4 March 2004

Mr. President,

Terrorism robs us of innocent lives, destabilizes society, and endangers the foundations of our prosperity. Especially in the present era of expanding globalization, when we think of the ever-increasing probability that terrorists will utilize the latest scientific technology to carry out their attacks, terrorism must be regarded as one of the most serious new threats confronting the international community. The United Nations has been charged with the urgent task of ensuring that effective counter-terrorism measures are being taken. From that standpoint, I highly appreciate the efforts made by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, under the dedicated leadership of Ambassador Arias, in earnestly seeking a more effective way to combat terrorism. It is our understanding that the most recent report brings together measures on organizational matters that are required in order to address effectively the various problems pointed out in the Chairman's report of last November, and I would like to state at the outset that Japan supports the report.

Mr. President,

On that basis, let me stress the following four points.

First, Japan believes that, in restructuring the CTC, it is important to secure the coordination of the existing structures within the United Nations, such as the Secretariat, and thereby to strengthen the United Nations as a whole. If, as recommended in the report, the Committee is able to enlist the services of experts who are well-versed in the various trends in recent terrorist acts, and if, with their assistance, the CTC is able to analyze the large body of information gathered from Member States and to propose common measures to be taken by all States as well as specific measures to be taken by certain States for the eradication of terrorism, we are convinced that the role of the CTC will be further strengthened. Since technical support such as assistance in developing legislative measures related to counter-terrorism is already provided by UNODC, however, we would like to request the CTC to fully coordinate and cooperate with other UN organs, as mentioned in the recent report, so that there will be no duplication of work among them.

Second, I would like to stress the importance of promoting and enhancing support for counter-terrorism measures. While we appreciate the role which has been played by the CTC in this regard, we believe that the CTC, under its new structure, should continue to facilitate appropriate technical assistance, for example, by sending experts to countries concerned. Believing in the importance of promoting cooperation to combat international terrorism, Japan has been actively extending assistance for capacity-building. My government has been holding a variety of seminars with a view to assisting in capacity-building for counter-terrorism, primarily for Asian countries, in six main areas: immigration control, transportation security, customs cooperation, export control, police and law enforcement, and measures against terrorist financing. Additionally, with a view to enhancing crisis management capacity in the event of terrorist acts involving the use of biological or chemical weapons, my government has started providing for technical cooperation by holding seminars specifically to meet those objectives, and inviting officials from the relevant ministries and agencies of those countries to participate in them. We have invited some 280 officials from various countries to the seminars during the current fiscal year.

Third, I would like to emphasize that it continues to be a matter of high priority to cut off the sources of funding that make terrorist activities possible and to prevent the outflow of arms to terrorists. These measures are indispensable for preventing terrorism. For this purpose, importance should also be attached to the CTC's coordination of activities with the committee established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1267 (the "Taliban and Al-Qaida Sanction Committee"). Japan has taken measures to freeze the funds and other financial assets of well over 400 individuals and entities implicated in terrorist activities. We intend to continue encouraging Member States to enact the domestic legislation needed in order to take measures against the financing of terrorism. To that end, we intend to exhort other countries, especially in the Asian region, to accede to the counter-terrorism-related international treaties and protocols and to provide them with assistance for the drafting of the necessary legislation.

Fourth, as I said at the outset, Japan supports the recent report on revitalization of the CTC. However, that does not mean that the expenditures for that purpose may be allowed to grow unrestrained. In this regard, we would like to commend the point made in the most recent report that all measures to be taken, including reinforcement of the CTC structure, "should not increase in a disproportionate way the budget and resources already allocated to the CTC." It is also important to ensure transparency with regard to the sources of financing of the CTC's activities. We are often warned that when a new organization is established, people tend to attach more importance to its continuation and expansion than to its original objectives. In this connection, I would also like to welcome the inclusion in the proposal of a sunset clause terminating the new structure on 31 December 2007.

Mr. President,

The CTC is now well into its third year of work. We believe that the time has come to verify once more whether or not the counter-terrorism measures which we have been taking are functioning effectively, both in their organizational and their operational aspects. In this regard as well, my government believes that the recent proposal is on the right track. Expectations are high regarding what the CTC is capable of achieving. I would like to request that the actual work conducted by the CTC be reviewed continuously and seriously with a view to verifying whether it is effectively fulfilling its goals. I would also like to add that the work of the CTC is a matter of interest to all the Member States of the United Nations. I hope, therefore, that future reports concerning the evaluation of the activities of the CTC will be provided to all the Member States of the United Nations without delay.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Counter Terrorism)
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