Summary: October 18, 2004: Statement by Mr. Arjan Hamburger, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN on behalf of the European Union at the 59th SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 6TH COMMITTEE - Item 148: Measures to eliminate international terrorism (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.
We will address consecutively the issues of EU condemnation of acts of terrorism; commitment to implementation of relevant SC resolutions, as well as other legal instruments and finally, the role (sub)regional organisations have therein.
Acts of terrorism continue to shock the conscience of humanity.
Terrorism remains a serious threat to national and international security, to peaceful relations between States, peaceful nation-building within States, and to the harmonious functioning of democratic institutions.
The European Union and its Member States unequivocally condemn all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless their motivation, forms or manifestations. We reaffirm our commitment to combating terrorism. At the same time, we underscore the need for enhancing dialogue and broadening understanding among civilizations. We reject any identification of terrorism with single cultures and religions. The fight against terrorism is a common effort. We must deprive terrorists of the ground for propaganda and recruitment. The EU strongly believes that the fight against terrorism must always be carried out with full respect for democratic principles, such as the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms and, where applicable, international humanitarian law.
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and since demonstrated that the fight against terrorism requires continuous and concerted national and international action in order to prevent and suppress such acts.
In this regard, the European Union reaffirms its support for the central role of the United Nations. The efforts of the Security Council and the General Assembly go hand in hand and complement each other.
The European Union remains fully committed to the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and other counter-terrorism related resolutions of the Security Council. In this respect the Counter-Terrorism Committee, its Executive Directorate, and the 1267 Committee play an important role and the European Union will continue to actively support and co-operate with these Committees.
Furthermore, the EU attaches the utmost importance to universal adherence to and full compliance with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights and humanitarian law, while countering terrorism."
Also, the European Union attaches great value to the comprehensive B>legal framework that the United Nations General Assembly has successfully established in the field of counter-terrorism. The 12 UN Conventions and Protocols remain fundamental tools in the fight against terrorism and we are fully committed to their ratification and full implementation. The European Union urges all states that haven not yet done so to become parties to these instruments. In this context, the European Union recognises the role of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime to assist States in becoming parties to and fully implement the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism."
From 28 June to 2 July 2004 the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 51/270 continued its elaboration of a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, and the consideration of outstanding issues relating to the elaboration of a draft international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. On recommendation of this Ad Hoc Committee a Working Group on measures to eliminate international terrorism was established during this session of the Sixth Committee and a continuation of the considerations took place on 5, 6 and 8 October. The European Union stands ready to continue this work in the framework of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Sixth Committee.
The Ad Hoc Committee had, in accordance with the decision of the General Assembly, on its agenda the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations to formulate a joint organised response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
The European Union sees that discussion on this issue could best take place after the conclusion of the work on the comprehensive convention.
With regard to the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, submitted on the initiative of India, the European Union still holds the view that this convention would provide added value in relation to the existing anti-terrorist conventions by filling gaps of unregulated issues. The European Union supports early conclusion by consensus on the outstanding issues. The European Union is of the conviction that this is possible while preserving the 'acquis' of the existing conventions, which we feel are a considerable achievement. The European Union also considers it important to maintain the 'acquis' of the negotiations on this comprehensive convention, as far as it has been achieved so far."
The European Union is convinced the sectoral approach in the negotiation and conclusion of anti-terrorist conventions is a sensible and successful approach. The European Union will continue its efforts for the early adoption by consensus of the draft international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. The need for the adoption of such a convention, the draft of which was submitted on the initiative of the Russian Federation, remains urgent, especially in view of the implications were certain terrorist groups to gain access to weapons of mass destruction or so-called "dirty bombs".
The European Union notes positively the outcome of the Working Group and expects that this draft convention can be concluded in the very near future.
Finally, Mr. Chairman,
Regional and sub-regional organisations play also a critical role in enhancing the effectiveness of global action against terrorism. An EU Counter Terrorism Action Plan, adopted by the European Council in March 2004, committed the European Union to developing technical assistance strategies to enhance the counter-terrorist capacity of third countries. Furthermore, the EU Counter Terrorism Co-ordinator, who was appointed pursuant to the Action Plan, has started to facilitate greater co-ordination as between the various EU counter-terrorism initiatives, policies and activities.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process