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High-level meeting of the Security Council: combating terrorism
The meeting was called to order at 10.30 a.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The President (spoke in French ): I call on the Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, His Excellency Mr. Joschka Fischer.
Mr. Fischer (Germany): ...
In addition to prosecuting terrorists, we are also particularly keen on tackling terrorism at its roots. That includes devising potential solutions to simmering regional conflicts, as in the examples of Afghanistan and the Middle East. It also includes the stabilization and the development of countries stricken by crisis through useful assistance and cooperation.
The President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Straw (United Kingdom): ...
We must not give up in other theatres, least of all in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Only the terrorists will rejoice if grief at the endless killings gives way to total despair. There, a two-State solution is the only just response, as the Council has determined. Such an outcome would be a vindication of the founding ideal of the United Nations that reconciliation is possible between all nations and all faiths.
The President (spoke in French ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Khurshid M. Kasuri, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.
Mr. Kasuri (Pakistan): ...
Greater effort is necessary to identify those acts of terrorism which are the consequence of incorrigible fanaticism or criminal intent, and others which arise from a sense of political or economic injustice. In the latter case, attempts to address underlying causes could be the most effective approach to arresting terrorist actions.
At this juncture, however, I would like to point out that some States have unfortunately sought to misuse the campaign against terror to denigrate and suppress the right of peoples to self-determination, such as those in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and in Palestine. ...
The President (spoke in French): I call next on His Excellency Mr. Igor S. Ivanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Ivanov (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian ): ...
The recent brazen terrorist acts in Russia, Indonesia and Kenya — and the almost daily occurrence of such acts in the Middle East — are clear evidence of the need for a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism at the national, regional and global levels.
The President (spoke in French): I call next on His Excellency Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China.
Mr. Tang Jiaxuan (China) ( spoke in Chinese ): ...
First, we must ensure that the central objective in the fight against terrorism is the maintenance of peace and security for mankind. It is imperative to foster a new security concept that emphasizes mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation so as to create a favourable broad environment in the fight against terrorism. Solving hot-spot issues and easing tensions in places such as the Middle East and Iraq will promote international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. All the measures, ways and means employed by the international community must be conducive to the relaxation of tensions on both the regional and the international levels.
The President ( spoke in French ): I give the floor to Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, His Excellency Mr. Mikhail Wehbe.
Mr. Wehbe (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic) : I wish to convey to you, Sir, to the Ministers, to the Secretary-General and to the representatives of member States the best wishes of Mr. Farouk Al-Shara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic. As he could not be present today, he has asked me to deliver the following statement on his behalf.
“There are increasing concerns about the possible link between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The draft presidential statement before the Council makes clear reference to that potential link. We in Syria share the concern about a possible link between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, especially in the region of the Middle East, where both terrorism and weapons of mass destruction are a threat. For that reason, for more than two decades Syria has called attention to the gravity of this situation.
“First, Syria has called for the convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to define terrorism and to distinguish between terrorism and a people’s struggle for freedom. Syria has contributed to the negotiations currently under way in the General Assembly on a comprehensive draft convention against terrorism that asserts the international community’s understanding of the legitimate struggle against foreign occupation — a right that was guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations — and condemns as terrorism all acts of violence outside occupied territories. Syria believes that we should reach agreement on that common ground. Otherwise, we cannot truly be serious about fighting terrorism.
“Secondly, since 1989 we have called for the declaration of the Middle East as a zone free of nuclear, bacteriological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Many Arab and Islamic countries in the region have joined us in that appeal, and my country has worked towards that objective during recent years. However, that goal has so far remained elusive due to Israel’s refusal to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on the pretext that it is waiting for the conclusion of peace between it and its neighbours. Successive Israeli Governments have made such a peace truly elusive through their refusal to withdraw from the Arab territories occupied since 1967.
“If the international community truly wishes to separate terrorism from weapons of mass destruction and to fight both in parallel, we now have a very precious opportunity that we must not waste. Let us work together to fight both in parallel through the initiative of Syria: a call for international conferences to define terrorism and to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, without the exception of any State.
“Important proposals have been advanced in our region — and even outside it — stressing that it is extremely important to counter violence while Israeli settlements and occupation persist. Therefore, working seriously to arrive at a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict will effectively contribute to the efforts to fight international terrorism.
“Syria, which has been a victim of terrorism since the 1980s, succeeded in harnessing the country’s potential to address and to eradicate terrorism. It worked within the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations to fight international terrorism. Towards that goal, Syria undertook bilateral cooperation with many States. We shall continue to cooperate with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and all other sincere international efforts to realize that noble objective.
“Once again, I wish you success in your efforts in the service of our common good.”
The President (spoke in French): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs of France.
Let us look at things clearly. Terrorism feeds on injustice. An equitable development model is therefore necessary to eradicate terrorism once and for all. That is why we must work ceaselessly to resolve crises: in Iraq, in Korea and particularly in the Middle East, the crux of the crises in the region and in the world. We must once again put development at the centre of our concerns, mobilizing more resources and more imagination. Finally, we must foster dialogue among cultures, looking beyond differences. In this area, the United Nations has an irreplaceable role.
We see clearly that there is urgency. Each of these points requires action. Our fate is in our hands. Let us begin this process without delay and let us set timetables for concluding it. I suggest that we plan to meet at the next session of the General Assembly —perhaps even in the context of a special session of the Assembly — to adopt new measures aimed at giving tangible effect to the new impetus that we intend to bring to our mobilization.
The fight against terrorism is a universal cause because terrorism is a universal evil. The only way to conquer terrorism is through unity, imagination and action.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to vote on the draft resolution (S/2003/60) before it. If I hear no objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
Angola, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, China, France, Germany, Guinea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America
The President (spoke in French ): There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1456 (2003).
I thank all participants for the part that they have played in the work of this meeting. In particular, I thank all the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, the representatives of Chile and the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Secretary-General.
The Security Council has thus concluded its business for this meeting.
The meeting rose at 12.55 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A.