I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Croatia*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Montenegro*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
Let me first warmly welcome you, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the Bureau. We are confident that you will conduct the discussions of the Ad Hoc Committee in a very competent and efficient manner. We would also like to thank the coordinator, Maria Telalian, for continuing her efforts to bridge the gap between the different positions expressed until now and towards reaching a consensus on the outstanding issues of our negotiations.
Terrorism is one of the most serious threats the international community has to face and the fight against international terrorism is one of the priorities of the European Union. We categorically condemn all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivations, committed wherever, whenever, by whomsoever. We believe there can be no justification for terrorism in any form.
The European Union wishes to stress that all measures taken to combat terrorism must be in compliance with international law, in particular international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law. All measures against terrorism should also respect the rule of law.
We are of the view that UN conventions and protocols on terrorism play a fundamental role in the fight against terrorism. We therefore call on all States to consider becoming parties without delay to all existing international conventions and protocols on terrorism. We also wish to highly commend the significant assistance the UNODC and its Terrorism Prevention Branch provides in this regard, as well as the research, studies and other activities carried out on counterterrorism by UNICRI.
As we stated on many occasions in the past, most recently during the Sixth Committee last fall, the development of an international legal instrument such as the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is an important endeavour of the international community to strengthen the international legal framework aimed at combating terrorist acts. Such a convention would coherently supplement the existing body of international law on terrorism.
The discussions we had during the Working Group of the Sixth Committee in the fall last year appear to indicate that we may now have another collective opportunity to move forward. The report of the Working Group sets out a consolidated text of the draft Convention, as well as the different proposals made in the past years. We therefore have a set of documents which reflects the current state of play of the negotiations and the results achieved so far.
The EU remains firmly committed to actively engage in the negotiations in the framework of this year’s session of the Ad Hoc Committee, and we assure you and the coordinator of the EU’s full support of your efforts. However, we feel that in the course of the past years, we have signalled our readiness to find a compromise between proposals we and others – could have accepted, with a view to accommodating concerns expressed by some delegations. We would therefore be interested to hear other delegations’ views on the text circulated by the Coordinator for discussion (A/62/37) as reflected in Annex II of the Report of the Working Group (A/C.6/65/L.10), which, as we indicated before, should be given serious consideration.
Regarding the issues of the high-level conference we continue to believe that this question should be discussed after we have reached an agreement on the Convention.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.