As Debate Concludes, Delegates Urge Capacity-building Partnerships, Eradication of Root Causes in Fight against Terrorism
As Debate Concludes, Delegates Urge Capacity-building Partnerships, Eradication of Root Causes in Fight against Terrorism
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
3rd Meeting (AM)
As Debate Concludes, Delegates Urge Capacity-building Partnerships,
Eradication of Root Causes in Fight against Terrorism
A phenomenon that had grown in scope, sophistication and complexity, terrorism could only be combated through the eradication of its root causes, adherence to relevant instruments of international law and global and regional partnerships, delegates told the Sixth Committee (Legal) today as it concluded its debate on measures to eliminate terrorism.
Recalling terrorist attacks on his country’s soil, Iraq’s delegate urged the international community to tackle the deep-seated roots of terrorism, such as poverty, unemployment and human rights violations. Without examining those causes, it would not be possible to tackle terrorism itself.
Development could be used as a vehicle to combat extremism, said the representative of Maldives, noting that the issue of maritime piracy plagued his small island State. Because such criminal acts were often rooted in economic disparity and exclusion, his country was teaching its youth about democratic rights and responsibilities.
He went on to underscore that only through partnerships and collective understanding could terrorism be defeated, a stance echoed by the representative of Indonesia, who added that those partnerships needed to be complemented by the implementation of current legal instruments. Indonesia, which had experienced the impact of terrorism, spoke of initiating interfaith dialogues to empower moderates in its strategies to combat terrorism.
The financing of terrorism also concerned delegations, with the representatives of Myanmar and Algeria discussing national and regional activities. Because of the serious increase of terrorism in Africa’s Sahel region, Algeria’s representative said his country was pursuing efforts to combat the financing of terrorism, specifically in regards to the payment of ransom to terrorist groups
Domestic laws that addressed money-laundering, financing of terrorist activities and transnational crimes were in place in Myanmar, its delegate said. He urged special attention to be paid towards preventive and capacity-building measures, especially for developing countries.
To effectively prevent and control the spread of terrorism, equal emphasis and resources were needed for all four pillars of the Global Strategy, the representative of Nigeria stated. The attempts, over the past several years, to conclude and adopt a comprehensive convention had not been possible as Member States could not find a definition of terrorism that would be acceptable to all. However, although adopting such an instrument would remain a high priority, the Global Strategy should guide the international community’s policies and actions in its efforts and activities to combat terrorism.
Other speakers in today’s debate were the representatives of Egypt (on behalf of the African Group), Cuba, Ethiopia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Qatar, Mozambique, South Africa, Eritrea, Kenya, Venezuela, Sudan, Japan, Israel, Republic of Korea, Iran, and Burkina Faso.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.
The Committee will meet again tomorrow, Wednesday, 10 October, at 10 a.m., to take up the rule of law at the national and international levels.
The Sixth Committee (Legal) met today to conclude its consideration of measures to eliminate terrorism. (See Press Release GA/L/3433 for background.)
IBRAHIM SALEM ( Egypt), speaking for the African Group, said no cause or grievance could justify terrorism. All nations shared a common interest in applying a preventive approach. Expressing appreciation for the work of the Ad Hoc Committee, he pushed for a conclusion of the comprehensive convention. However, that convention should in no way deny people their right to self-determination. He also welcomed consideration of a high-level conference to formulate an international response to terrorism.
He recalled that the African Union’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, had adopted a convention on combating terrorism in 1999, which entered into force in 2002. A centre for research on terrorism had also been established in Algiers. These accomplishments, among others, displayed Africa’s commitment to combating terrorism.
Continuing, he said that the African Group considered the financing of terrorism a matter of grave concern, in particular, the payment of ransom to terrorist groups. Member States should cooperate to address those ransom payments. Strengthening inter-State cooperation and expanding assistance to apprehend terrorists and to investigate terrorist acts were of paramount importance. Expressing appreciation for the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative, among other regional initiatives, he said more effective implementation of counter-terrorism interventions and capacity-building in developing countries were vital for a well-functioning rule of law approach to combating terrorism. Because African countries were weak in resources in capacity-building, he concluded by appealing for more assistance from the international community to meet commitments and further goals.
LESTER DELGADO SÁNCHEZ ( Cuba) said that combating terrorism must be holistic, as reflected in the Global Strategy’s four pillars, and should include direct confrontation and prevention, as well as specific action to address terrorism’s root causes. Wherever legal and ethical principles of the United Nations Charter were violated and xenophobic messages against another faith were being promoted, extremist ideology flourished.
Turning to State-sponsored terrorism, he said the international community could not accept one State committing terrorist acts against other States and peoples in the name of changing a political regime. The application of double-standards by States and unilateral action went against Charter principles. Relaying his support for strengthening the central role of the United Nations in combating terrorism, he recalled that his country was party to the 13 international terrorism conventions. Any general convention on the subject, however, must distinguish between terrorism and the right to self-determination.
Speaking specifically about relations with the United States, he said the United States had chosen to list Cuba as sponsor of international terrorism, although his country had a “spotless record” in that regard. In Cuba, there were no anti-American terrorist groups nor national terrorist groups. Former President Jimmy Carter had himself said, “US allegations […] of terrorists have no basis.” The current United States President should make public that same statement, as that country continued to apply double standards and to uphold, towards Cuba, “the most cruel and prolonged economic and financial blockade of a country”. Further, Luis Posada Carriles continued to walk freely in the United States, and United States authorities remained complicit. Although Posada Carriles himself had recognized his acts publically, the United States was incapable of bringing him to justice.
NEGASH KEBRET ( Ethiopia) said that, although some progress had been made in implementing the Global Strategy, ongoing terrorism was a constant reminder that those efforts had not yet produced the desired results. Terrorism was a complex and ever-changing phenomenon in terms of its motivation, financing and support mechanism, methods of attack and choice of targets. Thus, countering it effectively was difficult. Stressing that the international community’s response must be long-term and multi-pronged to address terrorism’s various challenges, he urged Member States to remain united and committed in their efforts.
Troubled by terrorists’ increasing use of new information and communication technologies to raise money, recruit supporters, communicate information and spread propaganda, he noted that the international community’s response to those challenges had been inadequate. He urged increased cooperation among United Nations entities and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to ensure overall coordination and coherence, and to promote transparency and avoid duplication of work.
For its part, he said, Ethiopia had ratified nine United Nations anti-terrorism instruments, as well as certain regional conventions. Its Parliament had also passed legislation that would provide a comprehensive legal counter-terrorism framework. As well, with the support of the United Nations Task Force, Ethiopia had hosted a regional counter-terrorism workshop. Further, in regard to anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts, his country had established a financial intelligence unit that addressed the flow of suspicious funding.
U HAN THEIN KYAW ( Myanmar) said his country, which had experienced terrorist acts, stood ready to cooperate with relevant United Nations bodies in the fight against terrorism, adding that it was currently working with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee on a draft counter-terrorism law. However, he cautioned that measures to combat terrorism should be in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter and not be used as a pretext for any country to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Any terrorist acts deserved the international community’s condemnation, especially those acts that had targeted the innocent lives of vulnerable groups, such as women and children, as well as the lives of diplomats, which was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
He went on to note that his country had become a party to 11 international counter-terrorism instruments and a signatory to one. The Government was also looking at the possibility of signing or acceding to other relevant international or regional instruments. In addition, domestic laws contained provisions that addressed terrorist acts, including several anti-money-laundering laws and rules to prevent the financing of terrorist activities and transnational crimes. Concerning future work, he asked Member States to pay special attention to preventive and capacity-building measures, especially for developing countries, and to deliberate further on the important position of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, as proposed by the Secretary-General.
WANG MIN (China), calling terrorism “a common enemy of the international community”, stated that counter-terrorism needed to comply with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and other recognized norms of international law, such as respecting State sovereignty and not linking terrorism to any specific civilization, ethnic groups or religion, among others. In this regard, the United Nations should lead anti-terrorism efforts in the international community, and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy should be the guiding instrument for international counter-terrorism cooperation.
He went on to say that an integrated approach of promoting economic development, improving education and strengthening legal institutions would help to create a harmonious society and achieve social justice, equality, stability and unity. He recalled that just last year, China had passed its first specific law against terrorism and it had continued to enhance counter-terrorism capacity. Further, his country had acceded to most of the international counter-terrorism treaties and had carried out various bilateral deliberations on the matter. China was active at the regional and global level, through both the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and had taken judicial measures to combat various crimes, including terrorism.
He pointed out that the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement had carried out a number of terrorist activities in China, threatening national security, regional peace and stability. Concluding, he called for the draft comprehensive convention on terrorism to be finalized.
KIM YONG SONG (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the international community’s counter-terrorism efforts still faced serious challenges that threatened the desire of people to live in a world of peace and stability. For the Committee’s meeting to succeed today, it was important to understand current challenges to global counter-terrorism efforts and to respond to them with effective measures.
Continuing, he said that in his view measures should be taken immediately to eliminate terrorist acts against sovereign States. The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the United States was an infringement on sovereign rights and had led to complete instability in the region, as well as a vicious cycle of terrorism and retaliation. The organized terrorist acts of countries, which aimed to disturb the internal affairs of sovereign States, were the most dangerous forms of terrorism. The United States, in Syria, had supported armed terrorist groups, manipulating them behind the scenes for regime change, while on the Korean peninsula it had supported a South Korean group intent on destroying his country’s monuments. Any convention on the subject should account for systematic terrorist acts committed by States.
Global counter-terrorism efforts should keep with principles of the United Nations Charter, he said. A high-level meeting on the matter would provide a chance to identify the root causes of terrorism and steps towards its elimination. Domestically, his country was working on domestic laws and aligning them with the specific conditions of the Korean peninsula, as well as practical measures to enforce those laws.
ABDULLA BIN NAIFEH ( Qatar) said that tackling terrorism should not come through waging wars. That approach had not achieve security, peace or prosperity, but, on the contrary, had spread destruction and fear, and had undermined efforts to bring about peace. He pointed out that State-inflicted violence against its citizens — killing, displacing and forcing them to flee — was also a form of terrorism.
He went on to say that Qatar had joined many international and regional counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, and had signed several bilateral agreements. His country was also working towards implementing international and regional counter-terrorism decisions and strategies, and was in the process of ratifying the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to Security Council resolutions related to the combating and financing of terrorism, adding that it also cooperated with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hold counter-terrorism workshops in Doha.
Continuing, he pointed out that on a national level, Qatar had many laws that addressed money-laundering and the combating and financing of terrorism. Its law on civil aviation criminalized and punished perpetrators of aircraft attacks, while its code of criminal procedure provided for cooperation of national judicial authorities with foreign and international judicial authorities in criminal matters.
Stressing that it was time to adopt a comprehensive international convention on terrorism, he stated that such a convention must provide a clear definition of terrorism that took into account the legitimate rights of peoples under colonial and foreign occupation. Finally, he cautioned against linking terrorism to a particular religion, culture or ethnic group, not only because it was wrong, but because it was a provocative action that, in many cases, fed the root causes of terrorism.
ANTÓNIO GUMENDE ( Mozambique) described terrorism as unjustifiable and something that should, with the United Nations at the helm, be dealt with through a multilateral approach. Further, the United Nations, in particular, could help developing countries build their institutional national capacities in the counter-terrorism field. Condemning acts against religious beliefs and the incitement of violence using religious motivations, he stressed that no religion would condone violent acts.
He urged Member States to show “flexibility and a spirit of compromise” when debating on appropriate measures to eliminate terrorism and working to conclude the comprehensive convention. The inability to agree on a definition of terrorism represented “major failure”. Such a legal definition was essential to ending impunity for perpetrators and for improving the international community’s response to “criminal acts of senseless violence”. Member States should, he said in conclusion, also ratify and implement all relevant international conventions.
DIRE DAVID TLADI ( South Africa) said that the international community’s collective action to fight terrorism should be based not only on esoteric principles, but on the horrendous impact it had wrought on the lives of women, children and men around the world. The ongoing terrorism across the globe served as a reminder that because no one was immune from its scourge, the international community should be driven to eliminate it. He urged Member States to remember “the lives, limbs and livelihood that had been lost” in their fight to combat terrorism.
Noting his country’s support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, he stated that joint initiatives should be further strengthened to ensure synchronization and effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures. He supported the Security Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions, but expressed concern that the process of listing and delisting was still based on political considerations, instead of judicial or quasi-judicial principles. He hoped that in its upcoming review of the regimes, the Council would improve due process standards in that regard.
Stressing an urgent need to finalize a comprehensive international convention, he recalled that at a prior meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee many Member States had expressed willingness to conclude on the basis of the 2007 draft. He had hoped that the Committee this year would decide to adopt a convention based on that text, but regretted that statements heard thus far did not offer much hope in that regard. If there was no political will to adopt a convention, then “we should admit it and move on”, he urged, adding that maybe the time was not right, and that perhaps Member States needed a “two- or three-year” break. Member States should not continue year after year discussing the same, knowing that there was no prospect for agreement.
ARAYA DESTA ( Eritrea) underscored that terrorism was a phenomenon with global implication to peace and security that should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. However, attempts, for the last several years, to conclude and adopt a comprehensive convention on international terrorism had not been possible, as Member States continued to ponder the best possible definition of terrorism that would be acceptable to all. While the efforts in adopting such an instrument would remain a high priority, he stressed that the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy with its four pillars should guide the policies and actions of the international community in its efforts and activities to combat terrorism.
He said his country was strongly convinced that terrorism could not be combated by military means alone. To effectively prevent and control the spread of terrorism, equal emphasis and resources should be devoted to all pillars of the Strategy, including the need to address the root causes of terrorism. Long-standing conflicts, aggressions and conditions of inequality and poverty, among others, must also be addressed as part of the overall counter-terrorism strategy. However, he urged that prudence be exercised so that the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State not be invoked under the pretext of combating terrorism. For its part, he said his country remained committed to working at the national, regional and international levels to develop and enforce effective counter-terrorism measures consistent with international law.
SOLOMON KARIUKI MAINA ( Kenya) described terrorism as knowing no nationality, civilization, ethnicity or religion, and respecting no boundaries. Terrorism had devastating effects on the economic, social and political fabric of all societies. Its victims had “life-long scars both physical and psychological”. With its increasing complexity, combating terrorism required well-coordinated multilateral efforts. He urged that Member States bridge their differences to conclude the relevant comprehensive convention. In that regard, technical cooperation and assistance was crucial for the effective functioning of national legal frameworks and strategies. In that regard, the UNODC had played an important capacity-building role in his region.
He went on to say that Kenya had ratified major international conventions on terrorism and was situated to apply many of their provisions at the national level. Focused both on countering the financing of terrorism and money-laundering, the Kenyan Parliament had recently passed the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, which would complement work on those two topics. That bill would also foster greater cooperation with other States on related matters.
Continuing, he said that, historically, his country had been victim of major terrorist attacks and more recently had been experiencing a series of low-intensity attacks since the Kenya Defence Force joined the African Union Mission in Somalia. In response, Kenya continued to strengthen its anti-terrorism structures. Because the war against terrorism could not be fought alone, Kenya was working with the major regional counter-terrorism bodies to establish procedures for information gathering, processing and dissemination, and developing capacity for early warning, among others.
ARLINE DIAZ MENDOZA ( Venezuela), categorically condemning terrorism, said her country was committed to combating terrorism, whatever its origin and motivation. The fight against terrorism was the responsibility of all countries on a multilateral basis and should incorporate international law, and relevant conventions and protocols. That included respecting the right of people to self-determination, sovereignty and the right to exist peacefully. Venezuela subscribed to the major counter-terrorism conventions and had taken legislative measures to conduct an effective fight against the scourge. Her country would never support groups that were supportive of terrorist acts and would never take measures that called for violence.
She went on to say that the United Nations needed to promote cooperation among Member States to condemn those guilty of terrorist acts. However, people must also have the right to fight foreign occupation, defend themselves and promote peace. State terrorism contradicted the United Nations’ rules on armed conflicts. Further, cooperation was needed to combat terrorism because it was a transnational problem. She expressed regret that people tried to justify terrorism under the cover of self-defence. Under international law, States must ensure perpetrators were brought to justice, must respect their commitments and must never support terrorist agencies on their soil.
Calling attention to the “Cuban aviation case”, in which 76 people had lost their lives, she called for the extradition of those responsible. She also concurred with what she said was the International Criminal Court’s call for the United States to release Cubans imprisoned in the United States under the pretext of terrorism.
RIADH AL-ADHANI ( Iraq) reiterated his country’s condemnation of terrorist acts, including State-sponsored terrorism. Terrorist acts, he pointed out, could never be justified, regardless of circumstances or underlying causes, and regardless of the end goal or the motivation behind such actions. Terrorism was not only a dangerous threat to human rights and the stability and security of societies, but also a hindrance to social and cultural progress, and an obstacle to peace and security.
In that regard, Iraq’s position remained unchanged, he said, stressing that it was vitally important to take measures to eliminate the scourge of terrorism. Such measures included cooperation among States, at the regional and international levels, to punish offenders and return them to their country of origin or to the State where the acts took place, consistent with international conventions on that matter. Towards that end, Iraq had ratified and acceded to related conventions in recent years.
His country, he went on to say, had been a victim of terrorist actions that targeted its citizens and institutions, and he emphasized his conviction of the dangers of terrorism and the urgent need to stop it. The United Nations had been grappling for some time with terrorism and had invested a great deal of work, especially in the context of an international convention. Yet despite all the work that had been done, terrorism continued to “heinously” affect people throughout the world. He urged the international community to study the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, unemployment, and human rights violations, among others. Concluding, he said that if the international community could not tackle the deep-seated roots of terrorism, then it would not be possible to tackle terrorism itself in the future.
DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN ( Sudan) reiterated his country’s condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations. He also affirmed his country’s commitment to work seriously at the national level and to cooperate regionally and internationally to combat the extremely dangerous phenomenon. Because terrorism knew no religion, nationality or colour, it required substantial effort to deal with it. However, addressing terrorism through a military and security approach was akin to addressing it through terrorism itself and would contradict progress.
Continuing, he said that the United Nations played an essential leadership role in coordinating international efforts to combat terrorism. His country had renewed its commitment to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, had ratified all relevant international conventions and regional conventions, and had actively participated in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) efforts. In 2001, Sudan had criminalized all terrorist acts and incitement thereof, and continued to work with “fraternal countries” to implement the security sector strategy for those countries.
On arriving at a definition of terrorism, he called for a special focus on the victims of terrorism and emphasized that terrorism should never be linked to Islam or Muslims, or any religion or cultural group. As the international community continued to counter terrorism, it was necessary to explore terrorism’s underlying cause, avoid double standards and interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and limit poverty and its effects. It was also important not to confuse the right to resist foreign occupation with terrorist acts. In closing, he called for increased international cooperation and dialogue, as well as a respect for law, equality and justice.
KENGO OTSUKA ( Japan), reaffirming his country’s commitment to counter-terrorism efforts, highlighted two issues of particular importance. First was the position of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, which had been recommended by the Secretary-General. While welcoming that idea in principle and recognizing the need to establish the position in order to promote better coordination among the related United Nations entities, he asked Member States to be cautious so as not to create an additional post imprudently, adding that the effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures should be maintained. Further, the post of the Coordinator must avoid duplication of work and be within existing resources.
He then turned to the second issue, that of the importance of strengthening the legal counter-terrorism framework. Stressing the need for a comprehensive convention on international and regional terrorism, his country continued to “attach importance” to the early adoption of the draft convention, with a view to complementing the existing, related conventions. Concluding, he said that the draft convention should be a priority, compared to high-level meetings.
JEFFREY SALIM WAHEED (Maldives), referring to the recently released “malicious video” that demeaned the Prophet Muhammad, said that freedom of expression should not be used to insult religion, incite hatred or provoke communal violence. At the same time, he condemned the “outbursts of violence” that, in reaction to the video, had erupted around the world. Terrorism, whatever the word or form, could not be condoned.
Urging full implementation of the Global Strategy, he said that the way forward should encompass a focus on counter-terrorism conventions paired with implementation of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. He called for the conclusion of the draft comprehensive convention, saying that such an instrument should “more simply and completely” protect future generations. With extremist ideologies expanding, no nation could afford complacency. Further, capacity-building measures should be promoted at the regional level.
He went on to say that, as an island State in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Maldives was confronted with the issue of maritime piracy. In that context, the burden had fallen on all nations to safeguard the doors of commerce and protect the world’s economy from “would-be poachers”. Inherently peaceful, the Maldives was vigilantly aware of ideologies that bred extremism and fostered violence, and that only through partnerships and collective understanding could terrorism be defeated.
Continuing, he said that the cause of piracy and other terrorist acts was often rooted in economic disparity and exclusion. With a small and vulnerable economy, the Maldives was cognisant of the potential for radicalization among destitute communities. Development could be used as a vehicle to combat extremism. In that regard, the Maldives was transforming its education sector’s curriculum, and teaching youth how democratic responsibility went hand in hand with democratic rights.
ADY SCHONMANN ( Israel), addressing the many “unresolved challenges surrounding this scourge”, pointed out that suicide terrorism could not be deterred, not even by death or imprisonment. Calling attention to an attack recently aimed at Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, she said Israelis had long been the target of terrorist attacks at home and abroad. In that regard, she welcomed the focus on victims during the third review of the Global Strategy. However, she said she was troubled by attempts by some to “humanize” terrorism, differentiating it between “so-called good and bad” and “mysticizing” it with references to glorification and martyrdom. Likewise, duplicity expressed by those who condemned terrorism “in their own backyard”, but condoned it elsewhere could not be tolerated.
Continuing, she said that the economics of terrorism were simple. International terrorism was like a business, and like any industry, it could not operate without a steady flow of funds, feeding on a vast support from State sponsors of terrorism. Zero tolerance to terrorism was the only formula. More specifically, education was integral to countering radicalization and fostering a culture of peace. Party to the core international terrorism conventions, Israel sought to share best practices and expertise and to contribute professionally to global counter-terrorism efforts. Although she pronounced support for concluding a comprehensive convention on terrorism, she warned that one should not “trade principle for illusion of consensus”. It was essential that an effective definition, which in her opinion should not include State military action, not be sacrificed for expediency.
She urged her fellow delegates not to exploit the Sixth Committee’s debate to “divert attention from their own abuses”. Addressing the representative of Saudi Arabia directly, she said it was astounding to hear his statement yesterday, coming from a country that brutally repressed the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and discriminated against women. To the Syrian delegate, she said that a regime which “had murdered tens of thousands of its own citizens over the past year alone should be the last to lecture about human rights”.
FATIMA AKILU ( Nigeria) said that the topic “could not be more appropriate” as the phenomenon of terrorism had preoccupied global attention, including that of her country. Within the last two years, the militant group, Boko Haram, had not only continued to pose a threat and a danger to the country, but was now “stretching its tentacles” to link up with other terrorist groups in the Sahel. The complex and mutating nature of the threat, as well as the diversity of conditions conducive to its spread required her Government to respond with a comprehensive, multifaceted and sustainable approach at the local, regional and global levels.
She went on to say that Nigeria’s campaign against terrorism, which focused on national, regional, multilateral and functional responses, included national acts that addressed the prevention, prohibition and combating of terrorist acts, as well as measures to prohibit the financing of terrorism. Currently under consideration in the National Assembly was the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill, which sought to expand the definition of the offence of terrorism and strengthen the sanction regime, and the power of the Courts to act more expeditiously on terrorism-related cases.
Continuing, she said that, in order to enhance Nigeria’s counter-terrorism capabilities, several agencies and units had been created to work on strategies to deal with emergent terrorist threats, including, among others, the establishment of an inter-agency task force on terrorism in collaboration with the United Kingdom and the United States. She also noted the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria to restructure the banking sector and strengthen relevant anti-money-laundering and terrorism financing measures. Concluding, she said Nigeria would host a regional workshop by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force on the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in West Africa and the Sahel in January 2013.
KIM SAENG ( Republic of Korea) reiterated his country’s condemnation of terrorism, noting that no cause could justify terrorist acts. Recognizing that strengthened cooperation was the key to successfully countering terrorism, his country had recently hosted the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, as well as a Nuclear Security Summit. Stressing that the international community must continue its effort in bridging its differences, he urged that agreement be reached on a comprehensive convention without further delay.
He went on to say that his country had strengthened law enforcement and intelligence capabilities to combat terrorism. Further, its immigration and law enforcement agencies had a strong record of addressing suspicious individuals and acting quickly to thwart potential terrorist acts. In accordance with Security Council resolutions, the Republic of Korea had also tightened its legislative framework and administrative procedures to combat terrorism financing.
While enhanced cooperation of the international community had brought success to counter-terrorism activities, he noted that long-term sustainable success could only be achieved if the conditions conducive to terrorism were also addressed. In that regard, while stressing the need for enhanced coordination, he said capacity-building should be a core strategy in all States. His Government had provided developing countries with various programmes for capacity-building in law enforcement agencies, and, as well, had organized courses on cybercrime, forensic investigation and crime prevention, among others. It had also set a goal to triple its official development assistance (ODA) by 2015.
Concerning allegations of terrorism, he said the Republic of Korea strongly regretted that such groundless allegations were allowed to mislead Member States and stand in the way of efficient operations. “That country committed sabotage, military provocation against many innocent civilians,” he said, citing in particular the bombing of Korean Air flight 858 in November 1987, which had claimed the lives of all 115 people on board, and the Rangoon bombing in 1983, which took 21 Korean lives.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran) said his Government had taken all possible measures to address the larger number of Iranian victims in the many terrorist incidents, including terrorist acts by “certain States”, that his country had been a victim of for decades. Those victims were “the best evidence of the failed policies” of terrorist groups and those who supported them.
Continuing, he said that State terrorism had targeted scientific and technological development by assassinating elite human resources in developing countries. In recent years, professional scientists had been such victims in his country, but those incidents had received little reaction from “those who should have taken true measures” to combat international terrorism. That situation represented the main challenge to countering terrorisms, that of double standards and the characterizing of terrorism based on narrow political interests. Such approaches could undermine international trust and cooperation.
A number of root causes and factors, he said, had contributed to the spread of terrorism, including the unlawful use of force by some States, foreign aggression and occupation, and foreign interference and meddling in other States’ internal affairs, to name a few. Unlawful and excessive use of force, including military force under the pretext of fighting terrorism, had proved more fatal to innocent people than to terrorists. Specifically, in some of Iran’s neighbouring countries, where many people were under direct military attacks, an increasing number of people had fallen victim to blind air strikes and indiscriminate bombings.
He went on to say that terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination. As stressed at the Tehran Conference on Terrorism last year, vicious attempts to associate terrorism with a particular culture, religion or nationality was deplorable. Furthermore, countering terrorism should occur in full conformity with the United Nations Charter and international law.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI (Algeria), firmly condemning the association of terrorism with any religion, culture, or “human group” or with a people’s struggle for independence from foreign occupation, said that the Sahel had been experiencing an increase in terrorism, specifically from Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa. Countries in the Sahel region, including his, had cooperated together to deal with those security threats. As well, in 2011 Algeria, had hosted a high-level conference on regional terrorism with participation from the United Nations and other segments of the international community.
Continuing, he said that countries in the Sahel had initiated a number of initiatives, including a centre for research, based in Algiers, and had worked on the development of an African model law on terrorism. His country had ratified the 13 relevant international conventions, and had pursued efforts to combat the financing of terrorism, specifically in regards to the payment of ransom. He also supported concerted efforts against cyberterrorism and terrorists’ modern use of communication, particularly Internet sites.
Calling for conclusion of the draft comprehensive convention, he said its adoption had to abide by international law and contain a legal definition of terrorism. Further, the position of a counter-terrorism coordinator would increase coherence. The new international counter-terrorism centre was also welcome, as it would promote the implementation of the Global Strategy. Satisfied with cooperation among United Nations bodies, and specifically the specialized counter-terrorism agencies, he pointed out that training programmes had been established in Algeria with the assistance of UNODC.
ELIELE NADINE TRAORE BAZIE ( Burkina Faso) said that fighting international terrorism at the worldwide level was very important, but no less important than the individual responsibility of States in that regard. For its part, her country had ratified almost all legal instruments in counter-terrorism and had taken a number of domestic measures to effect various Security Council resolutions. Among other things, it had established a number of internal mechanisms and laws to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
Continuing, she said that on the international level, Burkina Faso had worked closely for several years with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee and, in so doing, periodically reviewed its implementation at the national level of Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism. Additionally, its authorities had committed to strengthening the country’s institutional framework through the establishment of a national committee to fight terrorism in an integrated manner
She said combating terrorism remained difficult due to the lack of adequate means, especially when dealing with adversaries who increasingly made use of modern technology. Concluding, she reiterated her country’s call for strengthening capacity-building efforts in developing countries through training, military assistance and international cooperation.
RICARDO STEVANO RURU ( Indonesia), speaking as a representative of a country that once suffered the impact of terrorism, stressed that forging strong partnerships among nations was of paramount importance in the fight against terrorism. Those partnerships should be complemented by the implementation of current legal instruments, including the Global Strategy. He noted that at the Southeast Asia Working Group of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, attended by 85 representatives from 30 countries, important issues were discussed, among others, the custody of terrorist suspects in prisons, and the issue of radicalization.
He went on to say that he welcomed the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, which had started its work this year. That work would be especially important to strengthening capacity-building efforts and fostering cooperation among States. Indonesia had undertaken capacity-building assistance at the multilateral and regional level, most notably through the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, which continued to train and foster cooperation among law enforcement in the region.
Continuing, he said that his country had also established several important legal frameworks, and, as a result, had arrested and brought to justice more than 600 terrorists, of whom approximately 400 were brought before court and convicted. Pointing out that Indonesia had initiated addressing terrorism through interfaith dialogues to empower moderates, he insisted that terrorism could not be associated with any religion, culture or like grouping. The international community should work together to dismiss profiling of such groups.
Right of Reply
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, Syria’s delegate said the delegate of Israel had lectured the Sixth Committee today about methods to combat terrorism, but that her statement was full of “accusation” and “falsities”. That statement was a desperate attempt to disguise the “true terrorist nature of Israel”. Israel had introduced the world to the worst forms of terrorism, including hijacking of airliners, killing of envoys, and carrying out terrorist operations in various parts of the world, even against its own allies. Israel should end the occupation of Syrian Golan to end the suffering of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians since the occupation.
Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Saudi Arabia recalled that Israel’s delegate had referred to human rights in his country. Despite the fact that the subject of human rights was a mandate of the Third Committee, he went on to say that Israel was accused of violating human rights by adopting policies of displacement and settlement. State terrorism had been carried out by Israel against Palestinians.
The delegate of Israel, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, remarked that the Syrian delegate had the “audacity” to lecture about human rights when his regime slaughtered and brutalized its own people, even as she spoke. She had hoped that the Syrian delegate would have “risen above hateful speech and rhetoric”, for which it had become renowned. “Obsessing over Israel” had not stopped acid tanks from destroying entire communities nor Syria’s other crimes. When the Syrian delegate spoke, the Committee had gained insight into the mind and motivation of a State sponsor of terrorism. The real question was whether the purpose of the Committee’s forum was to “exchange extremism under veil of a professional debate”. Whether the debate could be used as political warfare was up to the Committee.
Continuing in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recalled that the delegate from South Korea had mentioned an instance that took place in the past. His country had already clarified its positions by stating that those instances were groundless. His Government was opposed to terrorism and its policies were consistent with that. Regarding the destruction of his country’s statues, the terrorists had recently testified and confessed their crimes during a press interview. At the same time, he had brought to the attention of delegations the issue of destroying statues, a typical and dangerous terrorist act.
Returning to the floor in exercise of the right of reply, Syria’s delegate apologized for confusion in Israel’s statement, which was “a desperate attempt to distract us”. The scale of Israel’s terrorism against Arab nations was well known in the world. The United Nations had acknowledged those acts as the worst forms of aggression, and the United Nations archives were filled with proof and evidence of Israeli crimes and terrorism.
Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of the Republic of Korea said that his country had experienced serious terrorist attacks, sabotage and military provocations. In 2010, terrorist acts had been committed against his country repeatedly, with the torpedoing of ships and the threatening of innocent people on the peaceful islands.
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