Skip to main content

Countdown to Human Rights Day

What makes a human rights defender?

Learn more

Press releases


04 October 2001

Fifty-sixth General Assembly
4 October 2001
19th & 20th Meetings (PM & Night))

Afghanistan Accuses Pakistan of Supporting Terrorist Activities

The General Assembly continued its debate on measures to combat international terrorism this afternoon and evening, hearing 34 speakers address a number of critical issues, among them, Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, the distinction between terrorism and legitimate resistance, and the connection between terrorism and international organized crime.

The representative of Afghanistan told the Assembly that the recent volte-face of the military clique in Pakistan in no way exonerated its military intelligence from the crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan in alliance with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban mercenaries. Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) was solely responsible for creating, organizing, instigating and tolerating terrorist activities in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Government, and especially the ISI policy-makers and high-ranking military officers, who were behind the alliance between bin Laden, the Taliban and other extremist religious groups of Pakistan, were to be considered criminals.

On the distinction between various forms of terrorism and legitimate resistance, the representative of Iraq said that his country suffered from acts of terrorism, including State terrorism, such as the sanctions imposed by the United States through the Security Council and United States-trained mercenaries carrying out terrorist acts in its cities. He added, as did representatives of other Arab countries, that the acts carried out by the Israeli authorities in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories could only be described as organized terrorism. The legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation, terrorism and Zionist aggression could not be considered as terrorism, he said.

Israel’s representative said the United Nations must reaffirm today that there was not, and there could never be, a justification for the calculated murder of innocents. The indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians to advance political or religious objectives was terrorism, no matter how its apologists sought to label it. Fabricating distinctions between different types of terror, though conveniently couched in the language of noble ideals, was an unforgivable insult to the memories of those who had perished. Terrorism was defined by what one did, not by what one did it for.

Representatives of Central Asian countries pointed towards the links between terrorism, organized transnational crime and international drug trafficking. According to the representative of Kyrgyzstan, terrorism, the trafficking of illegal drugs and religious extremism were three interrelated sources of destabilization in the Central Asian region. An effective joint campaign by the international community to combat illegal drug trafficking would deal a blow to terrorism. Likewise, a blow against terrorism would deal a blow to drug trafficking.

Maldives’ representative, while noting the same links, said mercenaries, who provided training and supplied weapons of terror, also posed a serious threat to peace and security. It was high time for ratification of the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.

The representatives of Zambia, Viet Nam, Niger, Kuwait, Liberia, Hungary, United Arab Emirates, El Salvador, Belize, Kenya, Guyana, Republic of Moldova, Nepal, Honduras, Burundi, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan (speaking on behalf of the GUUAM Group), Tajikistan, Luxembourg, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Dominica (speaking on behalf of Caribbean Community), Myanmar, Mali, Malawi, Armenia, Samoa, Brunei Darussalam and Albania also spoke.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday, 5 October, to continue its debate.


The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its debate on measures to eliminate international terrorism. For further background information, see Press Release GA/9919 of 1 October.


MWELWA MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) noted that the 11 September attacks followed terrorist attacks on the United States embassies in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as one on the U.S.S Cole in Yemen. The diversity of the attacks in various parts of the world clearly indicated that terrorism should be of concern to all nations. Zambia welcomed and supported the measures, including diplomatic efforts, being undertaken by the United States Government to muster an international coalition in the wake of the attacks in New York and Washington.

Stressing that it was important that the United Nations play a crucial and leading role in the global response to terrorism, he said the Organization was the natural forum for building the necessary universal coalition to give international legitimacy to the struggle against terrorism, which would be difficult and protracted. There was, therefore, an urgent need for the international community to adopt comprehensive, effective and sustainable measures that would not only deal with the current violent acts of terror, but also involve long-term measures to prevent their recurrence.

He expressed his country’s fullest support for Security Council resolutions 1368 and 1373 of 12 and 28 September respectively, and for the General Assembly resolution adopted on 12 September 2001. It was important for the international community to rally behind those resolutions and to promote unity of purpose in order to facilitate, strengthen and enforce action against terrorism. With the full implementation of the resolutions, especially Council resolution 1373, the war would be won. It was a war that the international community could not afford to lose. It was now up to individual Member States to do their part in helping to win the war.

NGUYEN THANH CHAU (Viet Nam) said the events of 11 September would go down in history as one of the most heinous crimes against innocent people. It was necessary to bring the planners, organizers, and perpetrators of these senseless acts of terrorism to justice in a way that would not start a vicious circle of endless violence.

Because terrorism had “gone global”, the response to it should go global as well, he said. Solidarity of people around the world was required to root terrorism out of our daily lives. The United Nations, a universal organization, should play a key role in the response to terrorism by discharging the functions entrusted to it in the Charter and in accordance with international law.

While the acts of 11 September were condemned in the strongest manner, the international community should exhibit equal determination to eliminate other forms of terrorism, he said. It was important to have international cooperation to prevent any similar crimes, such as kidnapping of foreign citizens, bombardment of embassies and hijacking of aeroplanes, and to punish their perpetrators. Each nation had a responsibility to refuse shelter and/or support to terrorists before, during and after acts of barbarism.

OUSMANE MOUTARI (Niger) said the recent terrorist attacks had killed men and women of all countries and religions. Niger firmly condemned this blind violence, and stood ready to participate in the battle against terrorism on all levels -- nationally, regionally and internationally. His country was ready to contribute in any way possible, according to its means, in terms of information-sharing and intelligence. Niger endorsed the terms of the Security Council resolution, notably the appeal addressed to all States to work together to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He said that Islam was a religion of peace, and that no credible interpretation of Islam would give legitimacy to this terrorism act. On this issue, Muslims across the world stood united. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing 56 States and close to one billion Muslims, had vigorously condemned this barbaric act as being contrary to the teaching of Islam. It was also essential to remember that terrorism stemmed from blind fanaticism, as a result of poverty and ignorance. Thus no strategy to eradicate terrorism would be complete without clear provisions for development. He was glad to see that a consensus was starting to emerge on the fact that to combat terrorism, a more just international economic and political order had to be established, which would take into account the interests of as many people as possible. It was clear that extreme poverty, injustice and frustration could only lead to further terrorist acts, a threat to all of humanity.

MOHAMMAD ABULHASAN (Kuwait) said terrorism was a product of extremist thinking that was not linked to any specific geographical area, culture or religion. Kuwait reiterated its strong condemnation of the 11 September attacks on the United States, expressed its condolences to the bereaved and wished full and speedy recovery to those injured in the attacks.

Noting that the United Nations response to last month’s crimes against humanity had started less than 24 hours later, he said that both the Security Council and General Assembly had adopted resolutions condemning the attacks. An additional Council resolution, 1373 (2001), adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, was the proper political and legal response that would help eradicate the "cancer of terrorism".

He said that while terrorism had been known to the world for a long time, the incidents had increased in number and in scope. Kuwait had been a victim of state terrorism. The Emir had been exposed to an assassination attempt, Kuwait’s aircraft had been hijacked, its institutions bombed and its civilians killed. Kuwait supported the convening of an international conference under United Nations auspices to define terrorism.

In fighting terrorism, the international community’s responsibility included dealing with the root causes, and there must be a distinction between terrorism and the honest struggles of peoples for self-determination. The Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation could not be considered a form of terrorism in any circumstances; it was a legitimate struggle by the Palestinians for their right to their homes and their land.

HUSSAIN SHIHAB (Maldives) said that following the attacks his country had pledged full support to the United States. It was now fully cooperating with the United States and had taken steps to increase vigilance against any movement by any terrorist from anywhere. Strengthening the existing national, regional and international legal frameworks against terrorism was essential in the fight against that scourge. He called for the early convening of a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations to formulate a jointly organized response from the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

To the people of the Maldives, any attack brought back the memories of the carnage caused by terrorists in the Maldives in November 1988. Following that tragic experience, his country had strengthened its national legal framework. No activities could be undertaken to support terrorist acts, and the laws of the Maldives ensure that no terrorist could find safe haven on its shores, enter it or undertake any activities. His country had acceded to eight of the 12 international conventions on terrorism, and was completing the process for signing the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

He said terrorism was linked with a wide network of organized crime. Not only terrorists should be targeted, but also those who assisted terrorists and benefited from terrorist activities. Often, he said, those who smuggled arms and laundered drug money operated hand in hand with terrorists. Similarly, mercenaries who provided training and supplied weapons of terror, also posed a serious threat to peace and security. It was high time for ratification of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.

LAMI KAWAH (Liberia) said terrorism had changed in scope, parameters and scale, to reach a level of viciousness that made all people vulnerable in its senselessness. Over their grief and shock of 11 September, the Americans had called on the international community to join in a common effort to eliminate those elements that would kill innocents and impose widespread fear. Nations must unite to prevent "the terrorism industry" from enjoying even a transient success.

However, peace and security and the well-being of mankind would not be obtainable until global unity was firmly established, he said. Once this goal was achieved, the fierce nationalism and parochial interests that were used to justify terrorist acts would be undermined. What was needed was a sense of world citizenship. Every nation, race, religion, sect or tribe should have its rightful place in the global village. "Globalization must manifest itself in a shroud of equity and true universality...and divest itself of nationalistic and exploitative trappings."

He said Liberia supported the initiative of the Non-Aligned Movement in calling for a high-level conference on international terrorism at the United Nations. This gathering should universally condemn every terrorist act, create an international cooperation centre, and make economic opportunities and development available and possible for all. They should also focus on finding the causes of despair and poverty, acknowledging different customs, religions, and economic disparities, and paying full respect to all international conventions, so that any nation, large or small, did not abandon basic principles of law.

ANDRE ERDOS (Hungary) said the horrifying consequences of the events of 11 September showed that terrorist attacks in one country had wide-ranging repercussions all over the world, as a strike against the very foundations of civilization.

The actions taken since then by the Security Council and General Assembly were part of an emerging strategy to identify methods for taking up the challenge of terrorism, and to continue with determination and consistency. Completing work on the two draft conventions should be part of the strategy.

He described the bilateral treaties against terrorism that Hungary had signed with 28 States, and the many regional agreements to which it was party. The Hungarian parliament had recently adopted a new resolution urging intensification of efforts to develop international law in the struggle against global terrorism. While ratifying and implementing the various instruments and measures related to that effort, the international community should keep in mind that for the struggle to be effective, solutions must be found to the conditions that created the breeding ground for terrorism. Irrespective of a country’s developmental level, each nation must feel it is a genuine stakeholder in the fight.

ABDULLAH KHAMEES AL-SHAMSI (United Arab Emirates) said the whole world had seen the attacks at the three American locations where thousands of civilians were killed, along with people from 80 other countries. These attacks had shown the extremist face of people who were not only hostile to the United States, but also to others who had expressed solidarity with the United States. His country had been determined from the start to cooperate in the exchange of information, and to support the United States in its endeavours against terrorism. Contact had been cut with the Taliban government, since it had not complied with the demand to surrender Osama bin Laden.

In compliance with the Security Council resolution, the United Arab Emirates had taken measures against the possible financing of terrorists, through the freezing of accounts, deposits and assets. Terrorism was one of the most important challenges to humanity, he said. It was not just about the loss of innocent lives and destruction, but about the total destabilization of international peace and security. The fight against it, going beyond national and regional borders, required from the international community a framework based on justice, balance and priority-setting.

He said the most dangerous kind of terrorism was State terrorism. Such, he added, was being committed on a daily basis by the Israeli government, which was trying to exploit the present situation in order to kill and maim more Palestinian people and put an end to their self-determination. It was essential to reach a just and comprehensive end to extremist responses which threatened not only the region but the whole world.

MOHAMMED ALDOURI (Iraq) said his country had suffered and was still suffering from acts of terrorism, including State terrorism under different names. It could therefore understand the suffering of the victims of terrorism. He said Iraq had lost more than a million and six hundred thousand of its innocent children, women and the elderly as a result of the continued and unjust sanctions imposed by the United States through the Security Council. Devastating destruction had been caused to every sector of life and infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, factories, residential neighborhoods, mosques, churches, and water sanitation plants and oil refineries. During the aggression on Iraq in 1991, the United States and Britain had deliberately contaminated the environment by using depleted uranium that led to a tenfold increase in the number of cancer cases.

The United States trained groups of mercenaries to carry out terrorist operation inside cities, such as explosions and assassinations aimed at destabilizing Iraq.

He said acts carried out by the Israeli authorities in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories could only be described as organized terrorism against a whole population whose land had been looted and whose rights had been ignored. Those acts had the support, financing and international protection of the United States.

He said that in a letter Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, had encouraged the United States to act with responsibility, wisdom, rationality, patience and balance, in order to conduct a comprehensive review of its policies internally and abroad. The aim should be to reach the required methods that would ensure for the United States and the international community as a whole, security and stability. He had highlighted the natural and inalienable rights of all peoples that struggled against foreign occupation, colonial control, and aggression in all its military and economic forms.

Iraq could not consider the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation, and Zionist aggression as terrorism, he said. Nor could the legitimate struggle of people of the world against sanctions and American and British colonial aggression be considered as terrorism.

KAMIL M. BAIALINOV (Kyrgyzstan) expressed condolences to the Government and people of the United States on the events of 11 September, and also to those of Russia and Israel, whose citizens were killed when an airliner exploded over the Black Sea today.

Citing the President of Kyrgyzstan, he said three interrelated sources of destabilization had emerged in the Central Asian region over the last three years: terrorism, the trafficking of illegal drugs and religious extremism. The countries of Central Asia had been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and religious extremism. Kyrgyzstan had authorized the use of its airspace for anti-terrorist action inside Afghanistan.

He said Kyrgyzstan, guided by its own national interests and those of neighbouring countries, as well as those of other regions affected by terrorism, firmly supported the need for collective action against terrorism and religious extremism. In order to mount an effective campaign, it was necessary to build an international anti-terrorist front. The anti-terrorist centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States was a good model. Alongside international anti-terrorism centres, there must be local, national and regional centres.

An effective joint campaign by the international community to combat illegal drug trafficking would deal a blow to terrorism, he said. Likewise, a blow against terrorism would deal a blow to drug trafficking. The international community needed reliable data on transnational criminal organizations as they emerged so that it could combat international bandits who were cooperating with terrorist groups and fomenting ethnic differences.

JOSE ROBERTO ANDINO SALAZAR (El Salvador), said that 11 September would be recorded as one of history’s most tragic, violent and irrational days. The international community unanimously condemned the acts, their planning and financing, and the States who provided refuge to the intellectual authors of these crimes against humanity.

El Salvador had, at a regional level, taken steps to combat terrorism in several resolutions. Terrorists had attacked the economic infrastructure that would drive development, just as terrorist violence had done in El Salvador in the 1980s, he said.

The fight against terrorism required definitive, firm, joint action and the resolve of each Member State. Fighting terrorism would not be easy or swift, but international opinion indicated a willingness to fight terror in all its forms. El Salvador was party to several of the international anti-terror instruments and sought to ratify the others rapidly. He hoped the resolution for the suppression of nuclear terrorism would be completed soon. A binding instrument to make it incumbent on States to deny support or harbor for terrorists could be passed.

In the fight against terrorism, El Salvador had adopted stiffer border controls, better security measures at ports and airports, and investigation of its financial systems to look for any money that could be used for terrorist means. In conformity with the spirit of the Central American Declaration Against Terrorism, he fully supported the call to fight terrorism at the regional and global levels.

JOSE ROBERTO ANDINO SALAZAR (El Salvador) said that 11 September would be recorded as one of history’s most tragic, violent and irrational days. The international community unanimously condemned the acts, their planning and financing, and the States who provided refuge to the intellectual authors of these crimes against humanity.

El Salvador had, at a regional level, taken steps to combat terrorism in several resolutions. Terrorists had attacked the economic infrastructure that would drive development, just as terrorist violence had done in El Salvador in the 1980s, he said.

The fight against terrorism required definitive, firm, joint action and the resolve of each Member State. Fighting terrorism would not be easy or swift, but international opinion indicated a willingness to fight terror in all its forms. El Salvador was party to several of the international anti-terror instruments and sought to ratify the others rapidly. He hoped the resolution for the suppression of nuclear terrorism would be completed soon. A binding instrument to make it incumbent on States to deny support for terrorists could be passed.

In the fight against terrorism, El Salvador had adopted stiffer border controls, better security measures at ports and airports, and investigation of its financial systems to look for any money that could be used for terrorist means. In conformity with the spirit of the Central American Declaration Against Terrorism, he fully supported the call to fight terrorism at the regional and global levels.

YEHUDA LANCRY (Israel) said those who were willing to sacrifice themselves to kill others could not be deterred by ordinary means. But the war on terrorism could be won through the comprehensive, uncompromising and unrelenting determination of the international community. All States must act now to root out the terrorists operating in their territory and the infrastructure that fed them. This meant more than adopting and enforcing international legal mechanisms. It meant, above all, mustering the sustained political will required to eradicate all terrorism comprehensively and without compromise. However, it must be a broad campaign, involving religious leaders, educators and civil society. Now, more than ever, voices of tolerance and mutual respect must be heard. Terrorists must hear from their own societies that they will not be tolerated.

The United Nations must reaffirm today that there was not, and there could never be, a justification for the calculated murder of innocents. The indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians to advance political or religious objectives was terrorism, no matter how its apologists sought to label it. Fabricating distinctions between different types of terror, though conveniently couched in the language of noble ideals, was an unforgivable insult to the memories of those who had perished. The thousands of innocents butchered in the name of these ideals made it very clear: "terrorism was defined by what one does, not by what one does it for".

It was essential that the alliance against terror managed to clearly identify and recognize its foe. Defeating terror meant far more than finding and punishing its immediate foe. Terrorism did not operate in a vacuum, but rather as part of a complex network whose constituent parts nourished and inspired each other, both organizationally and ideologically. Terrorism was organic, and the attempt to tackle one branch while expressing sympathy or understanding for another would only undermine efforts. There could be no neutrality in this effort. Those states that failed to comply with their legal obligations to suppress terrorists operating in their territory were not neutral -- they were collaborators and must be regarded as such.

Since Israel’s establishment, its citizens had been the targets of countless terrorist attacks. This past year, Israel had been compelled to engage in legitimate self-defense against an indiscriminate and suicidal terrorist campaign that erupted in blatant violation of signed agreements and which had claimed hundreds of innocent lives. The people of Israel were all too familiar with the attempts of terrorists and their allies to justify the murders of civilians, and blame the victims for their crimes.

STUART LESLIE (Belize) aligning himself with the statement of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the events of 11 September highlighted the great risk posed by terrorism. The attacks, while specifically targeted at the citizens of the United States, were in reality attacks against all freedom-loving people.

He said those who engaged in terrorist attacks sought to justify their criminal behaviour by claiming to be championing the plight of the world’s poor and oppressed. Belize categorically rejected such claims. Justice could never be pursued through indiscriminate violence. No one should claim to be acting on behalf of marginalized people through such unconscionable actions.

As a developing country whose population was working to eradicate poverty and its attendant hardships, Belize condemned any form of terrorism, he said. Those who attacked innocent civilians, or supported, financed and encouraged them, should find no safe place in which to operate. Not only was Belize steadfast in condemning terrorism, it was also committed to eliminating its root causes and wished to be a partner in the global anti-terrorism effort.

BOB F. JALANG’O (Kenya) said that all people, regardless of their colour, sex, race or religion were directly or indirectly affected by terrorism. His country, in 1998, had a first-hand experience with the grim face of terrorism, when it stuck the American Embassy in Nairobi, killing not only Americans, but over two hundred Kenyans, and leaving thousands severely injured and/or impaired for life. Two other American embassies in East Africa had been targeted at the same time -- Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and Kampala, Uganda -- which had been thwarted. The attacks on Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam had led the East African community to establish a Joint Committee to coordinate its actions against terrorism.

After the 1998 bombing, Kenya had put in place various measures as safeguards against future terrorist attacks, he said. These included tracking down and arresting suspected accomplices to terrorist groups, more vigorous vetting of foreigners and the tightening of security at airports and other entry points. His country now called for a unified, global approach in fighting terrorism, under the auspices of the United Nations.

He commended the Security Council for adopting resolutions 1368 and 1373, which would add impetus to the global fight against terrorism. International cooperation to combat terrorism should be strengthened, and work in the United Nations to establish an effective international legal regime to fight this evil and its perpetrators should be speedily concluded. Many small countries, however, had neither the means nor the ability to effectively respond to the threat. He called upon the United Nations to coordinate and explore the possibilities existing within its system to assist States in building capacity to combat terrorism.

ODEEN ISHMAEL (Guyana) said the deplorable and monstrously destructive terrorist acts of September 11 had converted part of the United Nations host city into a war zone. In this age of globalization, loss of life and property had been injurious to economies everywhere. Were international terrorism to go unchallenged, it would negate all that the international community had struggled for in the United Nations since its founding.

As a country with a substantial Muslim population and which was a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Guyana was anxious for efforts to eradicate terrorism to succeed, he said. The bigotry that drove some to blame Muslims for the acts of 11 September should be guarded against, because no religion authorized or legitimized terrorism. Guyana supported multifaceted efforts to deal with terrorism and was party to resolutions and declarations of the Organization of American States (OAS) that sought to ensure solidarity, mutual assistance and the elimination of terrorism.

Where injustice was manifest, it could be exploited by the unscrupulous for their own evil ends, he said. Changes in communications technology had rendered the concealment of injustice impossible. The international community should ensure that the freedoms fought for in the decolonization process would be enjoyed by all. If law were to preserve its relevance and effectiveness, it must be adapted to the exigencies of change. The present period was very different from 1945, when the threats to international peace and security were different from those faced today. International terrorism constituted a threat to international peace and security, so the Security Council’s use of Chapter VII to eradicate this malady was appropriate.

ION BOTNARU (Republic of Moldova) said terrorism had become the most serious and immediate threat to security and stability. No society, however sophisticated, was immune to the scourge. His country supported multilateral efforts aimed at strengthening the United Nations anti-terrorist framework, including early completion of the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and also the Comprehensive International Convention on International Terrorism, the adoption of which would resolve some sensitive and complex political and legal issues, and fill gaps in the legal regime of anti-terrorist cooperation.

The events of 11 September in the United States had shown that the international community must seek anew to resolve longstanding international problems on which terrorism fed. It must urgently address conflicts around the world, their roots and other factors, which could nurture terrorism. He noted that the phenomenon of separatism affected the very basis of multicultural societies and posed grave danger to the sovereignty and integrity of many States.

Like the scourge of international terrorism, separatism emphasized what divided rather than what united and integrated. As a country affected by separatism, the Republic of Moldova was alarmed at its persistence and the connection it could have with serious criminal activities. This issue, among others, must be taken into account by Member States in efforts to elaborate and implement a comprehensive and efficient anti-terrorist strategy.

MURARI RAJ SHARMA (Nepal) said the terrorists who launched the attacks of September 11 had challenged the very principles the United Nations and its Member States stood to defend. The attack had cost citizens of some eighty nations their lives and its economic costs would be widely spread. As a result of the strike and its economic consequences, 10 million more people would be condemned to poverty in the developing world and another 40,000 children under the age of five would die there.

Nepal had first-hand experience of violence, he said. The insurgents used propaganda, intimidation and mutilation as their means of social control and used innocent people, forest and mountains as their shield. Politicians of dubious character provided their "cover" and their financial base came from extortion, robbery and voluntary support, even from the most unexpected sources. Although taking effective action was extremely difficult, each State had the right to defend itself from terrorism and bring its perpetrators to justice.

War must be waged against the terrorists’ funds and communications, and their means of cooperating with each other, and with drug traffickers. War must also be waged with equal vigour against dehumanizing poverty, exclusion, and conflicts that fed despair and offered terrorists a pool of recruits and supporters.

The onslaught of September 11 had made clear, he said, that no one was immune from terrorist threats. Because "the fires of discontent" in one corner could spread throughout the entire village, the international community should work in partnership to defeat terrorism and prevent it from ever again rearing its ugly head.

ANGEL EDMUNDO ORELLANA (Honduras) said the world had been horrified by the acts of 11 September, which left no one unaffected. The attacks struck against most cherished values defining the way of life of modern society.

Aware of the magnitude of those inhuman acts, the countries of Central America had acted immediately. In the Declaration of Central America United Against Terrorism, such acts were firmly condemned in whatever form they might take. They were deemed to be crimes against humanity, and classified as threats to international peace and security. Central American countries therefore fully accepted the ideas expressed in Security Council resolution 1373. Those countries had decided to work with regional bodies to combat terrorism, tighten border controls, coordinate action to prevent the use of their countries by terrorists, to establish mechanisms to extradite criminals to justice, and to ensure the efficacy of relevant regional instruments.

The response of Central America would be swift and strong, he said. Honduras would be in full support of the decisions taken by the world body, and to participate in the actions called for.

In these difficult times, he said, New York’s spirit would certainly rise above all adversities.

MARC NTETURUYE (Burundi) said the task of the international community was prevention, carried out on a daily basis, without ambiguity. The United Nations provided a privileged forum for coordination in that field. That was why Burundi welcomed the speed and enthusiasm with which the peoples of the world had presented a united front against that scourge. The Government of the United States had the right to punish the guilty, as long as the enemy was well targeted and the actions did not produce innocent victims. Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) was a blueprint for immediate action.

All that would not be enough if the countries of the world did not understand terrorism in the same way and if the world coalition against terrorism did not identify the causes of the evil and attack the roots, he said. Some acts were seen as terrorism in one part of the world, and as liberation action elsewhere. The Secretary-General had underlined the fact that not only a legal definition of terrorism was necessary, but also a moral clarity in determining what terrorism constituted. Even war had rules that must be followed, he said.

Burundi had also been victim of acts of genocide brought about from abroad, he said. The international community should understand that blind violence from armed groups must be considered terrorism. There was hypocrisy and a double standard was being applied. The conflict in Burundi was political, with strong tribal overtones. There must be a political solution to the conflict, but there must also be a defence against crimes committed against the people of Burundi.

FRED BEYENDEZA (Uganda) said the barbaric actions of 11 September filled Uganda with indignation and could not go unpunished. Terrorism as a strategy was unacceptable, erroneous, and ethically indefensible as a means of fighting -- even for a just cause. Such acts created terror in every society, endangered lives, undermined people’s well-being, and constituted a threat to international peace and security.

For 15 years, he said, Uganda had been facing terrorism by fundamentalists who used tactics such as bombing and maiming of civilians. He said he was encouraged to hear the Sudan stated to the Assembly that it would no longer allow its territory to be a haven for terrorist groups or individuals. A sustained campaign of terrorism had a very negative effect on Uganda -- preventing it from surpassing an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.5 per cent. Uganda had already enacted laws making the aiding, financing, or supporting of terrorism punishable by life imprisonment. It would take steps to implement all the measures called for in Security Council resolution 1373.

He said the international community had already concluded 12 instruments designed to strengthen the legal framework for international cooperation in fighting terrorism. Uganda was determined to work with the international community and become party to all relevant conventions. The United Nations was called on, among other things, to finalize the convention against nuclear terrorism, to declare terrorism a crime against humanity and to mobilize the necessary resources to help the least developed countries build national and regional mechanisms for implementation of the conventions against terrorism.

ALISHER VOHIDOV (Uzbekistan) said, as was well known, his country understood the effects of terrorism. The Government and Parliament had been carrying out protective measures, including legislation, since before the recent attacks. Separatism and ethnic or religious extremism were hosts for terrorism. Transnational organized crime, the drug trade and the proliferation of weapons, along with money laundering, were threats to humanity when used as tools by terrorists. Heads of States had renewed their resolve a year ago to cooperate on making a better, safer, more equitable world.

In light of the growing threat that had recently arisen, he said, the General Assembly should initiate an intensive global system to fight terrorism. That global system should derive its urgency from the awareness that the issue was now under the purview of the Security Council, complete with a mechanism to monitor implementation. However, he continued, the structural units already existing within the United Nations must be strengthened. The Security Council must have technical support from within the United Nations system to carry out its monitoring mandate, perhaps through a functional commission to combat terrorism. In addition, there should be an international organization, under the aegis of the United Nations, similar to one that his country had proposed for the area of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Its main task would be to provide consultative services to States and regional organizations.

Finally, he said, the Secretary-General’s report on terrorism had noted that there was no mechanism within the United Nations system to deal specifically with that global threat. One could be established in the Vienna Office as part of the Drug Control and Crime Prevention Programme. There were many avenues and measures by which terrorism could be fought. To come up with a global plan of action, however, a high-level conference would have to be convened so that a unified strategy could be developed between national, regional and international entities.

YASHAR ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) said the people of his country had been victims of terrorism and shared the grief of the people of the United States. Azerbaijan had repeatedly condemned international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, for whatever purpose and by whomever it was perpetrated. In conducting joint actions against terrorism, Member States should unite on the basis of principles, rather than on narrow national interests.

Underlining some principles, he said Member States should condemn terrorism in all its forms, as well as condemn any support or recognition of terrorism. Terrorism was a transnational menace, threatening lives of individuals and groups, as well as undermining security and territorial integrity. In the long run, the international community should fight not only against terrorist organizations, but also address the root causes of terrorism, which were mostly political. The international community should fight against those who had chosen terror as a means to achieve political goals.

The phenomena of terrorism had to be considered beyond the religious and cultural context, he said. As a primary task, there was urgency for consolidated efforts to prevent training, assistance to and financing of terrorist organizations. Today, his country had signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

Speaking on behalf of the GUUAM States (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), he said combating international terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking was one of the main objectives of its Charter. There was a need for a proper anti-terrorist international institution with the primary task to complement the individual efforts of States in combating international terrorism and to assist them in implementing relevant legal instruments in the most efficient manner.

RASHID ALIMOV (Tajikistan) said that not a single natural disaster, internal armed conflict, or shock on international financial markets could have illicited such a unified international response as the attacks of 11 September. That appalling act of violence against mankind had drawn the harshest condemnation of all. Tajikistan was in complete solidarity with the actions of the United States and the United Nations to root out terrorism.

Terrorist acts were cruel, ugly, and should be considered crimes against humanity, he said. Tajikistan knew too well the consequences of internal conflict and would do all it could to bring the perpetrators to justice, within the parameters of international law. Collective efforts were needed to combat those who wished to turn back the clock and halt development. Tajikistan already participated in several conventions designed to curb international terrorism. The international community must be consistent in the allocation of humanitarian aid -- hypocrisy would lead to more terrorism.

He said he hoped that the Committee established by Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) would be an effective mechanism for fighting terrorism. Constant work would be required to strengthen the universal actions to be taken against terrorism. The world would ultimately be successful and could count on Tajikistan’s full support.

HUBERT WURTH (Luxembourg) said that the nihilistic fanaticism evident in the attacks of 11 September had been rejected by the peoples of the world. Countless voices had called for the elimination of terrorism, reaffirming the world’s unanimous agreement on the principles of civilization. The Twin Towers were no longer visible, but their image would become a symbol for justice and brotherhood.

The desire for justice was widespread and the quest for a solution should be far-reaching, he said. The fight against root causes such as poverty, ignorance and diseases would have to become ever more intense. Through the rule of national and international law, the world would arrive at a fairer and more just state. Recent attacks revealed the vulnerability of modern societies to people dedicated to violence, but the international community would prevail in its battles against terrorism.

The response must be global, the United Nations should be the vehicle, and the international community was already planning institutions to implement the struggle against terror, he said. The European Union and the European Council had recognized the legitimacy of a joint response, the specifics of which had been announced by Belgium. Luxembourg itself had already enacted several important national laws covering terrorist offences and their financing. Money-laundering laws made it mandatory to reveal the sources and destinations of cash flows. Bank assets of groups and persons involved in terrorism would be blocked. In Luxembourg, the legal arsenal was already in place to fight the funding of terrorism.

ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic) said that any terrorist attack, wherever and by whomever it was committed, must be seen not only as an assault against an innocent people, but also as a threat to the stability of national, as well as international, peace and security. It affected the very basis of societies and impeded the full enjoyment of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. The challenge now assumed a worldwide dimension, he said. A response must be organized that brought justice and strengthened international peace and security and the Charter of the United Nations.

In light of the increasingly sophisticated and extensive network of organized terrorist acts, he said, the international community needed concerted action through an effective global framework and a broad and comprehensive strategy. The early adoption and entry into force of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism would generate momentum for the international community in its fight against terrorism and provide an important framework for national and international actions geared to combat the evil, he said.

The international community had never expected that the acts of terrorism would blow so deliberately, so inhumanely and so destructively, he said. One country alone, whether rich or powerful, could not fight effectively against the scourge. He stressed that the whole world must unite its efforts and work together in order to defeat it. For its part, the Lao People's Democratic Republic stood ready and would do its utmost in contributing to the fight against terrorism, so that succeeding generations could live without fear in a peaceful and safe world.

SIMON RICHARDS (Dominica), on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the grief and sorrow for the loss of life in the 11 September attacks had only begun to be addressed. Terrorism was bred within societies, and exploited the infrastructure of democracy, freedom and tolerance. It released its wrath upon the innocent, intending to infiltrate those societies and their infrastructure, and thus perpetuating economic and humanitarian crises. Everyone was vulnerable to international terrorism, in whatever form, and regardless of its immediate target.

He said the international community had to continue strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to respond to the international community's need not only to bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism, but also to put an end to such activities through international cooperation. Accordingly, preventive mechanisms against terrorism must be established. The international community had to strive for the full implementation and observation of existing international legal instruments aimed at the prevention and eradication of terrorism and related activities. Such a strategy should be comprehensive and multifaceted. Its overarching goal should be to study and eliminate the causes and sources of terrorism, whether political, social or economic.

The international community had only begun to experience the broader effects of terrorism on the conduct of human life, and on the social and economic well-being of individual Member States, he said. It was now, more important than ever, to ensure that the fear and paralysis on which terrorism thrived did not circumscribe decisions and actions. There should be a return to normalcy for everyone's daily activities. The CARICOM pledged its support to a united front to combat terrorism in all its aspects, and to cooperate in a global effort to restore to the international community renewed confidence in international peace, security and freedom.

KYAW TINT SWE (Myanmar) said that terrorist acts were acts of barbarism. He fully shared the view that those acts were attacks against civilization itself. International terrorism had gained magnitude over the years and now posed a threat to international peace and security. Places of transportation had become targets of terrorism, with railroads and highways mined and killing innocent commuters. Embassies had found themselves targets of terrorism. Myanmar had also suffered from terrorism, when a powerful bomb exploded at their Martyr Mausoleum, in an attempt to assassinate a visiting head of State on Myanmar soil.

Myanmar stood totally against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he continued. Myanmar was rigorously enforcing its criminal code, which included capital punishment for high crimes and other special laws that deterred terrorism. However, terrorism was a global phenomenon and a joint organized response was needed.

There could be no excuse for terrorism, he said. It must not be condoned on any grounds whatsoever. He recognized, however, that poverty bred discontent and alienation. Therefore, poverty alleviation could be an effective measure in efforts to combat terrorism. It was pertinent to recall that all leaders in their Millennium Declaration had resolved to halve the number of poor by 2015.

MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said his Government had officially condemned the attack on the United States and had held a moment of silence for victims during the celebration of its fortieth year. The level of devastation in the wake of the attack indicated the fragility of the global defence against terrorism’s threat to peace and security. It also indicated the need for an international conference to devise ways of dealing with terrorism, because it would be a long struggle and a concerted effort would be needed.

He said that one of the first priorities in developing a global plan of action was for nations who were in a position to help to give their assistance to developing countries. Alone, they could not build up their ability to fight terrorism, which often included complicated situations to manage, such as the involvement of mercenaries. One possible course of remedy was to reduce assistance to countries that were known to harbour terrorists.

He said his country strongly condemned terrorism and was party to numerous instruments against it. But nothing short of a global plan of action would work. The present talks in the Assembly should yield two things: a universal condemnation of terrorism; and the next concrete steps towards a concerted plan of action.

DOROTHY D. THUNYANI (Malawi) said that terrorism posed a real and present threat to the very survival of humanity and was set to deprive humankind of its most highly prized treasure, namely, peace, security and understanding among nations. Those were the key underpinnings of sustainable human progress. As it was now evident that no country or nation was immune to the devastating effects of terrorism, it had become all the more urgent for the international community to make concrete and collaborative efforts in support of existing and newly conceived measures to eliminate terrorism.

She said terrorism was a serious challenge to the value systems that the civilized world stood for and a threat to what humanity was striving to achieve, namely, socio-economic liberalism and political plurality, the rule of law and international peace. Every concerted effort must be made, therefore, to eradicate the deadly scourge before it brought present and future generations into bondage. Given that international terrorism was fast becoming more sophisticated, ingenious and inventive, no country could fight it on its own.

She concluded by stating that, in the face of the current international climate of a heightened sense of insecurity, it behooved the delegations to the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the General Assembly to set aside differences and show flexibility on respective national positions. In that way, elaboration of the draft comprehensive convention on measures to eliminate international terrorism could be completed. That instrument was all-encompassing and would serve as a broader framework for all existing conventions designed to counter terrorism. Finally, she affirmed Malawi's total support for any United Nations-mandated hunt for the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks against the United States and a subsequent continued drive against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) said the fact that international terrorists still found safe harbour in some countries made the fight against them particularly difficult. In some countries, terrorist cells were disguised as non-governmental organizations or charitable funds and, in most cases, national authorities turned a blind eye to their activities for their own national interests. The United Nations experience in monitoring human rights around the world could be used in an exchange of operational information about terrorists and their networks. Its existing mechanisms in the fields of small arms, drug control and nuclear proliferation, just some of many others, should be turned to fighting terrorism.

He said it was regrettable that the issue of terrorism had to be brought forward in the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. Such evil actions of such great proportions discredited dialogue and revived the dire predictions of a clash between civilizations. The lesson was clear -- political moves and military actions could bring to justice those responsible for terrorist attacks. They could, however, not shake the foundations of the ideas that motivated them and poisoned minds with hatred and anger. It was in that realm where initiatives such as the Dialogue of Civilizations could be effective. However, the Dialogue should not limit itself to high podiums and scientific conferences. It should find immediate ways to reach out to ordinary people in the streets who were influenced by extreme nationalists and religious fanatics.

No religion was evil and no religion justified the killing of innocent people, he said. But any religion could become a deadly weapon if manipulated in a way that struck a chord with entire communities living in poverty, disease, illiteracy and bitter hopelessness. The United Nations must redouble efforts in the areas of economic development and poverty eradication, since those were the strategic battlefields in the war against terrorism. Donor countries could contribute to success in the war not just by sending a military force into areas of concern, but by providing more generous financial assistance to the poorest.

In closing, he recalled that 2,000 years ago the famous dead sea scrolls had written of a final battle in the future between “sons of light” and “sons of darkness”. It seemed the battle had begun. Its outcome depended solely on combined effort and determination.

TUILOMA NERONI SLADE (Samoa) said that terrorism was a direct and serious threat to social and economic development, democracy, and human rights. It was driven by fanaticism, used increasingly sophisticated weaponry and preferred that the devastation it brought be dramatic and lethal. The horrific events of 11 September highlighted both the need for a concerted international response, and the inadequacy of traditional forms of judiciary and law enforcement in fighting it.

More than ever before, a clear commitment was needed from every Member State, he said. In taking concrete steps, the distinction between the perpetrators and the people who might share their religion or ethnicity could not be lost. Fighting terrorism could not be separated from the tasks of combating organized crime, preventing the spread of small arms and ending conflict. The conditions that bred hatred, violence, and extremism must also be addressed.

The deliberate taking of innocent human life, regardless of cause or grievance, was without justification in law and morally unacceptable, he said. It was essential to renew efforts to promote the rapid entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. A court in which to try people for crimes against humanity would be a vital component in the international armoury against terrorism. Samoa accepted the recently passed General Assembly and Security Council resolutions as the world’s most clear expression of its desire to eliminate international terrorism. A fitting conclusion for this week-long debate would be for the General Assembly to make clear the specific steps to be taken and to reaffirm that it was urgent to do so.

SERBINI ALI (Brunei Darussalam) said that his country joined all other Members States in strongly condemning all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed. Such indiscriminate acts were disrespectful of human life and dignity and denied the peace and harmony professed by all religions. It was, therefore, important for the international community to work together towards preventing and eliminating all forms of terrorism by engaging in closer cooperation and coordination among States. That called for a comprehensive, pragmatic and balanced approach.

The use of force must be a last resort and must take into account the ensuing humanitarian impact, which might give rise to a further vicious circle of violence, he said. His delegation agreed with the Secretary-General that "response should be through the reaffirmation of the rules of law on the international and national level".

The fact that all States were part of the debate was an indication of a firm commitment to addressing the issue, he said. He agreed with the general sentiments expressed during the debate that some urgency must be injected into this issue. For the last 30 years, the Ad Hoc Committee had been considering the issue on ways to eliminate terrorism. In that respect, it was his hope that the Ad Hoc Committee would make further progress in their work on the draft comprehensive convention on terrorism. Such a convention would give a proper framework to efforts to combat terrorism.

AGIM NESHO (Albania) said that terrorism was a threat to international peace and security and, as such, it must be fought with all means, determination and the cooperation of all countries. All nations must stand united and declare an uncompromised and multifaceted war against terrorism. Terrorism was a scourge that took innocent lives, threatened the values of humanity, human rights and freedoms and impeded development and world progress. The fight against terrorism must rise above the individual interests of States and could not be justified by differences in social development or cultural or social disparities.

He said the fight could, in no way, be confused with the legitimate struggle of the people for freedom and self-determination and could not be used to justify the intransigent stands of some countries to not respect the rights of citizens in a multi-ethnic society. Albania, as a democratic country, was working not only to ratify all international instruments against terrorism, but had also adopted an entire legislation concerning illegal trafficking and organized crime, which served as support for terrorist acts. In addition, there was under consideration the accession of Albania to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the International Convention for Suppression of the financing of Terrorism.

He concluded by stressing that all United Nations Member States must act and fight together against terrorism in a broad and long-term coalition to achieve the freedom of future civilizations. If not, the world would stay trapped by irrationality, primitivism and regressive dark forces.

RAVAN FARHADI (Afghanistan) said two days before 11 September, the greatest military leader of the free Afghanistan, Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, was assassinated. International terrorists knew that Afghanistan would be the focus of military reprisal and had thus targeted the most valiant leaders of the anti-bin Laden fighters within their immediate reach. The Taliban still provide shelter to Osama bin Laden, their hero of jihad, whereas the ironic truth was that he was the arch-enemy of genuine Islam, which demanded moderation and prohibited terrorism.

The recent volte-face of the military clique in Pakistan, under strong pressure from the international community, in no way exonerated Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) from the crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan, in alliance with bin Laden and the Taliban mercenaries, he said. Pakistan’s ISI was solely responsible for creating, recruiting, organizing, instigating and tolerating terrorist activities in Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Afghanistan considered each of the components of the ISI-Taliban-bin Laden triangle equally responsible for the many crimes committed against its people. The Pakistani Government, and especially the ISI policy-makers and high-ranking military officers, who were behind the alliance between bin Laden, the Taliban and other extremist religious groups of Pakistan were criminals. Furthermore, those countries, individuals and mercantilistic circles who had contributed to the creation of that monster in the region must be held accountable.

The Taliban did not represent the Afghan nation, nor did they represent the Pashtuns of Afghanistan, he said. Rather, they had been imposed by a foreign country. There was no absolute ethnic majority in Afghanistan. Ethnic groups were relative minorities. However, all Afghans were extremely patriotic and did not tolerate foreign domination, even if it was disguised as religion. The Afghan patriotic resistance, comprising all ethnic groups, could never be suppressed by any demagogy and divisive intrigues.

No political system could be maintained in Afghanistan unless it was broad-based, multi-ethnic and fully representative, as called for by numerous United Nations resolutions, he said. An independent, peaceful and stable Afghanistan would inevitably serve the legitimate interests of all neighbouring countries, including Pakistan. He appealed to all member nations to genuinely help the weary people of Afghanistan in their long uphill battle against terrorism.

* *** *