OUTGOING CHAIR OF SECURITY COUNCIL’S COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE SAYS UNITED NATIONS NOW CENTRE OF GLOBAL ANTI-TERRORISM NETWORK

4 April 2003
SC/7718

OUTGOING CHAIR OF SECURITY COUNCIL’S COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE SAYS UNITED NATIONS NOW CENTRE OF GLOBAL ANTI-TERRORISM NETWORK

04/04/2003
Press ReleaseSC/7718

Security Council

4734th Meeting* (AM & PM)

OUTGOING CHAIR OF SECURITY COUNCIL’S COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE SAYS

UNITED NATIONS NOW CENTRE OF GLOBAL ANTI-TERRORISM NETWORK

Briefing Council, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom)

Describes Committee as Central, Catalytic Body in Worldwide Effort

It had taken a “horrific” act less than five miles from the Security Council Chamber to shake the international community into adopting legally binding, global standards against terrorism, but 18 months later the counter-terrorism effort was a global network, with the United Nations at the centre, the Council was told today.

Briefing the Council for the final time, Jeremy Greenstock  (United Kingdom), the outgoing chair of the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, which was established in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, said the Committee’s work thus far –- using transparency and consistent hard work -- had unlocked the potential of collective effort, which would pay dividends, because no country could prevent terrorism in isolation.

The Committee was established to monitor implementation of Council resolution 1373 (2001), which set out wide-ranging steps and strategies to combat terrorism, among others, calling on all States to take steps to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and report on steps they took to that end. Thus far, according to the Committee chair, reports had been received from some 343 States and others, and the Committee had sent 243 detailed letters in response.  The Committee also held a meeting on 6 March with some 60 international organizations, all with counter-terrorism programmes, which had been important in establishing a concrete global structure.

The Committee needed to move ahead with sensitivity and firmness, as it got into the detail of monitoring and implementation, Mr. Greenstock said.  In considering the existence and utilization of government machinery to prevent terrorist acts and bring terrorists to justice, the Committee would need to deepen its understanding of what was required of States.  Those States, in turn, must be proactive in their response, seek assistance from the Committee and offer assistance to neighbours and partners.  At all cost, terrorists must be prevented from gaining access to materials used in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

__________

*     The 4733rd meeting was closed.

In closing, he said that memories could fade and with it the call of responsibility.  He stressed that a central, catalytic body could make a huge difference in the effort against terrorism, and the Committee had become that body.  Perhaps one day it might become something more -– a full time, global body of experts, working with the Council, but following up all avenues opened in resolution 1373.

The Committee’s new Chairman, Inocencio F. Arias (Spain), noted that the Committee was entering a new phase in its work, qualitatively quite distinct from earlier phases.  Up until now, it had focused on identifying the existence of national legislation; from now on, it would focus on the implementation and effectiveness of that legislation.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had been working on the basis of the criteria that should continue to guide its path --   the principles of cooperation, transparency and equal treatment.

Following the briefing, speakers stressed that counter-terrorism efforts should take place within the framework of international law and with strict respect for human rights.  While underlining the importance for Member States and international, regional and subregional organizations to increase capacities to tackle the scourge of terrorism, several speakers also stressed the importance of assistance to those countries which needed it for implementing the provisions of resolution 1373.  Attention was also drawn to the issue of enforcement measures and verification of information received by the Committee.

Some representatives drew attention to the need for addressing the root causes of terrorism.  Speaking in his national capacity, the Council’s President, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser (Mexico), said the best weapons in the fight against the scourge of terrorism were the weapons of sustainable development and those that tackled the humanitarian problems in conflicts.  Human rights, tolerance and education were vital tasks in that fight.

Pakistan’s representative pointed out that absence of an agreed definition of terrorism was an obvious impediment to international efforts.  In the fight against terrorism, the international community must not allow any erosion of the fundamental principles of the Charter, including equal rights and the right to self-determination of peoples.  The phenomenon of State terrorism should not be excluded.  In that context, it was imperative for the Council to insist on the evolution of the peaceful solution to conflicts among States.

The representative of Israel, however, said terrorism killed indiscriminately and knew no border, nationality, race or religion.  There must be no distinction between good and bad terrorism, between the military and social wings of terrorist organizations.  It was immoral to abuse the noble lexicon of freedom to justify the mass murder of innocents -– to excuse those abhorrent acts for the advancement of a political agenda.

At the conclusion of the meeting, in a statement read by the Council’s President (document S/PRST/2003/3), the Council affirmed the appointment of

Mr. Arias (Spain) as the new Counter-Terrorism Committee Chairman and invited the Committee to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for its seventh

(page 1b follows)

90-day period (document S/2003/387).  It expressed its intention to review the Committee’s structure and activities no later than 4 October.  Noting that three States had not yet submitted a report and that 51 Member States were late in submitting a further report, the Council called on them urgently to do so.

At the outset of the meeting, the President expressed the Council’s deep gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom).  He said his leadership and great diplomatic skills, together with his firm conviction that the United Nations must play a central role in the fight against terrorism, were all components of his successful chairmanship.

Statements were also made by the representatives of Germany, Chile, United States, Guinea, France, China, Angola, Cameroon, Russian Federation, Syria, Bulgaria, Belarus, India, Peru (on behalf of the Rio Group), Brazil, Republic of Korea, Cambodia (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), Australia, Greece (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Philippines, Japan, Norway, Colombia, Fiji (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum), and Afghanistan.  The representative of Syria took the floor for a second time, as did the representative of Pakistan.

The meeting, which was called to order at 10:40 a.m., was suspended at

1:30 p.m.  It resumed at 3:35 p.m. and was adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to address the question of terrorist acts as a threat to international peace and security.  This meeting was a follow-up to a Council meeting at the ministerial level on 20 January (see Press Release SC/7638) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee meeting with regional organizations on 6 March (see Press Release SC/7679).

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks on the United States, on 11 September 2001, 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.

On 20 January, the Council unanimously adopted a declaration (contained in resolution 1456 (2003), which reaffirmed the severity of the global terrorist threat and called on all States to take urgent action to prevent and suppress all active and passive support to terrorism and to comply fully with Council resolutions dealing with the scourge.  The document focuses on an action plan to bolster member countries’ abilities to fight the menace in three areas:  working with Member States to raise their capacity to defeat terrorism in their country; promoting assistance programmes to accelerate the capacity-building process; and creating a global network of international and regional organizations.  The meeting with regional organizations on 6 March was held in order to find further ways of taking forward that global effort.

Statements

The President of the Security Council, ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico), before giving the floor to the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, expressed the Council’s deep gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom).  He said his leadership and great diplomatic skills, together with his firm conviction that the United Nations must play a central role in the fight against terrorism, were all components of his successful chairmanship. Ambassador Greenstock had built a solid basis for the future work of the Committee and had had the vision to initiate and promote a dialogue with other international, regional and subregional organizations, he said.

JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, said the Committee’s work programme for its seventh 90-day period built on the solid foundation gained from 18 months’ work, highlighted by excellent cooperation established with the vast majority of Member States and the beginnings of a global network to tackle terrorism.  Transparency and consistent hard work had been the instruments.  In 18 months, the Committee had received 343 reports from States and others, and had sent 243 detailed letters in response.

He said the Committee would need to move ahead with both sensitivity and firmness, as it got into the detail of monitoring implementation.  In considering the existence and utilization of government machinery to prevent terrorist activities and bring terrorists to justice, the Committee would need to deepen its understanding of what was required of States.  States must be proactive in their response, seek assistance from the Committee, and offer assistance to neighbours and partners.  At all costs, terrorists must be prevented from gaining access to materials used in chemical, biological, nuclear and other deadly weapons.  The Committee would meet shortly with representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the World Customs Organization and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).  Three States -- Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland and Vanuatu -- had not submitted even a preliminary report, and the Council should decide what further action to take in that regard.

Counter-terrorism had now gone global, he said, with the United Nations at the centre.  The special meeting of 6 March had brought together the representatives of some 60 international regional and subregional organizations, all with counter-terrorism programmes.  The event was important for establishing a global structure in concrete terms.  In practical terms, “creating a global network” meant a better flow of information.  The Committee’s Web site [www.un.org/sc/ctc] would be expanded to host the best information in a user-friendly format.  Also, the network must be exploited, so that best practices spread quickly and easily.  The Committee would further develop the list of contact points.  He encouraged all States and all international, regional and subregional organizations to use those contact points and the information about what others were doing, to develop collective action.

In his personal capacity, he said the Committee had been complimented for its dynamism, but there had also been criticism, having been accused of doing no more than push paper.  Those criticisms were misguided, he said.  There was an almost universal awareness of the threat of terrorism, which had led to revised legislation.  Governments were understanding the connection between tackling terrorism and tackling organized crime and other illegal activity.  They were on heightened alert for suspicious activity, including fund raising.  The Committee had also unlocked the potential of collective effort.  The international and regional organizations had understood that there was a standard of activity to follow.  They had also recognized the link between implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and other obligations, particularly those in the human rights field.

Collective effort would pay dividends, because no country could prevent terrorism in isolation.  Parts of the world which never considered counter-terrorism before were now taking action.  Only governments working together could raise global counter-terrorism capacity.  But, they had to be organized, he said. “It took a horrific terrorist act less than five miles from this Council Chamber to shake the international community into adopting 1373’s legally binding and global standards”, he said, but memories could fade, and so could the call of responsibility.  The vigour of a central, catalytic body could make a huge difference to the maintenance of global law and order, and the Committee had become that.  Perhaps, one day, it might become something more:  a full-time, professional and global body of experts, working with the Council, but following up all avenues which resolution 1373 had opened.

GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) said that his country remained fully committed to the fight against terrorism and to maintaining and strengthening the broadest possible international coalition against it.  Terrorist networks must be destroyed, and their activists must be prosecuted by all legal means.  Six weeks ago, a German criminal court had sentenced an active supporter of international terrorism to a harsh prison term.  In fact, that sentence was the very first criminal procedure ever brought against a member of the 11 September terrorist net.

He commended the Committee for its increased attention to the risk of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.  Close cooperation with all relevant international institutions was imperative in that context.  International instruments of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation provided important tools in that respect.  At the same time, his country attached particular importance to the dialogue with other civilizations, particularly the Islamic world, with the aim of broadening common understanding for, and dealing with the underlying causes of, terrorism.  The international community’s common fight must respect national and international law, human rights and the United Nations Charter.  The rule of law must always prevail.

Strengthening the rule of law and efficient judicial and law-enforcement structures worldwide was one of the main objectives of the Committee, he said, which had been a landmark in the fight against terrorism.  Paying tribute to Jeremy Greenstock, he added that his delegation was confident that his successor, Ambassador Arias of Spain would continue to maintain the Committee’s high profile by successfully responding to the challenges laid down in resolution 1373.  Germany would continue to assist third States in developing suitable measures to combat terrorism and to coordinate that assistance with the Committee.  Germany would spare no effort in order to enhance and invigorate the international coalition against terrorism, within the Committee and all other relevant organs of the United Nations.

JUAN GABRIEL VALDES (Chile) said to date a tremendous effort had been made in implementing resolution 1373 with contributions of Member States, international, regional and subregional organizations, the Secretariat, and the Committee and its experts.  It was the right course to expand the work of implementing resolution 1373.  There was a need to continue cooperating with States to enhance their counter-terrorism capacities.  In developing the future work of the Committee, there was also a need to intensify contacts with international, regional and subregional organizations.  That would lead to improving the flow information on international standards and best practices.

Regarding the origin of terrorism in various regions, he looked forward to the follow-up meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in that regard. Control of the use of nuclear, chemical and biological material should also be addressed.  The Ministerial Declaration of 20 January had urged Member States to adopt by consensus the draft conventions to combat international terrorism and to combat nuclear terrorism.  It was regrettable that no significant progress had been made, he said.

He said that in a globalized world the fate of each country was the fate of all the world’s people.  Combating terrorism was not merely an activity for governments, but also of civil society, and must take place with full observance of human rights.  His region had been marked by State terrorism.  Combating terrorism by using methods of State terrorism degraded the struggle.

RICHARD S. WILLIAMSON (United States) said that 18 months after the establishment of the Committee, his country joined others in paying tribute to Ambassador Greenstock as he passed the baton to his successor.  Unfortunately, terrorism remained a clear and present danger, which needed to be dealt with.  The United Nations took part in the work towards setting the norms against terrorism.  It was in a unique position to build the capacity of the international community in that respect.  The world was threatened by the risk of the world’s most destructive weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.  The Committee’s task was to increase the ability of governments to deal with that danger.

Early on, it had become clear that the Committee could not do that task alone, he continued.  International efforts should include the contribution of donors, as well as regional, subregional and international organizations.  The

6 March meeting would not only help to solidify those relationships and raise the counter-terrorism profile in those organizations, but also reinforce the role of the Committee in international efforts.  He was pleased that the OAS had agreed to hold its meeting in Washington.

In its review of Member States’ reports, the Committee had focused on finding legislative gaps in national laws and filling them, he said.  For the Committee to be effective, that work needed to be translated into on-the-ground results.  It was time for the Committee “to move up a notch”, providing effective monitoring of efforts in implementation of resolution 1373.  It was necessary to go beyond the review of reports; it was also necessary to see that police, customs and immigrations institutions were functioning effectively.  It was important to create a credible review, in that regard.  Moreover, the Committee should request international, regional and subregional organizations to undertake implementation assessments, which could complement the work of the Committee without duplicating it.  International financial institutions were also well placed to provide assistance in that respect.  Some form of site visits could be needed to ascertain the reality on the ground. 

The United States strongly encouraged Member States to do more, he added.  It remained strongly committed to helping willing States with limited capacity to work out measures to fight terrorism.  Unwilling States must be encouraged and pressured to do more.  They could not remain a weak link that undermined international efforts.  Those who harboured and supported terrorists must be exposed and shamed.  Increased expectations would result in increased accountability.  States should not become complacent, for too much was at stake.

MAMADY TRAORÉ (Guinea) said there was no doubt that terrorism was the anti-thesis of the Organization.  The adoption of 1373 and establishment of the Committee demonstrated the determination of members of the international community to combat the scourge.  He welcomed activities undertaken by the Committee.  The guidelines for drafting of national reports, the list of contacts and the creation of a Web site, among other things, were clear evidence of the desire of Member States to cooperate fully.

He stressed that counter-terrorism was a long-term endeavour and depended on the solidarity of the members of the international community.  Therefore, he underlined the importance for Member States and international, regional and subregional organizations to increase capacities to tackle the scourge.  He encouraged all States to implement resolution 1373.  Special attention should be given, however, to the matter of assistance, so that all actors could shoulder their responsibilities in implementing the resolution.  He supported the work programme of the Committee for the seventh period.

MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) expressed his country’s appreciation for the role played by the Committee and for Mr. Greenstock’s pioneering contribution to the fight against terrorism.  The phenomenon of terrorism had been present throughout history, but never before had that threat possessed such vast potential and universal reach as today.  The events of 11 September had magnified the threat that terrorism represented to the world.  The use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists was a challenge unparalleled in history.  His country had suffered from terrorism for several decades, and that had strengthened Pakistan’s resolve to combat that phenomenon in all its forms and manifestations.  In particular, his country had continued to capture suspected terrorists on its borders with Afghanistan.  He was grateful for international cooperation, which had allowed Pakistan to apprehend some international suspects.

Having reviewed the Committee’s work programme, he noted its intention to focus on providing further assistance to States in increasing their counter-terrorism capacity.  It was important not to get caught up in procedures and reporting requirements, which must be secondary to action on the ground taken by States.  In the future, the United Nations should pursue its counter-terrorism goals with a clear strategic vision and a well defined framework.  It was also necessary to focus on both operational measures and structural mechanisms needed to succeed in the anti-terrorism campaign.

The absence of an agreed definition of terrorism was an obvious impediment to international efforts, he pointed out.  In the fight against terrorism, the international community must not allow any erosion of the fundamental principles of the Charter, including equal rights and self-determination of peoples.  The phenomenon of State terrorism should not be excluded.  In that context, it was imperative for the Council to insist on the evolution of the peaceful solution to conflicts among States.  As the philosopher Nietzshe had said, he who fights against monsters should see to it that he does not become one himself.  Thus, particular attention should be paid to human rights and observing the provisions in international law.  The Committee should help to identify possible concerns and solutions in that respect.  The root causes of terrorism also needed to be addressed.  It was necessary to promote greater understanding between religions and cultures. 

Referring to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he stressed the importance of the right to self-determination in accordance with United Nations principles and said that the slogan of counter-terrorism should not be used to suppress the right of peoples to fight oppression.  A safeguard mechanism was needed to prevent unsubstantiated allegations from becoming a source for a threat of the use of force by countries.  When one State made allegations against another State, they must be investigated impartially, perhaps by a United Nations fact-finding missions.  States should not be allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner. 

JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE (France), aligning himself with the statement of Greece on behalf of the European Union, said the Committee had accomplished remarkable work in monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 over the last    18 months.  The Council had recognized and supported the significant work of the Committee with its independent experts.  Because of its global nature, counter-terrorism action required resolute action of all.  All States must submit their national report in accordance with the timetable contained in resolution 1373. Universal participation might not be possible, however, unless States were in a position to benefit from the financial and technical assistance they needed.  The directory of technical assistance and the matrix of needs the Committee had set up were helpful in that regard.

He said setting priorities among needs expressed for technical assistance must be urgently undertaken.  The Committee, having received all national reports, was now in a position to better identify difficulties of a general nature encountered in implementation of resolution 1373, so that the Council could remedy those problems. France had proposed close cooperation with international financial institutions to strengthen counter-terrorism capacities of countries in the South.

He welcomed the cooperation between the Committee and regional and subregional organizations which had developed programmes of action in counter-terrorism.  The 6 March meeting was particularly useful in that regard.  That meeting had highlighted the important role such organizations could play to bolster and facilitate collective action to combat terrorism.  As President of the Group of 8, France was anxious to strengthen technical support in the work of the Committee.

INOCENCIO F. ARIAS (Spain) said that during the first 18 months of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work, it had been consolidated as the primary instrument of global cooperation against terrorism.  That was due, to a great extent, to the wealth of professional qualities that made Ambassador Greenstock an irreplaceable diplomat.  He would do his very best to follow his example.

Since terrorism easily transcended borders, international cooperation was a vital need, he continued.  The chairmanship of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, now assumed by Spain, was a great responsibility, to which his country was fully sensitive.  Spain had suffered from terrible acts of terrorism for several decades, and it had first-hand experience, unfortunately, of the horrific effects of that scourge.  It was firmly committed to addressing it resolutely, and the Committee was an essential tool in that respect.

“We have received a significant legacy of work well done, in which the tirelessness and professional skills of the experts assigned to the Committee and the Secretariat’s services to the Council have also been essential”, he said.  As Ambassador Greenstock had rightly stated, the Committee is entering a new phase in its work, qualitatively quite distinct from earlier phases.  Up until now, it had focused on identifying the existence of national legislation; from now on, it would focus on the implementation and effectiveness of that legislation.  The Committee had been working on the basis of the criteria that should continue to guide its path -- the principles of cooperation, transparency and equal treatment.

Cooperation between the Committee and international organizations and States would be increasingly important, he said.  Proof of that was the forthcoming meeting with representatives of the IAEA, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the World Customs Organization.  It was important not to overlook the important role of the Committee as a catalyst and as a mediator between those States that required assistance and those able to provide it.  It was essential to develop and enhance the Committee’s Web page in order to provide easy, fast and productive access to all States and international organizations.  Equality of treatment must continue, which enabled the Committee to be a genuinely universal tool that accompanied and assisted all States, permitting their mutual enrichment though exchange of experience.  He concluded by appealing to the Security Council and all Member States to continue working together, in accordance with the Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security in the face of the global threat presented by terrorism.

WANG YINGFAN (China) said, in the 18 months since its establishment, the Committee had been working to promote implementation of resolution 1373.  At present, countries had either passed legislation to counter terrorism or were in the process of doing so.  The progress achieved had been remarkable.  The participants in the special meeting of the Committee with international, regional and subregional organizations had exchanged views on how to further strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism.

He supported the seventh 90-day programme of work.  Work should be further strengthened to provide assistance for counter-terrorism.  Practical measures should be taken to help developing countries, and the Committee should urge developed countries to increase their assistance.  As mandated by the resolution, the Committee should continue to monitor implementation of resolution 1373, and in that would need to move ahead with sensitivity and firmness.  Proposals made by the Committee to countries should be effective and a tailored approach should be taken.

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that by adopting resolution 1373, the international community had taken a far-reaching step forward in the global fight against terrorism.  He expressed appreciation to Ambassador Greenstock who had conducted the work of the Committee since its inception.  He wished Ambassador Arias great success and ensured him of his country’s cooperation.

The fight against terrorism required long-term, sustained global action, he said, with the United Nations playing a central role.  It was fully understood that the States had the primary responsibility to adopt measures to combat terrorism, stop financing of terrorist activities and prevent all active and passive support for terrorism, in compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions.  The Committee was an instrument of the Council to promote implementation of those resolutions by Member States.  Now, the Committee had secured cooperation of the whole membership of the United Nations, and it had a clear picture of the existing legislation and the gaps that needed to be filled from national reports.  There was a collective effort worldwide, which was real and tangible.

For a large number of countries, including his own, it was not easy to comply with resolution 1373, he continued.  That was due not to the lack of commitment, but to the lack of capacity, both national and regional.  The lack of resources impeded efforts to fight terrorism.  The movement of criminals, the smuggling of materials and people were among the challenges that needed to be addressed.  The root causes of terrorism lay in injustice, poverty and exclusion.  There was an urgent need to enhance dialogue and understanding among civilizations and to address the issues of poverty and development.  Those were the core questions, and if the international community was really determined to score victories in its fight against terrorism, it needed to address the root causes of terrorism and strengthen anti-terrorism capacities at the national, regional and international levels.

IYA TIDJANI (Cameroon) said the results of the work of the Committee over the past 18 months had attested to solidarity of the international community to act against the transborder plague.  No State, no society could deny that terrorism was one of the biggest threats to world security and peace.  The United Nations was the appropriate framework in which the counter-terrorism framework should be designed.  He regretted that the responsible committee of the General Assembly had been unable to resolve pending matters in drafting conventions against international terrorism and nuclear terrorism.

He said the Committee had received an impressive number of reports and he urged States who had not submitted reports to do so as soon as possible.  The total support of everyone was needed for the upcoming ambitious 90-day programme of work.  He was pleased that that programme had taken the matter of assistance into consideration and reiterated his country’s appeal that donors increase their assistance to countries that needed it.  He stressed that the fight against terrorism must include a fight against poverty and injustice.

SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the Committee had played a leading role in building the system, that was being created by the United Nations in the fight against terrorism.  He joined the words of gratitude to Ambassador Greenstock and noted the high quality of his work.

Continuing, he supported the recently adopted programme of work of the Committee for the next 90-day period.  It was important that the Committee continue to identify the gaps in national legislation, and focus future efforts on creating a universal information network and providing assistance to countries in their counter-terrorism efforts.  It was important to make it impossible for terrorists to take advantage of weaknesses in the global anti-terrorism system.  Strict compliance by individual States was needed with the requirements of resolution 1373.  He urged the countries that had not submitted their reports or were late in doing so to submit their reports immediately.

In view of the great importance of cooperation with international regional and subregional organizations, the meeting on 6 March deserved special mention.  Regional anti-terrorist structures were being created and strengthened within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) area.  In conclusion, he welcomed the resolve of the Council to actively stand up to the threat of terrorism.  The Russian Federation would continue to actively cooperate in the efforts of the international community to achieve real success.

FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said, in the course of 18 months, the Committee had had great success in providing assistance to Member States in enhancing their capacities to combat terrorism and to align their legislation with requirements of resolution 1373.  The interaction between Member States and the Committee, as well as the number of reports received, had been an indicator of its success.  The Committee had been able to have an open dialogue with States in a transparent fashion and was able to render assistance to States who needed it.

He supported the next 90-day programme of work and reaffirmed his country’s intention to spare no effort to implement the plan of action and to continue its cooperation with the Committee.  He stressed that combating terrorism must take place within the framework of international legality, the Charter of the United Nations, international law and with respect for human rights.  He stressed  also that combating terrorism should not undermine those who were defending their occupied territories.  Resisting occupation was a recognized legitimate act, which was different from terrorism.  One should also refrain from charges against certain religions, because terrorism knew no religion or boundary.

STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria) said that 18 months since the establishment of the Committee, Bulgaria welcomed the fact that it had become a central part of international efforts against terrorism.  It was a success story, and he highly appreciated the positive role played by Ambassador Greenstock in that respect.  He had no doubt that, in the future, the Committee would find ways of building on the positive impact that it had had so far.  The programme of work submitted made it possible to reaffirm what had been achieved, in particular, with regard to creation of a global network to combat terrorism.  He was pleased that the Committee was giving priority to the declaration adopted at the ministerial meeting on 20 January, which highlighted strengthened contacts with international, regional and subregional organizations.  They had an enormous capacity to help Member States implement resolution 1373.

Bulgaria’s experience at the subregional level had been successful so far, he said.  Last June, for example, a counter-terrorism regional conference had been held in Sofia.  On 6 March, the extremely useful discussion between regional organizations and the Committee had highlighted the importance of the exchange of information.  It was very important to use modern technology, including the Internet, in the fight against terrorism.  He welcomed the intention of the Committee to pay particular attention to the issue of weapons of mass destruction in relation to terrorism.  It was important to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, and Bulgaria had many times emphasized the importance of the existing anti-terrorism international conventions.  He appealed to all States that had not done so to become party to those instruments as soon as possible.

The Committee was now moving from collecting information to monitoring implementation of relevant resolutions, he said.  It also remained important to provide assistance to States, which needed help in implementation of anti-terrorism measures.  As for his country’s contribution to the fight against terrorism, he informed the Council that on 22 February the law against financing terrorism had entered into force in Bulgaria.  The country was also preparing its third report to the Committee.

The Council’s President, ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico), speaking in his national capacity and aligning himself with Peru’s statement on behalf of the Rio Group, said the Committee was an instrument created pursuant to an exceptional resolution, which represented a step forward in the building of international law. The fight against terrorism must be implacable and without quarter.  As the fight against terrorism lay ultimately with States, it was incumbent on the Committee to draw up guidelines and provide support.  Terrorism was an act of barbarism. Combating terrorism should, therefore, be an act of civilization, undertaken with strict respect for human rights.  The legitimacy of all endeavours would be diminished if one departed from the fundamental principles of the Organization.

In the coming stages, the work of the Committee should go beyond the acknowledgment by the Committee of existing legislation and should consider the machinery necessary to give effect to the provisions of the resolution and the promotion of capacity-building through the committee’s programme, he said.  The Committee should explore all avenues, with a view to maximizing the response to various requests for assistance that Member States might make.  The Committee should also begin preparation for addressing the links between terrorism and organized transnational crime.

The special meeting on 6 March between the Committee and international, regional and subregional organizations had been a successful step forward, as it had established the will to act in an effective and coordinated fashion.  The decision of the OAS to host a follow-up meeting to that special meeting was an expression of the hemisphere’s commitment in that regard.  Combating terrorism required a response in substance, a response that went to the roots and origins of the motivations for those acts.  The best weapons to use in the fight against the scourge were the weapons of sustainable development and those that tackled the humanitarian problems in conflicts.  Human rights, tolerance and education were vital tasks in the fight against terrorism, he said.

ALEG IVANOU (Belarus) said that his country attached great importance to international efforts to combat terrorism and the work of the relatively new body of the Council established towards that end -– the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He hoped that the successful approach towards the implementation of resolution 1373 would be maintained by the new chair of the Committee.  Belarus commended the results achieved in the first stage of the work of the Committee, including identification of gaps in national legislation and provision of assistance to States.

Belarus had submitted three reports to the Committee, he continued.  It had adopted certain legislative acts, including the national counter-terrorism law. The country had also joined a number of international conventions relating to terrorism.  In the future, priority attention should be given to the strengthening of the law enforcement capability of States, including border and customs control.  Those issues were of particular interest to his country, which was working to achieve timely identification of terrorist threats by border forces.

Now, concrete practical steps were needed, he continued.  An important event was the special meeting of the Committee on 6 March.  Its results were becoming the key focus for many regional organizations.  Information, elaboration of international standards and creation of a global network in the fight against terrorism were useful measures, and he believed that it was necessary to continue the practice of organizing events with the participation of not only national, but regional actors.

DAN GILERMAN (Israel) said, for many countries, terrorism was fortunately still a theoretical matter.  But, his country spoke from bitter personal experience, as it was the victim of a very real and bloody daily ritual. Just last Sunday, he said, a depraved suicide attack had been perpetrated in the peaceful coastal city of Netanya.  In addition to that and other atrocious attacks, innumerable incidents of terror had been thwarted on a daily basis by Israeli counter-terrorism efforts.  Terrorism killed indiscriminately and knew no border, nationality, race or religion.  There must be no distinction between good and bad

terrorism, between the military and social wings of terrorist organizations.  It was immoral to abuse the noble lexicon of freedom to justify the mass murder of innocents -– to excuse those abhorrent acts for the advancement of a political agenda.

One must strike at the core of terrorism:  at regimes that nourished the germ of terror through their support, inaction and complicity; at regimes with the ability to transfer biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to terrorists; at regimes like Iran and Syria, who actively supported terrorism to further their agenda.  He encouraged the Committee to exhibit the courage to name and shame those States that continued to support terrorism and compel every State to undertake a sincere and irrevocable commitment to eradicating terrorism from its own soil.  The germ of terror was nourished by the inculcation of fundamentalist, intolerant and rejectionist ideologies.  Children’s textbooks should not serve as manuals for hate.  Efforts to combat terrorism and to implement resolution 1373 must focus not only on the practical support provided to its perpetrators, but on the intolerant ideology that nurtured the phenomenon itself.

Man Portable Air Defence Systems, also known as MANPADS, presented the international counter-terrorism community with one of its deepest crises ever, requiring worldwide cooperation and coordination.  They were small, cheap and easy to operate.  Combating that threat deserved the full backing of States.  That support should include investing in defensive on-board technological systems, as well as tightening security control over airport perimeters.

He hoped the Committee would continue to take an increasingly proactive role in implementing a policy of zero tolerance for terrorism.  Paperwork could not be confused with progress.  “Even in these dark times, we continue to believe that the day will come when we and our children will enjoy the fruits of peace.  I hope that the upcoming changes in the Palestinian leadership will finally provide a real partner for a secure peace”, he said.  Israel hoped that those changes would lead to concerted actions to dismantle terrorist infrastructure, delegitimize terrorist groups, and eliminate incitement.

VIJAY NAMBIAR (India) said the purpose of setting up credible multilateral instruments to counter terrorism was not only to equip States to fight terrorism, but to identify States that contravened Council resolutions in their sponsorship, support and encouragement to terrorism.  India found it difficult to accept a situation in which a country professed to be part of the global coalition against terror, on the one hand, while continuing to aid, abet and sponsor terrorism, on the other.  The global fight against terrorism, spurred in large part by the horrors of the attacks of 11 September, no longer left any space for ambiguity in a State's record on terrorism.  The time for double standards was over.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee must move beyond the stage of reporting to the stage of identifying, if not enforcing, violations of relevant Council resolutions.  Resolution 1373 made specific references to cross-border terrorism, which obliged States to take action in preventing the facilitation of terrorism against other States.  India had noted that facile and mendacious assertions of fulfilling obligations under 1373 formed an integral part of the report of at least one respondent that had done nothing to fulfil its commitments, both stated and statutory.  That had not gone unnoticed by the international community.

He questioned how to deal with a situation in which a State failed to enforce compliance by concrete actions, while professing to do so in its responses to the Committee.  Also, how would the Committee ensure it received relevant information and assistance from States, while avoiding an intrusiveness that could impinge on secrecy of information and procedure followed in counter-terrorism measures by States concerned?  The Committee should also consider whether it was desirable to move at the speed of the fastest Member.  It should seek to avoid a situation where the overwhelming majority of States, having fulfilled their obligations, belonged predominantly to more developed regions, while those striving to comply represented the developing world.

OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, said the fight against terrorism must be firm and tenacious, using the United Nations Charter, as well as treaties and international norms, including those in the legal structure of the OAS.  The international community must act with determination and respect for the rule of law, particularly human rights and humanitarian law.  He hoped that different positions on the general convention against terrorism, the convention against acts of nuclear terrorism, and the convention on physical protection of nuclear material would soon be overcome, so that they could become reality.

The Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), he said, had been created in 1999 as a result of the inter-American conferences specialized on terrorism, which took place in Lima in 1996 and Mar del Plata in 1998.  The CICTE had adopted the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and the Declaration of San Salvador on strengthening the cooperation in the fight against terrorism in June 2002 and January 2003, respectively.  Moreover, the CICTE distributed international standards and carried out cooperative actions to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorist acts.

RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil), aligning himself with Peru’s statement on behalf of the Rio Group, said the establishment of the Committee had demonstrated the ability of the Council to react promptly.  Terrorism was one of the greatest threats to international peace and security, human rights and democratic institutions and had a disastrous effect on the economic and social development of States.

Combating international terrorism must be undertaken using all means of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.  That fight could, however, not be waged to the detriment of due legal process, human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The protection of human rights should guide the execution of counter-terrorism actions.  Brazil believed that, beyond aspects of suppression, priority should also be given to combating the causes of terrorist actions, many of which had socio-economic roots.

As a universal threat, terrorism had compelled all to take measures to combat it at national, regional and international levels.  That called for a high degree of coordination, which could only be carried out by the transparency and universality that only the United Nations could provide.  The scourge of terrorism was a reality that had to be faced in the long term.  Unity of the Council was, therefore, crucial.

SUN JOUN-YUNG (Republic of Korea) said that with unabated will and commitment under the guidance of the Council, the international community was now less vulnerable and much more capable of coping with terrorist challenges than in September 2001.  Recently, political momentum and practical ways of combating terrorism had been further strengthened by the Council’s meeting on 20 January and the special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on 6 March. Resolution 1456 adopted at the ministerial meeting was yet another landmark in the fight against terrorism.

Turning to the Committee’s new quarterly work programme, he said that it was most timely and appropriate that the Committee had chosen the “improvement of information flow” as a priority in the coming months.  His country also recognized the importance of developing a global information network in the field of counter-terrorism.  The current Committee Web site was obviously the best source of information available to Member States.  However, given the further need to share best practices, codes and standards, the Committee had an urgent task in reinforcing its Web site as a first-resort, user-friendly and encompassing focal point for international efforts.

Welcoming the progress made by the Committee in its review of Member States’ reports, he said that the Republic of Korea had already presented its first and second reports and would be shortly submitting the third.  As far as the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s cooperation with regional, subregional and international organizations was concerned, he believed that measures and actions to enhance those organizations’ counter-terrorism capacity had been clearly articulated on   6 March.  His country had been actively contributing to regional and international efforts in countering terrorism.  For instance, together with Australia, it was playing a leading role in the Asia-Pacific region’s efforts to fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.  The Republic of Korea also supported the Committee’s facilitating role in the provision of assistance to countries.  It was considering ways of sharing its anti-terrorism experiences with other countries in a more effective and beneficial manner.

OUCH BORITH (Cambodia), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said ASEAN’s commitment to combat terrorism was reflected at the highest level.  Its leaders had adopted a Declaration on Terrorism during the eighth ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November 2002.  In the Declaration, they expressed ASEAN’s determination to build on previously agreed measures, and intensify their efforts to prevent, counter and suppress terrorist activities in the region.  In March 2003, an ASEAN Regional Forum Intersessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime had been held in Karabunai, Malaysia.

In line with its work programme to implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crimes, he continued, ASEAN had carried out various training programmes and projects in combating terrorism this year. Also, ASEAN focal points on counter-terrorism, which included courses on psychological operations for law-enforcement authorities and procuring intelligence, had been set up.  The ASEAN was also planning to organize courses on bomb and explosive detection, post-blast investigation, airport security and passport/document security and inspection.

JOHN DAUTH (Australia), aligning himself with Fiji’s statement on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said it was vital that the international community adopt a comprehensive, coherent and cooperative approach to fighting terrorism. The Committee had ensured that the flow of information between States and organizations highlighted methods of best-practice, fostered cooperation and facilitated the provision of international assistance that was critical to achieving the goal of reducing the threat posed by international terrorist networks.

He said the counter-terrorism work of regional and subregional organizations was central to building the capacity needed to fight terrorism.  In the same way, the Committee was a hub for action by Member States, regional organizations had  an important role in disseminating information, providing and facilitating assistance, and developing effective regional counter-terrorism strategies.  He encouraged all Member States to fully support the counter-terrorism work of the regional organizations they belonged to and to actively look for ways to improve the effectiveness of that work.

The task of monitoring implementation of resolution 1373 was likely to continue for some time.  In that context, he acknowledged the Committee’s valuable role in helping to coordinate the availability and provision of broader counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance for those countries in need.  It was vital that every Member State that needed help in developing counter-terrorism legislation and law enforcement capacity was able to get access to the assistance they required, he said.

ADAMANTIOS TH. VASSILAKIS (Greece), on behalf of the European Union, said the Union believed that the fight against terrorism required a global response  and national preparedness, which, at the same time, respected human rights and fundamental freedoms, humanitarian law and the rule of law.  The Union recognized the United Nations’ central role in such a fight.

He said that was why member States of the Union strongly backed the Counter-Terrorism Committee in all its pursuit to fulfil its mandate.  The fight against the financing of terrorism continued to be a priority for the Union; and to that end, it had adopted a number of recommendations to enhance its efforts in that field.  Further, it attached great importance to the regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism, evidenced by its signing of bilateral agreements and development of cooperation mechanisms with third countries.  Additionally, the Union had adopted measures in the field of police and judicial cooperation for the same purpose, he said.

He called for closer attention to be paid to possible links between terrorism and organized crime and drug trafficking.  He said the Union also recognized the role of the terrorism prevention branch of the Centre for the International Crime Prevention to strengthen the capabilities of the United Nations in the prevention of terrorism, and to offer advice on the implementation of both the pertinent Security Council resolutions and the United Nations legal instruments against terrorism. 

In order to reduce the risk of illegal access to weapons of mass destruction, radioactive materials and means of delivery by certain terrorist groups, the Union had taken concrete measures by strengthening the relevant instruments on disarmament, arms control and proliferation; improving export controls; strengthening disarmament cooperation; and enhancing political dialogue with third States, he said.

ENRIQUE MANALO (Philippines) said, notwithstanding the greater priority given to fight international terrorism, terrorist acts still continued unabated.  While lauding the signing and ratification of legal instruments to suppress terrorism, he said initiatives must be more fully manifested.  The Committee’s regular briefings on the progress of implementing resolution 1456 had been very valuable, he said, expressing hope that such progress would set the stage for more concrete actions in the future.

The Philippines had recently made significant progress in combating terrorism, particularly financing terrorism, through federal financial controls that brought the nation in compliance with international anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standards.  He thanked the United States and the European Union for its assistance in evaluating financial systems and developing counter-terrorism finance training programmes.

YOSHIYUKI MOTOMURA (Japan) said that, first of all, it was necessary to deny potential terrorists the means of engaging in terrorist activities, taking strict measures to cut off their sources of funding and stemming the flow of weapons to terrorists.  Strict non-proliferation measures were crucial to preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists.  He called on the Committee, in cooperation with relevant international organizations, to give due attention to that issue.  Also important was strengthened coordination between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the committee established in accordance with resolution 1267.  While important progress had been achieved by that committee, the information included in its consolidated list needed to be further enriched in order to allow Member States to better identify suspicious assets and accounts.

It was also necessary to deny safe haven to terrorists, he said.  The international community must implement measures in a unified manner.  The counter-terrorism conventions and protocols played an essential role towards that end. The special meeting of the Committee last month had provided an excellent opportunity to share information regarding the standards, codes and best practices of relevant international organizations.  As a party to all 12 counter-terrorism instruments, Japan was prepared to provide information and assistance in solving problems, based on its own experience.  It was also necessary to overcome vulnerability to terrorist activities, improving domestic security measures.  The Committee must remain focused on capacity-building by countries, and the donor community should strengthen its support for the activities of the Committee.

In conclusion, he stressed that international terrorism was by no means a product of a clash between civilizations.  It was always a barbaric assault on the civilized world, born out of cynicism, nihilism and anarchism.  Those who felt sympathetic towards extremist terrorist groups should realize that terrorism was antithetical to the values shared by all.  In disseminating that truth, the international community could contribute to overcoming vulnerability to terrorism.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) congratulated Ambassador Greenstock with the remarkable progress achieved under his leadership of the Committee and ensured Ambassador Arias of his country’s full support.  The Committee’s emphasis on cooperation, dialogue, partnership and transparency seemed to have paid dividends, and the strategy of cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations seemed to be very successful.  Norway welcomed the convening of the special meeting of the Committee on 6 March and was pleased to see that the contacts with international, regional and subregional organizations had been formalized through the Committee’s follow-up action plan.  That plan touched upon such crucial themes as information flow, international best practices, codes and standards, the role of regional and subregional organizations, as well as facilitating the provision of assistance. 

His country was mindful of the technical difficulties encountered by some Member States in implementing the legal and financial measures envisioned in resolution 1373, he continued.  Implementation through national legislation that covered all aspects and the establishment of appropriate executive instruments was no small task.  That situation raised concerns that must be resolved through positive and coordinated action.  He was pleased that the action plan contained measures for facilitating the provision of assistance.

Norway had provided technical assistance at both regional and bilateral levels, he said.  In particular, it had supported the African Union’s work towards effective and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1373 by its Member States.  It had also provided support to a project aimed at strengthening the capacity of the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.  Norway was prepared to share its knowledge and experience with the Committee and its members.

LUIS GUILLERMO GIRALDO (Colombia) said that his country was involved in a struggle against terrorism and was seeking international solidarity in that endeavour.  At the national level, his country recognized its obligations in the fight against terrorism, taking steps in that regard within a democratic framework, in accordance with its Constitution, the laws and international treaties on human rights, as well as international legal norms.  The country’s democratic security policy sought to protect all Colombians from the scourge of terrorism.

By its January Declaration, the Council had reaffirmed that “terrorists must be prevented from engaging in other criminal activities, such as transnational organized crime, illicit drugs and drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit arms trafficking”, he continued.  He was grateful to the Government of Canada for having included in its list of terrorist organizations the Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defence Groups of Colombia (AUC) –- illegal armed groups that practised their illegal activities against the State and civilians in his country.  His country’s experience had demonstrated that the fight against the global drug problem was a key factor in the struggle against terrorism.  Based on the principle of shared responsibility, Colombia appealed for an all-out battle to be waged against the criminal activities, that fuelled terrorism in his country.

In conclusion, he reiterated his country’s support for the work accomplished by the Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee.  Colombia insisted on the international cooperation in legal and police actions, such as those imposed by resolution 1373.  The nature of terrorism should be determined not only by the place where terrorist acts were committed and their reach, but also by the activities that sponsored them and the money that financed them.  In the field of international cooperation, the United Nations had the capacity, experience and moral authority to assist the regions affected by the scourge of terrorism.

ISIKIA SAVUA (Fiji), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said the meeting offered a useful opportunity to take stock of the Committee’s work in combating terrorism and international crime, and assisting Member States in implementing resolution 1373.  The Committee’s task of identifying assistance needs and its efforts to put Member States in contact with available sources of assistance were critical to the development of capacity-building measures for nations and regional organizations.

He strongly supported the Committee’s recent meeting with relevant regional and international groups, and its subsequent action plan to coordinate counter-terrorism.  Effective regional cooperation and coordination were vital complements to the Pacific Islands Forum’s efforts to implement resolution 1373.

RAVAN A.G. FARHADI (Afghanistan) said his country had been one of the main victims of terrorism.  For nearly seven years, during the reign of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan had suffered tremendously from the menace imposed by that regime and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.  Remnants of the Taliban continued to remain active along the eastern and southern borders of Afghanistan, and it was, therefore, vital for the international community to sustain its vigorous focus and support of the Transitional Government in combating terrorist activities.

His country had submitted its national reports to the Committee in line with the timetables provided, he said.  The Transitional Government was currently establishing a counter-terrorism department within the Ministry of the Interior to prevent and tackle acts of terrorism throughout the country.  His country was also in the process of restructuring its legal and security apparatus.  In that regard, he renewed his country’s request to the Committee to dispatch an assessment team to Afghanistan to assist in the adoption of legislative acts and administrative measures necessary to meet all requirements of resolution 1373.

The fight against international terrorism should enjoy the broad support and cooperation of all Member States, regional and subregional organizations.  He, therefore, welcomed the special meeting of the Committee on 6 March, which had brought together international, regional and subregional organizations in order to enhance the effectiveness of global action against terrorism.  Free Afghanistan was fighting against terrorism of the Taliban and Al Qaeda five days ahead of

11 September.  Afghanistan was ready to fight the re-emergence of the Taliban. Now, the international community had to be on its side.

Responding to comments and questions from the floor, Mr. GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said that the more the regional approach was promoted, the more progress would be achieved.  An important point had been made by the representative of Pakistan (and warmly supported by others) regarding the need to follow up on the interplay between counter-terrorism measures and human rights.  The Committee was already in close liaison with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and it intended to organize a meeting with Human Rights Commission representatives in the near future.  Also important was interaction with representatives of civil society.

France had suggested that the Committee should identify the generic difficulties faced by Member States in meeting their obligations under 1373, he continued.  In some respects, the Committee had begun to do that, but the issue needed to be further addressed in the future.  It went along with the promotion of concrete results on the ground -- results, rather than the bureaucratic activity.  The United States had referred to the possibility of site visits in the future, and Afghanistan had asked for such a visit to help his Government.  He believed such visits would be more productive if they were carried out by experts, rather than delegates.

Responding to questions raised by India, he said that it was necessary to demand performance if a Member State failed to enforce effective compliance.  It was also necessary to make further progress in requesting a definition of the phenomenon of terrorism from the General Assembly.

“Can we avoid intrusiveness?” he asked.  “Yes, because we have set up arrangements for confidentiality if a Member State wants to go only to the experts, without sharing its problems with other States.”  Resolution 1373 was the internationally agreed basis for the Committee’s work.  The Committee was open to all regions and any subregional group that wanted to approach it.

In conclusion, he agreed that it was necessary to further improve the Committee’s Web site.  Inspired by the statement by the representative of Japan, he also made a general remark that terrorism did not come out of differences or arguments among Member States or international organizations -– it came out of barbarism and lack of respect for common values.  “The more we do, the more we see we need to do”, he said.  In that respect, Ambassador Arias had an important task before him, and he would have his delegation’s support in that respect.

Taking the floor for the second time, Mr. MEKDAD (Syria) said the meeting today had two purposes:  the first one was to honour Mr. Greenstock, the second was to get an overview of the Committee’s achievements and look at the next stage. The Israeli representative, however, had not respected the occasion.  As a “bankrupt merchant”, he came back to his “old tattered account books” to deceive the Council and take it away from the true task of combating terrorism, terrorism that was perpetrated by his Government in the occupied territories.

He said, according to reports, Israeli military forces had occupied a girls’ school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Turkam refugee camp, and had used that school as a detention centre for the camp’s male residents.  The Agency had called the occupation of the school a violation of international law and had called on Israel to leave the school and allow the Agency to have access to the rest of the Turkam camp.  Was that not terrorism by definition? he asked.  Had other aggressors committed such acts except perhaps during the Second World War?  If that was not terrorism, then what was terrorism?

The representative of Israel had named and shamed other parties, he said.  It would seem that the representative of Israel was again not aware that the Council had adopted dozens of resolution that pointed the finger of accusation at Israel itself, naming and shaming it.  Israel, however, had stayed outside international legitimacy and continued to defy it.  During the last three months, Israel had killed 300 Palestinian.  Who was the terrorist?  Palestinians living in

Syria were victims of Israeli terrorism.  They had been dispersed by force from their homes.  The only solution was for those people to go back to their homes. Those Palestinian had the right to express their aspirations and to defend their rights.  It was not the duty of Syria or other parties to suppress their rights, as Israel wanted.

Also taking the floor for the second time, Mr. AKRAM (Pakistan) said the representative of India had referred to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir.  The United Nations had recognized Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory.  The Council had called for a United Nations-supervised plebiscite for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, so that they could exercise their right to self-determination, something which remained to be implemented.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir and the people of Pakistan asked the Council to adopt a standard which was uniform and did not discriminate against them.  The people of Jammu and Kashmir had waited for their right to self-determination for 50 years under Indian occupation.  There was one Indian soldier for every four Kashmiri males.  However, his colleague from India could only speak about terrorism.

He said the representative of India had referred to an incident in Indian- occupied Kashmir.  Pakistan had vigorously condemned that terrorist incident . As usual, India had held one country responsible for that situation.  However, that was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.  In such situations it was always better to resort to impartial inquiries before making allegations to a Member State, because such allegations could raise tensions and threaten to international peace and security.  Pakistan had asked that the latest massacre be investigated by an organization such as Amnesty International, and asked the Indian representative if he could accept an independent United Nations inquiry.  If India was convinced that external forces were responsible for the massacre, it should accept that proposal.

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For information media. Not an official record.