Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, Informal Consultations of the Plenary on a Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Baki İlkin 14.06.2006
Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Let me start by thanking our two co-chairs for having prepared the paper entitled "Draft Elements for a United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy". I know how difficult it is to compile different views and approaches originating from 191 member states.

The text may not be considered perfect by a number of member states including mine. However, we feel that it is indeed a common denominator and a foundation stone for the views and positions expressed during the first round of discussions. We can always build on this foundation.

One thing is absolutely clear and that is "We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security". At the same time no distinction or differentiation can be made among the victims of terror.

As far as Turkey is concerned, the text in general covers most of our considerations and requirements. There are a number of secondary issues which we will revert to during the detailed discussions of the text in the period ahead.

Yet, the only issue that I may refer at this stage in conjunction with the text is the reference to the incitement in paragraph 9 of section III of the text. Turkey believes that the issue of incitement can not be limited only to the activities of educational, cultural and religious institutions but it should also cover the activities of media and the activities through the internet.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

There is no question what so ever that we would have to conclude the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism. Yet, we have one explanation which could in a way be used as a justification for the delay and that is almost all the issues and areas in the draft text of the Convention are already covered by 13 international instruments that we have agreed upon.

Yet, we should have to finalize and adopt the terrorism strategy without delay. We should avoid creating the wrong impression that the international community is unable to agree on a strategy in its efforts to eradicate this scourge. It would indeed give an extremely wrong and misleading message to the terrorist organizations.

Finally, the draft text that we have in front of us is and should remain to be a political document. It would be an untimely exercise to try to achieve a consensus on a number of contentious issues such as, the legal definition of terrorism which we have been unable to agree upon during the last decade.

I can assure you that my mission in a spirit of full cooperation and solidarity would be ready to work with all the missions in order to finalize the text on the terrorism strategy.

Thank you.