U.S. Says No Country Can Be Complacent about Terrorism
The Counter-Terrorism Committee formed by the UN Security Council to analyze and coordinate each nation’s anti-terrorism capabilities is critical to the war on terrorism, U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham said January 18.
In a speech to the UNSC, Ambassador Cunningham said that “the events
of September 11 changed the way all of us look at, and respond to,
terrorism. The work of the CTC (Counter-Terrorism Committee) is an
important element of strengthening international cooperation, and in
encouraging stronger efforts by each nation.”
The Council held a day-long open meeting to discuss the CTC’s first 90
days of work. The committee was set to monitor Security Council
resolution 1373 adopted on September 28, 2001. The resolution requires
nations, among other things, to criminalize terrorist activities,
freeze the funds and financial assets of terrorists and their
supporters, ban others from making funds available to terrorists, and
deny safe haven to terrorists. The committee set December 27 as the
deadline for the UN’s 189 member states to submit an initial report on
what they have done to comply with the resolution. British Ambassador
Jeremy Greenstock is chairman of the 15-nation committee.
“We are all tackling the difficult but essential job of analyzing our
anti-terrorism capabilities and identifying areas for improvement,”
said Cunningham, who is the U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to
the United Nations, serving under Ambassador John Negroponte. “The
task also is best done collectively. No country can afford to be
Ambassador Cunningham said the United States is offering a broad range
of counter-terrorism assistance programs to help nations improve their
legislation and programs in combating money laundering and financial
crimes, strengthening customs, immigration, extradition, police
science and law enforcement, and stopping illegal arms trafficking.
Following is the USUN text of Cunningham’s remarks:
(begin USUN text)
Statement by Ambassador James B. Cunningham,
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations,
on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1373,
Security Council, New York
January 18, 2002
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
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
Thank you, Mr. President.
(end USUN text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)