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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam on behalf of the ASEAN Member Countries on the Item 99 "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”
10-08-2008, 09:28 am


by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam

on behalf of the ASEAN Member Countries

at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly

on Agenda Item 99 "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”

New York, 8 October 2008

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to address the Committee on behalf of the Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and my own country - Viet Nam. At the outset, let me congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your elections and express our confidence in your able stewardship.

Mr. Chairman,

Last month, the ASEAN countries  joined other Member States of the United Nations in examining the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the outcomes of which are contained in resolution A/RES/62/272. On this occasion, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the agreements we made therein and encourage all Member States, the UN system and other stakeholders to step up efforts and cooperation for the full implementation of the Strategy.

Since our last debate on this agenda item at the 62nd session, the General Assembly, through the Ad hoc Committee established by Resolution A/RES/51/210 of 17 December 1996, continued to make efforts aimed at finalizing the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. We welcome the progress made at the negotiations within the Ad hoc Committee this year, as well as the Sixth Committee’s decision to establish, at the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, a working group with a view to  sustaining the momentum for an early conclusion of the draft comprehensive convention.

Mr. Chairman,

Fighting terrorism and related crimes continue to be a priority for ASEAN. At the national level, all Member Countries of ASEAN maintained efforts to develop their respective legislative and institutional capacities to counter terrorist activities and threats, to become parties to the existing international treaties on counter-terrorism, to promote and carry out cooperation within ASEAN and with other partners in this field. At the regional level, following the signing of the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism (ACCT) by all ASEAN Members at the 12th ASEAN Summit in the Philippines on 13 January 2007, ASEAN countries are trying to fulfill their constitutional requirements to bring the ACCT into force. Once the ACCT  is ratified by 6 of the 10 ASEAN Members, it will enter into force and provide the States Parties a legal framework for regional cooperation to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to deepen cooperation among their law enforcement agencies and relevant authorities in countering terrorism.

The ACCT is a unique Convention, as it addresses terrorism in all its aspects. It provides that the obligations thereunder shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States, and that of non-interference in the internal affairs of its  Member States. It emphasizes the need to cooperate to address the root causes of terrorism and conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism to prevent the perpetration of terrorist acts and the propagation of terrorist cells, subject to the consent of the Parties concerned. The ACCT also ensures the fair treatment of any person taken into custody, and guarantees that the person shall enjoy all the rights of the laws of the Party in the territory of which that person is present and the applicable provisions of international law. In addition, the ACCT promotes the sharing of best practices on rehabilitative programs including, where appropriate, social reintegration of persons involved in the commission of terrorist offences with the objective of preventing the perpetration of terrorist acts. 

At the 7th Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes in Laos from 25 to 28 June 2007, the ASEAN countries decided to establish a Working Group on Counter Terrorism mandated to consider issues related to the implementation of the ACCT. The Working Group has since held two meetings, with the Terms of Reference for the Working Group being finalized and adopted at the Kuala Lumpur meeting on 16 June 2008.

In November 2007, the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crimes, held in Brunei Darussalam, issued a Joint Communiqué recognizing the need to maintain highest alert and vigilance when dealing with the growing linkages of transnational crime and the increasing sophistication of their modus operandi. The Meeting agreed to continuously devise innovative ways and means to cope with the multifaceted and ever changing threats of transnational crime issues,  including terrorism. Following the Meeting, the ASEAN Ministers met with their counter-parts from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to exchange views on strengthening ASEAN + 3 cooperation in combating transnational crime, focusing on the emerging challenges of cyber-crime and its strong linkages to terrorism and trafficking in persons. They agreed to arrange for transfer of  experience and expertise in the above-mentioned areas from the Plus Three countries to the ASEAN countries.

          From 25 to 29 May 2008, the Chiefs of Police of the ASEAN countries met in Brunei Darussalam to discuss, among other things, how to enhance police cooperation in dealing with terrorism. The Joint Communiqué of the Meeting contained agreement on concrete measures to be taken, including to  enhance timely and accurate exchange of information on terrorists and terrorist organizations, to strengthen the commitment amongst member countries in the timely provision of assistance including tracing, freezing and confiscating assets related to financing of terrorism, in accordance with the laws of each respective country.

ASEAN Member Countries continue their Counter-Terrorism Dialogues with Japan to facilitate capacity building cooperation. From 13 to 15 October this year, the 3rd Dialogue will be held in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR to exchange views on several proposed projects.

Two  ASEAN countries, namely Indonesia and Viet Nam, are presently members of the Security Council.  They have been working with other Council’s members to improve the work of the Council’s counter-terrorism related committees and facilitate constructive dialogues between these committees and the UN Member States, as well as to encourage the provision of counter-terrorism  technical assistance in accordance with the need of recipient countries.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the ASEAN Member Countries remain committed to the fight against terrorism, on the ground and in all regional and international fora. We believe that by working together, with good will and determination, we will attain further concrete results in this common cause.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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