UNITED NATIONS (Dec. 10)
The United Nations voted unanimously yesterday to unequivocally condemn “as criminal all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever and by whomever committed, including those which jeopardize friendly relations among states and their security.”
The historic vote, the first time the world body has approved a universal declaration on terrorism, received the support of Israel after it had abstained, along with Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta, when the Assembly’s legal committee voted on the draft resolution last Friday.
“The adoption of this resolution, even with its shortcomings, gives the responsible members of this body additional backing to wage a renewed campaign against international terrorism,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Binyamin Netanyahu, in a speech prior to the General Assembly vote yesterday.
Netanyahu applauded the condemnation of terrorism “wherever and by whomever” it is committed, saying, “This is something we have fought for, called for, and insisted upon throughout the debate on this issue … It is the essence of Israel’s policy against terrorism.”
CITES IMPORTANT ADVANCES
In addition, the Israeli Ambassador welcomed the resolution’s call on states to prosecute or extradite terrorists, and to implement the international conventions against terrorism. The resolution seeks that all states prosecute and extradite terrorists.
“There are important advances,” Netanyahu said. “But their real meaning will only be assessed by how far the international community will pressure offending states to comply.” He charged that some states supporting the resolution in the General Assembly, such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and South Yemen, “defend” and “encourage” terrorists.
Netanyahu expressed disapproval over attempts by some members of the General Assembly to link terrorism to “a struggle for self-determination. Somehow, we are told by the terrorists and their apologists, if you are fighting for that goal, the systematic murder of civilians is not terrorism,” the Israel envoy said. “This is nonsense.”
According to Netanyahu, a grave injustice is thus committed against those who fight for “genuine freedom and do not engage in terrorism. We have no objection in principle to such struggles. Indeed we ourselves engaged in such a battle for independence. Those who truly fight for national freedom respect all human freedoms.”