Statement by Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, on Agenda Item : 108, measures to eliminate International Terrorism.
It is my pleasure to see you chairing the meeting of the Sixth Committee. Under your able guidance, we are confident that the work of the Committee will reach a successful conclusion.
I take this opportunity to commend the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee established by the GA Resolution 51/210 and its Coordinators for their excellent work, in the conclusion of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The fact that already 89 countries have signed this Convention demonstrates the international community’s commitment to combating terrorism in all forms of manifestations.
My delegation takes note of the report of the Ninth Session of the Ad- hoc Committee contained in document No. A/60/37. The report presents an accurate and balanced reflection of the work that has been accomplished during the session.
Addressing the High Level Plenary on 15th September 2005, the President of Sri Lanka drew attention to three scourges, which continue to threaten the humankind in this century; They are terrorism, poverty and disease. While emphasizing the importance of addressing these threats in a holistic manner, she re-affirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to fighting global terrorism and our resolve to work for a collective approach to address this phenomenon. Speaking on the adverse impact of terrorism worldwide, she said, “ As a result, peace and security within and among States as well as universally accepted human rights norms and fundamental freedoms will suffer. It will thus lead to weakening of the ‘ inter- Governmental system’, which is the bedrock of this Organization. It is therefore essential to strengthen collective ability of the system to combat and address terrorism”
There has been significant progress in developing a comprehensive legal regime in the Security Council as well as in the General Assembly through important contributions made by this Committee. Resolution 1624 (2005) adopted by the Security Council at its High Level Summit on 14th September represents a step forward in strengthening the international legal regime addressing the question of incitement for terrorism.
Although our norm-setting task in recent years has proceeded apace satisfactorily, we still have significant ground to cover. This involves not only the effective implementation of the international instruments already adopted, but also addressing the political and socio-economic factors that give rise to terrorism. Our task in this sense is yet to be completed.
Terrorism as a global phenomenon requires multifaceted response and focused follow-up. Therefore we reckon that, while we have adopted no less than thirteen international conventions to combat terrorism, we still need to do more for their practical implementation. As we are on the way to concluding the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism that encompasses measures so far discussed in specific conventions, we must recognize that adoption of conventions is not an end in itself for combating terrorism. It is essential that we embark upon in good faith to discuss and deliberate on practical implementation measures as well. For this purpose the time has come for us to consider appropriate mechanism for further elaborating the institutional framework within the UN to coordinate all efforts and activities in implementing all conventions on terrorism and to tackle any other relevant issues pertaining to terrorism.
The Secretary General in his report “In Larger Freedom“ has called the attention of the world leaders to the challenges posed to the international community by networks of non-state actors and terrorist groups. Transnational networks of terrorist groups have not only posed threats to democracy, peace and security, but also have shown tremendous capacity in exploiting the lacunae in the international and national legal systems, to exert leverage to achieve their goals.
There is a more pronounced need today to extend the international legal regime to encompass armed non-state actors, who are engaged in illicit procurement of arms and financing of terrorism. Some of them resort to these abhorrent, abusive practices while enjoying privileges of peace processes and democratic system. They have shown perversely, over time, how they could exploit of such processes in a democratic system to advance their criminal agendas and strategies. We also need to be mindful that a common thread running through all networks of terror is their utter contempt for democracy, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and pluralism. These emerging challenges demand political will, commitment and focus of the international community towards developing comprehensive legal and other measures against global terrorism.
We continue to learn of reports, which suggest that terrorism is treated in a differential manner on the basis of circumstances and its locations
When terrorist groups are treated differently depending on their place of origin, collective motive or ideology, the entire issue of terrorism, will be shrouded in uncertainty and will vitiate the global resolve for effectively combating all its forms and manifestations. Such an approach would undermine the good work being carried out by the UN including this Committee.
My delegation is fully committed to the already re-energized negotiating process, intended to conclude the comprehensive convention on terrorism during this session as highlighted in the Summit Outcome Document.
In its capacity as Chairman of the Working Group, Sri Lanka remains ready to facilitate the negotiating process towards forging a consensus on the matter. It is imperative that we, every delegation in this Committee demonstrate the necessary political will and flexibility to move forward and reach finality on the outstanding issues relating to this Convention. At this hour, international community demand this from us.