Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the United Nations Security Council Ministerial Meeting, 12 November 2001.
This meeting of the Council offers an opportunity for us to assert an agenda of hope and commitment, resting on those shared values and convictions that are the foundation of the United Nations. In this we stand against those who wish to impose, from the shadows, their own agenda of despair, tyranny and terror.
The atrocities of 11 September in the United States have challenged everything we cherish. Left unchecked, they would infect our world with evil in the years to come.
We are dealing with people and forces that hold in contempt everything that
the United Nations embodies: respect for freedom and tolerance; respect for the rights of each individual human being; honouring diversity and pluralism; honouring every and all creeds and religions; cherishing values of tolerance for the views and convictions of others.
The international community, in a call of duty and honour, has very effectively mobilised itself in response to the atrocities of 11 September. It must continue to do so, not only with courage and determination but also with wisdom and foresight.
In the immediate period ahead, this means bringing to justice those who perpetrated these vile acts.
It also means putting in place throughout the world barriers of law and of Government action to destroy the capacity to act by forces of international terrorism. It means action, not words, by all of us, together.
In confronting international terrorism, the world will find no better certainty of success than in looking to the United Nations. We already have a range of international Conventions against terrorism. These must now be urgently ratified by all States that have not yet done so. We should also reach early agreement on the draft comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Security Council Resolution 1373 of 28 September offers a blueprint for action in how to remove permanently the capacity of international terrorism to operate by targetting its funds and resources; its organisation; its very capacity to group and re-group.
Ireland warmly welcomes the work of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in laying down a solid foundation for full implementation of all the provisions of Resolution 1373. In implementing this Resolution, we must also work together to strengthen the capacity of all states to do this effectively. This means the provisions of mutual support and assistance, wherever this is necessary.
We must recognize that a chain is as strong as all its links: an enemy that lives in the shadows must be confronted by laws and practices that focus clear light on those shadows.
We also need to assert in the period ahead, strongly and powerfully, the indispensable role of the United Nations in tackling common threats and in achieving joint objectives and goals.
The United Nations represents the foundation of international law, the focal point of international endeavour, the place where we come together to assert universal ideals and to look to new horizons of joint action. It cannot be used by the international community, or any one of us, only in bad days and disregarded in good days: we need it more than ever before in a world that is becoming increasingly economically integrated but with truly dangerous fissures in these structures.
International terrorism can fester through our own complacency if we fail to tackle vigorously its capacity to act. We have now, at a terrible cost, learned this lesson. And we must also tackle the wider conditions - and there are such conditions - that allow it to survive and even flourish.
We have many challenges to meet in building a fairer international system. We must reject a world order in which the two hundred richest people have greater assets than the two billion people at the other end of the spectrum. This is neither a wise or secure - or right - way of conducting world affairs.
To say this, at a time of action against a frightening common threat, is not to make a philosophical point. It is to state simply that we ignore such things at our peril. It is to assert that our most effective response to a great evil must be based not only on a shared determination, but also on our common values and on our commitment to help and support each other in the framework of the United Nations.
Ireland supports the draft Ministerial Declaration before the Council.