United Nations
Security Council President Jean-David Levitte
Statement on Terrorism
September 21, 2001

The article of the Secretary-General in today's paper reflects exactly the general mood and the general will not only of the Security Council but certainly of the whole membership.

We all consider that the United Nations can and indeed must be fully engaged with determination, and in a unanimous way, in this fight against the scourge of terrorism.

The debate in the General Assembly on 1 October will be a golden opportunity to show again the unanimity of the membership of the United Nations.

The Security Council, on the very day of the attacks against the World Trade Center and against the Pentagon, issued a statement to the press, and on

12 September unanimously adopted resolution 1368 -- which is quite an ambitious text.

Before going further we wanted to be briefed by the Legal Counsel, Hans Corell, on this issue of terrorism, and Hans Corell has reminded us of the state of affairs. There are already 12 conventions dealing with terrorism in its different aspects. The last one was adopted during the last session of the General Assembly to fight against the financing of terrorism, and is open for signature until 31 December. So I take this opportunity to encourage all members of the United Nations to sign this very important convention.

Beyond these 12 conventions, Hans Corell reminded us that there are two initiatives under consideration by the Sixth Committee and the General Assembly:

-- the first one is proposed by India. It is a global convention against terrorism;

-- the second one is proposed by Russia. It is a specific convention to fight nuclear terrorism.

There are also specialized agencies and regional organizations which play a very important role in the fight against terrorism.

In this context we had a lively discussion with the Legal Counsel about the role of the Security Council. In the past the Security Council has already taken action in general terms -- for example we adopted resolution 1269 -- or action

focused against this or that State -- we adopted two resolutions on Afghanistan, the latest being resolution 1333.

Is there room for action beyond resolution 1368 that we adopted unanimously a few days ago? This will be discussed next week.

How and when will we decide on that? I will simply recall paragraph 5 of resolution 1368, which says that “the Council expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.”

That is exactly what we are determined to do and what we will discuss next week.