Global perspective Human stories

In General Assembly debate, developing States seek support for anti-terror drive

In General Assembly debate, developing States seek support for anti-terror drive

Addressing the final day of the General Assembly's debate on international terrorism, representatives of developing countries said they were affected by the menace and required assistance in shoring up their response.

Ambassador Vinci N. Clodumar of Nauru, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Group, noted that the attacks on the US had consequences for the region's countries. In addition to the fact that nationals from the Pacific were among the victims of the attacks, he noted that there were other "perhaps less immediate" effects. "For instance, the inevitable impact of these events on global air transportation may have significant consequences for the Pacific - a region in which safe and regular air transport is critical," he said. "In this interconnected world, we are all affected."

Speaking for Barbados, Ambassador June Clarke, agreed that no country, however small, was immune from terrorism. " Indeed, small countries are particularly vulnerable because they frequently do not have the logistical and intelligence assets to effectively track the activities of terrorists and other agents of transnational crime," she said.

The Acting Permanent Representative of Botswana, Leutlwetse Mmualefe, said many developing countries faced enormous social and economic problems and were "in dire need of resources and technical assistance to help us upgrade our capacities to effectively participate in the global coalition against terrorism." He stressed that conflict-ridden regions of the world had proven to be easier breeding grounds and havens for terrorist activities. "For us to win the battle against international terrorism it is also imperative that we make resolute efforts to find durable solutions to raging conflicts globally," he said.

Milos Prica of Bosnia and Herzegovina said the international crime of terrorism belonged to the category of the most serious crimes affecting all countries in the world. As such, he suggested that it be included "in some form acceptable for all countries" under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Turkmenistan's Ambassador, Aksoltan T. Ataeva, expressed support for the Secretary-General's view that the UN was a natural forum for the creation of a global coalition in the fight against terrorism. Turning to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, she said that her country had proposed the creation of a UN presence in Ashgabat which would take on the task of helping to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution to the Afghan conflict.

Addressing the Assembly today on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Mokhtar Lamani stressed that extremism, violence and terrorism were international phenomena not restricted to a specific people, race or religion. "Islam is innocent of all forms of terrorism and condemns strongly the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes under the name of Islam or any other justification," he stressed. At the same time, he condemned attempts to suppress the distinction between terrorism and the legitimate attempts of people to resist foreign occupation, and supported convening an international conference to define terrorism.

The five-day debate, which attracted the participation of over 160 countries, had been moved up from its previously scheduled date to urgently address ways of combating the threat in the wake of the attacks against the United States.