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More global efforts needed to promote tolerance and dialogue: UAE

posted on 14/10/2006: 739 views

The UAE called for the international community to put on more collective efforts to promote tolerance and dialogue among various cultures and renewed its support for a proposal calling for holding an international conference to give a precise and clear definition for terrorism.

Historical events have proved that oppression, economic, political and cultural coercion and racial and ethnic discrimination provide a suitable environment for developing extremism and terrorism. Therefore, it is important to affirm that terrorism should not be associated with a certain region, civilization, religion or culture, said Abdalla Hamdan Alnaqbi, member of the UAE delegation, in a statement to the sixth UN committee on the "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism."

'In this context, we call for strengthening our joint efforts aimed at promoting tolerance and dialogue among various cultures and civilizations and enhancing respect and understanding among peoples.

We also renew our support for the proposal calling for organizing an international convention, under the auspices of the U.N., to give a precise and clear definition for terrorism, to strengthen existing anti-terrorism legislations and laws and ensure their non-selective implementation, and to differentiate between terrorism and the legitimate struggle of peoples under foreign occupation for national liberations and self-determination in accordance with the international resolutions and relevant protocols of human rights.

According to him, the UAE, which firmly believes in the importance of renouncing and combating terrorism has adopted a set of legislative and legal measures for the purpose of addressing this phenomenon, which included the establishment of a national counter terrorism committee comprised of principal governmental agencies in the UAE, in implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, particularly 1373 and 1267.

This, he added, is in addition to the UAE Federal Law Concerning Counter Terrorism Crimes, which was promulgated in 2003 and which provides a definition for terrorist acts, whether performed by individuals or groups, and the severe penalties that will be applied on perpetrators and individuals involved or associated with these activities.

Other important legislations and measures were also put in place in an earlier time for tightening national control over suspected terrorism financing accounts, and serious efforts were also made to develop skills and abilities of the Counter Terrorism Force Unit and improve customs and borders' control.

'The UAE Government has also enacted new laws and legislations to prohibit affiliation to terrorist groups and association with their activities in any of the UAE territories, including its airspace and national waters. One of these legislations is the UAE Federal Law Concerning Criminalization of Money Laundering (2002), which criminates illicit activities such as drug-trafficking, mercenaries and illicit exploitation of natural resources, he explained.

At the regional and international levels, the UAE strengthened its cooperation with other States and regional and international organizations in the area of exchanging information, and has now acceded to 14 international conventions on terrorism, latest of which is the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in April 2005. In addition to its timely submission of national reports required by counter-terrorism committees in the Security Council, the UAE Government strengthened its cooperation with Security Council committees in areas of addressing the possible gaps in its national legislations and regulations, and in implementing all resolutions which call for tracing and freezing funds of terrorist groups and other groups supporting them.

The UAE Government continued to coordinate its efforts at the regional level through joining the Gulf Cooperation Council's security strategy for combating the extremism associated with terrorism in year 2002, and has signed the GCC Anti-terrorism Agreement on 4 May 2004. It has also ratified the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, which came into force on May 1999.

'We believe that the United Nations can contribute effectively and vitally in combating terrorism, and we hope that our deliberations on this item would lead to achieving concrete results towards strengthening our efforts aimed at securing peace and stability, and in creating a world built on justice, equality, freedom and peaceful existence among peoples and civilizations,' he said.

A report submitted to the committee by the UN Secretary-General on the international efforts towards combating terrorism said that terrorist acts around the world represent a direct threat to all human values and to the stability, security and well-being of peoples and communities, and remain one of the most serious challenges to global peace and security. This makes it incumbent upon all of us, States and organizations, to intensify our efforts and to continue coordination and cooperation at all levels in order to eliminate and contain this dangerous phenomenon.

The UAE appreciates the efforts made by the UN in this regard and commend the Secretary-General for his report entitled " Uniting Against Terrorism : Recommendations for a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy" which contained many positive elements, most important of which are the call for studying motives behind terrorism and addressing its causes which are exploited by terrorists. The report has also emphasized that combating terrorism should not be used as a pretext for violating human rights and restricting civil freedoms. The report has also identified the practical measures to be followed by governments and international and private organizations in order to enhance their cooperation in the area of combating terrorism. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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