MINISTERIAL-LEVEL SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS ALL SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM
MINISTERIAL-LEVEL SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS ALL SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM
4688th Meeting* (AM)
MINISTERIAL-LEVEL SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION
TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS ALL SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM
Declaration in Resolution 1456 (2003) Adopted Unanimously;
Highlights Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Role in Implementation
The Security Council this morning, meeting at the ministerial level, adopted a declaration reaffirming the severity of the global terrorist threat and calling on all States to take urgent action to prevent and suppress all active and passive support to terrorism.
With 13 of the Council’s 15 members represented by their Foreign Ministers, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1456 (2003), containing the declaration. In doing so, the Council also called on its Counter-Terrorism Committee to intensify its efforts to promote the implementation by Member States of resolution 1373 (2001).
Adopted following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, resolution 1373 called on Member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts.
Speaking at the outset of today’s meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that since the attacks of 11 September, the world had focused an unprecedented attention on terrorism and on the means of countering it. The tragic loss of life in terrorist acts, such as those recently in Moscow, Bali and Mombasa, was a dramatic reminder that success in countering that threat remained elusive. Despite enhanced attention and more concerted action, the problem required sustained long-term action. He stressed the increasing “indispensable” legal and institutional role the United Nations must play in the anti-terrorism campaign.
He also urged action to solve the political disputes and long-standing conflicts, which underpinned, fuelled and generated support for terrorism. While there was an urgent and compelling need to prevent acts of terror, there was a no less compelling need to pursue the goals enshrined in the Charter. To the extent that the Organization succeeded in fighting poverty and injustice, suffering and
* The 4687th Meeting was closed.
war, it was also likely help end the conditions that served as justification for those who would commit acts of terror.
Briefing the Council on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, its Chairman, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), said that in 15 months the Committee had received over 280 reports from 178 Member States, which showed that the vast majority of governments throughout the world had begun to respond to the challenge laid down in resolution 1373 to prevent and suppress terrorism. “But there is still much more to do before terrorists find that the bar against terrorism has been raised everywhere”, he said.
All States, he added, must work to implement resolution 1373. Thirteen States had not yet submitted a report to the Committee and two States had not yet “even picked up the telephone”. The declaration to be adopted today set a final date for submission of 31 March, after which it must be clear that any non-reporting State would be held to be non-compliant with resolution 1373.
During the discussion, Council members reiterated that terrorism affected all countries and peoples and, therefore, international cooperation was crucial to fight it. Much had already been done with the adoption of resolution 1373, the sanctions against Al Qaeda and the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. At the same time, it was imperative to do more.
Terrorism was “far from being crushed”, said Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov. The new wave of terrorist acts that shook the world at the end of last year had reaffirmed, with alarming clarity, that the world continued to face a strong and ruthless enemy, which threatened international security and the foundations of the modern world order.
Others stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation, conclude negotiations on texts related to terrorism and assist countries, particularly those of the South, to better implement counter-terrorism measures. With regard to the latter, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin proposed setting up a cooperation and assistance fund at the United Nations, which would have its own resources and work closely with international financial institutions.
The time had come, noted several speakers, to take action regarding the link between terrorism and other illegal activities, such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, arms trafficking and illegal financing. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists was a mortal danger to all, stated United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. In that connection, the Council would meet in the very near future to determine what to do in the case of Iraq, and when it did, Council members must not be “shocked into impotence” because they were afraid of the difficult choices ahead.
It was also stressed that in the fight against terrorism, national and international law, human rights, and the Charter must be respected. Human rights, in particular, said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, should not be suspended under the pretext of combating terrorism. After all, that fight was not only about defending security, but also about fundamental values, namely, freedom, democracy and human rights.
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Also addressing the Council this morning were: the Minister of State for External Relations of Cameroon, François-Xavier Ngoubeyou; the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, Jack Straw; the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Solomon Passy; the Minister of External Relations of Angola, Joao Bernardo de Miranda; the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri; the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Luis Ernesto Derbez; the Foreign Minister of Spain, Ana Palacio; the Foreign Minister of China, Tang Jiaxuan; and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Guinea, François Lonseny Fall.
The Permanent Representatives of Syria and Chile to the Untied Nations also spoke.
The meeting, which began at 10:32 a.m., adjourned at 12:55 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning, at the ministerial level, to discuss combating terrorism and, in particular, to examine the activities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001). Council members were expected to assess the actions that have been taken and consider formulating new guidelines to improve the effectiveness of combating terrorism.
Two weeks after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Council adopted resolution 1373, which called on Member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any 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 the Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor the resolution's implementation through, among other things, reports from States on actions they had taken to that end.
Briefing the Council last year, the Committee's Chairman, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), said the Committee would respond to each State's report, asking for more information, or outlining areas in which that State's capacity against terrorism could be upgraded and identifying possible resources of expertise or assistance. He also suggested establishing a trust fund to finance the Committee's work.
Following up is the full text of the draft resolution (document S/2003/60), containing its anti-terrorism declaration in an annex, before the Council:
“The Security Council,
“Decides to adopt the attached declaration on the issue of combating terrorism.
“The Security Council,
“Meeting at the level of Ministers for Foreign Affairs on 20 January 2003 reaffirms that:
-- terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the
most serious threats to peace and security;
-- any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of
their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed and are to be unequivocally condemned, especially when they indiscriminately target or injure civilians;
-- there is a serious and growing danger of terrorist access to and use of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials, and therefore a need to strengthen controls on these materials;
-- it has become easier, in an increasingly globalized world, for
terrorists to exploit sophisticated technology, communications and resources for their criminal objectives;
-- measures to detect and stem the flow of finance and funds for
terrorist purposes must be urgently strengthened;
-- terrorists must also be prevented from making use of other criminal
activities such as transnational organized crime, illicit drugs and drug trafficking, money-laundering and illicit arms trafficking;
-- since terrorists and their supporters exploit instability and
intolerance to justify their criminal acts, the Security Council is determined to counter this by contributing to peaceful resolution of disputes and by working to create a climate of mutual tolerance and respect;
-- terrorism can only be defeated, in accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations and international law, by a sustained comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, international and regional organizations, and by redoubled efforts at the national level.
* * *
“The Security Council therefore calls for the following steps to be taken:
“1. All States must take urgent action to prevent and suppress all active
and passive support to terrorism, and in particular comply fully with all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolutions 1373 (2001), 1390 (2002) and 1455 (2003);
“2. The Security Council calls upon States to:
(a) become a party, as a matter of urgency, to all relevant
international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, in particular the 1999 international convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism and to support all international initiatives taken to that aim, and to make full use of the sources of assistance and guidance which are now becoming available;
(b) assist each other, to the maximum extent possible, in the
prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of acts of terrorism, wherever they occur;
(c) cooperate closely to implement fully the sanctions against
terrorists and their associates, in particular Al Qaeda and the Taliban and their associates, as reflected in resolutions 1267 (1999), 1390 (2002) and 1455 (2003), to take urgent actions to deny them access to the financial resources they need to carry out their actions, and to cooperate fully with the Monitoring Group established pursuant to resolution 1363 (2001);
“3. States must bring to justice those who finance, plan, support or
commit terrorist acts or provide safe havens, in accordance with international law, in particular on the basis of the principle to extradite or prosecute;
“4. The Counter-Terrorism Committee must intensify its efforts to promote
the implementation by Member States of all aspects of resolution 1373 (2001), in particular through reviewing States' reports and facilitating international assistance and cooperation, and through continuing to operate in a transparent and effective manner, and in that regard the Council;
(i) stresses the obligation on States to report to the CTC,
according to the timetable set by the CTC, calls on the 13 States who have not yet submitted a first report and on the 56 States who are late in submitting further reports to do so by 31 March, and requests the CTC to report regularly on progress;
(ii) calls on States to respond promptly and fully to the CTC's
requests for information, comments and questions in full and on time, and instructs the CTC to inform the Council of progress, including any difficulties it encounters;
(iii)requests the CTC in monitoring the implementation of
resolution 1373 (2001) to bear in mind all international best practices, codes and standards which are relevant to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), and underlines its support for the CTC's approach in constructing a dialogue with each State on further action required to fully implement resolution 1373 (2001);
“5. States should assist each other to improve their capacity to prevent
and fight terrorism, and notes that such cooperation will help facilitate the full and timely implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), and invites the CTC to step up its efforts to facilitate the provision of technical and other assistance by developing targets and priorities for global action;
“6. States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism comply
with all their obligations under international law, and should adopt such measures in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law;
“7. International organizations should evaluate ways in which they can
enhance the effectiveness of their action against terrorism, including by establishing dialogue and exchanges of information with each other and with other relevant international actors, and directs this appeal in particular to those technical agencies and organizations whose activities relate to the control of the use of or access to nuclear, chemical, biological and other deadly materials; in this context the importance of fully complying with existing legal obligations in the field of disarmament, arms limitation and non-proliferation and, where necessary, strengthening international instruments in this field should be underlined;
“8. Regional and subregional organizations should work with the CTC and
other international organizations to facilitate sharing of best practice in the fight against terrorism, and to assist their members in fulfilling their obligation to combat terrorism;
“9. Those participating in the Special Meeting of the Counter Terrorism
Committee with international regional and sub-regional organizations on 7 March 2003 should use that opportunity to make urgent progress on the matters referred to in this declaration which involve the work of such organizations;
* * *
The Security Council also:
“10. emphasizes that continuing international efforts to enhance dialogue
and broaden the understanding among civilizations, in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures, to further strengthen the campaign against terrorism, and to address unresolved regional conflicts and the full range of global issues, including development issues, will contribute to international cooperation and collaboration, which by themselves are necessary to sustain the broadest possible fight against terrorism;
“11. reaffirms its strong determination to intensify its fight against
terrorism in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations, and takes note of the contributions made during its meeting on 20 January 2003 with a view to enhancing the role of the United Nations in this regard, and invites Member States to make further contributions to this end;
“12. invites the Secretary General to present a report within 28 days
summarizing any proposals made during its ministerial meeting and any commentary or response to these proposals by any Security Council member;
“13. encourages Members States of the United Nations to cooperate in
resolving all outstanding issues with a view to the adoption, by consensus, of the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and the draft international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism;
“14. decides to review actions taken towards the realization of this declaration at further meetings of the Security Council.”
In opening remarks, Council President DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, said that the United Nations had a central role to play in the area of mobilization. It was fundamental for the Council to give its full support to that aspect of the fight against terrorism. The objective must be to maintain and strengthen the mobilization of all nations against terrorism and to find new impetus to that struggle. Today’s debate should contribute to that and provide an opportunity to reflect on new actions to meet that objective.
Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN, said that the ministerial-level participation in today’s meeting was a sign of the importance that the world attached to dealing effectively with that global threat. Terrorism was a menace that required a global response. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on New York and Washington, D.C., the world had focused an unprecedented attention on terrorism and on the means of countering it. The tragic loss of life in terrorist acts, such as those in Moscow, Bali and Mombasa, was a dramatic reminder that success in countering that threat remained elusive. Despite enhanced attention and more concerted action, the problem required sustained, long-term action.
He said that the United Nations must play an increased role in dissuading would-be perpetrators of terrorism by setting effective international norms and issuing a clear message on the unacceptability of acts of violence targeting civilians. The United Nations must also do whatever it could to deny terrorists the opportunity to commit their appalling crimes. The Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee would continue to have a key role in that regard, as would common efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Greater efforts were needed to ensure universality, verification and full implementation of the key treaties related to those weapons, to tighten national export controls over items needed to produce them, and to criminalize the acquisition or use of such weapons by non-State groups.
International terrorism, he continued, was a global scourge with global effects; its methods were murder and mayhem, but its consequences affected every aspect of the United Nations agenda –- from development to peace to human rights and the rule of law. The United Nations had an indispensable role to play in providing the legal and organizational framework within which the international campaign against terrorism could unfold, but it must never lose sight of the fact that any sacrifice of freedom or the rule of law within States, or any generation of new disputes between States in the name of anti-terrorism, was to hand the terrorists a victory that no act of theirs alone could possibly bring. Even as many were rightly praising the unity and resolve of the international community in that crucial struggle, urgent questions were being asked about what might be called the “collateral damage” of the war of terrorism -– damage to the presumption of innocence, to precious human rights, to the rule of law, and to the very fabric of democratic governance.
Domestically, he said, the danger was that in pursuit of security, crucial liberties were sacrificed. Internationally, the world was seeing an increasing use of the “T-word” of terrorism to demonize political opponents, throttle freedom of speech and the press, and delegitimize legitimate political grievances. Similarly, States fighting various forms of unrest or insurgency were finding it tempting to abandon political negotiation for the deceptively easy option of military action. He urged action to solve the political disputes and long-standing conflicts, which underpinned, fuelled and generated support for terrorism. While there was a compelling need to prevent acts of terror, there was a no less compelling need to pursue the goals enshrined in the Charter. To the extent that the Organization succeeded in fighting poverty and injustice, suffering and war, it was also likely to help end the conditions that served as justification for those who would commit acts of terror.
JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said that in 15 months the Committee had received over 280 reports from 178 Member States, which showed that the vast majority of governments throughout the world had begun to respond to the challenge laid down in resolution 1373 to prevent and suppress terrorism. In almost every case, parliaments had begun to consider or to adopt new laws. Governments had reviewed the strength of their institutions to fight terrorism and, in some cases, had already strengthened them.
“But there is still much more to do before terrorists find that the bar against terrorism has been raised everywhere”, he said. Therefore, in order to further implement resolution 1373, it was necessary to do the following. First, all States must begin to work towards that shared goal. Thirteen States had not yet submitted a report to the Committee. Two States had not yet even picked up the telephone -– Liberia and Timor-Leste. The Declaration to be adopted today set a final date for submission of 31 March, after which it must be clear that any non-reporting State would be held to be non-compliant with resolution 1373.
Second, he continued, States must understand what they needed to do to improve their implementation of 1373, and do it. The Committee, through its confidential letters to States, offered advice and guidance on how to fill the gaps in implementation of 1373, focusing priority on legislation and terrorist financing. States must take prompt action, including having a process in hand for becoming party to the 12 relevant Conventions and Protocols. All States had the responsibility not only to improve their own counter-terrorism capacity, but also, where they could, to help others. Not enough had yet been done to actually get projects up and running. All of that would be easier to achieve for individual States if they worked within the collective effort of their region. Regional organizations must develop an understanding of States’ international obligations in the area of counter-terrorism, and help their members to meet them. The Committee looked forward to discussing that with such organizations at a special meeting on 7 March.
JOSCHKA FISCHER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, said that nations must join forces to counter the brutal challenge of terrorism with determination and prudence. The threat to their citizens had gained a new dimension, requiring the defeat of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and his network. His brand of international terrorism posed a strategic threat to peace and the international order and was aimed at forcing rash reactions and entanglements in war. But, that must not be the response. The fight against international terrorism must take place at various levels involving intelligence, police, the judiciary and, in extreme cases, the military.
He said that crisis prevention, conflict management, poverty reduction, and education and dialogue among nations were equally important. Intensive international cooperation was imperative. The impressive coalition against terrorism, which evolved following the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., must be preserved. At the same time, he was greatly concerned that a military strike against the regime in Baghdad would involve considerable and unpredictable risks for the global fight against terrorism. He had no illusions about the brutal nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime and demanded that it implement in full the relevant Security Council resolutions. But, he feared long-term regional instability and possible negative repercussions for the joint fight against murderous terrorism.
A system of “global cooperative security” was needed, he went on. Asymmetrical conflicts, in particular, must be countered with an international system of sanctions and verification mechanisms, for which the United Nations provided the appropriate global framework. Finally, the fight must be legitimized under international law and it must respect national and international law, human rights, and the United Nations Charter. Human rights, in particular, should not be suspended under the pretext of combating terrorism. After all, that fight was not only about defending security, but also about fundamental values, namely, freedom, democracy and human rights. Germany would continue to participate actively and constructively in all efforts to fight and prevent international terrorism.
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER NGOUBEYOU, Minister of State for External Relations of Cameroon, said that the entire human race was “shocked into awareness” following 11 September and understood more clearly the destruction that could be brought into the world due to blind hatred. The decision to meet at the ministerial level today was evidence of the international community’s refusal to accept the situation and its resolve to combat the scourge of terrorism. It provided an opportunity to produce the political dynamism needed for international efforts and to reaffirm the crucial role of the United Nations. There could be no excuse or justification for terrorism, which brought indescribable suffering to individuals.
Cameroon was party to most of the international Conventions against terrorism, he noted. Its report to the Counter-Terrorism Committee showed that it had a legal framework conducive to combating terrorism. It had prepared a strategy to combat terrorism and had a focal point to ensure implementation of that strategy. The scope of terrorist acts demonstrated the need for a strong policy of prevention and suppression. Common security could not be ensured unless everyone worked together to combat terrorism. Coordinated international action was necessary, and the United Nations was the proper forum for that.
Recent attacks in Kenya and the Russian Federation emphasized the need for constant vigilance, he said. He supported the idea of a high-level conference to discuss the international community’s response to terrorism in all its manifestations. It was necessary to strengthen legal norms on terrorism by completing work on a comprehensive convention on terrorism, as well as on nuclear terrorism. “Let us stay the course and remain united and resolute in this lofty struggle”, he said.
JACK STRAW, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, said that the cold war had been dangerous and, at times, frightening, but, it had had some ground rules. Today’s terrorists respected no rules, and no one’s life, not even their own. They respected no values and no religion. They were cloaked in a cause; psychopathic killers who defined themselves by the terror they inflicted on others. International terrorism was immediate -- in each nation, down one street or the next. In the Council, at least 13 of 15 members had seen the killing of their innocent civilians by terrorists. “So we have to unite as never before in the face of this threat, and act”, he said.
First, he said, it must be ensured that the duties imposed by the United Nations counter-terrorism law under resolution 1373 were vigorously enforced, and the momentum of the Counter-Terrorism Committee must be sustained. Also crucial was the need to expose the connection between the terrorists who respected no rules and the States who also respected no rules. Stopping rogue States’ proliferation was as urgent as action to stop terrorism. Wherever possible, diplomatic means should be used to get proliferators to comply, such as with North Korea. But, there came a moment when patience must run out. “We are near that point with Iraq”, he warned. Before the adoption of resolution 1441 (2002) on
8 November, Saddam Hussein was already in breach of not one or two, but 23 of
27 mandatory obligations under nine separate Council resolutions stretching back over 12 years. So, the moment for Saddam was close. He must either resolve that crisis peacefully, by full and effective compliance with those resolutions and full cooperation with the United Nations inspectors, or face the “serious consequences” -- the use of force -- which the Council warned would follow when it passed resolution 1441 (2002).
He absolutely and emphatically rejected the lie that the actions of the international community in fighting terrorism and rogue States was “anti-Muslim”. It was not. Indeed, it was pro-Muslim, as well as pro-Christian, pro-Buddhist, pro-Jew, pro-Hindu, pro-Sikh, and pro-humanity. Work must also be done to eliminate the environment in which terrorism bred. That could be done by firm security action and a political agenda. Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka showed that hope could be built after decades of killing and hatred. In the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a two-State solution was the only just response, as the Council had determined. The ideals of the United Nations prevailed through the area of super-Power confrontation and, with collective effort, it would prevail over the twin threats of terrorism and mass destruction weapons.
SOLOMON PASSY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, said that the
12 United Nations Conventions and Protocols constituted the primary legal framework for the fight against terrorism. At the same time, the legal framework would not be complete until the negotiations on the comprehensive convention against terrorism and on the International Convention on Prevention of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism were concluded. The coordination and harmonization of the fight against terrorism at the international level must be coupled with adequate efforts at the national level.
To improve and broaden cooperation at the subregional level, Bulgaria hosted in 2002 a regional political forum of the south-east European States, he said. That initiative was consistent with the view that achievements could be improved when States worked within the collective efforts of the region and was meant to boost cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe, and the Central European Initiative.
Terrorists must not be allowed to use cultural and religious differences to breed feelings of mistrust and hatred among nations and, in that way, justify their terrible acts of violence, he said. Counter-terrorism measures should be improved constantly because terrorists had proved to have an extraordinary ability to take advantage of the weaknesses and omissions of international cooperation. He was confident that today’s meeting would give new impetus to strengthening the abilities of States in their fight against one of the most dangerous phenomena of the present world.
JOAO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister for External Relations of Angola, said that the results of the international community’s struggle against terrorism had been positive, thanks to the Council’s leadership and to the prompt response of States in taking measures to implement resolution 1373 (2001). Many of them had sent national reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee and had taken practical measures to prevent and fight terrorist networks. Success, however, required not only the adoption of domestic policies, but also regional and international cooperation. Africa was an early actor in adopting measures against terrorist activities. In 1999, for example, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) adopted a convention on preventing and combating terrorism.
He said that his country, which had suffered directly under terrorism for many years, was seriously engaged in the struggle. For the Angolan Government, preventing terrorism was a major challenge, particularly in a period of consolidating peace and democracy. Effective defence against terrorism, of course, required a strong State that was politically stable and able to fulfil its responsibilities as a member of the international community. Those had been his country’s goals. Also, strengthening the Angolan social fabric would prevent some forms of terrorism from taking root. Angola was now seeking to provide relief to the suffering caused by 30 years of war. That included the resettlement of
3 million displaced persons and more than 400,000 refugees, the reinsertion of thousands of former combatants, and reconstruction of its infrastructure.
As a result, he explained, his Government was not yet capable of fully contributing its share to the struggle against all forms of terrorism without international assistance. Very soon, it would welcome a technical assistance mission from the United Nations Centre for the Prevention of International Crime. In southern Africa, Angola was an early promoter of a regional meeting to coordinate a strategy against terrorist activities in the region. That strategy included measures to impede movements of people and funds of terrorist networks, prevent potential strikes, and increase information exchanges and training for, among others, immigration and customs authorities and police and civil aviation personnel. Implementation of such measures required international assistance. Also critical was a global convention on terrorism, which provided a universally acceptable definition of that scourge.
KHURSHID MAHMUD KASURI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, said that his country had been the target of Al Qaeda’s retaliation and revenge attacks. However, despite those attacks, Pakistan had remained resolute and had achieved considerable success in its anti-terrorism campaign, which would be pursued until the terrorists had been eliminated. In accordance with Council resolutions, his country had devised a legal and practical mechanism to effectively halt financial and other support to terrorist organizations and groups. Several sectarian and extremist groups had been banned and their assets frozen. Pakistan has signed or ratified 11 out of the 12 United Nations anti-terrorism Conventions. It had also signed the Organization of Islamic Conference Convention on Combating Terrorism.
He concurred with the fear that terrorists might acquire sophisticated technology and weapons of mass destruction. He reaffirmed that Pakistan’s nuclear assets were under strict safeguards and credible custodial controls. With vigorous security and monitoring, there had never been any danger that his country’s nuclear or sensitive technologies might be leaked to others.
Terrorism had no creed, culture or religion, he stated. Pakistan resolutely rejected attempts to identify Islam with terrorism. The misrepresentation and slander against Islam must be collectively opposed by the international community, lest it sow the seeds of endemic confrontation between cultures and civilizations. There should be no double standards in combating terrorism. He was surprised that terrorism by other religious fanatics in non-Muslim societies had not been condemned vigorously.
LUIS ERNESTO DERBEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said that a successful response to the threat of terrorism must be based on three principles. First, the establishment of an international order based on universally recognized rules and norms. Second, the continuous strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of global problems. Third, the primary role of the United Nations as the forum established by the community of nations to channel its actions dealing with global problems. He stressed that the fight against terrorism must be waged while fully respecting the principles of the Charter and of international law, including the protection of human rights.
Mexico, he said, had participated in various international forums and had supported initiatives to prevent and combat terrorism and, since January 2003, had assumed one of the vice-chairmanships of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. In the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it had been an active supporter of the early conclusion of the Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as an effective mechanism for ensuring that nuclear materials or facilities could not be used for terrorist purposes. Within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mexico had supported the adoption of recommendations to combat the financing of terrorism.
At the same time, he continued, Mexico had been taking steps to strengthen its internal legal framework for combating terrorism. The Senate of Mexico recently approved the ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Later today, he would be depositing the instruments corresponding to those two Conventions.
IGOR S. IVANOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that the new wave of terrorist acts that shook the world at the end of last year had reaffirmed, with alarming clarity, that the world community continued to face a strong and ruthless enemy, which threatened international security and the foundations of the modern world order. The multidimensional strategy to combat international terrorism, developed under United Nations’ auspices and defined in Council resolutions, had already proven its efficiency through the elimination of an extremely dangerous hotbed of terrorism in Afghanistan. Terrorism, however, was “far from being crushed”. Also alarming was that terrorists were seeking to acquire mass destruction weapons. That catastrophe could not be allowed to happen and the non-proliferation regimes should be further strengthened.
The recent brazen acts in Russia, Indonesia and Kenya, and their almost daily occurrence in the Middle East, proved the need for a comprehensive approach, he continued. United, thoroughly calculated and decisive action by the international community should oppose the insidious “sophistication” of terrorists. That task could be actively pursued by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, which, since its establishment, had earned high marks for its dynamic, unbiased and transparent work. Broadly speaking, it was necessary to further strengthen the anti-terrorist international legal framework by universalizing existing anti-terrorist conventions. On 27 December 2002, the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism came into force in his country, and work was under way to ratify the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection
For the Russian Federation, strengthening international solidarity in the fight against terrorism was not a tribute to political rhetoric, he said. The large-scale terrorist acts committed last year in Jaspiysk, Moscow and Gorzny, and the terrorist “Chechen trace” in a number of European and Muslim countries left no doubt that the Chechen terrorist was an integral component of the global terrorist infrastructure, including Al Qaeda. It was a duty of every State not to let terrorist escape justice. There should be no double standards in that regard, or victory would belong, not to the international community, but to terrorists and their accomplices.
ANA PALACIO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, said that the United Nations had the obligation to lead the fight against terrorism. In that regard, there were three issues to be tackled. First, to be effective, it was necessary to focus on the common definition of terrorism. Second, it was necessary to excise the blood of terrorism, eliminating its sources of financing. Third, it was necessary to be implacable with those regimes that provide shelter, encouragement or protection to terrorists, especially if they possessed or had the capability to develop weapons of mass destruction. In that fight, freedom and security were not incompatible, but mutually reinforcing. At the global level, efforts must be continued to attain universal ratification of the various United Nations Conventions on combating terrorism.
Turning to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, she said that it could not limit itself to a mere review of reports. Rather, it should put forward legal and political measures that could be effective in the real world. It should deal, on a priority basis, with the issue of preventing and eradicating the financing of terrorism. Likewise, it should identify and propose specific steps for the exchange of information and early warning systems to avert terrorist attacks and propose recommendations for an efficient border control system.
After taking due account of evolving circumstances in the coming months, the Committee might re-examine its mandate in order to keep playing an active and efficient role in the international fight against terrorism, she said. It must not be forgotten that terrorism was often intrinsically linked to other illegal activities, such as drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering. Terrorism could not be successfully tackled without confronting those related matters. Special attention must also be paid to preventing terrorist groups from having access to weapons of mass destruction.
COLIN POWELL, Secretary of State of the United States, said that no cause justified the murder of innocent people. The world must rid itself of the cancer of terrorism by using every tool of statecraft, for as long as it took. Today’s declaration would make clear that that war had many fronts, from stemming arms and drug trafficking, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The comments made today have been impressive. He thanked Pakistan for its commitment to continue to “go after” Al Qaeda. Regarding references made to Council resolution 1441 (2002), the Council would meet in the very near future to determine what to do. Iraq had been given one last chance with that resolution. The Council must not shrink from its duties when the material came before it next week. Members must not be “shocked into impotence” because they were afraid of the difficult choices ahead.
Indeed, he continued, the Council must not shrink from the responsibility of dealing with that regime that had gone about developing, acquiring, and stockpiling mass destruction weapons and trampled the human rights of its own people and its neighbours. He hoped there would be a peaceful solution, but if Iraq did not come into full compliance, the Council must not shrink from the responsibility before it. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists was a mortal danger to all. Even closer international cooperation must be forged. The United Nations had long worked on the campaign against terrorism, through the adoption of 12 treaties and protocols, to which compliance by all States was vital. With the Council’s adoption of resolution 1373 (2001), the United Nations fundamentally changed the way the international community responded to terrorism by creating an obligation for all Member States to work together to stop it.
That resolution said that if one was a member of the community of civilized nations, it must do its part to eliminate terrorism, he went on. Most States had submitted reports to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and that was a very important step. Countries that had not yet done so should submit reports as soon as possible. Support and assistance should be provided to those countries lacking the necessary skills and resources to build their national capabilities to combat terrorism. Many had already stepped up to that challenge, such as in providing assistance in drafting national anti-terrorism legislation. The United States, for its part, had trained nearly 4,800 persons in 60 countries in such aspects as crime scene investigation and the protection of dignitaries. It would provide $10 million this year to help strengthen measures in several countries aimed at denying funds to terrorists.
TANG JIAXUAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, said that it was incumbent on the international community to formulate a common strategy to fight terrorism. The central task in fighting terrorism was to ensure the peace and the security of mankind. Solving hotspot issues such as the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan would impact positively on international cooperation to fight terrorism. All ways and means employed must be conducive to the easing of such tensions.
Also, it was necessary to proceed with the counter-terrorism campaign with the goal of promoting universal development and prosperity, he said. Only when the gap between rich and poor was narrowed could the soil of terrorism be eradicated. The early realization of all development goals set forth in the Millennium Declaration would be significant in mobilizing international cooperation. Further, the struggle against terrorism should provide an opportunity for nations to learn from one another. All countries should strive to promote understanding and tolerance.
The success of the international campaign against terrorism required common cooperation and coordination, he said. Success also depended on the leading role played by the United Nations. He hoped that the Counter-Terrorism Committee would adopt more forceful measures to allow developing countries to fully implement measures to fight terrorism. His country had attached great importance to counter-terrorism. It had signed and ratified almost all the United Nations Conventions on counter-terrorism. China had been a victim of terrorism. The “East Turkistan” terrorist organization had perpetrated numerous terrorist attacks in China’s Xinjiang province and neighbouring areas. In September, the Security Council had put that group on the list of terrorist groups.
FRANÇOIS LONSENY FALL, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Guinea, commended the work done by the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Its progress was evidence of the resolve to discharge its responsibilities effectively and quickly. It had also demonstrated the political will of Member States. He welcomed the Committee’s proposal to hold a meeting with international, regional and subregional institutions, which would help strengthen capacities to combat terrorism. Also gratifying had been the accession and ratification of the
12 relevant Conventions by so many States. He also supported work on a draft convention to combat nuclear terrorist acts. The Committee had been able to highlight the relationship between terrorism and organized crime, but its work was far from done.
He condemned international terrorism in all its forms, whatever the cause its perpetrators claimed to be defending. Political differences should not overshadow the commitment to combat that evil. Guinea had not been subjected to terrorist acts, but it fully supported actions to eliminate it. His Government had taken action to accede to the international convention to which it was not party, and had always been involved in global efforts to combat terrorism. The success of those efforts could be measured by the number of lives saves and the number of terrorist acts thwarted. Recent terrorist attacks had demonstrated the need to further strengthen international cooperation. Success depended on the solidarity of the entire international community in overcoming divisive factors. Dialogue among civilizations, which accepted differences for the sake of the common good, should be promoted, he said.
MIKHAIL WEHBE (Syria), reading a letter from his Foreign Minister, stressed the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security. The United Nations and the Security Council, in particular, had undertaken serious measures to fight terrorism following 11 September. Regrettably, terrorism had not started then and there, nor had it ended there. In today’s world, freedom mixed with oppression, principles with double standards, and right with wrong. There was no doubt that resolution 1373 constituted the cornerstone in efforts to counter international terrorism. He hoped that the Committee would continue to supervise all aspects related to the implementation of resolution 1373.
He emphasized the need to look into the causes of terrorism in order to address them and root them out. There were increasing concerns due to the link between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The draft resolution to be adopted today had clear references to that link. He shared the concern about such a link. For over two decades, Syria had been raising that issue and had called for an international conference to define terrorism and distinguish between it and the legitimate struggle for freedom.
Also, he continued, declaring the Middle East a nuclear-weapon-free zone had been Syria’s call since 1989. However, that goal had so far been elusive due to Israel’s refusal to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), under the pretext of awaiting peace between it and its neighbours. In addition, a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict would contribute to fighting terrorism. Syria, itself a victim to terrorism, had succeeded in harnessing its own potential to root out terrorism. It would continue to cooperate with the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
J. GABRIEL VALDÉS (Chile) said that condemning terrorism in all its forms was an ethical and political duty. Terrorism threatened innocent lives, as well as the moral foundations of civilization, and all such acts were criminal and unjustified, whatever their motivation. The international community needed a deep commitment; there was no place for neutrality in confronting terrorism. Efforts must proceed on the premise that, in a global world, the fate of each person was the fate of all. No one was free from the danger of terrorism. Civil society must be included in the context of protecting civil rights. It was not possible to fight those who hated our values by forgetting those values.
The United Nations and the Security Council had responded to the tragic events that shook the world in 2001, he said. The adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) marked the beginning of a strengthened commitment to fight terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee offered a unique opportunity for States to create the conditions for building confidence, leading to genuine collective security. Following the adoption of that resolution, Chile had fulfilled all of its obligations. It had accelerated efforts to combat terrorism regionally, while also providing cooperation at the subregional level. The declaration to be adopted today marked a turning point in the work of the Committee. Thus far, that body had functioned on the basis of "vertical" relationships with Member States. Starting today, it should establish "horizontal" relationships among countries and with relevant regional organizations.
A joint approach was critical to the global strategy, and cooperation among States was crucial, he added. The Committee should elaborate a programme of work that took into account the differences in regions, in order to ensure implementation of resolution 1373 (2001). It should also recognize that the participation of international and regional organizations with relevant expertise was a key aspect in formulating the objectives and priorities for global action. He proposed the establishment of an inter-agency coordination segment, which should be enhanced among the various other relevant committees of the Security Council. The United Nations was today facing one of its greatest challenges. It had the capacity and legitimacy to eradicate the terrorist threat.
DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, speaking in his national capacity, said that the world was at a crisis today. In that context, the Security Council had a special responsibility. That was why his delegation had taken the opportunity to convene today’s meeting. Terrorism affected all countries and all peoples and, therefore, could not be fought without international cooperation. Much had already been done with the vital role played by the Council, the adoption of resolution 1373, the sanctions against Al Qaeda, and the Counter-Terrorism Committee. At the same time, much remained to be done,
as terrorism continued to change its face. It was imperative to do more and do better.
First, he said, it was necessary to strengthen international mobilization, in which the United Nations must play an increased role. It was necessary to conclude negotiations on basic texts and allow for the application of texts already signed. Because the United Nations was a world body, it could do more to help countries, especially those of the South, to better implement counter-terrorism measures. In that regard, he proposed setting up a cooperation and assistance fund at the United Nations, which would have its own resources and work closely with international financial institutions.
Also, the time had come to take action regarding the link between terrorism and other illegal activities, such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, arms trafficking and illegal financing. In that regard, France would be making concrete proposals on drafting an international convention to increase controls over the use and transfer of radioactive sources, used to make "dirty bombs".
Terrorism fed on injustice, he added. An equitable development model was needed to eradicate terrorism once and for all. It was necessary to make development the centre of concerns, mobilize greater resources, be more imaginative and foster greater dialogue among nations. The situation was an urgent one and action was required on all fronts. He suggested that a meeting be held at the next Assembly session, perhaps in the context of a special session, to adopt new measures that would give tangible effect to the new energy brought to international mobilization against terrorism. The only way to defeat terrorism was through unity, imagination and action.
Following that, the Council unanimously adopted the draft resolution, which will be issued as Council resolution 1456 (2003).
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