particular regions could be another specific sphere of application, with agreement from all members of the Council.
However, the Committee should not operate like a sanctions committee, he said. While one had specific targets, which were subject to sanctions and sought to induce changes in conduct in a particular territory, the other was to build a global framework of cooperation. Thus, it was important to avoid comparing the two as if they were similar.
STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria), associating himself with the statement of the European Union, said the Committee's activity had yielded significant results, with a large number of Member States and international organizations cooperating to combat terrorism. He appealed to the countries that had not yet done so to submit their reports. It was high time that those experiencing difficulties in doing so requested assistance from the Committee in order to comply with resolution 1373. Ratification of the 12 international conventions was also important, as was their implementation.
Implementation of resolution 1373 was a process whose outcome was still uncertain. It was clear that the ability of Member States to comply with the resolution varied. While supporting the work programme of the Counter-Terrorism Committee for the next 90 days, he drew attention to existing gaps, such as identifying areas in which Member States needed technical assistance. Member States should build into their legislation and administrative practices all measures aimed at criminalizing terrorism and the financing of terrorism.
The regional and subregional aspects were also critical in the fight against terrorism, he said. In June, his country had hosted a regional forum focusing on that fight. Among measures agreed to was the application of a uniform travel document format for citizens of countries of the region. The OECD could also play a strong role in combating terrorism. Extensive information-sharing among States was another vital factor.
MAMADY TRAORE (Guinea) said that since the 11 September events, the international community had been determined to take effective and aggressive measures to eradicate the scourge of terrorism worldwide. He was pleased with the results of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work, in particular as far as its cooperation with various other players was concerned. One year after the adoption of resolution 1373, most countries had submitted reports to the Committee, which demonstrated the Committee’s resolve to be effective and swift in meeting its responsibilities. He was also pleased with the work of the experts, particularly in the provision of assistance to interested States. The Internet site of the Committee was of great importance. Bilateral contacts between countries should be further coordinated by the experts.
Continuing, he appealed to the donor community to provide assistance to countries in need to help them maintain the momentum acquired. Now it was important to focus on lessons learned from the initial round of reporting. He supported the decision to renew the mandate of the Committee and approved its new programme of work.
ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico), associating himself with the statement of Costa Rica on behalf of the Rio Group, said that a year after its inception, the Committee had demonstrated its importance to the United Nations. The work of the Committee and its experts in arranging technical assistance was the backbone that supported the cooperative nature of the Committee, enabling Member States to respond to terrorist acts. One of the Committee’s main contributions was the compilation of publicly available information on the capacity of States to combat terrorism. Thanks to the Committee’s work, there was progress towards uniformity and complementarity among the legal systems of States.
A basic premise of the struggle against terrorism was respect for international law and human rights, he said. The fundamental principles governing the United Nations must be defended. Terrorism was an assault on fundamental human values of understanding, compassion and tolerance, and was sometimes perversely used in the name of democratic freedoms. The fight against terrorism presupposed painful decisions, such as the creation of surveillance systems that might limit freedoms. Such preventive measures affected all and harmed the quality of life. The international community must therefore keep in mind the cost of every action, making certain that measures would be fully justified and effective.
He said the fight against terrorism must go to the root of the impulses that motivated terrorist action. Social and economic development, promotion of values, and fostering education and health were among the most effective weapons against terrorism. The inputs of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were valuable, and it was essential for the Committee to maintain dialogue with that office. Regional cooperation was important, given the convergence of national interests and geographical proximity. He applauded the advances achieved in the OAS. Mexico reaffirmed its readiness to continue to participate in practical measures, with a long-term goal of developing and forging a new scheme of international cooperation to combat terrorism which included addressing the roots and fundamental causes of hatred, frustration and violence.
CHRISTINE LEE (Singapore) said that while the Counter-Terrorism Committee had made an immense contribution in its one year of existence, the war against terrorism was far from over, hence her delegation would like to pose three future challenges for the Committee to consider. First, there was a need to deepen cooperation and collaboration. It was imperative to consider new ways to synergize the coordination between the United Nations, other regional and international organizations and Member States. Second, it was necessary to let go of conventional paradigms. It was alarming that many States still possessed the conventional paradigms of terrorist organizations being characterized by well-defined hierarchies, a specific political agenda and conventional arsenal. The global indifference to the evolution that had taken place in terrorist networks and its modalities had prevented effective resistance to terrorism.
Third, she continued, there was a need to increase the provision of technical assistance to Member States. Today’s world was a globalized environment where terrorism could and would exploit the porous borders and international trade of goods and services. Therefore, it made a great deal of sense for the international community and the United Nations to put together an extensive mutual assistance programme to strengthen the capacity of Member States lacking the resources and experience to deal with terrorism effectively. In particular, the Committee needed to have a clear plan of action to deal with those States that had not taken firm action to counter terrorism, as required by resolution 1373.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said the Counter-Terrorism Committee had managed to review an impressive number of implementation reports submitted by Member States. While more needed to be done before global standards against terrorism were uniform and fully implemented, the international community should not underestimate the significance of what had been achieved. Information obtained so far suggested that terrorist groups were already finding it increasingly difficult to receive funding through international channels. Indeed, the Committee’s emphasis on cooperation, dialogue, partnership and transparency seemed to have paid dividends, as had the strategy of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations on promulgating best practices, seeking synergies of approach and provision of assistance to Member States requiring technical support.
The legitimacy of the Committee’s work, as well as global adherence to it, was clearly demonstrated by the number of reports submitted. Dialogue and partnership were required in order to attain a broad follow-up on resolution 1373. States must put in place national legislation covering all aspects of the resolution and appropriate executive instruments to go with it. That was no small task. International terrorism was a global threat, and no State alone could protect itself from it.
He went on to describe Norway’s national efforts to combat terrorism, saying that from 28 June, in particular, a new bill had entered into force there, which established effective measures against terrorism and its financing. He was aware of the technical difficulties that some Member States could have in implementing resolution 1373, and appreciated the efforts of the Committee to assist them in strengthening their capacity to fight terrorism. Norway would act in support of the Committee and offer suitable programmes to assist States lacking capacity to implement the resolution. His country had submitted to the Committee information about available Norwegian experts in relevant fields. Norway gave priority to cooperation with African countries in combating terrorism, and supported the African Union’s work towards effective and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1373.
Turning to the issue of human rights, he said there was no contradiction between the measures set forth in resolution 1373 on the one hand, and protection of human rights on the other. His delegation wholeheartedly supported the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s determination to remain in close contact with the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Upholding and reinforcing the rule of law must stand out as a centrepiece of the international strategy to combat terrorism.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) paid tribute to what had been achieved by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in requiring and encouraging full implementation of the provisions of resolution 1373. That work had been done with patience, openness, and a sense of realism and balance. He accepted that many of the requirements laid out in the resolution could not be achieved by every State overnight. For that reason, in the five 90-day programmes and in the responses to national reports, the Committee had rightly sought to encourage rather than admonish, and to foster cooperation, rather than indulge in finger pointing. That was certainly the right approach.
The international community would do itself a disservice unless it accepted that terrorism flourished where injustice also flourished, that the fight against terrorism could all too easily be used to attack or criticize legitimate political dissent and that a blanket approach -- endorsing every action taken by every government under the rubric of fighting international terrorism -- would be a flawed approach. The fabric of laws and codes painstakingly built up over recent decades in the United Nations remained all too vulnerable: rights lost in any country were not easily restored, voices stifled could indeed be muted, but at a great cost; values endangered were a common loss.
Ireland warmly endorsed the report of the Policy Working Group on the United Nations and Terrorism, he continued. In terms of the future work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Ireland especially agreed with the recommendation that it "should be ensured that expertise developed in the various United Nations system offices is made available to the Committee". He believed that strong attention should be paid to the views of human rights experts. He had focused on human rights aspects, he continued, not because the Committee was unaware of that dimension, but because, in assessing measures to strengthen cooperation against terrorism, it seemed salutory to step back and look at the landscape as a whole.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said the long list of speakers was testimony to the importance of today’s meeting. He endorsed the Committee Chairman’s evaluation of the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He said the Committee had done a great deal of effective work, and its open and transparent working methods were appreciated by Member States.
He supported the Committee’s fifth 90-day programme, focusing on the second report reviews. During the second-stage review, the Committee should pay particular attention to providing assistance to the relevant Member States. He called on donor States to provide assistance to countries that had requested it. He stressed that the Counter-Terrorism Committee should continue its review of national reports, in strict accordance with the provisions of resolution 1373.
The work of the Committee had laid a good foundation to suppress terrorism, he said, but counter-terrorism capacity-building was a long-term process. How to integrate the United Nations into international efforts to combat terrorism was a concern of the Council, he said.
RICHARD S. WILLIAMSON (United States) said that the adoption of resolution 1373 and the ensuing work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee represented a chapter in the history of the Security Council and the United Nations in which the international community could take collective pride, while forever recalling the mortal menace that had spurred its joint action. During the debate on the establishment of the Committee last September, his delegation had expressed scepticism about creating the Committee, but that scepticism was now long gone. Commending the people who stood behind the Committee’s success, he added that Ambassador Greenstock had insisted on serious and energetic implementation of resolution 1373 and monitoring by the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Effective counter-terrorism actions required international cooperation, he said, and the Committee had encouraged such cooperation. Effective protection of human rights and defence of the rule of law were also important. The core of 1373 was an obligation on States to strengthen their legislation on terrorism, and there was no contradiction between such actions and protection of human rights. The proposed programme of work of the Committee was sound and provided a solid basis for future efforts.
Underscoring the Committee’s achievements in its first year, he said that a large number of States were revising or upgrading their laws to fall in line with resolution 1373. The pace of ratification of the 12 international anti-terrorism conventions and protocols had significantly increased, particularly the “Terrorist Bombing” and “Terrorist Financing” conventions. A wide array of international institutions and regional and subregional organizations was taking action against terrorism. In its methodical review of Member States’ reports, the Committee was articulating a coherent road map for implementation of resolution 1373. Another important aspect of the Committee’s work had been its efforts to facilitate technical assistance to those States which lacked capacity to implement the resolution.
As the Counter-Terrorism Committee began its second year of work, it should continue to approach its task with the same level of urgency and enthusiasm, he said. He urged all Member States to continue to cooperate with the Committee and to implement their obligations under resolution 1373 with a sense of urgency. For his country, the anniversary of resolution 1373 was and forever would be bound to the day of infamy, 11 September 2001. It was important that the United Nations had taken key steps in “this arduous, indispensable and continuing struggle” by strengthening international standards and norms through resolution 1373 and the work of the Committee, and by striking to cut off the financial lifeblood of terrorists through resolutions 1267 and 1390.
SERGEY N. KAREV (Russian Federation) said the Committee had been a reliable link in the emerging international system to counter new threats and challenges and had produced very good results. A great deal of the credit for that success went to its Chairman and the heroic work of the Secretariat and the Committee’s experts. Thanks to the work of the Committee, an unparalleled mechanism to counteract terrorist threats was now in the process of unfolding.
He stressed the importance of the organic linkage of the Committee’s main areas of activities: an objective analysis of reports and the capacity to render assistance to States that needed such assistance. The Committee was correct in stressing the importance of cooperation in regional and subregional organizations. He supported the programme of work for the next 90 days. As the Committee would be compiling information on regions that were still vulnerable, it was important to strike a balance in determining deficiencies, in line with the general view in the Council that the Committee was not a punitive body and would strictly adhere to its mandate.
He said the Council should step up efforts to achieve implementation by States of the provisions of resolution 1373. He was concerned that at the end of September only 70 Member States had reported on the steps they intended to take to implement the resolution.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said that now that a year had gone by since the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the international community was assessing its progress in combating terrorism. In large part, success could be attributed to the activities of the Committee, which had fully and innovatively fulfilled the mission entrusted to it. It was sufficient simply to mention the number of reports submitted to the Committee and the number of countries that had acceded to the relevant international conventions and protocols in the past year.
The Committee had produced a global inventory of actions taken by States in the fight against terrorism, he continued. Crucial as it was, however, such an inventory was just an initial step. All States must send reports to the Committee, and those that had not done so should be urgently requested to comply. Every country should also take steps to suppress the financing of terrorism. It was also necessary to ensure that measures adopted were effectively implemented. Thus, the activities of the Committee were far from over. It must continue its assessment of reports and analysis of actions at national levels.
It was also important to further develop actions to facilitate technical assistance that was requested, he said. In doing so, it must be clear that it was not up to the Committee to provide such assistance itself, but assess requests for assistance that were brought to its attention and bring together the donors and countries in need. Finally, it was important to maintain close relations with international and regional organizations that had capabilities in the area of combating terrorism. In order to successfully carry out its tasks, the Committee should receive cooperation from all countries. For its part, France was taking significant steps both at the national and regional levels.
The President of the Council, MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon), speaking in his national capacity, said mankind, thirsting for solidarity and social justice, had just celebrated its entry into the third millennium when on 11 September 2001, the world was awakened to the horror of a new transnational curse, that of terrorism. The event proved that the hatred, crimes and wars of the twentieth century had not disappeared. Racial, ethnic and religious hatred and hatred of foreigners had been feeding terrorism. It was a new type of terrorism in terms of its global reach, intolerance and cowardice.
The terrorist of today was one who attacked rich and poor, old and young, believers and non-believers, he said. Such terrorism could not be tolerated under any circumstances. The terrorist of 11 September was a coward, for even if he was willing to die, he did so to more effectively kill men, women and children who had done nothing to him. Those who had educated the terrorist, trained him and given him shelter and the means to execute terrorist acts were all equally guilty.
Giving in to that terrorist meant giving up, abdicating the sovereignty of States, human ethics and values. It was the refusal to yield that underlay resolution 1373. His country remained fully committed to implementation of that resolution and welcomed the positive achievements of the Committee. He called on all States to adhere to the 12 international conventions. He also called for assistance in strengthening national capacities to combat terrorism to those States that needed it.
Commenting on speakers’ remarks, Committee Chairman GREENSTOCK said the representative of Colombia was right in his critical appraisal of the Committee’s work. If the Committee continued to focus only on reports, the momentum behind that exercise would be in danger of fading. There was indeed a need to move on from bureaucracy to action. That matter should be discussed soon. He said the Committee would never become a tribunal, but it was necessary to deal with the gaps in States’ capabilities to fight terrorism and to work with those States to close those gaps. He took note of the suggestion that operational linkage between the work of the Committee and that of the Sanctions Committee must be improved.
Reacting to Mexico’s comments, he said uniformity in objective and determination was extremely important, and complementarity in the way gaps were filled was vital. In that regard, he emphasized regional cooperation. The issue of human rights was a sensitive subject, both in the Committee and in the Council. The Committee’s awareness of human rights issues had to be an active one. What the Committee promoted had to be compatible with the international human rights obligations of States.
Regarding Singapore’s remarks, he said synergy and new ways of cooperation should not be a rhetorical phrase. He was not satisfied that the Committee had linked up sufficiently with international organizations in the field to make them aware of what the Committee could do. Terrorism was one of the instruments of asymmetrical warfare: warfare of small groups against large States. The Committee, while dealing with an asymmetrical threat, was trying to establish a symmetrical response. In producing a collective and symmetrical defence-oriented response, one had to be aware that one was dealing with a nasty, asymmetrical enemy, he said.
AMRAIYA NAIDU (Fiji), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said the Forum had continued to work individually and collectively to combat terrorism in the region. In August, the leaders of the Forum countries had issued the Nasonini Declaration on Regional Security, which affirmed their commitment to cooperation on law enforcement, stressed their commitment to global counter-terrorism efforts, and underlined the importance of introducing legislation and developing national strategies to combat serious crime, including terrorist financing and terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, people smuggling and people trafficking.
He said that the fight against terrorism could not be won with statements of intent. His region had focused on both practical cooperation and on capacity-building. The former took place through a number of coordination and information-sharing mechanisms in such areas as police, immigration, and customs and weapons controls. Capacity limitations, however, presented a major challenge to many of the Forum’s members.
Forum leaders had endorsed the establishment of an expert working group to coordinate the development of a regional framework to address terrorism and transnational crime. Officials were looking at the vulnerability of banking and financial systems and transport infrastructure, particularly international airports.
JAVAD ZARIF (Iran) described his country’s efforts directed against terrorism. In particular, he said, a review of national legislation had been undertaken to bring it into compliance with resolution 1373. Measures were also taken on the regional level.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee, which was an embodiment of United Nations-led multilateral action against terrorism, was doing a commendable job, he continued. Yet an opposing unilateralist trend was on the rise, which ran the risk of arresting momentum and shattering the universal consensus. That would thus undermine the overall fight against terrorism. He had expected that the 11 September events would have led to more understanding of the imperative of a fresh and more nuanced approach to security -- a value which was indivisible and which could not be achieved at the expense of others or through military might alone. Regrettably, that was an expectation yet to be realized. Moreover, a year after the start of a new round in the war on terrorism, that war faced the risk of being hijacked and channelled to other ends.
While there was no doubt that terrorism was a crime, he continued, it could not be denied that almost all terrorist activities either directly originated from a conflict situation or drew their strength and recruits from it. Terrorism was a response -- however perverted or barbaric -- to injustice, exclusion and the frustration arising from powerlessness. While efforts to combat terrorism and deprive it of funding and other supports should continue, it was also necessary to focus on the situations that brought it about and sustained it.
The decisive stage in the war against terrorism was one of capturing the minds and hearts of peoples, he said. Thus, demagogic abuse of the fight against terrorism to spread hatred and bigotry among cultures and religions might in fact prove to be no less serious in its consequences than terrorism itself. The international community and the Council needed to analyse the problem and develop effective mechanisms to arrest that ever-growing threat to international security. More sober reflection, soul-searching and constructive dialogue were probably the only credible way to achieve cooperation at the international level, thus creating a global environment less conducive to terrorism. Undoubtedly, such an environment was a sine qua non for the success of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Resumption of Meeting
When the Council resumed its meeting this afternoon, KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) said that although much progress had been made in the fight against terrorism, the struggle must be ongoing. Only through steadfast vigilance and a comprehensive approach, with efforts made by each State, as well as determined cooperation at the regional and international levels, could there be some assurance that acts of terrorism like those of 11 September last year would not be repeated.
He said Japan had deposited its instruments of acceptance of the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in June, and had, in doing so, become party to all 12 international anti-terrorism conventions. He hoped that every State would likewise conclude all anti-terrorism instruments. It was important to further strengthen the international framework by adopting such conventions as the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Referring to cooperation at the regional level, he said his country had hosted the second Regional Forum Workshop of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which had focused on how more concrete international cooperative efforts might be made. As a result, a paper entitled “Best Practices for Counter-Terrorism Measures in Major International Events” was now available. Cooperative measures to combat terrorism at the international level were crucial. Developing countries facing difficulties in implementing resolution 1373 must be provided with international assistance, and the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s directory of assistance was an important mechanism in that regard. Japan was considering extending assistance to those countries, he said.
ABDULLAH M. ALSAIDI (Yemen) said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee was undertaking concrete measures commensurate with the gravity of terrorist crimes. The painful events of 11 September had alerted the world to the heinous nature of terrorism and the need to combat it as a top priority within the system of international cooperation. However, while realizing the dangers of terrorism, it was also important to understand that eliminating terrorism required clarity of vision, unanimity of views and seriousness of purpose. Unanimity could not be accomplished outside the organs of international legitimacy. Resolutions of the Council laid the foundation for international actions. Still required, however, was a legal framework for them. An international convention on terrorism, now was being discussed in the Sixth Committee (Legal), could provide such a framework.
Numerous States believed the convention must cover all acts of terrorism, whether undertaken by individuals, organizations, or States, he continued. His country could not accept a formula that did not recognize the right to legitimate struggle against oppression and foreign occupation. Concerted international and regional efforts were needed to tackle dangers, and Arab States had ratified most existing international instruments in that regard. His country remained a victim of terrorist acts that had inflicted serious damage on the economy for more than a decade. The world media had spared him the need to elaborate on that matter. Yemen was taking measures to counteract terrorism within its borders. Most important in the international fight against terrorism was practical cooperation, and he reaffirmed his country’s readiness to participate in such international cooperation to counteract the scourge of terrorism.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said that the universal fulfilment of obligations under resolution 1373 must remain the key priority. National legislation needed to be strong and comprehensive and adherence to all 12 anti-terrorism conventions needed to be global. Australia was strongly committed to playing an energetic role in the fight against terrorism, and within its own region it continued to encourage greater cooperation to that effect. The Nasonini Declaration on Regional Security was adopted by the Pacific Islands Forum on 17 August, and Australia had also sponsored (with the United States, New Zealand and the Forum secretariat), a counter-terrorism workshop for Pacific Island countries in March.
Australia and Indonesia had announced in September that they would co-host a regional conference on combating money laundering and terrorist financing in December this year, and Australia had also been active in the AESAN regional forum context. In addition to those regional initiatives, he said, his delegation considered that bilateral cooperation between governments was also critical in combating terrorism, especially in the exchange of information and intelligence to identify terrorist threats at the earliest possible stage. Australia was now seeking closer law enforcement cooperation with its partners in the region and had negotiated memorandums of understanding on counter-terrorism cooperation with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
OUCH BORITH (Cambodia), speaking on behalf of the members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said he appreciated the impressive progress made by the Committee in its first year. All ASEAN States members had already submitted their initial reports and were progressing towards fulfilling the next requirements of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Further assistance from the Committee to ASEAN States to strengthen their capacity to implement resolution 1373 would be welcomed.
He said the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting on 29 and 30 July in Brunei Darussalam had expressed their determination to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation, and had affirmed the major role of the United Nations in combating terrorism at the international level. There had been a number of agreements and specific action plans that ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum had put in place in order to tackle threats of terrorism in that region. For instance, participants at the Forum had agreed to enhance their ability to share the information domestically and internationally.
In August, the ASEAN countries and the United States had signed an anti-terrorism declaration as a framework for more cooperation to prevent and combat global terrorism, recognizing the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-interference in domestic affairs of other States, he said.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that the rule of law had become a predominant theme in the overall fight against terrorism. He remained convinced that human rights must never fall victim to the fight against terrorism. The existing human rights standards were among the greatest achievements of the United Nations, and that achievement must not be jeopardized. If human rights were curtailed in the name of combating terrorism, the international community would be making a fatal concession by sacrificing some of its most fundamental values -- and thus the very values terrorists were setting out to destroy.
It was not only States that were called upon to uphold the rule of law, he continued. Indeed, the United Nations and the Security Council in particular were challenged to live up to their obligations to uphold the rule of law at the international level. Individuals suspected of being involved in terrorist activities must be guaranteed the minimum standards of protection accorded to them by international law, and the Security Council, more than any other body, should be called upon to respect those rights. It would be unfortunate if States, in implementing decisions by the Security Council, were to violate the human rights of individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activities.
SUN JOUN-YUNG (Republic of Korea) said that on the national level, the Republic of Korea had been according paramount importance to the issue of counter-terrorism. Specific measures to implement resolution 1373 included the establishment and active operation of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit to prevent and combat terrorist financing. As far as the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism were concerned, the Republic of Korea was currently a party to eight of those legal instruments. The Republic of Korea had also been continuing its active participation in regional forums related to counter-terrorism. His Government also attached great importance to following up the initiatives of the Financial Action Task Force in the field of combating terrorism, and hoped to become a member of that body upon the expansion of its membership.
As the Counter-Terrorism Committee entered its second year of work, he continued, it would be useful to find ways to disseminate the Committee's achievements in the fight against international terrorism to a wider arena. The Committee's experience and expertise, based on its in-depth reviews on national reports, could offer the best source of wisdom in the common endeavour to eliminate the threat of terrorism. Given the still incomplete international legal regime in that field, the strengths, setbacks and patterns of national counter-terrorism measures, identified by the Committee, would be of particular benefit to the relevant deliberations in the General Assembly.
NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) said his country, among the first nations to warn against the perils of terrorism, was firmly committed to strengthening its cooperation with other countries to combat and eliminate the danger. Beyond its multidimensional, national and comprehensive policy in counter-terrorism, it had signed bilateral agreements with 30 countries, strengthening cooperation in judicial and security-related matters. It had also adhered to regional conventions adopted by the League of Arab States, the African Union, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as the 12 international conventions.
He said his country had called for an international conference that would lay down common parameters for a code of conduct mandatory for all parties. Those parameters would help initiate a responsible dialogue that would avoid double standards in regional conflicts and mitigate the feelings of deprivation and oppression experienced by many peoples. It had submitted two reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee dealing with measures taken in compliance with resolution 1373. During its tenure in the Council, Tunisia had insisted on the necessity of guaranteeing maximum transparency in the Committee’s work, the importance of technical assistance to States unable to fulfil the provisions of the resolution, and the importance of equitable geographic representation in the selection of the Committee’s experts.
The comprehensive strategy to prevent and fight terrorism should not jeopardize the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination and the legitimate struggle of peoples against foreign or colonial occupation. It was essential not to confuse those rights, recognized and protected by the Charter of the United Nations and by international law, with acts of terrorism targeting civilian populations. The fight against terrorism required that root causes should be addressed. It was necessary to tackle all manifestations of poverty, to work resolutely to eliminate causes of frustration and deprivation, and to resolve pending major issues so that they could not be exploited by terrorist groups.
ELLEN MARGRETH LOJ (Denmark), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the fight against terrorism remained an absolute priority for the Union. She urged States that had not yet done so to submit an initial or a subsequent report. However, compliance with resolution 1373 was not achieved through the mere submission of reports. It was essential to fully implement the resolution by adopting and implementing the necessary legal and practical measures at national and regional levels.
She said there must be no weak parts in the chain, and the European Union stood ready to assist third countries. The Union had identified a number of countries to cooperate with in the launching of pilot projects. She reiterated the importance of effective and adequate coordination among donors in order to avoid duplication of work. The European Union intended to incorporate the fight against terrorism into all aspects of its external policy, in particular by strengthening the role of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in that area.
Supporting the report of the Policy Working Group on the United Nations and Terrorism, she stressed that the United Nations system as a whole should continue to ensure its readiness to assist in the implementation of measures to counter terrorism, in particular the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. She urged the speedy signing and ratification of all 12 international terrorism conventions, especially the one relating to the financing of terrorism. The Union remained committed to finalizing the work on the draft comprehensive convention against terrorism, she said.
She emphasized that efforts to establish effective instruments to fight terrorism must be conducted with respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. “We must not fall into the trap of answering terrorist attacks by undermining our own democratic values.”
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that, having adopted several important resolutions, the Security Council had made a significant contribution to the international anti-terrorism campaign. On the ground, the international coalition had waged a successful war on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and elsewhere. However, the war against terrorism in Afghanistan had not yet been fully won, and the international community could not afford to become complacent. For that reason, Pakistan called for deployment of additional forces to consolidate peace and security in Afghanistan. He warned that failure to take timely action there could prove to be very costly in the future.
It was equally important to commence the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation in Afghanistan, he continued. Pakistan continued to conduct extensive operations on its western border to interdict Al Qaeda infiltration, even as coalition forces undertook simultaneous operations on the other side of the Durand Line. His country was also engaged in hunting down terrorists who might have infiltrated into Pakistan. Through Pakistan’s detailed reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Council was aware of the country’s extensive legislative, administrative and operational measures to arrest and eradicate all domestic manifestations of terrorism and extremism.
Pakistan’s ability to support the international struggle against terrorism could be significantly eroded by the military threat from its eastern neighbour, he said, which refused to end its military repression of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmiris were struggling to exercise their right to self-determination as promised to them by the Council in a number of its resolutions, which must also be faithfully implemented. If the war against terrorism was to be brought to a successful conclusion, it was vital to ensure that it was in no way misappropriated by interested parties seeking to suppress the fundamental right of peoples under colonial or alien occupation or domination to struggle for their freedom.
Continuing, he cautioned against unwittingly provoking a clash of religions and cultures. Obviously, some quarters had a vested interest in utilizing the war against terrorism as a vehicle to spread hatred against Islam and Muslims. The veil of mutual suspicion and ignorance between the West and Islam could only be lifted through an open and sustained dialogue. The President of Pakistan had proposed that, as a first step, the Assembly should adopt a declaration on religious and cultural understanding, harmony and cooperation.
He added that the international community must initiate comprehensive and effective steps to address the root causes of terrorism, which often arose from political and economic injustice, foreign occupation and oppression of peoples. The Council should address those root causes, in particular, through the promotion of just and peaceful solutions to conflicts and disputes and the promotion of prosperity for all peoples.
REVAZ ADAMIA (Georgia) welcomed the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s focus on the timely provision of assistance to States to help them address the threats of terrorism within the framework of resolution 1373. What was the real value of deliberations or commitments made in the Security Council, however, when Russia, a permanent member of the Council, was subjecting Georgia to daily terror, intimidation, and threats of aggression? Anti-Georgia hysteria in Russia’s mass media was driven by the accusation that Georgia was condoning, not fighting, terrorism. It sometimes appeared that whole parts of the United Nations Charter were missing from the memory of the Russian decision makers.
In line with its obligations under resolution 1373, Georgia had completed anti-terrorist and anti-criminal operations in the Pankisi Gorge. Full control over the territory had been reestablished and there were no longer any Chechen fighters, terrorist suspects or mercenaries in the Gorge. Yet Georgia was still being accused of a breaking its commitments. It had been accused, for example, of letting Chechen boeviks go, resulting in an incident deep in Russia’s territory, but those accusations were unfounded. In 1999, the deliberate squeeze of Chechen fighters into Georgia had been regarded as a “success” by the Russian military, and now, when those citizens of Russia were back in their own country, Georgia was blamed for the violation of international norms. Where was the logic in those accusations?
The most painful issue in Georgian-Russian relations, he continued, was the conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia. It was a known fact that Abkhazia achieved de facto independence only by virtue of massive assistance rendered by the Russian military and special services. The Abkhaz separatist regime had tainted itself by the ethnic cleansing of the predominantly Georgian population, expelling 300,000 of them from their places of permanent residence. The facts clearly indicated that the situation in the region was a breeding ground for terrorism, drug trafficking and illicit arms smuggling. However, his country still worked towards friendship with Russia, and appealed to the Russian authorities to desist from the terror directed against it. Any military action against his country would have catastrophic repercussions for the entire Caucasus region.
DEJAN SAHOVIC (Yugoslavia) said the fight against terrorism could not be won solely by focusing on mechanisms to eliminate individual terrorist groups, since terrorism was not an isolated phenomenon. Instead, it should be considered within the context from which terrorist activities arose. The United Nations must reassert the leading principles of its Charter, whose core had been undermined by terrorism.
He said resolution 1373 called for the prevention of movement of terrorists by effective border controls. Yugoslavia had been faced with extremisms and illegal border crossings in the province of Kosovo and Metohija. He welcomed enhanced efforts by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) to address those problems, and was ready to enhance cooperation with UNMIK and the Kosovo force with a view to preventing and suppressing acts of terrorism.
Organized crime, whose close connection with terrorism had been firmly established, figured high on the list of acute problems in south-eastern Europe, he said. At the national level, his country had adopted laws on combating organized crime, and on the international level, it had ratified the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocols. At the regional level, his country was committed to dealing with the issue within the South-East European Cooperation Process as well as within the framework of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. Yugoslavia was also bound by most international anti-terrorist treaties. His Government had submitted both its initial and supplementary reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee. However, in order to make its full contribution to the fight against terrorism, his country needed international assistance.
BRUNO STAGNO (Costa Rica), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, said that today, a year after the 11 September attacks, the Group categorically reiterated its rejection of all acts of terrorism and support for all relevant international and regional measures. It was firmly committed to the implementation of resolution 1373, and its members had prepared new legislation and ratified international conventions in its implementation. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had the fundamental task of establishing constructive dialogue between all Member States, and its success depended on its capacity to generate communication and institutional cooperation for the fight against terrorism.
Noting that the Committee did not exercise judicial functions and judge nations, the Rio Group welcomed the submission of a large number of country reports to the Committee. The Group also noted that a small group of States had not yet submitted their initial reports; it stressed that it was essential for them to submit those documents as soon as possible, despite the difficulties they might face. He welcomed the intention of the Committee to finalize consideration of the next round of reports by 31 December.
The Group was also pleased at the Committee’s determination to improve cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, he said. In that connection, he mentioned that the OAS had recently adopted a resolution on human rights and terrorism and a regional convention on terrorism. Regional organizations could only work within their mandates, and their cooperation with the Committee should be carried out strictly in compliance with them.
In conclusion, he noted the Committee's intention to remain in constant contact with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which underlined the importance of that aspect of combating terrorism. It was necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of combating poverty and achieving social development, because that would help to address the causes of terrorism. It was also essential to provide sufficient resources to the Committee to allow it to effectively implement its mandate.
AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said there was a consensus on the importance of collective international efforts to combat terrorism and suppress terrorist acts, to pursue those who committed them, and to block their sources of financing. In that respect, there was no alternative to international cooperation. It was important to remember that those who perpetrated such acts came from all cultures, as did their victims.
Egypt was one of the countries that suffered from terrorism, he continued, and it had taken legal and administrative measures to fight it. The struggle against terrorism could not be confined to the political or security approach. It was also necessary to address the socio-economic and legal aspects of the problem, including the principle of human rights. That required the international community to deal with terrorism in a comprehensive way, taking into account its many manifestations and its root causes. In that context, the international community must not confuse counter-terrorism with the legitimate fight against aggression and foreign occupation, which was recognized by the United Nations Charter.
During the past year, the United Nations had shown that it was an effective instrument for combating terrorism, he said, and Egypt had presented two reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee under resolution 1373. Among the measures taken by his Government was a new statute to address money laundering. The war against international terrorism must be waged with force and vigour, with the involvement of the entire international community and not just some of its members, on the basis on Security Council resolutions.
VIJAY K. NAMBIAR (India) said terrorism was a common enemy of all peoples, beliefs and religions. The act of terror was intended to cause physical, psychological, social and political damage on a scale meant to destabilize communities and to disrupt and retard peace, economic progress and development, social harmony and political institution-building. Open, liberal and democratic societies were particularly vulnerable.
He said India had been a victim of State-sponsored cross-border terrorism for two decades, with a horrendous toll of tens of thousands of persons killed. The determination of the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their electoral rights and choose their representatives had been marred by a campaign of intimidation and terror, inspired from across the border. However, it was clear that here and elsewhere, democratic societies preferred the ballot to the bullet. Member States might claim they had complied with all provisions of resolution 1373, but how was the Counter-Terrorism Committee going to account for the complaint of a Member State which was a victim of such cross-border terrorist acts, and what action could be taken against errant Member States?
There was a growing momentum towards ratification of all 12 conventions on terrorism, and countries had strengthened existing legislation to tackle terrorism and its financing, or had begun to do so. However, there were countries that had not submitted any report. It might be useful for the Committee to provide technical assistance where required. References had been made to a possible regional approach. He said that approach might not be relevant in regions where terrorism emanated from within the region. The Council must act swiftly and resolutely to implement the counter-terrorism resolution with neither fear nor favour, he said.
MOKHTAR LAMANI, permanent observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said that the Organization had constantly condemned terrorism on the basis of noble ethical and humanitarian principles. Successive ministerial conferences of the Organization had reiterated their commitment to the Convention on Combating International Terrorism, in particular those articles stressing the
commitment to refrain from initiating, participating or instigating support for terrorist action in any form, and to those other articles which require Member States not to use their territories as a basis for masterminding, organizing or executing terrorist acts.
The spread of acts of terrorism all over the world, he said, and the expansion of the phenomenon of extremism in all mankind’s beliefs were not restricted to one people or any specific ethnic group or religion. It was important to condemn terrorism, he continued, but also to condemn attempts to abolish the distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle against colonial domination or foreign occupation. Many areas were still suffering from the consequences of the preceding colonial era with regard to the demarcation of their boundaries. Therefore no legitimate struggle to end occupation should be labeled as terrorism.
JEREMY GREENSTOCK, Chairman of the Committee, responding to speakers’ comments and suggestions, said several delegations had mentioned the importance of the 12 conventions against terrorism. That issue was becoming relevant to the business of passing the right legislation in States to comply with resolution 1373. The 12 conventions had broad relevance to the resolution. The regional and international organizations should take the matter up with greater momentum. He thanked those members who had been proactive in helping their regions by offering assistance, in particular Australia and Algeria.
Speakers had also focused on the “weakest link” in the chain, he said. People should be conscious of the fact that a weak link broke the whole chain. The weakest link as a point of vulnerability in the counter-terrorism effort was important. Counter-terrorism should be mainstreamed and the connection between counter-terrorism and combating organized transnational crime should be looked into.
As to the issue of enforceability, raised by India, he said the Committee had not yet addressed that issue, as it had focused on capacity-building and creating political momentum. Once it had dealt with those areas, objectivity was created, and that should would make it possible to deal with the “hard cases”. Once objectivity had been established, the Committee could consider how to approach failure to comply. Those failures should be brought to the Council, but the Committee should do the analysis on the groundwork.
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