Statement to the Twenty-Third
Meeting of Consultations of Ministers of
Foreign Affairs of the Member States
of the Organization of American States
Ambassador Patricia Durrant Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General
Distinguished Members and Delegates
Let me in the first instance, associate the Jamaican delegation with the statement delivered by her Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
This Twenty-Third Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of our hemispheric Organization takes place at a time when the will of the international community is being severely tested. The entire world has been shocked and outraged by the horrific and terrorists acts committed on the 11th of September 2001 against the United States, and indeed against the world community.
Prime Minister Patterson of Jamaica has already conveyed to President George W. Bush of the United States of America, the deepest condolences and sincere sympathy of the Government and people of Jamaica.
I wish to reiterate these sentiments of solidarity to the Secretary of State of the United States of America, H.E. Colin Powell. Our heartfelt sympathies also go out to all nations who suffered loss of life and injury to our citizens.
As the events of September 11 demonstrate, terrorists are increasingly resorting to inhumane actions, which are designed to result in a maximum number of casualties and damage to property.
Terrorism poses a serious threat to the peace and stability of nations and to the security and well-being of their citizens, and therefore requires a serious response from the international community. The indiscriminate death and injury and the damage to infrastructure which result from terrorist acts demand that we support practical efforts aimed at addressing the causes and sources of terrorism, and at creating disincentives for those who support terrorism.
Jamaica condemns all acts of terrorism, and believes that the most effective response is close cooperation among nations. It is in this context that the development of a comprehensive framework to deal with terrorism becomes a key factor in developing an organized response to the scourge. It is a matter of primary importance that states strive to ensure that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice.
The challenges presented by terrorism have been compounded by globalization and the revolution in communications technology. Terrorism has been linked with transnational organized crime, which manifests itself in several forms of criminal activity, including illicit narcotics production and trafficking, money laundering and illegal arms transfers- particularly of small arms and light weapons.
Todays meeting provides us with an opportunity to examine new and innovative strategies, and to consider how the inter-American system can develop systematic and comprehensive approaches to complement those being undertaken at the international level.
Jamaica welcomes the work already undertaken by the United Nations and the Inter-American system in developing legal constraints which create the foundation for addressing terrorism through international cooperation.
As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Jamaica fully supported Resolution (368/2001), and will continue to actively support action by the Council against terrorism, as well as action by the UN General Assembly, and the Permanent Council of this Organization.
In this context we must strengthen the capacity of the Inter-American Committee on Terrorism. A core function of the Committee is the promotion of Inter-American cooperation, including the exchange of information among our law enforcement organization. We must take action now.
Todays meeting serves as an important opportunity for the Organization of American States to reaffirm its condemnation of terrorism, and to call on all states to ensure that they do not engage in activities aimed at assisting, supporting or facilitating terrorist organizations or groups.
This meeting demonstrates that we the member states of the OAS stand united in the face of this threat. I therefore wish to express Jamaicas full support for the aspirations and commitments made in the declaration and resolution which this meeting of Consultation will adopt today.
Let me conclude by reiterating Jamaicas solidarity with United States of America. We pledge our unwavering support for the international efforts to bring the perpetrators of the terrorist acts of September 11, and their accomplices to justice.
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