SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES WORK OF REVITALIZED COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, FOLLOWING DAY-LONG DEBATE
SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES WORK OF REVITALIZED COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, FOLLOWING DAY-LONG DEBATE
5059th Meeting (AM & PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES WORK OF REVITALIZED COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE
IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, FOLLOWING DAY-LONG DEBATE
Committee Chair, New Head of Executive Directorate Brief Council;
Describe Efforts to Arm Member States with Tools to Confront Terrorist Threat
A briefing today by the Chairman of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and a day-long debate on combating terrorism culminated in a statement by the Security Council, in which it encouraged the ongoing work of its revitalized Counter-Terrorism Committee and reaffirmed that terrorist acts were criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
In the statement read out by the Council President, Adam Thomson (United Kingdom) (document S/PRST/2004/37), the Council noted the importance of continuing the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s efforts to enhance Member States’ capabilities to combat terrorism and, among other things, to: address problems they faced in implementing resolution 1373 (2001); facilitate the provision of technical assistance; and encourage the large possible number of States to become parties to the relevant international conventions and protocols.
Among the several remaining provisions of the text concerning the work and structure of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was the Council’s invitation to the Committee to pursue its agenda, as set out in the work programme issued today (document S/2004/820), focusing on practical measures to implement the Committee’s revitalization. It also invited the Committee to accelerate preparations for the first visits to Member States, with their consent, aimed at enhancing monitoring of the implementation of resolution 1373 and facilitating the provision of technical and other assistance, as needed, for implementation.
Today’s meeting, which heard from 40 speakers, was held in the wake of the Council’s adoption on 8 October of resolution 1566 (2004). That text had prioritized the main tasks for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, including: closer cooperation with other Security Council bodies dealing with terrorism; active and effective strengthening of practical cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations; acceleration of the Committee’s revitalization; and the stepping up of efforts for direct dialogue and information exchange with Member States. (For details of that action, see Press Release SC/8214 of 8 October.)
Briefing the Council this morning in his capacity as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Andrey Denisov (Russian Federation), pledged the Committee’s intention to implement the relevant provisions of resolution 1566 and to play a leading and proactive role in reinforcing an effective counter-terrorism framework on a global, regional and national level. Further, the Committee would continue its course of closer coordination with United Nations structures dealing with various aspects of combating and preventing terrorism, and it would take further action to strengthen cooperation between itself and the Council’s Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee. It would also seek working contacts with the Council’s Committee on non-proliferation problems in the context of the terrorist threat.
The Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, Javier Ruperez, noting that it was the first time he was addressing the Council since officially assuming his duties on 29 June, said the Executive Directorate would redouble efforts to help arm Member States with the legal and administrative tools necessary to confront the terrorism threat. Immediate steps towards making the deadly and destructive work of terrorists more difficult included intensifying dialogue among States to identify their assistance needs and undertaking periodic evaluations and country visits. The world expected the United Nations to lead the global campaign against the terrorism scourge. He would ensure that the Executive Directorate responded fully to the international community’s wishes.
In the debate that followed, Pakistan’s representative urged that the fight against international terrorism be sustained effectively and with dynamism. Noting the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s commitment to transparency, he encouraged it to also find ways and means to associate non-members of the Council with its work. Experts for the Executive Directorate should be from as wide a geographical basis as possible, including from the Islamic countries. He stressed the need for an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, emphasizing, however, that a distinction should be maintained between terrorism and the right of people to self-determination. The anti-terrorism strategy, overall, should focus on terrorism’s root causes, such as political injustice and poverty, which provided a fertile breeding ground for terrorists.
The United States’ representative warned that strong United Nations resolutions and statements from the floor condemning terrorism and pledging action were meaningful only if all States followed those up with action. He called on all States and international organizations to look at their contributions to the fight and see where they could do more. The Counter-Terrorism Committee must do the same. Deeds mattered more than words. Despite repeated calls by the Council and the General Assembly to join the 12 international terrorism instruments, only 57 States were parties to all 12, and 47 were parties to fewer than six. For those States party to a regional terrorism convention, he said that joining regional conventions was no alternative to joining the international ones.
Liechtenstein’s representative also strongly condemned all acts of terrorism regardless of their motivation. He was committed to that fight, particularly through its ratification of the 12 international instruments and the work of both the Counter-Terrorism and “1267” Committees. The fight against terrorism must not be carried out at the expense of international legal standards, however, particularly in the human rights sphere. He hoped the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s new structure would be operational by 2005 and be able to live up to everyone’s expectations. With the adoption of 1556, the Council had taken the fight against terrorism to a new level, but, regrettably, the wider United Nations membership had not been given the chance to express its views on that text.
Security Council members from the following countries also participated in the debate: Chile, Philippines, China, Germany, Spain, Brazil, France, Romania, Benin, Algeria, Angola, and the United Kingdom.
Representatives of the following countries also spoke: Japan, Netherlands; Switzerland, India, Cuba, Thailand, Peru, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Uganda, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Samoa, El Salvador, Canada, Nepal, Indonesia, Egypt, Fiji, Colombia, and Costa Rica.
The meeting began at 10:25 a.m. and was suspended at 1:10 p.m. It resumed at 3:12 p.m. and adjourned at 5:14 p.m.
The full text of S/PRST/2004/37 reads as follows:
“The Security Council welcomes the briefing by the Chairman of the CTC on the work of the Committee.
“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
“The Security Council recalls the statement by its President on 19 July 2004 (S/PRST/2004/26), resolution 1535 (2004), which indicated the Council’s intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC and resolution 1566 (2004) emphasizing additional measures aimed at strengthening international cooperation in combating terrorism.
“The Security Council invites the CTC to pursue its agenda as set out in the work programme for the CTC’s thirteenth 90-day period (S/2004/820) focusing on practical measures to implement resolution 1535 (2004) on the revitalization of the Committee, including implementation of the organizational plan for the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, and resolution 1566 (2004). These measures will embrace further work to increase the Committee’s capacity, including through enhanced cooperation with the Al-Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
“The Security Council notes the importance of continuing the CTC’s efforts to enhance the capabilities of Member States to combat terrorism; to identify and address the problems faced by States in implementing resolution 1373 (2001); to facilitate the provision of technical assistance adjusted to the countries’ needs; to encourage the largest possible number of States to become parties to the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism, and to strengthen its dialogue and cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations acting in the areas outlined by resolution 1373 (2001).
“The Security Council invites the CTC to continue preparing and begin sending to Member States assessments of their assistance needs for eventual sharing with interested donor States and organizations, and to accelerate the preparations for the first visits to Member States with their consent 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.
“The Security Council, recalling paragraph 7 of resolution 1566 (2004), invites the CTC to start, in consultation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations and UN 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.
“The Security Council notes that, as of 30 September 2004, 78 States had not submitted their respective reports to the CTC on time as set out in resolution 1373 (2001). It calls on them urgently to do so, in order to maintain the universality of response which resolution 1373 (2001) requires.
“The Security Council invites the CTC to continue reporting on its activities at regular intervals and expresses its intention to review the structure and activities of the CTC in January 2005.”
When the Security Council met this morning to consider threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, it had before it a letter dated 15 October 2004 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism addressed to the Council President (document S/2004/820). Annexed to the letter is the Committee’s work programme for the thirteenth 90-day period, which covers the period from October to December 2004.
The thirteenth work programme covers the period during which the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) will move to the final stage of its revitalization, the letter states. In accordance with resolutions 1535 (2004) and 1566 (2004), the Committee will continue its efforts to ensure the full operational status of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and further increase the Committee’s capacity, among other things, through enhanced cooperation with the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). It will also continue its work in the areas of technical assistance and cooperation with international organizations. The Committee remains committed to maintaining direct dialogue and information exchange with Member States on the implementation of Council resolution 1373 (2001) which will be enhanced by the planned visits of the Committee to States with the concerned State’s consent.
ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation), Chairman of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, recalling the adoption of Security Council resolution 1566 of 8 October 2004, said his Committee intended to implement the relevant provisions of the resolution, in keeping with its mandate to monitor implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and to play a leading and proactive role in reinforcing an effective counter-terrorism framework on a global, regional and national level. Resolution 1566 had clearly prioritized the main tasks for the Committee, which included closer cooperation with other Security Council bodies dealing with different aspects of counter-terrorism; active and effective strengthening of practical cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations; speeding up of the Committee’s revitalization process; and stepping up of efforts to develop direct dialogue and information exchange with Member States.
The Committee’s thirteenth 90-day period work programme sought to build on the main achievements of the CTC during the previous three months, he said. The twelfth work programme had marked the beginning of the revitalization process; during the present period, the Committee would take further steps to finalize the transition to the new organizational structure and put into practice its new methods of work. On 29 July, the CTC had endorsed the organizational plan for the CTED, and the plan had been endorsed by the Security Council on 12 August, thus, opening a new phase of the CTC revitalization process. The Committee plenary would maintain close cooperation with the Executive Director to coordinate efforts for practical implementation of the plan to make the new structure fully operational in the shortest time possible.
The Committee had continued to work with Member States by reviewing reports submitted pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1373 (2001), he added. The group of CTC experts had prepared 65 letters in response to reports, and the Committee would take all necessary measures to enable the subcommittees to consider those reports as quickly as possible. By 30 September 2004, the Committee had received 526 reports from MemberStates and others, including 191 first reports from Member States and six from others, and 160 second reports and two from others, 117 third reports and one from others, and 49 fourth reports and none from others, respectively. But 78 Member States had not submitted their respective reports on time; those States should submit their reports as soon as possible.
In line with the provisions of the twelfth work programme, the Committee had pursued efforts to integrate an analysis and assessment of each country’s assistance and other needs into the report reviewing process, he noted, approving the guidance document on assessments, which could be shared with interested donorStates and organizations. The Committee would rely on the assistance assessment process to enhance dialogue with Member States and the donor community to make technical assistance efforts more effective and better adjusted to the real needs of Member States. During its thirteenth work programme, the Committee would prepare a set of best practices to assist States in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001) related to financing of terrorism, in consultation with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations and United Nations bodies.
The Committee, he added, continued to develop a database of needed and available assistance by regularly updating the Directory of Counter Terrorism Information and Sources of Assistance, and the Assistance Matrix. All Member States had been requested to submit information on a regular basis to update the database and the Assistance Matrix. The CTC also continued to encourage Member States to become parties to relevant conventions and protocols related to terrorism, and to implement their provisions in national legislation, and would continue to monitor those ratification and implementation processes. Preparations for CTC visits to Member States had continued over the last three months, through the adoption of General Guidelines for conducting such visits, as well as Procedures for their preparation, conduct and evaluation. During the thirteenth work programme, the Committee would accelerate practical preparations for country visits.
Among other initiatives, he said the Committee had continued efforts to facilitate outreach and coordination among a wide array of international, regional and subregional organizations, including preparations for the fourth special meeting of the CTC. It had continued consultations with interested organizations with a view to arranging the fourth regional CTC meeting, as soon as possible. The Committee’s web site had also been improved and updated.
The Committee would continue its course of closer coordination with United Nations structures dealing with various aspects of combating and preventing terrorism, he concluded, and would take further action to strengthen cooperation between itself and the Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Appropriate working contacts with the Committee on non-proliferation problems in the context of the terrorist threat would also be sought. By strengthening its structural and working capacity, the Committee showed its determination to continue playing a proactive role and to provide guidance for international cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism.
JAVIER RUPEREZ, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, noted that it was the first time he was addressing the Council since officially assuming his duties on 29 June. In accordance with resolution 1535 of 29 July, the Secretary-General had presented to the Committee his proposed organizational plan for the Executive Directorate. That plan had been endorsed by the Committee and approved by the Council President. From that moment, his primary occupation had been the preparation of the budget and other administrative arrangements to enable the contracting of experts and other personnel that would be integrated into the Executive Directorate. He had initiated contacts with relevant international organizations and had been invited to participate in different forums, giving him the opportunity to discuss United Nations efforts against terrorism.
As reflected by the recent adoption of resolutions 1535, 1540 and 1566, the fight against terrorism had had the international community’s preferential treatment, he said. Those resolutions had reinforced the measures put forward in resolution 1373, which could be considered the cornerstone of United Nations action against terrorism. The Council had been tailoring its actions to the new challenges before it, while reiterating the connection between organized crime or the trafficking of weapons, including those of mass destruction, and terrorism, and the need to broaden cooperation not only among Member States but also with international, regional and subregional organizations.
He said the Executive Directorate would double efforts to encourage Member States to fully comply with the obligations before them so that they would be armed with the legal and administrative tools to confront the threat of terrorism. Dialogue among Member States would be intensified to identify their needs and obtain for them the assistance they required. Periodic evaluations and country visits would be a valuable element in orienting the Executive Directorate’s work. In that task, the actions taken by international organizations would play a relevant role, as they were the ones who could not only help detect the needs of States but also coordinate assistance.
It was only in that way that gap could be closed and the deadly and destructive work of terrorists made more difficult, he said. The world expected that the United Nations would exercise leadership in the global campaign against the scourge. He would ensure that the Executive Directorate responded fully to the international community’s wishes in that regard. The adoption of resolution 1566 a few days ago had signalled the urgency of the CTED to become fully operational. With the cooperation of all Member States, he expected that to be a reality no later than the first days of the New Year.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that efforts to revitalize the Committee should be highlighted, and he was pleased that its work was moving forward, in keeping with the agreed guidelines. He had also noted the achievements of the Executive Directorate, which had been able to utilize the new structure. That body’s meetings with various international and regional organizations had helped to ensure that links were forged to make it possible to defeat terrorism. Despite the dedication of the experts’ group and the Committee, itself, he regretted that 68 States had not met the deadline for submitting reports. That represented an increase of nearly 10 per cent over the previous quarter. He urged the countries encountering difficulties in complying with the obligations of resolution 1373 to request technical assistance from the Committee, international organizations and donor countries, which all stood ready to provide such assistance.
He reiterated that counter-terrorism required persistence and dedication in organization and coordinating efforts, as terrorism had continued to be one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Unfortunately, terrorist attacks perpetrated over the past two months had increasingly demonstrated the magnitude of that threat. In that light, the international community was obliged to redouble its efforts and persist in achieving the desired goals of thwarting that serious threat. The Council, for its part, must remain steadfastly united against terrorism. Indeed, it was compelled to work against all those seeking to impose extremist views by means of terror.
LAURO L. BAJA (Philippines) noted that the Council had adopted resolution 1373 almost three years ago, giving birth to the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Terrorism remained one of the largest threats to international peace and security. Earlier this year, the Council had sought to revitalize the Committee by adopting resolution 1535 and the establishment of the CTED. He hoped to see the Executive Directorate activated as soon as possible, despite the considerable bureaucratic process that would have to come to bear. He was grateful for the briefing on the activities of the CTED to date, as well as its future plan of action, which he supported. He was pleased the Council had demonstrated unity by adopting resolution 1566 two weeks ago. That resolution would further the Council’s efforts by implementing practical measures against individuals and groups and stressed that the protection of innocent civilians was a primordial value that the Council would observe at all times.
Noting the critical importance of close cooperation between the different bodies established by the various Council resolutions, he said that while their functions might be different, their purposes were certain. He supported the strengthening of practical cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations and stressed the need to step up efforts to develop dialogue with Member States. Noting the growing number of States that had reported on time, he said the CTC should study that alarming trend, which he believed was caused by lack of capacity. In that regard, the CTC should provide technical assistance to States to comply with resolution 1373. The CTC must, however, go beyond its switchboard orientation and address how States could be assisted in specific areas.
The CTC should consider further innovations to fight the scourge of terrorism, he said. Given the difficulty of some States in implementing the resolution, the possibility of cooperating with neighbouring States could also be considered. States might also be encouraged to establish early warning systems and mutual legal assistance mechanisms. The Council and the United Nations membership as a whole must remain committed partners for eradicating the terrorism scourge.
WANG GUANGYA (China) said he supported efforts to reform and revitalize the Counter-Terrorism Committee. He also supported the strengthened central role of the Council to combat terrorism. The adoption of resolution 1566 had been welcome, and he hoped that the organizational plan of the Executive Directorate would be operational soon. He had also appreciated the level of work done by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in evaluating the assistance needs of Member States. In that regard, he supported the Committee’s missions to the States concerned, which had enabled them to assess, through on-site inspections, the difficulties in implementation.
China had already submitted its report on its assistance needs and on the assistance it could provide to others, he said. He had appreciated that the Counter-Terrorism Committee had continued to adhere to the operational principle of openness and transparency. It should strengthen cooperation with the relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, and all other United Nations agencies. Hopefully, the Committee would coordinate and communicate with the working group to be established by resolution 1566.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) said that recent terrorism attacks in Egypt, Pakistan and the Russian Federation had reminded the world that the terrorist threat remained “real and global”. The tragic loss of hundreds of innocent victims had deepened the grief and strengthened the international resolve to intensify common efforts to counter the terrorism scourge. The unanimous adoption of resolution 1566 had made it clear that the United Nations must remain at the heart of the global counter-terrorism effort. The text had reaffirmed that it was the United Nations Charter and international law, including the 12 related conventions and protocols, which constituted the basic legal framework of counter-terrorism worldwide. The resolution had also tasked the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the new Executive Directorate to become more proactive in their dialogue and interaction with States and other international organizations.
He said that the Committee’s new work plan offered various means of such interaction, including contacts by interested States. States should also play a more active part in the monthly briefings by the Chairman. Perhaps the Counter-Terrorism Committee could be invited to discuss all aspects of resolution 1373. Visits to States with their consent could also be useful in adapting the reporting process to the situations on the ground.
Resolution 1566, in operative paragraph 6, had called on international organizations to intensify their interaction with the United Nations, in particular, with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he continued. In that context, he was pleased to note that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) was in the process of establishing a liaison office with the United Nations here in New York. He was convinced that Interpol’s presence here would be of mutual benefit to Interpol and all United Nations bodies dealing with counter-terrorism and law enforcement. The best way to implement 1566 was to ensure the broadest possible support of all Member States, with a view to ensuring their active coordination. The working group, in particular, should be open to interacting and taking inputs from interested States and relevant United Nations’ bodies and international organizations.
JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) said effective systems were needed to obtain tangible results. Much remained to be done, and it was necessary to intensify cooperation between the CTC and international, regional and subregional organizations. The Committee was experiencing a sensitive moment of transition. The adoption of 1535 represented decisive progress towards making the CTC an effective tool in meeting the provisions of resolution 1373. Regarding the Executive Directorate, an entire compendium of measures would still need to be adopted, particularly financial and budgetary. State visits would make it possible to assess the degree to which 1373 had been implemented by Member States and should provide a basis for the ways and means in which technical assistance could be used. Transparency was of utmost importance and should be strengthened not only by keeping informational meetings open to all Member States, but also by studying other measures that would strengthen universal commitment to combating terrorism. The Security Council ad hoc working group to study recommendations on practical measures to counter terrorism should conduct its work in the most open way possible.
All of the victims of terrorist acts deserved equal consideration, he said. Concern about victims must be an axis of the conduct not only of the CTC, but also of the United Nations as a whole. He was pleased that resolution 1566 had made it possible to set up a fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts. That fund could be established using the properties confiscated from terrorist organizations and sponsors. In the struggle against terrorism, international law must be respected, as it was not only essential for countering terrorism, but was also the international community’s most effective tool for reaffirming its legitimacy regarding the terrorist threat.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said no cause justified such attacks against innocent people, and he reiterated his deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of terrorist attacks. The United Nations must foster a coordinated international response. In that context, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Executive Directorate played most important roles in persuading countries that it was in their own interest to take advantage of the various means available to counter terrorism. Those two bodies also had the obligation to ensure that the assistance provided by third parties to the countries was fully satisfactory. Those structures were designed mainly to shelter those States willing to combat terrorism, but which, for various reasons, were unable to do so. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should not be compared to a sanctions committee.
He strongly recommended that all United Nations Members examine the possibility of approaching those two instruments -– the Committee and the Executive Directorate -- to discuss modalities for increasing cooperation. Turning to the Council’s “excessive resort” to Chapter VII of the Charter, he said that the fact that resolution 1566 had remained under Chapter VII was evidence that insufficient emphasis had been given to international cooperation.
Defining terrorism fell within the General Assembly’s powers, as foreseen in the Charter, he said. Resolution 1566 reflected compromise language, which contained a clear and important political message, but the text had not attempted to define terrorism. He had supported the text’s call for the establishment of an intergovernmental working group to consider those terrorist organizations working outside Al-Qaida and the Taliban. At the same time, however, he warned that the development of a consolidated list of individuals classified as terrorists could lead to politicization. Thus, the workings of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the working group should, at all times, be transparent.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said terrorism continued to pose serious challenges. Increased terrorist acts, including those perpetrated in Pakistan, showed that the terrorist threat was pervasive and real and that the fight against terrorism needed to be sustained effectively and with dynamism. He noted the CTC’s commitment to promote transparency in its work. It would remain important for the Committee to find ways and means to associate non-members of the Council and the CTC with its work.
Regarding technical assistance to States, he said such assistance should be relevant to the needs of each country. He hoped the CTC would generate support for technical assistance, which had, so far, remained mostly bilateral. Proposed visits to States should focus not only on promoting dialogue, but also on facilitating technical assistance to States. Regarding cooperation with interested international and regional organizations, he suggested that cooperation also be established with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as such cooperation would be mutually beneficial.
He expressed hope that the staffing for the Directorate would be on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The Directorate should also seek out experts from the Islamic countries.
On resolution 1566, he said the consensus adoption of that text had sent a clear signal of the Council’s unity in the fight against terrorism. That unity must be built upon. He stressed the need for the measures considered by the working group to be in conformity with the principle of international law. Measures could be considered on a case-by-case basis. Operative paragraph 3 of that resolution noted certain acts, which constituted offences within the scope of international terrorism. An internationally agreed definition of terrorism was needed, and he hoped would be accomplished by the General Assembly. In that regard, a distinction should be maintained between terrorism and the right of people to self-determination. The United Nations could not reverse its historical support for people in nations struggling for liberation from alien domination and foreign occupation.
A strategy should focus on the root causes of terrorism, which included political injustice, the denial of human rights and pervasive poverty, which provided a fertile breeding ground for terrorism. He recommended that a United Nations study be conducted on the root causes of terrorism and the development of a long-term strategy to address that scourge. Such a strategy would avoid the danger of a clash of cultures and promote a socio-economic renaissance, especially among the people of the Islamic world.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) said that today’s debate was being held less than two weeks after the unanimous adoption of resolution 1566 in an effort to counter one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. He fully supported the briefing provided by the Committee Chairman, as well as the ambitious work programme supplied today to the Council. He looked forward to a fully operational Executive Directorate, for which it must quickly be given the necessary resources. Also, the Executive Directorate should recruit, as soon as possible, highly qualified experts. He had been quite pleased that the organization of work proposed by the Committee would allow for proper knowledge of all regions, while fully respecting human rights.
He highlighted, as a priority task of the Committee, the preparation of visits to States, which would provide a better idea of the situation and make dialogue possible between the Committee and States more operational and more useful. The first visits should take place in those countries with the greatest needs with respect to compliance with resolution 1373. Those visits should lead to recommendations, including, if necessary, a call for technical assistance. Resolution 1566 had enhanced the role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. With the support of the Executive Directorate, it should be able, next year, to commit itself to more concrete work in the area of monitoring and guiding implementation of resolution 1373 by all States.
MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) said the Council had taken a significant number of important initiatives in the fight against terrorism since Romania had become a member. Romania had supported the recent strong drive towards increased interaction between the subsidiary bodies of the Council established under resolutions 1267, 1373, and 1540. In the coming period, much remained to be done to make the machinery fully operational. The Council’s endorsement of the CTED organizational plan on 12 August should be followed, as a matter of priority, by the approval of its budget by the Fifth Committee.
Today’s debate took place against the backdrop of an unprecedented surge in terrorist activity, he said. Terrorists did not pause, and the Council should not pause. Romania fully shared in the sense of urgency bearing on the finalization of all ongoing processes aimed at strengthening the United Nations response to terror. The CTED’s additional support, as well as a new set of practical measures, was needed. Strengthened cooperation and coordination among the Council’s “borderless” subsidiary bodies -- the CTC, the 1267 and the 1540 Committees -– was also essential for ensuring a coherent and proactive approach in fighting terrorism.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee could not afford to keep its activity at a lower pace throughout the current transitional phase, which would end once the Executive Directorate became fully operational, he said. Its work must continue at the same pace, for it was apparent that States continued to face significant difficulties in the process. One indicator in that regard was the increase in the number of States that were late in submitting their reports. More than one third of United Nations Member States were now in that position. The worrying trend was a strong incentive for the CTC to make the facilitation of technical assistance to Member States a top priority for the near future. On-site visits by the Committee should be pursued as a valuable development in that regard. The signature, ratification and full implementation of all relevant United Nations conventions and protocols relating to terrorism were also essential components in the implementation of resolution 1373.
JEAN-FRANCIS REGIS ZINSOU (Benin) said the world had accurately assessed the terrorist threat to international peace and security, which required the mobilization of all States. His country was firmly committed to the tireless international efforts to combat that scourge, which had challenged all States to be constantly vigilant. The multifarious activities being carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the past three years had demonstrated the Committee’s ability to orient the activities of Member States towards full implementation of resolution 1373. The efforts made by States to date within the collective security system set for in the Charter, however, had not prevented terrorist attacks. Efforts undertaken by the Committee to strengthen to capacity to act had made it possible for the Security Council to adopt new measures to revitalize that body and reinforce the legitimacy of United Nations action in that regard by the establishing of an executive directorate.
He said that the Counter-Terrorism Committee had been productive, despite the constraints inherent in the transitional phase. Everything had flowed from the dynamism exhibited by the Russian delegation, as head of that body, as well as by the activities of the new Executive Directorate and experts. The envisaged improvement in identifying assistance needs was a good way to ensure that the needs of receiving States were being met. He urged all States to cooperate closely with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and to fully join the international structures set up to combat terrorism and organized crime. He encouraged the Committee to strengthen its cooperation with other international institutions, with a view to ensuring synergies and tightening the net around terrorism.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria) hoped the Counter-Terrorism Committee would carry out the final phase of its revitalization. The twelfth work programme had been the beginning of the revitalization implementation process. He encouraged the Committee to strengthen its cooperation with the CTED and to make the CTED fully operational as soon as possible. He further encouraged the Committee to strengthen its strategy of communications with Member States. On 19 July, the Council had encouraged the CTC to develop new forms of cooperation with the 1267 Committee. The CTC had carried out a plan to prepare for State visits, which would strengthen the establishment of direct dialogue with the States concerned. He welcomed the fact that the Committee had adopted general guidelines for holding such visits, which would enable it to carry out its tasks.
Regarding reporting by States, noting that 78 States had not submitted reports, he encouraged them to submit their reports as soon as possible. He also welcomed the unanimous adoption of resolution 1566, which had formulated practical measures to enhance the broad and coordinated response by the international community to terrorism as a growing threat to international peace and security. He appealed for the need to distinguish between terrorist acts and the legitimate struggle of peoples for their freedom and independence, including through armed struggle. The criminal acts set forth in operative paragraph 3 of the text should not be interpreted as a definition of terrorism. It was not up to the Council to legislate in that sphere, but fell within the competence of the General Assembly.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that today’s meeting to consider the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s work programme was an opportunity to draw from lessons learned and to reaffirm Angola’s full commitment to the fight against terrorism. His country had had years of painful experience with terrorism, and the strengthening of its resources and manpower had been directed at that scourge’s final defeat. Concealment of the terrorists’ true intentions and tactics had been able to make headway in Angola for many years, causing untold suffering and the general destruction of the country. The burden left by terrorism was still heavy, indeed. The Council, for its part, had adopted a very firm stand against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, by reaffirming that it was one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any terrorist acts were “criminal” and unjustified regardless of their motivations. That meant that terrorism and its tactics must be condemned and fully defeated.
He said that much remained to be done in the operational domain and in the development of best international practices. A global convention against terrorism would be a decisive tool in that global fight. He thanked the Russian delegation for its contribution to resolution 1566, which had greatly facilitated the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee by providing the international community with a tool to fill the remaining wide gap, owing to the absence of a global anti-terrorism convention. In the nearly two years since his country had joined the Council, terrorism had pursued its deadly crusade with the number of victims, including children, rising to unacceptable heights. That had been a grim reminder of the great threat and the urgent need for nations and peoples to unite in ridding the world from the terrorism scourge. Various tools were required to meet that objective, including military force, law enforcement measures, and fighting poverty and injustice –- which had created a fertile breeding ground for terrorists. He reiterated Angola’s unwavering commitment to the fight.
NICHOLAS ROSTOW (United States) said that the terrorist attacks continued despite the international community’s efforts to thwart them. Strong United Nations resolutions and statements from the floor condemning terrorism and pledging action were meaningful only if all States followed those up with action. Only through concerted and coordinated action would it be possible to win the war on terrorism. Towards that goal, his delegation called on all States and organizations to look at what they had done to contribute to the fight and see where they could do more. The Counter-Terrorism Committee must do the same. Deeds mattered more than words. That global fight could only be won with the unrelenting collaborative efforts of all Member States of the Organization and of all other international bodies.
He said that, despite repeated calls by the Council and the General Assembly to join the 12 international terrorism instruments, only 57 States were parties to all 12, and 47 were parties to fewer than six. Given that those conventions helped to facilitate cooperation among States to fight terrorism, no one should be satisfied with the current participation levels. “We can and must do better”, he urged, adding that resources were available to help. For those States party to a regional terrorism convention, but not yet party to all of the 12 international instruments, he reiterated what the Council had said in resolution 1566: joining regional conventions could not be viewed as an alternative to joining the international ones. Some regional conventions seemed to justify attacks against civilians, depending on the political, philosophical, ideological, racial or ethnic motivation of the perpetrators.
That was not only contrary to the text and spirit of resolution 1566, but also to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, he stressed. The deliberate targeting of civilians was simply unjustifiable for any cause. Until everyone accepted that proposition, it would not be possible to see a truly universal collaboration against terrorism. Meanwhile, he had been pleased to see that the Committee’s revitalization was nearing its final stages. He urged both the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to take the necessary action to ensure that the Executive Directorate was “up and running” as soon as possible. An effective Executive Directorate lay at the heart of improving the Committee’s ability to monitor States’ efforts to implement resolution 1373, to identify gaps in States’ capacities, and to work with assistance providers to fill those gaps. As the Committee began its fourth year of work, the international community should feel proud of its accomplishments: more States had the necessary legal and executive machinery in place to combat terrorism than ever before; more organizations were engaged in the global counter-terrorism campaign, and that global campaign was better coordinated. Every State must do its part in fighting terrorism together.
ADAM THOMSON (United Kingdom), speaking in his national capacity, said the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee was as important today as when it had started. Terrorism knew no boundaries and respected no political point of view. The persistent efforts of the Committee and United Nations Member States remained crucial. He was grateful to Ambassador Denisov for his work, noting that he had done a great deal of work behind the scenes. He thanked him for his personal contribution to keeping the Committee working efficiently in a period of change. It was also good to have the Executive Director of the CTED in the room. He welcomed his efforts to prepare the work of the CTED, which he hoped would be operational as soon as possible.
He noted that the CTC worked on two priority areas, namely, promoting the ratification of international conventions relating to terrorism, and encouraging States with the domestic implementation of measures to combat terrorism. The Committee’s success was not measured by how many reports had been written, but with effective steps on the ground making it more difficult for terrorists to operate. Without reports, however, the Committee would not know whether or not the necessary steps were being taken. He called on all States that had missed the deadline to reply quickly. He also called on them to let the Committee know of their problems in meeting the deadlines.
Regarding State visits, he said he looked forward to the early start of such visits and hoped they would contribute to effective barriers against terrorist activities. On 8 October, the Council had adopted resolution 1566. That resolution made clear the Council’s wish that the CTED should be able to start work as soon as possible. It also asked for a set of best practices in the area of terrorist financing. He supported the call for enhanced cooperation between the three Security Council commitments tacking terrorism, namely, the CTC and the 1267 and the 1540 Committees. The separate new working group of the Council to be set up following the adoption of resolution 1566 would also want to remain in contact with the existing committees.
KOICHI HARAGUCHI (Japan) welcomed the revitalization process for the Counter-Terrorism Committee, as well as the adoption of Security Council resolution 1566 (2004). He also expressed support for the establishment of a working group on measures to be imposed against terrorists other than those associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban, but cautioned that the relationship between the new working group and existing organs –- such as the CTC and the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee –- should be thoroughly clarified from the outset. The working group’s establishment must not produce hypertrophy, but should actually contribute to strengthening counter-terrorism policy.
Regarding preparations for the Committee visits to Member States, he stressed the importance of the Committee sharing its views on the visit’s achievements, as well as on what the visit was expected to produce, with Member States after such visits, in as concrete terms as possible.
Also noting the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, he expressed the hope that the CTED would soon be working actively to fulfil its mandate. Japan remained prepared to participate actively in launching the Directorate.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) strongly condemned all acts of terrorism regardless of their motivation whenever and by whomsoever they were committed. He was committed to that fight, particularly through the ratification of the 12 international instruments and the work of both the Counter-Terrorism and “1267” Committees. The fight against terrorism must not be carried out at the expense of international legal standards, however, particularly in the human rights sphere. He hoped the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s new structure would be operational by 2005 and be able to live up to everyone’s expectations. That Committee should also continue to work in a transparent manner, through both formal and informal meetings. Similarly, the Security Council should uphold the principle of inclusiveness and transparency when acting to foster cooperation against international terrorism. With the adoption of resolution 1556, the Council had taken the fight against terrorism to a new level. Regrettably, the wider United Nations membership had not been given the chance to express its views on that text; he would do so now.
All efforts by the Council to increase cooperation and coordination among all international actors in that fight had been welcome, he said. He had appreciated resolution 1556 as part of that fight, but he had concerns revolving around the rule of law issue, which the Council had discussed in an open meeting just two days prior to the text’s adoption. The resolution had employed broad language directing States to extradite persons considered to be involved, even indirectly, in terrorist acts. The nature of such involvement was unclear in the text and risked involving persons not involved. It had also attempted to define terrorist acts, which left open questions of interpretation when it called on States to prevent and punish such acts. That had also raised the question of the work of the Council and the General Assembly to agree on a definition of terrorism. In addition, the text envisaged new practical measures to be imposed on individual groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities, beyond those designed by the Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee.
He said he had repeatedly expressed the view the due process standards with respect to the current sanctions regime should be improved, particularly regarding legal remedies and the delisting of names in cases of actual error. An expanded counter-terrorism regime must be equipped with the ability to establish the fact objectively and to review its decisions in a fair and transparent manner. That would assist States in adhering to rule of law standards in carrying out the binding resolutions of the Security Council.
DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that open debates like today’s served to strengthen the legitimacy and general acceptance of the Counter-Terrorism Committee within the United Nations family. The European Union welcomed the further strengthening of cooperation between the CTC and other Security Council committees, as well as other part of the United Nations system, dealing with counter-terrorism, particularly the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee (Legal). The Union also welcomed the elaboration of a set of best practices to assist States in implementing the provisions of resolution 1373 (2001) related to financing of terrorism.
The Union remained ready to cooperate closely with the CTC, he affirmed; the European Council had emphasized the importance of developing technical assistance strategies to enhance the counter-terrorist capacity of developing countries in its Declaration on combating terrorism of 25 March 2004. The same Declaration had established the post of Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to promote greater cooperation between the Union’s various counter-terrorism initiatives, policies and activities. Emphasis also continued to be placed on the ratification, without reservation, and effective implementation of relevant international conventions and protocols related to terrorism, and on addressing other factors that contributed to the fight against terrorism, such as non-proliferation and arms control and lifting the veil on so-called charitable institutions.
He also welcomed the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate as an effective means of enhancing the Committee’s ability to monitor implementation of resolution 1373 and to continue its work for capacity-building, and reiterated that a human rights expert should be included on the Directorate. There should be close cooperation between the Directorate and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); counter-terrorism activities must always be undertaken with full respect for international law, in particular human rights, international humanitarian and refugee law. He also welcomed increased direct dialogue and information exchanges between the Committee and MemberStates, and urged all States to submit their reports on time.
PETER MAURER (Switzerland) welcomed the preparation of the thirteenth 90-day period work programme, as well as the adoption of the Executive Directorate’s organizational plan, which would enable the Counter-Terrorism Committee to continue and strengthen its dialogue with Member States. Furthermore, future visits to Member States, as envisaged by the newly approved Procedures, would be carried out in a spirit of transparency and in close cooperation with concerned countries. Also welcoming the adoption of Security Council resolution 1566 (2004), he expressed regret that the resolution’s adoption had not been preceded by open debate. The fight against terrorism remained a long-term challenge, and commitment to stay the course effectively would be ensured through allowing for the participation of all. Thus, all Member States should be enabled to participate in the discussion of the new Working Group, established by resolution 1566, from the outset.
Terrorists must be prosecuted and judged or extradited, he stressed. Yet, in its determined fight against terrorism, the international community must not sacrifice respect for human rights and the rule of law. On the new Working Group’s mandate to recommend measures to be imposed on those participating in, or associating with, terrorist activities, he questioned the appropriateness of giving the Council sole responsibility for its content. If such a list were to be compiled, mechanisms must be developed to guarantee the list’s impartiality and transparency, as well as the ability of persons and bodies included thereon to challenge their inclusion.
He also expressed concern over the inclusion in resolution 1566 of formulations that did not correspond to terms in the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, the 12 international conventions on terrorism or the principle of legality in criminal law. To avoid such discrepancies in the future, the Security Council should fully respect the prerogatives of the General Assembly in the development and codification of international law.
NIRUPAM SEN (India) said terrorism was not a new phenomenon to India, where more than 60,000 had fallen victim to its ravages and to those who perpetuated, promoted, sponsored and facilitated it. Nor was terrorism new to the United Nations. He congratulated the Council for its unanimous adoption of resolution 1566 on 8 October. He would have been happy to share its views on that critical text before its adoption, but had not had the opportunity to do so. The resolution represented a logical extension of existing multilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism. It took forward the ideas first enunciated in landmark Council resolutions 1267 and 1373. In so doing, it also drew attention to the need to move forward in the General Assembly’s consideration of that important issue. The text had also sought to implement the very measures that India had advocated almost three years earlier.
He said that terrorism dictated its terms through death and destruction, fear and confusion, and it was indiscriminate in its wrath. It could not be justified under any circumstances, be they “political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature”, as the text set out. Resolution 1566 was a timely and laudable initiative designed to advance the international community’s common consideration of the issue. He looked forward to early conclusions by the new working group on the need for greater international cooperation on practical measures to be imposed on terrorists and their supporters, including through prosecution or extradition and the establishment of a consolidated list of those associated with terrorist attacks.
The Council’s unanimous adoption of 1566 had been a positive sign of the commitment of the international community to remain steadfast in that global fight, he said. The extreme reactionary vision of terrorists could only strengthen reaction, while their extreme anti-humanism and devotion to death and destruction doomed them to certain failure. India’s new Government was fighting terrorism without, in Benjamin Franklin’s words, “`diminishing the legal personality of the citizen”.
RODNEY LOPEZ CLEMENTE (Cuba) said true international cooperation was needed in the struggle against all forms of terrorism, with the participation of third world countries as equals. In such cooperation, the United Nations should have a central role. Progress would only be possible through international cooperation based on full respect for international law and the United Nations Charter and not through extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, persecution of immigrants, or through pre-emptive wars, acts of aggression or unilateral sanctions. While rejecting the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba in another United States-made list, he reminded the Council that his country had been among the first three countries to ratify the 12 international instruments on terrorism. It had promulgated a comprehensive law against terrorist acts and had adopted additional and effective non-legislative measures and cooperated with the CTC, to which it had submitted four comprehensive reports.
He said Cuba supported a definition of terrorism that guaranteed a distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle of peoples of their right to self-determination and against foreign occupation. Noting the adoption of resolution 1566, he said the resolution imposed a biased definition of terrorism and incorporated, under Chapter VII of the Charter, questions that fell under the discretion of the General Assembly. He was concerned that the CTC had been given the prerogative to establish a monitoring mechanism in countries through visits, independent of the consent of the State involved.
On three occasions the Cuban Government had proposed three draft bilateral agreements with the United States on cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trafficking in persons. Those proposals had been rejected. In the United States, however, safe haven was offered to groups of the anti-Cuban mob based in Miami, despite the fact that they had planned and financed terrorist attacks against Cuba for more than four decades, including bomb attacks, assassination attempts against Cuban leaders and other actions causing death or harm to the physical integrity of thousands of people. Those who repeatedly proclaimed their decision to eradicate international terrorism had a clear opportunity to prove whether the Council was, in fact, an instrument capable of covering the struggle against terrorism in a just, impartial and non-selective way.
LAXANACHANTORN LAOHAPHAN (Thailand) said that combating terrorism in today’s world required, more than ever, international cooperative efforts, particularly within the United Nations. In that connection, she welcomed the adoption of resolution 1566, particularly preambular paragraph 9, which emphasized the need to broaden understanding among civilizations in an effort to prevent the discriminatory targeting of cultures and religions, and addressing the full range of issues, including developmental concerns, all of which were necessary for sustaining the broadest possible fight against terrorism. She commended the Counter-Terrorism Committee for a “job well done” since its inception. Also welcome had been its timely revitalization. Thailand had always attached great importance to the work of the Council Committees mandated to eliminating terrorism.
She favoured intensified contacts with Member States, which would contribute significantly to the Committee’s work. That was why her country had been pleased by the visit last week from Ambassador Muñoz (Chile), as Chairman of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee. Meetings with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and other high-level officials had led to the first-hand provision of information and frank exchanges on both sides. She stressed that measures against terrorism adopted by States must comply at all times with international law, particularly international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law. Her country had played an active role in the capacity-building of the South-East Asian region, particularly in the area of extradition. Furthermore, it had supported the conclusion of treaties on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters among the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, which enhanced international cooperation in combating international terrorism. Thailand had also ratified the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru) said his country had a zero-tolerance policy for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Peru had the scourge for some 13 years and had managed to overcome it. His country was not a novice at fighting terrorism, and would be happy to make its experience available. One could not combat the scourge without an integrated approach, including through legislative and social action. The comprehensive struggle must be carried out with respect for human rights and international law. He suggested a long-term and integrated approach that also addressed poverty, social marginalization and resentment -- areas in which the virus of terrorism flourished. Work against terrorism must also be carried out in a coordinated manner.
Regarding the issue of reporting, he welcomed the Committee’s effectiveness in examining reports. However, only 78 States had presented their fourth reports. The Committee must continue to closely collaborate with States that had not been able to discharge their reporting obligations. Despite its great experience, Peru still had to exert tremendous efforts to honour the request for information. In that regard, he suggested that reports be considered in light of the particular situation in each State. Experts familiar with the countries’ legal system should participate. Concerning the hiring of personnel and experts for the CTED, he said the Executive Directorate must have personnel from all geographic regions and representing all legal systems. In complying with the terms of resolution 1566, the Council should hold open meetings, so that lessons learned could be shared.
SHAMSHER M. CHOWDHURY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, reiterated his country’s firm and consistent condemnation of international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as its call to convene an international conference to define terrorism, to differentiate terrorism from the struggle for national liberation of peoples under colonial and foreign occupation, and to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The international community must ensure that the fight against terrorism was conducted in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and relevant international conventions.
Welcoming all the relevant Security Council resolution related to combating terrorism, he noted his country’s involvement in the fight against terrorism at the regional level, as well as its elaboration, at the national level, of legislation to implement international and regional conventions on terrorism, including those to combat money laundering and to curb the financing of terrorism.
Bangladesh’s clear stance on international terrorism reflected the societal transformation undergone by the country in recent years, he said, which had amounted to a “silent revolution”. In order to fight terrorism effectively, the root causes of terrorism must be comprehensively redressed; military measures must be joined to societal measures, including those to propagate cross-cultural harmony among civilizations and religions and to eradicate poverty and the conditions that fostered depredation, exploitation and deprivation. It was also important to avoid the religious profiling of terrorism, and to fulfil international obligations for non-proliferation and nuclear and general disarmament, so as to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
ZINA KALAY-KLEITMAN (Israel) said that the invocation of Chapter VII of the Charter, the strengthening of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the calls in resolution 1566 to consider new ways to confront terrorist organizations throughout the world demonstrated a collective understanding that “we face a global threat of truly dangerous proportions”. Sadly, those dangers had only multiplied, given the risks of non-conventional attacks by terrorist actors and the nexus in various parts of the globe between terrorists and tyrants. In light of what was known about terrorist networks and the extremist ideology that fed them, it was simply wrong to see those actions in localized contexts or as trends that could be isolated to specific regions. Whatever the nationality of the victims, whatever the location of the horrendous crimes, it was necessary for everyone to work in concert to make inroads against those who believed that the exploding trains, killing of teachers and school children or murdering tourists on holiday would somehow shake the world’s resolve.
She said there was no possible legitimate reason behind the terror, and no such thing as an “acceptable” targeting of innocents. No cause, grievance or claim could justify those actions. Resolution 1566 sent that message clearly, and had left no room for doubt or debate. Everyone knew what terrorism was, including those apologists who still insisted on using code words such as “resistance” or “freedom fighters” to blur the distinctions between means and ends. It was time for everyone to internalize the message of that text and to be clear in actions and words that the deliberate targeting of innocents for political or ideological objectives was “beyond the pale”. There had never been a terrorist organization that did not claim to be acting for some noble cause. But, as resolution 1566 and many others had made clear, any organization, any where in the world, that saw the killing of innocents as a means to an end must be seen -– without appeasement or apology -– as a terrorist organization and the enemy of humankind.
Israel had been on the frontline of terrorism for too many years, she said. Attacks, far too many to list, had struck innocent Israelis going about their daily lives. Those horrific attacks against Israel had a global nature and had been nourished and sustained by a culture of hatred and incitement and by the safe harbour, support and financing offered by certain regimes in her region, in blatant defiance of the Council and the most basic moral and legal norms. The effect of that suffering and devastation on Israelis had been to make them more resolute, to stand their ground and to continue, with courage, to live their lives and dream and work for a day when peace would be possible. That cult of death and the glorification of murder as martyrdom would never be allowed to defeat Israel’s love of life or its hope for peace. Of course, Israel was far from the only target or victim. Success in fighting terrorism would be judged, not by whether it was condemned on the day of an attack, but on whether each and every day it was made clear, by word and deed, that that scourge and the policies of those regimes that supported or tolerated it would no longer be accepted.
OLEKSANDR KUPCHYSHYN (Ukraine), speaking also on behalf of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Moldova (GUUAM), said the world continued to suffer from flagrant terrorist attacks perpetrated against innocent civilians, including children, women and the elderly. The GUUAM States strongly condemned terrorism in all its manifestations and called upon all States to cooperate both in preventing terrorist acts and in ensuring that their perpetrators were brought to justice. The reason behind terrorism was to create chaos and to disrupt the global system of peace and security established and promoted by the Organization. The United Nations should, therefore, continue to play a central part in the common struggle against terrorism. In the fight, the role of the Security Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee should be preserved.
The Security Council should continue to use its unique potential in mobilizing the international community to fight terrorism, he said. The establishment of an effective system of information exchange on terrorism would be helpful in preventing the spread of the evil. The framework for a global response to international terrorism, set by the Council, had to be maintained and reinforced. The CTC was making a valuable contribution to the common struggle against terrorism. In that regard, the adoption of resolution 1566 would further strengthen the essential coordinating role of the Council in the international campaign against the terrorist threat.
He said the CTC should continue to hold its proactive dialogue with Member States. The group welcomed the Committee’s activities in providing assistance to States for ensuring effective implementation of resolution 1373. In that regard, he emphasized the importance of Council’s endeavours to start visits to States, as they would facilitate monitoring, as well as the provision, of appropriate assistance. Promoting closer cooperation and coordination with international, regional and subregional organizations was also of utmost importance.
FRANCIS K. BUTAGIRA (Uganda) said his country had been fighting a lone battle against a brutal rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. The group had no political agenda beyond sheer barbarism and cannibalism. Those horrors had not been on the radar of the international community, despite the fact that they were well known and documented. It had taken the events of 11 September for the world to realize that terrorism was a threat to international peace and security. With the recent murder of Russian school children, the point had been brought home that there should be no lull in the fight against terrorism.
He said Uganda had been pressured to talk to the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, with the unfortunate effect of encouraging the rebels in their murderous adventure. Terrorist should be fought, and not appeased. Resolution 1566 made clear that all intentional acts of violence against civilians were criminal and unjustifiable whatever the motivation. The international community’s resolve in that regard was commendable. Although the resolution fell short of coming out with a global blacklist of terror suspects and groups, it had, nevertheless, established a Security Council working group which would work on measures and procedures to deal with terror suspects outside of Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Uganda hoped that the process would soon be concluded. Terrorists must be brought to justice so as to discourage a culture of impunity.
Resolution 1566 called for more effective procedures to bring to justice those involved in terrorist activities through, among other things, extradition and freezing of financial assets. He was pleased that the Council had come up with such proposals. He was also pleased that the measures were under Chapter VII of the Charter.
KIM SAM-HOON (Republic of Korea) said the international community should redouble its efforts to combat terrorism, which was becoming bolder and more savage each day. The Security Council should assume the central authority in those endeavours. Resolution 1373 and the Counter-Terrorism Committee had played a key role thus far in providing and coordinating a legal and institutional framework for international, regional, subregional and domestic undertakings in that regard. Its efforts should be further strengthened through the full-fledged operation of the newly established Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).
The Republic of Korea attached great significance to the adoption of resolution 1566, he said. He commended the unity and solidarity that the Council had shown on the crucial matter. The effort to find common ground for defining terrorism and terrorists was an important exercise. Developing a consolidated list of terrorists across the globe was also vital. The international community could not afford even the slightest crack in the united front against acts of terrorism. He looked forward to the establishment of a new working group under the Security Council, which, he believed, would broaden the international community’s capabilities to deal with terrorism.
Each country must do its part in the global campaign against terrorism, he said. In that regard, the Republic of Korea had taken a number of practical measures, including the creation of a National Committee on Counter-Terrorism under the office of the Prime Minister to coordinate all of the Government’s counter-terrorism activities. The United Nations must continue to promote cooperation by leading the way with bold ideas and also by disseminating the ideas generated within regional and subregional groups. Only through concerted action could the scourge of terrorism be defeated.
RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia) said he had been encouraged by the reaffirmation that the Counter-Terrorism Committee would intensify its efforts to monitor and promote implementation by all Member States of resolution 1373 (2001). Malaysia had fulfilled all of its obligations as stated in paragraph 6 of that text, and it had submitted its fourth report on 17 September in response to queries by the Committee. He asked whether the delay among other States could be attributed to the burdensome nature of the reporting. If that was the case, the CTC might search new and creative ways to handle the reporting question. In order for the Committee to function effectively, its visits to Member States were essential. Through those, the Committee could bring to the Council’s attention the shortcomings in implementation by Member States of resolution 1373, and highlight some of the successes and failures. He could not overemphasize the importance of providing technical assistance to Member States to enhance their counter-terrorism capacity.
He said that no region in the world had been spared from the terrorism scourge. In preserving peace and stability in the South-East Asian region, there was a need for solidarity and a united response to terrorism among the regional countries. In that connection, Malaysia had undertaken to establish the South-East Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism, as a centre for training and capacity-building in the prevention of terrorist activities, the management of terrorism-related situations and enhancement of public awareness towards countering the terrorist threat. He reiterated his country’s commitment to work with other States to effectively contain and rout the terrorism threat. Given the apparent reach of terrorist organizations, only a concerted and unified effort would enable the international community to succeed in that important undertaking.
AMINU B. WALI (Nigeria) said terrorism remained a serious threat to national, regional and international peace and security and constituted a deliberate violation of the fundamental principles of law, order and human rights. Terrorism also posed a grave threat to territorial integrity and the stability of States. Just two years since its establishment, the Committee had been able to mobilize Member States towards a sustained fight against terrorism. As a result of its efforts, a growing number of Member States had either acceded to or ratified the various relevant multilateral conventions and protocols. Improved collaboration between it and the 1267 Committee had generated confidence among Member States, which now shared information, thus, enabling the Committee to assess country-specific needs.
The fight against terrorism was a daunting challenge, he said. Despite the international community’s resolve, terrorist had continued to cross international boundaries, wreaking havoc in societies. In that regard, he urged all Member States to ratify the main anti-terrorism multilateral treaties and implement relevant resolutions, as it would send a powerful message of unity in the fight against terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee should be adequately funded and staffed, so as to ensure that adequate technical assistance was extended to States, especially developing countries that were ill-equipped to meet the Committee’s reporting needs. Disagreement on several articles of the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and the international convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism had stalled the efforts to finalize work on the two legal instruments. The apparent lack of progress in reaching consensus on the draft conventions might send the wrong signal to the perpetrators of terrorist acts.
The common endeavour to fight terrorism should go hand in hand with determined efforts to identify and eliminate the factors upon which terrorism fed, including the proliferation of small arms and pervasive poverty, he said. Terrorists should be denied any opportunity to exploit those factors to further their causes.
ALI’IOAIGA FETURI ELISALA (Samoa), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Group, said recent terrorist attacks had underlined the fact that no peoples or countries would ever be immune to the threat of terrorist violence. Terrorism was now, more than ever, a threat that had to be confronted by a collective international response. The Pacific Islands Forum members were committed, individually and collectively, to the international campaign against terrorism. The Group welcomed the recently adopted resolution 1566, which further endorsed the work of the Committees responding to terrorism and established a working group to consider further measures.
Security Council resolution 1373 introduced important new multilateral counter-terrorism obligations, setting out clear requirements and calling on States to implement specific measures to meet them, he said. For Pacific Island Forum members, the focus had been on cooperation to improve their capacity to meet international counter-terrorism obligations. Progress was being made. Regional efforts underscored the willingness of the Pacific Forum States to play a meaningful role in the global fight against terrorism. For the initiatives to be fully operational, however, financial and technical support would be needed. Small developing countries did not always have opportunities to provide input into the process of developing international counter-terrorism standards.
Compliance with the raft of international counter-terrorism standards had been challenging, as had been meeting reporting requirements. It was not lack of will, but more often a lack of resources and technical expertise that prevented them from fulfilling commitments. In that respect, he welcomed consultation between MemberStates and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to extend assistance to small and developing States. In that regard, he encouraged the Committee to consider whether a Pacific regional report might provide a possible option to assist small island countries in meeting their reporting obligations.
CARMEN MARIA GALLARDO (El Salvador) said that a priority of each and every State speaking in the general debate of the General Assembly had been the quest for security. Combating terrorism required a consistent, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response. Terrorist acts around the world had showed that terrorism was a threat to all nations. That had compelled the international community to further strengthen every mechanism aimed at combating terrorism, at the bilateral, regional and global levels. El Salvador could not ignore that fight or the efforts being made overall for a more stable world. Having lived through civil conflict in her country in the 1980s, its citizens knew the effect of violence and terror. Her country, thus, supported any initiative to promote the anti-terrorism goals. In keeping with its capacities and resources, El Salvador had implemented its obligations within the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations family to combat international terrorism in all its manifestations.
Emphasizing that security in the hemisphere was a priority for the countries of the region, she recalled the multidimensional approach to the new threats devised by the hemispheric conference in Mexico in 2003. El Salvador had ratified 11 of the 12 relevant conventions and protocols and was now ratifying the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. Regarding resolution 1373, El Salvador had taken the required measures to comply with it and had submitted four national reports. Nationally, it had created an institutional group against terrorism to coordinate national efforts and contributions. It would soon convene a meeting to determining further efforts needed to combat terrorism. To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations’ efforts against terrorism, she said that the Organization must be the coordinating centre in that fight, with the ability to promote an ongoing multilateral effort. She supported the establishment of a unit within the United Nations to centralize decision-making in an ongoing and impartial manner. She also favoured the creation of a group of eminent persons to report on terrorists’ motivations and recommend measures to be adopted in that regard. Draft conventions on terrorism and nuclear terrorism would complete the international framework.
ALLAN ROCK (Canada) commended the CTC for taking its work to a new phase with the establishment of the CTED. He welcomed the Executive Directorate organizational plan, which offered the Executive Director flexibility in taking the Committee’s work forward. The critical work of the Executive Directorate should have clear direction. Canada strongly supported hiring a human rights expert to assist the CTED. Part of its work would clearly be to coordinate technical assistance. In that regard, Canada was establishing a counter-terrorism capacity-building programme as an instrument of its national security policy. The objective of the programme would be to provide training, technical and legal assistance to enable partner countries to prevent and respond to terrorist activity in a manner that respected international human rights norms and standards.
The fight against terrorism required a global response, he said. Welcoming the adoption of resolution 1566, he said the United Nations should play a central and coordinating role in the global fight against terrorism. He appreciated the Council’s efforts to keep non-Council members aware of, and involved in, deliberations on the issue. Transparency and inclusiveness reinforced the efficiency of the United Nations global fight against terrorism.
MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal) said terrorism had become a major threat to international peace and security. Nepal, too, was being devastated by terrorism. The so-called Maoists had been waging a war on terror in the HimalayanKingdom, brutally killing ordinary people, abducting children and destroying private property. Nepal, moreover, had not yet overcome the revulsion felt when 12 Nepalese innocent hostages were recently slain in cold blood by the Iraqi militants. There was no moral, ethical or political justification for acts of terrorism. Nepal strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Tackling terrorism required efforts at the national, regional and global level, he said. Nepal’s Government was seeking dialogue to find a peaceful settlement to the Maoist problem and was committed to protecting the life and property of people by strengthening security measures. At the regional level, Nepal had been working with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) members to find a durable solution to the problem of terrorism. At the global level, Nepal had been working with the United Nations. The Council was at the forefront of United Nations counter-terrorism measures. The adoption of resolution 1566 had added a new building block to United Nations endeavours to grapple with the menace. He hoped the working group would help foster international cooperation, suggest practical measures and implement a common strategy to come to grips with terrorism.
While Security Council resolutions against terrorism were important, they were largely stopgap measures, he said. Nepal called on Member States to redouble efforts to finalize and adopt related draft conventions. While they would not be a panacea, they would certainly go a long way towards mitigating and minimizing the threats of terrorist acts.
DESRA PERCAYA (Indonesia) said global cooperation, with the United Nations at its centre, was needed to effectively combat international terrorism. Member States looked to the Organization to ensure that the instruments for eradicating terrorism were multidimensional. In the absence of such approaches, solutions could only be temporal and limited in nature. Long before the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Indonesia had been the unfortunate victim of terrorist acts. As a result, Indonesia had begun to enforce various measures to mitigate the menace. At the national level, a series of decisions and steps had been taken not only to uncover the perpetrators of terrorism, but also to successfully prosecute them. The measures had been carried out strictly within the framework of law, democratic processes and non-discriminatory norms. Indonesia had also been cooperating at the bilateral, regional and multilateral level.
Welcoming the adoption of resolution 1566, he said its unanimous adoption would further intensify the international community’s efforts to combat the evil. It not only condemned all acts of terrorism in all their forms, but also stressed the need to strengthen judicial cooperation, particularly with respect to prosecution and extradition. The resolution also established a working group whose tasks, among other things, would be to submit information regarding individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities. Imposing practical measures and punishing terrorists was only one side of the coin. The other side was that those measures were taken in accordance with international law, as well as respect of human rights.
He welcomed the Counter-Terrorism Committee work programme for the thirteenth 90-day period, which would enhance the effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures. Indonesia supported measures to enhance the counter-terrorism capabilities of States requesting aid. Terrorism was a problem of every nation, and it could best be fought through multidimensional and multilateral approaches based on international law and respect for human rights.
AMR ABOUL ATTA (Egypt) said that, despite the many successes in the area of counter-terrorism, the struggle still required the deepened support of the international community. Experience had shown that those confronting terrorism must not be blind to the fact that terrorism was not a product of a single culture or a monopoly of one region over another. Terrorism was a multidimensional phenomenon requiring comprehensive solutions, including political, economic, security and legal aspects. On the basis of Egypt’s keen support of international efforts to counter terrorism, he had called for the convening of a high-level conference under United Nations auspices to elaborate a comprehensive definition of terrorism. The most successful means of dealing with that scourge was to take account of the existing legal framework, including principles of international law and international humanitarian law. Terrorism must be distinguished from the legitimate armed struggle for self-determination.
At the same time, he said the international community should undertake a collective response to lay siege to the terrorists and reveal their illegitimate objectives. International efforts must be coordinated. In seeking to defeat terrorism, the role of the General Assembly should be enhanced. That body had previously succeeded in playing an important role in that regard, including the drafting of two terrorism-related conventions. The international community should consider revitalizing the Assembly and expanding its efforts to counter terrorism. In that connection, he had proposed the establishment of an open-ended working group to make the Organization more effective and more organized in confronting terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee had proved daily that it was a vital and effective tool in that fight. The adoption of resolution 1566 had expanded its responsibilities, but the important role of the Assembly must also be enhanced.
FILIMONE KAU (Fiji) condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. A small island country could no longer claim that distance insulated it from terrorism. A terrorist attack aimed at Fiji’s tourism industry, for example, could obliterate it. Put simply, the short-term economic and social impact of any terrorist act on small island economies would be far worse than any natural disaster.
In joint efforts to combat terrorism, he called for the full respect and observance of the rule of law and all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as defined in the relevant international instrument, and, where applicable, international humanitarian laws. He commended the Council for adopting resolution 1566 and, in particular, setting up a working group to consider and submit recommendations on practical measures to be imposed on those involved in or associated with terrorist activities other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee. Fiji also supported the establishment of an international fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families.
He also emphasized the importance of not losing sight of the moral duty to address the legitimate grievances caused by despair, ignorance and poverty. The elimination of the root cause of terrorism required the establishment of international relations based on sovereign equality, multilateralism and justice, the eradication of exploitation, oppression and social inequality, and the promotion of sustainable development.
MARIA ANGELA HOLGUIN CUELLAR (Colombia) said resolution 1566 was an important step forward in the world struggle against terrorism. Colombia’s position was that there was only one type of terrorism, and that there was only one kind of victim. All of the victims of terrorism were innocent and equal. Terrorism was not unfamiliar to Colombians. Terrorism, illegal drugs and transnational organized crime all created insecurity and violence. Terrorism was a common problem, with no distinctions or categories. The international financial networks used to finance terrorism were similar to those used to fund illicit drugs and weapons. Only cooperation with legal action could successfully combat the scourge of terrorism.
BRUNO STAGNO UGARTE (Costa Rica) said that terrorism was an attack on the fundamental principles on which the United Nations rested. That was why he condemned it in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of its motivation and sponsors. The two most important events in the past three months concerning United Nations’ counter-terrorism efforts had been the adoption of 1566 and the plan set forth for the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Adoption of 1566 had underlined the Council’s resolute desire to confront international terror. He welcomed paragraph 6 of the text, in which the Council reminded all States that measures to counter terrorism must be in concert with international law, human rights law, and the rights of refugees. He was equally grateful for the text’s emphasis on legal and police mechanisms to combat terrorism. On the other hand, operative paragraphs 2 and 3 had not met the requirements, from a technical legal point of view, to serve as a functional penal characterization. Those were political statements and not legal enactments; the Council could not codify international criminal law, as that fell to the international community as a whole.
He said that the Security Council was not a legislative organ. Under the Charter, its mandate had been confined to specific situations or disputes that endangered international peace and security, and it could only adopt binding measures insofar as those were designed to resolve conflict. Adoption of international law was the mandate of the international community as a whole, and it accomplished that through the adoption of treaties or international binding law. There had also been no need to adopt those two operative paragraphs of 1566 under Chapter VII of the Charter. Also, any recommendations of the new working group must be consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and particularly due process. The United Nations must adopt a single standard and a centralized policy to prevent, prosecute and punish international terrorists. The United Nations must take the lead in combating international terrorism through the adoption of a consistent strategy of multifaceted action.
Continuing, he called on the United Nations to institutionalize, on a permanent basis, the special and temporary measures contained in resolution 1373 (2001). It should also integrate assistance mechanisms for States, as those tools were now scattered among United Nations’ subdivisions. All Member States should be involved in defining the policies of the Organization to counter terrorism, thereby returning the initiative to the General Assembly. Combating terrorism must also become a permanent, regular activity of the United Nations. The only way in which it would be possible to enhance anti-terrorism action on an international scale was to assign that task to a professional, impartial, standing organ at the core of the Organization. In that regard, he reiterated the proposals made by Costa Rica’s President on 22 September to establish a United Nations high commissioner against terrorism.
In closing remarks, Mr. DENISOV, Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, expressed satisfaction at the results of today’s meeting and gratitude for delegations participating in discussion. The exchange of views had been constructive and would contribute to further improving the CTC’s working methods. The comments made would be given the most careful consideration.
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