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"Measures to eliminate international terrorism"


Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor during this session, I would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to you on your election as the President of the 56th LAN General Assembly. We are particularly delighted to see at the helm of our Assembly a distinguished statesman of the Republic of Korea with which Turkey enjoys the friendliest of relations. I have no doubt that your impressive background and your expertise in the vast area of contemporary political and economic life will lead our annual work to a successful conclusion.

Mr. President,

We are meeting here today to explore more effective ways that will strengthen international cooperation against the scourge of terrorism under extraordinary circumstances. The carnage that the United States and our civilization was subjected to on September 11th was beyond any description. I would like to take this opportunity to express my nation's deepest feelings of sympathy and condolences to the people and the Government of the United States of America. The United States is a very close friend and ally of Turkey. Yet, as far as terrorism is concerned, I have to say that there is something more to this relationship. Through the tumultuous years of our fight against terrorism, the United States always stood, and at times singularly, by Turkey. Now, in their hour of need Turkey firmly stands by the United States.

Mr. President,

Our own experience with terrorism has clearly shown that this fight has two fundamental dimensions. The first one is the moral pillar. If there were any arguments that terrorists might also have a defensible cause, September 11 must have put this forever to rest. There are no gray areas in the fight against terrorism, nor are there `good terrorists' and `bad terrorists'. This is the time for the international community as a whole and for the States individually to condemn unequivocally all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations. Likewise, it is high time for us to recognize that this scourge is a human rights violation in one of its most blatant forms. The second pillar is about the scope and the effectiveness of the international mechanisms to combat this evil. This requires us to make full use of the means and mechanisms already in place and to bolster them in a fashion that will progressively establish an effective system that will strangle the terrorist livelihood. This system needs to be of an all-encompassing nature integrating its capabilities with those instruments utilized in the fight against all types of organized crime, first and foremost being drug-trafficking, the natural ally of terrorism. The events no longer tolerate the slackening of our actions. We have to move forward With a sense of clear purpose, and we have to move fast. The United Nations presents us with the global framework for cooperation. The threat is to our common civilization and the UN is our common house. The membership must act with a multi-faceted agenda.

Resolution 1373 of the Security Council, adopted on 28 September 2001, is a grand step in the fight against terrorism, as it puts particular emphasis on the suppression of the financing of terrorism and the elimination of all support direct or indirect- to those who commission terrorism, and highlights the crucial aspects of international cooperation needed in this field. We cal1 upon all states to fully implement the measures included therein.

Our agenda should particularly include the following basic elements:

• To become party to conventions and protocols on combating terrorism. I am pleased to announce in this respect that Turkey has also signed on 27 September 2001 the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. • To elaborate a comprehensive convention on terrorism without delay. In this regard, I would like to draw attention to the invaluable work being done in various bodies within the UN system, in particular the Ad Hoc Committee established by the General Assembly resolution 51/210. We expect that the draft Comprehensive Convention for Terrorism, which is under consideration in the said Committee, be concluded soon.• To implement fully the bilateral, regional and multilateral anti-terrorism conventions. • To deny safe haven to the terrorists as well as to those who support them in any way. • To ensure the apprehension and prosecution or extradition of the perpetrators of terrorist acts. • To dismiss the claims of political motivation as grounds for refusing requests for extradition. • To recognize the fact that terrorism is contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, and poses a serious threat to international peace and security.

This point has also been referred to in the Security Council resolution no. 1373 (2001), alongside several previous General Assembly resolutions. In this respect, I would like to recall the ongoing work for the establisment of the International Criminal Court The Court is being set up to try the most serious crimes of international concern. However, its jurisdiction, as it now stands, does not cover terrorist crimes. The Turkish delegation at the ICC Preparatory Commission, which is now elaborating certain aspects and legal instruments of the Court, has tabled a proposal for the inclusion of these crimes in its Statute. We believe that the extension of the jurisdiction of the Court over terrorist crimes will make our common struggle to eliminate terrorism more complete.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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