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30 January 2002

Text: Secretary of State Addresses Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism

(Powell hails regional leaders for dedication in fighting terror)
(720)
In aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks against New York
and Washington, the democratic nations of the Western Hemisphere have
demonstrated their strong support for the United States "by
translating [the region's] spirit of cooperation and solidarity into
practical action to fight the scourge of terrorism" throughout the
hemisphere "and wherever its agents continue to operate," says
Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Speaking in Washington on January 28 at the second regular session of
the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (known by its Spanish
acronym CICTE), Powell praised the Organization of American States
(OAS) for being "the first international organization to condemn the
terrorist attacks of September 11" and hailed the OAS for swiftly
invoking the Inter-American Treaty of Mutual Assistance (commonly
referred to as the Rio Treaty) in defense of the United States. The
Rio Treaty recognizes an attack against one OAS member state as an
attack against all the others, and directs the signatory parties to
provide reciprocal assistance in case of an armed attack or act of
aggression.
While acknowledging that "much remains to be done" in the fight
against terrorism, Powell told his audience that "here in our home
hemisphere, we can serve as a model to the world in our resolute
response to see this campaign through to the end."
Following is the text of his remarks, as prepared for delivery:
(begin text)
Remarks of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
Reception on the Occasion of The Second Regular Session of the
Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE)
Department of State, Washington, D.C., January 28, 2002
Secretary General Gaviria, Chairman Monblatt, Excellencies and Heads
of delegation, distinguished colleagues, friends.
In this gathering, the word "friends" has special meaning. I will
never forget the outpouring of sympathy and support from my OAS
colleagues in Lima on September 11, when we had gathered to approve
the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
Nor will I -- or the American people -- forget how the OAS was the
first international organization to condemn the terrorist attacks of
September 11, or how the States Party to the Rio Treaty invoked its
collective defense provisions.
Yet it is not tragedy, but unity, which has brought us together since
September 11. Unity of values, unity of interests, unity of purpose.
When we met last September 21 to launch the hemisphere's campaign
against terrorism, we agreed on the need to galvanize and strengthen
the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism, CICTE. And, my
friends, we have done just that.
The Second Regular Session of CICTE that began today shows how we are
translating our spirit of cooperation and solidarity into practical
action to fight the scourge of terrorism in our countries, in our
hemisphere, and wherever its agents continue to operate.
The Plan of Action that you will adopt tomorrow is an ambitious
program of concrete steps that we must all take multilaterally,
bilaterally, and domestically. It is a tangible proof of our
collective commitment to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism.
On a global level, we have accomplished much since September 11. The
United States and coalition forces have lifted the yoke of the Taliban
regime from the backs of the Afghan people.
Al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are now either captured, killed or on the
run. Countries around the world are ferreting out terrorist cells.
At the U.N., the nations of the world have pledged themselves to deny
to terrorists the financing that allows them to commit their evil
deeds.
But much remains to be done. Here in our home hemisphere, we can serve
as a model to the world in our resolute response to see this campaign
through to the end.
Tonight, with this reception, we are honoring CICTE for having taken
up this burden.
CICTE stands as a model of multilateral cooperation to the rest of the
world. Through CICTE, we have collectively said: "Our American family
stands united against terrorism."
Thank you for your dedication and your commitment to this important
work for the peoples of our hemisphere, and our world.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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