Address by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Security Council on "Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts"

Baki İlkin 19.03.2008
Mr. President,

As stated before, Turkey has aligned itself with the statement made on behalf of the EU. Given the importance we attach to this agenda item, I would like to make a few additional remarks from national point of view.

Mr. President,

Turkey, as a country which has suffered from terrorism for more than twenty years, has been at the forefront of efforts to eradicate this scourge. However, terrorism is not a phenomenon peculiar to certain countries or regions. The tragic events around the globe have proven that no country or region can consider itself immune from terrorism. Hence, the fight against terrorism should be a priority for all. Likewise, one of the most important prerequisites of the success in this fight is international cooperation.

At this point, I would like to refer to Security Council Resolution 1373(2001) which calls upon member states to work together to suppress and prevent terrorist acts, including, among others, through increased cooperation. I do not want to go into the details of this landmark resolution. Nevertheless, allow me to underline some its provisions which deserve particular attention as to the need for international cooperation:

First of all, denial of safe haven to terrorists is one of the fundamental obligations set out in this resolution and it certainly requires a more advanced level of cooperation among the interested countries.

Secondly, the responsibility to end impunity for terrorists by ensuring (i) that terrorists are brought to justice,(ii) that punishment envisaged in domestic laws duly reflects the seriousness of such terrorist acts and (iii) that refugee status is not abused by terrorists is also an essential element of this resolution which highlights the necessity for increased international cooperation.

As such, we strongly believe that Resolution 1373 (2001) provide a firm basis for a coordinated and united response to terrorism. However, this resolution could only yield desired results if it is implemented by all member states to the fullest extent. In this regard, we hope that the recently introduced "Preliminary Implemention Assesment" (PIAs) mechanism, which is expected to identify the areas where countries need to take additional measures, would improve the implementation of this important resolution.

On the other hand, intensified dialogue between the member states and the UN could also help detecting some of the shortfalls in the fight against terrorism. It is with this understanding we accepted the offer by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to visit Turkey last year. We hope and expect that the CTED would be able to visit other countries which have become target or safe haven for terrorists.

Finally, mutual legal assistance and full respect to the obligation to "extradite or prosecute" set the framework of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. In this regard, we welcome the creation of the technical groups, as indicated in the revised organizational plan for the CTED, which will be dealing, amongst others, with general legal issues, such as extradition and mutual legal assistance.

Mr. President,

Living in a peaceful and secure world is a common goal shared by all member states of the UN. And this goal can only be achieved through determined international cooperation to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.

Before concluding my remarks, I also wish to extend our congratulations to the new Executive Director of the CTED, Mr. Mike Smith and reiterate that we will lend him and his Directorate every support to achieve our common objectives.

Thank you.