20 July 2004
Global Fight Against Terrorism Remains Urgent, Danforth Says
Ambassador Danforth addresses Security Council
The global campaign against terrorism remains a high priority
for the United States and Washington is committed to seeing that
the United Nations continues to play an important role in that
fight, U.S. Ambassador John Danforth said July 19.
The Security Council "must act with a sense of urgency, as though
the events of March 11, 2004, and September 11, 2001, took place
yesterday, not months or years ago," Danforth said, referring to
the terrorist attacks in Spain and the United States that claimed
thousands of lives and injured thousands more.
Danforth spoke during a public U.N. Security Council meeting reviewing
the work of the council's counterterrorism committee (CTC) which
was set up after the September 11 attacks to determine how prepared
countries are to combat terrorism, assess what help they need,
and match those needs with donor nations. The counterterrorism
committee, which is now chaired by Ambassador Alexander Konuzin
of Russia, was restructured in March to provide an executive directorate
to acetate the committee's work.
Compliance with the council's resolutions on terrorism require
more than reports to the CTC, Danforth said. It requires legislative,
regulatory and operational action by governments on many fronts
to stop terrorist activities that range from financing to procuring
weapons and finding safe haven.
"Perhaps the clearest indication of just how much more needs to
be done is the number of major terrorist attacks since the CTC
opened it doors for business in October 2001," he said. "Simply
put, the terrorists and their supporters have continued to strike
whether in Bali, Moscow, Casablanca, Riyadh, Baghdad, Mombassa,
Istanbul, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Madrid. Terrorism has
not been defeated . . . ."
Following is the text of Danforth's remarks:
Statement by Ambassador John Danforth, U.S. Representative to
the United Nations, on the Work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee,
in the Security Council
July 19, 2004
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
I'm sure I join all ambassadors in thanking Ambassador Konuzin
for his report to us this morning, and also in congratulating him
and his staff for their work since assuming the Chairmanship of
the CTC in May.
I would also like to welcome Javier Ruperez, the Executive Director
of the newly established Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate,
to his first Council meeting. The establishment of this body marks
a watershed moment in the Council's efforts to deal with the menacing
threat to international peace and security that is terrorism.
The global campaign against terrorism remains the highest of priorities
for my government. The United States is committed to seeing that
the United Nations continues to play an important role in this
area, and my government is working to find ways to enhance the
It will require a team effort to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee has been a valuable member of this
team. Through its capacity-building work and its global coordination
initiatives, the Committee has helped energize member states and
organizations around the world to make the fight against terrorism
more of a priority, whether through the adoption of new or the
improvement of existing counter-terrorism laws or enforcement mechanisms.
As a result of its work, more organizations and countries have
joined the counter-terrorism team. Nevertheless, much work remains
to be done.
For example, while we have seen a significant increase in the
number of states that have become parties to the 12 international
counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, there are still too
many that have failed to take action in this area. Some 40 states
are parties to fewer than half of these instruments. This suggests
a lack of urgency in fighting terrorism and weakens international
Although the CTC has received more than 500 reports from member
states, compliance with Resolution 1373 requires much more than
the submission of reports. Compliance requires action on various
fronts -- the legislative, the regulatory, and the operational
-- the CTC needs to do a better job of reinforcing this point,
both inn New York and in capitals.
Perhaps the clearest indication of just how much more needs to
be done is the number of major terrorist attacks since the CTC
opened its doors for business in October 2001. Simply put, the
terrorists and their supporters have continued to strike, whether
in Bali, Moscow, Casablanca, Riyadh, Baghdad, Mombassa, Istanbul,
Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Madrid. Terrorism has not been defeated,
raising the specter of further deadly attacks on innocent victims
and continuing threats to international peace and security.
The Council established the CTED to strengthen the CTC and provide
it with additional tools and resources. Now, we must work to ensure
that the CTED becomes operational as quickly as possible.
The CTED will enable the CTC to be more proactive, to reach out
in different ways to states and organizations to encourage more
of them to become full partners on the counter-terrorism team.
Through field visits to different states, it will be able to help
the CTC assess on the ground efforts to implement the provisions
of Resolution 1373, thus moving beyond the current focus on written
reports. This is essential if the CTC eventually hopes to gather
enough information to determine which states are in compliance
with the resolution. In addition, we encourage those states that
have asked for technical assistance to consider requesting a visit
from the CTC and the CTED.
Even with the work of these bodies, and that of the Council's
other counter-terrorism body -- the "Al-Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions
Committee" -- the Council itself must remain at the forefront of
the global campaign to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism.
It must act with a sense of urgency, as though the events of March
11, 2004 and September 11, 2001, took place yesterday, not months
or years ago. It must never forget that so long as a few states
are not acting quickly enough to raise their capacity to fight
terrorism or are not meeting their international counter-terrorism
obligations, all of us remain vulnerable. The Council must be prepared
to live up to its responsibility under the U.N. Charter to maintain
international peace and security.
Thank you, Mr. President.