SECURITY COUNCIL ACTS UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT RESOLUTION STRONGLY CONDEMNING TERRORISM AS ONE OF MOST SERIOUS THREATS TO PEACE

8 October 2004
SC/8214

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTS UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT RESOLUTION STRONGLY CONDEMNING TERRORISM AS ONE OF MOST SERIOUS THREATS TO PEACE

08/10/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8214

Security Council

5053rd Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTS UNANIMOUSLY TO ADOPT RESOLUTION STRONGLY CONDEMNING

terrorism as one of most serious threats to peace

 

Text Establishes Working Group to Recommend Measures

To Be Imposed on Individuals, Entities Other Than Al-Qaida Affiliates

Intensive consultations among Security Council members culminated in the unanimous adoption today of a resolution condemning all terrorist acts in the strongest terms, as one of the most serious threats to peace, and providing concrete steps to bolster existing anti-terrorism machinery and legal norms.

By the unanimous adoption of resolution 1566 (2004), the Council recalled that criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror, or compel a government or international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act which contravened terrorism-related conventions and protocols, were not justifiable for any reason –- whether of a political, philosophical ideological, racial, ethnic or religious nature.

Further by the text, the Council established a working group consisting of all its members, which would submit recommendations on practical measures to be imposed on individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities, other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee.  The recommendations could include more effective procedures for bringing the perpetrators to justice through prosecution and extradition.

Speaking after the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation, whose delegation spearheaded today’s initiative -– co-sponsored also by China, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States -- said that the killing of hostages, as well as the recent tragedies in Beslan, Russian Federation, among others, underscored the need for more decisive action by the Council and the further development of a global anti-terrorist strategy.  Terrorists were expert at changing their tactics to suit the situation, further challenging existing anti-terror measures.  Solving them had been entrusted to the new working group.

The representative of the United States, recalling in graphic detail the recent terrorist attacks in Beslan and Baghdad, said that in each case the terrorists believed they were acting in the service of a cause.  While some argued that “root causes” or self-determination justified the murder of children, or that exploding bombs was in the service of God, the resolution stated that deliberate massacre was never justifiable -- for any cause.  Either terrorism was never justifiable, or it was sometimes justifiable.  Believing that the murder of civilians could never be justified, the working group should consider drawing up a list of terrorists.

Algeria’s representative, noting that the resolution had avoided linking acts of terror and the legitimate right to fight against foreign occupation, said the text would significantly enhance the anti-terror campaign.  It had opened up, just in time, the possibility of extending to other groups and individuals the measures imposed on individuals and groups affiliated with Al-Qaida -- a long-standing request of Algeria.  The resolution also took on another concern -- the need to strengthen judicial cooperation in combating terrorism, specifically prosecution and extradition.

Pakistan’s representative stressed that the immediate anti-terrorist response must be accompanied by a long-term strategy striking at the root.  The text would strengthen global cooperation against Al–Qaida and the Taliban and extend also to other sources of terror.  Pakistan attached particular importance to operative paragraph 9, which emphasized the need for broadening understanding among civilizations to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different cultures and religions, and addressing the full range of issues, including development concerns, all of which were necessary in order to sustain the broad anti-terror campaign.

Also making statements today were the representatives of Spain, Chile, Romania, Germany, Brazil, Philippines, China, Benin, Angola, France and the United Kingdom, who all spoke in explanation of position before the vote.

Speaking before the vote, the representative of Turkey made a statement on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The meeting began at 12:03 p.m. and adjourned at 1 p.m.

Council Resolution

Following is the full text of resolution 1566 (2004):

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1267 (1999) of 15 October 1999 and 1373 (2001) of 28 September 2001 as well as its other resolutions concerning threats to international peace and security caused by terrorism,

Recalling in this regard its resolution 1540 (2004) of 28 April 2004,

Reaffirming also the imperative to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law,

Deeply concerned by the increasing number of victims, including children, caused by acts of terrorism motivated by intolerance or extremism in various regions of the world,

Calling upon States to cooperate fully with the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001), including the recently established Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the “Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee” established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and its Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), and further calling upon such bodies to enhance cooperation with each other,

Reminding States that they must ensure that any measures 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,

Reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security,

Considering that acts of terrorism seriously impair the enjoyment of human rights and threaten the social and economic development of all States and undermine global stability and prosperity,

Emphasizing that enhancing dialogue and broadening the understanding among civilizations, in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures, and addressing unresolved regional conflicts and the full range of global issues, including development issues, will contribute to international cooperation, which by itself is necessary to sustain the broadest possible fight against terrorism,

Reaffirming its profound solidarity with victims of terrorism and their families,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.  Condemns in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed, as one of the most serious threats to peace and security;

“2.  Calls upon States to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism, especially with those States where or against whose citizens terrorist acts are committed, in accordance with their obligations under international law, in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle to extradite or prosecute, any person who supports, facilitates, participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens;

“3.  Recalls that criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, and all other acts which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature, and calls upon all States to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature;

“4.  Calls upon all States to become party, as a matter of urgency, to the relevant international conventions and protocols whether or not they are a party to regional conventions on the matter;

“5.  Calls upon Member States to cooperate fully on an expedited basis in resolving all outstanding issues with a view to adopting by consensus the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and the draft international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism;

“6.  Calls upon relevant international, regional and subregional organizations to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and to intensify their interaction with the United Nations and, in particular, the CTC with a view to facilitating full and timely implementation of resolution 1373 (2001);

“7.  Requests the CTC in consultation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations and the United Nations bodies to develop a set of best practices to assist States in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001) related to the financing of terrorism;

“8.  Directs the CTC, as a matter of priority and, when appropriate, in close cooperation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations to start visits to States, with the consent of the States concerned, in order to enhance the monitoring of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and facilitate the provision of technical and other assistance for such implementation;

“9.  Decides to establish a working group consisted of all members of the Security Council to consider and submit recommendations to the Council on practical measures to be imposed upon individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities, other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, including more effective procedures considered to be appropriate for bringing them to justice through prosecution or extradition, freezing of their financial assets, preventing their movement through the territories of Member States, preventing supply to them of all types of arms and related material, and on the procedures for implementing these measures;

“10.  Requests further the working group, established under paragraph 9 to consider the possibility of establishing an international fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families, which might be financed through voluntary contributions, which could consist in part of assets seized from terrorist organizations, their members and sponsors, and submit its recommendations to the Council;

“11.  Requests the Secretary-General to take, as a matter of urgency, appropriate steps to make the CTED fully operational and to inform the Council by 15 November 2004;

“12.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Background

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

Statement

UMIT PAMIR (Turkey), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said he had had serious misgivings with regard to the language in the previous text, which had raised a number of questions, including about resistance to foreign occupation.  Following intense consultations with members, particularly the initiating country and the co-sponsors of the draft, Turkey had been pleased that the Council now had in hand a draft resolution that enjoyed the much wider support of the international community.  The OIC had availed itself of the opportunity to strongly condemn, once again, all acts and practices of terrorism.  That phenomenon, regardless of its motivation and objective, forms and manifestations, could never be justified, and countering terrorism required a coordinated international response.  Indeed, the quest to eradicate terrorism must involve the sustained and collective approach of all Member States.  The result would be strengthened and consolidated determination.

Action on Text

The Council then adopted the text unanimously.

Speaking after the vote, ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) said the resolution contained additional steps in the right direction concerning the need for a joint effort to combat terrorism.  The unprecedented escalation of international terrorism had been confirmed yet again in Pakistan, Egypt and, today, in France.  The killing of hostages and the recent tragedies in Beslan, Russian Federation, among others, all pointed to the need for more decisive action by the Security Council, with a view to the further development of a global anti-terrorist strategy.  The text had also provided concrete steps to strengthen the security machinery and improve the legal instruments with a view to enhancing the coordination of international anti-terrorism.

He said that the major emphasis of the text was that terrorist acts were a crime that could not be justified by any political, ideological, religious or other views.  Those responsible for terrorist acts should be given the harshest punishment for their crimes.  Terrorist organizations were very expert at changing their tactics to suit the situation, and there were problems for additional anti-terrorism measures.  Solving them had been the task entrusted to a working group of the Council, which would be established pursuant to the current resolution.  The quest for ways to identify terrorists might include the drawing up of a relevant list and the subsequent bringing to justice of the perpetrators.

ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said he was pleased that the Council had unanimously adopted the resolution condemning all acts of terrorism in all their forms, as it would significantly enhance the campaign against the phenomenon, which was one of the great threats to international peace and security.  The text had opened up, just in time, the possibility of extending to other groups and individuals the measures imposed on individuals and groups affiliated with Al-Qaida -- a request that Algeria had been making for a long time.  The resolution also took on another concern --the need to strengthen judicial cooperation in combating terrorism, specifically prosecution and extradition.  The resolution avoided putting together acts of terror and the legitimate right of people to fight against foreign occupation, which was fully enshrined in international law and in the resolutions of international organizations.

MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that, over the past 25 years, his country had been a victim of terrorism and had been in the forefront of the global campaign against terrorism.  Confronted by terrorist acts periodically, including yesterday, Pakistan’s Government was committed to achieving success in the war on terrorism.  The resolution would extend international cooperation against Al–Qaida and the Taliban to other sources of terror.  Operative paragraph 3 enumerated a number of criminal acts constituting offences defined in international conventions and protocols.

Expressing gratitude to the Russian Federation and the other co-sponsors for their flexibility in addressing some concerns regarding specific language and aspects of the draft, he said the resolution reaffirmed the imperative to combat terrorism in accordance with the United Nations Charter.  Pakistan attached particular importance to operative paragraph 9, which emphasized the need for broadening understanding among civilizations to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different cultures and religions, and addressing the full range of issues, including development issues, which was necessary in order to sustain the broadest fight against terror.  There was also a need for a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism, and the immediate anti-terrorist response must be accompanied by a long-term strategy striking at the root in order to fight the scourge of terrorism.

JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain), gratified by the Council’s unanimous adoption of the resolution, said the text was a meaningful contribution to endowing the international community as a whole with a set of tools to combat terrorism, which remained a threat to all, as had been seen in the last few hours.  The work accomplished in the last few weeks since the initial draft was introduced had been intense.  The resolution had managed to reflect broad consensus, not only in the Security Council, but also among all Member States.

He said all agreed with the need to underscore the condemnation of terrorism, whatever its origin.  At the same time, however, the preamble to the resolution reflected the need for broader understanding among civilizations.  The Spanish Prime Minister had, before the General Assembly, launched the idea of developing an association of civilians to combat terrorism.  Today’s resolution clearly highlighted the fact that the Council and the international community still placed one of the highest priorities on combating terrorism.  At the same time, it was necessary to remain within the international standards of law and justice, including humanitarian law, the law on refugees, and human rights.

Spain viewed positively the setting up of an ad hoc group to further improve the struggle against terrorism, he said.  That would imply studying the most effective methods to identify individuals and entities involved in terrorist activities.  The most appropriate means would be to create a list of those entities or individuals.  However, setting up such a list might involve difficulties and a great number of details would need to be examined.

The Council could not forget another aspect, namely, concern for victims of terrorism, he said.  The working group had been asked to examine the establishment of a fund.  It was a positive message to send to the world that when assets were seized they could be used to compensate the victims of terrorist acts, bearing in mind that the decision would be up to the State having confiscated assets.

CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said he had supported the draft, thereby joining in a new consensus to find the means to enable the international community to strengthen its ability to combat terrorism and embolden State action in preventing, restricting and limiting the actions of persons, groups or entities linked to terrorist activities.  When that was not possible, prosecution of the perpetrators must occur.  The resolution had contributed to improving the Council’s action in that complex field.  Chile had continuously demonstrated its commitment to fighting terror and had supported the Council’s efforts in that regard throughout the year.  From now on, in keeping with the new resolution, the international community would enjoy the benefit of a group made up of Council members entrusted with proposing and studying new measure to combat terrorism.  Chile had been concerned about the increasing number of victims, including children.

MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania) said he had shared with the Russian Government and people the shock and sorrow in the face of the latest terrorist attacks on Russian territory.  Romania supported the wider motives prompting the Council to adopt today’s text.  Indeed, terrorist attacks proliferated and grew in number and horror, in terms of the diversity of affected countries and regions, as the world was witnessing in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  The international response, the multilateral reaction to that mounting threat should be stronger, with better articulated norms, procedures and mechanisms, including, and particularly, at the United Nations.

He said all Council members had offered analyses and proposals during consultations on the draft.  The outcome had been a good text and a good basis for future hard work within the United Nations and the Security Council, within Committees “1267”, “1373”, and “1540”.  Those were important reasons for Romania’s co-sponsorship and support of the text’s unanimous adoption.  There was strong political will in the Council for the working group to identify ways to more effectively combat terrorism, including the drawing up of a list of individuals associated with terrorism beyond those already dealt with by the “1267” Committee. 

GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) welcomed the adoption of the text, saying it would be a major contribution to strengthening the global fight against international terrorism.  The resolution came at a particularly appropriate time, when, after a serious of particularly atrocious terrorist attacks in several parts of the world, the resolve and unity of the international community had been challenged anew.  Against that background, it was very important that the resolution had found the support of all Council members.

For Germany, maintaining consensus in fighting international terrorist was of high value and was obviously in the interest of all Member States, he said.  Germany attached particular importance to an open and inclusive process in the implementation of the resolution, particularly in the working group foreseen in the text.  The group should, among other things, consider ways to identify relevant individuals, groups and entities.

JOHN DANFORTH (United States), describing the state of the world today, recalled that early last month masked gunmen had seized a school in Beslan, wiring a gym with explosives and terrorizing children.  After 52 hours, the terrorists had detonated explosives.  In a ruthlessly executed operation, the terrorists had murdered more than 300 people.  On 30 September in Baghdad, children gathered at a ceremony for the opening of a water treatment plant, were bundled together to get candy from soldiers.  Seeing them, terrorists had driven two explosive-laden cars into their midst, deliberately murdering 34 children and seven adults.  On 1 October in Pakistan, a bombing at a Shiite mosque had killed dozens.  And yesterday, explosions at three resorts in Egypt had claimed many lives.  Workers were still pulling them from the rubble.  In each case, the terrorists had believed they were serving a cause.  Some said the murder of children was justified by “root causes”; some said they were justifiable acts of self-determination; and some said exploding bombs was in the service of God. 

Operative paragraph 3 was the most important provision of the resolution in that it stated clearly that acts that targeted civilians and children for death was criminal and never justifiable, he said.  The international community called on States to punish those who killed civilians.  The resolution stated that such acts were never justifiable by political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious reasons.  In addition to the acts proscribed in operative paragraph 3, there were other terrorist acts that could not be justified by similar considerations.  Nothing in operative paragraph 3 should be construed as indicating anything to the contrary -- acts covered by existing conventions by which an element of intent was not required.

For some, there was an alternative principle, he said.  While deliberately massacring people might not often be justifiable, some root causes might justify terrorists.  The alternative position was to say that circumstances might be sufficient to justify terrorism.  Such justification might include national liberation or the perception of the will of God.  The resolution stated that deliberate massacre was never justifiable -- for any cause.  Either terrorism was never justifiable or it was sometimes justifiable.  Believing that the murder of civilians could never be justified, the working group should consider the possibility of drawing up a list of terrorists.

RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said he had voted in favour of the resolution in view of his country’s firm commitment to countering terrorism in all its forms and without qualifications.  Operative paragraph 3 reflected compromise language that contained a clear political message.  It was not an attempt to define the concept of terrorism.  However, the Council’s current practice was one of excessive resort to the use of Chapter VII.  The appeal to Member States in operative paragraph 5 was of particular concern.  No constraints should be imposed on States’ freedom to negotiate the terms of international conventions.  Brazil also supported the establishment of a working group to consider political measures as foreseen in operative paragraph 9.  That group should observe the provisions of international law and due process.

LAURO BAJA (Philippines) said he had supported the resolution out of the belief that it would contribute positively to the global fight against terrorism.  Condemning the terrible attacks in Egypt, the Philippines extended its deepest sympathies to the relatives of the victims.  Resolution 1566 (2004) had affirmed the belief of all Council members that criminal attacks against civilians were never justified.  Likewise, legitimate acts of foreign occupation fell outside the scope of that provision.  The Philippines looked forward to participating actively in the working group, especially in the drawing up of the list.

WANG GUANGYA (China) expressed condolences and shock at the incidents in Egypt and Pakistan.  Terrorism was a common enemy of mankind and all its forms, no matter when and where they occurred and, for what reason, should be combated with determination.  The international fight should be consistent with Charter principles and with the underlying norms and principles of international law.  It should also deal simultaneously with both the symptoms and root causes, and avoid double standards.  That had always been China’s clear and coherent position.

Noting that the recent attacks in various places around the globe had occurred during discussion of the current draft, he said that the hand of terror now also stretched to Egypt and Pakistan, posing a flagrant challenge to the international community, and indicating further that the counter-terrorism fight would be long and arduous.  The international community should send a strong political signal and improve the relevant counter-terrorism measures in accordance with the changed situation.  China, which had co-sponsored the text, thanked the Russian Federation for playing a lead role in drafting it, as well as other Member States for their united, coherent and consistent effort. 

JOEL ADECHI (Benin), also welcoming the unanimous adoption of 1566, said that terrorism was one of the greatest scourges that violated human rights and deeply shocked the human conscience.  That was the reason for the resolute struggle undertaken to eliminate it.  Conveying deepest condolences to the recent victims, which had only confirmed that the scourge was global in scope, Benin welcomed the renewed expression of the Council’s commitment to encourage dialogue among civilizations and to settle regional conflicts and development problems.  At the same time, combating terrorism should be done in strict respect for the Charter; only that could retain the legitimacy of international law and international humanitarian law.  Benin also welcomed the setting up of an international fund for the victims of terror.

ISMAEL ABRAAO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said he had voted for the resolution with the sense of having accomplished a duty.  Terror was a common threat to peace and security, as well as a common challenge to the entire international community.  It was only normal that the resolution had been unanimslouly adopted, as it was an important landmark in the fight against terrorism.  Angola, which had been a victim of terrorist acts over the past 25 years, could understand the importance of staying united.  The victims of terrorists deserved solidarity, especially if they were civilians or children.  The resolution was a good instrument and it was now up to all States to put it to work and to strengthen the global fight in which they were all involved.

JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France), noting that he had co-sponsored the resolution, said it was important for several reasons, including that it recalled that terrorist acts were unjustifiable, and called on all States to prevent such acts and to ensure that punishments were consistent with their gravity.  Combating terrorism must be carried out with respect for international law.  France called on the Counter-Terrorism Committee to strengthen its activities, including State visits, and on its Executive Directorate to endow itself with the necessary means to support the Committee.  The working group should think of new ways to strengthen action and, hopefully, it would discharge its mandate without haste.

EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) said his country had received confirmation today of the barbaric murder of Kenneth Biggley, a British national held in Baghdad.  Many countries and families were dealing with suffering caused by such mindless actions.  The world had witnessed terrorist acts in Egypt last night.  Last week in Pakistan, innocent civilians had once again been targeted.  When the Council had begun negotiating the text, the tragedy in Beslan had been in mind.  The threat of terrorism touched all, which was why the resolution mattered.  Its adoption underlined the importance of the Council’s work.

Six months ago, the new Executive Directorate had been approved, he said.  The resolution rightly went further, setting the scene for the Council to address the wider threat -- how to take practical action against terrorists not related to Al-Qaida.  There were some difficult balances to be struck as work went forward.  The threat of terrorism confronted democratic States with an acute dilemma.  Counter-terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international law, including human rights and refugee law.  The Council had declared that acts and practices of terrorism were contrary to the purposes of the United Nations, as was financing.

Noting that the 1951 Convention on Refugees did not apply to those who had committed a crime against humanity, he stressed that the Council could not allow those who committed or supported terrorism to shelter behind refugee status, to which they were not entitled.  The Council was shouldering its responsibility to tackle a threat that confronted all, and consideration of a terrorist list would be one of the first things on the agenda.  By adopting the text by consensus, supported by Turkey’s statement, the Council had demonstrated its determination to combat the scourge of terrorism.

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For information media. Not an official record.