NAM: Terrorism Shouldn’t be Associated with Religions

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has censured unilateral designations of states as supporters of terror, saying terrorism should not be linked to any religion and ethnicity or equated with legitimate national struggles to get rid of foreign occupation and achieve self-determination.

Speaking on behalf of NAM at the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Zahra Ershadi, deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN, said the forum of 120 developing world states unequivocally rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

She warned that terrorist acts constitute a flagrant violation of international law, including humanitarian and human rights regulations, and deprive people of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Such acts, she added, also endanger national, regional and international security, leaving adverse effects on economic and social development and destroying infrastructure.

“The NAM reiterates its respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all states in accordance with the UN Charter,” Ershadi said.

“We would like to stress that terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of people under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation, for self-determination and national liberation. The brutalization of people remaining under foreign occupation should continue to be denounced as the gravest form of terrorism, and the use of state power for the suppression and violence against people struggling against foreign occupation in exercising their inalienable right to self-determination should continue to be condemned.”

She said terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, voicing deep concern over the misinterpretation of religions by terrorist groups to justify terror.

Underlining the need for swift and effective measures to eliminate international terrorism, she said the NAM urges all governments to fulfill their obligations under international law by prosecuting or, where appropriate, extraditing the perpetrators of terrorist acts, among other measures.

The Iranian envoy further expressed the NAM’s rejection of the unilateral designation of certain governments over their alleged support for terrorism, saying such moves are a kind of psychological and political terrorism.

The 120-nation bloc condemns the negative effects that unilateral sanctions have on the countries’ fight against terrorism, she added.

“The Movement also calls upon all states to respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and to reaffirm their commitment … to prevent human rights violations in consistency with the rule of law … and in accordance with relevant General Assembly resolutions.”

Ershadi also reaffirmed the importance of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the crucial role of the Office of Counter-Terrorism.