7 October 2009
Statement By Mr. Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh
Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Before the Sixth Committee
On Agenda item 106: “Measures to eliminate international terrorism”
(New York, 7 October 2009)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
My delegation would like to begin by congratulating you for your well deserved election as the Chairman of the Sixth Committee. We are confident that under your able leadership, the Committee will have a successful session. My delegation congratulates other members of the Bureau, as well. We assure you of our full support and cooperation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran aligns itself with the statements made on behalf of the OIC group and the Non Aligned Movement.
Terrorism continues to plague many societies and harm life and property as well as peace and security of millions of people around the globe. It is a global challenge, and as such requires a global response. And that’s what the international community has been trying to achieve for decades. Nonetheless, the blight of terrorism is far from being stamped out in many parts of the world. The question arises as to why terrorism has outlived many other global challenges in spite of all international mechanisms and attempts to counter terrorist activities? A wide range of factors and causes could be identified as contributing to this disturbing situation. However, one can not but immediately notice the fact that unfortunately terrorism has long been manipulated by some as a political leverage against others; they have not hesitated to sit with terrorists whenever they saw it benefiting their narrow national interests. Such sinister functionalist attitude toward terrorism which entails double standard policies and selective approaches in dealing with terrorism, provide sufficient room to terrorist groups to survive. This seems to be the approach taken by certain powers vis a vis a notorious terrorist group which for long perpetrated horrendous terrorist activities against Iranian citizens and killed and injured tens of thousands of innocent people.
We welcome the right decision by the Iraqi authorities to end the presence of this terrorist group in their territory and to bring its leaders and other criminal elements to justice.
Eliminating terrorism requires political will of all States manifested by avoiding double standard and organized under the auspices of the United Nations. International counter-terrorism measures shall be carried out in full conformity with the United Nations Charter and international law, international human rights and humanitarian law. The rule of law and respect for human rights and humanitarian law should be our guiding principles in fighting terrorism. Fighting terrorism should not be carried out at the expense of the high principles of the Charter, particularly the sanctity of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States.
A key to successful campaign strategy against any calamity is to identify and remove its root causes; addressing the underlying causes which enable terrorists to take hold and flourish, or “the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism”, to use the terminology of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, shall truly constitute an essential component of all counter-terrorism schemes. It is necessary to identify and eradicate those underlying causes that create resentment and despair, and generate hopelessness. Conflicts create breeding ground for terror and violence. Foreign occupation which subjugates people and deprives them of their basic human rights, including the fundamental right to self-determination, is the main source of hatred and desperation. Likewise, unlawful use of force by States against others creates chaotic situations where radical elements could thrive and spread violence. Unfortunately our surrounding region is suffering from terrorism and violence to the extent that is highly alarming. The unparalleled rise in terrorism in recent years which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people and resulted in huge economic damage plus instability has been mainly generated or fueled by conflicts and wars inflicted upon region from outside. The international community and especially those non-regional countries should shoulder their responsibility and help affected countries in the region to restore their peace and stability.
As a country which experienced the devastating wave of terrorism in its early days of its glorious revolution and thereafter, the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever and by whosoever committed. It is our principled position that resorting to indiscriminate violence and terrorist acts, whether by terrorist groups or by State military forces, and killing and maiming innocent peoples and generating terror and intimidation among civilians could not be justified in any manner.
We believe that a consensual definition of terrorism would strengthen international cooperation against terrorism and end ambiguities concerning this term. Such definition has to be objective and include all forms of terrorist acts. It has also to make a clear distinction between heinous acts of terrorism and legitimate struggle of peoples under foreign occupation for restoring their fundamental right of self determination.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the ongoing process of negotiation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We appreciate all initiatives aimed at reaching consensus on the pending issues of definition and scope of the draft Convention, and recognize the untiring efforts taken by the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996, particularly by the Chairman and the Coordinator of the ad Hoc Committee, to that end. We are committed to remain actively engaged with a view to arrive at consensual solutions for the key outstanding issues. This should be done without compromising or affecting the established norms and principles of international humanitarian law concerning the legality and legitimacy of people’s struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and alien domination to achieve self-determination. The new Convention should also criminalize acts of terrorism committed by State, including by its military forces. In fact ‘all measures of intimidation or of terrorism [by military forces, during a conflict] are prohibited’ under article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention. This could be a basis to criminalize such acts of States during peacetime, as well.
Ill-intended attempts to tarnish any religion, culture or nation by linking them with terrorism must be rejected. Such unwise and simplistic approach to terrorism, will only lead to distrust, hatred and division among nations as well as giving a leeway to terrorists. We welcome all initiatives that seek to promote dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions. We reaffirm our commitment to the principles and true teachings of Islam which rejects aggression, prohibit killing of innocent people and value peace, compassion and tolerance.
I would like to conclude by reiterating the importance of countering drug trafficking as an essential element of a successful campaign against terrorism, given the fact that drug-trafficking is used as a financial resource for some terrorist groups in the region. For decades, Iran has been at the forefront of a costly war against transnational drug traffickers. The indispensable role played by my country in fighting drug trafficking has, time and again, been recognized by the United Nations. We urge the international community to pay more attention to this issue. We recognize the vital role played by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, including its Terrorism Prevention Branch, in global campaign against drugs and terrorism and in mobilizing and providing assistance to requesting countries.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no effort in fighting terrorism. Iran has taken measures to improve its overall capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and crime. The accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the three international instruments against terrorism, namely the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, and its Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf as well as the 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, has been recently endorsed by the Parliament. We have also enacted Anti Money-Laundering Law which equips our legal system with the necessary tool to combat crime.
We stand ready to cooperate with other countries, especially the neighboring countries and with the relevant United Nations bodies to fight terrorism.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.