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The President ( spoke in French ): I am pleased to welcome the ministers and other distinguished representatives participating in this meeting of the Security Council, together with the Secretary-General. Their presence is an affirmation of the importance of the subject matter to be addressed by the Council. I would also like in particular to welcome the presence of the Secretary-General.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan , Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan , Liechtenstein, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines , the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka and Turkey, in which they request to be invited to participate in the consideration of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the consideration without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
It is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, the representatives of the aforementioned countries took the seats reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.
I wish to draw the attention of the members of the Council to document S/2008/738, which contains the text of a letter dated 26 November 2008 from the Permanent Representative of Croatia, transmitting a concept paper on the item under consideration.
The Republic of Croatia has decided to propose the theme for today’s meeting for two main reasons. First, we believe that only a global response can provide a solution to the global threat posed by terrorism and that this is the sole forum within which to formulate that response. Secondly, we believe that the level of solidarity between nations is not the same as it was in September 2001 and, also, is undoubtedly less than we need today. If anyone questions that, the most recent attacks in Mumbai should have dispel led such a notion.
I now invite the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, to take the floor.
The Secretary-General : I thank the Government of Croatia for convening this timely meeting and I welcome His Excellency President Mesić, President o f Croatia, chairing this meeting in person.
Terrorism is a global scourge. The carnage it inflicts is appalling and morally reprehensible. It seeks to foment distrust between States and peoples. It tries to tear societies apart, undermine institutions and weaken the bonds that tie communities together. The awful attacks in Mumbai two weeks ago are only the most recent example of mad, misguided individuals run amok.
Terrorism is a leading threat to international peace and security. Combating it must be one of the main priorities of the international community. Those armed with planes and guns today could well arrive with more potent force tomorrow. So, those who believe that terror is a means by which they can achieve their goals must be shown that they will fail.
The best response to a caustic and malevolent ideology is a strong assertion of collective resistance. We need to defend the human rights that terrorism so brutally violates. We need to defend the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the sixtieth anniversary of which we commemorate tomorrow.
The United Nations has a responsibility to lead the international community’s efforts to confront this menace, which no cause or grievance can justify. As a universal organization, with independent and impartial standing, the United Nations is uniquely placed to play that role. Indeed, the Security Council and the General Assembly have strongly condemned terrorism time and again. They have sought to promote the universal norm that terrorism is never acceptable. They have adopted important legal instruments and law-enforcement measures and addressed the economic and social dimensions of terrorism. The Assembly’s adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006 was a landmark decision that demonstrated the unanimous and unequivocal commitment of the international community.
United Nations mechanisms, such as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and subsidiary bodies of the Security Council, are also important parts of the picture. United Nations agencies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, provide advice and technical assistance. In some countries, the United Nations might be the only acceptable source for political reasons. In others, the United Nations may add value simply by giving legitimacy to bilateral or regional programmes, because the United Nations has determined that they meet international norms and standards.
We are also using the convening power of the United Nations in this struggle. At last month’s High-level meeting on the culture of peace, leaders and senior officials from more than 70 Member States, representing diverse faiths and communities, rejected the use of religion to justify the killing of innocent people and acts of terrorism, violence and coercion. In September, I convened a symposium here at United Nations Headquarters that placed a much-needed spotlight on the plight of victims. The awful paradox is that the voices of terrorists often garner more attention than those of the people who bear the brunt of their cruelty. This is only the beginning of our efforts to correct that imbalance, give a human face to the victims of terrorism and thereby build a culture that rejects terrorism.
In closing, Sir, let me remind you that we meet just two days shy of the first anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations offices in Algeria. That horrendous attack took the lives of 17 of our colleagues and injured some 40 more. It was all too reminiscent of the attack on the United Nations compound in Baghdad more than five years ago. Just a few weeks ago, a suicide bomber attacked the United Nations compound in Hargeisa, Somalia, killing two staffers.
It is more apparent than ever that the United Nations, too, has become a deliberate target. Yet, those tragedies have deterred neither our will nor our ability to serve the international community. The United Nations will continue its vital work wherever and whenever needed.
The President (spoke in French ): I thank the Secretary-General for his statement.
In accordance with the understanding reached among Council members, I wish to remind all speakers to limit their statements to no more than five minutes in order to enable the Council to carry out its work expeditiously. Delegations with lengthy statements are kindly requested to circulate the texts in writing and to deliver a condensed version when speaking in the Chamber.
Mr. Kafando (Burkina Faso) (spoke in French ): On behalf of my country, I would like to welcome you, Sir, and say that we are deeply honoured to see you presiding over this very important meeting, the topic of which was so wisely decided upon the Croatian delegation. Burkina Faso wished to participate at a high level in this meeting, but since it coincides with our national holiday, we were not able to do so.
The search for lasting peace and effective collective security was at the very heart of the concerns and hopes of the founding fathers of the United Nations, who were firmly resolved to spare mankind the horrors of war and to build a community of nations the main orientations of which would be solidarity and cooperation. Over 60 years later, alas, that search remains an aspiration and a challenge that the international community must take up, given the many ongoing threats to the world.
One of the most serious threats today is certainly the threat of terrorism, which has managed to insinuate itself into and strike fear in the hearts of our lives and our societies, as the most recent attacks in Mumbai unfortunately demonstrate. I would like at this time to extend the sincere condolences of Burkina Faso to the families of the victims and to the Government and the people of India.
I would like to congratulate and thank you, Sir, most deeply for bringing us together today to discuss this issue, the importance of which the General Assembly recognized by inscribing it on its agenda in 1972 and has been considering every year since 1993.
This scourge by its very nature, methods and expressions, has shattered of many our certainties, and the international community has mobilized to find a swift and appropriate response. It is true that, for a variety of reasons, differences of view that are often deep-seated have sometimes hindered effective cooperation among States. However, we have to recognize that significant efforts have been made by the General Assembly, the Security Council and other institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Maritime Organization, which have developed and strengthened many instruments, the latest being the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its Plan of Action, adopted by the General Assembly.
We cannot pass over in silence the significant contribution made by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and its Terrorism Prevention Branch, which to date has provided technical assistance to over 115 States in the ratification and implementation of those instruments and in strengthening their national institutions in the prosecution and application of the law. The General Assembly should continue its efforts to strengthen the legal framework by finalizing the draft comprehensive terrorism convention, which has languished for a number of years.
For almost 10 years, the Security Council has initiated its activities, particularly after the unjustifiable attacks of 11 September 2001. The adoption of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), in particular, and the establishment of the committees pursuant to those resolutions and the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate are part of these activities. The work of the committees and their expert groups have helped, inter alia, to initiate and strengthen efforts system-wide.
Despite these initiatives, we have to recognize that threats to peace and security caused by terrorist acts have not abated much less been eliminated. Terrorist acts spare no continent, country or people. On several occasions, the United Nations itself has been targeted by terrorists. Given that situation, additional emergency measures are required.
With respect to strengthening the legal framework, the review of the implementation of the Global Strategy on 4 September this year highlighted the need for a comprehensive convention that would bring together all of the instruments in force, provide a clear and precise definition of the concepts and encourage non-selective implementation of those instruments, for terrorism is a common challenge to us all.
From a practical standpoint, ensuring consistency in the efforts of the Security Council, the General Assembly and all other bodies and institutions through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force established by the Secretary-General is essential.
We must honestly recognize that States shoulder some responsibility. Unfortunately, they have not always demonstrated the necessary political will to fight this scourge. Worse, they have not always had the courage to recognize that the root causes of terrorism are to be found in extreme poverty, selfishness and our own conduct resulting from intolerance and exclusion. As long as that situation continues, our efforts will be in vain.
Burkina Faso belongs to the African region of West Africa. The region was long regarded as having been spared by the terrorist threat, but it now directly faces a number of networks of organized crime, including terrorist networks, which the States of the region do not have the necessary resources to address. Widely intermingled populations, porous borders and the lack of infrastructure and monitoring bodies make these States, already fragile and weakened, particularly vulnerable.
I would thus appeal once again to our partners for substantial financial field and capacity-building assistance, in close cooperation with subregional and regional organizations. As with other aspects of maintaining international peace and security, the comparative advantage of these organizations, which are closer to realities on the ground, is real and cannot be ignored if we want to succeed.
In order to conquer terrorism, we must remain united and resolute. Our common strategy must therefore take account of the greatest values of humanity and respect human rights and all religious beliefs. It is also important that the great evils of poverty and social inequality be taken into account so that they are not exploited by terrorists. Burkina Faso strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stands ready to continue supporting all efforts of the international community to combat this scourge.
Accordingly, from 20 to 22 March 2007, we hosted the fourth Conference of the Ministers of Justice of Francophone African Countries on the ratification and implementation of international instruments against terrorism. The participating countries were able to consider the progress that they had made in adopting at the domestic level the legal instruments to which they are party as well as the submission of their reports to the various Security Council committees.
The Ouagadougou Declaration, which was adopted at the end of the meeting, stressed in particular the role of international cooperation as an important element in preventing and combating terrorism in accordance with obligations under international law, particularly the Charter of the United Nations, and other relevant instruments, particularly those relating to human rights, the rights of refugees and international humanitarian law.
Burkina Faso believes that, in taking up the global challenge of terrorism, we must make every effort to strengthen cooperation for development, including technical assistance.
Lastly, we would like to thank the Croatian delegation for submitting a draft presidential statement, which we, of course, fully support.
Mr. Terzi di Sant’Agata (Italy): I would like to express the sincere appreciation of my Government for this initiative and for the honour of having you, Sir, preside over the Security Council today.
The tragic events in Mumbai, with respect to which I would like to renew the condolences and the grief of Italy and the Italian people for so many innocent victims, prove once again that terrorism represents a fundamental threat to international peace and security. Effective counter-terrorist policies cannot be put together only in the heated aftermath of terrorist attacks. Instead, they require patient and tenacious work on which cooperation and mutual trust among countries must be built and strengthened.
Italy endorses the statement to be delivered by France on behalf of the European Union (EU). The threat of terrorism is intense and, unfortunately, will remain as such for the foreseeable future. Globalization and new technologies favour its spreading across borders, broadens the risk of a convergence among terrorist organizations and illegal trafficking, the illicit use of financial networks and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The threat is diversified, complex and continuously changing. It requires long-term political will, a global vision and the ability to adapt responses to varied scenarios.
In our view, the United Nations remains the most suitable framework for improving and better defining counter-terrorism policies. Initially intended to better regulate this matter, these policies have progressively been enhanced with new instruments and updated structures. The role of the United Nations is all the more crucial as the need is stronger for all Member States to give their support in implementing the necessary interventions.
For all these reasons, today’s debate is important. In the fight against terrorists, we are not in a primeval era of cooperation among States and peoples. A Global Strategy agreed on by the entire membership exists and we must speed up the implementation of its four pillars. This Strategy should be implemented today, drawing on the entire United Nations system, including the three Security Council subsidiary bodies and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
The ratification of all 16 counter-terrorist conventions is a priority. These conventions translate into binding commitments which highlight the primacy of cooperation over individual sovereignties at a time when we acknowledge the indivisibility of peace and security in a globalized world. Full implementation of Security Council resolutions on this issue is not only our obligation, but what we all require.
The promotion and protection of human rights are also a priority, as is the rule of law, as integral parts of an effective counter-terrorist strategy. There must be neither safe havens nor impunity for terrorists. Technical assistance should be made available to countries that need it, as well as an assured means for victims to seek the justice that would allow for compassion to be translated into solidarity.
Rescuing failing States is also crucial for the achievement of United Nations-recognized human rights and for the security agenda. Prevention and early detection of extremists and radicalization, to which the younger generation is particularly susceptible, are needed, as are more effective mechanisms of information exchange, law enforcement coordination and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
The European Union has a set of instruments for judicial cooperation among its States which has already been proved effective in many cases. After the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, for example, direct collaboration among European judges led to the arrest in Italy of some of the perpetrators and their immediate delivery to Spain and the United Kingdom.
The challenge we are faced with today can be won. To reach this goal, all countries need to make a long-term and consistent effort. We need resolute international cooperation based on clear strategies and mutual trust. We must stop heinous crimes from building walls of hostility and mistrust among countries and peoples.
Italy fully supports today’s draft presidential statement, and the call for solidarity it should contain, reiterating the determination of the Security Council to combat all forms of terrorism.
Mr. Khalilzad (United States of America): On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank you, President Mesić, and the Croatian delegation for holding this important de bate highlighting the threat we all face from terrorism and the efforts of United Nations counter-terrorism programmes to help overcome it. We also welcome the presence of the Secretary-General.
I would also like to commend Ambassador Jurica for the outstanding contribution that he has made as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Terrorism in all its forms is one of the greatest security challenges confronting the international community. The recent terrorist attacks specifically targeting civilians in Mumbai, India, serve as a stark reminder of the threat we all face from terrorism. We stand in solidarity and partnership with the Indian people against the terrorists.
No geographic region, country or international organization is immune. Acts of terrorism threaten all people and all nations. If we, as Member States, are to be successful in our common struggle against terrorism, we must work together in a strategic and coordinated manner.
Today, I would like to make three points. First, the United States strongly supports the central role of the United Nations in the global fight against terrorism and wants to strengthen the ability and resolve of the United Nations to play a constructive and effective role in it. The United Nations must continue to improve coordination among United Nations counter-terrorism programmes and identify concrete ways in which the various parts of the United Nations system can contribute to the global counter-terrorism campaign, ensuring that all relevant United Nations bodies and organs are focused on making practical contributions to the global effort.
While the Security Council must play a key role, many others in the United Nations system can and should make contributions to the broader counter-terrorism effort, whether through capacity-building, education, economic development or helping address the conditions that terrorists and extremists exploit.
Secondly, all Member States need to work together in close cooperation to create an increasingly less permissive environment for terrorists. We urge all Member States to comply with their international obligations to deny terrorists safe havens and to bring to justice those who finance, plan, facilitate or perpetrate terrorist acts. We also urge Member States to make all efforts to deny terrorists the benefits of any concessions or financial benefits obtained though hostage-taking or other illicit activities.
We recognize that there is a need to help some Member States build the capacity to fulfil their counter-terrorism obligations and meet international counter-terrorism standards, with the long-term goal of increasingly reducing conditions conducive to terrorism.
In 2007, through our Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, the United States conducted 266 training activities that included over 4,500 participants from 64 countries, emphasizing law enforcement under the rule of law and respect for human rights.
We have offered extensive counter-terrorism finance capacity-building efforts in 45 countries through the Counter-terrorist Finance Training Program to improve countries’ abilities to investigate, identify and interdict the flow of money to terrorist groups. We have also provided border security training and capacity-building in 23 countries through the Terrorist Interdiction Program to help constrain terrorist mobility and enhance international cooperation on biometric data collection.
In addition, the United States is also focused on increasing economic development by helping Member States tackle poverty, unemployment, weak institutions and corruption — thus helping stymie terrorists’ ability to exploit these conditions for recruiting and other purposes.
Finally, the United States welcomes the Security Council’s draft presidential statement on terrorism, which is to be issued today. The unanimous support for this statement is a testament to the collective will of the Council to address the threat posed by terrorists to international peace and security.
We also welcome the Council’s reaffirmation of the importance of countering radicalization and violent extremism, and we strongly support United Nations efforts to better protect young people from manipulation by violent extremists. The use of suicide bombings by terrorists is a particularly barbarous act that indiscriminately targets and often victimizes the most vulnerable of our citizens, including women, children and the elderly. We strongly condemn the use of suicide bombings and hostage-taking as acts of terrorism that cannot be justified or excused under any circumstances.
Once again, the United States thanks the Croatian delegation for holding this debate, and we look forward to hearing the views of others.
Sir John Sawers (United Kingdom): I would like to begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting today. I remember that, in the aftermath of the horrific events of 11 September 2001, you, Sir, were among the first of the world’s leaders to call for coordinated global action against terrorism. Your commitment to countering terrorism is well known, and your choice of subject for this thematic debate, made before the recent appalling attacks in Mumbai, shows that your vision remains and that your commitment to this vital cause is unwavering.
Across the world, many thousands of innocent people of all races and faiths have been victims of terrorism. These are criminal acts for which there is no justification, and the Council rightly denounces the use of terror in pursuit of political aims.
The attack in Mumbai at the end of last month was an attack on us all. Democracy in India is vibrant, and Mumbai is one of the world’s most diverse cities. The terrorists responsible seemed to be intent on destroying democracy and diversity. We must all focus on helping the Government of India in whatever ways we can to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice.
This is now a sensitive time for the region. We look to the leaders of Pakistan and India to work with each other. The words of their leaders, as responsible statesmen, are important to show their determination that the terrorists will not further divide their two countries. We welcome the initial steps taken by Pakistan in the past few days. We urge the Government of Pakistan to cooperate with the Indian investigation, and we urge the two of them to work together in bringing those responsible to justice.
Terrorism threatens international peace and security, and that means that the Security Council has a role to play. We must be robust in our practical responses. Through national and coordinated international action, we must disrupt terrorist networks and deny terrorists the safe havens and funds that they need in order to operate. The United Nations sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban are important tools. In resolution 1822 (2008), we improved the procedures for listing and de-listing individuals in order to address concerns that have been raised and to ensure that the sanctions list is as up to date and effective as possible.
The United Nations also has an important role to play in helping build Member States’ capacity to tackle terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee — which, Mr. President, is very ably chaired by your Ambassador here — has, where requested, assessed the counter-terrorism capabilities of individual Member States and helped Member States to improve them. Recently, we have seen much closer cooperation among the various committees dealing with terrorism to promote capacity-building in United Nations Member States and for the effective implementation of all Security Council resolutions aimed at countering terrorism.
My country is playing a full role. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) recently visited London as part of its programme of visits for a full exchange on how we in the United Kingdom tackle terrorism. That was the first such visit to a permanent member of the Security Council.
The CTED team saw how we are revising and developing our own counter-terrorism strategy to build on successes and to prepare us for new challenges. Central to the development of our strategy has been to establish an Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism to develop and implement the strategy and to coordinate efforts across Government — at the community level, at the national level and internationally — to deliver the impact we need.
We have increased our resources devoted to combating terrorism in the police and intelligence agencies. These new resources have been used to disrupt terrorist conspiracies in my country and overseas. Since the beginning of last year, 81 people have been found guilty of terrorism-related offences in 33 major cases. We are also working to counter radicalization within our communities at home, and we are developing a joint counter-radicalization programme with the Government of Pakistan so that we can share with each other the lessons we are learning.
Sanctions, law enforcement action and capacity-building are vital, but they are still not enough. We need to show that, where there are justified grievances, they will be addressed by political means. We cannot allow disputes to persist so that they are used as pretexts for terrorism. Over the long term, we have to continue to improve access to justice, tackle political disenfranchisement and develop better educational and vocational opportunities. Those are important goals in their own right. They also address issues that can help prevent vulnerable individuals in vulnerable communities from being lured into violent extremism.
The international community has to address the other conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. Restoring stability to countries and regions mired in conflict, strengthening human rights, empowering individuals and promoting the role of women in
society — again, these are all worth doing in their own right, but they also remove the pretexts that terrorists use to justify their actions.
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving us the opportunity once again to review our work in this vital area. Permit me to add that I would like to associate the United Kingdom with the statement to be made shortly by the representative of France on behalf of the European Union.
Mr. Natalegawa (Indonesia): I wish to thank the delegation of Croatia for convening this important and timely thematic debate. My delegation is honoured to see you, Sir, the President of Croatia, presiding over our meeting today. We are also very pleased to welcome the participation of the Secretary-General in this meeting.
Despite enhanced efforts by Governments the world over, the threat of terrorism continues. The latest heinous and cowardly attack in Mumbai, India, demonstrated that terrorist groups are not in a state of idleness. On the contrary, they continue to reinvent themselves with different means of committing atrocities. They seek to improve their methods of causing massive casualties with the aim of spreading terror in order to paralyse societies, destabilize political systems and make us succumb to the path of violence.
Our global effort is clearly facing more difficult and complex challenges. We need to be not only decisive in our policies, but also innovative and practical in our approach. The pace of our cooperation must match the terrorists’ capacity to wreak havoc and destruction.
First and foremost, efforts to overcome terrorism must continue to be multifaceted in nature. The terrorist threat is not a war that can be won through the sheer application of force. Instead, there is a need for a comprehensive yet integrated approach, encompassing intelligence and law enforcement; the legislative framework; foreign policy, including public diplomacy; and also socio-economic policy. All those elements are complementary and mutually reinforcing. We should not favour one tool while neglecting others. It is important that the implementation of those tools be well calibrated and fine-tuned.
Secondly, no country can go it alone. Terrorists are not encumbered by national borders; hence the critical need for international cooperation. That includes the sharing of information, intelligence and best practices. Capacity-building, as a core element of the global counter-terrorism effort, needs to be sustained. The Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, for example, has provided structured training for law enforcement officers in the Asia-Pacific region. The Bali Counter-Terrorism Process, too, has established strong bonds of collaboration among legal and law enforcement practitioners in the region.
Moreover, Indonesia has pursued a deliberate policy of building a multifaceted web of counter-terrorism cooperation: bilateral, subregional, regional and inter-regional.
In South-east Asia this common effort reached a high point with the signing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention on Counter-Terrorism by the ASEAN leaders at the twelfth ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the Philippines, in January 2007. In essence, the Convention’s aim is to deny terrorists space and a foothold to launch their attacks.
Of course, such building blocks of cooperation would not be complete without an overarching multilateral cooperation effort through the United Nations, including the Security Council and General Assembly. The need for a comprehensive convention on international terrorism should be evident. However, it is important that the global multilateral frameworks do not reinvent the wheel, but rather that they build on and promote synergy with existing national, bilateral and regional efforts.
Not least, Indonesia firmly believes in a democratic response. Our efforts must be viewed as legitimate. They must respect the integrity of international law, human rights and the Charter. In our view, undermining the principles of international law and human rights would not only be counterproductive, but would also erode the political legitimacy necessary to sustain global efforts to fight terrorism.
Effective efforts also require a perspective that is alert to the conditions associated with acts of terrorism. We need to be conscious of the need to address root causes, including prolonged unresolved conflicts. Indonesia wishes to reiterate that conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes are essential premises in our common effort to eradicate terrorism. The Security Council, as mandated by the Charter, should devote its political energy to resolve those unresolved conflicts.
Effective efforts also require the use of soft-power. As a global community, we should work together to delegitimize terrorism by strengthening democratic values and promoting tolerance and pluralism. We need to take specific measures to steer people away from extremism. We need to promote and facilitate dialogue among community groups. We need to give voice to moderation.
Against this backdrop, let me end by emphasizing the imperative to reject the association of terrorism with particular nations, regions or religions. Dialogue among civilizations must be sustained to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures as provided for in resolution 1624 (2005). Such dialogue can bridge diverse cultures, and facilitate understanding and cooperation across communities and religions. Only through such an avenue can we truly have a winning chance. The United Nations machinery, as part of the equation in the overall global struggle against terrorism, should play a leading role in this regard.
On a final note, the victims of terrorism must not be forgotten. We are grateful that the Secretary-General has made reference to this point in his earlier statement.
Mr. Churkin (spoke in Russian ): Mr. President, allow me to welcome you here today as the President of the Security Council. We also appreciate the presence here today of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The convening of this meeting of the Security Council offers us an opportunity to consider once again some very topical issues: how the international community must act in the face of the global threat of terrorism today and how we can strengthen solidarity against terrorism without which it is impossible to ensure international peace and security.
The heinous attack in Mumbai was evidence of the scale of the continuing threat and it was also a serious reminder of the shared responsibility we all bear for eradicating terrorism. The Russian Federation confirms its position of principle, namely, unconditional condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We believe it is the United Nations that must provide solid political leadership and coordination of international cooperation in combating terrorism.
In an increasingly interdependent world, strengthening the central role of the United Nations in building the political, legal and organizational foundations for counter-terrorism security is essential — there is no other option. There are different ways of looking back at the road travelled in recent years by the United Nations and the Security Council in solving the complex and multifaceted problem of terrorism, but it is quite self-evident that without those efforts the world today would be even less safe.
The Security Council played a key role in establishing a first line of defence. It prescribed initial measures for States to take to strengthen their counter-terrorism potential. I am referring, of course, to the fundamental resolution 1373 (2001) and some subsequent decisions. We attach paramount importance to strengthening the potential for the political leadership of the Council through its subsidiary anti-terrorist bodies, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 and 1540 Committees. Those Committees complement each other as instruments in the fight against terrorism.
We have to enhance the effectiveness of steps taken by the Council to prevent the terrorist threat. We have to help it develop its dialogue with States on implementing the relevant resolutions and on the timely assistance to States to carry out the obligations provided for in Security Council resolutions. In practical terms, it is still extremely relevant for our common security to expose and neutralize terror networks, to block the movement of financial flows, to stop other support to terrorists and to put an end to the safe havens they have set up.
Many of these issues have now become clearer to us than they were before. For example, Russia no longer has to, as it did a few years ago, convince its partners about the dangerous mix of drug trafficking and terrorism, especially in Afghanistan. The Security Council must continue giving paramount attention to reacting effectively to terrorist threats and to encouraging the development of international cooperation on the topic.
At the same time, we have to ensure that law enforcement measures against terror are supplemented by efforts on a broad scale to prevent terrorism, inter alia by trying to eliminate the various social factors that fuel terrorism. We have to develop a dialogue between civilizations and between religions and we have to actively counter the ideology of violence and extremism. The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the General Assembly, offers us a way of moving to a comprehensive United Nations system of eliminating international terrorism rather than just reacting to it, and we must make full use of the potential of that Strategy. We support every part of the Strategy and we call for active implementation. We intend to do our utmost to further this process.
There is one huge potential that has not yet been used fully by most States: the development of a partnership between the private and public sectors in counter-terrorism. It is not just from our own experience that we see that if States meet certain conditions, then the business community is quite willing to cooperate.
The future of combating international terrorism is, as we see it, directly related to building a more foreseeable and stable world order based on international law. I think it is clear to everybody today that terrorism is not an enemy which, when fighting, you can draw the battle lines on military maps. If we are to talk about the real direction for stopping terrorism, one of the most important conditions is a comprehensive strengthening of the international legal counter-terrorism basis. There are still lacunae, for example, it has become increasingly clear that we need further international legal regulations so as to ensure that cyberspace is never used for terrorist purposes.
At the political level, it is crucial to keep and strengthen the broad international coalition formed in response to the terrorist act of September 2001. The Russian Federation will continue to work closely and actively with other States to strengthen the international community and the United Nations potential to deal with issues relating to insecurity resulting from terrorism.
Mr. Grauls (Belgium) (spoke in French ): Mr. President, allow me, first and foremost, to welcome your presence here amongst us today to preside over the thematic debate, and to welcome the participation of the Secretary-General of our Organization. His presence adds a special dimension to our debate.
The tragic events that occurred in Mumbai just two weeks ago have once again reminded us that terrorism is a reality that spares no country and remains one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. In this regard, I would like to recall that Belgium firmly condemns all terrorist attacks, including those that were perpetrated in Mumbai, which targeted innocent civilians. We convey our condolences to the grieving families. Belgium also would like to express its solidarity with the people and authorities of India and with every country that is dealing with the effects of terrorism.
Your initiative, Sir, to launch this thematic debate is therefore particularly timely, and it underscores the resolve of the international community to eradicate this scourge. Indeed, it is only through a holistic strategy and unwavering cooperation that we will be able to do so. Further efforts are, without a doubt, still necessary in this regard. The world must deal with individuals and organizations that do not hesitate to carry out attacks against thousands of innocent victims in an attempt to further their agenda. These attacks are the expression of inadmissible hatred and rage. The international community must respond to them. The criminals must be detained and brought to justice. The fight against terrorism must be waged tirelessly and across the board by attacking terrorist networks and their sources of financing and by doing everything possible to prevent their actions, but also by addressing the factors that could fuel extremism and lead to terrorism. Moreover, we should recall that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion or belief.
In this context, the United Nations plays a central role and, when it comes to this matter, shoulder the responsibilities that fall to a universal organization, as provided for in the Charter. The Member States, through the intervention of the General Assembly, are committed to better coordinating their counter-terrorism initiatives and to developing legal standards. The Security Council is also fighting terrorism actively through its resolutions. The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on weapons of mass destruction are essential bodies in these efforts.
At the same time, a number of United Nations programmes, offices and agencies are involved in specific operational actions aimed at supporting the initiatives by Member States. The Secretary-General referred to that in his introductory statement.
In order to further consolidate and improve upon these activities, the General Assembly has defined a United Nation Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in order to combat this scourge. The European Union has also defined a plan of action and a strategy to tackle terrorism on a global scale. Belgium fully endorses these two strategies, which are complementary.
In my country, attempted attacks have also been thwarted. Networks have been dismantled and trials have been held. By providing an arsenal of new measures and establishing new structures to fight against terrorism, Belgium has implemented European decisions and United Nations resolutions.
Strengthening our counter-terrorism capacity must remain a priority for the international community. All the initiatives to further sensitize and involve States at the four corners of the globe must be promoted. The role of regional and subregional organizations is essential in this regard.
As will be stated by the representative of France in his intervention, to be made shortly on behalf of the European Union — a statement that my delegation supports in full — respect for human rights and the primacy of the rule of law are fundamental elements in the fight against terrorism. The protection of these fundamental rights and freedoms is a moral and legal obligation. It also corresponds to our interests and is a central element of any effective and sustainable counter-terrorism strategy. The fight against terrorism cannot be waged to the detriment of our principles, of our values, of human rights or of democratic institutions; that is precisely what those who threaten us seek to destroy. That is why Belgium welcomes the fact that the human rights dimension has been taken into account in the actions and decisions of the United Nations. The Global Strategy includes a human rights and rule of law pillar, and the Security Council has systematically reminded States since 2003 “that they must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law ... in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law” ( resolution 1456 (2003), annex, para. 6).
It is essential that there be clearer and more equitable procedures with regard to the listing and de-listing of names on the lists of individuals suspected of terrorist acts who are subjected to restrictive measures. By continuing to improve upon those procedures, as was done in the case of resolution 1822 (2008), the Security Council is not only strengthening the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime, but is also strengthening its authority, its credibility and, as a result, its effectiveness in this field.
We are thus responding to the various legal procedures that have been introduced, particularly in Europe, because of the current procedural gaps in the existing regime. Every measure that is taken to establish clear and transparent procedures will strengthen the legitimacy of the United Nations sanctions system and the authority of the Security Council and the impact of its measures. By improving procedures, the Council is reaffirming its role as the lynchpin of the international sanctions system and will strengthen the adherence of Member States to that system. Belgium therefore calls upon the Council to consolidate and strengthen its efforts in this regard, in addition to the provisions of resolution 1822 (2008), in order to heighten the effectiveness and transparency of the sanctions procedures of the 1267 Committee.
Today’s debate has allowed us to underscore international solidarity in the fight against terrorism. It is crucial that this solidarity result in everyday specific actions that will allow us to prevent new tragedies. While repression is an indispensable dimension to thwart the intentions of those who are ready to make use of terrorism, all preventative measures taken are in the long term the best strategy to eradicate this scourge. Any United Nations declaration, strategy or resolution will send a strong signal of the determination and unity of the international community. That is why my delegation will support the text of the presidential statement to be read at the end of this debate.
Mr. Arias (Panama) (spoke in Spanish ): First and foremost, on behalf of Panama, allow me to thank you, Mr. President, and Ambassador Jurica and the delegation of Croatia for providing us this important opportunity to consider and debate on the most effective manner to combat the scourge of terrorism. We welcome the presence of the Secretary-General in this debate, which demonstrates his personal commitment in the fight against terrorism.
For the most part — but with a few significant deviations such as the two world wars and their causes and consequences — in the modern world human beings have been able to live more or less harmoniously, among themselves and with their environment, in accordance with what the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau called the social contract.
However, today we are experiencing new forms of social divisions that are having an impact on the peaceful coexistence between human beings, which forces us to reflect in a profound way. I should like to begin with the most violent of all, namely, the growing disregard for our environment that, if unabated, will radically transform life on the planet. I could also mention acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, ongoing violence against women and children and the effects of excessive sales of small arms and light weapons and terrorism.
Panama believes that terrorism is defined by the carrying out of acts of violence that indiscriminately injure or kill innocent civilians on the pretext of a greater good. Panama condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of who commits it, including Governments and where and for what purpose it is committed, including to combat foreign occupation.
The Security Council has contributed meaningfully to the efforts of the Organization to combat terrorism. Nevertheless, the level of planning and sophistication of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which were an attack on all of India and on the entire international community, illustrate that our efforts and precautions are still not enough. That obliges us to more effectively use all the means at our disposal to eliminate terrorism. Above and beyond the use of force, economic and financial measures and the exchange of information and intelligence, combating terrorism also requires that the international community understand and combat the conditions that give rise to terrorism, while fully respecting human rights.
In that connection, Panama would like to reiterate the need to establish national and international norms to make it possible to prosecute and punish, by way of example, all those who are in any way linked to the commission of terrorist acts. We should do so while observing the principles enshrined in international humanitarian law and international human rights and development instruments. Doing otherwise would be tantamount to legitimizing the methods used by terrorism to weaken democracy, the rule of law and the full enjoyment of human rights. In other words, it would mean violating the same rights we employ to justify combating terrorism.
Mr. Ettalhi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic ): At the outset, Mr. President, allow me to say how honoured we are to see you presiding over the work of the Security Council today. We would also like to welcome the presence among us today of the Secretary-General. I also wish to commend your country’s delegation, Sir, for having convened this meeting and chosen this subject for our consideration. Following the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, the entire world has once again seen the destruction that terrorism can inflict and the magnitude of the threat it poses for peace. This meeting is also taking place following the terrorist acts inflicted on Palestinians in Hebron by Israeli extremists.
The concept paper (see S/2008/738) that has kindly been prepared and circulated by your country’s delegation, Mr. President, for which we are very grateful, has served to establish the framework and objectives for our debate, namely, an exchange of views on the relationship between global security and international terrorism in order to revitalize and strengthen efforts to combat terrorism and bolster the leading role of the United Nations in global counter-terrorism. It is indeed a well-known fact that we all have a common objective: establishing a world of peace and security for all peoples and eradicating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whether committed by States, individuals or organizations, as well as addressing its causes and symptoms. Nevertheless, I regret to say that there continue to be disagreements about how to achieve those goals.
Although my country appreciates the progress made and the work done by the Council, seven years following the emergence of unprecedented solidarity and momentum in combating terrorism, the Council’s efforts are still just a series of partial reactions to circumstances focused narrowly on security only. In that period, the emphasis has been on preventing and combating terrorism. As emphasized by the concept paper, we cannot achieve the goal of maintaining international peace and security merely by declaring war on terrorism. Terrorism is a multidimensional phenomenon that cannot be effectively addressed through punitive measures alone. In fact, preventive measures and a flexible and comprehensive approach are needed.
There have been several efforts in the Council to achieve consensus on a set of draft resolutions. The Council’s committees and working groups have played a prominent role in various bodies of the Council. While they have had considerable achievements, they have nevertheless worked within the confines of fixed mandates drafted in line with partial measures and the narrow focus of combating and preventing terrorism. Increased participation in those bodies has sometimes served to sap synergy from their efforts. In particular, it has served as a drag on the momentum of the efforts of the international community, as represented by the General Assembly. In some instances, that has had an impact on effectiveness and efficiency in combating the phenomenon of terrorism, as well as on active cooperation between Member States and the United Nations.
Libya believes that there is a need to assess and reconsider the steps taken to prevent and combat terrorism in recent years. Without going into detail about all the relevant measures, we believe that preventing the financing of terrorism must be given special attention and should be the subject of more comprehensive and effective measures. We also think that it is incumbent upon the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, to adopt more robust measures to oversee flows of financing moving through transparent financial institutions. Banking practices in some countries and in some so-called free zones require particular attention from the international community in order to bring an end to suspicious financial transactions that can serve to finance terrorism. In addition, the granting of asylum to third-country citizens must be subject to controls that ensure that asylum is based solely on humanitarian reasons and is not used for any other ulterior motive.
Over the past years, we have emphasized the combating and prevention of terrorism at the expense of basic aspects of the problem. We have not discussed the reasons and causes for the spread of terrorism, building the capacities of Member States or respect for human rights of all and the rule of law: the basic and important principles that have been adopted by Members of the United Nations in the context of a global strategy to combat terrorism. We are still waiting for effective practical measures that will deal with the circumstances and causes of the spread of terrorism. Libya believes that our agreement on removing the justifications of terrorism must not be at the expense of dealing objectively with its causes. The causes for the discontent that feeds violence and counter-violence include: occupation, denying the legitimacy of fighting against occupation, making charges against peoples and their cultures, applying double standards in the application of international legitimacy and the injustices that have been suffered by the Palestinians and other peoples.
Still more effort is needed to develop technical assistance in a manner that will strengthen and build the capacity of Member States to respond to their practical needs in combating terrorism. We appreciate the development of the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council in this respect, and it is our hope that technical assistance provided within the context of the United Nations, as an alternative to bilateral assistance, will be developed. We also commend the efforts of those organs responsible for the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the cooperation among United Nations institutions and specialized agencies.
There is no doubt that respect for the human rights of all and for the rule of law are the cornerstones of any effective strategy for combating terrorism. National and international measures within such strategies must conform with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, the laws of refugees and international humanitarian law.
In brief, it is incumbent on all of us to strengthen international solidarity to enhance the leading role of the United Nations in combating terrorism. This is the objective of our debate today: to implement the global strategy to combat terrorism in all its aspects and dimensions and to expedite the conclusion of a comprehensive treaty to combat terrorism and to reach a clear definition of this phenomenon.
In conclusion, I wish to commend the delegation of Croatia for preparing the draft presidential statement before us. We support it and we look forward to adopting it at the end of our meeting.
Mr. Sangqu (South Africa): At the outset, we welcome the President of the Republic of Croatia and thank him for presiding over this meeting.
I would like to express South Africa’s appreciation for the convening of this important debate on terrorism. It comes at a time when we have witnessed terrorist attacks in various parts of the world and, in particular, the recent heinous attacks in Mumbai. My delegation reiterates its condolences to the Government of India and the relatives of all those who lost their lives. We also welcome the Secretary-General and thank him for his statement.
South Africa condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, by whomsoever perpetrated and for whatever cause. We are firmly committed to addressing, in multilateral fora and in accordance with human rights and international law, the threat posed by terrorism and other forms of international crime. Consequently, we welcome the unanimous adoption and reaffirmation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which provides a holistic and multifaceted response that is premised on the respect for human rights and the rule of law. The Strategy represents a welcome departure from the security-centric paradigm and recognizes that it is important to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism in their own right and also as part of an effective anti-terrorism strategy. The Strategy also builds on the international consensus that terrorism cannot be ascribed to any particular religion or culture.
Recognizing that it is up to each country and subregion to contextualize the Global Strategy and to make it meaningful to the diverse range of local actors required for its successful implementation, South Africa recently hosted a national workshop on the Global Strategy. The workshop raised awareness of the Global Strategy amongst Government and civil society actors and generated a number of useful proposals and interesting ideas. For example, it was argued that relevant international human rights instruments, such as the Convention against Torture, ought to be included in the list of instruments that all countries are urged to ratify pursuant to their counter-terrorism obligations. Speakers condemned the practice of some countries to draw up their own national terrorism lists, which may be subject to political abuse and may themselves constitute a source of radicalization and extremism by unfairly targeting entire communities or countries. It was also pointed out that there is a need to reverse the development-versus-counterterrorism debate by exploring where counterterrorism fits into the development agenda and not the other way around.
Building on existing international solidarity and cooperation is the key to progress in addressing the scourge of terrorism. It is therefore important that we redouble our efforts to finalize the comprehensive convention against international terrorism by reaching agreement on a definition of terrorism and that we prevent the abuse of the counterterrorism label to advance political agendas. International solidarity ought also to include the avoidance of unsubstantiated usage of damaging terms such as “terrorist safe havens” and refraining from the issuance of factually inaccurate travel advisories against other countries whose cooperation and assistance is required in addressing the terror threat. All too often those statements are directed against those developing countries that pose the least threat. It should also be borne in mind that developing countries are disproportionately affected by terrorist attacks, irrespective of whether they are the intended target, and the impact on investment and tourism in the poorest countries can be particularly devastating.
As stressed in the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, respect for human rights is an essential part of our counterterrorism efforts. It is not possible to claim the moral high ground while abusing basic rights and compromising laws built up over centuries in the interests of political expediency. Consequently, we cannot remain silent when rights are ignored and individuals are subjected to unlawful detention, torture and assassination.
United Nations Security Council sanctions have to be capable of withstanding legal scrutiny, including on the question of due process. There are a number of legal challenges in various parts of the world to the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime, notably the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice in the cases of Al Barakaat and Mr. Kadi. These challenges should put the Security Council on notice that it cannot proceed as if it were business as usual.
In conclusion, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you once again for convening this debate and to express our support for the draft presidential statement.
Mr. Zhang Yesui (China) (spoke in Chinese ): At the outset, we thank the President of the Republic of Croatia for presiding over the open debate today. We also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his participation in our debate.
The presidential statement that you, Sir, will issue on behalf of the Security Council fully reflects the international community’s consensus on counter-terrorism and has the support of the Chinese delegation .
A series of alarming acts of terrorism took place recently in Mumbai, claiming numerous innocent victims. The Chinese delegation conveys its wholehearted condolences to the victims. These cruel realities remind us once again that terrorism remains a potent threat to the peace and security of the international community. As the heart of the international collective security machinery, the Security Council should play a central role in the international fight against terrorism.
Over the past few years, the Council has adopted a series of resolutions and statements on counter-terrorism that create a solid legal basis for the international community’s common struggle against terrorism. The Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) have made fruitful efforts in the implementation of the relevant resolutions. The Chinese delegation hopes that the three Committees will further incorporate the voices of all Member States, particularly the developing countries, into their work in order to ensure that the Security Council’s counter-terrorism mechanisms will be better able to meet the needs of the broader membership.
Terrorism is a common threat to the international community. It is imperative to continue to enhance multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation within the United Nations framework. Recently, the General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution 62/272 on the review and assessment of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, demonstrating the deep solidarity and firm resolve of the Member States with respect to counter-terrorism. China believes that all United Nations Members should strive to enhance counter-terrorism measures and to eradicate the root causes of terrorism. They should seek to eradicate poverty, promote development and, by encouraging dialogue among religions and civilizations, eliminate conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, thereby implementing the four pillars of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a comprehensive and balanced manner.
China supports the Security Council’s three counter-terrorism Committees’ active participation in the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the context of their respective mandates so as to ensure the coordination of the Council’s counter-terrorism efforts with those of the General Assembly, which will consolidate the United Nations central role in the international struggle against terrorism.
The Member States are the true owners of the implementation of all United Nations counter-terrorism resolutions. Their resolve and capacities to fight terrorism determine the degree to which those resolutions are implemented. However, inadequate resources and counter-terrorism capacities have made many countries, especially the developing countries, unable fully to honour their counter-terrorism obligations and have thereby seriously limited the international community’s achievements in the struggle against terrorism.
China hopes that the international community will devote greater attention to counter-terrorism capacity-building and invest further resources in providing counter-terrorism assistance that answers the genuine needs of the developing countries and helps them to improve their counter-terrorism capacities expeditiously. That will ensure a solid basis for the implementation of all United Nations counter-terrorism resolutions.
The rise of terrorism has complex political, economic and social roots. China has therefore consistently called for integrated counter-terrorism measures and emphasized both the prevention of terrorist acts and the elimination of the causes of terrorism in an effective effort to address the symptoms and causes of that scourge. In that way, we will be able to eradicate terrorism at its roots.
Mr. Lacroix (France) (spoke in French ): At the outset, my delegation wholeheartedly thanks you, Sir, and your country for having organized this debate during the Croatian presidency of the Security Council in December. I welcome your leadership in today’s debate, as well as the presence of the Secretary-General.
I have the honour to speak not only for France but also on behalf of the European Union and the candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Montenegro; as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, which align themselves with this declaration.
Despite our best efforts, the threat of terrorism is as real as ever, as the long and bitter litany of terrorist acts that occur around the world reminds us. The sophistication and determination of the terrorists who struck at the heart of Mumbai a few days ago attests to that.
To combat terrorism, we must do more and we must do better. To that end, we must first understand the mechanics of the global terrorism that, here in New York, opened a new and bloody era in the history of terrorism. Terrorism is global in its scope and in its ability to blend in with globalization and to change with modern times, despite the archaic nature of its ideological referents. It is also global in its ability to defy and threaten our States, despite the fact that there are probably only a few hundred, or perhaps a few thousand, terrorists scattered around the world.
The European Union regards terrorism as one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Our duty is to combat that scourge using all possible means. To do so, however, we must overcome the deadly traps that terrorism has set for us: fear, division and renunciation. Fear is abdication and defeat. Division is reflected in the rifts between peoples, cultures and religions that terrorists seek explicitly to provoke. Renunciation is the abandonment of the principles and values — dialogue, peace and human rights — on which our democracies and, of course, our Organization are built.
For the European Union, respect for human rights and the rule of law are fundamental elements in the fight against terrorism. It is a case not of arbitrary power directed against indiscriminate violence, but rather of the rule of law set against crime. It is by respecting our values, law, public freedoms and the use of clear and fair procedures that we will defeat terrorism.
For the European Union, the United Nations is the natural framework for developing standards and structures to strengthen international cooperation against terrorism. The United Nations has a central role to play in this respect. From that perspective, considerable efforts have been undertaken. The main tools have been developed: 16 international counter-terrorism instruments, several wide-ranging Security Council resolutions, three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council, and the recent Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, to which all United Nations Member States have subscribed. With those texts, the United Nations has developed both the key principles of an effective global fight against terrorism and the institutional and legal instruments necessary to that end.
Through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force established by the Secretary-General, and in which the three Council Committees and their teams of experts are actively involved, the United Nations system has begun to develop a framework for integrated support for the implementation of the Strategy.
I would now like to emphasize some of the challenges we must meet, as an international community, in order to confront terrorism. We must first pursue the important work to address more generally the conditions that lead to the spread of terrorism. Strengthening education, development assistance and efforts to resolve crises and regional conflicts are one objective in themselves, but this work also focuses on the elements of frustration and injustice that terrorist propaganda and recruitment exploit for their murderous ends. Here too, the role of the United Nations is essential.
We must also ensure that the international community as a whole and the individual Member States remain mobilized in combating terrorism. This fight is not waged only in emergencies, when violence breaks out for all to see. It requires determined and patient work over time. How can we ensure that this work receives the attention and political support it requires? In that regard, Mr. President, your initiative is a major step in the right direction.
Regional organizations also have a role to play. The strengthening of regional cooperation against terrorism is also a factor of integration, as evidenced by the adoption of the European arrest warrant that played a key role in the fight of both Spain and France against ETA, which unfortunately again struck the Basque country last week and murdered there. Initiatives have been taken in other regions of the world, recently in South-East Asia and West Africa. La Francophonie has also drawn up an important convention on judicial cooperation. The European Union welcomes those efforts.
The primary responsibility for the fight against terrorism, of course, lies with States. The States of the European Union are committed to fully implementing Security Council resolutions. The same is true for the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The European Union itself developed a strategy against terrorism and an action plan whose implementation is closely monitored and assessed.
The European Union calls upon all States to redouble their efforts to fully implement the Security Council resolutions and the recommendations of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, to become parties to all international instruments against terrorism and to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner. As reports have confirmed, on a global level we are far from achieving this goal, and in some parts of the world the efforts being made are still insufficient. From this perspective, nobody today can afford to remain idle or feel immune to terrorism, regardless of their region or level of development.
The Security Council did not hesitate to impose sanctions on States harbouring or assisting terrorists. This firm line must be maintained and strengthened, particularly through the work undertaken by the Council’s subsidiary bodies on non-compliance, in order to distinguish between States that are deemed able but unwilling to meet their obligations and those that do not have the means to do so.
In the face of a global threat that is capable of exploiting all vulnerabilities, two key issues must be addressed very carefully. How can the international community prevent territories from becoming safe havens for terrorists? How to ensure that States that have the political will but lack the means receive advice and support?
The European Union is committed to those goals through its various political and financial instruments, in particular the European Security and Defence Policy and the Instrument for Stability. The same is true of its member States, through their bilateral programmes or their support for United Nations programmes for the consolidation of peace or assistance in the field of anti-terrorist legislation. But given the magnitude of these challenges, the United Nations system should reflect more broadly on the support it could provide as regards capacity-building and assisting States in the fight against terrorism.
In conclusion, my delegation would again like to emphasize the paradox of terrorism, as it must be fully understood if we are to be effective. No more than a few hundred — perhaps a few thousand — people scattered throughout the world are defying our 192 nations, and yet they In conclusion, my delegation would again like to emphasize the paradox of terrorism, as it must be fully understood if we are to be effective. No more than a few hundred — perhaps a few thousand — people scattered throughout the world are defying our 192 nations, and yet they have managed to turn this weakness into a strength. We must strive to reduce the impact of their attacks and to treat them as the criminals they are. We owe that to all victims of terrorism. But as States, we must also strengthen measures of the struggle against terrorism, ensure their consistency and increase our cooperation. It is a matter of raising the level of anti-terrorism systems throughout the world and enhancing their inter-operability.
My delegation supports the draft presidential statement and the call for solidarity contained therein.
Mr. Hoang Chi Trung (Viet Nam): Let me first express our appreciation of Croatia’s initiative in organizing this thematic debate. We welcome in particular your presence in New York, Mr. President, to preside over this meeting. It demonstrates your country’s strong dedication to the work of the Security Council, as well as to the common efforts of the United Nations to combat the scourge of international terrorism.
In view of the fact that terrorist attacks continue to inflict death and injury on innocent people around the world, this open debate provides another chance for the Member States of the United Nations to manifest their determination and solidarity in the fight against international terrorism and, more importantly, to contribute their views on what could be improved in terms of concrete actions.
International terrorism continues to be one of the serious threats to international peace and security. It constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, endangers the territorial integrity and stability of States, has adverse consequences for economic and social development and destroys the infrastructure of States. Viet Nam joins the international community in condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the most recent of which were the tragic attacks in Mumbai, India, just a week ago. We wish to express once again our most profound condolences and sympathy to the Indian people and Government and the families of the victims of those heinous crimes.
It goes without saying that the primary responsibility falls on every State to formulate and to implement appropriate policies and measures to protect its people from the terrorist scourge. Counter-terrorism efforts, however, can not be successful unless States cooperate and coordinate with each other, for terrorism is a global phenomenon and no country can feel immune from it. Viet Nam supports the United Nations playing a leading role in the international fight against terrorism, in which all measures taken must be in compliance with international law, particularly the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States. We once again reaffirm our support for the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and call for its full implementation.
The Security Council, undertaking its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, has adopted a number of resolutions and established several subsidiary mechanisms aimed at strengthening the international fight against terrorism. My delegation recognizes the significance of the Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions and the importance of the work being carried out by the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1373 (2001), 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004). Viet Nam attaches great importance to the implementation of those resolutions and the improvement of the three Committees’ working methods and procedures.
Much attention and many efforts and resources have been dedicated to the fight against terrorism, and yet terrorism persists and manifests itself in worrying developments. The Security Council has consistently condemned terrorist acts and called for international cooperation in fighting terrorism, including through bringing perpetrators of terrorist acts to justice and providing technical assistance to States that request it.
While recognizing the importance of those measures, my country is fully convinced that it is equally important for each State and the international community as a whole to address the root causes of international terrorism. Political, economic and social inequalities, double standards, selectivity and the use of force in international affairs all create conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. In this context, my delegation deems it very pertinent to recall the agreement reached by Member States in General Assembly resolution 60/288, in launching the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:
“to do all they can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation, confront oppression, eradicate poverty, promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development, global prosperity, good governance, human rights for all and rule of law, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures”. ( General Assembly resolution 60/288, last preambular paragraph)
In Viet Nam, terrorism is a crime punishable under the criminal code. Combating criminal offences, including terrorism and related crimes, is among the priorities of the Government of Viet Nam. Efforts have been made to strengthen our counter-terrorism legal framework and enforcement capacities, raise the awareness of the people and coordinate policies and activities with countries in the region, in particular in the framework of the Regional Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and within ASEAN cooperative programmes.
In conclusion, my delegation wishes to take this opportunity to renew our commitment to the common cause against international terrorism and expresses our full support for the statement that the President of the Council will pronounce on behalf of the Council later today.
Mr. Weisleder (Costa Rica) (spoke in Spanish ): At the outset, my delegation would like to thank the presidency of the Security Council and the Croatian delegation for organizing this open debate. The presence of President Stjepan Mesić offers a timely opportunity to consider our role in the fight against terrorism. It is an honour to have you presiding over this session, Sir. We also wish to welcome the significant presence of the Secretary-General and of the Deputy Secretary-General a t this meeting.
Costa Rica must begin by unequivocally and firmly condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of where, why or by whom it is committed. There is no possible justification for the commission of terrorist acts.
We are living in times marked by constant savage and underhanded acts of aggression against innocent persons, who are by far the most common victims of fanaticism simply because they happen to be waiting for a bus or having a coffee or an ice cream with friends, or are just going about their daily work, as we witnessed a few days ago in India. We condemn that act, as well as all previous acts such as those perpetrated in Buenos Aires, Beirut, Caracas, Bali or Tel Aviv. Therefore, this is a timely opportunity to exchange ideas on the contribution of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism, in particular within the Council, which is mandated to maintain peace and security on the planet, and above all seven years after the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) .
Less than a decade ago, there was no apparent relationship between measures to address breaches of peace and security caused by terrorist acts and human rights. Even today, there are those who are not sufficiently concerned with that relationship, which must form part of the fight against terrorism, or with the need to raise such issues frequently.
The act of recalling that all counter-terrorist measures must strictly comply with international law must not be considered to weaken that struggle. On the contrary, our country is of the view that it makes the fight more effective in the medium and long terms. That perspective is appropriately reflected in the resolution on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which clearly indicates that those two objectives are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
Indeed, that issue is one of the great challenges faced by the Security Council on that subject. We must ensure that repressive measures that are adopted to neutralize the terrorist threat and terrorist actions are matched by an analysis of the socio-political roots that fuel the scourge. My delegation is not of the view that it is only the lack of socio-economic opportunity or the feeling of political marginalization that explain terrorism. We are convinced, however, by the abundant existing evidence that the fight against terrorism must be comprehensive and cannot be restricted to military options.
In the latter approach, the promotion of education is fundamental. However, Council members know full well that education is not a panacea either, and that in a number of cases it has instead become a weapon to promote fanaticism, intolerance and hatred. Therefore, what should be a path towards peace, reconciliation and the creation of opportunities for younger generations often becomes instead a trigger that sends many young people to their deaths and results in the deaths of thousands of innocent victims.
As part of its overarching efforts to address terrorism and to preserve human rights and freedoms, the Organization must work deliberately and ceaselessly to incorporate its principles, pillars and values into educational programmes and curricula, in particular in those societies where it has been ascertained, deplorably, that many centres of education have served to train future human bombs. Those efforts must be made in cooperation with the authorities and Governments and must never go against their will or resolve. In that manner, we will not only preserve the sovereignty of States — which is a sine qua non condition for any multilateral efforts — but we will also obtain better results, as there is no legitimate Government of any United Nations Member State that would not be ready to cultivate peace or understanding as the road towards the resolution of conflicts and disputes.
The challenge facing the Council also lies in improving its internal procedures to make them fairer and clearer, thus guaranteeing their efficiency and transparency. But how can that effectiveness be guaranteed in view of the numerous widely divergent mandates related to the counter-terrorism struggle. For a number of years now, Costa Rica has submitted for the consideration of Member States a proposal for the establishment of an integrated counter-terrorism office. We are convinced that the United Nations must play leadership role in the fight against that terrible phenomenon, and we are of the view that such leadership could be facilitated by consolidating the numerous mandates that exist on that subject.
In the absence of such an integrated office, we will limit ourselves to reiterating our call for the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council in the field of counter-terrorism to continue to pursue better coordination among themselves, their groups of experts and other international and regional organizations.
It is certainly our duty within the Council to continue to provide those entities with the necessary guidance for the implementation of better protocols that will facilitate joint visits, which have already begun, as well as a better exchange of information and coordinated participation in regional activities, whenever possible.
Costa Rica has closely followed the questioning of the measures adopted by States to implement the Security Council sanctions regime. It is worrying that those measures are still being called into question by national and regional jurisdictional entities for their alleged lack of compliance with the law and with due process. As an elected member of this Council, Costa Rica will continue to cooperate to ensure fairer and clearer procedures for the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities on the sanctions list, as well as for the granting of exemptions on humanitarian grounds, in accordance with the constant requests of the General Assembly in that regard.
This Council has launched significant initiatives in that regard, and we hope that negotiations will soon begin with a view to establishing mechanisms to ensure that the individuals on the consolidated list of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) can exercise their right to be heard and to submit their defence through an independent sanctions review mechanism. However, we reiterate that that is not a step towards weakening the fight against terrorism; to the contrary, it is a step towards strengthening it. Our delegation is ready to support the statement that will be drafted in consultations as the outcome of this debate.
Lastly, as a country without an army, Costa Rica has decided to use international law as its only instrument of defence. For that reason, we eagerly await the international community’s efforts to establish as soon as possible, after more than eight years of discussion, a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
The President (spoke in French ): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as President of Croatia.
( Spoke in Croatian; English text provided by the delegation)
Let me repeat two points that I made in the introduction to this debate. First, the events in Mumbai 12 days ago have confirmed in an extremely tragic way that terrorism is a global threat. Thus, it is not a threat affecting any particular country, but all of us. It is a threat to international peace and security. Needless to say, we can only counter such a threat globally.
Secondly, such a global response can achieve success only if it is based on the broadest possible international cooperation, and we believe that such solidarity is not currently at the requisite and desirable level.
The first point only makes the debate that we initiated long before the Mumbai events more topical, and the second explains why we wanted to open such a debate in this very forum, in the United Nations.
In the wake of 11 September 2001, the Republic of Croatia immediately advocated that an effective global coalition be formed to fight international terrorism. At the time we called it an alliance. We proceeded from the assessment, which has not changed to date, that such a coalition can function only on the basis not only of equal relations, but also of mutual trust among its members. We believe that mutual trust is extremely important, even in a broader context.
The global solidarity that initially was sincere faded, not to say disappeared, owing to the lack of such trust. It waned because it appeared that, from the beginning, the war on terrorism as an unquestionable threat to international peace and security had actually turned into a kind of exclusive competence of one country or of a group of countries that it led. Moreover, the fight against terrorism as a global project was also compromised by the way in which it was waged. That has led to the disappearance of the basic preconditions for its success.
However, at the same time, terrorism neither disappeared nor weakened. Arguments could even be found for the claim that it grew even stronger. At any rate, it has become our companion and a part of our everyday life, and that is the situation which we currently face. Its basic elements include a significant decline in global solidarity, a one-sided approach to the fight against terrorism and its focus, which at times leaves something to be desired, and, finally, a climate of insufficient trust in relations among the key elements on the global scene.
When we considered how to present the view of the Republic of Croatia regarding that complex issue in this very forum, we were aware of the options. Either we could resort to the standard vocabulary of international forums or, most unusually, we could state candidly how the Republic of Croatia views terrorism and its threat to global peace and security. We chose the latter because we deeply and sincerely believe that we would all achieve better results if we paid more attention to considering the essence of the problem — any problem — rather than focusing on the choice of words.
Since 2001, we have persistently claimed that the war on terrorism can be waged and ultimately won only if we proceed on two tracks. The first refers to actions of the security apparatus — to the use of force against the direct perpetrators and their masterminds and against the terrorist network. Such actions are inevitable and remove the immediate danger, but will be of little use if, at the same time, we do not focus on the deeper causes of terrorism — on the sources of this disease — rather than on attacking its symptoms. That is our second track.
Today, on this very spot, we are asking questions, not expecting to receive or to formulate definite answers to them. Yet we believe that even by asking questions, we can draw attention to certain factors that appear to be unavoidable in the consideration of the topic on our agenda today.
The first question is: As long as there are people deprived of all rights, poor through no fault of their own, doomed to disease, hunger and death, deprived of opportunities for education and victims of unfair relations between States, local wars or unresolved local crises — in a nutshell, as long as there are people who have lost everything; who know that they will never get anything, and have only one thing left, namely, their life — will it be difficult to exploit that unfortunately inexhaustible pool and recruit potential terrorists from it?
The second and last question is: Will it be difficult to turn individuals or groups in that pool of poverty and hopelessness against those who are described to them as the causes underlying their condition, especially when that struggle is presented in terms of loyalty to faith and high ideals and, ultimately, of martyrdom?
Those are the questions. We are expected to find the answers and act accordingly.
The Republic of Croatia once again stresses its firm conviction that the use of force, however indispensable and unavoidable, will resolve nothing in the long run. A one-sided approach to the fight against terrorism will not achieve anything either, nor will pre-emptive action outside the United Nations. We are firmly committed to the achievement of consensus on the issue that we are discussing. We do not wish to open new controversies with these views, but we find it necessary to present them because that is how we think and how we see things.
We also deem it necessary and, even more, imperative to present our view that the only true answer to the question of how to remove the danger posed by terrorism to international security lies in turning to its deeper underlying causes, in emphasizing development policies, in undertaking enhanced efforts focused on the establishment of equitable international relations, in working towards the de-monopolization of the war on terrorism and its universal implementation based on re-established international solidarity and trust — and that is where we believe the United Nations plays a key role.
But let us avoid any confusion: in focusing on the environment that breeds terrorism, we are not trying to justify anyone. Nor have we forgotten that some attempt to use terrorism in order to achieve specific goals that, as a rule, have nothing in common with what drives fanaticized or indoctrinated terrorists. However, we do claim that, if the pool of potential terrorists were to dry up, those who exploit them would lose the weapon for attaining their goals.
All indicators show that we are on the threshold of creating new relationships within the international community — not only in the area of economic relations but also in political relations. The structure created at the end of the Second World War is worn out. It must be strengthened and expanded. In a nutshell, it must be modernized and adjusted to our time. Such a conclusion is pressingly warranted by the crises that we are facing — namely, the financial, economic, food and energy crises — and by global terrorism as well.
If we do not want the situation to deteriorate into pure anarchy and chaos, let us take matters into our own hands — let us control them. But let us do it by facing reality rather than by closing our eyes to reality.
The United Nations is the place for debating all these issues. The United Nations is the decision-making forum -the very same United Nations that, 60 years ago, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the fundamental documents intended to regulate the conduct of States and of all subjects in international relations.
As for its own contribution to the debate on the dangers posed by terrorism to international peace and security, the Republic of Croatia would like to highlight in particular how extremely important it is to respect human rights and how absolutely unacceptable it is to jeopardize or limit such rights under the guise of the fight against terrorism. It is equally unacceptable to justify terrorism by invoking any religion or identifying it with any faith or nation.
Therefore, we need a new international solidarity in the fight against this evil that currently or potentially threatens us all. All of us must wage this war, united in a global coalition based on equality and mutual trust. This solidarity is in fact one of the aspects of the new multilateralism that is being mentioned ever more frequently.
The United Nations must be the place that will, at least politically, coordinate all efforts to check and eradicate terrorism in the world and reduce it to the level of incidents. Our fate is not and cannot be to reconcile ourselves with terrorism or to accept terrorism as an inevitable evil of the present-day world. The future of the world is in our own hands.
The founders of the United Nations mentioned succeeding generations in the Charter of the Organization. But they were not the only people responsible for these succeeding generations. We share the same responsibility. All of us, all the members of the international community, share the responsibility for those who have yet to come. And that is something that we must never forget.
(spoke in French )
I now resume my functions as the President of the Security Council.
I now give the floor to Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Alkalaj (Bosnia and Herzegovina): It is my special privilege and pleasure to have the opportunity to address the Security Council today and to share some views on the increasingly important topic of the relationship between global security and international terrorism. On behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I would like to express our best wishes to the Government of Croatia for its presidency of the Security Council this month. Today’s agenda and the presence of the President of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesić, should once again show the importance that Croatia and countries in the region accord to the issue of terrorism, which has taken the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians.
Indeed, the challenges posed to the modern world and our societies by the various forms, methods and manifestations of international terrorism make the rethinking of current approaches to preventing and combating this phenomenon inevitable, thereby reaffirming the necessity of strengthening international cooperation in this very respect. I remain confident that such a cooperative approach will prevail and will bring results, providing at the same time for a significant contribution to the strengthening of global security.
At the very outset, I would like to stress that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains fully committed to the fight against this scourge and will continue to make an active contribution in this respect. Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to invest significant efforts in the prevention and fight against terrorism, and it has been confirmed as an active member of the counter-terrorism coalition committed to fighting all types of terrorist activity, especially through institutional capacity-building and the harmonization of its legislation with the relevant United Nations and European conventions and protocols.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has also concluded a series of bilateral treaties and agreements on police cooperation with other countries in our region and beyond, as part of its fight against terrorism. Most of the measures set forth in our strategy for combating terrorism adopted in July 2006 have been successfully implemented. In an ongoing manner, the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina closely monitors the situation in the world in this regard and is currently involved in drafting a new national document on fighting terrorism and strengthening the counter-terrorism capacities of our country.
At the international level, our country is actively cooperating with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, in particular with regard to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and the implementation of the Al-Qaida/Taliban sanctions. The Monitoring Team of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities conducted a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2006 and officially acknowledged our State authorities’ efforts to implement sanctions and to undertake effective measures to counter the threat of terrorism. The same Committee also recognized the need for further technical assistance, in particular in strengthening and modernizing our capacities with respect to immigration and border control.
That Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee made a field visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2007, and we hope that their forthcoming findings will help us to fulfil our international obligations and further promote our legitimate fight against terrorism. Designed to improve cooperation and interaction among the Member States, the new methods of work of the counter-terrorism committees and bodies will no doubt help us to achieve our common goal — countering and preventing terrorist attacks.
Combating terrorism and addressing its root causes in order to prevent insurgency and the spread of terrorist acts are today among the most challenging issues on the United Nations agenda. Convening this meeting on such an important global topic is indeed timely and imperative, especially in the light of the recent tragic events that took place Mumbai, India. Bosnia and Herzegovina strongly condemns those horrible terror attacks, and I avail myself of this opportunity to reiterate the deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and to the friendly people of India.
Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is an effective way to provide a coordinated, multilateral response to terrorism and to understand the particular conditions of each region and country. We truly believe that regional organizations’ understanding of the situation in their neighbourhood could be helpful in providing rapid and appropriate answers to threats endangering international peace and security.
The counter-terrorism-related technical assistance of the European Union, the Council of Europe, NATO and other regional organizations have helped Bosnia and Herzegovina to carry out necessary reforms undertaken with the aim of achieving the country’s full integration into Euro-Atlantic security structures.
This highly valuable assistance has improved the functioning of the relevant State structures — ministries, agencies and other State bodies — and strengthened Bosnia and Herzegovina’s contribution to the shared approach of international efforts aimed at increasing security at the national, regional and international levels.
Tomorrow we will be celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fighting the scourge of terrorism should not hinder the obligations of States under international human rights instruments, refugee and humanitarian law. It is our responsibility to find a just balance between legitimate national security concerns and the protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of our citizens.
I wish to reiterate that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains fully committed to effectively preventing and fighting this global threat and stands ready to provide any assistance and support to the international efforts in the same respect.
The President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to the Minister of State for External Affairs of India.
Mr. Ahamed (India): At the outset, let me express my deep gratitude for the strong condemnation of and condolences for the recent heinous attacks in Mumbai expressed by the members of this body.
The terrorist attack from 26 to 29 November in Mumbai marked a qualitatively new and dangerous escalation of the terrorism that India has faced for over two decades. Throughout this period, as in the Mumbai attack, major terrorist acts in India have been sponsored and organized by groups and forces from across our borders. The Mumbai attack also made it clear that terrorism is a direct threat to international peace and security.
Let me briefly recall what our investigations have revealed so far about the attack.
A group of 10 terrorists from the global terrorist organization Lashkar-a-Tayyiba reached Mumbai in the evening of 26 November 2008. The group divided itself into four smaller groups and proceeded to pre-selected targets, which included a café popular with Indian and foreign tourists and two major hotels. Each terrorist was armed and equipped with AK-47 rifles, pistols, grenades, explosives and communications.
The terrorist attack was conducted like a commando operation, indicating that the perpetrators had received professional training both generally and specifically for this attack itself. They were indoctrinated with ruthlessness and barbarity. Innocent passengers, including women and children, were indiscriminately sprayed with bullets at the railway station and other public places, and hostages were taken in the hotels to be subsequently massacred. It is significant that this was the first terrorist attack in India in which foreigners were specifically segregated and targeted.
Nine terrorists were killed in the action taken by our security forces, while one of them was apprehended. His interrogation has revealed that the attackers were trained in Pakistan and sent in a ship from Karachi. They travelled into Indian waters, took control of an Indian boat and killed the crew. Thereafter, they came to Mumbai to cause mayhem and murder. One hundred and seventy-nine persons, including 26 foreigners, lost their lives, while 296 persons, including 22 foreigners, suffered injuries in the attack, which was designed to kill and maim as many people as possible.
Other Indian cities, including Jaipur, Delhi and Ahmedabad, have also been the victims of terrorist attacks. We have requested the Security Council to proscribe the Pakistani group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, since it is a terrorist outfit and should be proscribed under Security Council resolution 1267 (1999). All those who were in any way responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attacks, wherever they may be, should be brought to justice.
The fight against terrorism demands effective international cooperation so that those who are responsible, wherever they may be, are brought to book. The organizers, financers and logistics providers of these terrorist attacks have to be punished. Those who give ideological and moral support to this evil phenomenon must also be brought to justice.
Terrorism does not happen by chance or at random. Terrorism is planned and financed. It requires meticulous organization, arms and safe havens. When it occurs, the world is shocked. What is not easily visible is the backstream of terrorist acts. Mumbai’s case is clear. The trail leading to the attack is marked and definite, but in cases where terrorists’ acts are aided and abetted to cover their tracks, all of us separately and together must ensure that they are exposed and the terrorists brought to justice.
Nothing — no religious grievance, dispute or ideology — can be used as a raison d’être by anyone to justify terrorism. This is totally unacceptable. Raising dust to obscure the trail so that the merchants of terror can hide is unacceptable to us and to any civilized society.
Terrorists are the enemy of the people. When the actions of terrorist groups are used to serve the political interests of States, a deadly combination emerges. A terror machine is created. India has had experience of such machines, which need to be eliminated. The nexus between State or elements within the State and terror outfits must be broken, and groups or individuals that indoctrinate, organize, plan and finance terror have to be uprooted, along with other measures.
Therefore, in the context of this discussion, we call for the following actions by the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the international community.
First, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other such organizations must be proscribed internationally and effective sanctions imposed against them. Their country of origin needs to take urgent steps to stop their functioning. A message must also go out that perpetrators of terrorist acts must be brought to book and not given sanctuary in some States. Practical measures need to be immediately put in place at the global and national levels to see to it that the menace of terror is uprooted. The comprehensive convention on international terrorism that India proposed in 1996 needs to be adopted immediately to provide a framework of international law against terrorism. It cannot be held hostage to definitions while terrorists continue to take innocent lives.
Our people ask the international community to determinedly pursue and eliminate terrorist organizations. The world needs to act decisively and in a coordinated manner to prevent further attacks. India will act to safeguard and protect its people from such heinous attacks, however long and difficult that task may be. We have acted with restraint in the face of terrorist attacks. We must do our duty by our people and take all actions as we deem fit to defend and protect them. The Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of international law, including the right of self-defence, give us the framework for fulfilling those responsibilities.
That is the message to the Security Council that I bring from my Government and my people.
The President (spoke in French ): I now call on the representative of Australia.
Mr. Goledzinowski (Australia): Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to speak today on Australia’s assessment of the current threats to international security from terrorism.
First, I would like to join others in expressing our condemnation and disgust at the recent attacks in Mumbai. Australia reiterates its sympathy and solidarity with the Government and the people of India. Australians, I know, were deeply shocked by those attacks, not just because we lost two of our own, but also because of the randomness and cruelty with which they were carried out. These were well-organized and deliberate attacks that would have required careful preparation, planning, facilitation and training. Every effort must be made to bring the perpetrators to justice and to ensure that no such attack can ever happen again.
In Australia’s assessment, while headway is being made to counter Al-Qaida-inspired violent extremism, it is likely to remain a challenge to the global security environment for the foreseeable future. Indeed, whenever we are tempted to think that this problem is behind us, we are reminded in a cruel fashion of how much further we need to go.
The ideology of such extremism appeals across generations and continues to attract new adherents despite its appalling record of violence. Al-Qaida continues to be the vanguard of the movement. It has itself planned and undertaken attacks and funded and facilitated attacks by others. It has also created a sophisticated global propaganda machine, which in turn has inspired others.
At the same time, we also recognize that Al-Qaida-inspired extremism has never depended on a single overarching group or organization. Its fluid and decentralized nature is exemplified in the phenomenon of so-called home-grown terrorism, which is carried out largely in developed countries by those who have been radicalized and organized independently.
The evolving and persistent nature of the terrorist threat calls for a long-term international strategy. No country can combat terrorism effectively on its own. The Australian Government recognizes that, in order to protect Australia and Australians from the threat of terrorism, international cooperation is essential. Our international counter-terrorism engagement is based on three pillars: policy dialogue, including this debate; operational collaboration; and counter-terrorism capacity-building with international partners. Australia also supports the vital work of the United Nations in developing a comprehensive legal framework in the field of counter-terrorism and in promoting cooperation among Member States in combating terrorism.
As the representative of Costa Rica emphasized, effective counter-terrorism efforts are not susceptible to purely military solutions; they require police, intelligence, political and broader developmental activities, as has been emphasized by a number of speakers today. Effective mitigation of terrorist attacks involves the combination of an appropriate security response with broader strategies to enhance social cohesion and community resilience and to lessen the appeal of radical ideology leading to violent extremism. In addition, we recognize that the flexible and networked organizational structures of terrorist groups enable them to take rapid advantage of new technologies. In seeking to counter the influence of extremist propaganda on the Internet and elsewhere and the challenges of cyber-terrorism, Governments need to become more flexible, adaptive and collaborative.
A key concern for the international community in examining the connections between terrorism and other threats to global security is the threat of terrorists’ acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. Australia strongly supports efforts to prevent this within the framework of measures such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
Australia’s whole-of-Government counter-terrorism capacity-building and operational collaboration efforts will continue, particularly in South-East Asia. The region’s foremost terrorist organizations have been significantly disrupted through successful counter-terrorism actions carried out by Indonesia and other regional Governments, but the terrorist groups are resilient and have not abandoned their violent goals. Splinter groups and independent cells continue to pose a threat. We will continue to work with Governments in our region to ensure that counter-terrorism successes are consolidated.
Australia is also deeply committed to expanding its cooperation with the countries in South Asia. The Pakistan-Afghanistan border region remains in the forefront of the fight against terrorism. All nations have a direct interest in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a base for the export of terrorist activity and a focus for terrorism in South Asia and more widely.
Finally, in the spirit of the Secretary-General’s Alliance of Civilizations initiative and other interfaith dialogue activities, Australia is working with regional Governments to underline our shared values based on tolerance, non-violence, respect for human dignity, diversity and pluralism, as well as our consistent, unequivocal and strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
I should like to thank the President for convening this debate and also for his uncompromising national statement and for undertaking to prepare a presidential statement for adoption at the conclusion of this debate.
The President (spoke in French ): I now call on the representative of Algeria.
Mr. Benmehidi (Algeria) ( spoke in French ): I should like at the outset to welcome Your Excellency Mr. Stjepan Mesić, President of the Republic of Croatia, and to thank you for presiding over this debate. I should also like to congratulate your country, Croatia, on its assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December and to thank your delegation for organizing this important debate.
The resurgence of terrorist attacks throughout the world — the most recent of which struck the city of Mumbai, India — remind us that vigilance and international cooperation are always appropriate in the face of this threat to international peace and security. Algeria strongly condemns acts of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, regardless of the place or context in which they are committed.
The United Nations has a leading role to play in the fight against terrorism. Its actions must have concrete objectives. In that connection, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy must be translated into a firm commitment on the part of all Member States, which is the only way that we can achieve the desired results.
Reacting to the consequences of terrorist acts is not enough; a preventive approach is essential, since the terrorist threat is ever-changing and terrorists are increasingly using sophisticated means and complex tactics to avoid detection by States.
We have to focus, first of all, on combating the financing of terrorism. Networks that finance terrorism must be shut down. Those networks evolve through various kinds of organized crime such as smuggling, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and, recently, piracy and hostage taking.
Financing terrorist groups through taking hostages and securing ransoms seems to be one of the more lucrative methods used by terrorists. Algeria would warn against a short-term approach that involves complying with terrorist demands without considering the consequences of giving into them.
We have to continue analyzing and addressing the factors that fuel terrorism and promote its spread. The purpose is not to excuse terrorism but to understand it in order better to fight against it. The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy recognized this point by making understanding terrorism one of its pillars.
Young recruits of criminal groups are not terrorists because of some ancestral or religious connection; they are victims of a combination of several factors, including a lack of future prospects and the harmful consequences of the propaganda of those who promote extremist, fanatic and fatalistic ideologies. This particularly vulnerable group is often left with little hope for a better future.
Moreover, studies carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force with some Member States, including Algeria, on the rehabilitation of terrorists who have repented for their crimes have been very useful. Learning from these most unfortunate experiences is one way of helping us to teach those who might otherwise be seduced by terrorist propaganda.
We must stress that the Internet is still the weak link in counter-terrorist action by the international community. Despite several General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, such as Council resolution 1624 (2005), no real progress has been made in blocking the dissemination of messages that justify terrorism on the web. Experience has shown that terrorists are experts in computer technology and use it to recruit and train members and to finance their work. Reluctance has to be overcome, so that the international community can take concrete action together on this matter.
Algeria welcomes the ongoing commitment by the Security Council to combat terrorism. Its subsidiary bodies, Counter-Terrorism Committees and the 1267 and 1540 Committees play a decisive role in mobilizing efforts and coordinating the activities of the international community. The international community must focus on assistance to developing States that do not have the necessary human and material resources to become more involved in the implementation of the relevant international instruments. Assistance from developed countries in the form of technical assistance must be commensurate with the work to be done. Border control, developing better financial systems and controlling weapons trafficking are some of the major issues to be tackled.
Here we would stress the importance of strengthening cooperation with specialized regional bodies through, inter alia, technical assistance programmes. Regional and subregional organizations know what the situation is on the ground, and they know the specific constraints in each particular area. They have a crucial contribution to make.
In Africa, the Algiers Research Centre on Terrorism, despite its limited resources, is becoming increasingly active in mobilizing, supervising and training African personnel to take on the fight against terrorism. Accordingly, it is a resource that should be encouraged and we must involve it in various kinds of training, technical assistance and consultations.
Finally, in the face of the scourge of terrorism, Algeria wishes to reiterate its call to the international community to rise above regional, ideological and political divides so that we can tackle this scourge and its underlying causes together.
The President: I now give the floor to the representative of Spain.
Mr. Yáñez-Barnuevo (Spain) (spoke in Spanish ): I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity afforded to my delegation to participate in this session of the Security Council and to commend Croatia and the President of the Croatian Republic for organizing this open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. In this regard I would like to fully align myself with the declaration of the representative of France speaking on behalf of the European Union.
The world continues to be shocked by the terrible events that took place recently in Mumbai — indiscriminate terrorist acts against the civil population, which have led to universal condemnation. Likewise, a few days ago, Spain once again became a victim of the scourge of terrorism, as have so many countries in the more or less recent past. The international community cannot remain impassive in the face of this terrorist violence that affects us all, kills innocent people, attempts to undermine the enjoyment of human rights and liberties and has destabilizing effects that threaten peaceful coexistence of nations.
It is therefore necessary to bring about firm and sustained multilateral action, in which the United Nations would play a central role as a guarantor of international law and would coordinate the actions of States and regional and universal organizations in their fight against terrorism.
The United Nations system has played an important role in the fight against terrorism. That is why it has important legal instruments, such as the 16 international conventions and protocols that exist on this issue, in addition to the numerous resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council and other measures adopted by specialized organs and committees, including subsidiary bodies to this Council. The international community took an important step forward in September 2006, when the General Assembly adopted by consensus, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its Plan of Action, which sought to draw on a package of legal and political instruments to develop a collective and exhaustive plan to counter terrorism. The effective implementation of the Strategy must be a priority for all and the final success will depend, essentially, on the political resolve of the Member States and on the coordination efforts deployed by this Organization.
I would like to reiterate the firm commitment of Spain in the fight against all forms of terrorism, regardless of its motivation or manifestation, and it is the wish of my Government that this work be a permanent priority in the United Nations agenda, since effective multilateral action is essential in view of the nature of the threat.
Spain has suffered greatly at the hand of terrorist violence and is therefore working domestically and internationally to prevent and combat it. Given our cumulative lengthy experience in this area, we are convinced that this difficult task can only be successful, if the fight against terrorism is waged in strict compliance with international law, with the highest priority given to law and human rights and with resolute international cooperation. Spain played an important role in the drafting and adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and it is one of the major contributors to the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force of the Secretary-General in the fight against terrorism, which is working for the coordinated implementation of the four key components of the Strategy throughout the United Nations system.
Spain has therefore participated in a number of initiatives to address the conditions that are conducive to the spread of terrorism in areas such as the peaceful settlement of conflicts, peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations, development assistance and providing relief for the victims of terrorism.
Moreover, Spain has actively promoted the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative launched by the Secretary-General that seeks to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between States and peoples of all cultures and religions on the basis of the principles and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in order to address every form of extremism and fanaticism that could contribute to violence.
Spain is also justifiably proud to have been the first State to have ratified the 16 international instruments developed within the United Nations system with regard to the fight against terrorism. We have also financed technical assistance initiatives for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as activities launched by other specialized entities within the United Nations system.
Terrorism poses a serious threat to international peace and security. Its effects on innocent people in every region of the world are devastating, and it seeks to undermine the supreme values enshrined within the United Nations Charter. The time has come for all Member States, under the leadership of this Organization, to show firm political resolve to address this barbarism and to use all measures available to the United Nations under the Charter.
We must take steps forward and seek to align our positions in order to be able to adopt a comprehensive convention on international terrorism in the near future. That convention is currently at an advanced stage of negotiation in the General Assembly. We all stand to benefit from it, as we are all victims of this scourge and have all paid a high price for it. We will be able to develop an effective response only if we act collectively. The decision lies in our hands.
The President: I now give the floor to the representative of Afghanistan.
Mr. Tanin (Afghanistan): Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, on your commitment to this important debate and for chairing this meeting here today. We congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December and for the concept paper that was circulated. We also note with great appreciation the presence of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and of the Deputy Secretary-General at today’s debate.
We are gathered here today to address a great common threat to international peace and security: terrorism. First and foremost, I stand with my Government and people in firmly condemning the atrocities that occurred in Mumbai almost two weeks ago. Afghanistan extends its greatest sympathies to and expresses its solidarity with our brothers and sisters in India, because we feel and understand their suffering. A few hours after the first attack in Mumbai, there was a terrorist attack in Kabul, killing and injuring tens of civilians. It is even more sobering to understand that Mumbai is only one example. For terrorists, the theatre of destruction is ever-widening: Mumbai, Kabul, Islamabad, New York, London and Madrid.
In Afghanistan, the scars and the burns of terrorism stare us in the face every day. In Afghanistan, spectacular terrorism has become everyday terrorism. Terrorism undermines daily efforts on the part of our Government to provide a sense of safety for families, to provide education for our children and to create conditions for free and fair elections for our citizens. Afghans at all levels bear the day-to-day burdens of terrorism. Because of our own experience, Afghanistan participates in this debate with a great sense of urgency.
Today Afghanistan would like to call the world’s attention to the overarching ideals that terrorism is seeking to destroy: moderation, coexistence and peace. Terror has an end goal: by murdering humans, it hopes to murder moderation. It hopes to provoke the leaders of the world to be careless in their anger. It aspires to create rifts between countries and drive wedges between us. It plans to murder peace and incite us to war.
We cannot play out this script that the terrorists have written for us, for that is how they win. Today we can strike a great blow against terror by affirming our honest collaboration and cooperation. We can only fight terror by standing together, shoulder to shoulder. Cooperation is our key. Cooperation is how we win.
We should commend the recent steps forward we have taken together. The Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are embarking on the first real steps towards cooperation against the common threat. We hope this new atmosphere will lead to the end of sanctuaries for Al-Qaida, the Taliban and other terrorist groups and to more mutually beneficial relations between our two countries.
In addition, the recent joint strategy that Afghanistan and Pakistan forged in Turkey is a critical step forward. We should also commend and fully support the cooperative work between India and Pakistan to investigate the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks. The United Nations and all of its Member States must recognize the necessity of international support for regional cooperation in the pursuit of peace and security and the fight against terrorism.
When we speak of effective cooperation, we must be aware that a cooperative strategy will be strongest if it is consistent and comprehensive. First, our inconsistent approach towards terrorism in the past has already strengthened terrorist groups around the world. We have to understand that these groups did not drop from the sky; the funding of terrorist groups served short-term, short-sighted policies to promote certain political agendas. However, we have seen these terrorist groups hit back, wreaking more destruction than any benefit we could have gained.
We must learn from the consequences of our past and be aware of our current actions. We must uniformly and consistently work towards the eradication of terrorist groups. There should be zero tolerance for terrorism and zero support for terrorism. In Afghanistan, our recent initiative to pursue peace talks will also abide by this principle of consistency.
Secondly, a successful cooperation strategy should address terrorism comprehensively, from its root causes upward. Terrorism gains its converts from those who suffer from socio-economic imbalances, social handicaps and wrenching poverty, and it hides behind popular political discontent. Terrorism tries to indoctrinate the young and innocent. We need to engage in preventive measures and policies that address the social and economic inequity upon which terrorist elements prey. Our cooperative strategy against terrorism should not only be about decapitating individual terrorist groups; our strategy must also be about bringing about security, development and good governance.
In Afghanistan, we are fighting against terrorism on a daily basis by building schools for our children, by putting an end to the narcotics industry that feeds terrorism, by locating rural enterprises for our people in order to improve their livelihoods and by providing water and sanitation to our people. We are fighting corruption by renewing the leadership of our ministries and local administrations. We are training our security forces so that our people can live without fear. This constant and comprehensive approach will improve our cooperation and fight terrorism effectively.
We cannot wait for the next terrorist attack to re-energize our efforts in favour of such a cooperative strategy. We cannot wait for another attack to join together. We have to be as committed to cooperative measures following 100 days of peace as we are after an attack as bloody as the one in Mumbai. Organizations such as the Security Council should further contribute to cooperation by calling for new sanctions against terrorist groups and those elements and entities that seek to sponsor and support terrorism. Without that consistent and comprehensive commitment to cooperation, we will walk into the traps the terrorists have laid for us. Reckless anger, further fighting and war are how terrorism wins.
At a time when the world is celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is appropriate that we should reassert that all people — regardless of religion, ethnicity, nationality, class or gender — deserve a life free of fear, free of oppression and free of war. Cooperation and unity is how we forge a world that will be just, peaceful and strong against terror. Cooperation is how we win.
The President : I shall now suspend the meeting, to be reconvened at 3 o’clock.
The meeting was suspended at 1.15 p.m.
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