General Assembly Adopts Text Deploring Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Envoy to United States; Calls on Iran to Help Bring Perpetrators to Justice
General Assembly Adopts Text Deploring Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Envoy to United States; Calls on Iran to Help Bring Perpetrators to Justice
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
60th & 61stMeetings (AM & PM)
General Assembly Adopts Text Deploring Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Envoy
to United States; Calls on Iran to Help Bring Perpetrators to Justice
Assembly Also Votes Down Four Proposals by Iran to Amend Text;
In Other Action, Libya Reinstated as Member of Human Rights Council
Strongly condemning acts of violence against diplomatic and consular missions and officials, the General Assembly today adopted, by recorded vote, a resolution deploring an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, and called on Iran to cooperate in bringing those responsible for the plot to justice.
That action capped a day during which the Assembly also discussed the Organization’s support to Government efforts to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies, and approved two other resolutions, respectively, welcoming the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center, and reinstating Libya on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
The resolution generating the most intense debate — on terrorist attacks on internationally protected persons — was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 9 against, with 40 abstentions. Through that text, drafted by Saudi Arabia, the Assembly expressed its “deep concern” at the assassination plot, and encouraged Member States to take additional steps to prevent, on their territories, the planning, financing, sponsorship or organization of terrorist acts, and to deny safe haven to those who engaged in such activities.
The political context prevailing between Iran and the United States — the “prime mover” of the resolution — revealed the true intention behind it, said the representative of Iran, who introduced a set of four amendments — three of which would have removed all mention of his country from the text. All were rejected by nearly identical recorded votes. Three of the amendments were defeated in a single vote: 96 against to 11 in favour, with 43 abstentions, while the final change proposed by Iran, to replace the text’s final paragraph, was voted down 94 against to 12 in favour, with 45 abstentions.
The allegations leveled in the resolution were “yet another plot against [Iran]”, he stressed ahead of the votes, and said it was “mind boggling” that such an allegation could serve as the foundation of a draft resolution before the General Assembly. Categorically rejecting the involvement of any Iranian officials or agencies in the alleged plot, he said his proposed amendments would place the draft back on its “right path” by transforming it into a text that dealt with attempts against all internationally protected persons in general. If the main resolution was approved in its current form, he said a “dangerous precedent” would be set that turned the General Assembly into venue for settling political scores and the advancement of narrow political interests.
But Saudi Arabia’s representative, as he introduced the resolution, denied that the text accused any particular Member State. Instead, the draft condemned terrorism in all its forms and shapes, as well as the plot to assassinate the ambassador; it was only natural that Iran should be named, as the country’s name had emerged in the testimony of some of the accused perpetrators. Indeed, Iran should take the opportunity to refute — or admit to — those allegations.
While all persons were innocent until proven guilty, the resolution could not wait for a decision to be reached on the case at hand; another accused person was still at large and could not be brought to justice without the cooperation of Iran, he stressed. “This draft is to say: enough is enough,” he declared, adding that there had been enough use of terrorism to impose the will of some on others.
Co-sponsored by more than 50 delegations, the resolution sparked a pointed discussion about the veracity of the alleged plot and whether the Assembly should even weigh in on such a “sensitive” matter that was still being investigated. During the ensuing discussion, several delegations expressed deep indignation at the resolution’s singling out of one Member State. While many supported the thrust of the text, some delegates worried about the precedent the Assembly might be setting.
Venezuela’s representative said that today, the international community was being “sold” the idea that Iran had endorsed the assassination plot even though no hard evidence had been provided. He was struck by the fact that the statements of condemnation stemmed from the same intelligence sources that had alleged that Iraq had held weapons of mass destruction and fabricated “lies” to promote the military interests of one country’s “imperial power”. Through the resolution before the Assembly, the pretext of terrorism was again being used to unfairly stigmatize a sovereign country.
The representative of Sudan said that he looked forward to a transparent judicial investigation, where all of the facts could be heard; in the meantime, any one country should not be incriminated without substantiated legal evidence. The representative of Switzerland, who had abstained from voting, stressed that his delegation did not feel able to vote in favour precisely because it valued and respected the proceedings of the court of law that would soon hear the case.
In other action today, the Assembly, by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 4 against, with 6 abstentions, adopted a resolution entitled “Restoration of the rights of membership of Libya in the Human Rights Council”. The move — which reinstated Libya on the world’s premier human rights body — capped a year that had witnessed both Libya’s unprecedented suspension from the Council, on 1 March 2011, and the end of its brutal dictatorship, said many speakers.
Noting that his country’s suspension from the Human Rights Council had been a wise decision at the time, the representative of Libya stressed that, having removed a “tyrant” from its helm, Libya now deserved to return to that 47-member body. The people of his country had suffered heavily under the rule of Muammar Al-Qadhafi and would “never accept or countenance any violations of human rights in the future”. In that light, violations perpetrated during the recent revolution would not overlooked, he said, vowing that the National Transitional Council would investigate those violations and ensure that they would never be repeated.
Many delegations supported the restoration of Libya’s membership, noting that, since its suspension, the country had seen the end of an era of despotism. In that vein, the representative of the United States, speaking after action on the text, added that the National Transitional Council had demonstrated a “clean break” from the former regime, and welcomed Libya’s new commitments to protect the human rights of all its people and to give them a meaningful voice. However, the United States remained concerned about continuing violations of human rights occurring in Libya, and called on the new Libyan authorities to fulfil all its obligations to end them.
Also concerned about ongoing violations — and, in some cases, about Libya’s initial suspension itself — were several countries from the Latin American and Caribbean region. The representative of Bolivia, explaining why his delegation had voted against the resolution, said that Member States had been “manipulated” ahead of the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution that had authorized what he saw as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led intervention in Libya.
That text had been radically altered to support a change in regime, he stressed, noting that that was neither the mandate of the United Nations nor its Security Council. The circumstances surrounding the expulsion of Libya from the Human Rights Council had not changed to this day. Indeed, that country continued to commit violations of human rights; armed groups and chaos were prevalent and no transition towards a situation where fair elections could be held had been seen.
During a related discussion today, delegates to the Assembly addressed the support provided by the United Nations to new and restored democracies. Many speakers noted that democracy, even in its fledgling form, was “knocking on the door of the Arab region” through the popular uprisings now known as the “Arab Spring.” In that regard, the representative of Tunisia said that revolution his country had recently experienced had aimed not only to protest dictatorship and corruption, but to “lay the groundwork for a new path forward” as the country resumed its place in the concert of nations.
Among other milestone actions, Tunisia had recently acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, joined the International Conventions against torture and forced disappearances, and set up two national commissions to investigate corruption and human rights abuses. He further called on the international community to assist in efforts to repatriate Tunisian assets, which were needed for the country’s development, and to continue to support the democratic process in his country.
In other action, the Assembly also adopted by consensus a resolution which welcomed the recent establishment of the United Nations Counter-terrorism Centre, as well as Saudi Arabia’s decision to fund the Centre for the first three years. Prior to the adoption, the representative of Syria withdrew his country’s support for the resolution.
Speaking ahead of action on the text concerning terrorist attacks on internationally protected persons were the representatives of Cuba, Nicaragua, United States, Kuwait, Bahrain, Bolivia and New Zealand.
Speaking after action on that text were the representatives of Egypt, China, Brazil, Russian Federation, Switzerland, India, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, Singapore, Viet Nam, Grenada, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Ahead of action on the draft concerning the reinstatement of Libya to the Human Rights Council, the representative of Uruguay took the floor. Speaking after the vote on that text were the representatives of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, Liechtenstein (also speaking on behalf of Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), Poland (on behalf of the European Union and Albania), Canada, Viet Nam, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, Nigeria and the Netherlands.
Participating in the debate on new and restored democracies were the representatives of Libya, Philippines, Qatar, and Venezuela.
Representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance also spoke.
The resolution on the United Nations Counter-terrorism Centre was introduced by the representative of Saudi Arabia. The representatives of Syria and Venezuela spoke ahead of action on that text.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 21 November, to consider the situation in Afghanistan.
For the first of its two meetings today, the Assembly had before it the Secretary‑General’s report on Support by the United Nations system of the efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies (document A/66/353), which describes efforts made in that regard by Member States, regional and intergovernmental organizations and the United Nations since the previous report of 28 September 2009. The activities detailed in the report aim at strengthening programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy, including through bilateral, regional and intergovernmental cooperation, and took into account innovative approaches and best practices.
Enumerated among those activities is assistance provided to new or restored democracies by the United Nations system in areas such as democratic governance and the rule of law, the promotion of human rights, the empowerment of women and electoral assistance, among others. The report also reviews the assistance provided in that regard by regional, intergovernmental and other organizations, including cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and its intergovernmental partners. Also described are ways in which Member States, together with the United Nations and other organizations, marked the International Day of Democracy, which was celebrated for the first time on 15 September 2008.
Several observations and recommendations of the Secretary‑General are outlined in the report. First, the impact and reach of the International Day should be strengthened. Particular attention should be paid to youth, who had been at the forefront of a demand for democratic change in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere during the reporting period. Second, the United Nations should strengthen its assistance on democracy‑related issues. The focus of that work should be on facilitating the exchange of practices and lessons learned between Member States and other actors; strengthening the Organization’s technical assistance capacity; and improving and refining the actions of the United Nations as implementer to assist Member States in transition. Finally, the role of synergies between the International Conference of New or Restored Democracies and the Community of Democracies should be reviewed and enhanced.
Among the seven draft resolutions the Assembly was set to consider today was a text on the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (A/66/L.5/Rev.1) by which the Assembly would welcome the establishment of that Centre at Headquarters; and also welcome the decision of Saudi Arabia to fund the Centre for three years. The body has been established within the Counter‑Terrorism Implementation Task Force, and is to be funded through voluntary contributions.
The draft would have the Assembly note that the Centre would operate under the direction of the Secretary‑General and will contribute to promoting the implementation of the Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy. The Assembly would decide to review the implementation of the text at its sixty‑eighth session in the framework of the fourth biennial review of the Strategy.
Also before the Assembly was a draft text on Implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations (A/66/L.9), which would recall the world body’s resolution 65/265 of March 2011 in which it decided to suspend Libya’s rights of membership in the Human Rights Council. It would also recall its resolution 66/1 A of 16 September 2011, in which it accepted the credentials of representatives to the sixty‑sixth session of the General Assembly, including the credentials of the Libyan delegation.
Taking note of Human Rights Council resolution 18/9 of 29 September 2011, and welcoming the commitments made by Libya to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, to promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the Assembly would decide to restore the rights of membership of Libya in the Human Rights Council.
When it meets in the afternoon, the Assembly is set to take up a draft resolution on Terrorist attacks on internationally protected persons (document A/66/L.8) and a series of amendments to it (documents A/66/L.11-14). By the main text, the Assembly would express its concern at the failure to respect the inviolability of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives.
It would also note the April 7 note verbale from the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia addressed to the Secretary‑General regarding “hostile actions committed against diplomatic missions in [ Iran], and recalling the obligations of States regarding the protection, security and safety of diplomatic missions, consulates and their personnel on their territories”.
The text would also take note of the letter dated 14 October 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia addressed to the Secretary‑General regarding “a disrupted plot to assassinate the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America”, and also note the letter dated 11 October 2011 from the Permanent Representative of the United States addressed to the Secretary-General, reporting an Iranian plot.
By the text, the Assembly would express its alarm at the new and recurring acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials. It would also express its deep concern at the plot to assassinate the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America and reiterate its “strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”.
The text would strongly condemn acts of violence against diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, as well as against missions and representatives of international intergovernmental organizations and officials of such organizations, and emphasize that “such acts can never be justified”. It would deplore the plot to assassinate the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States and calls upon Iran to comply with all of its obligations under international law, including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons. Iran would be called on to cooperate with States seeking to bring to justice all those who participated in the planning, sponsoring, organization and attempted execution of the plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States.
The series of amendments to that draft, all put forward by Iran, would delete all references to that country from the language of the text.
Support by United Nations of Efforts to Promote New or Restored Democracies
MEDHI EL‑MEJERBI ( Libya) expressed appreciation for the support of the Secretary‑General, and the United Nations as a whole, as Libya entered into a new period of democracy. Recalling his country’s experience during the last century, he said that Libya had experienced its first democratic attempts during the reign of King as‑Senussi. There had been an elected Parliament and separate branches of power. Had that situation continued, he stressed, Libya would have been a leading country among the world’s democracies.
Instead, however, the Libyan people had suffered under dictatorship for 42 years, and had known no democracy until they had decided to liberate themselves and begin a “new life”. The new country would respect human rights and basic freedoms, he said; democracy, for Libya, was not just a choice but a necessity. He hoped that the people of the world — led by the United Nations — would support them in the quest to fulfil those legitimate aspirations.
Libya supported the International Day of Democracy, celebrated annually on 15 September, as well as the recommendation that all countries should celebrate the day and support it actively by encouraging citizens, especially youth, to participate. “We hope that our country will be able to celebrate this day for the first time next year”, he said.
Democracy, among other things, was a driver of development, as it helped to reduce poverty and created a diversified and inclusive society. Democracy did not have one single model, and was not restricted to one country or region of the world. Indeed, he continued, it was “knocking on the door of the Arab region” in the form of the recent Arab Spring. In the case of Libya, the United Nations was providing support under Special Representative Ian Martin. The country had also been visited recently by the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary‑General himself. He hoped that support would continue — in particular in the area of training — as Libya continued to consolidate its new democracy.
LIBRAN CABACTULAN ( Philippines) said that in recent months there had been a wave of popular aspiration for democracy across the world, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. People were voicing their hopes for more open and democratic societies, cognizant that democracy could advance people’s fundamental rights and freedoms. Those rights included the right of citizens to choose their representatives through free and fair elections; equal protection under the law; and freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association, among others.
During the transition and consolidation of democracy, it was essential that the United Nations provided expertise to ensure democratic processes were strengthened. In that regard, he welcomed the range of assistance the Organization provided to enhance national efforts that fostered and developed transparent, participatory and accountable democratic processes and institutions. Additionally, he spoke in support of the Secretary‑General’s use of lessons learned and peer‑to‑peer exchange of proven practices as a valuable form of assistance.
As the future of a democratic Government could not be “divorced” from the global context in which it must function, he said a global dialogue was essential to embracing genuine and inclusive democracy. In that spirit, new and old democracies could learn from each other. He noted that his delegation supported democratic initiatives and programmes with common aspirations, such as the International Conference of New and Restored Democracies and the Community of Democracy. That professed support reflected the Philippines dedication to promoting democracy both at home and around the world. He also expressed support for the United Nations efforts to promote democracy and concurred with the Secretary‑General’s recommendations on enhancing the impact of the International Day of Democracy, strengthening democracy assistance and increasing coordination between the International Conference and the Community of Democracies.
ABULHADI AL‑HARJI ( Qatar) stated that the Sixth International Conference of New or Restored Democracies had taken place in Doha in 2006. Between 2006 and now, democratic action had shown considerable progress in various regions. Various activities had been undertaken to re‑launch international dialogue on democracy while also striving to develop a culture of partnership between Governments, the Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the United Nations.
Qatar, he said, appreciated the role played by the United Nations in enhancing national capacities to implement democratic principles. The United Nations had supported free elections, enabled civil society to participate in those elections, and mediated in conflict situations. Qatar was especially attentive to the United Nations Fund for Democracy, which encouraged democracy in various regions. Despite the many democratic reforms that had taken place in many regions, the challenges remained enormous. He stressed that, while working together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, it was also necessary to undertake democratic reforms that were homegrown and took account of national cultures and traditions.
This year’s celebration of the International Day of Democracy had focused on the victories achieved, particularly by young people, in the area of self‑determination. The wave of change that had swept over the Middle East recently had surprised many States due to the accelerated change as well as the security and economic issues. Young people had expressed the need to alleviate poverty and reduce youth unemployment and the governments had taken steps to ensure that work opportunities existed. The recent unrest had shown that youth were able to use technological resources in positive ways and Governments must learn to work with young people.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO ( Venezuela) recalled that in November 2009, the General Assembly had entrusted Venezuela with the responsibility of hosting the International Conference of New and Restored Democracies. Unfortunately, his country had been unable to serve as host. Thus, Venezuela had begun procedures to transfer its chairmanship. He noted that during his country’s chairmanship, a range of activities had taken place to promote the movement of new and restored democracies and currently the process of electing a new chair was underway. When Eastern European countries came to a consensus on that decision, Venezuela, together with the new chair country, would submit a draft resolution on the support of the United Nations to Government efforts to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies.
He underscored that all regions of the world were represented within this movement to promote democracy. The movement supported democratic values within the framework of social justice and religious and cultural diversity. In his view, democracies should not only be seen as a political system, they should be seen as “a way of life” that evolved by taking into account cultural “idiosyncrasies” and differences. The rich diversity of democracies had formed the “global landscape of our times”. While many of those democracies shared common features, there was no “universal model of democracy”. Under President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela had opted for a model of participatory democracy through an ongoing constituent process based on peoples’ sovereignty. As a result, political and civil freedoms were growing in Venezuela, which were for the benefit of all. In closing, he emphasized that the use of force and violence to impose democracy negated its essence.
OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) said that the popular movement experienced recently in Tunisia had not only been a revolution against dictatorship and corruption, but had aimed to lay the groundwork for a new path forward as the country resumed its place in the concert of nations. Everyone would be responsible for playing a part in the “real society”, he said, adding that human dignity would be preserved, human rights respected and discrimination and exclusion would not be tolerated. The country was determined to make those values a reality, in line with the desires of the popular revolution.
Among other milestone actions, Tunisia, he said, had recently provided amnesty for all political prisoners under the former regime, acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and joined the international Conventions against torture and forced disappearances. It had begun to open offices of international agencies and organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the High Commissioner for refugees. Additionally, to address those who had been involved in the killing or torture of demonstrators, as well as those who had plundered public assets, Tunisia had set up two national commissions to investigate those abuses. It had joined the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption, and was working to ensure that all national laws were in line with that instrument.
He asked the international community to assist in efforts to repatriate Tunisian assets, which were needed for the country’s development. Furthermore, he said, the national election on 23 October 2011 had been carried out by an independent structure, and Tunisians had voted — many for the first time — with “enthusiasm and emotion”. In some districts the turnout for that referendum had been as high as 80 per cent. The delegate paid tribute to all United Nations bodies that had supported that election and the overall democratic process in Tunisia, as well as the Secretary‑General, who had “always had confidence in the Tunisian people”. Implementing the recommendations in his report was necessary, in particular those related to the provision of international assistance to new democracies. Concluding, he reiterated Tunisia’s commitment to strive in favour of peace, international equality and the United Nations values, as well as to playing an active role in international relations as a peaceful nation.
ALESSANDRO MOTTER, Senior Adviser of the Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU), said that 2011 had the potential to be the greatest leap forward for democracy in a generation. Revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya had swept aside long‑established rules. The IPU believed that the international forums that facilitated the sharing of good practices among new or restored democracies were very important. In that respect, the Union would continue to provide a parliamentary dimension to the International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, and would work towards its rapprochement with a similar mechanism in the Community of Democracies.
“Elections alone do not lead to political stability,” he cautioned, and added that nothing guaranteed that new democracies would not revert back to authoritarian regimes. Consolidation of democracy required active measures to ensure ongoing dialogue between political representatives and citizens. The IPU devoted much of its work to helping parliaments become more democratic: in other words, “more representative, transparent, accessible, accountable and effective.” Over the course of the last year, the IPU had engaged in capacity‑building projects in several countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Vietnam, Maldives and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Those projects included the provision of advisory services on ethics and integrity, support to women parliamentarians, and parliamentary engagement with the Millennium Development Goals.
He added that people around the world expected a lot from their representatives, especially so in new and restored democracies and often these expectations were unrealistic. Citizen’s expectations could be fulfilled only if parliamentarians were given the opportunity to focus on their principal function of making law and holding the government to account. In order to understand the relationship between parliaments and citizens better, the IPU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) were cooperating to publish the first Global Parliamentary Report, which would launched in early 2012.
MASSIMO TOMMASOLI (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), recognizing the recent commemoration of the International Day of Democracy, said that the world was firmly “in the century of the citizen”. That prominent role of citizens was exemplified by the past year’s events in the Arab region, where power shifted from the State to people in an unprecedented way. This shift had occurred within the context of globalization and the “flattening of communications hierarchies”.
People now had access to information as they never had before. Access to information allowed citizens to influence decision‑making processes, and, as a result, individuals and non‑governmental organizations played increasing roles in policymaking. He said that real‑time information access now meant that events in one country caused rapid political effects in another and that there was an urgent need for accountability; backroom politics no longer held. Also resulting from that movement was the rise of the middle class and action taken by young men and women who had once felt politically marginalized.
It was those issues, he said, that had led a vegetable seller in Tunisia to protest, which had had ripple effects across the Arab world. International actors should respect citizens’ leadership role in restoring democracies. As traditional actors of democracy had been weakened, informal processes of expression were becoming stronger. Young people had turned to social media to vent their frustrations and to mobilize. At the same time, democracy could not flourish without institutions. Relevant international actors therefore needed to reach out to new social groups and to be a source of knowledge to people. He said the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance was prepared to work with the United Nations to meet those expectations.
United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy
As the Assembly began its consideration of a number of draft resolutions, FARHAN AL‑FARHAN (Saudi Arabia) introduced a text, which his delegation had sponsored, on the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (document A/66/L.5/Rev.2), which it had sponsored. On 11 November, he said, Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement to support global counter‑terrorism efforts, including through the launch of the United Nations Counter‑Terrorism Centre. The country fully realized that the global financial and economic crisis had made resources scarce for both the international community and the United Nations. However, he also acknowledged the need for further efforts to the build capacity that required assistance in their fight against terrorism. Therefore, by the text of the draft resolution, a trust fund would support such efforts in the amount of $10 million over the next three years, allowing the United Nations to focus its financial efforts elsewhere.
Many meetings had been held last month on matters related to combating terrorism, including the High‑level Symposium and the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Counter‑Terrorism Committee. Despite challenges that remained in the field of countering terrorism, those meetings had reaffirmed progress made in national legislation and in the sharing of experiences among States, as well as in the implementation of relevant resolutions on the matter. He emphasized that Saudi Arabia looked forward to an international conference on countering terrorism, and urged Member States to adopt the important resolution currently before them.
Ahead of action on the text, the representative of Syria said that his delegation would withdraw its support for the resolution.
Next, the representative of Venezuela said his country reiterated its condemnation of acts of terrorism in all manifestations and welcomed any initiatives to implement that proposal. International cooperation was the only viable way to ensure the scourge of terrorism did not grow. He expressed concern as to how the work of the Global Counter‑Terrorism Centre would be supported when the funds were depleted and who would be appointed to its governing board. Venezuela did not wish to undermine efforts to prevent terrorism and wished to support the consensus as a sign of its commitment to the Strategy. His delegation hoped to see the results achieved in the upcoming report as was established within the resolution.
The Assembly then adopted by consensus the draft resolution contained in document (A/66/L.5 Rev2) as orally amended.
Implementation of United Nations Resolutions
The Assembly next took up a text on implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations (document A/66/L.9), introduced by IBRAHIM O. A. DABBASHI (Libya), who recalled that his country had wisely been suspended from the Human Rights Council in response to the crimes that were being perpetrated by the Qadhafi regime earlier this year. Today, however, the people of Libya had removed the “tyrant”, and the new Libya deserved to return to the Human Rights Council. Reiterating the commitment of the National Transitional Council to respect and adhere to all of Libya’s obligations in the field of human rights, he said that that transitional body would pay attention to the establishment of the rule of law and would carry out all obligations laid out in Conventions ratified by Libya. It would also cooperate with other States to promote human rights all over the world.
The people of Libya had suffered heavily and had sacrificed more than 30,000 martyrs in the struggle to live in peace, security and dignity. Libya’s people would therefore “never accept or countenance any violations of human rights in the future, and will never let another tyrant rule over them”, he stressed. The violations perpetrated during the recent revolution would not be overlooked. Indeed, those actions were being investigated to ensure that they would not be repeated. The new Libya would also work with civil society groups and provide support to the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He urged Member States to reinstate Libya on the Human Rights Council by supporting the resolution without a vote.
Speaking before action on the draft, the representative of Uruguay emphasized that her country had joined consensus on the resolution but that it had not altered its position on recognition of the new Libyan authorities. It was timely for the Human Rights Council to closely follow the situation in Libya, particularly within the context of the Human Rights Council’s nineteenth session. During that session, the Council should adopt the outcome of the universal periodic review on Libya. She encouraged Libya to make use of all opportunities to enter into further commitments to human rights. At the same time, Libya should seek necessary technical assistance and cooperation from the United Nations and the international community.
By a recorded vote of 123 in favour, 4 against (Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador) and 6 abstentions (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cuba and Viet Nam), the draft resolution on restoration of membership rights of Libya in the Human Rights Council was adopted. (see Annex I)
Speaking after the vote, the delegate of Cuba explained his country’s abstention, saying that the subject had been manipulated by the United Nations organs. Furthermore, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had violated international law. For more than six months, NATO had bombarded Libya, resulting in the loss of lives and the suffering of countless human beings, while the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council did not “move a finger” nor express the slightest concern. That called into question the actions of the United Nations, particularly with regard to human rights.
The representative of Nicaragua, explaining his vote, stated that his delegation rejected the language of war between countries and the use of war to resolve disputes. Foreign interference had undermined the right to self‑determination, and, using Security Council resolution 1973 (2011), Western powers and NATO had carried out illegal attacks and operations in Libya. The United Nations could not afford to ignore public opinion on the matter and possibly be seen as complicit in such violations. Those countries that had resorted to such injustice in other countries were themselves the greatest violators of human rights. They ignored the flagrant violations in their own countries. The Libyan people should be represented by an inclusive Government that respected the fundamental rights of all Libyan people.
The representative of Venezuela, explaining his delegation’s vote, stated that his country had resolutely condemned the exclusion of Libya from the Human Rights Council in the first place. Venezuela was opposed to that exclusion because it was part of an attempt by “imperial Powers” to pave the way for their interference, as was subsequently the case. NATO forces had violated the mandates enshrined in the resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011) of the Council by providing military assistance, arms, and political and military support to those forces opposed to the Government of Muammar al‑Qadhafi, thus exacerbating the armed conflict and destroying the years of progress achieved by the Libyan people.
A few minutes ago, there had been talk of democracies — wars and bombings and the deaths of civilians and the invasion of countries were in no way the mechanism used to promote democracies. In fact they were the most flagrant denial of such democracies. Furthermore, in Libya, with the endorsement of the National Transitional Council, horrendous violations of human rights had taken place. Those must be condemned and the manner in which the assassination of Mr. Qadhafi was celebrated must also be condemned. Therefore Venezuela could only reject the resolution.
The representative of Chile said that his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, and welcomed Libya’s new commitments to respecting and promoting human rights. The new leaders had established a State that respected the sovereign rights of its people. Chile looked forward to working with Libya on the Human Rights Council.
Taking the floor next, the representative of Bolivia said that his delegation had voted against the resolution. Bolivia’s position was based on the fact that delegations had “manipulated” the matter ahead of and during the Council’s consideration and adoption of resolution 1973 (2011). The goals of that text had been “radically changed” to support a change in regime, he stressed, adding that that was not the mandate of the United Nations or its Security Council.
Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the expulsion of Libya from the Human Rights Council had not changed. That country continued to commit human rights violations; the activities of armed groups and chaos were prevalent and no transition towards a situation where elections could be held had been seen. Additionally, Colonel Qadhafi had been assassinated without the right to a defence. Bolivia expressed concern that the United Nations had not sought to investigate such reports and said that, for all those reasons, it had voted against the resolution.
The delegate of Liechtenstein speaking also for Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, recalled the General Assembly’s right to suspend from the Human Rights Council a country that had engaged in the gross and systematic violation of human rights. Libya’s right to membership had been suspended under such a provision. Welcoming that suspension, he said restoration of Libya’s membership came with a clear obligation to uphold human rights. It was in the context of Libya’s stated commitment to uphold and promote human rights and to cooperate with relevant international human rights mechanisms that his country, and those he was speaking on behalf of, had co‑sponsored the resolution. He reminded the Assembly that its decision to restore membership rights in the Human Rights Council did not require input from the Council itself. The Assembly had made proper use of its role today.
The representative of Poland, speaking on behalf of the European Union and Albania, said that on 1 March, the Assembly had taken an unprecedented decision to suspend Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council. Since then, the international community had welcomed the end of an era of despotism in that country. The European Union was encouraged by the statement of the chairman of the National Transitional Council and supported the new Libyan authorities in taking forward an inclusive democratic process that respected human rights, the rights of women and the rule of law.
He said the European Union welcomed recent developments that had permitted the General Assembly to reinstate Libya’s membership in a body specifically established to promote human rights. Members of the Council must uphold the highest standards in the promotion of human rights. The European Union encouraged Libya to ensure full promotion of human rights and to make voluntary pledges in that respect.
Recalling that Colonel Qadhafi’s Libya had been the only country to be suspended from the Human Rights Council for gross rights violations, the delegate of the United States welcomed Libya back to that Geneva‑based body. During the Council’s last session, he said, Libya had made new commitments to protecting the human rights of all its people. The United States therefore looked forward to working with Libya to address critical human rights concerns in that country and all over the world.
The “new Libya” had committed to respecting the human rights of its people and adhering to international commitments in that area. Its National Transitional Council had demonstrated a “clean break” from the former regime, and had committed to giving its people a meaningful voice. However, the United States remained concerned about continuing violations of human rights occurring in Libya, and called on the new Libyan authorities to fulfil all its obligations to end them. Additionally, the United Nations had invaluable expertise in areas that would be crucial to Libya’s development, including security sector reform, political reconciliation, constitutional development, transitional justice and elections. Assistance in those and other areas must be coordinated across the United Nations system. For its part, the United States would continue to be fully engaged with its partners in that regard.
The representative of Canada said that the end of the Qadhafi regime had allowed Libya to “turn the page” on a chapter of tyranny in its history. Canada welcomed the strong commitment of the National Transitional Council to establish a State based on human rights and the rule of law. Like others, Canada had emphasized the need to fully realize the rights of women in that country. The first Libyan women’s conference following the change in regime had recently been held, with one emerging message: Libyan women wanted to be included in all aspects of political and public life. Noting that his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, he also expressed his hopes that those and all other basic rights would be respected in the new Libya.
The representative of Viet Nam stated that his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, but due to a technical error, it had not been recorded.
The representative of Costa Rica welcomed the resumption of the membership of Libya in the Human Rights Council and called on Libya to respect the obligations that derived from that membership, including to adhere to international human rights law and to cooperate with international human rights mechanisms, in particular with the International Commission of Inquiry that was established under the Human Rights Council. Members of the Council were subject to universal periodic reviews throughout the term of their membership. The Libyan Government must continue its efforts to ensure that all individuals including those accused of war crimes had the right to free trial. The international community must support the new Libyan authorities in their task of ensuring the full implementation of human rights.
Finally, the delegates of Bulgaria, Nigeria and the Netherlands said that although their votes were falsely recorded during the vote, they had voted in favour of the resolution.
Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected People
ABDALLAH YAHYA A. AL-MOUALLIMI (Saudi Arabia), introducing a draft resolution entitled Terrorist attacks on internationally protected people (document A/66/L.8), said that his delegation was co-sponsoring the draft text along with more than 55 other Member States from all over the world. The world had witnessed an increase in attacks on diplomatic missions and individuals who were protected by diplomatic immunity, he said, including United Nations missions themselves. The Saudi Arabian mission and diplomats had faced several recent attacks, including one launched on the Saudi consulate by Iran several months ago. He expressed deep indignation in the face of that attack. A few weeks ago, yet another heinous attempt to attack the Saudi Ambassador had been discovered. Other plots discovered had included the destruction of a bridge linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. “This draft is to say: enough is enough”, he said, adding that there had been enough use of terrorism to impose the will of some on others.
Saudi Arabia had drafted the resolution in a fair and balanced manner, and had not directed accusations or condemnations to any State or individuals. Instead, the text condemned terrorism in all its forms and shapes, as well as plots to assassinate the Ambassador. It called on States to avoid the use their territory for plots of any kind and to bring to justice those that had engaged in terrorism. Iran had been mentioned specifically as its name had arisen in the confessions of the main culprits of the recent plots, he said; it was therefore fair to mention that country by name and to give it a chance to refute all allegations. As, indeed, all were innocent until proven guilty, no guilt was assumed in the resolution. However, cooperation with the investigations into the recent attacks must precede the trial. Another accused person was still at large and could not be brought to justice without the cooperation of Iran, he stressed.
The United Nations Charter was the basic reference in governing international relations, especially those related to international peace and security. The United Nations had put in place a strategy to combat both terrorism and attacks against protected persons. The General Assembly was therefore an appropriate venue to discuss the content of the resolution. He called on all Member States — and Iran in particular — to vote in favour of the draft resolution as a protection for diplomats and diplomatic missions all over the world.
MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran), introducing amendments to the text just presented by Saudi Arabia (A/66/L.11, A/66/L.12, A/66/L.13 and A/66/L.14), said he was confident that Iran had not been involved in the alleged plot referred to in that resolution. Rather, Iran had been making efforts to be a source of stability in the Persian Gulf. The fundamental difficulty his delegation had with the draft resolution lay in the fact that it was based on an unsubstantiated claim of “one Member State with a history of animosity toward Iran”. The essence of the claim was doubted across the world, including among elites and former officials in the United States.
It was “mind boggling” that such an allegation could serve as the foundation of a draft resolution before the General Assembly, and it should therefore be rejected, he declared. In implicating Iran in the alleged plot, the draft prejudged the outcome of a case with unclear dimensions, and it was unfair to expect Member States to adopt a resolution based on an unsubstantiated allegation. Placing such an allegation and other hypothetical and unconfirmed matters on the Assembly’s agenda would undermine its credibility and authority. If the draft resolution were to pass in its current form, a “dangerous precedent” would be set that turned the General Assembly into venue for settling political scores and the advancement of narrow political interests.
He said the political context prevailing between Iran and the United States, the “prime mover” of the draft, revealed the intention behind it. Widespread political and economic pressures by the United States against Iran were well known. He called the allegation in the draft “yet another plot against my country”. Unfortunately, diplomats of many countries and United Nations civil servants had been the target of terrorist acts, including Iranian diplomats. Many embassies and missions had been attacked and ransacked. After more than thirty years, there were still no clues as to what happened to Iran’s four diplomats who were abducted in Lebanon by the Zionist regime. Although other Member States were victims of terrorist attacks, they had not tried to raise those specific issues in the General Assembly.
Categorically rejecting the involvement of any Iranian officials or agencies in the alleged plot referenced in the draft resolution, he said his proposed amendments would place the draft back on its “right path” by transforming it into a text that dealt with attempts against all internationally protected persons in general. Those proposed amendments would delete six paragraphs referring to the alleged Iranian plot and would amend one paragraph to ensure that the General Assembly avoid considering an issue among Parties to the 1973 Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons relating to the Convention’s interpretation or application, which was out of the Assembly’s competence.
By a recorded vote of 96 against to 11 in favour, with 43 abstentions, the amendments proposed in documents A/66/L.11, A/66/L.12, and A/66/L.13 were defeated. (See Annex II)
Next, by a vote of 94 against to 12 in favour, with 45 abstentions, the amendment proposed in amendment A/66/L.14 was also rejected. (See Annex III)
The representative of Venezuela, explaining his delegation’s position before the vote on the new draft resolution, stated that his country was strongly committed to the fight against terrorism and had resolutely supported the United Nations Comprehensive Strategy against Terrorism. Venezuela rejected any act of aggression against an internationally protected person and understood the concerns of Saudi Arabia, given the threats and attacks perpetrated against its diplomats. An impartial and fair investigation should be launched. The diplomatic and consular missions of Venezuela had been subject to aggression, including on 23 August 2011, when Venezuela’s diplomatic mission in Tripoli had been attacked.
On that occasion, an “armed and violent mob” had endangered the lives of people inside the Venezuelan embassy in Tripoli. That was reported to the Security Council through a note verbale on 26 August, and a decision had been sought but which, unfortunately, never arose. Acts of aggression against internationally protected persons must be condemned. The perpetrators must be brought before the corresponding legal bodies and tried under international law.
He said that last month, the authorities of the United States had alleged that they had uncovered a plan linking security agencies of Teheran to an attempt to assassinate the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States. Today, the international community was being “sold” the idea that Iran had endorsed that plan. No evidence had been provided. Venezuela was struck by the fact that the statements of condemnation stemmed from the same intelligence sources that had alleged that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction and fabricated “lies” to promote the military interests of a certain country’s imperial Power. Through the resolution before the Assembly, the pretext of terrorism was again being used to unfairly stigmatize a sovereign country.
Venezuela, he said, deplored the attempts to use the Assembly to satisfy the whims of one country and chastise any country that held different views from it. The international community had squandered the consensus achieved among Member States to establish a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism. Venezuela supported the amendments proposed by the representative of Iran, which sought to remove references to any one country in this draft resolution and rejected the draft resolution firmly and categorically.
The representative of Cuba stated that his country rejected all terrorist acts including those generated by direct or indirect State involvement. Cuba emphasized the importance of guaranteeing full protection for diplomatic missions and staff. The diplomatic missions of Cuba had been subject to attacks. And Cuban diplomat Felix Rodriguez had been assassinated on 11 September 1980. Foreign embassies located in Havana enjoyed full security. Cuba understood fully well the concerns aired by Saudi Arabia and had no doubt that these concerns must be duly addressed in order to ensure that there would be no impunity.
When it came to the specific case in the draft resolution, he stated, the General Assembly did not have the necessary information or evidence to identify the perpetrators. The General Assembly must proceed with “utmost caution as a decision by this body on such a sensitive matter could have significant political and legal ramifications.” The credibility of the Assembly was at stake. The legal principle of presumption of innocence was upheld by international law. Issuing a condemnation singling out one country before an independent inquiry was not in keeping with this.
Further, he said the reliability of the United States did not meet the “minimum standards”. Furthermore, the country accused by the United States of involvement in the conspiracy had categorically denied those allegations. Cuba was of the view that the draft under consideration today would not contribute to the counter-terrorism strategy in a spirit of cooperation between countries seeking to fight this scourge. For those reasons, Cuba voted against the draft resolution.
Also speaking before action on the draft, the delegate of Nicaragua reiterated its commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. State terrorist acts in Nicaragua had compelled his country to go before International Court of Justice, which had ruled against those acts. In her view, the draft should be universal in nature, rather than singling out a particular country. The allegation included in the text lacked credible evidence to back the claim.
She said that the draft in its current form would force the Assembly to take action on a case it was not fully acquainted with. She called into question whether the resolution was political in nature and reminded Member States that given significance of the matter, resolutions dealing with terrorism were adopted by consensus. In the case of the draft at hand, an effort had been made to shortcut that process. A similar process, however, had not been made in other cases, such as that of Luis Posada Cariles who continued to circulate in full freedom. Urging caution and prudence, she said the resolution in its current form would not contribute to fighting the global scourge of terrorism.
The representative of the United States, in an explanation of vote before the vote, stated that the terrorist plot to assassinate the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to her country struck at one of the most sacred principles governing relations between States — the safety and security of diplomats. Every Member State was obliged to support that principle. Such an attack could not be seen as a simple criminal act. Attacks on internationally protected people were to be seen as “emblematic acts of State terrorism”. Therefore, the United States had co-sponsored the current text with Saudi Arabia. It sent the message that attacks on internationally protected persons were unacceptable and expressed the international community’s abhorrence of such acts. A fair judicial process was now underway to prosecute one person connected with this plot. If adopted, the resolution would support that process by promoting cooperation to bring to justice all those responsible. Therefore, the United States urged all Member States to vote in favour of this important resolution.
The representative of Kuwait said his delegation was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, and that it refused to accept the proposed amendments, which would defeat the point of the text. The text was a strong message from the international community, and it did not accuse any State for any particular reason. Kuwait had repeatedly expressed its concern about the terror plot against the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, he said, and it had condemned the plot on the Kingdom itself. Moreover, voting for the draft resolution was an opportunity to show Kuwait’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its shapes and forms. The measures required by international law should be taken against such acts, and those who committed them must be brought to justice.
The representative of Bahrain said that it had long condemned terrorism in all its shapes, forms and manifestation, as well as the heinous plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States. Bahrain had co-sponsored the important resolution, which sought to strengthen counter terrorism activities. It showed respect for the principles of international law that protected diplomatic persons and institutions, which in turn were essential for normal diplomatic relations to continue.
Also speaking before action on the draft, the representative of Bolivia said that like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, his country condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations. With that condemnation, however, there must be a presumption of innocence as a fundamental facet of international law. He recalled that there was no outcome of investigation on the allegation referenced in the draft. The resolution, as currently written, indicated that the General Assembly was genuinely concerned about the referenced plot. The bodies accused had refuted allegations of the conspiracy and involvement in the assassination plot, giving the Assembly contradictory stories. Along with the presumption of innocence, he called for a neutral investigation on the allegation. A “dangerous precedent” would be set if the General Assembly rushed into a reaction based on facts not fully ascertained. In closing, he rejected such a practice and expressed hope that it would not recur in the future.
The representative of New Zealand said that it was an accepted principle that diplomats must be accorded certain freedoms for the smooth conduct of international relations. Above all, a diplomat must not be subject to attack on his or her freedom or person. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, was meant to protect the members of the Assembly and if it was not upheld, the conduct of diplomacy would suffer.
For those concerned about precedent, he said the General Assembly had previously spoken out on specific events. The alternative was to allow any lack of cooperation to go uncensored. That was not an acceptable course for any body of diplomats, let alone one as universal as the Assembly. The draft did not assert that the allegations were proven. Nor did it judge the culpability of any state. It simply referred to the allegation and required for cooperation from all Member States. New Zealand supported the call for full international cooperation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
By a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 9 against, with 40 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the United Nations Global Strategy Against Terrorism. (document A/66/L.8).
The representative of Egypt stressed the importance of the safety and security of internationally protected persons, and condemned in the strongest terms those who committed terrorist acts. It reiterated that its support for the resolution just adopted should be interpreted as support for the investigation of all those who committed such acts, and for bringing them to justice in conformity with international law. That included those who were responsible in the case at hand, he said. The resolution should not overshadow another resolution on actions to be taken to protect internationally protected persons, which should be the main guiding document on that matter.
The representative of Sudan said his delegation rejected terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, particularly against diplomats and other officials. He also rejected the attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to Washington and looked forward to a transparent judicial investigation, where all of the facts could be heard. At the same time, no one country should be incriminated without substantiated legal evidence. The resolution should not therefore represent a precedent and it should be considered in its appropriate context.
Also speaking after the action, the delegate of China explained his abstention to the draft. At present, he said the case at hand was “highly complicated and sensitive”; parties had different views and any decision had to be based on transparent investigation and substantiated evidence. All parties should adopt prudent approach and should avoid taking action that would worsen situation. Additionally, they should address the matter through dialogue in an effort to promoting peace in the Arab region.
The representative of Brazil stated that her country was a party to the Convention on the Protection of Diplomats and called on States to fulfil their obligations. Brazil had abstained on the resolution because of doubts whether the United Nations should get involved in this situation without sufficient evidence. The dispute should be resolved using judicial means on a bilateral basis.
The representative of the Russian Federation resolutely condemned terrorism in all its forms and was concerned about the rise in terrorist threats and the increasing frequency of terrorist acts, including against embassies, United Nations missions and diplomatic personnel. The Russian Federation supported those provisions that condemned terrorism. However, a number of provisions included in the draft were problematic from the legal standpoint, including being easily interpreted as an accusation against Iran. Such language needed to be regulated through established legal mechanisms. The alleged plot was only beginning to be examined in court and it was necessary to observe the principle of presumption of innocence. The adoption of the resolution would be against that principle. Those concerns prevented the Russian Federation from supporting the resolution.
The representative of Switzerland emphasized his delegation’s firm condemnation of terrorism, whoever the perpetrators and whatever the locations or purpose of such activities. The 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons was one of the key instruments against terrorism, and Switzerland was fully committed to it. It went without saying that all States Parties to the Convention were under an obligation to bring alleged offenders of attacks against such persons to justice, and to provide the greatest measure or assistance in support of criminal proceedings. However, Switzerland had not felt able to vote in favour of the resolution, and had abstained. The case at hand would soon be appraised by a court of law, and, because it valued those proceedings, Switzerland did not feel that the General Assembly was called upon to comment on them.
The representative of India said his country was a State party to the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons. He was therefore of the belief that jeopardizing the safety of those protected persons would threaten international relations. All State parties should comply with the provisions of that treaty. India had for decades been a victim of terrorism and was on the forefront of global actions against that scourge, specifically in its capacity as Chair of the Global Counter-Terrorism Committee. That role had resulted in the United Nations adoption of a zero-tolerance policy for terrorism. He said India had abstained from voting on the resolution because its substance dealt with a specific case of which it was not fully aware.
The delegate of Peru noted that it was only through international cooperation that the scourge of terrorism could be eradicated. For nearly two decades, Peru had suffered under internal national terrorism, resulting in the loss of lives and socio-economic setbacks. Turning to the alleged assassination attempt, he called for measures to be taken under international law to gather the necessary facts. Before the Assembly could take a decision on its circumstances, further information was needed. An outcome on the enquiry would have enabled States to understand the scope of the alleged acts and to place them within their due context. All States, in accordance with international law, must ensure alleged acts could be duly investigated.
The representative of Chile said his delegation condemned all acts of terrorism in any circumstances, especially against internationally protected persons, including diplomatic agents. He said that Chile had abstained in the vote on the draft despite the fact that it supported the spirit contained therein, and understood its aim. Upholding the physical integrity of persons, and protecting consular missions and their representatives was important. He supported a general resolution in that regard, and believed that in order for the international community to come to a decision on those circumstances, it would not be wise to pass judgment on acts without input from judicial authorities. He concluded by reiterating his delegation’s unequivocal condemnation of all terrorist acts.
The representative of Guatemala said her delegation firmly condemned all acts of terrorism, including those acts aimed at diplomatic missions and consular missions and their representatives. However, her delegation had abstained on the vote, as it was of the view that it was not in the purview of the General Assembly to reach a decision on an alleged act when the circumstances of that act had not been duly “justified”.
The representative of Indonesia stated that his delegation was of the view that all countries were obliged to protect diplomats. Indonesia supported efforts to enhance international cooperation in protecting diplomats and it condemned all acts of terrorism, including those directed against diplomats. He called upon parties to grant their full cooperation in bringing the perpetrators of this act to justice. However, Indonesia believed that the fact that the draft referred to a specific case currently under investigation would prejudge that case. Therefore, the delegation had abstained in the vote.
The representative of Singapore said that his country condemned all acts of terrorism. This particular case was of great concern because it threatened the foundations of diplomacy and had grave implications if the plot was State-sponsored. It was in the interest of all countries to cooperate fully with the investigation, but until such a probe was fully completed, it would be premature for the Assembly to get involved on this matter. Therefore, Singapore had abstained in the voting.
The delegate of Viet Nam said his country had suffered terrorist attacks against its diplomatic mission and he expressed concern about similar attacks against other countries. As all such attacks must be investigated under judicial standards, Viet Nam had abstained from voting on the draft resolution.
The representative of Grenada said she fully supported the principle of diplomatic protection and international actions to combat global terrorism. Her country stood in solidarity with persons, Governments and States who were victims of terrorist acts. Concerning the case under discussion, she said she stood in solidarity with Saudi Arabia. Although Grenada supported the spirit of the resolution, the text should be “more general and less premature.”
The representative of Saudi Arabia thanked delegations and said the resolution was a positive contribution to the fight against terrorism.
The representative of Thailand said that while his delegation had abstained from voting on the resolution, it affirmed its utmost respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter and the rules of international law. As a State party to various conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism, he condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including against consular missions and their representatives.
Vote on Restoration of Libya’s Membership Rights in Human Rights Council
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Yemen.
Absent: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Vote on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons
The draft resolutions containing amendments to the text on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons (document A/66/L.11-13) were rejected by a recorded vote of 96 against to 11 in favour, with 43 abstentions, as follows:
Against: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Vanuatu, Yemen.
In favour: Bolivia, Chad, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, El Salvador, Iran, Nicaragua, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela.
Abstain: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Zambia.
Absent: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.
Vote on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons
The draft resolution containing an amendment to the text on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons (document A/66/L.14 ORALLY REV) were rejected by a recorded vote of 94 against to 12 in favour, with 45 abstentions, as follows:
Against: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Vanuatu, Yemen.
In favour: Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Iran, Nicaragua, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela.
Abstain: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Zambia.
Absent: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Togo, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.
Vote on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons
The draft resolution on Terrorist Attacks on Internationally Protected Persons (document A/66/L.8) was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 9 against, with 40 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Vanuatu, Yemen.
Against: Armenia, Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Zambia.
Abstain: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Comoros, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Viet Nam.
Absent: Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.
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