H.E. Adiyatwidi Adiwoso Asmady
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
Sixth Committee of the General Assembly
Agenda item 108: “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”
New York, 11 October 2007
1. Allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you upon your assumption of the Chairmanship of the Bureau of the Sixth Committee. Let me also assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation for the success in the work of the Committee.
2. Before I continue, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement delivered earlier by Vietnam on behalf the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); Cuba, in its capacity as the chair of the NAM; and Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Countries.
3. Indonesia is pleased to participate in this meeting because, as a victim of terrorism in the past several years, every step forward in the battle against this heinous crime brings a little solace to our people. This is why we continue to advocate collaborative efforts to combat it, and to plug loopholes in the effort at every level. Inaction is not an option.
4. Over recent years, Indonesia has position itself at the heart of comprehensive efforts to overcome the terrorism threat. At the bilateral level, we have developed close cooperation with several countries. Only a couple of weeks ago, on the margins of the high level segment of the General Assembly, we signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on counter-terrorism with the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. We also enhanced bilateral cooperation with immediate countries in the region, in particular under the aegis of the Bali Counter-Terrorism Process of 2004. Earlier this year in Jakarta, Indonesia and Australia jointly organized the Conference on Counter-Terrorism with the objective of strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation in the sub-region. This effort is complementary to The Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC), which is now in full operation as a mechanism for enhancing the capacity of law enforcement officers in combating transnational crimes, including terrorism. About 2000 law enforcement officers in the region have already participated in the JCLEC program since its establishment in 2004.
5. Among our efforts at the regional level, we adopted the ASEAN counter-terrorism convention last January in Cebu, the Philippines. The Convention provides legal framework for regional cooperation to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism in all forms and manifestations. The scope of the Convention encompasses offences covered by all thirteen international conventions on counter-terrorism. And with a view to expediting its entry into force, we are now working toward developing a comprehensive plan of action, through a meeting to be held in Jakarta, later this month. Beyond intra-ASEAN cooperation, the Association has initiated an extensive network of counter terrorism cooperation with its dialog partner countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Russia, the Unites States, and the European Union. Efforts have also been promoted within the ASEAN Regional Forum. In all these endeavors, Indonesia has been a key proponent.
6. Let me also point out that our efforts extend beyond our immediate region. In this regard, Indonesia, in cooperation with the European Union and UNODC, organized a workshop last month on the legal implementation of the universal framework against cyber-terrorism. Other issue that was discussed relating to the rehabilitation programs which, based on our experience, is also useful to fight terrorism.
7. At the global level, we became party to six conventions on counter-terrorism, and are making efforts to become party to the remaining conventions. We are also in constant cooperation with the various counter-terrorism related Committees established by the UNSC resolutions. In connection with this, on site-visit to Jakarta was undertaken by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) last June. That contact was extremely useful to us in terms of further identifying areas of technical assistance requiring improvement in our national ability to respond to terrorism. All of this cooperation eventually will contribute to improve Indonesia’s ability to fight terrorism.
8. This year is also quite opportune for us as we will review for the first time, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Indonesia is pleased to have been at the forefront of the adoption of this Strategy. The launching of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was something that we had looked forward to, as the focal point of the response of the international community to the menace of terrorism.
9. It is a source of satisfaction to us that all nations could come together and agree on a common tool for combating terrorism. We believe that in order to make it more efficient, we need to strengthen the political will to explore every type of cooperation, at various levels, to implement the Strategy and its Plan of Actions to the fullest extent.
10. While we seek to enhance practical cooperation in law enforcement, it is essential that we avoid stereotyping terrorism in terms of a specific religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. It is important, therefore, to create a better climate for nurturing mutual understanding and tolerance. We learned from our experience that dialogue is a prerequisite for building mutual trust so that misperception could be avoided, and prejudice could be fought.
11. Conscious of this, we have always stressed the important contribution of cross cultural and interfaith dialogue in the global fight against terrorism. In this effort, we proceed by involving all stake holders in the society, such as community leaders, NGOs and media professionals. We consider the process of involving informal leaders to be very important since they can influence change at the grassroots level. They are in a good position to disseminate the message of peace and harmony. That is why - together with the Norwegian Government – we jointly initiated the Global Inter-media dialogue, the second of which was held in Oslo last June.
12. Likewise, we have also established, in cooperation with the United Kingdom, an Indonesian-UK Islamic Advisory Group (IAG), to function as a medium for interaction between Muslim leaders in the East and the West. This IAG will bring together Islamic representatives from both countries to advice on countering radicalism and promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between Islam and the West. The objectives include developing constructive dialogue among both civilizations, and eliminating stigmatization of religions and/or any attribution of terrorism to a certain religion.
13. Building bridges between communities, especially in times of heightened cross-cultural tensions, has indeed not been a one stop exercise. It is a sustainable effort that needs consistent support from the international community. For this reason, we welcome the establishment the Alliance of Civilizations and a medium for tripartite cooperation between member states, the UN and civil society, through the Interfaith Dialogue for Cooperation and Peace.
14. Of equal importance, Mr. Chairman, is the conclusion of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Our platform is simple: in order to be successful, the measures contained in the convention must be comprehensive and balanced. Naturally, they must also be within the principles of international law, respecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and international humanitarian law.
15. There is no doubt that we need a comprehensive convention on terrorism today more than we have ever done. Such an instrument would strengthen our legal framework in the battle against the menace of terrorism. We need this instrument to place the international community on the same page against a potent and ever-adapting threat to international peace and security.
16. We do not believe that there are any circumstances under which terrorism is justifiable. However, we also do not accept that it is possible to fight terrorism successfully unless we comprehend its roots and springboard. We believe that it is critical to identify these fundamental causes that are often manifested in the form of political and socio-economic injustice at the global level.
17. It is our view that unless this is effectively accomplished, the proposed Convention cannot be a reliable instrument for effectively combating this menace to the international peace and security. What we must aspire to is not a weapon that will be useful in cosmetically addressing terrorism, but one capable of weeding it from its deepest foundations.
18. With this in mind, we look forward to broadminded approaches to resolve the outstanding issues on article 18 of the draft comprehensive convention.
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