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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

complacent.”

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

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.

(end USUN text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.

Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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