NEW YORK, 18 JANUARY 2002
STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. FRANCISCO SEIXAS DA COSTA, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS, IN HIS CAPACITY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHAIRMAN-IN-OFFICE OF THE OSCE TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL (Meeting to consider the implementation of Resolution 1373)
I have the honour of taking the floor in my capacity as representative of the Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The combat against terrorism is an extremely important element of the agenda of our organisation. At the last Ministerial Council of the OSCE, held in Bucarest on 3 and 4 December, the member States of our Organisation resolutely reiterated their condemnation of all "terrorist acts in all their forms and manifestations, committed no matter when, where or by whom" and considered that these acts are a "threat to international and regional peace, security and stability". The OSCE considers that there must be no safe haven for those perpetrating, financing, harbouring or otherwise supporting those responsible for such criminal acts. Terrorism, whatever its motivation or origin, has no justification.
The OSCE is determined to contribute to the fulfilment of international obligations as enshrined, inter alia, in resolution 1373 of this Council and will act in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. All the OSCE participating States have pledged to become parties to all 12 UN Conventions and Protocols related to terrorism as soon as possible.
The OSCE member States have also, in the spirit presiding over the functioning of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, offered to support, also through technical assistance, Central Asian partners, on their request, in countering external threats related to terrorism. I believe it is appropriate for me to reiterate this offer here today.
The adoption by the OSCE of a detailed Plan of Action for combating terrorism must be seen as an effort to complement other actions being taken by other international institutions. In fact, we intend to focus in areas where we can have an added value in preventive as well as crisis management tasks - like police training, border controls and adoption of appropriate legislation as well as judicial reform.
The Plan of Action covers a wide range of issues with the aim of establishing a framework for comprehensive OSCE action to be taken by participating States, and the Organisation as a whole, to combat terrorism while doing so in full respect of international law, including the international law of human rights. The Plan of Action seeks to expand existing activities that contribute to combating terrorism, facilitate interaction between States and, where appropriate, identify new instruments for action.
I should also note that it is the intention of the Chairman-in-office of the OSCE to nominate a personal representative to co-ordinate with other international organisations the political aspects of the anti-terrorist combat.
It is also the intention of the Chairman-in-office to work towards the adoption of a OSCE Charter against Terrorism, a goal which, we hope, could be attained soon.
Finally, Portugal intends to organise in Lisbon, in June 2002, a meeting of the Secretary-Generals of all the principal international organisations to consider the joint efforts to combat terrorism. We believe that such an initiative may contribute to a better co-ordination of the international efforts and may guarantee global coherence between the work of those organisations.
We are convinced that the steps being taken by the OSCE in its counter-terrorism efforts will assist the whole international community in ensuring that the threat posed by terrorists to international peace and security will be thwarted.
We are certain that the excellent co-operation that has characterised the relationship between our two organisations, a work that has grown progressively closer and become more complementary as attested to in the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 21 December 2001, will become even more inter-linked in the combat against terrorism.