H.E. Ambassador Shin Kak-soo, Deputy Permanent Representative, at The Sixth Committee of the General Assembly
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
1. At the outset, I would like to convey our deep condolences to the victims of the recent heinous terrorist attack in Bali. The international community must stand firm in its fight against terrorism. Our message should be clear and unambiguous, and our action should be swift and decisive, because terrorists would like to interpret our disagreement as an espousal of their causes. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever and by whomever committed, without any qualification.
2. The General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in April this year. Flexibility and compromise enabled us to add the 13th Anti-Terrorism Convention to its valuable set of tools for fighting international terrorism. This convention will greatly serve to deter non-state actors from committing terrorist acts using radioactive material or a nuclear device.
3. The Republic of Korea wholeheartedly welcomes this new Convention. We signed the Convention last month and will expedite the domestic procedure for its ratification. My government is party to the existing 12 international instruments to fight against terrorism and has been faithfully carrying out their domestic implementation. We urge other States that have not yet done so to join this vital web of anti-terrorism instruments as soon as possible and to work toward ensuring the early entry into force of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
4. Member States, the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Secretariat all have their specific expertise and capacities to contribute to the universal fight against terrorism. It is Member States that should bear the brunt of this difficult fight by complying with international agreements designed to prevent and punish international terrorism and by building a seamless network of international cooperation to this end. With its universal membership, the General Assembly has taken the lead in creating international norms on anti-terrorism and in fostering international solidarity behind the fight against international terrorism.
5. My Government welcomes the recent adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 1624 on the prohibition of incitement to commit terrorist acts. We also support the Secretary-General’s counterterrorism strategy, involving UN agencies and departments, and await further development of the strategy, which will be an essential pillar of international counterterrorism efforts.
6. We also value the sub-regional and regional efforts to combat terrorism, because a comprehensive and holistic approach is essential for suppressing the rapidly developing, clandestine terrorist networks that exploit the benefits of globalization for their heinous crimes. In this regard, my delegation commends the ASEAN Regional Forum for its valuable contribution towards the capacity-building of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
7. As the World Summit Outcome Document adopted in September made clear, we have an urgent mandate to adopt a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. There still remain differences regarding some outstanding issues. But we all witnessed how the General Assembly can overcome differences and rally in the cause against terrorism if we continue to apply the same flexibility and compromise that we did in the unanimous adoption of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. We must not lose the momentum created and maintained throughout this year. We need to complete the Convention before the end of the 60th Session of the General Assembly.
8. My delegation believes that the Comprehensive Convention should be a gap-filler instrument. Aspiring to make an all-encompassing definition of terrorism will not only stall the completion of the Convention, but also distort the relationship between the Comprehensive Convention and the 13 existing anti-terrorism international instruments. Article 2 in the Coordinator’s text already provides the operational definition of terrorist acts within the meaning of the Comprehensive Convention as a gap-filler instrument. My delegation fully supports the right to self-determination, as provided for in Article 18, paragraph 1 of the Coordinator’s text. To go along with this paragraph, we would be willing to support underscoring the spirit of the right to self-determination in a new paragraph in the preamble.
9. It is also my delegation’s view that the illegal activities of State actors are amply regulated by international law, including the law of international responsibility and international humanitarian law, whereas the international community currently lacks adequate normative tools to fight against terrorism perpetrated by non-state actors. In our view, the Coordinator’s text is inclusive of all forms and manifestations of terrorist activities that should be regulated by the Comprehensive Convention under negotiation. This week, we should once again make a serious attempt to nail down the last remaining issues so that we can adopt a Comprehensive Convention as soon as possible.