Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:24 pm on 26th October 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 1:24 pm, 26th October 2005

Not at the moment. I will give way to my hon. Friend in a while.

Before I finish outlining the general position, I should point out that the final element of our strategy for combating terrorism is the need to work internationally. This week is the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, and some Members were privileged enough to go to St. Paul's on Monday for a service of thanksgiving and rededication—I emphasise the word "rededication"—to celebrate that anniversary. Lord Ashdown, in his capacity as high representative in Bosnia, was asked to give an address, in which he said:

"We shall be lucky to reach the 70th anniversary of the United Nations without having to deal with chemical, biological or nuclear terrorism."

That was a chilling remark, but not a foolish or stupid one, and it is one against which we need to prepare ourselves.

The United Nations is also seeking to prepare itself. United Nations Security Council resolution 1624, adopted by the Security Council on 14 September this year, addresses that very question, on behalf not of an individual Government but of the whole of the United Nations, precisely because of the threat that Lord Ashdown described. That resolution reaffirms

"the imperative to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations".

It condemns

"in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed".

The United Nations Security Council also condemns

"in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts and"— repudiates—

"attempts at the justification or glorification . . . of terrorist acts that may incite further terrorist acts".

The resolution expresses deep concern

"that incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism and intolerances poses a serious and growing danger to the enjoyment of human rights . . . and must be addressed urgently and proactively by the United Nations and all States", and emphasises

"the need to take all necessary and appropriate measures in accordance with international law".

It reaffirms

"that acts, methods, and practices of terrorism are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and that knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts are also contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations".

And finally, the resolution:

"Calls upon all states to adopt such measures"— as we are doing today—

"as may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with their obligations under international law to:

(a) Prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts

(b) Prevent such conduct

(c) Deny safe haven to any persons with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering they have been guilty of such conduct".

That is a very serious statement.