Nuclear Terrorism (UN, 1999)

Nuclear Terrorism (UN, 1999)

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me at the outset to express our great satisfaction at seeing you continue to chair our committee. The Russian delegation deeply appreciates the efforts you are making to produce new effective international instruments, including those designed to ,com’6at terrorism. On behalf of the Russian delegation I would also like to welcome the other members of the bureau and all the delegations present here, and voice the hope that their professionalism and practical approach to the issues facing us will help successfully establish new and effective mechanisms to counteract terrorist activity.

Mr. Chairman,

It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of the questions facing our committee. Terrorism today has become one of the most pressing global problems, and is a serious destabilizing factor both in individual countries, and in the entire world. One of the most disconcerting trends in the development of contemporary terrorism is the sophisticated technical level of the equipment of the most dangerous terrorist groups, which is only possible when terrorists have reliable and well concealed sources of financing. Actively financed terrorist organizations are acquiring additional new opportunities for access to state of the art technologies and to the very latest weaponry for their use for terrorist purposes, including — and this is most dangerous — weapons of mass destruction. It is noteworthy that there is increased awareness now of the danger implicit in terrorism which uses WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), and the need to unite efforts to combat this movement. Our work on a draft convention on the campaign against nuclear terrorism has already given an impetus to active discussion among NGOs and in academic circles of the idea of drawing up other international-legal instruments to combat other kinds of terrorism which use WMDs, both chemical and biological.

We call for intensive efforts to conclude at this session of the committee work on an agreed upon draft of the Convention. A compromise regarding the areas covered by this document is possible. This only requires intensive work on those written and oral proposals by delegations which were made at the previous session of the working group. We cannot forget that we have before us a draft of an anti-terrorist document which is not intended to impinge upon issues which are regulated or should be regulated by other norms of international law.

The draft Convention prepared by the working group corresponds to the model adopted for other universal agreements in this field, and reinforces rather effective mechanisms for interaction between the law enforcement agencies and court systems of states, including legal assistance, extradition, exchange of information, etc. Our failure

to achieve consensus on the draft Convention on nuclear terrorism will not promote a strengthening of a united front of states in the campaign against terrorism and will send the wrong signal to terrorist organizations.

The Russian delegation considers the continuation of work on this international agreement, designed to fill an obvious gap in the existing international-legal regime for anti-terrorist interaction, as of the greatest importance.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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