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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/56/PV.15
2 October 2001

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
15 th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 2 October 2001, 3 p.m.
New York

President:Mr. Han Seung-soo ................................................(Republic of Korea)

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

Agenda item 166 (continued )

Measures to eliminate international terrorism

Report of the Secretary-General (A/56/160 and Corr.1 and Add.1)

...

Mr. Zackheos (Cyprus): ...

...

Cyprus fully shares the view of the European Union and others on the need for a global mobilization against terrorism under the auspices of the United Nations. We also agree with the European Union on the need for the international community to work in tandem to prevent and resolve regional conflicts such as the situation in the Middle East and in Cyprus. Resolving the Cyprus problem will restore stability in the eastern Mediterranean, usher in a new era of Greco-Turkish relations and thereby strengthen anti-terrorist efforts. We also support the integration of all countries into an equitable world system of security, prosperity and development as the precondition for a strong community for combating terrorism.

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Mr. Zarif (Islamic Republic of Iran): ...

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In our view, the General Assembly should consider a multifaceted approach to terrorism, which should include, as one of its major components, a comprehensive legal framework. In this context, we need to articulate objective criteria which would enable the international community to identify and combat terrorism, regardless of who the victims or culprits may be. Legitimacy, as well as the sustainability of the global struggle against terrorism, rests on applying a single set of standards to all. It is not acceptable that patterns of alliance, rather than actual engagement in terrorist activities, should become the determining factor. Thus the credibility of the campaign against terrorism is seriously undermined when policies and practices designed to instil terror and fear among the entire Palestinian people receive acquiescing silence, while resistance to foreign occupation and State terrorism is conveniently demonized.

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It is a source of deep concern that the events of 11 September have given rise to a new wave of Islamophobia and bigotry against Muslims and Arabs. Disturbing trends have surfaced to bring about a clash among civilizations and prevent the realization of dialogue at the national and international levels. The recent event should not be utilized to further stimulate chronic cultural and political misperceptions, misconceptions, stereotypes and prejudices. Furthermore, the abuse of this catastrophe, exemplified by the portraying of an artificial clash between Islam and the West and the increasing suppression of the Palestinian people by Israel, would only exacerbate and aggravate its bitter and inhuman dimensions and implications.

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Mr. MacKay (New Zealand): ...

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The United Nations can contribute to the fight against terrorism in many practical ways, including by addressing the underlying causes of injustice that give rise to the killing of civilians all over the world — in Europe and Asia, as well as the Middle East. It is important to try to address the alienation of the young in situations of economic deprivation and political tension and uncertainty so that they do not, through a sense of injustice and lack of hope, become fertile ground for terrorist recruitment.

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Mr. Shobokshi (Saudi Arabia) (spoke in Arabic ): ...

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General condemnation of terrorism necessarily extends to State terrorism, as practised by Israel continuously against the Palestinian people. Paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 40/61, adopted at the fortieth session in 1985, referred to official terrorism practised by some States. This resolution makes a clear distinction between terrorism, which is a criminal act and an unlawful form of warfare, and armed resistance to colonialism, racism and foreign occupation, which is a legitimate struggle based on the principle of self-determination, which is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, international law and other international resolutions. In paragraph 9, the resolution calls upon all Member States to work, individually, collaboratively and with relevant United Nations organs, towards the gradual elimination of the causes of international terrorism.

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Mr. Al-Hinai (Oman) (spoke in Arabic ): ...

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While my delegation supports the efforts exerted to combat the phenomenon of terrorism, we hope that such efforts will not discourage the international community from continuing its endeavours to find final and equitable solutions to numerous chronic questions. Foremost among them is the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially in the light of the increased acts of violence by Israeli forces against the unarmed Palestinian people, using the preoccupation of world public opinion with the developments unfolding on the international arena.

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Mr. Olhaye (Djibouti): ...

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Terrorism of course does not exist in a vacuum. Therefore, beyond the issue of acts of terrorism and what must be done to prevent them, we need to focus on the deep root causes and their accompanying attitudes, frustrations and attendant economic and political conditions. We need to examine the possible association with poverty, marginalization, economic decline, political oppression, denial and repression. We must direct extraordinary efforts toward resolving intractable conflicts, particularly the Palestinian question, which, without a doubt, is the breeding ground for most manifestations of ill will, disenchantment and despair.

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The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.



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