STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR RAFET AKGÜNAY, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO LAUNCH THE UN GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY

Rafet Akgünay 19.09.2006
Madam President,
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to address such a distinguished audience on this very special occasion. I therefore would like to express our deep appreciation to the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly for organizing this high-level meeting and giving us the opportunity to underscore the importance of this significant step.

Indeed, the launch of the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is a landmark development that needs to be recognized by all. Therefore, while Turkey fully aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union, I would still like to briefly share our views on this important topic.

As one of the countries long targeted by terrorism we have drawn important lessons upon which there now seems to be a general consensus worldwide.

First of all, terrorism is a crime against humanity, which can not be justified under any circumstances. Indeed, the right to live is one of the most fundamental human rights and thus nothing can excuse or validate the killing of innocent people. Therefore, we highly appreciate the clear and unequivocal condemnation by the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of all forms and manifestations of terrorism, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes.

Secondly, terrorism is a constantly evolving phenomenon which exploits and benefits from globalization in every possible sense. As such, the scope of terrorism today is much wider than in the past including organized crimes such as illicit trafficking of drugs, arms trade, human smuggling and money-laundering, just to name a few. Furthermore, the technological advances in communication and transportation have also given terrorists new means to press on with their ill agenda. Some terrorist organizations even broadcast through TV Stations. Therefore, our fight against terrorism should be a comprehensive and multi-dimensional effort so as to take these developments into account.

Finally, no nation in the world can fight and succeed against terrorism alone. Today, we starkly witness this fact in many different parts of the world, where the efforts to combat this scourge on an individual level does not suffice for a clear and final victory. Therefore, the fight against terrorism should be waged on a global scale, with full and vigorous international cooperation. And the UN is the most appropriate forum to prepare the basis of such an effective global strategy.

Otherwise, if we fail to act together, and proceed with double-standards or discriminate among different forms of terrorism in a way that would weaken international solidarity and cooperation, this would only breed more terrorism which will eventually haunt us all.

This is why Turkey has taken an active part and endorsed all the international instruments related to combating terrorism. This is why Turkey welcomes and applauds the adoption of the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by consensus and attaches pivotal importance to its full implementation.

And this is also why we continue to urge all Member States to exert all possible efforts for the adoption of an even more important agreement, namely the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which could serve as the central piece of our global fight against terrorism.

Madam President,
Mr. Secretary General,

The issue of terrorism is such a powerful topic affecting every nation represented in this house that one can not over-emphasize the importance of combating it. However, in view of the time constraint, I will conclude here by thanking all who have contributed to the adoption of this strategy.

We hope that the constructive spirit that was kept up throughout this exercise will also prevail in the 61st session of the General Assembly, yielding even more advanced steps in the fight against terrorism.

Thank you.