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STATEMENT BY MR. HIROSHI TAJIMA
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
ON ITEM 108: MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
FRIDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2005
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
First of all, on behalf of my government, I wish to appreciate the devoted efforts of Ambassador Rohan Perera, as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996 and Chairman of the Working Group on Measures to eliminate international terrorism. It is my hope that we will achieve significant results leading to the conclusion of the negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. I extend my respect as well to the Coordinator and the members of the Bureau, who are playing important roles in these negotiations.
As we are all aware, on 1 October, a series of terrorist bombings occurred in Bali, Indonesia, and many people were killed and injured. Such acts of terror represent the height of cowardice and are entirely inexcusable. Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason. We condemn terrorism in the strongest terms and express our deepest condolences for those killed in the attacks and the bereaved families. We also extend our sympathy to the injured and pray for their early recovery.
The international community has been working proactively to enhance counter-terrorism efforts through bilateral cooperation and regional and multilateral frameworks, and a certain amount of progress has been made. Those achievements notwithstanding, countless tragedies and unfathomable grief continue to be visited upon people all over the world through terrorist attacks, including the series of bombings in Bali. No country is immune to terrorism. In order to protect people and civilization at the global level, counter-terrorism remains a high-priority issue, on which the international community must act in cooperation and with the utmost urgency.
The most important element in the quest to prevent and eradicate terrorism is to deny safe haven to terrorists. To that end, it is essential to strengthen the international legal framework and ensure that those who have committed acts of terror with whatever motives and purposes are brought to justice. From this perspective, the Convention carries the utmost urgency and importance in the international fight against terrorism.
In the "2005 World Summit Outcome" adopted at the United Nations in September, world leaders stressed the need to make every effort to reach agreement on and conclude the Convention during the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. The expeditious conclusion of the negotiations on this Convention will be in the interest of the entire international community, and it would demonstrate unambiguously that the United Nations and the international community have taken an uncompromising stance against terrorism. To prevent more innocent people from falling victim to terrorism, we call for unity on the part of international community and an early conclusion of the negotiations on this Convention.
The Member States have already reached agreement on almost all articles of the Convention. The remaining issue to be resolved is how the activities of the parties in a situation of foreign occupation should be dealt with in relation to terrorism under the principle of self-determination.
The deliberate targeting and killing of civilians and non-combatants cannot be justified or legitimized by any cause or grievance. This Convention is intended to ensure that persons who commit such acts will be bought to justice under the law, based on their own deeds, regardless of where they are carried out or under what pretext. Certainly, a just and lasting solution must be pursued on the issue of self-determination independently of the negotiations on the Convention. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that no ambiguity is allowed to arise with regard to the scope of the Convention. The matter must be closely studied from the point of view of regional stability and the protection of the people of each State, as well.
On this issue, a new proposal has been presented which may offer a solution that could be accepted by all countries. This proposal would respond to the concerns of relevant countries, and could also serve as a base upon which to forge a consensus from this point forward. With this proposal as a basis for discussion, we hope that each Member State will show wisdom and the utmost flexibility in undertaking the negotiation process.
In conclusion let me give my assurances that Japan will cooperate to the full extent of its capabilities to facilitate substantive progress in these negotiations, in view of the urgency and the importance which the Convention carries.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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