"Taking a Comprehensive Approach to the Elimination of Terrorism"

11 NOVEMBER 2001

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Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Delegates,

I would like to congratulate H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, on his assomption of the Presidency of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, and to pay high tribute to him for the efficient manner in which he has been guiding this session under unprecedented circumstances. Japan is determined to continue to extend its full support to the President.

I would also like on this occasion to extend my sincere congratulations to the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, and to the United Nations on being named the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize this year. I believe that it is indeed a reflection of the international community's appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations, under the leadership of Secretary-General Annan, for world peace and prosperity. The challenges facing the international community, however, are becoming increasingly diverse and difficult, and Japan will cooperate fully with the activities of the United Nations in responding to these situations.

Mr. President,

I deeply mourn the deaths of the victims of the séries of heinous terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11th, who have left loving families and friends in the United States and in many other countries, and would like to extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved families and to all the people and the Government of the United States.

It is no exaggeration to say that the terrorist attacks are threats against all humankind and are challenges to democracy and freedom throughout the world. The international community must establish a worldwide circle of cooperation for the elimination of terrorism.

In this context, I am encouraged that, in response to the recent attacks, the international community is taking prompt actions at the United Nations and in many other international and regional organizations and fora to prevent and eliminate terrorism. Considering the response to terrorism to be its own responsibility, Japan is determined to make utmost efforts to prevent and eliminate such acts.

Japan has made it clear that the terrorist attacks on the United States must not be linked to Islamic doctrine. It is extremely important that the international community, transcending religious and ethnic différences, take unified actions to eliminate terrorism.

Mr. President,

There are many things which the United Nations has to do in order to eliminate terrorism. It is imperative that we faithfully and immediately implement Security Council resolutions 1368 and 1373. Japan is actively contributing to the work of the Security Council in implementing resolution 1373.

It is also important that all Member States accede to and faithfully observe the twelve international conventions relating to terrorism and accelerate the work for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Moreover, certain biological weapons, such as anthrax, can be produced with more limited funds and less advanced technologies than nuclear and chemical weapons. It is important to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention in order to effectively prevent the production of such weapons.

Mr. President,

Japan is itself making various  efforts to eliminate terrorism. First, with regard to treaties, there are two treaties concerning terrorism which Japan has either not yet signed or not yet ratified. The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings has recently been approved by the Diet, and Japan will immediately begin the ratification process. Japan signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism on October 30th, and would like to ratify it as soon as possible.

In addition, Japan is ready to cooperate with developing countries in the fields of controlling of the financing of terrorism, immigration control, aviation and maritime security, anti-terrorism measures against biological and chemical weapons, and so forth.

Moreover, Japan will participate more actively in international actions against terrorism by enacting a new law to support the operations of other countries that are trying to eliminate the threat posed by the recent terrorist attacks, and to extend assistance to affected people.

In view of the importance of ensuring the stability of Afghanistan's neighbors, Japan is extending emergency economic assistance, which includes assistance to Afghan refugees, to Pakistan and other neighboring countries. Japan also decided to provide up to 120 million US dollars for Afghan refugee assistance efforts undertaken by United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations.

Mr. President,

With winter approaching, there is an urgent humanitarian need for the international community to deliver food and other vital goods to the people in Afghanistan. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon the international community to join forces in support of the humanitarian activities of United Nations organizations.

As we look ahead to the future, the achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan is extremely important not only to eliminate the hotbed of global terrorism but also to lay the foundation for long-term stability and development of the country and the neighboring region. Based on this recognition, it is necessary for the international community to tackle this issue from a long-term and broad perspective.

Toward that end, it is needless to say that first of all a govemment must be established that has the broad support of the Afghan people, represents every ethnic group, adheres to international law and establishes friendly relations with the international community as well as with neighboring countries. However, the realities in Afghanistan do not offer a clear perspective and thus entail many unpredictable elements. Japan fully supports the activities of Secretary-General Annan and his Special Representative for Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, for the political stability in Afghanistan and will actively cooperate with them.

Japan intends to play an active role both in the peace process and in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. We have been calling for holding a Conference for Peace and Reconstruction in Afghanistan since 1996, and I would like on this occasion to reaffirm that Japan is ready to hold such conference which contributes to its peace and reconstruction at as early a time as possible and in coopération with relevant countries and organizations.

Mr. President,

Grave responsibilities for addressing problems of terrorism rest with the United Nations. Japan will spare no effort in order that this General Assembly session may be as fruitful as possible for this purpose.

Thank you very much.