5246th Meeting (AM)
Affirms Terrorism Must Not Be Allowed to Disrupt Transition, Urges Member States to Prevent Transit of Terrorists to and from Iraq
Regarding any act of terrorism as a threat to peace and security, the Council today condemned "without reservation and in the strongest terms" the terrorist attacks that had taken place in Iraq and expressed its "utmost" determination to combat terrorism.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1618 (2005), submitted by the United Kingdom and the Unites States, the Council took particular note of the "shameless and horrific attacks" in recent days that had resulted in over 100 deaths, including 32 children, employees of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, and a member and an expert advisor of the commission charged with drafting a permanent constitution for a new, democratic Iraq. The Council further noted, with great concern, that attacks on foreign diplomats in Iraq had increased in number and had resulted in murder or kidnapping. The Council affirmed that acts of terrorism must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq's political and economic transition currently taking place, including the constitutional drafting process and its referendum.
The Council strongly urged Member States to prevent the transit of terrorists to and from Iraq, as well as the arming and financing that would support terrorists. It re-emphasized the importance of strengthening the cooperation in that regard, of the countries in the region, particularly neighbours of Iraq.
The Council urged all States to cooperate actively in efforts to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those "barbaric" acts, in accordance with their obligation under Council resolution 1373 (2001).
After adoption, the representative of the United States said he was pleased that his first participation in the Council had coincided with a demonstration of the international community's support for the Government of Iraq, only days after the fifteenth anniversary of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Now, there was now a new Government in Iraq, which deserved the support of the international community. The next months would be critical, as Iraq approached, in its present period of transition, the unveiling of a new constitution. It was important that the process be transparent, participatory and inclusive. He called upon Syria and Iran to honour all relevant United Nations resolutions and to implement their pledges to support the Iraqi people.
Iraq's representative said the "inverted logic" that suggested terrorism had been unleashed because of the occupation of Iraq and that it would have been better not to take military action to remove Saddam Hussein was nonsense. It was the logic that blamed the doctor for the disease and the victim for the assault. The new Iraq was wide open to all its citizens, their opinions and attitudes.
It was not enough to condemn terrorism, he said. The relevant questions now were to determine the nature of terrorism; what lay behind it; what the terrorists wanted; whether they offered an alternative that could be considered; and whether anything could be done or undone to assuage their vindictiveness and violence. A comprehensive definition of terrorism had eluded the United Nations so far. Some tended to confuse the struggle for self-determination with terrorism and blurred the borders between them. Yet, no struggle for independence and self-determination targeted its own people. It should not be so hard to define the core segment of terrorism and a determined effort to agree on such a definition should be made.
At the outset of the meeting, Council President Kenzo Oshima ( Japan) welcomed John Bolton, the new representative of the United States. He said Council members looked forward to working closely with him and to benefiting from his long and rich experience.
The representatives of Algeria, France, Argentina, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Brazil, China, Romania and Japan also spoke.
The meeting started at 11:06 a.m. and was adjourned at 11:51 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1618 (2005) reads, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming all its previous relevant resolutions on Iraq, in particular resolution 1546 (2004) of 8 June 2004,
"Reaffirming its unwavering support for the Iraqi people in their political transition, as outlined in resolution 1546 (2004), further reaffirming Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and calling upon the international community to stand by the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability and democracy,
"Reaffirming also the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and its relevant resolutions, in particular its resolutions 1373 (2001) of 28 September 2001, 1566 (2004) of 8 October 2004, and 1267 (1999) of 25 October 1999 and subsequent resolutions,
"Reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,
"Commending the courage of the Iraqi people who are working bravely in support of the political and economic transition currently taking place in spite of the grave threat of terrorism,
"Welcoming the active steps undertaken by the Government of Iraq towards achieving national dialogue and unity and encouraging continuation of these efforts,
"1. Condemns without reservation and in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that have taken place in Iraq, and regards any act of terrorism as a threat to peace and security;
"2. Takes note particularly of the shameless and horrific attacks in recent weeks which have resulted in over 100 deaths, including 32 children, employees of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, and a member and an expert adviser of the Commission charged with drafting a permanent constitution for a new, democratic Iraq, Mijbil Sheikh Isa and Dhamin Hussin Ubaidi;
"3. Further notes with great concern that attacks on foreign diplomats in Iraq have increased in number, and have resulted in the murder or kidnapping of such diplomats;
"4. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of these terrorist attacks and their families, and to the people and Government of Iraq;
"5. Affirms that acts of terrorism must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq's political and economic transition currently taking place, including the constitutional drafting process and its referendum, outlined in resolution 1546 (2004);
"6. Reaffirms the obligations of Member States under resolutions 1373 (2001) of 28 September 2001, 1267 (1999) of 15 October 1999, 1333 (2000) of 19 December 2000, 1390 (2002) of 16 January 2002, 1455 (2003) of 17 January 2003, 1526 (2004) of 30 January 2004, and 1617 (2005) of 29 July 2005 and other relevant international obligations with respect, inter alia, to terrorist activities in and from Iraq or against its citizens, and specifically strongly urges Member States to prevent the transit of terrorists to and from Iraq, arms for terrorists, and financing that would support terrorists, and re-emphasizes the importance of strengthening the cooperation of the countries in the region, particularly neighbours of Iraq, in this regard;
"7. Urges all States, in accordance with their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001), to cooperate actively in efforts to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these barbaric acts;
"8. Expresses its utmost determination to combat terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;
"9. Calls on the international community to support fully the Government of Iraq in exercising its responsibilities to provide protection to the diplomatic community, United Nations staff and other foreign civilian personnel working in Iraq;
"10. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
JOHN BOLTON ( United States) said he was pleased that his first participation in the Council had coincided with a demonstration of the international community's support for the Government of Iraq. The meeting was being held only days after the anniversary of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Over the ensuing 15 years, the Council had attempted to compel positive behaviour from his Government, but there was now a new Government in Iraq, which deserved the support of the international community. The next months would be critical as Iraq approached, in its present period of transition, the unveiling of a new constitution. It was important that the process be transparent, participatory and inclusive.
He said that the resolution just adopted was important, because it highlighted the need for the participation of all Member States to halt all financial and other avenues of support for terrorism. He called upon Syria and Iran to honour all relevant United Nations resolutions and to implement their pledges to support the Iraqi people. All Member States, especially those in the Arab world, were also encouraged to come forward and support the Iraqi people in their struggle against terrorism.
ABDALLAH BAALI ( Algeria) said his country had voted in favour of the resolution as a timely response to the violence in Iraq and around the world. In particular, his country could only vigorously condemn the daily attacks, killing numerous people, including children, diplomats and journalists. The Council was mandated to combat all forms of terrorism until terrorism was eradicated, including by addressing its underlying causes.
He said Member States were bound to cooperate effectively in combating terrorism. Combating terrorism needed to go hand in hand in Iraq with efforts in the political processes to restore the country with full sovereignty. It was, in that regard, vital for the Constitution to be finalized within the deadline. His country had lost two courageous sons in Iraq and would continue to support the country in the current, difficult stage.
MICHEL DUCLOS ( France) said his country lent its full support to the resolution, which correctly condemned the terrorist attacks that had been occurring on an almost daily basis in Iraq. The Council was playing its proper role by reacting to those unjustified and unjustifiable attacks, which threatened peace and security. The struggle against terrorism must be carried out with the most absolute determination.
He stressed the importance of a political solution based on national reconciliation and the rejection of exclusion and discrimination, as well as on the involvement of all Iraqis. It was essential that the draft constitution be the subject of consensus among all segments of Iraqi society. France reaffirmed its full support for the political process and its determination to help the Iraqi people in their difficult transition period.
CÉSAR MAYORAL ( Argentina) said his country had repeatedly condemned unequivocally any act of terrorism or violence in Iraq. Those acts had caused the death of a large number of civilians, including children. He reaffirmed the condemnation of the attacks on the diplomatic community in Iraq, including diplomats from Algeria and Egypt. There was absolutely no justification for terrorist acts, and those responsible for them must be brought to justice.
He said the international community was duty-bound to cooperate in efforts to combat terrorism. It was essential for the Iraqi political process to be as inclusive as possible and for all sectors involved to join in a genuine dialogue that would help to achieve national reconciliation. "As we combat terrorism, we cannot loose sight of the need to have respect for the civilian population", he said. He appealed to all forces active in Iraq to take all precautions to protect civilians and to protect human rights and international humanitarian law.
EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom) welcomed the resolution, saying that the recent terrorist attacks and those that had gone before truly had been shameless and horrific. The United Kingdom called on Iraq's neighbours, particularly Syria and Iran, to do their part in the struggle against terrorism in Iraq. They could and should do more. Despite the terrorist attacks, courageous Iraqis had continued to take forward the drafting of a new constitution and the international community would stand by them in that effort. The Council must do everything possible to support that process.
ALEXANDER V. KONUZIN ( Russian Federation) said any violence against the civilian population was a crime. He was pleased that the resolution included a condemnation of the murder of diplomats. Those who were responsible for those misdeeds must be punished severely. He drew attention to the inadmissibility of giving a podium in the mass media for the spread of terrorist views. The right to freedom of speech and dissemination of information was not without limitations. It was "ignoble" to yield to the "commercial temptation" to popularize bandits that caused so much death and pain.
He said the crimes committed today by terrorists in Iraq were only part of the problem, for the solution of which national reconciliation was the most important key. It was necessary, in that regard, to find a just political solution for participation of all political forces in the country. One must agree on the basic principles that would underlie the Constitution. A new Basic Law must be acceptable to all Iraqis and exclude all discrimination. Also, the function of national security structures must be brought back to life.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG ( Brazil) condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist acts taking place throughout Iraq. He expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims, the people and the Government of Iraq, saying Brazil shared their pain, as it had lost Sergio Vieira de Mello in a brutal attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, almost two years ago. He reaffirmed his country's commitment to an independent, sovereign and democratic Iraq. Energies should be focused on enabling the vital political processes, including the referendum on a permanent constitution and the election of a new government, to prosper. All parties in Iraq had a responsibility in preventing a stalemate at the current stage, which would only mean the perpetuation of present instability, carnage and suffering.
He said the responsibility for that relied on ensuring that the political process was inclusive, transparent and representative. It was a task for both those who were taking part in the process, who must be responsive to the broader interests of society and grant participation in the decision-making, and for those who had decided not to engage, who were asked to lay down their arms or to overcome their indifference and step in.
CHENG JINGYE ( China) strongly condemned the series of attacks that had taken place in Iraq and expressed his country's deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Government and people of Iraq. It was to be hoped that there would be a redoubling of efforts to reinforce the security situation on the ground. It was also China's hope that that there would be a strengthening of unity among Iraqis in order to finalize the Constitution.
GHEORGHE DUMITRU ( Romania) said his country was determined to continue its strong cooperation with the United States in Romania's last five months on the Security Council. Romania had been witnessing the terrorist attacks in Iraq and felt it was important for the Council to send a strong message of condemnation. It was for that reason that Romania had decided to co-sponsor the resolution, which was the appropriate answer to the request of the legitimate Government of Iraq for international cooperation in its struggle against terrorism.
Speaking in his national capacity, the Council's President KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution, which demonstrated the Council's strong determination to prevent acts of terrorism in Iraq and other places. He hoped that the political processes could move forward, in order to achieve the goal of a peaceful and sovereign Iraq as early as possible.
SAMIR SHAKIR MAHMOOD SUMAIDA'IE ( Iraq) said that there were those who said that terrorism had been unleashed because of the occupation of Iraq and that it would have been better not to take military action to remove Saddam Hussein. That was nonsense, the kind of inverted logic that appealed to the feeble-minded. It was the logic that blamed the doctor for the disease and the victim for the assault. The new Iraq was wide open to all its citizens, their opinions and attitudes.
It was not enough to condemn terrorism, though that was an essential first step, he said. The relevant questions now were to determine the nature of terrorism; what lay behind it; what the terrorists wanted; whether they offered an alternative that could be considered; and whether anything could be done or undone to assuage their vindictiveness and violence.
A comprehensive definition of terrorism had eluded the United Nations so far, he said. Some tended to confuse the struggle for self-determination with terrorism and blurred the borders between them. Yet no struggle for independence and self-determination targeted its own people, its own water and electricity supply systems, its own hospitals, its own oil pipelines, humanitarian and aid workers risking their lives to help their people, neutral United Nations personnel, foreign diplomats, children, barbers for shaving beards, women for not covering their heads, contractors and engineers repairing schools and bridges and restaurant goers for simply being out with their families for a meal.
It should not be so hard to define the core segment of terrorism, he said. A determined effort to agree on such a definition should be made. At a fundamental level, terrorists wanted to change the world and believed that violence against civilians was the most effective way to do so. Any notions that legitimized such violence must be resolutely and collectively rejected, no matter in what direction they sought to change the world. If such notions were accepted, there could be no peace or security anywhere.
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