4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
Thank you, Mr. President.
I want to thank you and Ambassador Greenstock for taking the initiative to schedule this discussion, I also want to join in commending the work of our friend and colleague, Jorge Navarrete, and to wish him well.
It is certainly right to meet today to take stock of our counter-terrorism efforts, and I want to commend Ambassador Greenstock for his leadership and organization of the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. The Committee has been exemplary in the pace and seriousness of its work, and innovative in maintaining close touch with the UN membership as a whole. Ambassador Greenstock's briefing today demonstrates clearly that it will continue to be so as it enters the next phase of its important work of examining national reports. And I also agree with his comments about the goal of seeking consensus while at the same time not condoning that which is not acceptable. Our goal throughout should be to build and maintain the strongest consensus possible.
The events of September 11 changed the way all of us look at, and respond to, terrorism. The work of the CTC is an important element of strengthening international cooperation, and in encouraging stronger efforts by each nation. Resolution 1373 sets the standard that terrorism is unacceptable and illegal and is to be opposed. Nothing could be clearer, and all states now have the legal, as well as political and moral, obligation to act against it. This scourge, as we have recognized, threatens all nations, all peoples, and indeed, each individual. The requirement to address terrorism is operational now, and the United States is working hard to see that it is met.
I noted the Secretary General's insightful comments about not losing sight of the other important issues on the international agenda, and we agree. And also, his comments about the connection between the struggle against terrorism and human rights -- those are both very important points to keep in mind. I note also the global, social, political, and economic impact of the September 11 attack and how they undermine that very fabric in that agenda. We will be living with that for some time.
The struggle against terror must be won if we are to make progress together in building the more prosperous, tolerant, secure and democratic world that the vast majority of the world's people aspire to -- this is the world foreseen in the UN charter, and in the Millennium Declaration. To achieve this victory will take time. We must also be clear about the threat and the response. There are numerous means for attacking it, but it will simply no longer do to justify terrorism.
As is often the case when the UN membership has difficulty in finding the way ahead, our Secretary General has helped define the issue. He told us last year on October 1 that "there is a need for moral clarity. There can be no acceptance of those who would seek to justify the deliberate taking of innocent civilian life, regardless of cause or grievance. If there is one universal principle that all peoples can agree on, surely it is this." He was right, and the UN membership should conclude at once the comprehensive convention against terrorism on the basis of the compromise proposed by Australia.
After September 11, inadequate counter-terrorist programs and infrastructures cannot be tolerated. Resolution 1373 addresses this head-on. The United States has been gratified by the roll-up-your sleeves spirit of the Counter-Terrorism Committee members and UN Members more broadly. We are all tackling the difficult but essential job of analyzing our anti-terrorism capabilities and identifying areas for improvement. The task also is best done collectively, and it is being undertaken in this way. No country can afford to be complacent.
We all recognize that some countries will need material and technical assistance to improve their counter-terrorism capabilities. The United States offers a broad range of counterterrorism assistance programs in a number of subject areas. Topics include money laundering and financial crimes, customs, immigration, extradition, police science and law enforcement, and illegal arms trafficking. The programs are set forth in detail in our submission to the Committee. We hope that other governments have reported, or will report soon, to the Counter-Terrorism Committee on the assistance they are able to provide. Many states need such help in implementing Resolution 1373. Today, I want to stress that we are eager to be helpful. We suggest that using regional organizations in this effort may help stretch scarce assistance resources. Even in so important an area as counter-terrorism, there never is enough money.
Let me close by reiterating how encouraged we are by the work so far of the Committee. We must not lose sight of the utmost urgency of our collective counterterrorism effort, or lapse into a business as usual approach.
Thank you, Mr. President.
U.S. Government Website