28 June 2011

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

Dialogue, Understanding Best Possible Option in Quest for Solutions


to Terrorism, Secretary-General Tells International Conference


(Delayed in transmission.)

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Muhammad Rafiuddin Shah, Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, to the International Conference on the Global Fight against Terrorism, in Tehran on 25-26 June:

It is a pleasure to greet all the participants in this timely and important International Conference on the Global Fight against Terrorism.

Over the past several years, the scourge of terrorism has afflicted almost all regions of the world, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.  It is critical that the international community increase cooperation in countering this grave threat to international peace and security.

The Member States of the United Nations demonstrated their clear resolve against terrorism through the adoption, by consensus, of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006, and its subsequent review resolutions in 2008 and 2010.  The Strategy is not only a political statement on the unacceptability of terrorism, it is also a strategic policy framework for addressing all aspects of this menace.

It is based on four pillars:  measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; measures to prevent and combat terrorism; capacity-building measures; and rule-of-law and human rights measures.  And it emphasizes the need for a comprehensive, multifaceted approach.  While law enforcement, border control and so-called “hard” security measures are essential, we must also invest more attention and resources in socio-economic development, conflict-prevention, human rights and education.  We also need to better understand the reasons people are drawn to violence, so that we can prevent others from following that path.

The Strategy also underscores the importance of dialogue, understanding, and principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter.  Under the Charter, all Member States have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.  Under the Charter, all Member States have the same rights and obligations.  Denial of established historical facts will be gravely misleading.  It is important that we look forward and put more emphasis on dialogue and understanding and on building bridges between countries and peoples.  This is the best possible option to find lasting solutions to the difficult problems.

As custodians of the Strategy, Member States have the primary responsibility to ensure its implementation.  That means putting in place cohesive national and regional counter-terrorism strategies, strengthening international coordination, marshalling the relevant expertise and demonstrating the necessary political will.  The United Nations system, for its part, is fully engaged, including through the efforts of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, to provide good practices and recommendations.

In adopting the Strategy, Member States pledged “to consistently, unequivocally and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes”.  Let that unambiguous position be our guide as we seek to address a global challenge that seeks to do such harm to us all and while we pay tribute to victims of terrorism.

In the end, I thank you for your engagement, and please accept my best wishes for a productive meeting.

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For information media • not an official record