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"Measures to eliminate international terrorism"

  STATEMENT  by H.E. Mr.Valery KUCHINSKY,  Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations at the Plenary Meeting of the 56th session of the United Nations General Assembly  on agenda item 166 «MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM» 1 October 2001 New York

Mr. President,

The start of the new Millennium has been marred by the tragedy of enormous proportions. The terrorist acts of 11 September, aimed primarily against the civilians, became a direct challenge not only to the people of the United States but to the entire civilised world. Those responsible have put themselves beyond the laws of human civilisation and deserve a just and inevitable punishment. Ukraine, together with other members of the world community, mourns the victims of the attacks and expresses full solidarity with the people of the United States. By joining the global antiterrorist coalition, my country confirmed its readiness to do its utmost in the global efforts to uproot this scourge. I would also like to use this opportunity to draw attention to the proposal made by my delegation during the Security Council meeting to declare the tragic day of 11 September as an International Day to Combat Terrorism.

The brutality and mere proportions of the terrorist acts have profoundly changed our perception of the global challenges facing mankind. Yet, despite all the imperfections and built-in weaknesses of our increasingly globalised world, the international community cannot afford to remain ill-prepared and ill-equipped in the face of new threats. Fully realising the magnitude and implications of the recent events, member-states and policymakers must develop new definitions, new terms and new strategies to stand up to new realities.

Last week, the UN Security Council adopted a historic resolution designed to enhance international response to threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. It is a timely and necessary measure. The complex character of the tasks put forward by the Council compels the members of United Nations to constantly revisit the progress of their implementation. I am sure. that the views expressed during the current debate will provide valuable guidance to the Security Council in its further work. It would also be worthwhile to consider convening a ministerial meeting of the Council, specifically during the general debate in the Assembly, to discuss the next steps.

Mr. President,

Today, terrorists use new and sophisticated means to commit their hateful acts. One can imagine the consequences if tomorrow they get hold of the weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical or bacteriological. This can well be the next stage and it may bring about a catastrophe of global proportions. Ukraine therefore considers that the problem of nonproliferation of such weapons, means of delivery and technologies gets an additional significance. Ukraine has repeatedly condemned, in the strongest possible terms, international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We have consistently supported the concerted efforts by the international community in combating this scourge. My country has ratified most of the instruments of universal character in this field. Last year, Ukraine signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the Terrorist Bombing Convention is to be ratified in the near future. We consider adherence and full implementation of the relevant international instruments by Member States as an essential contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. We also hope that negotiations on two new universal instruments in this field will be concluded shortly. At the same time, we realise that legal instruments alone are not sufficient - there is a need for a strong commitment by States and genuine co-operation between Governments and their law enforcement agencies in fighting terrorism.

Mr. President,

Terrorist attacks constitute a clear violation of recognised norms of international law. The main purpose of most of them is to undermine international stability and to provoke a circle of violence in international or inter-ethnic relations. The world community should not, in any circumstances, give way to such provocations. All national and international means of combating and suppressing the terrorism, are necessary parts of the entire range of instruments that may be used for this purpose. The intensification of international efforts in combating terrorism needs a concentrated focus on the causes of this phenomenon, its deep socio-economic roots and conditions. Of particular concern is the fact that terrorist organisations are financed also through other criminal activities, including arms smuggling, drugs production and trafficking, money laundering. It is regrettable that the treatment of these diseases is far behind the challenges they represent. It is our deep conviction that an increased international effort towards their virtual elimination would also be instrumental in combating terrorism.

Mr. President,

What happened in New York and Washington D.C. last month incontestably proves that no state — big or small, rich or poor — can feel safe against the threat of terrorism, which knows no boundaries and makes no distinction between children and military targets, diplomatic and humanitarian missions. Nor should any State be left alone in its combat against terrorism. It is only through the concerted efforts of the international community as a whole that we can effectively withstand this challenge. The role of this Organisation will become even more crucial in setting new framework for the international co-operation in this field. We welcome the recent adoption by the Commission for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice of a set of recommendations on specific national and international actions against terrorism. At the same time, my delegation is convinced that the enhancing of the potential of the United Nations in fighting international terrorism can still go beyond the task of strengthening the Terrorism Prevention Branch of ODCCP. We continue to maintain that there is a need for a proper institutional framework to coordinate the individual efforts of Member States in combating international terrorism and to ensure that the legal instruments we elaborated are implemented in the most efficient way. We realise that more time is needed to consider this idea, and we hope that the Assembly will come back to this matter in due time.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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