Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Rao Wu
|Mr. Puente Ordorica
|Mr. Hoang Chi Trung
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Liechtenstein in which he requests 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 that representative to participate in the consideration of the item, 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.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
Mr. President, allow me at the outset to congratulate your friendly country on presiding over the work of the Security Council for this month, and to express our gratitude for the efforts of the Permanent Representative of Mexico and the members of his delegation in that role last month.
Syria has suffered for many decades and to this day from the scourge of terrorism. We recall that my country was one of the earliest States to draw attention to the need to promote efforts to eliminate international terrorism. Accordingly, Syria has called since the mid-1980s for an international conference under United Nations sponsorship in order to agree upon a specific definition of terrorism, formulate an effective international strategy to combat terrorism and distinguish it from the legitimate struggle of people under occupation to achieve their freedom, which by right is guaranteed by international norms and laws.
Syria reaffirms its condemnation of terrorism as aggressive and unjust criminal activity that targets the lives and property of innocent civilians, and we call for action at all levels to combat international terrorism in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of international law.
Terrorism does not distinguish among its victims and inflicts suffering on everyone. Therefore, terrorism, by definition, cannot be linked to any religion, race, nationality or civilization. We reaffirm once again that any measure taken to prevent terrorism and to combat it must conform to obligations under international law and international humanitarian law, including the Charter of the United Nations.
The crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and against Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan are war crimes and constitute true terrorism. Here, I must point out Israel’s most recent innovations and contributions in the field of State terrorism. Israel has laid siege to the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, including women, children and the elderly. It has deprived that population of water, food, medicine and the freedom of movement and travel. Not satisfied with that, Israel followed up by killing the besieged population of Gaza through a barbaric and cruel aggression using the most modern weapons and internationally banned munitions.
If such outlaw practices are not terrorism, then what exactly is terrorism? Israeli terrorism has touched everyone without exception. The murder and destruction pay no heed to the humanity of the Palestinian citizen residing in his own home, the employees of the United Nations, or those seeking refuge in United Nations buildings and facilities.
As members of the Council know, the State terrorism carried out by Israel has destroyed facilities belonging to the United Nations in Gaza and killed those inside, Palestinians and international employees alike. The international consensus at the United Nations, both in New York and Geneva, which called for the creation of a fact-finding committee of the Human Rights Council and an investigative commission by decision of the Secretary-General, reflected the international moral and political consensus regarding Israel’s responsibility for the terrorist crimes carried out against the population of Gaza.
The logical question here is whether Israeli actions today — including the confiscation of property, the bulldozing of land, the uprooting of trees, the destruction of homes, the expulsion of residents, the creation and building of new settlements and the expansion of existing settlement — are actions that constitute real terrorism.
Syria joined the consensus when the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was adopted, on the basis of its sincere support for any international effort to combat terrorism and of its firm recognition of the Strategy as an important tool for facilitating international cooperation against terrorism, provided that the definition of terrorism and State terrorism and the distinction between terrorism and legitimate resistance are given careful consideration.
At the same time, as it did during the deliberations leading to the adoption of the Global Strategy and at subsequent review meetings, my country reaffirms the importance of adopting comprehensive and consistent national, regional and international approaches to countering and combating terrorism. Syria calls for an analysis of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and for a debate on the conditions that contribute to the spread of that scourge in order to reach a common international understanding of the best way to fight it.
Syria reaffirms that terrorism is an ongoing threat to international peace and security and reiterates its commitment to relevant international counter-terrorism resolutions. Syria is convinced that the United Nations has a central role to play in countering terrorism at the international level and in achieving international consensus in that regard. My country believes that the Security Council’s counter-terrorism Committees contribute to coordinating the international effort against terrorism, despite the observations and reservations regarding some of their decisions that we have voiced on numerous occasions. Accordingly, Syria cooperates with the United Nations and the Security Council’s sanctions Committees, and calls on the Organization and the international community to strengthen national counter-terrorism capacities by supporting national efforts and promoting cooperation among States. We recall and reiterate that we have undertaken all measures necessary to combat terrorism at all levels.
Syria has made significant efforts to counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Syrian commission to counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorism has joined the Egmont Group, which unites financial intelligence units from 108 States and is responsible for receiving and handling reports on financial operations suspected of laundering money or financing terrorism. Those efforts are internationally recognized in the report of a joint assessment group, which notes that Syria has implemented significant measures and legislation in recent years, in accordance with relevant international recommendations.
In conclusion, Syria is closely following the Committee’s efforts to follow-up the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), which my country sees as a positive step towards preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and for maintaining international peace and security. Syria does not possess such weapons and does not intend to possess them, as it has reiterated in numerous public statements delivered at the United Nations, including in the First Committee of the General Assembly, at the meetings of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and before the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
I thank you, Sir, for convening this open debate. It allows the wide membership a rare opportunity to formally hear from the chairs of subsidiary bodies of the Council and to provide valuable inputs to their activities. Inclusiveness and cooperation are essential in the fight against terrorism.
Let me also take this opportunity to commend the Chairs of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1540 (2004) for their work and the reports presented today.
Brazil’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our commitment to fighting it are well known. They have been stated and reiterated in numerous forums and on many occasions. Just as importantly, my country has acted accordingly. The Federal Police and the Brazilian Intelligence Agency have implemented effective measures to prevent the planning, preparation and execution of acts of terrorism and other forms of transnational crime within our borders and beyond. Another key feature of Brazil’s counter-terrorism policy is the effective operation of mechanisms against the financing of terrorism and related crimes. In addition, the Brazilian Government has been cooperating with international, regional and subregional actors, as well as with other countries, in areas such as intelligence-sharing and technical assistance.
Brazil has also duly submitted all the reports requested by the Committees. Brazil has submitted to the Counter-Terrorism Committee a total of six reports in accordance with resolution 1373 (2001), as well as that requested pursuant to resolution 1624 (2005). Furthermore, the Brazilian Government has provided the CTC with additional information regarding the national implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
Since late last year, there has been considerable progress in the work of all three Committees. In the 1267 Committee, the key aspect of due process related to the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities is being seriously addressed. We welcome the update of its guidelines, the development of procedures for reviewing all names contained in the consolidated list, and the preparation of summaries with the reasoning for listing each entry. In our view, these are fundamental steps to enhance not only the transparency and legitimacy of the sanctions regime, but also its effectiveness worldwide. No victory over terrorism will ever be truly effective or sustainable if it comes at the expense of the rule of law.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, the programme of work adopted this year demonstrates that the Committee understands the challenges facing implementation and shows its willingness to address them. The success of the comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) will depend, to a large extent, on involving as many Member States as possible in the exercise. In that regard, we welcome and look forward to the open meeting planned for later this year.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee has also made significant progress in assessing the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), facilitating technical assistance and paying visits to Member States. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) has played a valuable role in gathering information from Governments and assisting them in that regard. The adoption of adequate standards and criteria for determining implementation by Member States is crucial to ensuring consistency in the work of the CTC and CTED and thereby securing the permanent support of Governments.
My delegation read with interest the most recent report (S/2009/245) elaborated by the sanctions Monitoring Team. We share most of the views expressed in the report. Regarding resolution 1267 (1999), as I stated earlier, we agree that there have been significant improvements in the implementation of the sanctions regime. However, we also believe that the Committee could further enhance its procedures, in particular with regard to transparency and the right of individuals and entities to present their defence before the Committee. We also concur with the view that the 1267 Committee may consider useful the opinions expressed by national courts. Even though the Committee is not bound by a national legal decision, it should give adequate weight to it as the members of the Committee review a particular entry.
One last point I wish to raise relates to the need to improve overall coordination among the three Committees. In our view, the Committees and their respective subsidiary bodies could find additional ways to improve coordination, not only among themselves but also with other bodies, including those related to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Additionally, we should strengthen coordination among the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force of the General Assembly and the three Security Council Committees. Operating on several parallel tracks may prove unnecessarily burdensome, especially for smaller States, and it may lead to either duplication or diminished effectiveness.
Much progress against terrorism has been achieved since the adoption of resolution 1267 (1999) a decade ago. Our biggest challenge has always been to devise ways to prevent and fight terrorism while upholding democratic principles and protecting human rights. We do not have the luxury of failing on either of those two fronts.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia, align themselves with this statement.
Terrorism knows no boundaries and requires global action. The work of the three Committees we are discussing today is a valuable part of such a global response. The European Union welcomes today’s briefings and the present debate as an opportunity for exchange of information and views between the Committees and Member States. We would like to use this occasion to reiterate that upholding human rights and the rule of law is an essential element in our struggle to combat terrorism. Any measure that we undertake to prevent and combat terrorism must comply with our obligations under international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law. We fully support the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and believe that its four pillars need to be implemented in a balanced and holistic manner.
Let me first address some common aspects of the work of the three counter-terrorism Committees, and subsequently cover each of those subsidiary bodies of the Council individually. The 1373, 1267 and 1540 Committees have recently worked more closely together. The European Union welcomes this trend towards a more coherent and integrated implementation of United Nations counter-terrorism policies. In this context, we would like to highlight especially the importance of cooperation among the Committees’ expert groups. The common strategy to engage with international, regional and subregional organizations is another important step in this direction. The European Union commends the practice of joint visits to countries, reiterates its call for effective follow-up and encourages further deepening of the human rights element in those visits. We also welcome the participation of the three Committees in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, of whose efforts the European Union has been a staunch supporter.
As for the monitoring and promotion of the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) by the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), we value highly the ongoing practice of making Preliminary Implementation Assessments (PIAs) and the exercise of taking stock of the progress made by Member States in implementation. The European Union encourages deeper integration of human rights elements in the work of the CTC and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) with Member States, especially with regard to PIAs. We call on all States to reply to the CTC in a timely manner, enter into dialogue with it and follow up on its recommendations. We note that the interim review of the CTED is to be conducted by the Security Council by 30 June 2009, and we look forward to it. The European Union welcomes the CTC’s revised technical assistance strategy, which is aimed at improving match-making between potential donors or providers of assistance and recipients. Both the European Union and its member States have been among the main assistance providers. We have contributed through the CTC and CTED channels as well as through other United Nations bodies such as the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The European Union recently decided to extend its cooperation with CTED in the framework of the global counter-terrorism outreach component under its Instrument for Stability for the period 2009-2011. In January 2009, during the visit of the CTED delegation to the European Union Council’s Counter-Terrorism Working Party meeting, we committed ourselves to further support the CTC. We likewise appreciate the intensified cooperation with relevant regional and subregional organizations and, in that context, the preparation of regional workshops.
Let me now turn to the 1267 Committee. The European Union fully supports the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. We welcome the fact that through the 1267 Committee, the Security Council has strengthened human rights and due process considerations in United Nations sanctions regimes, and we hope that that trend will continue. The adoption of resolution 1822 (2008) last June was an important step in improving fair and clear procedures for the imposition of sanctions and for the listing and de-listing of individuals and entities. Last year, the Belgian Chair successfully paved the way for implementation of the resolution 1822 (2008) by developing concrete modalities and reflecting them in updated Committee guidelines, and launched the review process. Under its present Austrian chairmanship, the Committee has started reviewing the names on the consolidated list and has published on the Committee’s website the first narrative summaries of reasons for listing. The European Union is pleased to see that the implementation of resolution 1822 (2008) is being actively and efficiently carried out, with some concrete results having already been achieved. For their part, European Union member States are committed to contributing to this process and encourage all other Member States to do the same.
As members know, recent European Union court cases on the Union’s measures to implement the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime have brought new challenges. The European Union is currently adapting its procedures for implementing the 1267 sanctions, in order to accommodate the requirements of both the 1267 sanctions regime, in particular resolution 1822 (2008), and the European Court of Justice. The European Union considers that the transparency and procedures of the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime need to be further enhanced and welcomes all efforts in that regard. We are of the view that the draft resolution to be adopted by the end of December 2009 will offer the right opportunity in that respect. European Union member States are ready to constructively contribute to this process.
Lastly, I would like to address the work of the 1540 Committee. The European Union considers it to be an essential tool, complementary to existing multilateral non-proliferation instruments, in countering the threat that weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery could fall into the hands of non-State actors, including terrorists. We reiterate the importance of full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and in that context welcome the Committee’s report on modalities for considering a comprehensive review of its implementation by Member States. We further welcome the convening of an open-ended meeting of the Committee this autumn, enabling Member States to exchange views and share best national practices ahead of the review. We express our hope that the review will produce concrete and action-oriented recommendations.
The European Union commends the Committee’s efforts to facilitate the provision of assistance to States, as well as its cooperation with regional and subregional organizations. The regional workshops are an important part of the Committee’s outreach effort and of such cooperation. The European Union has pledged to support the organization of those workshops financially. I am proud to announce that as of today, the first part of the amount pledged by the European Union has been transferred to the Office for Disarmament Affairs Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament Activities.
The European Union would like to join others in thanking the members, experts and Chairmen of the three Committees for the work already done and the work under way. I would like to assure the Council of the European Union’s full commitment to support the future work of the Committees.
For years, our country has submitted detailed information to the Security Council on the terrorist actions against Cuba. Our denunciations have received no concrete response to date. Despite having all the evidence necessary to accuse Luis Posada Carriles — a person who is rightly considered to be the most notorious terrorist of the western hemisphere — of terrorism, the United States Government merely follows a judicial process against him for minor crimes. Cuba reiterates that the manner in which the United States Government has addressed this case constitutes a clear and flagrant violation of resolution 1373 (2001) and other relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly, as well as various international legal instruments related to the fight against terrorism.
The Government of the Republic of Cuba calls once again upon the United States authorities to try Posada Carriles as a terrorist or to return him to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which has requested his extradition since 15 June 2005, almost four years ago.
Cuba supports the position of the 118 States members of the Non-Aligned Movement that oppose the compilation of unilateral lists accusing States of supposedly sponsoring terrorism. Such lists are incompatible with international law and United Nations resolutions.
On 30 April, for the twenty-eighth consecutive year, the United States Government included Cuba on a list of States that allegedly sponsor international terrorism. Cuba firmly rejects the inclusion of our country on that unilateral and spurious list, which is politically motivated, biased and prepared by the United States Department of State.
Throughout all these years, the flimsy excuses cited to include Cuba on such a list have been many, but their complete lack of veracity and objectivity and the impossibility of justifying them have always been evident. With the unjustifiable inclusion of Cuba on that list, the new United States Government denies the political rationality it publicly proclaims and follows the errant trail blazed by its predecessors by resorting to political manipulations and flagrant lies against Cuba to justify its discredited, isolated and unsustainable policy against our country at any cost.
Those preparing such lists have absolutely no moral authority to present themselves as international arbiters of terrorism able to certify good or bad behaviour. The unimpeachable policy on terrorism of the Cuban revolution is beyond question or doubt, let alone those raised in Washington, D.C. Cuba condemns all terrorist acts, methods and practices in all their forms and manifestations, wherever, by whomever, against whoever committed and whatever their motivation.
Cuban territory has never and will never be used for organizing, financing or undertaking terrorist actions against another country. The United States Government could not make the same claim. It is not in Cuba but in the United States that a terrorist mafia, which has organized, financed and carried out hundreds of terrorist actions against the Cuban nation, acts with impunity.
Over the past 50 years, United States administrations have been involved in repeated terrorist actions that have killed 3,478 Cubans and injured 2,099 and caused material losses amounting to $54 billion. At the beginning of the victorious revolution, the United States Government not only welcomed hundreds of henchmen, torturers and murderers from Batista’s tyranny, who had caused over 20,000 deaths and fled revolutionary justice, but has also maintained for five decades a policy of protecting and harbouring any criminal reaching United States territory after having committed crimes against Cuba and its people.
Since the triumph of the revolution, United States administrations have tolerated and even organized acts of sabotage and destruction of civilian objectives in Cuba; air and sea pirate attacks against defenceless Cuban populations, coastal facilities and merchant and fishing vessels; attacks against Cuban facilities and personnel abroad, including diplomatic headquarters; and hundreds of assassination attempts against Cuban leaders. They organized and supported with their armed forces the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion, and supported the burning of sugar cane fields, the machine-gunning of Cuban territory and the murder of members of our National Police and Coast Guard troops, to mention just a few examples.
Cuba has relentlessly sought bilateral and multilateral forms of cooperation to fight international terrorism based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs and the sovereign equality of States. In that regard, on 29 November 2001, Cuba offered to sign with the United States Government, without conditions and in accordance with Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), a bilateral counter-terrorism programme. That proposal, reiterated on several occasions, was rejected by the Bush Administration with empty and irrational arguments. If the new United States Administration truly wishes to prove its commitment to the fight against terrorism, it now has the opportunity to act firmly and without double standards against various terrorist organizations that have been attacking Cuba throughout all these years from United States territory.
The United States Government has the opportunity to render justice and free without further delay five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who have been held as political prisoners for over 10 years in high-security prisons, despite the fact that, with profound altruism and courage, they were only trying to collect information on Miami-based terrorist groups in order to prevent violent acts and save Cuban and American lives.
The United States has the opportunity to prove to domestic and international public opinion that it is capable of setting aside the petty interests of small anti-Cuba groups and of defending the true interests of its people and the international community. It is time for the United States Government to act. It can stop using the issue of terrorism for political ends and put and end to the unjustifiable inclusion of Cuba on the list of countries that supposedly sponsor terrorism.
Cuba reiterates its willingness to provide a more detailed presentation on these matters to the Counter-Terrorism Committee or to provide it with any further information or clarification it considers necessary.
Double standards must not prevail. It is impossible to eradicate terrorism if some acts of terrorism are condemned while others are hushed up, tolerated or justified. As it has always done, Cuba will continue to abide strictly by the provisions of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), and will maintain its cooperation with the subsidiary bodies created under those resolutions.
Norway appreciates the opportunity to participate in this debate and we thank the Chairmen of the three Committees for their informative and interesting briefings here today. While we are fully aware that today’s topic is the work of those Committees, I believe it could be useful to also briefly touch upon the important work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
Terrorism continues to pose a threat around the world. The attacks that have been carried out serve as reminders of the need for more effective counter-terrorism measures. The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is an important tool, in particular because of its global backing and its comprehensive approach. The shared will of all countries to work together towards a common goal is of great value and something we need to safeguard and harness. In order for us to succeed, we need coordinated, strategic and sustained engagement by different parts of the United Nations system.
In that respect, let me point to the important role of the CTITF, both in coordinating within the United Nations system and in mobilizing support among Member States. We note with satisfaction that the counter-terrorism bodies established under the Security Council are well integrated into the Task Force. We are also pleased that the Task Force has received more resources. Norway will continue to work with the United Nations to promote and support the integrated implementation of all four pillars of the Global Strategy.
In responding to the threat of terrorism, short-term efforts must not undermine long-term goals. Our ability to resist shortcuts and laxity in the observance of human rights is a value that we need to defend at all times because, if we stray from those values, we undermine the rule of law, energize those who wish our societies ill and strengthen the hand of terrorists and their networks. There is no contradiction between security, on the one hand, and compliance with human rights and the rule of law, on the other. The measures we take must always comply with our obligations under international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law.
Norway fully supports the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999). We have followed with great interest the efforts undertaken by the Committee to implement resolution 1822 (2008), in particular the review of the consolidated list of individuals or entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban. All States concerned, and not only Committee members, have an obligation to provide accurate information related to the review of the entries on the list. We welcome the publication of the first narrative summaries describing the reasons for listings, and look forward to subsequent narrative summaries as the Committee’s work in this area progresses.
The Council has taken measures to better ensure respect for procedural rights and due process in relation to sanctions. While those measures are important steps in the right direction, we believe that efforts must continue until the Council has established an effective and independent mechanism to review listing and de-listing decisions. Norway therefore supports the proposal that has been made to establish a review panel of independent experts mandated to issue non-binding recommendations on de-listing. That proposal preserves the prerogatives of the Council and strengthens the legitimacy and effectiveness of the sanctions regime. We take this opportunity to encourage the Council to consider adopting such a mechanism.
Norway is a strong supporter of global efforts to promote disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We continue to stress the importance of the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in that regard. We have taken due note of the Committee’s eighth programme of work. We are encouraged to see that the Committee will continue its outreach activities and promote dialogue with a view to ensuring strengthened implementation of the resolution. Regional seminars, as organized by the Committee, contribute to capacity-building and information-sharing. Norway has contributed financially to those seminars.
Norway submitted its sixth report on the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) earlier this year. We look forward to continued cooperation and interaction in that regard. Norway stands ready to consider any request for technical assistance to enhance the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
We appreciate the initiatives to enhance coordination between the three Committees. At the same time, we encourage them to further explore the possibility of strengthened interaction in pursuit of synergies, without jeopardizing the efficiency of the Committees’ work.
Terrorism is a concern for all States, and all States have a clear interest in following the work of the United Nations on these issues. We commend the Committees’ efforts to increase transparency and we encourage them to continue to consider ways of improving information-sharing with the broader United Nations membership.
On behalf of my delegation, Mr. President, I would first like to convey to you our sincere congratulations and our appreciation for your initiative to organize this public debate on such an important issue. I would also like to thank the Chairmen of the three Committees for their comprehensive briefings and the useful information they have given us on the current and future work of the Committees.
The three Committees constitute an effective mechanism within the Council’s strategy to combat terrorism, as well as an important component of the United Nations architecture to combat that scourge. My delegation therefore commends the efforts made by the Committees’ expert groups to continue to cooperate with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which was established with a view to ensuring overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system. My delegation also welcomes the initiatives of the three expert groups with regard to technical assistance, experience-sharing and information exchanges.
Morocco acknowledges and respects the leading role of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security. We reiterate our commitment to pursuing our efforts to comprehensively implement the resolutions of the Council aimed at combating terrorism. In line with our resolute and priority commitment to combating that scourge, Morocco strives to make its policy in that regard both substantive and results-oriented at the national, regional and international levels in the framework of a proactive, comprehensive and multifaceted approach aimed at protecting our citizens and depriving terrorists of all possible means of threatening regional and international peace and security.
Our commitment is grounded in our firm belief that terrorism is a complex phenomenon, which therefore requires the efforts made to eradicate it to be resolutely backed by synergistic efforts along several tracks. Those, of course, include the security and legal tracks, as well as the political, economic, social and cultural. That approach includes the complete rejection of terrorism by all Moroccans. In the context of implementing preventive security laws and measures and observing human rights and basic freedoms, that approach also contributes to denying terrorists an environment conducive to their actions.
Morocco remains determined to strengthen its national capacities, bolstered by mobilizing all sectors of its population and their commitment to the counter-terrorist efforts of the public authorities.
It is precisely within the context of my country’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the legal institutional framework that I would like to cite the recent step of appointing last April the Chairman and members of the Financial Intelligence Unit, a body tasked with fighting against money-laundering.
The Mahgreb, the subregion to which my country belongs, and the Sahel, an adjacent subregion, continue to be exposed to terrorist acts, which, unfortunately, prove once again that the terrorist threats to the security of that area, the Euro-Mediterranean region and well beyond are far from having been averted. They also demonstrate that national efforts, however significant, remain insufficient as long as they are not based on lasting, effective and unconditional regional and international cooperation.
My delegation, while welcoming the growing awareness by the affected countries, and also by United Nations bodies, of the constant and real nature of that threat, would like to recall once again its true conviction that, faced with the extent and intensity of the terrorist threat in its various, complex and new forms and in view of the increasingly close links that international terrorism is forging with organized crime and the trafficking in drugs and in human beings, sincere and enduring commitment at the national and international levels remains a sine qua non for protecting us all from that scourge.
To that end, Morocco will spare no effort to contribute to any initiative that supports joint international action in this field. In that context and in the framework of the follow-up to the fifth Conference of Ministers of Justice of French-speaking African Countries, Morocco, as a depositary, opened for signature the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition against Terrorism, which we hope will contribute to strengthening cooperation among States parties.
In conclusion, Morocco would like to reaffirm its resolute and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of its origins, motives or perpetrators, and to reiterate its commitment to work within the framework of the United Nations to eradicate that scourge.
Allow me to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month and to thank you for convening this important debate.
Today, as we discuss the scourge of terrorism, the world continues to see terrorism raise its ugly head around the globe. These terrorists turn civilians into targets, shields and weapons. There is no way to justify the unjustifiable: the killing of the innocent. There must be unanimous and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, irrespective of the motivation, by the world community.
With that in mind, my delegation welcomes the work of the three subsidiary bodies of the Security Council, the able stewardship of their Chairpersons and the informative briefings delivered earlier. Israel has strengthened and will continue to strengthen its capacity to work and cooperate with international bodies to enhance collective efforts with respect to counter-terrorism.
In the debate earlier today, some delegations sought to explain terrorism. Let me stress that terrorism is terrorism is terrorism and that we cannot and should not try to justify it. That principle has been reaffirmed in the General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in numerous Security Council resolutions and by the Secretary-General himself. Nothing justifies the horrible phenomenon of terrorism, which is the global plague of our time.
Let me also say that nothing can be more appalling than to hear the justification of terrorism, and nothing can be more ironic than to be lectured on “commitments” to combat terrorism and on “measures” to prevent terrorism, as we have just heard from the Syrian representative. Let me remind the Council that Syria supports, harbours, finances and trains terrorists in our region.
As for the work of the three Committees, I wish to comment on certain specific aspects that merit our attention. Regarding the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), I would like to thank Mr. Smith for his able leadership. We are appreciative of his ongoing dialogue with Member States, and the regular updates on current affairs, to enable us to best respond to and support his work.
The implementation of numerous reforms, as articulated in resolution 1805 (2008) and in Mr. Smith’s organizational plan (see S/2008/80), led to effective methods of work and sustained achievements by the CTED. Israel looks forward to the interim review report that will highlight ongoing plans, successes and challenges during the remaining period of its mandate.
We would also like to touch upon the policy adopted in resolution 1805 (2008) relating to country visits. That revised policy, which permits more tailored visits to States and donors alongside traditional visits, has proved to be an effective and valuable tool. This policy has also contributed considerably to enhancing technical assistance, and it enables the CTED to better engage with donor and recipient countries. It is our understanding that many requests for assistance were successfully responded to and resulted in tangible support.
With the successful enhancement of technical assistance, Israel would welcome similar emphasis on the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), as outlined in those resolutions, as well as subsequent resolutions, including resolution 1805 (2008). In that regard, Israel is encouraged by the dialogue between Member States and the CTED with regard to the Preliminary Implementation Assessments, and we look forward to the finalization of the technical guide that will serve as a road map for the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).
The Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee remains an important part of our efforts to isolate terrorists and their means to inflict harm. Regarding the work of that Committee, Israel welcomes the progress towards promoting clear and fair procedures concerning the inclusion of individuals on the consolidated list. My delegation realizes that the ongoing review of individuals and entities placed on the consolidated list, with the aim of ensuring clear and fair procedures, is a dynamic process that allows for further improvement.
In that regard, resolution 1822 (2008) was a major step forward, and the next renewal of the mandate of the 1267 sanctions Committee in December should consider further improvements. We believe, in particular, that the publication of the statement of case will further enhance the ability of Member States to implement sanctions against the said individuals and entities.
In relation to the work of the 1540 Committee, Israel firmly supports resolution 1540 (2004), the work of the Committee and the subsequent renewal of its mandate. Israel remains committed to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and calls on other Member States to ensure their compliance with the resolution in order to redouble our collective efforts on this critical issue.
Israel continues to believe that the convergence of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction — chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons — represents a grave global threat. We must continue to seek and implement measures that keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the world’s most dangerous individuals. Israel fully supports the renewal of the mandate of the 1540 Committee and believes that it is critical to continue to develop international standards against the use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In order to increase the dialogue among Member States and the 1540 Committee, my delegation believes that receiving periodic briefings by the expert coordinator would enhance Member States’ understanding of the work of the Committee.
On a broad level, my delegation believes that we must actively and robustly support the work of the counter-terrorism committees of the United Nations, as well as the work of Member States in this regard. Close cooperation and coordination among all three subsidiary bodies and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) is also of the utmost importance. With the relocation of the CTITF to the Department of Political Affairs, we hope that such integration will further augment and enhance cooperation.
Furthermore, the international community must address in a proactive and operative manner the threat posed by the transfer of weapons and capabilities by some Member States to terrorist organizations in our region. The danger emanating from the continuous smuggling of arms is evident in our region, where ongoing efforts by Iran and Syria provide terrorist organizations — in particular, Hamas in Gaza and Hizbollah in Lebanon — with sophisticated and deadly weapons.
This support — which constitutes a violation of numerous Security Council resolutions — not only threatens Israel, but also undermines the stability of our entire region. This phenomenon and its consequences are recognized by many Governments in our region, and they must be confronted by the international community in the strongest possible terms.
We in Israel are all too familiar with the horrifying toll that terrorism exacts, and so I wish to thank you once again, Mr. President, for convening today’s important meeting. However, while our condemnation of terrorism today is important, it is not an end in itself. Our words here will not protect innocent men, women and children from the evils of terrorism. Only our collective action will.
We appreciate this opportunity for dialogue and an exchange of ideas, and we are prepared to continue to do our part. Nothing justifies terrorism, and we must do all that we can to eradicate this threat. The world expects nothing less, and humanity deserves so much more.
We thank you, Sir, for organizing this open debate, and the Chairmen of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) — the representatives of Austria, France and Costa Rica, respectively — for their briefings. Please allow me, Sir, to reiterate the importance of open debates of this type because they allow all the States Members of the Organization to express their opinions and interact with the members of the Security Council.
On a daily basis, we see that the use of force cannot and must not be the only response to terrorism. Convinced of this fact, my country has ratified the 12 United Nations conventions on terrorism and adopted corresponding domestic measures. It has also ratified the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and signed the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
Argentina recognizes that terrorism is a crime or a set of crimes that must be tried under criminal law within the framework of efficient legal systems, with the necessary resources and due process guarantees. The work of the three Committees, whose joint report brings us together today, is of special significance, particularly regarding technical assistance to strengthen security, police and judicial systems. Allow me therefore to refer briefly to the work of the Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) with respect to our country.
Argentina’s commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a clear contribution to international peace and security, allowing at the same time the development and application in the domestic realm of dual-use technologies for peaceful purposes as we progress towards economic growth and sustainable development. It must be recalled that Argentina is to date the only Latin American country to belong to the five regimes for the export control: the Australia Group, the Zangger Committee, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
In compliance with the obligations arising from resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1810 (2008), Argentina has submitted its national report and subsequent updates. In the domestic arena, and with the initial support of the United States Department of Energy, we have established a technical group to provide training in the identification of sensitive goods, and entrusted it with training national and foreign invited experts in relevant technologies. The most recent course was held in 2008 and attended by experts from Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and South Africa, the latter participating as observers.
At the regional level, my country, convinced that the effective control of technologies and dual-use material is possible only through the explicit harmonization of legislation and operative mechanisms at the regional level, hosted a seminar of the Organization of American States on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), held in Buenos Aires in May 2008, with the participation of 22 countries of the region and representatives of relevant international organizations. My country also promoted the establishment in the subregional context of the South American Common Market working group on weapons of mass destruction, which meets regularly.
In the context of its commitment, in June, Argentina will host a regional seminar on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism, jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States. Representatives of 12 countries of the region have been invited to participate. In this context, the seminar is expected to hold a substantive exchange of views on resolution 1540 (2004) and its contribution to the prevention of nuclear terrorism, as well as on the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and its implementation.
Finally, allow me to reiterate the offer made by my country in March to the Chairman of the 1540 Committee to cooperate most fully in implementing regional plans of action and to share our experience in the progressive implementation of various disarmament and non-proliferation measures. We also recall our proposal, also made in March, to coordinate late this year the organization of a workshop on the issue for Latin American countries with the purpose of sharing local experience in promoting and developing similar activities in other subregional groupings. We trust that we will be able to rely on the necessary support from the 1540 Committee.
As regards the application of sanctions to individuals and entities related to Al-Qaida and the Taliban regime through the 1267 Committee, my delegation considers that its revised guidelines can show the way to other Committees in fulfilling the mandate given by our heads of State at the 2005 Summit to ensure the existence of clear and fair proceedings not only for including persons and entities on the lists of sanctions, but also for de-listing them and granting humanitarian exceptions. Argentina is convinced that the international community must redouble its efforts to include and respect the basic elements and minimum standards of due process in all actions undertaken to combat terrorism. It is necessary to achieve a proper balance between security imperatives and respect for human rights. In that regard, my delegation deems it essential to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the three Committees and the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. We also believe that such issues as the rule of law, due process guarantees and respect for human rights are fundamental elements in the work of the Committees’ counter-terrorism efforts.
Allow me to conclude by reiterating that Argentina reaffirms that the fight against terrorism must be based on respect for international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Our delegation congratulates you, Sir, on your accession to the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May, and takes note with interest of the three briefings given by the representatives of Austria, France and Costa Rica.
It is imperative that all States comply with their international legal obligations and cooperate in the implementation of United Nations resolutions on countering terrorism. When crimes against humanity are not punished and the use and abuse of State terrorism are tolerated, it affects the consolidation and promotion of democracy, the freedom of peoples and international peace and security.
Our country reiterates its full condemnation of terrorism and reaffirms its commitment to countering it in all its forms and manifestations, with strict adherence to international law, in particular international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Venezuela has been absolutely consistent in its adherence to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted in September 2006 by the General Assembly in its resolution 60/288.
On 28 May 2008, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, upon Venezuela’s request, adopted a declaration on strengthening cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the impunity of perpetrators, based on Security Council resolution 1373 (2001). The declaration notes that terrorism in all its manifestations affects the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights and represents a serious threat to peace. The declaration emphasizes that all States shall deny safe haven to those who finance, plan and commit terrorist acts or support them.
On 6 October 1976, a Cubana de Aviación plane exploded in the air. Seventy-three people died as a result of a criminal action planned and carried out by Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch and other terrorists. Posada Carriles, a convicted and confessed criminal, who was sentenced in our country and was serving his punishment, escaped from a Venezuelan prison with outside help.
The Venezuelan Government, upon learning of the presence of this terrorist in the territory of the United States and the freedom he enjoys there, requested his extradition so that he should answer to the law of Venezuela, in accordance with existing bilateral cooperation agreements on this matter. The Bolivarian Government reiterates the request of extradition of terrorist Posada Carriles so that he can be prosecuted for his crimes in Venezuela.
In conclusion, Venezuela reiterates its call upon the Security Council and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to activate all the mechanisms available to them and demand the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) to allow the timely extradition to Venezuela of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
Let me start by expressing my felicitations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council and on your very able handling of the Council this month. I would also like to remember and thank my colleague the previous President, Mr. Claude Heller, for his excellent work last month.
I would like to thank the Chairmen of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) for their briefings today. These are valuable briefings that give us a good opportunity for direct interaction between Member States and the Committees.
The threat of terrorism today has become a reality of the century. I have to say, regretfully, that as this particular menace assumes a new dimension every year, we must face the scourge with ever increasing ferocity. But it is not something that we consider to be new. In the annals of history, very often we see that, as States become more civilized and make further progress and as civilization assumes a far wider foundation, there is a threat that arises from those who cannot keep pace with it or accept the decency, values and laws of civilized nations. Today, when we take a look at what surrounds civilized countries and those who aim to further civilize their countries, we can only say that terrorism has the most obscurantist face that any “ism” can have in this world. But today, we must recognize the fact that it is also an international challenge which, unfortunately, will not go away. It deserves our unequivocal condemnation in all its forms and manifestations.
The Government and people of Pakistan — our leadership, political parties and everyone else, including the common man on the street — are today facing and confronting the dilemma of terrorism in Pakistan. For too long, we waited for the norms of normal people and normal Governments and laws that are all-pervasive in their naturalness to take over and for these people to realize that what they are doing is not only condemnable, but is rending asunder the fabric of our nation.
For too long, we hoped and stood and tried to remedy by international norms what these people were doing to the country, and today, Council members must be well aware that a few weeks ago the people of Pakistan, demonstrating in the streets of most of the country, proclaimed not only their opposition to those terrorists, but also forced their Government to take final action to terminate what those people had started in Pakistan.
Today, as all are aware, in one of the most important valleys of the north-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, the Pakistan Army is confronting the Taliban, Al-Qaida and any other terrorists that have made the lives of these people very difficult. There is a common misconception that the terrorists are locally supported. Well then, those so misinformed have not heard of the floggings, the executions, the slitting of throats, the taking away of youngsters of indeterminable age from various parents, or of anything else that could be considered barbaric.
The Pakistan Army has moved. Unfortunately, there has been a very heavy dislocation of people in the process, and today over 2.5 million people, more than those displaced at the start of the Afghan situation, have unfortunately been forced to leave their homes and come down from the valleys into a blistering Pakistani summer on the plains, with temperatures varying from 45 to 50 degrees centigrade. It is a difficult situation, with widespread illness and disease, including stomach ailments and so much more, including death caused by heat.
The problem is that the people had to move in order to save themselves from being used as human shields by the Taliban and the terrorists. A large number of the people have moved into camps. I am very grateful to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Mr. Khalikov of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who took immediate cognizance of the situation and are in Pakistan already. The announcement by the Secretary-General and the Department of Political Affairs are, for my delegation, a significant contribution and step forward, and with such measures the international community can help us regain some sanity in rehabilitating those people.
In November 2006, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) visited Pakistan. The team interacted with the representatives of relevant ministries, departments, law enforcement, security agencies and immigration authorities in Pakistan. The team, with its focus on capacity-building — which I think is the core of what needs to be done — and on implementation of Security Council resolutions, prepared a comprehensive report on the visit. The mission and the CTED are still interacting with us on the outcome of that visit.
The Government of Pakistan has advanced quite substantially since then. We have initiated legislation. An anti-money-laundering law has been put into effect and has had substantial impact. A financial monitoring unit has been established in the State Bank of Pakistan — our central bank. So far, I am pleased to inform the Council that 128 bank accounts and 747.08 million Pakistani rupees have been frozen on the instructions of that institution. We are implementing the comprehensive international standards embodied in the 40 recommendations and nine-special recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. Money-laundering has been made an extraditable offence. This was a very important matter that needed to be addressed.
We are an active member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering and we have also decided to shortly become a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. We are also working on other important recommendations of the CTED, although some legal recommendations would require further studies to understand in terms of our own laws.
On the same account, the CTED had promised to assist Pakistan in the capacity-building area. Our law enforcement agencies are in dire need of basic counter-terrorism equipment, including safety vests, night vision equipment, communications equipment, wireless interceptors and monitors. So far, not enough has been done in that regard. We trust that the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the CTED, under the able leadership of Ambassador Mike Smith, will soon be able to help us further in that area.
The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee and its Monitoring Team have been assigned a difficult job. Some difficulties arise from the exclusive nature of the mandate, as there are tendencies to compare the successes of the 1267 sanctions regime with the failures of the resolution 1566 (2004) initiative. We hope that one day the Security Council will contemplate combining different initiatives into a comprehensive counter-terrorism sanctions regime.
Since the adoption of resolutions 1735 (2006) and 1822 (2008), a lot has been done to improve the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. The Committee has done a good job by adding additional identifiers to the listing requirements. That will be helpful to ensure the effective implementation of the sanctions and will also reduce chances of mistaken implementation.
The biggest challenge to the sanctions regime, however, comes from the increasing number of court cases. The preventive nature of the sanctions makes the listings very simple and enforcement-friendly. However, the legal community is more inclined to favour verifiable evidence that could be acceptable in a court of law. It also raises the questions of due process and effective remedy. A number of listings have been challenged in Pakistani courts. The publicly releasable case statements, comprised mainly of questions raised at the time of listing, might not be sufficient to win those cases. We will have to consider exclusive sharing of the verifiable evidence with the courts and the fixation of a time limit for the effectiveness of a listing.
In Pakistan, we are doing our best to ensure the effective implementation of the sanctions regime. The democratic Government has left no stone unturned to ensure that those on the sanctions list are subjected to the assets freeze, travel ban and other sanctions elucidated in the relevant resolutions and domestic law. We have also benefited from the visits of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team to ensure effective implementation of the sanctions.
Pakistan was a member of the Security Council when resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted. We joined the consensus because we concurred that there was a gap in the international rules relating to the acquisition and illicit transfer of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors. We also agreed that the matter was important and urgent enough to be addressed in an exceptional manner. However, we hoped that the arrangement would not be perpetuated at the cost of the revival and effectiveness of the multilateral disarmament machinery.
In conclusion, I would once again underscore the evolving nature of the counter-terrorism challenges we are facing and the usefulness of briefings such as those we have had today.
I would like to thank the Chairpersons of the sanctions Committees who provided briefings to this body this morning. I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. We join others in the unequivocal condemnation of all terrorist acts, irrespective of their motivation and wherever and by whomever they are committed.
In January 2009, Liechtenstein submitted its sixth report to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, in response to the comments contained in the Preliminary Implementation Assessment (PIA) prepared by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. We appreciate the PIA as a useful tool to measure success in the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), and would like to highlight some recent domestic measures taken by Liechtenstein.
In March 2009, new legislation entered into force aimed at preventing the use of the financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing, thereby substantively implementing the third European Union Directive on Combating Money-Laundering. Also in March, a new comprehensive sanctions act entered into force. The law improves the legal basis for cooperation with international organizations in the implementation of sanctions and increases penalties for sanctions violations. Liechtenstein will continue to take all necessary measures, in conformity with the rule of law and applicable human rights standards, to prevent any potential abuse of its financial centre for terrorist purposes.
We are grateful for the insightful report that the Monitoring Team of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) published recently. We particularly appreciate the update about the status of various legal proceedings challenging the compatibility of the consolidated list with applicable human rights standards, especially with respect to domestic implementation measures.
We take note of recent findings as well as ongoing proceedings of the Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and domestic courts in several countries, as we have just heard from our colleague from Pakistan. We encourage the Council and the 1267 Committee again to engage in a dialogue with interested States on how to ensure that fair and clear procedures exist for placing individuals and entities on the consolidated list and for removing them, as well as for granting humanitarian exemptions, thus fulfilling a long-overdue target we set ourselves in the Summit Outcome Document of 2005. The target date for further reforms and review should be the upcoming renewal of resolution 1822 (2008) at the end of this year.
In that context, we would like to recall the discussion paper of May 2008, contained in document S/2008/428, in which Liechtenstein, together with a group of like-minded countries, formulated suggestions for an expert panel to assist the 1267 Committee in the consideration of de-listing requests before it. I would like to stress that this is not a static proposal but simply a starting point for a discussion in which numerous concerns must be taken into account. In the light of the developments that have taken place since last May, in particular some of the most prominent court cases, we are ready to contribute fresh ideas to such a dialogue. We also know that a number of other countries from various regions, Council members and non-members alike, are interested in contributing in that respect.
Due process standards in the Council’s terrorism-related targeted sanctions are only one within a range of issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure that the international fight against terrorism is undertaken in conformity with applicable standards of human rights and international humanitarian law. In this spirit, earlier this month we were pleased to host, together with Mexico, a presentation at United Nations Headquarters of the findings of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights. The report illustrates that security and human rights are not mutually exclusive, but that human rights are a necessary basis for legitimate and effective action against terrorism. Human rights standards inherently balance sometimes competing interests and provide important guidance where difficult choices need to be made. In recent years, this balance has been sorely lacking in many parts of the world. We would therefore like to echo the Panel’s call for a leadership role for the United Nations, and the Council in particular, in restoring respect for human rights in the counter-terrorism efforts of its agencies and Member States.
I would like to thank all representatives for their kind words addressed to my delegation in connection with Russia’s presidency of the Security Council for this month.
The representative of the United States of America has asked for the floor to make an additional statement.
Contrary to the statements the Security Council has heard this afternoon, the United States has taken a number of actions with respect to Luis Posada Carriles. Most recently, the United States sought and obtained a criminal indictment in United States federal court charging Posada Carriles with violations of our immigration laws. On 8 April 2009, new criminal charges were brought against Posada Carriles in that case, accusing him of lying about his involvement in certain terrorist bombings in Havana, Cuba. The case is currently scheduled for trial later this year.
The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic has asked for the floor to make an additional statement. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I apologize for taking the floor once again at the conclusion of today’s important meeting of the Security Council.
Nothing can justify terrorism. My country resolutely denounces terrorism, regardless of its manifestations, the motives behind it or the justifications made for it. That is the consensus legal position of the international community endorsed in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. My country actively participates in the Strategy and played a part in its adoption.
With regard to the nonsensical and futile attempt of the representative of Israel to confuse the international phenomenon of terrorism, which everyone condemns, with the right of peoples under foreign occupation to resist, it deceives no one. As the Council is well aware, the main objective of that effort is to distract attention from the terrorism carried out by the State of Israel in occupied Palestinian territories, occupied Syrian Golan and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories.
In a historic resolution, the United Nations has acknowledged that foreign occupation is the worst form of aggression. Moreover, the Charter guarantees the right of peoples to freedom and liberation from occupation and colonization. Thus, the representative of Israel’s insistence that Palestinian refugees — who have been expelled from their homeland by Israeli terrorism and dispersed in neighbouring territories and throughout the world — should be considered to be terrorists is a futile attempt to push the clock back and to restore a colonialist mentality to international relations. This undermines the United Nations Charter.
The millions of Palestinian refugees in neighbouring countries and throughout the world have the right of return to their homeland, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948. My country and the overwhelming majority of Members of this international Organization support the right of those Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. My country insists on the full implementation of the rules of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.
The world has witnessed the extent of Israeli State terrorism against the Palestinian population in Gaza, against the Lebanese and against the Syrian residents of the occupied Syrian Golan. The United Nations has adopted hundreds of resolutions that condemn Israeli occupation and call for an end to it.
Memories are not so short, and everyone knows perfectly well the true face of terrorism in our region. The United Nations archives are full of evidence and proof of the extent of Israeli terrorism. If that terrorism had not enjoyed protection by some parties through the privilege of the veto, wielded on dozens of occasions, the representatives of Israel would be most reluctant to appear before the Security Council and address it on terrorism. They are the masters and the custodians of terrorism.
The representative of Cuba has asked to make a further statement, and I call upon him now.
I have requested the floor to reply briefly to the comments made by the representative of the United States a few minutes ago. The United States authorities merely repeat again and again — as they have done today — justifications for their actions in this case, saying that Posada Carriles is being subjected to a criminal trial in their country. What they do not say is that they have never indicted him for terrorist activities, but continue to handle the case as though it merely involved illegal immigration and other minor charges.
The Government of the United States possesses all the evidence and information it needs to prove Posada Carriles’s guilt in the mid-flight explosion of a Cubana de Aviación aircraft, taking the lives of 73 innocent persons. It also knows that in 1997 Posada conceived and led a series of terrorist acts using explosives against hotels in Havana — among many other repellant actions in the course of his long career. The terrorist himself has publicly confessed his horrible crimes. So, we wonder what more is needed before action is taken.
Cuba once again calls upon the United States authorities to try Posada Carriles as a terrorist, or to return him to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which for nearly four years has been requesting his extradition.
Cuba is convinced that the only effective way to prevent and combat terrorism is through bilateral and multilateral cooperation among all States on the basis of mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs and the sovereign equality of States. We reiterate that if the new Government of the United States truly wishes to demonstrate its commitment to the fight against terrorism, it now has a chance to act firmly, without the use of double standards, against the terrorist organizations that for all these years have been committing aggression against Cuba from the territory of the United States.
The current United States Administration has the opportunity to stop using terrorism for political purposes and to put an end to the unjust and unfounded inclusion of Cuba on the list of countries that allegedly support terrorism — a list prepared unilaterally by the United States Department of State.
Let me say in conclusion that it is up to the United States Government to put Posada Carriles on trial for what he is — a terrorist — and to move forward on the path of cooperation rather than that of confrontation.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.