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UN Security Council Passes Measure to Combat Terrorism Worldwide - 2002-01-18

The United Nations Security Council is meeting Friday to debate its anti-terrorism initiative.

On September 28, the Security Council adopted resolution 13-73, a wide-ranging set of measures designed to root out terrorism around the globe. The resolution was adopted unanimously, an indication of how determined the U.N. is to confront this problem. Now, efforts are underway to encourage every member state to sign on.

The initial phase of implementation is for member states to submit a report assessing their abilities and willingness to fight terrorism. More than 100 countries have already responded.

Richard Ryan is the Irish ambassador to the U.N.. His comments in the debate were typical of many speakers. "In resolution 13-73, we placed the United Nations where it belongs: at the center of the international struggle to combat terrorism. Resolution 13-73 is an agenda for resolute and systematic action in combating terrorism. It imposes clear and explicit obligations on all states to combat and suppress international terrorism and to prevent its operation," he said.

India's ambassador, Kamalesh Sharma agreed. He said his country unreservedly supports the resolution. And, he encouraged the Security Council to maintain its momentum as it moves ahead with the anti-terrorism initiative.

"Resolution 13-73 marks a watershed in our common combat against terrorism," he went on to say. "In our view it is a most ambitious and timely undertaking of the Security Council. In fulfillment of its responsibility to maintaining international peace and security. The Council must act swiftly and resolutely to implement the counter-terrorism legislation with neither fear nor favor."

As part of the implementation phase, a Committee has been set up to oversee all aspects of resolution 13-73. The British ambassador to the U.N., Jeremy Greenstock, has been appointed to lead this committee. As the debate got underway, he released a letter to the President of the Security Council in which he stressed the need for immediate implementation.

In insisting all countries adopt the terms of the resolution, Mr. Greenstock wrote, "Every government holds a responsibility for ensuring there is no weak part of the chain."