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Open Debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts

(New York, April 4, 2003)

Statement by Ambassador Luis Guillermo Giraldo, Permanent Representative of Colombia 



Mr. President,

Colombia subscribes to the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Perú on behalf of the Rio Group. However, the Government of Colombia has decided to speak in this open debate of the Security Council, due to the importance of this issue for our country, which is carrying on a struggle without respite against terrorism and is seeking for international solidarity in it's undertaking.

I would like to thank the Chairman of the "Committee Against Terrorism", Sir Jeremy Greenstock, for the report submitted and the intense labor put into it.

Mr. President,

At the Session held past February the 20th, Colombia brought forward two inseparable aspects, the internal and the external, that exist today in our conflict. We said that in the internal aspect, we recognized the obligations under our jurisdiction. Colombia took on the fight against terrorism within a democratic frame, in accordance with its Constitution, the laws and the international treaties on human rights and of international humanitarian law. Our "Democratic Security Policy" seeks to protect all Colombians, civil society, unionists, ombudsmen, entrepreneurs, workers. Democracy in security equals security for all.

But there is yet an external aspect that is fundamental to confront our fight against terrorism. It is demonstrated that the international financial networks used by terrorists are similar to those used by the illicit drug and arms traffickers. Reasonably, on the 20th of January this Security Council, that met at the Ministerial Level, issued a declaration (Resolution 1456 (2003)) where it reaffirms that "terrorists must be prevented from making use of other criminal activities such as transnational organized crime, illicit drugs and drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit arms trafficking".

On this regard, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Government of Canada for introducing in their list of terrorist organizations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-defense Groups of Colombia (AUC), illegal armed groups that practice their activities against the State and civilians in my country. This is an ethical, political and legal support, that sets a procedure that we hope will be taken into account by all of those countries that wish to assist us in our fight against terror.

The awareness of this reality is essential for Colombia, where terrorism is supported by these international criminal activities in relation with the global illicit drug problem fundamentally. Our experience has demonstrated that the fight of the international community against the global drug problem, which accepted the shared responsibility principle, is a determinant in our fight against terrorism. On the other hand, the success of the combat on terrorism depends in a great measure, on the effective implementation of the principle of shared responsibility. Combating terrorism is a responsibility of all. In this fight, every State has to assume a task that corresponds with their conditions and capabilities to fulfill it.

In order to apply this principle of shared responsibility, Colombia calls on the international community to develop a direct struggle against these criminal activities that fuel terrorism in our country. As the President of Colombia said "We have the moral authority to ask for international cooperation because we are committed with the respect of human rights, because our democracy is one that is governed by the rule of law and not by the fancy of it's governant. We have the moral authority to ask for international cooperation against terrorism because we have never denied dialogue or a humanitarian agreement. The international community knows our decision to defeat violence and also our infinite disposition for a sincere and peaceful reconciliation ".

Mr. President,

We reiterate our support to the work that has been done by this Security Council and it's "Committee Against Terrorism" in the fight against this universal flagellum. We also wish to express our gratitude to Ambassador Greenstock for the important labor that he has fulfilled and our assurance that the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, Inocencio Arias, will continue to fulfill all of these important tasks in the Committee and in the Security Council. Both organs have the immense responsibility to respond to the expectations that our peoples have towards the role that they should play in the fight against terrorism in all of the regions of the world.

Finally, Mr. President, Colombia insists on the cooperation of the international community, in legal and policive actions, such as those imposed in resolution 1373, in order to successfully combat terrorism. The nature of the acts of terrorism should not only be determined by the place where they are committed, or by their global or national reach, but also by the activities that sponsor them and by the money that finances them. In this field of international cooperation, the United Nations has the capacity, the experience and the moral authority to assist all regions affected by the terrorist scourge.


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Statement 2003