Open Debate on "Threats to International Peace and 
Security Caused by Terrorist Acts"
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, 
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
Security Council, New York, 18 January 2005

Mr. President, 

I would like to thank the Chairman of the Counter-terrorism Committee (CTC), Ambassador Andrey Denisov, for his comprehensive presentation of the work of the Committee, and 
its work program for the coming months. As a member of the Bureau, I wish to associate myself with his words. I express appreciation for the presence among us of the Counter-terrorism Executive Director, Ambassador Javier Ruperez, and for his contribution to the work of the United Nations.

In addition, I wish to stress the valuable work being carried out by the Secretariat in support of the Committee and its Sub-committees. 

Mr. President, 

I take this opportunity to reiterate Brazil’s firm commitment to counter terrorism and our repudiation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as a most serious threat to
peace and security. 

As the use of indiscriminate violence against non-combatants violates the most fundamental values of the UN Charter, terrorism fully deserves the strongest collective repudiation. Unfortunately, as seen in the case of other forms of violence, such as organized crime, it seems
unlikely that terrorism will be completely eliminated.

At the United Nations, the question of terrorism mainly refers to the establishment of clear, legitimate and acceptable limits to the use of violence. If effective international cooperation mechanisms are properly established, terrorism may be kept at very low levels.

In order to reach such a desirable outcome, the United Nations should have the primary responsibility of fostering a coordinated, comprehensive and integrated response by the
international community against terrorism, as recently noted by the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

Such a strategy should not be restricted to punitive measures, but rather also tackle, in a proper manner, the “root causes” of terrorism. It is well known that dire situations, usually linked to social, political and cultural oppression, as well as severe economic inequalities often
create an environment favorable to the development of extremism. Any acceptable strategy should fully take into account the need to observe the relevant provisions of international law and due process. 

Mr. President, 

We trust that CTED will become fully operational in the near future, and that it will be able to help in the broadening and enhancing the dialogue of the Committee and its subcommittees with member states, as well as with other UN bodies, international, regional and sub-regional 
organizations; and, in particular, the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We welcome the convening of a specific meeting of CTC with those organizations in Almaty next week.

We also hope that CTED be in a position not only to facilitate the actual offering of technical assistance, but also to make sure that the cooperation provided by third parties to countries is fully satisfactory. We are of the view that that the first joint visits by CTC and other relevant organizations, scheduled to start in March 2005, provide an occasion to identify countries needs, thus allowing for the provision of focused cooperation. 

Brazil recalls the need for the future composition of CTED personnel to observe the requirement of technical competence as well as to reflect the various UN regional groups and
their legal systems. We believe that consensus can be built on the basis of these two principles. 

Mr. President, 

In our view, CTC and CTED are structures designed mainly to shelter states that are willing to cooperate but that, for various reasons, find themselves unable to do so. CTC (and by 
extension, CTED) is not to be likened to a sanctions committee. 

In Brazil’s opinion, Resolution 1566 (2004) reflects a compromise language that contains a clear and important political message, but properly speaking it does not constitute, nor can it be construed, as a conceptual definition of terrorism. Furthermore, as foreseen in the UN
Charter, we believe that reaching an agreed definition of terrorism falls under the functions and powers of the General Assembly. We are not convinced that the Security Council
should assume such treaty-making prerogatives. In the absence of such a definition there may be a risk of issues before the Committee becoming unnecessarily “politicized”. 

Finally, Mr. President,

I wish to stress that Brazil welcomes present efforts to update and strengthen the United Nations efforts in the area of countering terrorism and remains open to participate in
the deliberations concerning this very serious issue. In that regard, Brazil expects that the global strategy to counter terrorism to be presented by the Secretary-General as well as his recommendations on this issue will help to overcome the
existing difficulties.