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
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
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
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.