10 December 2007

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the statement made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to an informal meeting of the General Assembly on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in New York on 4 December:

I am grateful for this opportunity to address you on our common endeavours to fight the scourge of terrorism around the world.

Just over one year ago, the Member States of the United Nations unanimously adopted a global strategy to counter terrorism.  This was a significant achievement.

Today, we meet at the midpoint between the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and next year’s formal review of progress in implementing it.  This meeting is a valuable opportunity to consider what has been achieved so far, and what needs to be done during the next 10 months.

Clearly, we still have considerable challenges to address.  Conservative estimates show that since you adopted the Strategy, more than 230 incidents of international terrorism have been recorded on four continents.  In the past three days alone, there have been attacks in at least three different regions.

This should reinforce our resolve to implement the Strategy, in full and without delay.

The Strategy builds on our shared determination -- across cultures, philosophies, ethnicities and religions -- to reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

It stems from our common conviction that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religious, ethnic or other grouping.

And it reflects our collective awareness that the burden of terrorism affects all of us.

After all, who among us can say that terrorism is not a problem for his or her country, culture or community?

That is why we must redouble our efforts and commitment to preventing and combating terrorism, and the conditions conducive to spreading it.  And it is why we must make sure that protecting and advancing human rights is an integral part of our efforts to counter terrorism.

Looking at what has happened in the United Nations system since the Strategy was adopted, I believe your plan of action is having a clear impact.

The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force has made it possible for United Nations entities to better cooperate, coordinate and streamline the efforts of the United Nations system.  It has provided a forum for the system to come together and create working groups that will help us deliver concrete results.

You will hear today from members of the Task Force in more detail, but allow me to highlight some of their areas of activity.

In the Strategy, you called for measures to meet the needs of victims of terrorism.  We plan to convene an international symposium bringing together victims of terrorism from around the world with United Nations Member States, civil society and the media.  It will be an opportunity to interact, to share ideas and exchange best practices for supporting victims.

You called in the Strategy for measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law.  Through the Task Force, United Nations entities are pooling their efforts and coordinating action throughout the system, while also supporting the work of Member States.

And you called on us to make full use of the role of regional and other organizations in the global endeavour to counter terrorism.  The United Nations gave life to that call at the Tunis conference on Terrorism Dimensions, Threats and Countermeasures last month, held in partnership with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

We have also collaborated with Member States and regional organizations in holding important meetings on the Strategy in Vienna and Nairobi.

In all these ways, the work to implement the Strategy is testing the United Nations system’s ability to “deliver as one”.  Any State that wants to implement the Strategy nationally, in an integrated manner, should be able to engage the entire United Nations system through a single request.  We will spare no effort to put such a system in place.

Excellencies, as we approach the 2008 review of implementation, I hope that Member States are equally determined to work as one.  I hope you will join forces, with each other, across regions, and with the Task Force, to put into practice the Strategy you worked so hard to perfect and adopt last year.

In that spirit, I wish you a most productive discussion.

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For information media • not an official record