Statement by Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, on Agenda Item 108 : "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism" at the Sixth Committee of the UN 62nd General Assembly

Baki İlkin 10.10.2007
Mr. Chairman,

I would first like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau for your election to chair the Committee. I am confident that under your able guidance the Committee will have a productive and fruitful session.

As already mentioned, Turkey aligned itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union. That said, I would like to add a few words from a national perspective and highlight our views on certain aspects of the fight against terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism is a crime against humanity, which cannot be justified under any reason or pretext. No consideration whatsoever can be invoked to justify terrorist acts. In this regard, there is also no room for selective approaches tantamount almost to double standards. Regardless of their motivation, all acts, methods and practices of terrorism should be unconditionally condemned. Given the gravity of the situation, we can no longer confine ourselves to expressing our resolve solely by words. It is indeed high time for the international community to translate its commitments into concrete actions.

We must be able to take a firm stance against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, no matter what lies behind it. Indeed, if we start differentiating between terrorists targeting us or the others, or between military and civilian casualties, then, sooner or later, there would be no escape from falling prey to this scourge. We fully understand and accept that this cannot be done without trying to understand the conditions conducive for terrorism. Yet, this mental exercise should not lead to passive observations.

Frankly speaking, Mr. Chairman, after years of suffering in the hands of indiscriminate terrorism all over the globe, in practice we are still far from reaching a consensus on how we should proceed. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to eradicate hesitations and indeciveness. Whatever the grounds may be for this, the only beneficiaries remain to be terrorists who feel further vindicated and encouraged to advance their ill agenda.

Mr. Chairman,

The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which we adopted last year by consensus, indeed provides a strong basis for this endeavor. Now, we must be true to both the letter and spirit of the strategy and thus collaborate and cooperate closely in our fight against terrorism.

In fact, it is now in our reach to implement the measures that the Global Strategy and various other related documents stipulate upon us. Yet, first and foremost, it requires a strong political will. There can be no room for inaction and complacency.

Mr. Chairman,

On the other hand, those who intentionally or unintentionally provide safe haven to terrorists in their countries should immediately put an end to this ill practice. Those who do not prosecute or extradite terrorists should start doing so. And those who allow terrorists to continue their political propaganda and incitement to violence in their countries should not let these freedoms be turned into weapons in the hands of terrorists. All expressions of support and solidarity against terrorism should be translated into actions.

Mr. Chairman,

Within the past two days, my country has given 15 more victims to terrorism. At this point, words are not enough to reflect the anguish and outrage of my people. I know that there are quite a number of countries represented in this room which have also gone or still going through similar bitter experience. And I am sure they will all agree with me that the only way to help sooth such pain and agony is through genuine display of commitment by international community to combat and eradicate terrorism in a determined manner.

Mr. Chairman,

In concluding, I wish the Committee every success in handling of this important ad sensitive subject. The true success of your work will not be gauged by how many resolutions or documents we produce. The real yardstick will be the extent to which international community can act jointly and effectively to eradicate the threat of terrorism. Turkey will do everything in its power to help the Committee achieve this ultimate objective.

Thank you.