|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations at the Sixth Committee of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 108 "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism"|
|New York, 11 October 2007|
Since this is my first time to take the floor in the sixth committee during the current session of the General Assembly, please allow me to congratulate you on your election to the chairmanship of the committee. My congratulations also go to the other members of the bureau. We expect that this committee's work, under your guidance, can achieve expected results.
International terrorism is a serious problem confronting the international community and a grave threat to international peace and security, so it is in our common interest to combat international terrorism. While both preventive and punitive measures are needed in combating terrorism, we believe that prevention deserves our particular attention. This requires that all countries further strengthen cooperation, an important part of which is legal cooperation. In this respect, there has been a growing consensus among countries, and the international counter-terrorist legal framework under the aegis of the United Nations has also started to take shape. In September last year, the General Assembly adopted the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, once again demonstrating the unity and determination of all countries in the fight against terrorism.
On the other hand, it is regrettable that international terrorist activities have continued unabated in recent years. According to relevant reports, in 2006, there were 14,338 terrorist attacks throughout the world, a 29% increase from 2005. This severe and urgent situation has presented the international community with a daunting challenge. It is necessary for us to consolidate and strengthen our agreement on the following points: we must be resolute and consistent in combating terrorism in all its forms; we must continue to improve the international legal system in the field of counter-terrorism; we must see to it that international counter-terrorist laws are effectively implemented; we must pay attention to the root causes of terrorism and commit ourselves to addressing them; and we must help the developing countries build up capacity in counter-terrorism. I wish to particularly emphasize that efforts in combating terrorism should meet the following two requirements: firstly, they must strictly comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and other universally recognized norms of international law; and secondly, they must follow the principle of non-discrimination and avoid double-standards. In our struggle against terrorism, the United Nations should continue to play a leading and coordinating role.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the work of building a counter-terrorist legal network. China has been involved in the negotiations of various international counter-terrorism conventions within the UN system in past years, has participated 11 international counter-terrorism conventions and has made effective efforts to fulfill its treaty obligations. Currently, China is going through domestic legal procedures for the ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Revised Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. In addition, China has engaged in international cooperation in combating terrorist crimes by concluding bilateral treaties on extradition and judicial assistance in criminal matters. To date, 32 bilateral extradition treaties and 43 bilateral treaties on justice assistance in criminal matters have been concluded.
At the national level, having amended the Criminal Code by adding provisions on punishing terrorist financing, China formulated in October 2006 the Anti- Money Laundering Act aimed at preventing and curbing money laundering, thus setting up a new system to prevent the financing of terrorism. That act has come into force as of Jan. 1st of this year. In June, the People's Bank of China promulgated the Procedures of Management for Financial Institutions to Report Suspicious Transactions Related to Terrorist Financing which obligates financial institutions to report transactions suspicious of being terrorism related.
In addition, China continues to take an active part in counter-terrorist cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels. Since June of this year, China has become a formal member of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering. In August, China took part in "Peace Mission 2007", the joint counter-terrorism exercise of the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and in September, Chinese armed police and Russia's domestic security force conducted in Russia a joint counter-terrorism exercise named "Cooperation 2007".
The Ad-hoc Committee on Terrorism established by the GA has worked for several years in drafting a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Owing to fundamental differences among member states on some key issues, the drafting work has been dragging on. We believe that this convention is a supplement to the current international legal framework for counter-terrorism and can help perfect the international legal system in this field. We hope that all states show confidence and good faith and continue to work towards a solution in a cooperative and constructive spirit. At the same time, my government supports the initiative of convening a high-level conference on counter-terrorism under the aegis of the United Nations when conditions are ripe. We believe that such a high-level conference will provide policy guidance to international legal cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism and will help push for the completion and implementation of a comprehensive counter-terrorism convention.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.