Baki İlkin 05.02.2007
Mr. Chairman,

Turkey aligns itself with the statements made by the distinguished representatives of Germany and Azerbaijan on behalf of the European Union and the OIC respectively. Therefore, and in view of the limited time at our disposal, I do not want to further prolong the introductory part of our discussion. However, given the high significance we attach to the fight against terrorism, I would like to make a few remarks, very briefly, on the work of the committee and the very important task before us.

At the outset, I wish to remind the colleagues that it has been more than ten years since we have first established this committee to draft a "Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism". And today, after ten years of ardous negotiations and despite the considerable progress made so far, we are still here, struggling with the issue, while terrorists everywhere are carrying on with their ill-agenda at an ever more alarming pace.

Therefore, I sincerely believe that it is long overdue to finalize our job and thus present the international community with a comprehensive and effective tool that would streamline and strengthen our efforts to combat terrorism. Our citizens back home, who suffers from terrorism constantly either through physical/material losses or through a psychological trauma caused by intimidation expect and deserve no less.

And, this time I am rather more optimistic for a successful outcome this time. Because, in light of the recent developments, I believe that we all have an increasing stake in that endeavour. Also because, we realize now more than ever that none of our countries are immune from terrorism and that we are all affected by this vicious scourge in one way or another. And finally because, whatever our differences might be around this table, out in the field, there is a real necessity that unites our peoples and countries in the fight against this vicious scourge.

Furthermore, having followed your unrelenting efforts and contacts for the last few months, Mr. Chairman, as well as your coordinator, I am confident that under your able guidance, we will be able to finally walk the remaining few miles, find the necessary compromises and conclude our negotiations in consensus. In this regard, we are encouraged by the constructive and flexible approach as promised by all members of the group.

Indeed, the words around this table today clearly show that there is already a consensus to conclude our work as soon as possible and thus put up an unwavering stance against all forms of terrorism, irrespective of its motivations, objectives, targets and manifestations. What is expected of us now is to translate this resolve into action in the form of a comprehensive instrument that will guide and facilitate our cooperation.

In fact, only four months ago in September, we managed to reach consensus at the General Assembly on the Global Terrorism Strategy. I know it has not fully satisfied everyone. Naturally, certain parts could have been formulated in a different manner. However, I am sure that, the end result of our endeavours has sent a clear and strong message to every terrorist organization in the world. Now, we need to complement this strategy with a comprehensive convention that would enable us to implement its terms in a much more effective and broader fashion.

Mr. Chairman, as you might have noticed, I have not gone into details of our position on this or that particular paragraph. Not only because our views are already well-known by our colleagues, but I rather wanted to make a strong appeal to my colleagues to display flexibility and make it possible to reach a compromise. And on our part, you may rest assured that we will do so and show utmost flexibility to achieve our common goals.

Thank you.