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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-eighth General Assembly
Sixth Committee
7th & 8th Meetings (AM & PM)
GA/L/3234
17 October 2003

LEGAL COMMITTEE IS TOLD CONCERTED GLOBAL ACTION IS ONLY WAY TO DEFEAT TERRORISM; COMPLETION OF NEW CONVENTIONS URGED

Delegates from 45 Countries Speak in Continuing Debate


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Background

The Sixth Committee (Legal) met this morning to conclude its consideration of the item on measures against international terrorism.  It had before it a report of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996 (document A/58/37 and Corr.1) concerning the subject; a draft resolution continuing the report of the Working Group elaborating two conventions (document A/C.6/58/L.10); and the Secretary-General’s report on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/58/116 and add.1).  (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3233 of 15 October.)

Statements

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REHAM AL-GHANEM (Kuwait) called for the holding of a high-level conference to organize a unified response to terrorism.  She said it was vital to define terrorism clearly; one of the worst forms was State terrorism, especially when it was perpetrated on neighbours such as had been committed against Kuwait by Iraq.  The former leaders of that country should be prosecuted for war crimes.  Such action was also being carried out against the Palestinian people.

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KARIM MEDREK (Morocco) ...

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He said he regretted the lack of political will hindering the completion of work on a comprehensive convention against terrorism based on a text originally presented by India.  Any attempt to define terrorism –- one of the problems delaying agreement on the convention –- must necessarily take account of the struggle of the Palestinian people and distinguish it from wanton terrorist acts such as those against the United States, Saudi Arabia and his own country.  He said Morocco supported the convening of an international conference to consider terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

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FAWAZ AL-SHUBAILI (Saudi Arabia) said the Kingdom condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and had adopted a number of measures to deal with its perpetrators.  At the international level, it had supported all anti-terrorism instruments.  It had been among the first to sign the conventions of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Conference related to terrorism and other relevant instruments. 

He said international efforts to combat terrorism would not succeed if dealt with in isolation.  Political, economic and social elements that gave rise to terrorist acts should be dealt with.  The persistent conditions of oppressed peoples created an atmosphere for people, including young ones, to adopt terrorist measures to combat it.  He recalled that Israel had occupied Palestinian and Arab lands for more than 35 years.

The Palestinian struggle for self-determination should not be equated to acts of terrorism.  He noted that governments that had entered into agreements with the Palestinian Authority had not lived up to them, and should do so.

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