Statement by Amb. J. Enkhsaikhan,
Permanent  Representative

of Mongolia in the plenary debate on the
question of
combating international terrorism

New York 1 October, 2001                                                                                             

  Mr. President,

              International reaction to the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York, our host city, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania has been overwhelming, swift and unreserved. The world community not only strongly condemned these barbaric acts and  reiterated its determination to fight all manifestations of terrorism. The reaction of States around the world, the unanimous resolutions adopted by the Security Council on 12 and 28 September as well as by this Assembly as its first order of business on 12 September clearly demonstrate that the resolve of States to fight this global scourge is not only strong, but it has also been re-invigorated. In fact, my delegation believes that these tragic events are having a deep impact both on international relations and on minds of peoples around the world. New realities need equally new approaches.

              The Mongolian people has resolutely  condemned these terrorist acts as criminal, directed against the entire humanity, and underlined that it considers their ultimate  goal was directed against peace, freedom and democracy. Bearing in mind the grave nature of these acts for international peace and security, the National Security Council of Mongolia has specifically considered its possible ramifications for international relations as a whole and the Government of Mongolia has asked the Secretary-General to convene an emergency session of the General Assembly to discuss the ways and means of practically combating terrorism. The consideration of this item in the plenary is seen by this delegation not only as an expression of unity of the international community in the face of the heinous acts of terrorism, but also as a brain-storming meeting that should be followed-up by concrete actions at the national, regional and international levels.

              The past three weeks have been revealing in this respect. It has seen member States take important steps, both among themselves and through the United Nations, to re-invigorate combat against this scourege. Thus a coalition is being formed  that is resolved to go after the perpetrators, organizers and funders of the terrorist acts of 11 September. The coalition’s determination to act is evident and this time tangible results might be achieved. The world needs good and encouraging news.

  It seems that the coalition rightly believes that its actions would yield practical and long-term results if a much broader and  permanent coalition is built around the United Nations, for military operations, however successful, would not be sufficient to root-out terrorism. Full force of national laws and international norms, together with addressing the root-causes of terrorism are needed.

              The first swift political reaction of the Security Council on 12 September has been followed up on 28 September by a decision on more practical measures to be taken, as reflected in its resolution 1373. My delegation believes that full implementation of all 23 concrete provisions of this resolution would be important for successfully waging the struggle. The invocation of chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the decision of the Council to set up a committee to monitor implementation of the resolution as well as its call upon member States to report to the committee on its implementation within 90 days are indeed signs of determination of the international to seriously address this problem. This resolve should be fully supported.

              Mongolia, like other States, takes its responsibility seriously. It is party to all the conventions that are practically implementable by Mongolia. It intends to become party to the convention on the suppression of the financing of terrorism in the near future. Mongolia’s participation in the international conventions to combat specific manifestations of terrorism is based on its firm belief that international terrorism affects all and that therefore all States, including those that are not directly affected by terrorism, can make a difference. The latter can deny safe haven to terrorists, transit of terrorists through their territories, transit through their territory of the sources of their financing or of perpetration of terrorist acts, etc. Following the line of least resistance, it cannot be ruled out that terrorists could contemplate pursuing their aims in or through small and weaker States, seeing in them the ‘weak link’ in opposing or fighting terrorism. Moreover, it is clear that  Security Council resolution 1373, including its provisions concerning prevention, early warning, exchange of operational information, investigation, prosecution, etc.,  could be successfully implemented only with the active participation of all States of the international community.

  Mr. President,

              We all agree that the United Nations should move from culture of reaction to one of prevention. This applies to the entire United Nations system. Thus the General Assembly, as the main UN organ that is empowered to consider the general principles of co-operation in the maintenance of international peace and security, should address the different aspects of terrorism, including legal, socio-economic and even cultural, all of which remain outside the Security Council’s resolution and its powers. The fight against terrorism would be successful if it is undertaken within and by strengthening international law and order. Thus the Legal (Sixth) Committee of the Assembly should, bearing in mind the existence of strong political will and determination, finalize, as soon as possible, both the convention against nuclear terrorism and the comprehensive convention against terrorism.

   The draft convention against nuclear terrorism is almost ready. Hopefully the remaining issue, that deals with the scope of its application, would be resolved during this session of the General Assembly. As to the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism, it is widely recognized that it is the political will that is more needed than negotiating or drafting skills of diplomats and lawyers. My delegation believes that given political will, terrorism could be defined. In this respect my delegation agrees with the Secretary-General that there can be no acceptance of those who would seek to justify the deliberate taking of innocent human life, regardless of cause or grievance. Where there is a will, there is always a way. Equally, the issue of relationship between the forthcoming convention and existing ones as well as future conventions on international terrorism could also be resolved. Once the two conventions are drawn up, member States should take prompt measures for their rapid entry into force.

    In the same manner the pace of establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) should be accelerated as a timely response to combat impunity of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. The question of adding aggression, threat or use of nuclear weapons, terrorist and environmental crimes that entail grave international consequence, to the list of crimes against humanity should in due time be looked at again and, if agreed, could be proposed to the amendment conference of the ICC in some future time, as envisaged in the Statute of ICC. As the Secretary-General has rightly pointed out earlier today, the political will of the international community that is clearly manifested these days, should be turned into strong legal commitment of States. The recent terrorist acts have also demonstrated that biological and chemical terrorist acts are becoming a real and present danger that need to be addressed accordingly.

  Mr. President,

                  Fight against terrorism should start at the national level., for terrorist plans are not necessarily hatched and preparations made at the international level. The attempts to give religious or national justification or coloration to criminal acts should be fought first and foremost at the national level. Depriving the terrorists of ‘ideological’ justification for their actions are extremely important to reducing the number of their followers and sympathizers and thus to narrowing the social basis of terrorism. It is in a way a form of preventive diplomacy. The role and importance of the mass media in giving objective information cannot be over-emphasized.

                  It is said that  wars begin in the minds of men and that it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. This, I believe, applies fully to terrorism. Therefore fostering  understanding, tolerance and dialogue among different civilizations are important. The efforts at promoting such a dialogue should not be limited in time nor in space. It should become a way of life; there is no alternative to that. The longstanding international problems, on which terrorism feeds, should be resolved as soon as possible. Terrorism is also being supported through drug trafficking, traffic in arms and explosives, money laundering, etc. Therefore international community’s efforts to combat these transnational crimes should also be consistent and bring tangible results.

     In this regard my delegation supports earliest entry into force of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted last year.  The competent authorities in my country are considering Mongolia’s participation.

                 It is not sufficient to address only the symptoms and various manifestations of terrorism. As it has been mentioned, the root causes need to be addressed.  Poverty, deprivation, frustration and despair that bring suffering to millions of people are fertile breeding grounds for terrorism. Many of the root-causes of terrorism are to be found in or connected with abject poverty. Therefore the General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies should redouble their efforts to address the questions of reducing and eliminating poverty in line with the objectives of the Millennium Declaration and promoting good and responsible governance. This and other measures should form an important part of the international community’s collective long-term strategy to fight terrorism, to which the Prime Minister of Mongolia referred in his recent message addressed to the Secretary-General. Perhaps the question of combating international terrorism could be taken up by the General Assembly in a special session after the Security Council’s committee, mentioned above, would have presented its first report and conclusions, and concrete recommendations for further concrete positive actions would have been drawn up. After all, the main organs of UN and the specialized agencies should work together in order to be most effective.

  Mr. President,

Regional action to combat terrorism is also very important, and in some cases, even crucial. Existence of 7 regional agreements and emergence of the eighth as part of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation, form a vital link between individual  measures at national levels as well as national measures with international. The value of regional agreements are that they are drawn up as a result of painstaking negotiations between experts representing different legal order or systems, they not only define the concrete crimes, but also envisage extradition or prosecution of the perpetrators and their accomplices, exchange of information, assistance in investigation, etc. In many cases its  the regional agreements that would bear the brunt of burden.

Finally, Mr. President, my delegation would like to take this opportunity to express its full support for the call for the measures to be taken to protect the potential victims of terrorism or those that could be caught in between in the struggle against terrorists and terrorism.