SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN OVER ‘CONTINUOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS’, CALLS FOR RENEWAL OF GLOBAL SOLIDARITY AGAINST THREAT MANIFESTED AFTER 9/11
SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN OVER ‘CONTINUOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS’, CALLS FOR RENEWAL OF GLOBAL SOLIDARITY AGAINST THREAT MANIFESTED AFTER 9/11
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6034th Meeting (AM & PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN OVER ‘CONTINUOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS’,
CALLS FOR RENEWAL OF GLOBAL SOLIDARITY AGAINST THREAT MANIFESTED AFTER 9/11
Presidential Statement Follows Day-Long Debate; Secretary-General Says
Best Response to Malevolent Ideology ‘Strong Assertion of Collective Resistance’
Expressing deep concern over “continuous terrorist attacks around the world”, the Security Council this afternoon called on Member States to renew the degree of international solidarity against the scourge that was manifested immediately after the tragic 11 September 2001 attacks, following a day-long meeting during which some speakers warned that the Mumbai carnage of 26 to 29 November could mark a new stage in the violence.
In a statement read out by the President of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, Council members underlined the need to strengthen existing mechanisms and cooperation in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice any person who supported, facilitated or participated in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts.
It also condemned in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts and repudiated attempts at the justification or glorification of such acts, and reaffirmed the importance of countering radicalization and the exploitation of young people by violent extremists.
At the same time, the Council emphasized the need to enhance dialogue among civilizations and address regional conflicts, underdevelopment, and the full range of global issues to help build international cooperation, which, by itself, was necessary to sustain “the broadest possible fight against terrorism”. In that vein, members said they believed that “the strengthening of mutual trust among Member States of the United Nations will facilitate the creation of conditions for the successful fight against terrorism”.
The meeting was opened this morning by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who noted that the session was taking place just two days shy of the first anniversary of the attack on the United Nations’ offices in Algeria. He said that combating the global scourge must be one of the international community’s main collective priorities.
“The best response to a corrosive, malevolent ideology is a strong assertion of collective resistance”, he said. “We need to defend the human rights that terrorism so brutally violates”, he added, noting that the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be commemorated tomorrow. Even though the United Nations was itself a target, he pledged that the Organization would maintain its responsibility to lead international efforts to confront the menace.
Most of the 46 speakers that followed Mr. Ban condemned the Mumbai attack and reaffirmed their commitment to pursue the struggle against terrorism. With many speakers noting that their countries had experienced the scourge, most also agreed with the need for a revitalized and unified anti-terrorism effort and the need for a multidimensional approach. Many also stressed the need for political and developmental initiatives to deal with “root causes”, as well as renewed combat against money laundering, drug trafficking and other networks that aided global terrorism.
Speaking in his national capacity, President Mesic, whose delegation proposed the meeting as Council President for December, said that international solidarity had ebbed since the attacks of 2001; apparently, States saw one nation as taking over the fight. He maintained that a new international solidarity was now needed, based on mutual trust, respectful of human rights and coordinated by the United Nations. He called for concrete action that addressed underlying causes and emphasized development, equitable international relations and the “de-monopolization” of the war on the scourge. Focusing on causes did not justify terrorism, he stressed, but instead aimed to dry up the pool of potential terrorists.
The Minister of State for External Affairs of India, E. Ahamed, said that the attacks in Mumbai marked a qualitatively new and dangerous escalation of the terrorism which India had faced for over two decades and which originated outside its borders. He maintained that the group known as Lashkar-e-Toiba was responsible for the Mumbai attack and that its members were trained in Pakistan. He called for the Council and Pakistan to proscribe the associated group Jammat-ud-Dawa and urged that all those who were in any way responsible for the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice. His country had acted with restraint, he maintained, but added that it must protect its people.
He also called for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that India had tabled in 1996 to provide a framework in international law. “That adoption cannot be held hostage to definitions, while terrorists continued to take innocent lives”, he said.
While others echoed that call for the adoption of a comprehensive convention based on a consensus view of terrorism, the representative of Libya maintained that disagreements in the fight against terrorism still existed and too many initiatives in the fight had been partial. The dynamics of occupation and resistance, for example, had not yet been adequately taken into account, he maintained.
The representative of Pakistan said that both his country and India were victims of terrorism, and suggested that the best response to such acts was for both countries to cooperate more closely in efforts to combat the scourge and to resolve the conflict in Kashmir. He assured the Council that Pakistan was not involved in the attacks in any way and was taking action against extremist groups who sought, in any way, to destroy the peace of the country and its neighbours.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Burkina Faso, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Belgium, Panama, South Africa, China, France (on behalf of the European Union), Viet Nam and Costa Rica.
In addition, statements were made by the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, Algeria, Spain, Afghanistan, Japan, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Israel, Singapore, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Jordan, Brazil, Ecuador, Austria, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Colombia, Albania, Canada, Morocco, Malaysia, Venezuela and Syria.
The representatives of the United States, Cuba, India and Venezuela spoke a second time in response to statements made during the session.
The meeting opened at 10:15 a.m. and closed at 6:50 p.m., having been suspended from 1:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2008/45, reads, as follows:
“The Security Council, underlining that peace and security in the world are indivisible and taking into account the interconnection and interdependence of the world, reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed. It further reaffirms its determination to combat threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism by all possible means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
“The Security Council welcomes recent statements by intergovernmental organizations condemning all forms of terrorism, including suicide bombing and hostage taking, which build upon the universal condemnation by the international community of unlawful acts of terrorism, including against civilians, that cannot be justified or excused under any circumstances or pursuant to any political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other consideration and reaffirms the need for Member States to work together urgently to prevent and suppress such acts.
“The Security Council emphasizes the central role of the United Nations in the global struggle against terrorism.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of all its resolutions and statements on terrorism, in particular resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and stresses the need for their full implementation.
“The Security Council renews its call on States to become parties as soon as possible to all relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism and to implement those they are party to.
“The Security Council believes that terrorist safe havens continue to be a significant concern and reaffirms the need for States to strengthen cooperation in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle of extradite or prosecute, any person who supports, facilitates, participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of the work of the committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and continues its support and guidance to the committees.
“The Security Council particularly expresses its support for, and commitment to contributing to the implementation of, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/60/288) of 8 September 2006 and welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 62/272 which reaffirmed this strategy and its four pillars and called for its implementation in an integrated manner and in all its aspects.
“The Security Council emphasizes that enhancing dialogue and broadening the understanding among civilizations, in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures, and addressing unresolved regional conflicts and the full range of global issues, including development issues, will contribute to international cooperation, which by itself is necessary to sustain the broadest possible fight against terrorism.
“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts and repudiates attempts at the justification or glorification of terrorist acts that may incite further terrorist acts. It reaffirms the importance of countering radicalization and extremism that may lead to terrorism and preventing exploitation of young people by violent extremists.
“The Security Council, reaffirming that the promotion and protection of human rights for all and the rule of law is essential to an effective counter-terrorism strategy and that effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are complementary and mutually reinforcing, reminds States that they must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of technical assistance aimed at increasing the capabilities of Member States in the fight against terrorism by addressing their counter-terrorism needs.
“The Security Council believes that the strengthening of mutual trust among Member States of the United Nations will facilitate the creation of conditions for a successful fight against terrorism, and that success in that fight will positively reinforce peace and security in the world.
“The Security Council, deeply concerned with the continuous terrorist attacks around the world, calls on all Member States of the United Nations to renew the degree of solidarity manifested immediately after the tragic event of 11 September 2001, and to redouble efforts to tackle global terrorism, dedicating significant attention to bringing to justice the perpetrators, facilitators and masterminds of terrorist acts while expressing deep compassion with all victims of terrorism.
“The Security Council will continue to follow developments in order to organize as efficiently as possible its efforts in combating terrorism.”
The Security Council met this morning to address threats to international peace and security caused by terrorists, and has before it a letter dated 26 November 2008 from the Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (document A/2008/738), which contains a concept paper for its consideration of those matters, the goal of which is to strengthen international solidarity in combating threats caused by terrorist acts.
As Chairman of the Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, Croatia strongly condemns international terrorism in all its forms, the letter states, and, noting the danger of terrorism converging with other threats -– including transnational organized crime -– urges stronger global cooperation.
At its root, terrorism opposes the fundamental values of humanity enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and is in sharp contrast to every religion, the letter notes. Economic imbalances, such as poverty, favour its spread, while misunderstandings add new dimensions to global insecurity. As such, the “continuously evolving phenomenon” requires a flexible approach covering both traditional counter-terrorism steps and preventive measures, such as the elimination of conditions that aid the recruitment of potential terrorists.
Seven years after the “terrible events” that resulted in unprecedented international solidarity, the world today is faced with increased terrorist acts that have given rise to an atmosphere of suspicion, serious infringement of human rights and religious intolerance, the letter notes. The Council has worked to update its counter-terrorism bodies, while the General Assembly has reviewed the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
While strategic counter-terrorism guidance was adopted two years ago, follow-up has not taken place within the desired time frame, and many comments refer to the lack of cooperation among Member States. “We must send a strong message confirming our determination and unity in the fight against terrorism under the umbrella of the United Nations”, the letter concludes. A possible outcome of today’s debate is the adoption of a presidential statement calling for, among other things, the reaffirmation of global solidarity in combating terrorism and urging more energetic counter-terrorism efforts.
Opening the meeting, STJEPAN MESIC, President of Croatia and President of the Security Council, said the theme had been proposed because only a global response would provide a solution to the global threat of terrorism. The theme had also been proposed to ensure that the level of solidarity between nations would be greater now than it was before the events of 2001. If there were any doubts for the necessity of that, the most recent attacks in Mumbai had dispelled such doubts.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General, said “terrorism is a global scourge”. The awful attacks in Mumbai two weeks ago were only the most recent example of mad, misguided individuals run amok. As a leading threat to international security, terrorism had to be one of the international community’s main priorities.
“The best response to a corrosive, malevolent ideology is a strong assertion of collective resistance”, he said. “We need to defend the human rights that terrorism so brutally violates”, he added, urging the defence of the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the sixtieth anniversary of which would be commemorated tomorrow.
The United Nations had a responsibility to lead international efforts to confront the menace, “which no cause or grievance can justify”, and the Organization was uniquely well placed to play that role. Indeed, the Council and the General Assembly had strongly condemned terrorism time and again. The Assembly’s adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006 was a landmark, and United Nations mechanisms, such as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and subsidiary bodies of the Council, were also important parts of the picture.
“We are also employing the convening power of the United Nations in this struggle”, he added, for example, last month’s high-level Culture of Peace gathering, as well as a symposium at Headquarters in September focused on the plight of victims. In closing, he reminded the Council that it met only two days shy of the first anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations office in Algeria, a horrendous attack that took the lives of 17 colleagues. It was all too reminiscent of a similar attack in Baghdad five years ago and the attack on the compound in Somalia, which killed two staff. “It is more apparent than ever that the United Nations, too, has become a deliberate target”, he said. “Yet, these tragedies have deterred neither our will nor our ability to serve the international community.” The United Nations would continue its vital work wherever and whenever needed.
MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) said 60 years ago the search for a lasting peace and collective security was at the core of the aspirations of the founding fathers of the United Nations. Over 60 years later, that search was still but an aspiration, given the many constant threats to the world, one of the most serious being the threat of terrorism. The scourge had shattered many certainties. Different views had sometimes hindered cooperation among States, but significant efforts, among others, by the Security Council and the General Assembly, had been taken. The latest was the Global Strategy adopted by the General Assembly. The Assembly should continue its efforts by finalizing the draft International Anti-Terrorism Convention. The Council had been building up its activities after 9/11, with the adoption of resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540, among other activities.
He said that, despite those initiatives, threats to international peace and security because of terrorism had not been eliminated or diminished. There was a need for a comprehensive convention with a clear definition of the concept and encouraging non-selective measures. States also had responsibilities, but some States, unfortunately, did not express the political will, nor did they address the root causes. For a long time, West Africa had been spared by the threat, but now it faced many networks of organized crime, including terrorist networks. The fragile States were vulnerable, because of, among other things, porous borders and lack of monitoring bodies. He appealed for financial and capacity-building assistance, in close cooperation with subregional organizations, to address the problem. To conquer terrorism, one must remain united and resolute. It was important that poverty and social inequality be taken into account, so that it could not be exploited by terrorists.
GIULIO TERZI DI SANT’AGATA ( Italy) said the tragic events in Mumbai demonstrated once again the reality of the terrorist threat to international peace and security. A counter-terrorism strategy should not be devised during the aftermath of such attacks, but required patient work towards international cooperation. The threat of terrorism was intense and would remain so in the foreseeable future. The threat was diversified and continuously changing, requiring a global vision and political will to address it. The United Nations was the best-suited framework for defining counter-terrorism policies. The role of the United Nations was all the more crucial, as there was a strong need for Member States to implement global measures.
He said, in the fight against terrorism, strategies agreed on by the membership existed, and those strategies should be implemented today. The implementation of all 16 counter-terrorism conventions was crucial. Full implementation of Council resolutions by all was also needed. The protection of human rights was also a priority, as was the rule of law. There must be neither safe havens nor impunity for terrorists. Technical assistance must be given to countries that needed it, and rescuing failed States was also crucial. Prevention and early detection of extremism were needed, as were more effective exchange of information and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. The challenge faced today could be won. All countries must make long-term and consistent efforts, based on clear strategies and mutual trust.
ZALMAY KHALILZAD ( United States) said that the United States strongly supported the central role of the United Nations in the global fight against terrorism. To strengthen that role, the Organization must improve coordination among programmes, with all organs making their appropriate contributions, whether in security, capacity-building, education, economic development or in relieving conditions that terrorists and extremists exploited. All Member States must also work together closely to create a less permissive operating environment for terrorists, and comply with their obligations to deny safe havens, funding and other necessities to extremist groups.
Recognizing the need to help some Member States build the capacity to fulfil their counter-terrorism obligations, he described United States efforts in that regard, including training and other capacity-building for law enforcement, financial investigation and border security. His country, he said, was also focused on economic development to help stymie terrorists’ ability to exploit poverty, unemployment, weak institutions and corruption. In conclusion, he welcomed the presidential statement to be issued, as well as the Council’s reaffirmation of the importance of countering radicalization and violent extremism.
JOHN SAWERS (United Kingdom), associating his country with the statement to be made by France on behalf of the European Union, said that the attack in Mumbai was an attack on “all of us”, because democracy in India was vibrant and Mumbai was one of the world’s most diverse cities. He stressed that all Member States must help the Indian Government in whatever ways possible to investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice. In particular, he urged the leaders of Pakistan and India to work with each other, as well as continue their efforts to normalize relations and find a lasting resolution to the issue of Kashmir.
In regard to the Security Council, he said that body must be robust in its practical responses, helping disrupt terrorist networks and denying terrorists the safe havens and funds they needed to operate. Sanctions against the Taliban and Al-Qaida were important tools. The Organization also had an important role to play in building Member States’ capacities. He described the “full role” that his own country was playing, having the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) visit London as the first visit to a permanent member of the Council. Core to the British strategy had been the establishment of an office within the Home Office and to coordinate efforts across Government. Resources had been increased, convictions had been obtained and capacity-building had been conducted, including local and international efforts to counter radicalization.
In addition to such efforts, the Council had to show that terrorism did not work. The international community needed to demonstrate that, where there were justified grievances, they would be addressed and there were alternatives to violence. Over the long term, it needed to improve access to justice, tackle political disenfranchisement, and develop better educational opportunities.
MARTY M. NATALEGAWA (Indonesia) said that the latest heinous attacks in Mumbai showed that terrorist groups continued to reinvent themselves with different means of committing atrocities, and that the pace of cooperation must match their skewed capacity to wreck havoc. As such, he called for being “decisive in our policies, but also innovative and practical in our approach”. To that end, he said efforts to overcome terrorism must be multifaceted, and an integrated approach was needed that encompassed intelligence, law enforcement, a legislative framework and foreign policy, including diplomacy.
Second, he said “no country can go it alone”, hence, the need for global cooperation, including in sharing information, intelligence and best practices. Capacity-building should also be sustained. Discussing Indonesia’s initiatives, he said the country also had worked to build a “web” of counter-terrorism cooperation: bilateral, subregional, regional and interregional. In South-East Asia, that effort reached a high point with the signing of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention on Counter-Terrorism in January 2007.
At the same time, the need for a comprehensive convention on international terrorism should be evident, he said. Global multilateral frameworks should not “reinvent the wheel”, but rather build on existing national, bilateral and regional efforts. Indonesia firmly believed in the “democratic response”, and efforts must respect the integrity of international law, human rights and the Charter. They also required being “alert” to the conditions associated with terrorist acts, and he drew attention to addressing root causes, including prolonged unresolved conflicts, to which the Council should devote its political energy.
Finally, effective efforts required the use of “soft power”, and the global community should delegitimize terrorism by strengthening democratic values. “We need to give voice to moderation”, he said.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the attacks in Mumbai had been evidence of the continuing threat of terrorism and a reminder of the collective responsibility of the international community in combating that threat. The United Nations was the organization that must provide solid leadership in combating terrorism in an ever-globalizing world. Strengthening the role of the United Nations in building counter-terrorism strategies was essential. “There is no other option.” The Council had played a key role in establishing a first line of defence.
He said it was important to expose and neutralize terrorist networks, to block financial flows and to eliminate safe havens. Many of those issues had now become clearer, such as the mix of drug trafficking and terrorism. Law enforcement measures must be supplemented by prevention measures, such as tackling the root causes of terrorism and strengthening the dialogue between cultures and faiths. The global counter-terrorism strategy offered a way of eliminating international terrorism, rather than reacting to it. One huge potential not yet tapped was the development of partnerships between public and private sectors. Experience in his country had shown that, when the State met certain conditions, the business community was willing to cooperate. The battle-lines in the fight against terrorism could not be clearly drawn. One of the most important conditions was the comprehensive strengthening of the international legal basis. Further international legal regulations were necessary to ensure that cyberspace was never used for terrorist purposes.
JAN GRAULS ( Belgium) said the events of Mumbai had once again reminded the international community of the fact that terrorism spared no country and remained one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Only through a holistic strategy and unstinting cooperation could the scourge be eradicated. The fight against terrorism must be waged tirelessly and across the board by attacking networks and financing, and also addressing those factors that could fuel extremism. Terrorism could not be associated with any belief or religion. The United Nations had to play a central role in combating international terrorism. The General Assembly had defined a global counter-terrorism strategy, as had the European Union. As a consequence of those strategies, attacks in his country had been thwarted, networks dismantled and trials held.
He said that strengthening the counter-terrorism capacity must remain a priority of the international community. The role of regional and subregional organizations, in that regard, was essential. The respect for human rights and the primacy of the rule of law were fundamental. The protection of those rights was a moral and legal obligation and was a central element of any counter-terrorism strategy. It was essential that clearer guidelines be developed for listing and de-listing individuals and organizations by the Council counter-terrorism committees.
RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama) said that terrorism had shattered peaceful coexistence in the modern world. He condemned the scourge in all its forms, irrespective of who conducted those acts, whether Governments or liberation movements. Acts such as those perpetrated in Mumbai showed that international measures still fell short and required a strengthened international response. He underscored the needed to try and sanction all those linked to terrorist acts, while fully respecting human rights.
GIADALLA ETTALHI ( Libya) said recent attacks had shown the kind of destruction that could be caused by terrorism, both in Mumbai and by settlers in Hebron. Welcoming the concept paper, he noted, however, that disagreements on fighting terrorism still existed. War could not be merely declared on terrorism; preventive measures and a comprehensive approach were needed, as well. The Council’s efforts had been partial in many instances and did not build up the needed synergy of cooperation. All measures needed to be reviewed and reconsidered, with anti-financing measures, in particular, needing to be more robust and fair. Asylum, in addition, must be subject to rules.
In addition, the causes for the growth of terrorism needed to be dealt with, he said. Occupation and other injustices suffered by Palestinians and others fed violence and counter-violence. In addition, capacity-building to assist Member States to comply with their obligations needed to be strengthened within the United Nations system, including the specialized agencies. All action against terrorism, he stressed, must comply with international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law. In conclusion, he supported the draft presidential statement to be adopted at the end of the meeting.
BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said his country was firmly committed to addressing the treat of terrorism and other forms of international crime, multilaterally and in accordance with human rights and international law. The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy provided a holistic and multifaceted response, premised on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Recognizing that it was up to each country and subregion to contextualize the global Strategy, South Africa had recently hosted a national workshop on the Global Strategy that had raised awareness of the Strategy among Government and civil society actors. There, it had been argued that the Convention against Torture ought to be included in the list of instruments that all countries were urged to ratify pursuant to their counter-terrorism obligations. Further, countries must explore where counter-terrorism fit into the development agenda, and not the other way around.
He said that, because building on existing international solidarity and cooperation was the key to progress, efforts must be redoubled to finalize the comprehensive convention against international terrorism by reaching agreement on a definition of terrorism. Developing countries were disproportionately affected by terrorist attacks, irrespective of whether they were the intended target, and the impact on investment and tourism in the poorest countries could be particularly devastating. As stressed in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, respect of human rights was an essential part of counter-terrorism efforts. Council sanctions should, therefore, have to withstand legal scrutiny, including on the question of due process. A number of challenges to the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime should put the Council on notice that it should not be a case of “business as usual”.
ZHANG YESUI ( China) said the alarming terrorist attacks that occurred in Mumbai underlined that terrorism was still a strong threat to international peace and security. The Council, therefore, had an important role to play in the international fight against terrorism. The Council had adopted a series of resolutions that formed a legal basis for the international community in its fight against the scourge. He hoped that the three Council committees would heed the voices of all Member States, particularly those of the developing countries.
He said it was imperative to step up cooperation within the United Nations framework. All United Nations bodies should step up both counter-terrorism measures and activities to address the root causes of the terrorism. Counter-terrorism efforts of the Council should be coordinated with those of the Assembly. The Member States were the owners of the implementation of counter-terrorism resolutions. Their will and capacities determined the implementation of those resolutions. However, limited resources, particularly in developing countries, had prevented several countries from owning up to their obligations. He hoped the international community would invest more resources to help developing countries with counter-terrorism capabilities.
JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX ( France) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the candidate countries, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association Process, and the potential candidates Albanian and Montenegro, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. He declared that, despite the international community’s best efforts, the threat of terrorism was as real as ever, a sobering reminder of which was the long and bitter litany of terrorist acts that occurred around the world.
Pointing to the sophistication and determination of the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, he said, to effectively combat terrorism, the international community needed to first understand the mechanics of global terrorism, which here in New York had opened up a new and bloody era in the history of terrorism. Not only was terrorism global in its scope, it was also global its ability to blend in with globalization and change with modernity, despite the archaic nature of its ideological referents. It was also global its ability to defy and threaten Member States, despite the fact that there were probably only a few hundred, “or perhaps a few thousand”, terrorists scattered around the world.
He said the European Union regarded terrorism as one of the greatest threats to international peace and security and made it its duty to fight it using all possible means. To do that, however, many “deadly traps” that terrorism had set up had to be overcome, among them, fear, division and renunciation. Fear was one of abdication and defeat, while the division referred to the rifts between peoples, cultures, and religions, which were the very things that terrorists sought to provoke. The renunciation was the abandonment of the principles and values on which democratic nations, as well as the United Nations itself, were built. For the European Union, respect for human rights and the rule of law were fundamental elements in the fight against terrorism, and it was not a case of an arbitrary power against indiscriminate violence, but rather the rule of law against crime.
Continuing, Mr. Lacroix stressed that, for the European Union, the United Nations was the natural framework for developing standards and structures to strengthen international cooperation against terrorism. In that regard, he highlighted some of the challenges the international community had to overcome in its confrontation of terrorism. First, the important work that sought to address, more generally, the conditions that led to the spread of terrorism needed to continue. Also, it was important to ensure that both the individual Member States and the international community as a whole remained mobilized in the fight against terrorism. That fight was not only waged in emergencies, when violence broke out for all to see, resulting in innocent victims.
Further, regional organizations also had a role to play in that respect. He pointed out that the strengthening of regional cooperation against terrorism was thus a factor of integration, as evidenced by the adoption of the European arrest warrant, which played a key role in the fight of Spain, and France at its side, against the ETA. However, the primary responsibility for the fight against terrorism still lay with States. He called on all States to redouble their efforts to fully implement the Security Council resolutions and recommendations of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, to become parties to all international instruments against terrorism and to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner. In the face of a global threat that was capable of exploiting all vulnerabilities, the international community needed to carefully address two key issues: How the international community prevented territories from becoming safe havens for terrorists; and how to ensure States that had the political will, but lacked the means, received advice and support.
HOAN CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said terrorism constituted a flagrant violation of international law, endangered the territorial integrity and stability of States, and caused adverse consequences for economic and social development and the destruction of infrastructure. The primary responsibility to formulate and implement appropriate policies to protect its people from the terrorist scourge fell on every State. Counter-terrorism efforts could, however, not be successful without international cooperation and coordination. His country supported the leading role of the United Nations in the international fight against terrorism, in which all measures taken must be in compliance with international law, particularly the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs.
He said much attention, effort and resources had been dedicated to the fight against terrorism, and yet terrorism persisted. The Council had consistently condemned terrorist acts and called for international cooperation. While recognizing the importance of such measures, it was equally important for each State and the international community as a whole to address the root causes of international terrorism. Political, economic and social inequalities, double standards, selectivity, as well as the use of force in international affairs, all created conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
SAUL WEISLEDER ( Costa Rica) said that less than a decade ago the relationship between the fight against terrorism and respect for human rights had often not been recognized and, today, some were still not sufficiently concerned with that relationship. Respect for human rights did not imply that the struggle was weakened; on the contrary, it made the fight against terrorism more effective in the medium and long term. That perspective had been reflected in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Council must ensure that the measures adopted were being matched with an analysis of the social and economic roots that fuelled the scourge. The fight against terrorism must be comprehensive and not restricted to military aspects.
He said the promotion of education was also fundamental. However, in a number of cases, education had become an instrument to promote hatred and a trigger that sent many young people to their deaths and resulted in the deaths of thousands of victims. The Organization must work deliberately to incorporate its principles and values in educational programmes and plans, especially in those societies where it had been ascertained that many centres of education had been used to train human bombs, but with respect for the sovereignty of States.
The challenge for the Council was also to improve internal procedures to make them more effective and transparent, he said. His country had repeatedly proposed to establish an integrated counter-terrorism office, consolidating numerous mandates. In the absence of such an integrated office, the three committees should strengthen coordination among themselves and regional and international organizations. There should also be an independent sanctions review mechanism to hear individuals and entities regarding their listing and de-listing. Costa Rica, which had no army, had decided to use international law as its only defence, and waited for the international community to establish a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
STEJPAN MESIC, President of Croatia, said events in Mumbai had confirmed in an “extremely tragic way” that terrorism was a global threat, rather than a threat affecting a particular country. That type of terrorism required a global response, which, in turn, could only be achieved if the response was based on the broadest possible international cooperation. “In our estimate, such solidarity is not currently at the required and desirable level”, he said. The “sincere” solidarity shown after 11 September had “deflated” because the war on terrorism had turned into “a kind of exclusive competence of one country or a group of countries”. The global effort to fight terrorism was being compromised through the way in which it was waged, and was causing the preconditions for success -- a coalition that functioned on the basis of equal relations and mutual trust -- to disappear.
In the meantime, he continued, terrorism had not disappeared and may even have grown stronger, just as the world was experiencing a significant decline in global solidarity, a one-sided approach to the fight against terrorism whose focus “occasionally left something to be desired”, and a climate of insufficient trust.
He said his intention today was to state Croatia’s position as candidly as possible, which was that the war on terrorism could only be waged, and won, if nations proceeded on two tracks: the first would refer to the use of force against perpetrators and their masterminds, and against the terrorist network. The second would involve addressing the deeper causes of terrorism. Today, questions must be asked. First, as long as there were people deprived of their rights, kept poor through no fault of their own, and were continuously deprived of opportunities –- in short, a pool of “people who had only one thing left, their life” -- would it be difficult to exploit and recruit potential terrorist from the pool? Second, would it be difficult to turn such people against those who they were made to think were responsible for their condition, especially when the cause was wrapped in faith, high ideals and martyrdom? “These are the questions”, he said. “We are supposed to find the answers. And act accordingly.”
However, he stressed that the use of force would not resolve anything in the long run. Pre-emptive action outside the United Nations was also unlikely to resolve the problem. It was imperative that the world focus on establishing equitable international relations and investing in the “de-monopolization” of the war on terror, based on international solidarity and trust. The United Nations had a key role to play in that respect. To be sure, by focusing on the environment that bred terrorism, he was not “justifying anyone”, but was merely seeking to remove the conditions that terrorists tended to exploit.
There were certain indications that the international community was “on the threshold of creating new relations”, both economic and political, he said. Indeed, the post-Second World War structure needed modernizing, especially in the face of a financial, food and energy crisis. Respect for human rights was becoming increasingly important. Just as it was unacceptable to jeopardize human rights in the name of fighting terrorism, it was unacceptable to justify terrorism by invoking religion or a nation. “All of us must wage this war, united in a global coalition based on equality and mutual trust”, he said. The United Nations was the place to coordinate all efforts to eradicate terrorism.
SVEN ALKALAJ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said his country was an active member of the anti-terrorist coalition and was committed to building institutional capacity and ensuring that national legislation was in harmony with United Nations and European terrorism conventions and protocols. In addition, Bosnia and Herzegovina had concluded a series of bilateral treaties and agreements with neighbouring countries on police cooperation, which encompassed the fight against terrorism, and had implemented most of the measures provided in the “Strategy for Combating Terrorism” adopted in July 2006. At the same time, the Ministry of Security in Bosnia and Herzegovina was currently working on a draft document to strengthen its anti-terrorist capacities.
He further stated that his country was cooperating actively to carry out the provisions of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1267 (1999). The Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee had conducted a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2006 and officially acknowledged the State authorities’ efforts to implement sanctions and to undertake effective measures to counter the threat of terrorism. The same Committee also recognized the need for further technical assistance, in particular strengthening and modernizing the country’s capacities with respect to immigration and border control.
The convening of today’s meeting was timely, especially in light of the tragic events in Mumbai, he continued. He condemned the Mumbai attacks and offered his condolences to the people of India, saying it was more important than ever to address the root causes of terrorism. In that respect, it was important to deepen regional cooperation to ensure a coordinated multilateral response to terrorism. Indeed, technical assistance from the European Union, the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other regional organizations was helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to carry out needed reforms aimed at full integration into Euro-Atlantic security structures.
E. AHAMED, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, said that the heinous attack in Mumbai in his country marked a qualitatively new and dangerous escalation of the terrorism that India had faced for over two decades, during which acts had been sponsored and organized by forces outside its borders. In the Mumbai attack, a group of 10 terrorists from the global terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba reached Mumbai on the evening of 26 November and, each equipped with AK rifles, pistols, grenades and explosives, conducted the attack like a commando operation, indicating that they had received professional training. They were ruthless and barbaric, and it is significant that it was the first terrorist attack in India where foreigners were specifically segregated and targeted.
Nine terrorists were killed in the action by India’s security forces and one was apprehended. His interrogation revealed that they were trained in Pakistan and were launched from a ship from Karachi. They travelled to Indian waters and took control of an Indian boat, killing the crew. Thereafter, they came to Mumbai to cause mayhem and murder. One hundred seventy-nine persons were massacred, including 26 foreigners. His Government had requested the Council to proscribe the Pakistani group Jammat-ud-Dawa, since it was a terrorist outfit and should be proscribed under Council resolution 1267. All those who were in any way responsible for the Mumbai attacks must be brought to justice, including those who provided havens and financial support.
Terrorism did not happen by chance, he said. It was planned, financed and required meticulous organization. When it occurred, the world was shocked. What was not easily seen was the backstream for terrorist acts. But, the Mumbai case was clear. “The back trail is marked and definite”, he said, adding that, however, in cases where terrorists were aided and abetted in covering their tracks, all Member States must ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice.
In the context of today’s debate, he called for the Council and the international community to proscribe Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other such organizations, and the country of origin needed to take urgent steps to stop their functioning. Further, practical measures must be taken at the global and national level to see that the menace of terrorism was uprooted. In addition, the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that India tabled in 1996 must be adopted immediately to provide a framework in international law. That adoption could not be held hostage to definitions, while terrorists continued to take innocent lives. He concluded by affirming that his country had acted with restraint in the face of terrorist attacks, but it must do its duty to protect its people, however long and difficult that task must be. The Charter of the United Nations and other international law provided the framework for such self-defence.
ANDREW GOLEDZINOWSKI ( Australia) reiterated his deep concern and solidarity with the Government and people of India, in response to the recent Mumbai attacks which killed Indians, as well as foreign nationals, including two Australians. Every effort must be made to bring the perpetrators to justice. Al-Qaida-inspired violent extremism would likely remain a challenge to global security for the foreseeable future. Indeed, Al-Qaida had undertaken attacks, funded and facilitated attacks by others, and established a sophisticated global propaganda campaign. At the same time, Al-Qaida-inspired extremism had never depended on a single overarching group: its fluid nature had produced “home-grown terrorists”, largely in developed countries, who had organized independently.
The evolving nature of the terrorist threat called for a long-term global strategy, he said. Australia’s counter-terrorism engagement was based on three pillars: policy dialogue, operational collaboration and counter-terrorism capacity-building with international partners. It also supported the United Nations in developing a legal counter-terrorism framework. At the national level, effective counter-terrorism required police, intelligence, political and developmental activities. To counter the influence of extremist propaganda on the internet, Governments should be more adaptive and collaborative.
Continuing, he said a key concern for the international community was the threat of terrorists acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. He strongly supported efforts to prevent that, notably the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Turning to South-East Asia, he said the foremost terrorist groups had been disrupted by Indonesia’s counter-terrorism actions; however, splinter groups and independent cells still posed a threat. Australia would continue to work with Governments to ensure that successes were consolidated. Australia was committed to deepening cooperation with South Asian countries, as the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was a frontline in the fight against terrorism. Australia was working with regional Governments to underline its shared values based on tolerance, non-violence, respect for human dignity and pluralism.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI ( Algeria) said vigilance and international cooperation were crucial in addressing the terrorist threat against international peace and security. The United Nations had a leader’s role to play in the fight against terrorism and must identify specific goals. The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy must be implemented by all Member States. Reacting to the consequences of terrorism was never enough, however, and a preventive approach, such as focusing on the financing of terrorism, was crucial. Networks that financed terrorism involved drugs and arms trafficking, and recently included piracy and hostage taking.
He said analysing the factors that fuelled terrorism must be continued, because terrorism must be understood, in order to better fight it. Young recruits with criminal roots were not terrorists because of their religious convictions, but were victims of several factors, including any lack of prospects. Studies by the task force on the rehabilitation of terrorists had been useful in that regard. The Internet was still the weak link in anti-terrorist actions by the international community, and the reluctance to address that matter must be addressed. The international community must focus on assistance to developing countries that lacked the capacity to implement the Council anti-terrorism resolutions. In that regard, he stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation with specialized regional and subregional bodies. In Africa, the Algiers Research Centre on Terrorism was becoming increasingly active in training African personnel in the fight against terrorism.
JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain), associating himself with the statement made by France on behalf of the European Union, recalled that his country, along with many others, had been a victim of terrorist attacks. Resolved and sustained actions, with the United Nations playing a central role, must be carried out by the international community to end the scourge. The United Nations had 16 international instruments at its disposal, as well as numerous resolutions adopted by the Council and other organs. Applying them must be a priority of all.
He pledged his country’s firm commitment to fighting terrorism and to assuring that the matter was high on the international agenda. The difficult task could only be carried out in compliance with international law and through international cooperation. His country was participating in initiatives to fight terrorism, as well as those that sought addressed the causes of terrorism and extremism. The country had also financed capacity-building initiatives. It was time for all Member States to take concrete steps together, including the adoption of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
ZAHIR TANIN ( Afghanistan) said the theatre of terrorist destruction was ever widening. In Afghanistan, spectacular terrorism had become everyday terrorism. It undermined the daily efforts of the Government to provide a sense of safety for families, to provide education, and to create conditions for free and fair elections. The overarching ideals terrorism was seeking to destroy were moderation, coexistence and peace. By murdering humans, terrorism hoped to murder moderation. It hoped the world’s leaders would be careless with anger. It planned to murder peace and incite to war. “We cannot play out this script the terrorists have written for us, for that is how they win”, he said. “Today we can strike a great blow against terror by affirming our honest collaboration and cooperation.” Cooperation was key. He hoped the recent joint strategy of Afghanistan and Pakistan, forged in Turkey, would lead to the end of sanctuaries for Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
He said a cooperative strategy would be strongest if consistent and comprehensive. Inconsistent approaches in the past had already strengthened terrorist groups around the world. The funding of terrorist groups served short-term, short-sighted policies to promote certain political agendas. There should be zero tolerance for terrorism or for support for terrorism. The recent initiative to pursue peace talks by his country would abide by that principle of consistency. There were many elements attached to terrorist groups who were ready to join the peace process, and those elements must be re-engaged.
A successful cooperation strategy should address terrorism from its root causes upward, he said. Terrorism gained its converts from those who suffered from societal economic imbalances, social handicaps and wrenching poverty. There was a need for preventive measures that addressed the social and economic inequity upon which terrorist elements preyed. The anti-terrorism strategy must also be about bringing security, development and good governance. Organizations such as the Council should further aid cooperation by calling for new sanctions against terrorist groups and those elements and entities who sponsored and supported terrorism.
NORIHIRO OKUDA ( Japan) endorsed recommendations for a multidimensional and comprehensive approach in countering terrorism. Affirming the crucial role of the Council and its subsidiary committees in that regard, he said that his country, as the Chair of the Group of Eight this year, had been striving to strengthen cooperation between the Group’s Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). He maintained that Afghanistan and its surrounding areas remained the most critical region in the fight against terrorism and supported strengthening measures on the ground, as well as maritime operations, noting Japan’s continuing contribution to operations in the Indian Ocean.
Regional cooperation also had a crucial role in counter-terrorism, he stressed, noting Japan’s participation in such cooperation, particularly in South-East Asia. He said that counter-terrorism must not be confined to traditional measures related to law enforcement. In particular, poverty reduction and education initiatives must be further strengthened. The United Nations must play an integral role as the basis for unified efforts in all those areas. He reaffirmed Japan’s willingness to contribute to those efforts.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein), expressing solidarity with the victims of recent terrorist attacks in India, unequivocally condemned such heinous acts, and reiterated his country’s full commitment to continuing international cooperation in fighting them. He strongly agreed that the use of armed force could not be the only answer, and noted that such terms as “war on terrorism” had brought about more problems than solutions. Today was an opportunity to foster solidarity on the basis of a comprehensive approach, as reflected in the 2006 United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Despite the United Nations’ massive scaling-up of its global counter-terrorism toolbox, the pervasive terrorist threat persisted, which spoke to the limits of “traditional” measures and the need to systematically address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorist acts, he said. While the Security Council had a particular role in addressing long-term conflicts that were directly related to violent extremism, the General Assembly must urgently deal with finalizing the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. He hoped for a political climate in which to solve outstanding issues related to the definition of terrorism.
Noting that the Counter-Terrorism Strategy identified the absence of the rule of law, human rights violations and lack of good governance as conducive to spreading terrorism, he said it was equally true that the fight against terrorism could negatively impact those precepts. There were numerous examples of measures where security interests were not properly balanced against the human rights of affected individuals. As such, the Council should “lead by example” in addressing that balance. He urged the Council to take further steps in improving its counter-terrorist sanctions regime.
BYRGANYM AITIMOVA ( Kazakhstan) said that, with the tragedy of the terrible events that took place in Mumbai, the most cruel and large-scale terrorist action since 9/11, it was necessary to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Unprecedented global threats were being faced today, including inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts, international terrorism and organized crime, natural and humanitarian disasters, epidemics and environmental problems. Terrorism was well organized, financially self-sufficient and bolstered by powerful ideologies. Against that background, the strengthening of the international legal framework of counter-terrorist cooperation was especially relevant.
She said the United Nations, with its authority, universal character and unique experience, played an indispensable leading and coordinating role. Its effectiveness, however, depended on the will of the Member States to reform the Organization, with a view to strengthening the role of the Council. The constructive and successful cooperation between the Member States on the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy would strengthen regional and international security and would eliminate international terrorism in the future. Regional and subregional organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, played critical roles in enhancing the effectiveness of global anti-terrorism actions, as did the conference on interaction and confidence-building in Asia.
ILEANA NUÑEZ MORDOCHE ( Cuba) said her country considered that all acts, methods and practices of terrorism, wherever, by whomever, against whosoever committed, were totally unjustifiable, whatever the considerations that might be invoked to justify them. Cuba also rejected the actions and measures, the use of threat or use of force, violating the United Nations Charter and international law, imposed by any State against others under the pretext of combating terrorism. It categorically rejected the unilateral drawing up of lists accusing States of allegedly supporting terrorism. Multilateral cooperation, under the auspices of the United Nations, was the effective means to combat international terrorism. An international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, should be convened to define terrorism and take comprehensive and effective measures to carry out joint actions against it.
She said that, for several years, Cuba had been submitting to the Council detailed information on the terrorist acts against Cuba by various individuals and organizations, as well as on the conspiratorial protections they received from the Government of the United States. That information had not received any concrete response by the Council. Despite having all the evidence needed to accuse Posada Carriles for his countless terrorist acts, the United States Government had never done so. Once again, the Cuban Government demanded that the United States authorities return the terrorist to Venezuela, which had requested his extradition. While releasing self-confessed terrorists, the United States Government had kept five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters as political prisoners for over 10 years. She called for their immediate release. “Double standards cannot prevail”, she said. Eliminating terrorism is not possible if some terrorist acts are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated or justified.”
MEIRAV EILON SHAHAR ( Israel) extended condolences to the Indian people and the people of all those countries whose citizens were killed in the horrific Mumbai attacks. She recalled that Israelis were singled out for cold-blooded murder and took hope from the Indian caregiver who risked her life to rescue a two-year-old Israeli child. In fighting terrorism, she said that the chain of cooperation from country to country must be complete; weak links would be exploited. Borders must be controlled, funds must be cut off, and terrorists must be faced with a seamless, unified front, and pursued wherever they might run.
Israel, she said, had been on the front line of efforts to combat the evil for many decades; Israelis and Jews were targeted worldwide. Like every terrorist group, Hezbollah and Hamas could not operate without the support given by States, in this case Iran and Syria. She urged the international community to stand fast against those organizations and speak in one voice against any State sponsorship of terrorism. The tools to fight terrorism exist, she said, but political will was lacking, and many States either passively or actively allowed or actually supported the scourge. Globalized networks must be broken, acquisition of weapons of mass destruction must be prevented, and religious and political leaders must speak out against fanaticism. Incitement of violence should be addressed at all levels. Appeasement, silence and neglect must be avoided.
VANU GOPALA MENON ( Singapore) said that seven years after the 11 September attacks and six years since the first bomb attacks in Bali, terrorism still persisted, and continued to adapt and to evolve. Because terrorists were decentralizing networks, spawning independent home-grown groups and harnessing modern technology, it was becoming much harder for security authorities to detect future attacks. There were also more plots or attacks involving self-radicalized individuals, not recruited by any terrorist group. His Government had adopted a multi-pronged strategy to deal with terrorism, the first element of which was the use of a multi-ministry-networked approach. The second element in that strategy was community engagement.
He said Singapore relied heavily on members of all religious communities to help counter any misrepresentations of religion. Another key element of the strategy was cooperation with the international community. The United Nations continued to play an important role in sending a clear political signal of the international community’s consistent, unequivocal and strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The transnational nature of modern-day terrorism meant that all Governments would be faced with the menace. It was imperative that countries stayed the course and continued to work closely to combat the scourge and exchange information on strategies to address the root causes of the issue.
CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said recent terrorist attacks necessitated the redoubling of efforts of the international community to combat terrorism. He stressed the central role of the United Nations in combating terrorism. The effectiveness of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy would depend on its coordinated and comprehensive implementation. The human rights pillar was a central element in combating terrorism. Mexico had consistently demanded that nations, in combating terrorism, comply with their obligations under international law, in particular human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.
He said that it was easy for terrorists to use advanced communication resources. Implementation of resolution 1373 was, therefore, important, in particular measures to put an end to financing terrorist activities, including from transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and weapons trafficking. He was concerned at the access to illicit conventional weapons by terrorist organizations, thanks to the legal vacuum that existed in the trafficking of such weapons. The United Nations should give priority to comprehensive strategies in combating terrorism, in order to find a lasting solution to address the causes of conflict. The most effective counter-terrorism activities were those that promoted socio-economic development.
JORGE ARGUELLO ( Argentina), recalling that his country was the victim of two brutal terrorist attacks, said it would not cease in its efforts to bring the perpetrators of those acts to justice. An effective fight against terrorism entailed the commitment of the entire international community, the involvement of the United Nations and regional organizations and a respect for international law.
Stressing the importance of all States becoming parties to the international conventions on terrorism, he noted that his country had ratified 12 United Nations conventions and had enacted the internal laws they required, along with ratifying the Ibero-American Convention against Terrorism and signing the convention on nuclear terrorism. Argentina was also participating in the initiatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). He supported the draft presidential statement to be issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
BAKI ILKIN ( Turkey) joined others strongly condemning all acts of terrorism and expressing sympathy to the victims and families targeted in the “monstrous crime against humanity” that had taken place in Mumbai last week. Those heinous terrorist attacks had once again underlined that only the international community could only gain an upper hand against terrorism through a coherent, consistent and resolute response. While the United Nations had already made some useful contributions to global counter-terrorism efforts, “we can by no means consider our mission accomplished”, he said, calling urgently on Member States to finalize work on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism as a further measure to strengthen collective efforts against the scourge.
While agreeing on such a convention was vital in the area of norm-setting, as for capacity-building, he said the United Nations must continue to improve facilitation of technical assistance aimed at enhancing the capabilities of Member States in the fight against terrorism. “We must help those countries who are willing to shoulder their counter-terrorism obligations, but lacking the necessary resources and expertise to do so”, he said, noting certain steps taken, such as the recently introduced Preliminary Implementation Assessment mechanism, which was expected to identify the areas where countries needed to take additional measures for the full and efficient implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).
He went on to highlight the importance of developing a global monitoring mechanism, which would not only identify the threats and perpetrators in clear terms, but which would also highlight the weak and strong aspects of implementation of resolutions and agreements. Only through such a central and effective monitoring and follow-up mechanism would the international community be able to fulfil its commitments and encourage tangible and substantive cooperation among Member States. Concluding, he drew attention to the United Nations-backed Alliance of Civilization initiative, co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain. That initiative could be “one of the most efficient panaceas against all forms of terrorism”, he said, stressing that the more everyone understood and appreciated that “what unites us is stronger than what divides us”, the international community would inevitably be urged to take serious measures against those who wished to use violence and terrorism as a means of advancing their “ill agendas.”
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said his country was a direct target of externally sponsored terrorist activity. Since the late 1980s, Armenia had openly encroached upon the territory of Azerbaijan and had resorted to deliberate terrorist attacks against his country’s citizens and critical infrastructure. Over 2,000 citizens of Azerbaijan had been killed, the majority of them women, the elderly and children. Territories under foreign military occupation often created conditions conducive to exploitation by terrorists. Thus, the continuing occupation of a part of Azerbaijan’s territory provided a fertile ground for terrorists. As conventional arms control mechanisms were not effective in the territory, accumulation of armaments and ammunitions beyond international control posed serious threats to regional peace and security.
He said it was not accidental that Armenia’s military expenditures in gross domestic product (GDP) was one of the highest in the world and regretted that the international community, especially those mediating the negotiation process, showed indifference to that problem. It was necessary to take more efficient measures aimed at preventing those who had effective military and political control of occupied territories from acquiring conventional weapons, as well as to disclose their attempts to deny responsibility. It was also important that States took appropriate measures to ensure that their respective territories were not used for terrorist or related activities.
The absence of a clear definition of terrorism merely hampered the efforts of the international community in bringing not only individual terrorists and organizations to account, but also States that promoted, supported or financed terrorist activities, he said. Every effort must be made to reach an agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The war on terrorism should not be used to target any particular religion or culture. In recent years, unacceptable attacks against Islam in some countries confirmed the vital necessity of joint efforts and dialogue to counter such defamatory manifestations and misconceptions.
PARK IN-KOOK (Republic of Korea) stressed the importance of strengthening law enforcement and improving the capacity of States to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. Such measures as the easing of socio-economic marginalization, promotion of dialogue among civilizations, and integration of ethnic and religious minorities would complement the efforts of the international community, in that regard. Strongly convinced that terrorism should be eradicated, regardless of its forms and motivations, the Republic of Korea was fully committed to preventing and combating the acts of terrorism and its misguided extremist ideology. To that end, his Government was faithfully implementing relevant Council resolutions. It also joined other efforts, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
Comprehensive and systematic counter-terrorism efforts were required at the global level, he continued, and the Global Anti-Terrorism Strategy offered a solid basis for international cooperation. His country strongly supported the Strategy and complete implementation of its four pillars. The Strategy also emphasized coordinated joint efforts by encouraging Member States and international and regional organizations “to support its implementation through mobilizing resources and expertise”. Harmonization of counter-terrorism measures and exchange of best practices were important elements of the efforts to cope with terrorism. It was also time to make another serious attempt to adopt a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Further, it was essential for Member States to become party to the relevant international instruments relating to terrorism and assist each other in doing so. His country had ratified 12 counter-terrorism instruments and signed the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
The United Nations should continue playing a central role in international counter-terrorism cooperation, he said. A greater interaction and complementary cooperation between the Security Council and General Assembly should be continuously promoted to ensure synergy in the Organization’s efforts. Terrorism was a common threat, which required solidarity within the international community.
HILARIO DAVIDE ( Philippines) said that terrorism was man-made and could be solved by men and women of resolve, together through the United Nations. With the deadly tentacles of terrorism spreading over many places, the latest of which was Mumbai, the Organization must now, more than ever, assert its power and might. For that purpose, there should now be a universally accepted definition of terrorism and condemnation of it as a crime. It should be resolved through the negotiations for a comprehensive convention, which he hoped could be expedited by the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Similarly, he reiterated his proposal for national laws defining and punishing terrorism as a crime. The Philippines, he said, had already enacted the Human Security Act of 2007, which defined and penalized terrorism, as well as conspiracy to commit it. Expeditious prosecution of offenders would provide a deterrent. If there had been expeditious prosecution and the meting of justice to terrorists involved in the 9/11 tragedy, things would have turned out entirely different. The United Nations must act to make continuous trials of such cases a standard practice.
MOHAMMED AL-ALLAF( Jordan) expressed deep sympathy with the victims in Mumbai, where terrorists sought to send a message that they sought to make themselves crucial actors on the international scene, leaving their prints on regional struggles. That message required a transformation of the international response, which must include a unified, multidimensional vision of the fight against terrorism. He recognized the value of counter-terrorism, but it must be enhanced. Now was a time to think out those new strategies. An escalation policy would be unwise, and more regional conflicts must be avoided.
Jordan, he said, had always been in partnerships to fight terrorism and had developed a national strategy that balanced the need to fight the scourge against the protection of right, to maintain rights and pursuit of development. Success did not only depend on military and security measures. Legal, economic and social means were also needed, included the nurturing of a culture of peace. True partnership among States through the United Nations was also required. His country would continue to fulfil its responsibilities in related international agreements, and to respect the international partnership against terrorism.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said, while the world had been shocked by the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the “boldness and savagery” of the acts reminded everyone that the international community must stand together and work to prevent such events from occurring. “Those responsible for the killing and destruction must be brought to justice without delay”, she declared, stressing that there should be mo doubt that civilian lives would be protected and the rule of law would prevail. Brazil strongly condemned all acts of terrorism, and the country’s Constitution enshrined repudiation of the scourge.
“Acts such as those seen in Mumbai must be met with our resolute willingness to deepen our cooperation”, she continued, stressing that the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was particularly relevant because it promoted a comprehensive, coordinated and consistent responses. Many of the Strategy’s elements made it clear that it was an instrument of justice, peace and order, and not vengeance, discrimination or blind attachment to the status quo. She went on to stress the importance of combating terrorism while strictly observing international law, including procedures under the Charter and in line with relevant human rights and humanitarian treaties.
Indeed, she said, such agreed procedures were essential to preserve the moral standing of Governments fighting terrorism and to win that battle where victory was needed most: in the hearts and minds of those that terrorists claimed to defend, but in fact threatened, hurt and often killed. At the same time, Brazil strongly supported the adoption of a comprehensive counter-terrorism convention and would continue to contribute to the relevant negotiations to that end. She said that another essential element of the collective struggle against terrorism was enhanced judicial cooperation and exchange of information among States, especially national financial and police intelligence agencies. To that end, the Security Council’s relevant counter-terrorism committees had proved valuable in ensuring a coordinated response to threats caused by terrorist acts.
Among other measures indispensable to the global effort to combat terrorism were prevention, including by eliminating or mitigating factors that bred terrorist acts; education for peace and diversity, including through initiatives such as the United Nations-backed Alliance of Civilizations; and addressing social and economic disparities between nations. Finally, she reiterated her delegation’s call for a multidimensional approach against terrorism –- one that did not shy away from the use of force whenever necessary and, at the same time, understood the need to address the powerful causes that made many choose extremism and violence.
DIEGO MOREJON ( Ecuador) said his country supported the United Nations’ activities to combat terrorism, drugs and organized crime, and to implement its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In accordance with his country’s new Constitution, adopted in 2008, reforms would be integrated in the criminal and banking codes to combat the financing of terrorism. The Government, together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), had also been working on reform of the criminal code. It had also established control on information-technology imports and exports and had strengthened information-sharing with Interpol. Further, it had implemented internationally-agreed standards for the security of maritime transport.
He said Ecuador received many refugees from Colombia and, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), standards had been implemented to grant refugee status. It was important that international and regional cooperation not only focused on strengthening the national capacity to combat terrorism, but also on fighting social and economic inequality, one of the root causes of terrorism.
THOMAS MAYR0HATING ( Austria) said respect for human rights and the rule of law was a fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism. Effective counter-terrorism and the protection of human rights were complementary and mutually reinforcing. The development of an effective and rule of law-based national system of law enforcement and criminal justice was an essential element in preventing terrorist acts and bringing terrorists to justice. The Council should be proactive in further improving “fair and clear procedures” to protect the rights of individuals affected by its decisions. Counter-terrorism efforts required an integrated, balanced and multidimensional approach, covering a broad range of “hard” and “soft” measures.
He said it was essential to strengthen coordination in combating crimes connected with terrorism, such as organized crime, human and drug trafficking and the illicit arms trade. At the same time, efforts must be redoubled to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and promote a culture of peace, mutual respect and tolerance, including through dialogue among religions and civilizations. Combating the incitement of terrorist acts, radicalization and recruitment of terrorists, especially through the Internet, was a key challenge. He stressed, in that regard, the full implementation of resolution 1624 (2005). As many States lacked the capacity to prevent terrorist attacks, he called upon the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the CTED and the UNODC to intensify their efforts in facilitating assistance.
ROSEMARY BANKS ( New Zealand) said that, as a global phenomenon, today’s terrorism required a coordinated global response. The United Nations, through its General Assembly, Security Council, committees and other bodies, was best placed to coordinate such a response. New Zealand supported the adoption of the United Nations Global Strategy on Counter-Terrorism and worked together with other Member States, particularly those in its region, to advance collective efforts to implement it. Equally important was the need for ongoing improvements in the implementation of key Council resolutions on counter-terrorism. She supported the work of the CTED, in that regard. Next year, she looked forward to welcoming a visit to New Zealand by officials from the Executive Directorate to discuss implementation of resolution 1373 in the country and the region.
Domestically, New Zealand remained determined to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorism to ensure that the country was neither a target nor a source of terrorist activity, she continued. It continued to improve its legislative, policy and operational capabilities. On the regional level, she drew attention to the statements unequivocally condemning terrorist acts by the leaders and ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies at their annual meeting in Lima last month. New Zealand had been actively engaged in the region, building the capacity of partner countries to counter the threat of terrorism. It continued to help Pacific island countries meet the requirements of the international counter-terrorism agenda and had been encouraged by the progress made in the Pacific. In South-East Asia, New Zealand continued to support a number of counter-terrorism capacity-building initiatives, both bilaterally with key partners and through the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Stressing the importance of a comprehensive, multilayered and long-term response to terrorism, she added that New Zealand had also funded initiatives aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism through a programme of counter-radicalization activities.
G.S. PALIHAKKARA ( Sri Lanka) said the threat to peace and security caused by terrorism debased the traditional ethos on which States were founded, and denied people their basic rights. Terrorist networks hummed with fundraising, and trafficking of people, drugs and illicit arms. Daily attacks by terrorists caused enormous losses to infrastructure and the economy, and, emboldened by their tactical successes, they walked out of peace talks when Governments offered negotiable compromises. Such was the situation in Sir Lanka engendered by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who provided insight into how democracies were becoming increasingly exploited by elements bent on achieving their political objectives by unbridled terrorism.
Noting that resolution 1373 (2001) provided a framework for global cooperation in countering terrorism irrespective of the type of perpetrators of such atrocious acts, he said it was imperative to expedite the implementation of preventive measures and safeguards, notably the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which could “synergize” the Counter-Terrorism Task Force and the Executive Directorate. Such collectivity would provide an appropriate architecture for harnessing global efforts.
He urged action on several fronts, from technical surveillance of potential terrorist acts to prevention of illicit trafficking of people, arms and ammunition. There was no robust tracking and interdiction system in place against the acquisition and air/sea transportation of offensive assets deployable by terrorist groups. The interdiction and non-proliferation systems for weapons of mass destruction were unable or unwilling to be harnessed for an equally dangerous threat: the free movement of terrorist hardware across frontiers. He urged mutual assistance to ensure that terrorists did not acquire such transnational capabilities. The importance of well-established legal principles, such as “prosecute” or “extradite”, must be emphasized.
He said it was unfortunate that the Working Group established by resolution 1566 (2004) had not yet addressed critical issues with the attention they deserved. He urged the Council to devote more efforts to bring a balance to its counter-terrorism focus, with a view to comprehensively approaching the security dimension of terrorism. The attacks in India showed how agents of terror were fine-tuning heir strategies, and collective action was, thus, imperative. Such cooperation could have prevented the LTTE from abusing a long-standing ceasefire to illegally acquire an aviation capability that threatened security abroad and undermined democratic conflict resolution processes at home. The policy and legal regimes of the Council, such as 1373, should be given more functional teeth.
MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran) said the elimination of terrorism would only be possible through collective and coordinated international efforts, led by the United Nations. The recent brutal terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the latest atrocious terrorist attack in Pakistan indicated that terrorism knew no boundaries. Apart from numerous measures taken by his Government, in line with the implementation of resolution 1373 and others, Iran had adopted the anti-money laundering act and intensified practical arrangements to ensure the safety and security of its borders. Iran’s costly fight against the Afghanistan drug-traffickers was another aspect of the fight against terrorism and its feeding grounds. As one of the first victims of the Taliban and of groups said to be affiliated with Al-Qaida, Iran had an unwavering determination in fighting terrorism and in contributing to the United Nations efforts in that regard. His country was still in deep sorrow after at least 13 of its soldiers were abducted and slaughtered by the Jundullah terrorist group a few days ago. He asked for the international community’s cooperation in bringing the perspectives to justice.
He stressed that the fight against terrorism should be genuine, non-political, non-selective and resolute. Associating any nation, religion or culture with terrorism was a wrong move -- in many cases, politically motivated -- that risked shattering the international consensus in fighting that threat. Application of double standards in fighting terrorism was a matter of grave concern. While the legitimate struggle of peoples under occupation for self-determination was sometimes unfairly equated with terrorism, and the massacre of the people under occupation, such as through the terrorist acts of the Israeli regime, went unpunished, some terrorist groups, such as the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MKO), a terrorist cult and designated a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, were tolerated, sheltered or even supported by those same powers. Double standards and selectivity in fighting terrorism were unacceptable.
CLAUDIA BLUM ( Colombia) expressed solidarity with the victims in Mumbai, noting that her country had also suffered from such tragedies. She said her country placed the highest priority on developing international instruments and mechanisms to combat terrorism, as well as supporting regional efforts through the Rio Group, the OAS and other organizations. Strengthening cooperation and assistance between States and international organizations was also fundamental. Also crucial was comprehensive action against asset laundering and the world drug problem, the denial of safe havens to terrorists, and the exchange of intelligence information.
Welcoming technical assistance mechanisms through subsidiary committees of the Council, she said that Colombia recently extended technical assistance in the area of financial analysis to confront asset-laundering to Jamaica, through financing provided by the Inter-American Counter-Terrorism Committee. With that Committee’s support, Colombia had also hosted regional seminars on such matters as port security, travel documents and cybercrime. She supported the adoption of a general convention against international terrorism as a complement to the Global Strategy recently adopted. Coordination and coherence in United Nations efforts were crucial. At the national level, Colombia’s efforts had produced widely recognized results, but isolated actions by States or international organizations were not enough. Cooperation was needed on the bilateral, regional and global levels.
ADRIAN NERITANI ( Albania) said addressing the threat of terrorism required political will, institutional awareness, as well as the participation of non-governmental organizations and civil society. A home-grown strategy with a sense of ownership and responsibility continued to be a key factor. His country, in coordination with the international community, continued to strengthen institutional efficiency, an accountable civil society and a competitive economy. It was also participating in regional cooperation. Building compatible institutional capacities, promptly complying with international obligations, and effectively implementing one’s obligations were key parameters of its regional cooperation.
He said that, although regional cooperation was very useful, the United Nations had a unique role to play in the fight, as well. However, there was a tendency to increase the different sets of bodies, with the good intention of addressing and tackling that multidimensional scourge that might have to be rectified. Establishing a culture of cooperation and establishing the respective roles of the players could be helpful in generating potential synergies, without overlap and conflicts of interest.
JOHN MCNEE ( Canada) said that multilateral action, most importantly through the United Nations, was critical to successfully countering the threat of terrorism. He strongly encouraged all Member States to work towards implementation of relevant Council resolutions, with which his country was in full compliance, and to ratify and implement counter-terrorism conventions. He also supported continued efforts to conclude a comprehensive convention, and welcomed the Global Strategy.
Since 2005, he said, Canada had demonstrated its commitment to a global response to terrorism through its Counter-Terrorism Capacity-Building Programme, which provided $13 million annually to address the training, equipment, technical, legal and other security assistance to respond to terrorist activity, with full respect for the rule of law and human rights. Strong protections for humanitarian and human rights laws, including those that protect the freedom of association and freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, were integral to successfully countering terrorism. He encouraged the Council to renew its efforts to broaden international consensus to combat the threat in that context.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) said terrorism was undoubtedly one of the most serious threats to the international community, as it not only attacked the foundations of human security, but also the principles of tolerance, openness and peaceful coexistence. In the fight against the terrorist threat, the actions of individual States could not compensate for the impact of a collective commitment based on solidarity. As terrorism was the negation of all religious and human values, it could not be associated with a religion, civilization or ethnic group. Underlining the role of the United Nations in the fight against the international scourge, he said the draft convention on combating international terrorism should be concluded as soon as possible.
He fully and unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorism was one of the most serious threats against peace and security and violated a fundamental human right, namely, the right to life. Morocco focused its efforts on international actions to fight the scourge. His country was determined to build its national capacities in a preventative sense. National efforts, however, remained insufficient unless accompanied by regional and international cooperation. In that regard, he drew attention to the fifth ministerial meeting of francophone countries in Rabat in May, where a convention on the elimination of terrorism had been adopted.
ZAINOL RAHIM ZAINUDDIN ( Malaysia) stressed that international terrorism was borderless. It demanded an intensified, coordinated and international response. He welcomed the development of international mechanisms to fight the scourge, while maintaining that the subsidiary bodies of the Council must rigorously evaluate their effectiveness and constantly improve their methods. Those bodies must work well with the entire United Nations membership. He expressed regret that a universally accepted definition of terrorism remained elusive, while all States condemned terrorist acts.
Recalling that his country had experienced terrorism during its communist insurgency, he re-emphasized the need to combat the environment that bred such violence. He said that terrorist recruitment would continue to thrive due to colonization, foreign occupation, wrongful seizure of lands, abject poverty, hopelessness and other factors. He also called on the international community to reject any attempt to link Islam with terrorism. Finally, he welcomed the fresh directions mentioned in the concept paper, particularly those that involved addressing mistrust, infringement of human rights and cultural divisions caused by terrorism and counter-terrorism. He reiterated his country’s commitment to cooperate fully with all States and the United Nations in the struggle.
JULIO ESCANOLA ( Venezuela) said everybody agreed that without justice there was no peace, and with no peace, there could be no international security. During the last nine years, Venezuela had been subject to many international threats, including attempts to undermine the Government. The assassination of prosecutor Danilo Anderson, who was investigating the coup against President Chavez, had been a serious terrorist act. The terrible and deplorable events of 11 September had awakened world indignation. That had, however, led to a fight against terrorism that had been used as an excuse to invade other countries. It had also resulted in religious discrimination that had affected Muslim citizens. Constitutional rights were being violated. Countries were being invaded with tens of thousands of civilian deaths. One could not combat terrorism through State terrorism, whose lethal aggression was covered up by the use of the phrase collateral damage.
Condemning impunity, he recalled that, in the United States, the dangerous terrorist Posada Carriles was still free and protected by the authorities. Impunity was just as lethal as terrorist acts. Today, there was a terrible inequality in the world, where 5 per cent spent 25 per cent of all energy resources and the rich consumed most of the world’s products. The financial system had created chaos and a threat to peace. The planet was being killed through contamination, global warming and the ruining of water sources, and the planet’s loss of productivity was intensifying hunger. All that was the equivalent of terrorist acts. It was, however, possible to resolve disputes and conflicts through dialogue, negotiations and respect for international law, especially for human rights. He asked for disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation as a condition for the security of all nations, and the right of all nations to carry out research to study the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON ( Pakistan) said he was deeply troubled by the events in Mumbai, as well as, a few days later, similar violence in Peshawar, in his own country, which he said showed the common experience of all States that were victims of terrorism. His President had pledged to bring to justice anyone found to have been involved in those attacks. Not only was Pakistan not involved in the attacks in any way, but it, too, was subject to such attacks, and had taken action against extremist groups who sought, in any way, to destroy the peace of the country and its neighbours. In that context, he was a bit surprised by the strong denouement of the Indian statement. The best response to the Mumbai carnage was to cooperate in the struggle and to support Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. Terrorist acts against Pakistani citizens had originated in India, as well.
The best outcome of the tragedy would be the resolution of the issue of Kashmir. In addition, mullahs from Indian provinces could cooperate in promoting a fatwah against suicide bombings and other forms of violence in both countries. The Government of Pakistan had already instigated an investigation, on its own, of the Mumbai attacks, and prepared a strategy to arrest individuals found to be part of those attacks and to provide effective supervision of various welfare organizations that could have provided support. His Government had also reached out in various ways to India. In the broader fight against terrorism, it was crucial to formulate comprehensive strategies. Simplistic approaches would only create more problems. Initiatives to promote international harmony were critical, as well as political solutions to long, unresolved conflicts such as Kashmir and Palestine, and as appropriate solutions to other root causes. He also stressed the need to strengthen democracy around the world and, most importantly, the need for the international community to stand united.
MAZEN ADI ( Syria) said the representative of Israel had once again used the rostrum of the Council to falsify facts having to do with terrorism organized and exercised by his State. Through attacks against Syria, she thought she could distract attention from the real terrorism problems of the region. The fact was that Israel was occupying Arab territories and committing crimes against humanity. It was imposing an unfair embargo, a “slow-kill policy”, against more than 1.5 million Palestinians. Israel’s intervention could not change the terrible past of its terrorism, ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians and others. Israel had introduced official terrorism into the region. He went on to describe Israeli actions, including the first act of air piracy in history, by the hijacking of a Syrian airplane in 1954.
He said Israel was a terrorist State. The representative of Israel had called Palestinians who were trying to restore their rights under international resolutions terrorists. Syria had supported the rights of people to self-determination and freedom. It had, for instance, condemned the apartheid regime in South Africa, a regime that had been mainly supported by Israel. Israeli terrorism against people in the Syrian Golan should not be forgotten either. Had the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories not gone on for several decades, many acts of legitimate resistance would not have occurred.
CAROLYN L. WILLSON ( United States) recalled that allegations concerning the case of Posada Carriles and the five Cubans convicted of spying had also been raised on 12 November and, at that time, the United States had given a detailed description of the background and legal steps taken by the Government regarding those cases. She referred interested delegation to the verbatim record of the 12 November meeting.
RODOLFO ELISEO BENITEZ VERSON (Cuba), responding to the statement of the United States, said that the truth was that the country had reached shameful extremes in double standards in shielding a terrorist by protecting Mr. Posada. It expected Cuba to sit on its hands and accept the dictum of “mind what we say and not what we do”. In addition, it was not the only instance of the United States supporting attacks against Cuba. He hoped that sooner, rather than later, justice would be done.
VIKRAM KUMAR DORAISWAMI ( India), responding to the statement by the representative of Pakistan, said that the important issue was that terrorist groups had used Pakistani territory to launch attacks against India. That country must take real action against those groups, instead of bringing up extraneous issues.
Mr. ESCANOLA ( Venezuela), in response to the intervention of the representative of the United States, said the case of Posada Carriles was simple. He had declared his responsibility for terrorist acts. He was a fugitive from Venezuelan justice, and Venezuela had asked for extradition. Venezuela was prepared to enter into a dialogue with the United States in order to better relations between them and to find a path for peace and understanding. There was, however, one condition: respect for the sovereignty of the Government and the people of Venezuela.
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