Tuesday, 2 October 2007 10:13 AM

"Defining Terrorism More Difficult than Deploring it"

Minister of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Immigration, Hon. Patteson Oti, MP made the statement when addressing the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"The impetus for Australia's involvement in our internal unrest was a dramatic change of focus and heart about the protection of its strategic interests in the Pacific Islands region," he told the meeting.

He said the threat of terrorist penetration through porous frontiers is sufficient cause for international anxiety, insecurity and paranoia.

Mr. Oti adds that despite global condemnation of terrorism, the struggle for consensus on an acceptable definition of terrorism retards the progress of multilateral initiatives in formulating a Comprehensive Anti-terrorism Convention.

"Illustrative of terrorism's over-reactive potential is the indignity I had to suffer, as the Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands, when my multiple entry visitor visa to Australia was suddenly cancelled last year."

Mr. Oti revealed that the written explanation for that decision "identified me as a risk to the health, safety and good order of the Australian community under Section 116(1)(e) of its Immigration Act."

"One would have to admit that is an incredible justification for excluding democratically elected leaders of neighbouring countries unknown for breeding terrorists," he stated.

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