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


Security Council
4710th Meeting (AM)
SC/7667
20 February 2003



UN ACTION AGAINST GLOBAL TERRORIST THREAT, STRENGTHENED FUTURE STEPS

FOCUS OF SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATE
Counter-Terrorism Committee Chair Briefs Council


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Background

The Security Council met this morning to hear statements from non-member States on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. This meeting was a follow-up to a Council meeting at the ministerial level on 20 January (see Press Release SC/7638).

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Statements

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BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said the series of terrorist attacks had occurred in the most diverse parts of the world, including the State terrorism against the Palestinian people and the terror escalation it originated, as well as the terrorism against Cuba.  Only one integral and collective settlement, through partnership and consensus, and not through war, could counter that ancient and terrible scourge.  Hegemonistic unilateralism and double standards had prevented the United Nations from regaining its prerogatives and exercise its functions of peace.  The unilateral acts or a pre-emptive war by a State or group of States under the pretext of the struggle against terrorism were totally unacceptable.

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It was impossible, he said, to eliminate terrorism if some terrorist acts were condemned, while others were silenced or justified.  For ethical reasons,  the use of a veto to prevent the international action directed to protect the Palestinian people from State terrorism should cease, as should military supplies from the United States that supported the exercise of such terrorism.  ...

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TAWFEEQ AHMED AL-MANSOOR (Bahrain) ...

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The most important manifestation of terrorism was State terrorism, which continued, in particular, in the Arab occupied territories, as seen in intentional demolition of homes, displacement of Palestinians and looting of their property.  The international community should firmly address that issue and put an end to the inhumane practices.  Israel continued to defy United Nations resolutions and reject all peaceful initiatives, including those by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab countries.  His country was gravely concerned by Israeli defiance of international law.

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ABDULLAH M. ALSAIDI (Yemen) ...

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Regarding efforts to combat terrorism, he added that certain current practices did not serve their intended purpose.  For example, efforts to identify Islam with terrorism was slander, in contravention of the desire to achieve the goals of the collective campaign against terrorism.  He also noted selectivity and double standards in the implementation of international resolutions, in particular, in the Middle East, saying that the Palestinian people should not be deprived of their right to resist occupation. 


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JEANETTE NDHLOVU (South Africa) ...

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She said that the message from that debate had been that no individual government could unilaterally defeat non-State terrorist actors that operated with sophisticated technologies, communications and resources on a global scale, virtually oblivious to State boundaries.  It was equally apparent that multilateral cooperation and respect for international law, human rights and global norms regarding the protection of civil liberties was the bedrock of the collective effort to eradicate the terrorism scourge.  A comprehensive approach to defeating it meant addressing its root causes.  No legislative measures and no amount of police action, intelligence gathering or military force could guarantee safety, while the basic needs of millions of disaffected and marginalized peoples across the globe were overlooked.

Nowhere was that more apparent than in the Middle East, where the Palestinian people had been subjected for more than 30 years to the devastating impact of illegal occupation, and daily humiliations and sufferings associated with Israel’s violent policy of settlement expansionism, she said.  ...

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Taking the floor to respond to a statement made earlier in the meeting, FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said Syria had always cherished the fact that it was one of the foremost countries that had fought terrorism and had succeeded in doing so.  It had cooperated with all countries of the world to defeat it.  Its election to the Security Council was an appreciation of Syria’s role in political life.  In the Middle East, it had done everything possible to combat terrorism. 

Palestinians in Syria, estimated at more than 400,000, had been the victims of Israeli terrorism, he continued.  The whole world heard and saw the Israeli terrorist practices, beginning in 1948 when the country was based on terrorist organizations.  Evidence of the work Israeli terrorist gangs was well known to all, including the recent killing of United Nations officials in the West Bank and Gaza.  Israel had killed more than 2,180 Palestinians in the past two years alone, and 30 Palestinians in the past one and one-half days.  That was “one Palestinian every hour”. 

The problem with Israel was that it only thought about its children, its occupation and the need to maintain it, he said.  Palestinian children were being killed every single day, while Israeli tanks were at their doors to stop them from going to school.  According to Israeli logic, they were not human beings.  Occupation was terrorism -- the apex of terrorism, the ultimate example.  Syria would continue its close cooperation with all countries to combat terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and it would support implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) in all its aspects.


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