STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR HUSSEIN HANIFF,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON AGENDA ITEM 105 ENTITLED
“MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM”
AT THE SIXTH COMMITTEE OF THE SIXTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 8 OCTOBER 2012
As this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor in this Committee at the 67th Session of the General Assembly, allow me to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on your election as Chairman of the Sixth Committee. At this juncture, my delegation wishes to align its statement with that made by Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Vietnam on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
2. Malaysia wishes to record its appreciation to H.E. Ban Ki-moon for his report A/67/162 on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”, which allows us to be updated on various measures undertaken by Member States and international organizations in countering terrorism.
3. Malaysia takes note of the efforts that have been made in implementing General Assembly resolution A/66/105. The decision to convene the Ad Hoc Committee in 2013 has allowed all delegations to take a step back to think of how to move forward on the comprehensive convention such as exploring new approaches that would assist in bridging the difference in positions of all Member States. It is our hope that this session will see all of us revisit the issue with renewed vigor and political will in finalizing the comprehensive convention on a consensual basis at the earliest opportunity.
4. For Malaysia, there is an obvious difference between terrorism and the legitimate struggle of people under foreign occupation for liberation and self-determination. By the same token, terrorism should not be associated with any religion, race, culture, ethnic group or nationality.
5. Malaysia wishes to reiterate its support for convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations as an important forum to address the current and emerging challenges to global counter terrorism efforts. Such a high-level political discourse may also assist in resolving outstanding issues in the draft convention. As such, the convening of a high-level conference should not be linked to the conclusion of the convention, as it would only delay efforts to consolidate and exchange views on various measures to effectively counter terrorism.
6. In countering terrorism within our own borders, Malaysia has ratified nine of the 13 international conventions and protocols as well as taken various measures to fulfill its obligations that have been set forth by the General Assembly and Security Council. We are in the midst of amending relevant national laws to enable us to accede to the remaining conventions and protocols.
7. Malaysia established the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) with the aim of enhancing capacity building and extending technical assistance at the international level. Since its inception in November 2002, the Centre has conducted 96 training courses, workshops and forums attended by 3,038 local and foreign participants. Of late, SEARCCT has expanded collaboration with other international organizations such as the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Malaysia has also signed bilateral agreements to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism with many of our partners in the region and beyond.
8. Malaysia welcomes the recent review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in June this year. This allows the Strategy to be continuously updated according to the changing nature of terrorism and the various aspects that would need to be addressed. We feel that there is a need to place equal emphasis on all four pillars of the strategy. In order to accomplish this, more attention would need to be given to pillar one on conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and pillar four on measures to ensure respect for human rights.
9. On pillar four, earlier this year, Malaysia repealed the Internal Security Act of 1960, which has been replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. This decision was made taking into consideration changes in the country over the past decade. This demonstrates that while the Government remains committed to ensure that security is constantly safeguarded, the rights of the people also need to be upheld.
10. On conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, it has often been cited that lack of economic development and education has led some to turn to terrorism. In other cases, it is humiliation, despair and a sense of utter hopelessness. We cannot pretend that the problem in the Middle East does not exist, nor can we continue to live in a state of denial of the atrocities that have been committed. Instead, we must take every effort to resolve the conflict. Only then will we have any hope of completely eradicating terrorism.
11. Apart from the more common factors that lead people to terrorism, there are also those whom use terrorism as a means to pursue political goals. They do this through violence, in which their acts are able to dominate world headlines for weeks. They elevate the level of fear of millions of citizens around the world. Thus, what is in actual fact a small group of people, have now achieved global influence.
12. In contrast, while the majority of moderates have been appalled by the despicable acts of extremists and terrorists, we have in the past remained relatively silent. This must change. Moderates must be seen to occupy the mainstream. It is due to this that Malaysia calls for a Global Movement of Moderates, which is a clarion call for rational, peace loving people of all races, cultures, and beliefs, to make our voices louder and to reclaim the center stage. We sincerely believe that the Global Movement of Moderates would contribute in our effort to eradicate terrorism.
13. In looking ahead, my delegation is supportive in efforts to enhance counter-terrorism measures and we look forward to further discussions on the creation of an overall UN Counter-Terrorism coordinator, as proposed by the UN Secretary General. Although much work remains, rest assured of Malaysia’s cooperation in discussions at this General Assembly as well as our commitment to see a world free from terrorism.