[Documents menu] Documents menu

From davemull@alphalink.com.au Wed Oct 3 18:40:19 2001
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:57:53 -0500 (CDT)
Organization: South Movement
From: Dave Muller <davemull@alphalink.com.au>
Subject: [southnews] UNGA debate: Speeches of Libya & Malaysia
Article: 127479
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Statement by M. E. Mr. Abuzed Omar Dorda, Permanent Representative, before the General Assembly in its Fifty Six Session, New York, 1 October 2001

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like at the outset to congratulate you, Mr. President, on being chosen president of this session which is convened under most unusual circumstances. I wish you great success, and promise that we shall do our utmost to assist you under these circumstances.

To the American people, to the inhabitants of New York City in particular, to the USA mission to the United Nations, and to the families of the victims, we present our sincerest condolences, and express our deepest sympathy and compassion.

First of all, the Arab Group condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and condemns also all those who practice it, or provide assistance for it, be they individuals, groups, organizations, or states.

It should also be remembered that Arab countries throughout many decades were prime victims of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations: state terrorism, occupation terrorism, and the terrorism practiced by the extremist groups. We paid a high price for those acts of terrorism in terms of losses of innocent human lives. Until today Arabs lose their lives daily because of the continuation of terrorism.

The Arab Group wishes to put in record that the Arab states which suffered from some forms of terrorism, carried out by extremist groups, requested some states upon whose territories the leaderships and members of those groups reside to handover the elements who participated in the planning or execution, of those acts, so that they may be brought to justice. The concerned states, however, paid no attention to such pleas.

Our group wishes also to record that some Arab leaders were the first who proposed to the United Nations, as far back as the early seventies, that an international conference devoted to the study of the phenomenon of terrorism should be convened in order first to reach a unified definition of terrorism, and subsequently an agreement on an international endeavor to eradicate it. Those initiatives were debated in the United Nations, and received broad international understanding, they included the invitation to hold an international conference to define terrorism, and another to combat terrorism. The summit of the Non-Aligned movement, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and other governmental bodies, endorsed those initiatives. That endorsement was embodied in the conclusion of the Arab Convention, the Organization of Islamic Conference Convention, and the Organization of African Unity Convention, all devoted to combat terrorism.

All such initiatives and invitations are being constantly renewed by Arab leaders, until this week, and they are widely advertised in the media.

The Arab Group is keenly eager to emphasize, with no limits, its affirmation of the right of the Arab Palestine people to freedom and independence. Furthermore, we affirm that until this goal is achieved, the Palestine people has the full right to resist the occupation, and all its consequences, chief among which is settlement, in addition to the right of those Palestinians, who have been dispossessed or deported, to return to their homeland, as they have no other homeland.

The Arab Palestinian people are victims to modem terrorism, in the fullest sense of the word. Their land was occupied, their property either confiscated, or destroyed by bulldozers, and most of their sons and daughters were displaced, imprisoned, tortured, expelled, or deported, to the farthest corners of the earth, in order to empty their land so that foreigners may settle in it. The Palestinian people are subject to repression in order to prevent their members from even expressing their rejection to occupation. Most brutal, cruel, and inhuman means and methods have been used as tools for this repression, including the use of the most modern planes, carrying most sophisticated weapons, in addition to tanks, artillery, and political assassinations of all those who resist the occupation.

In this respect, the Arab Group stresses its determination to confront any attempt to classify resistance to occupation as an act of terrorism. Such an attempt will turn concepts topsy-turvy, and only hatred can be engendered from this kind of oppression. Freedom is indivisible, and must not be diminished in anyway. Anyone who maintains otherwise cannot be convincing in his resistance to terrorism in the name of freedom or justice.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Terrorism has no nationality, and no religion. No terrorist can have any religion at all, except if terrorism itself becomes the religion of the terrorist. God forgive us saying so, as in any time true religion can only be God Almighty's religion.

As far as nationality is concerned, it is both sad and regrettable that some states refuse to extradite a terrorist to a state of which he is a national so that he may be brought to justice, and punished for his crimes.

In fact, such terrorists are sometimes granted the nationality of the host state, or a residence permit, thus enabling these elements to move freely internally and externally against their home countries, threatening their stability.

The word Islam is derived from the word peace, and peace is one of the glorious names of ALLAH. The Islamic greeting is peace be upon you. The holy Quran indicates that he who kills a single human soul commits an act comparable in monstrosity to killing all human beings, and he who gives life to, i.e. saves, a single human soul, performs an act comparable in compassion to giving life, i.e. saving, all human beings.

Islam is a religion of truth, justice, and equity, as it makes no distinction between races, or colors. The most dignified people in the eyes of God are those who are most pious.

By what right, and on what basis, therefore, is Islam being degraded, particularly by some leading figures in some countries, and in the mass media, which is manipulated by certain elements for this purpose these days? The only outcome to be expected from there trends is the spread of an atmosphere that encourages conflict of religions, and the creation of atmosphere in the Muslim world conductive to sympathy with the extremist groups that helps such groups to expand their bases.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, the Arab Group sums up its position in the following points:

1- The condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

2 - The importance of taking action on all levels to combat terrorism in a manner that is not contrary to the principles of the UN Charter. States must also implement all necessary legal procedures, internally, regionally, and internationally, to eradicate terrorism, and must enforce the provisions of international law, and international decisions, related to the prohibition of committing terrorist acts, their funding, taking part in their execution, condoning them, or protecting their perpetrators. The Group also emphasizes the importance of the adoption of carefully studied measures in this context.

3 - The Group calls for making concerned efforts, on all levels, to combat terrorism, through the United Nations, in the form of a serious and constructive effort which takes into consideration the concerns, interests, and security of all.

4 - Resistance to occupation is a legitimate right for all occupied peoples. Occupation is equal to terrorism; in fact it is one of its ugliest forms.

5 - The Group calls upon the United Nations to assume its responsibilities toward the Palestinian cause, treating it as an occupation issue. This task must be performed expeditiously. In this respect the Arab states highlight the importance of combating the terrorism practiced by the occupation forces against the Palestinian people, the Lebanese people, and the Syrian citizens in the occupied Golans.

6 - States which harbor terrorists of Arab nationalities are called upon to surrender them to their countries which have requested such a surrender so that these elements may be brought to justice.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like first of all to congratulate you Mr. President on being elected president of the General assembly, wishing you great success, and reassuring you of our support and assistance.

Once again I would like to express our sincerest condolences to, and sympathy with, the American people, the US mission to the United Nations, and the inhabitants of this marvelous city, who lost their dearest beloved ones, and a great monument of civilization in today's world.

We in Libya, having suffered much from terrorism, in various forms and manifestations, can appreciate, better than others do, those feelings of chock and grief which the American people went through, its cruelty, and depth. From our own experience and suffering, we fully understand the psychological, mental, and physical consequences, which may become stronger with the passage of time for some people, particularly the families of the victims.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Because we are one of the affected victims of terrorism, our experiences and sufferings have thought us to give precedence to humanitarian, moral, and religious considerations over any political or subjective considerations. This has been manifested, as you have seen, in our reaction toward the terrorist attacks on the United States. Our position on terrorism is compatible with the teachings of our Islamic religion which prohibits the killing of innocent people, and civilians, and is also reinforced by the high ideals and values of the Arabic cultural heritage in this respect.

My country was subject to state terrorism, its territorial waters in the Gulf of Sirt were attacked, as well as its air-space and its lands, its major cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, were the targets of the terrorist attack which took place on the night of April 14th.That terrorist operation aimed specifically at the assassination of brother, MU'AMMAR QADAFFI. His home, his office, and his tent were simultaneously destroyed, as were also residential areas in the two cities. Tens of people were killed, and hundreds were wounded, among whom I myself was a victim. Many establishments and hundreds of homes were demolished, among which was my own home.

My country was also subject to the terrorism of the extremist groups which were assembled, trained and armed by a super power, which also facilitated their infiltration into Libya. As examples, we mention only the terrorist operations in 1984 and 1993, without citing other instances which included terrorist operations designed for assassinations.

My country was also a victim of terrorist operations carried out by extremist groups. Those who were captured alive from the perpetrators confessed that BIN LADEN was their financier. My country officially notified the Interpol about the matter, before any one else.

There was another kind of terrorism to which my country was subjected;

namely the correspondence which were sent to us from several entities pretending to be defenders of human rights. These letters were evidently coordinated, as revealed by their similar texts quoted from the same political sources, describing those terrorists as prisoners of conscience, and demanding their release.

This sophisticated kind of terrorism deliberately distorted facts as it portrayed by means of its misleading propaganda and media the terrorists who were armed to the teeth, killing innocent people, as defenders of human rights. The terrorist was thus portrayed as the victims.

Another kind of terrorism that my country suffered from the accusation of supporting terrorism, whereas the party who leveled this accusation against my country was the one who created those whom he calls today terrorists.

Previously, it called them freedom fighters, and termed those who were resisting the occupation of their country terrorists.

We thank God that others changed their position 1800 , not us. It was others who changed completely their view of the freedom movements, which they once called terrorist. They recognized their independent states, exchanged ambassadors with them, rolled red carpets for their reception, and addressed them as excellencies.

Mandella became the conscience of the world, and one of the few leaders who command everyone's respect. We, however, have always considered him worthy of all this since he was in prison. He was granted the highest state medal of honor in our country, which his daughter received on his behalf while he was still imprisoned.

Similar to Mandella, the great freedom fighters, are all the brave African leaders, and their brotherly peoples, which we, the Libyans, were honored to support their struggle against foreign occupation until they won their independence.

My country was also subject to yet another kind of terrorism which is economic terrorism. Some powers imposed upon us a unilateral, comprehensive boycott, which subsequently they succeeded in making multilateral, and finally international. It covered the same fields that its unilateral boycott did, using even the same terms of reference. The latter sanctions were imposed under the pretext that we supported terrorism, a pretext which was neither corroborated, nor proven, even at the trial held for the two suspects in the PANAM incident, flight 103, over Lockerbie. We emphasize today that they, more than we, know that the suspects are innocent of such crimes, both the one who was acquitted by the court, or the one who was convicted, without any material evidence, a matter which enraged Scottish legal experts, even more than others. They perfectly know that they were as innocent of this crime as the wolf was innocent of Joseph's blood.

The false nature of the accusations made against the suspects is further reinforced by what the Daily Merror published on 11th September 2001 that a security guard at Heathrow Airport, called Rye Manly, confirmed that an unknown person forcefully entered the luggage hold of PANAM on the day of the incident, and that the intruder could have planted the bomb in one of the suitcases that were kept in store. Strangely, the evidence presented by this guard when he was questioned by the anti- terrorist British police, mysteriously disappeared, and was never submitted to court.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Arabs and Muslims felt greatly offended by references that were made implicitly and explicitly by some responsible officials, and by the widely spread media, to Arabs and Muslims in connection with terrorism. As we condemn such attempts, we wish to remind that Arabs themselves are victims of terrorism and fanaticism, which are both rejected by our civilization, and strictly prohibited by Islam in Quranic verses revealed by God, which were not tampered with, or destroyed, by any human beings.

We wish also to mention that Arabs condemned terrorism, including the terrorist attacks on the US, and that Muslims held prayers in their mosques for the victims, including the Islamic Center, and all the mosques in New York. Muslim representatives to the UN participated in those prayers, and made statements afterwards to the American media, which have never been aired until today. I personally was one of the participants. On the other hand, however, we are being constantly provoked by the media. Such provocations are neither appropriate, nor acceptable, and they can only be an indication of ignorance, or hate, which is an important cause for terrorism and its incitement.

We urge that this new trend directed exclusively against Arabs, Muslims, and Islam be swiftly contained. Zionist terrorism in Palestine was never attributed to religion, nor was McVeigh religiously labeled.

Arabs and Muslims have had enough suffering at the hands of extremists, recruited against their countries by foreigners. Cultures now call upon all of us to support dialogue among civilizations, rather than conflict, and dialogue among religions, rather than confrontation. This is precisely what Islam preaches, not the enemies of peace.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Having emphasized the previous points briefly because of considerations of time, I wish to confirm my country's position towards terrorism as follows:

First: We are in full agreement with what president George Bush, the president of the United States, repeatedly declared that terrorism is an act directed against freedom. As freedom is indivisible, and as it does not concern only a particular state, or states, we maintain that foreign occupation is the first enemy of freedom... the freedom of countries, people, territories, and mankind.

This means that foreign occupation is the ugliest from of terrorism, and that the most brutal terrorist occupation is that which is practiced against the Palestinian people.

Second: Based upon the above, resistance to occupation is one of the most important obligations, not only legitimate rights, for people whose lands are occupied by the foreigners. Furthermore, the Palestinian people, the Lebanese people, and the Syrian citizens in the Syrian Golan Heights have the full right to resist the occupation of their lands.

Third: We reiterate the invitation which we made on January 1992 (Document A/46/890) to convene an international conference, or a special session of the General Assembly, to study the issue of terrorism, in order to reach an accurate definition of what constitutes terrorism, a definition not dictated by subjective whimsical, or selfish, classifications. Such an objective definition can be used as a criterion by all of us in determining what terrorism is, and who terrorists are. Occupation must be on the top of the terrorist acts that the world should decide to confront and eliminate.

Fourth: We condemn in absolute terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations based on our firm convictions which have been established in the following United Nations official documents: 5/23221, 5/23226, S/23414, 5/23416, 5/23396, 5/23641, 5/23672, 5/23918, 5/24961, 5/1995/624, 5/1995/633, 5/1996/7, 5/1997/176, 5/1997/218, 5/1997/880.

Fifth: In fulfillment of my country's commitments to combat and eradicate international terrorism, we have become party to the following international and regional conventions and agreements promulgated by the International Community in order to confront this despicable phenomenon:

1. Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircrafts, (Tokyo 1963).

2. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, (Hague 1970).

3. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, (Montreal 1971).

a): Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, (Montreal 1988).

4. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, (1973).

5. International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, (1979).

6. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, (Vienna 1979).

7. International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, (1989).

8. Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, (1994).

9. International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, (1997).

10. The Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, (Cairo 998).

My country is in the process of completing the necessary legal and legislative procedures required to accede the remaining relevant instruments.

Sixth: We express our readiness for cooperation; in a positive and constructive manner, with the International Community through the United Nations with of combating terrorism. We call upon others to undertake through the United Nations similar actions in order to tackle the root causes and natives of terrorist acts with the objective of eliminatory terrorism once and for all.

Thank you Mr. President