4 April 2003

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this meeting.

At the outset, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the outgoing chairman of the CTC, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, and his staff for their excellent work since the Committee's inception. The international community owes him a debt of gratitude for his dedicated leadership of the fight against terrorism since the attacks on September 11. At the same time, I am pleased to congratulate the new Chairman, Ambassador Inocencio Arias, and to express my confidence that under his guidance the CTC will continue to work effectively in combating terrorism.

Mr. President,

Japan continues to stress the importance of the following three elements in the fight against terrorism.

First, we must deny potential terrorists the means of engaging in terrorist activities. That is to say, we must take strict measures to cut off sources of funding and to stem the flow of weapons to terrorists. In particular, in light of their huge destructive potentials, strict non-proliferation measures are crucial to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists. We call upon the CTC, in cooperation with relevant international organizations, to give due attention to this area.

Strengthening the coordination between the CTC and the Committee established in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1267 is also important. The latter committee, under the leadership of its Chairman, Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdes of Chile, has achieved considerable progress in this regard. I would also like to point out, however, that the information included in the consolidated list of the 1267 Committee needs to be further enriched so as to enable Member States to better identify suspicious assets and accounts.

Second, we must deny safe haven to terrorists. Preventing and combating terrorism requires that the international community act in concert and implement measures in a unified manner. The counter-terrorism conventions and protocols are playing an essential role toward that end. We appreciate the efforts of the CTC to encourage Member States to accede to these conventions and protocols, and would like to urge that the expertise of the relevant international organizations be also mobilized to facilitate this goal. The special meeting of the CTC held last month provided an excellent opportunity to share information regarding the standards, codes and best practices of relevant international organizations. As a contracting party to all twelve counter-terrorism conventions, my government is prepared to provide information and assistance in solving problems, including legal issues, based on its own experience with respect to the conclusion of these conventions.

Third, we must strive to overcome vulnerability to terrorist activities. Naturally, terrorists are going after soft targets, which means that it is becoming all the more important to improve domestic security measures. The CTC must remain focused on capacity building efforts by countries, and the donor community should strengthen its support for the activities of the CTC.

Mr. President,

I have to stress that international terrorism is by no means a product born out of a clash between civilizations; it is always a barbarous assault on the civilized world, born out of cynicism, nihilism and anarchism. Terrorism threatens world stability and the lives of people everywhere. Those who feel sympathetic toward extremist terrorist groups should realize that terrorism is antithetical to the values we all share. In disseminating this truth I believe we can contribute to overcoming vulnerability to terrorism.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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