Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts - Global Security and International Terrorism
(New York, December 9, 2008)
Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia
Allow me to congratulate you on assuming the presidency of the Security Council during the month of December.
Croatia's initiative of convening this thematic debate on "Global Security and International Terrorism" is very pertinent. All the more, when the international community has condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that took the lives of tens of innocent people and caused injuries to hundreds.
We reiterate the Colombia's condolences to the Government and the people of India and express our solidarity with the victims and their relatives. My country, having suffered the effects of terrorism, very well understands the size of the tragedy.
The fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, for whatever purposes and committed by whomever, must continue to be one of the highest priority objectives of the international community.
Colombia places the highest priority on efforts aimed at agreeing upon international instruments and mechanisms to combat this scourge. That is why we have supported initiatives at the hemispheric and global levels to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism.
My country has ratified the relevant Agreements on terrorism, adopted within the framework of the United Nations. It has also participated in defining the mandates and political commitments to prevent and tackle terrorism, agreed upon in the Summits of the Americas, the Rio Group, the OAS, and the UN. I would like to underline in that regard, my country's recent ratification of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.
Strengthening cooperation and assistance between States and international organizations, is one of the fundamental aspects in the fight against terrorism.
The Government of Colombia thinks that this fight demands a cooperative effort, through bilateral, regional and sub-regional instruments that contribute to confront the manifestations of this scourge. The fight against international terrorism can only be effective, if all countries are equally committed and advance in the implementation of their international obligations. We can not dismay in our efforts to eradicate that threat. While the security of our citizens and institutions are besieged by it, the progress achieved in different areas will be unprotected and become vulnerable.
In this regard, the need for concerted policies, including comprehensive actions against asset laundering and the world drug problem, as sources that feed terrorism, is increasingly evident. Also required is a resolute willingness by all States to avoid providing safe haven to members of terrorists groups, and to promote the exchange of intelligence information conducive to dismantling the existing networks.
My delegation considers appropriate the initiatives aimed at strengthening, as priorities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the capacity of Member States to implement the strategies to confront this problem, particularly, through technical assistance mechanisms. The creation of five technical groups that provide cross cutting assistance in the areas of finance control, arms trafficking, border control, legal issues and other matters provided for in Security council Resolution 1624, is a step in the right direction. Also, the focus of the Counter-Terrorism Committee aimed at assessing the efficacy of the measures adopted by States and to identify capacities, resources and infrastructures that may be improved.
Recently, through these mechanisms, my country has had the opportunity to offer technical assistance in the area of financial analysis as a tool to confront asset laundering. This offer was accepted and has been, for example, channeled to cooperation with Jamaica, through financing provided by the Inter-American Counter Terrorism Committee.
With the latter's support, Colombia has hosted regional seminars on issues such as port security management, travel documents management, as well as cyber-crime.
The adoption of a United Nations Global Strategy against terrorism set a new and decisive landmark, as it provided the international system with a comprehensive perspective in the fight against that scourge. Also, it allowed to set a definite course to strengthen international cooperation and confront the different forms of terrorism, and the activities from which it feeds.
My delegation supports the negotiation and adoption of the general convention against international terrorism, as a complement to the global strategy. It is necessary to intensify the efforts to complete the negotiation of this important instrument.
I would like to highlight, on the other hand, the progress achieved in the implementation of resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540. This progress should foster an additional effort by the Security Council and the General assembly to strengthen the coordination and coherence in the criteria, mechanisms and efforts by the Organization in the fight against terrorism.
At the national level, the Defense and Democratic Security Policy implemented by the Government of Colombia, has produced results widely recognized internationally. Thanks to that policy, my country is now able to better defend democracy and the rule of law, guarantee the security and the freedom of the people, protect human rights and promote economic and social development.
The measures and actions that Colombia has been carrying out against terrorism are within the framework of a State policy, that engages the different entities and institutions, and are congruent with international agreements of which Colombia is a party.
It is clear, Mr. President, that to confront the threat of terrorism, the isolated actions of the States, or the international institutions are not enough. A continued commitment by all States and relevant actors is, therefore, indispensable. In particular, in matters attaining to the crimes closely related to terrorism, such as the world drug problem, the asset laundering, and the illegal traffic of arms, among others, which demand a joint, coordinated, and permanent effort.
Aware of it, Colombia wishes to reiterate the need to strengthen cooperation in this area, including the bilateral, regional and global levels. The responsibility, willingness and commitment of all States become essential to make truly effective the efforts of the international community.
Thank you, Mr. President.