Countries from across the world today emphasized the importance of fortifying the global legal arsenal in the fight against terrorism, as the General Assembly entered the third day of its weeklong debate on measures to combat the scourge.
Jagdish Koonjul, the Ambassador of Mauritius, said the numerous international conventions on terrorism were either "not comprehensive enough or more importantly we have failed in implementing them." He noted that many countries might not have the expertise needed to incorporate the provisions of international conventions on terrorism into their domestic laws. "We call on the Secretary-General and those countries which have such expertise to provide the necessary technical assistance to countries in need," he said.
Speaking for the Republic of the Congo, Ambassador Ileka Atoki agreed that each country must adhere to the international anti-terrorism treaties and must be capable of taking the necessary measures to assure their full application at the national level.
Brazilian Ambassador Gelson Fonseca Jr. said the international community must work to ensure the universal adoption and full implementation of the existing counterterrorism conventions, while redoubling its efforts to conclude negotiations on the draft comprehensive terrorism convention. He also stressed the importance of attention to weapons of mass destruction, urging ratification of treaties dealing with chemical and biological arms.
Eladio Loizaga, Paraguay's Ambassador, was one of numerous participants emphasizing the importance of finalizing the draft comprehensive convention against terrorism now under consideration in the Assembly's Legal Committee. "The time that we lose in strengthening our legal framework will be an opportunity for the terrorists to increase their potential," he warned.
Jamaican Ambassador Patricia Durrant joined this call. A comprehensive convention on terrorism, she said, "will provide for the level of cooperation and coordination recognized as essential for effective action by Member States to combat terrorism." Peruvian Ambassador Oswaldo De Rivero said the draft treaty "must be soon materialized to clearly indicate the union of wills that seek to defeat this scourge," warning that a delay "might send a mistaken message of weakness or lack of unity of the international community."
The Ambassador of Syria, Mikhail Wehbe, stressed that Arab countries had made tireless efforts to combat the scourge at the regional level, noting that his country had been among the first to adopt domestic legislation to fight terrorism. While affirming the right of the United States, within the framework of the United Nations, to pursue the perpetrators, he cautioned that any action must be accompanied by irrefutable proof and not be aimed at entire peoples.
Speaking for Kazakhstan, the country's Ambassador, Madina B. Jarbussynova, highlighted the need to protect civilians. "As actions are taken against terrorists and their sponsors, we must make sure that the lives of thousands of women and girls in Afghanistan, who have suffered so terribly under the rule of Taliban, are saved and their plight not forgotten," she said, adding that Afghan women and girls "finally gain their freedom and full rights and get the access to education and health care."