|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6900th Meeting (AM & PM)
‘Nothing Can Justify Terrorism — Ever,’ Says Secretary-General, as Security
Council Hears from Some 50 Speakers in Day-Long Debate
Presidential Statement: Only Comprehensive Approach Can Defeat Terrorism,
Including Addressing Conditions — Conflict, Rights Abuses — That Feed Its Spread
“Nothing can justify terrorism — ever,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared at the opening of a high-level meeting of the Security Council today, capped by a presidential statement expressing that body’s deep concern over the terrorist threat and its determination to combat it by all means in all its forms and manifestations, in line with the United Nations Charter and international law.
“We have to drown out shrill appeals to intolerance and extremism with sound calls for compassion and moderation,” said Secretary-General Ban. In social media networks, which terrorists and extremists increasingly were exploiting to radicalize people and spread hate, the terrorist narrative must be replaced with messages of peace, development and human welfare, he said.
Citing challenges in Mali and the broader Sahel region, where, he said, terrorism was feeding off extreme destitution and undermining development through violence, intolerance and human rights abuses, he welcomed the Council’s resolve to tackle the challenges there head on and said he counted on all its members, and all in the international community, to unite in advancing that important work.
In its agreed statement, the Council stressed that terrorism could only be defeated by a “sustained and comprehensive” approach involving the participation and collaboration of all States and international and regional organizations. It recognized that the scourge would not be defeated by military force or security forces, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone.
In that connection, it underlined the need to address the conditions conducive to terrorism’s spread, including strengthening efforts to prevent and peacefully resolve conflict, promote the rule of law, protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, tolerance and inclusiveness.
The statement reaffirmed that Member States should refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, and from providing any form of support, “active or passive”, to entities or persons involved in or associated with terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of terrorists and eliminating their weapons supply.
The need to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism was underlined, as was the use of sanctions as an important tool in countering the phenomenon, in the context of fair and clear procedures for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists and for removing them. Additionally, note was taken of the Secretary-General’s recommendation to appoint a counter-terrorism coordinator.
When the floor was opened for statements, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, whose delegation holds the Council presidency this month, said her country “has led from the front” to combat terrorism, in a comprehensive approach based on “three Ds: deterrence, development and dialogue”.
She urged special emphasis on creating employment opportunities for people in regions scarred by terrorism so that terrorists “cannot lure them to their side”. The endeavour overall was a long haul, she said, encouraging Member States to brace for it, prepare for it. A “lopsided or uni-dimensional approach will not work as we try to defeat this hydra-headed monster”.
“Pakistan’s enemy is our enemy,” declared the Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, offering her condolences for the victims of the latest attacks in that country and agreeing that it was indeed on the “front line” of a threat that was more diverse and more fragmented, but, equally, was more determined than ever.
A military response was “sometimes unavoidable”, she said, while at the same time urging recognition of the link between instability and terrorism, and poverty. In Yemen, she noted, access to justice, jobs and services must be expanded, and in Somalia, support must continue for police training, improving access to health care and humanitarian assistance. Financing was the “lifeblood” of terrorists, and thus, effective standards must be enforced to dry it up.
The language of today’s interventions was strong as speaker after speaker held that terrorism was, as China’s Vice Minister described it, the “arch enemy of all mankind”. So, too, was the expressed commitment to decisive action in the context of a comprehensive approach and sustained international cooperation to contain the ongoing threat, which weighed on all nations and all peoples.
With the phenomenon mutating, adapting, exploiting new tools and technologies and benefiting from ever-available funding sources, speakers stressed the need to blunt the scope and magnitude of the assault with foolproof policies and practices, and strict adherence to existing instruments. The link between development and security was highlighted, as fragile States were seen as especially vulnerable to terrorism, and unemployed young people at greater risk of recruitment. Several supported the Secretary-General’s suggestion to appoint a counter-terrorism coordinator.
Closing the meeting, Pakistan’s representative said it had been a full and comprehensive debate that lived up to the importance and scope of the topic. Condemnation of terrorism had been unequivocal, and determination to address and combat it had been strong and unambiguous. The importance of a comprehensive approach for more effective counter-terrorism efforts had been a recurring theme.
Also speaking at the Ministerial or Cabinet level were representatives of Luxembourg, Morocco, Russian Federation, United States, Argentina, Togo, Azerbaijan and Rwanda.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Guatemala, Australia, Republic of Korea, France, Brazil, Egypt (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference), Senegal, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Malaysia, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Indonesia, Japan, India, Israel, South Africa, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Canada, Uganda, Armenia, Spain, Afghanistan, Botswana, Switzerland, Norway, Tunisia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Côte d’Ivoire (on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Saudi Arabia.
The Head of the European Union delegation also spoke.
Making further statements were the representatives of Iran and Turkey.
The meeting began at 10:03 a.m., was suspended at 1:08 p.m., resumed at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 6:59 p.m.
The Security Council met today to convene a high-level open debate on “A comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism”. It had before it a concept note prepared by the President (S/2013/3).
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, welcomed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and expressed condolence for the victims of recent repeated terrorist attacks in Pakistan. He reiterated the Organization’s strong support and solidarity for the Pakistani Government’s efforts to combat terrorism and defend the country’s institutions and freedoms. He noted “solid progress” in countering terrorism in the past year. In June, the General Assembly recommitted to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and, through a consensus text, strengthened the global resolve to support victims of terrorism everywhere and to adopt a comprehensive anti-terrorism approach based on respect for human rights and the rule of law. No counter-terrorism policy could be effective without addressing conditions that are conducive to the terrorism’s spread. Development and security were critically linked.
“Nothing can justify terrorism — ever. No grievance, no goal, no cause can excuse terrorist acts,” he said. At the same time, the conditions that fed the problem — endemic conflicts and human rights violations that went unpunished — must be removed. Dialogue and understanding were crucial. “We have to drown out shrill appeals to intolerance and extremism with sound calls for compassion and moderation,” he said. In social media networks, which terrorists and extremists increasingly were exploiting to radicalize people and spread hate, the terrorist narrative must be replaced with messages of peace, development and human welfare. Progress in those areas would demand steady efforts by States — individually and collectively.
He lauded three upcoming conferences on the subject. In April, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Working Group on human rights while countering terrorism, a new project on human rights training for counter-terrorism law enforcement officials, would hold its first conference in Amman. In two weeks, the CTIFT United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre would hold an International Conference on National and Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategies, in Bogota. And this summer, the CTITF and the Swiss Government would host a conference of counter-terrorism focal points aimed at addressing conditions conducive to the terrorism’s spread. States needed capacity-building to respond to the financing of terrorism, which remained a key threat. The Counter-Terrorism Committee’s special meeting on that subject last November, chaired by India’s Permanent Representative, was an “important step”.
He urged humanitarian, security and political actors to engage in an open, sustained policy dialogue to ensure that anti-terrorism acts never thwarted timely, principled delivery of aid to civilians. “This is all the more important as we cope with increasing humanitarian emergencies around the world,” he said, citing challenges in Mali and the broader Sahel region, where terrorism was feeding off of extreme destitution and undermining development through violence, intolerance and human rights abuses.
He welcomed the Council’s resolve to tackle the challenges in that region head on. He was deeply moved by the brave efforts of Malala Yousufzai, the young Pakistani girl shot by extremists, to champion the fundamental right to education. “Malala and her schoolmates have shown tremendous courage. Their grace and integrity challenge the world to respond to the terrorist threat with the comprehensive and broad-based approach that is essential to success,” he said, adding that “I count on all members of this Council — and all members of the international community — to unite in advancing this important work.”
HINA RABBANI KHAR, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, presiding over today’s meeting as Council president for the month, said that the terrorism threat “is not for today or tomorrow, or for the next week or for a year. It is a long haul. We all have to brace for it. We all have to continue to prepare for it.” As a threat to international peace and security, terrorism had a direct bearing on all countries and regions, on individuals and societies. The last decade had shown that the scourge knew no geographical boundaries, and that a “lopsided or uni-dimensional approach will not work as we try to defeat this hydra-headed monster”.
After a decade of fighting terrorism, she said, everyone here was deeply aware of the unintended consequences of political decisions that could fuel it. Short-sighted methods could offer the scourge ideological fodder. She sought a comprehensive and interlocking approach, which was much more effective than the present effort and which was geared towards not only winning the battles, but winning the war. Terrorist networks must be attacked and dismantled because they “defy the writ of the State and kill civilians”. All must persevere in their efforts to deter and defeat terrorists militarily.
However, she continued, terrorism would not be defeated by law enforcement measures, or intelligence operations or military and security strategies alone. Terrorists’ misleading, distorted and malicious narrative, and their demented ideology that justified the killing of innocents, must be quashed by the international community. She pointed to the interrelationship between development and security, adding the need for special emphasis on creating employment opportunities for people in regions scarred by terrorism — so that terrorists “cannot lure them to their side”.
Nothing worked better than allowing preferential market access to products produced within regions wracked by terrorism, she said. Even more important was dialogue, and a rule of law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and good governance and tolerance should also be fostered. She cited several reasons why counter-terrorism should be high on the Council’s agenda, including that terrorism continued to mutate into newer and different forms. Also, regional cooperation was necessary, and Pakistan and Afghanistan had taken steps towards a strategic relationship to jointly fight the scourge. Terrorism was a serious threat to Pakistan, which had been one of its biggest victims. Its comprehensive approach was based on “three Ds: deterrence, development and dialogue”. The entire nation, Government, judiciary and civil society were determined to fight it. Indeed, the country had “led from the front” in the global fight, but success had come with a heavy cost for Pakistan and its people. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s “community resilience has been second to none”.
JEAN ASSELBORN, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, said the threat of terrorism was serious and spreading, as demonstrated by the situations in the Sahel, and in Pakistan, which had very recently been the victim of terrorist attacks. His Government strongly condemned terrorism as unjustifiable criminal acts that must be prosecuted and punished, regardless of the perpetrators. Luxembourg was committed to the European strategy against the scourge and also backed the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which had expanded the framework of the fight to not only include security measures, but also towards ensuring the respect for human rights and addressing root causes.
“This strategy provides a comprehensive approach allowing for more effective responses to the threat by combining security, rule of law, development goals and the protection of human rights,” he said, calling on Member States to strengthen and enhance United Nations capacities in such areas as conflict prevention, rule of law, peacebuilding and development. The fight against terrorism must be grounded by a fundamental respect for human rights and good governance. Indeed, he said, experience had shown that serious violations of human rights might even create conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. In the same vein, counter-terrorism strategies must pay due attention the promotion of tolerance, dialogue and to respect for diversity. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had a major role to play in that regard, as did the Alliance of Civilizations.
He went on to say that his Government supported the work of the Security Council’s relevant counter-terrorism committees, and stressed that sanctions were an important tool in the international combat against the scourge. He again reaffirmed the need to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights and to that end welcomed relevant measures adopted by the Security Council, and extended his Government’s full support to the work of the Office of the Ombudsman, established in 2009. Before concluding, he stressed the need to bolster global efforts to counter terrorist financing. As an international financial centre, Luxembourg was conscious of its special responsibilities in that regard, and its Government had, therefore, adopted a modern and coherent arsenal of legislative and regulatory measures to combat money-laundering and other illicit financial flows.
SAYEEDA WARSI, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, said Pakistan was on the “front line of terrorism” and making enormous sacrifices, including in lives lost. Her country understood the terrible losses inflicted on the Pakistani people, and it would continue to offer its sympathy and steadfast support. After all, “ Pakistan’s enemy is our enemy.” Terrorism was among the most pressing and challenging of threats, thus requiring a united and comprehensive response. The world had changed since the 11 September attacks and other terrorism atrocities, and globalism had made the scourge increasingly interconnected, its boundaries less clearly defined. Indeed, the threat was more diverse and more fragmented, but equally, terrorists were more determined than ever.
She welcomed the call for a more comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism, in terms of the number of countries working together and in terms of the range of tools employed to defeat it. A military response was “sometimes unavoidable”, but the link between instability and terrorism, and poverty, should be recognized. In Yemen, for example, access to justice, jobs and services must be expanded. In Somalia, support must continue for police training and securing access to health care and humanitarian assistance. Her country’s broader counter-terrorism effort would include work to bring countries out of poverty and build stability. Work in both development and defence must also continue, and it should not be forgotten that financing was the “lifeblood” of terrorist networks. She welcomed the work of the United Nations and other international bodies in setting effective standards to combat that financing.
Terrorism, she continued, also exploited technological opportunities and, thus, it was crucial to prevent cybercrime. The United Kingdom, in addition, was working to combat drug and human trafficking. Her country supported the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and it underscored the importance for all efforts to conform at all times with international law. Specifically, it must be ensured that the collective capacity to arrest, detain and prosecute be in accordance with such standards. The United Nations was uniquely placed to lead the struggle, but with some 31 bodies around the world involved in that fight, she supported the Secretary-General’s call to appoint a United Nations coordinator.
CUI TIANKAI, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, said that Pakistan was at the forefront of the international efforts to counter terrorism and that country’s efforts had been recognized by the entire world. China rejected terrorism in all its forms and would continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to counter the scourge. Overall in the past years, some progress had been made and the threat of terrorism had declined, but the situation remained quite serious, as terrorist activities remained rampant in some parts of the world and the situation in some regions opened space for the activities of terrorist operatives. Moreover, some organizations were joining together and the combat against the scourge remained a long and uphill battle. He said that in combating terrorism, it was important to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity. It was also important to achieve global consensus on counter-terrorism measures. China supported the work of the Council in shaping a global response, and he stressed that it was essential for all countries to abide by the Council’s edicts and the measures set out in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
At the same time, he stressed that terrorism could not be eradicated through military means alone. Indeed, a comprehensive political, development and diplomatic approach was necessary. In addition, the international community must reject selectivity; all forms of terrorism must be tackled equally regardless of motives and perpetrators. Indeed, the international community must speak in one voice and act in concert to deter and eradicate the global scourge. China had faced its share of terrorist acts, carried out by Eastern Turkistan Islamist Movement and associated groups. Those groups had caused heavy losses in the country. “Definitive evidence abounds,” he said, stressing that such actions threatened China, the region and the international community.
China had long backed the United Nations framework and Security Council resolutions on the issue, and it had also signed agreements with global and regional groups to help tackle terrorist funding and money-laundering. Finally, he said that while the world had made significant steps to counter terrorism, there was still a long way to go. The international community should continue to press ahead in a comprehensive manner.
YOUSSEF AMRANI, Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Morocco, said that as Chair of the Counter-terrorism Committee, Morocco was committed to working with all Member States to strengthen action towards a strategic, transparent approach and to further coordinate technical aid to improve Member States’ capacity to combat terrorism. He commended the CTITF and expressed Morocco’s commitment to working with other members of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Centre on Counter-Terrorism to develop capacity-building. The United Nations must, however, bolster efforts, adapt responses to new patterns of terrorism and diversify its partnerships with regional and subregional organizations. Morocco was ready to pursue discussions on all proposals that sought to enhance coherence, coordination and effectiveness of United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, including the Secretary-General’s proposal to appoint a counter-terrorism coordinator.
The United Nations should seek more interaction with other multilateral initiatives to fight terrorism, he said. The 2006 Statement of Principles adopted by the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism offered a way to unite and share experience and expertise. The Rabat Memorandum adopted last year by the Global Forum against Terrorism on “Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector” gave a set of norms for an effective criminal justice response to terrorism. An active member of the Forum, Morocco hosted in October 2012 a workshop on Transnational Security Challenges in the South Atlantic, which identified ways to strengthen global cooperation and build the necessary capacity to counter terrorism, transnational crime and illicit networks. Morocco had established a comprehensive counter-terrorism approach based on tolerance, human rights, the rule of law and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It had firm law enforcement measures and a dedicated counter-terrorism justice system.
For years, Morocco had warned the global community about the deteriorating situation in the Sahel, which was today the “centre stage” for alarming terrorist activity, he said. He supported Mali’s recent call for external aid to combat terrorist elements. “The United Nations needs to speed up and intensify its efforts in assisting the Government of Mali and in ensuring a prompt deployment of [African-led International Support Mission in Mali] on the ground,” he said, stressing that bilateral support and resources, including through the holding of a donors’ conference, were vital. He reiterated Morocco’s calls for a sustainable framework for dialogue, cooperation and solidarity among all States of the Sahel and the Maghreb to address the critical situation in the Sahel. Joint responsibility, inclusive cooperation and constructive partnership must prevail over narrow political calculations.
ALEXANDER ZMEEVSKY, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the fight against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime, said that, unfortunately, the terrorist threat had not declined. He pointed to the savage attacks a few days ago in Pakistan, offering his sympathy and hope for a speedy recovery. Terrorism was quickly adapting to new realities, acquiring a new dimension and gravity, in regions previously unscathed. It was exceptionally dangerous and hard to predict, and it threatened international peace and security. New, serious problems in the context of counter-terrorism security were accumulating in conflict areas, including in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Terrorism crossed borders, it was fast-arming, and it constantly developed new funding sources. It also meshed with organized crime, including in West Africa and the Sahel region. He underlined the threat posed by Al-Qaida and the Taliban in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, which continued to generate terrorist threats, with a heavy reliance on the narcotics trade.
Terrorism, he said, was an “untraditional adversary” — it was not linked to international obligations, it bore no responsibility to society and had its own “coordinates” in international relations. It also involved the training of rebels. Terrorism and violent extremism were very dangerous trends, which were determined to spread, under slogans of reformed democracy and calls for street protests, sometimes under Al-Qaida flags with the portrait of Osama bin Laden in plain view. Against that backdrop was a growing destructive wave of radicalism, which provoked tensions in various regions and created favourable conditions for bringing new adherents, especially young people, into the movement. Indeed, terrorism now was woven into the very fibre of armed conflict, such as what was being seen in Mali. The Council needed a common approach, yet it displayed a lack of a consolidated position, especially in the context of the Syrian events unfolding against the backdrop of Al-Qaida-linked terrorism.
He called for transnational efforts and effective cooperation to defeat the threat. Much had been done, and he pointed in particular to the effective global response system, which included a solid treaty base. However, the level of participation must be expanded. The United Nations had an essential coordinating role to play. Counter-terrorism also required simultaneous development, as well as improved cooperation of law enforcement agencies. Timely and appropriate reaction remained a priority issue for the United Nations and Security Council. His country attached vital importance to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the “1267” and “1988” Committees on, respectively, Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and said in closing that it was also critical to maintain a focus on sanctions and to prevent nuclear terrorism.
SUSAN RICE ( United States) joined others in expressing deep condolences to Pakistan for the recent spate of terrorist attacks against that country, which reminded all that the scourge of terrorism remained a serious threat. She said that while the Council had taken major steps to enhance the international counter-terrorism framework, terrorists, nevertheless, thrived and continued to threaten all States, posing grave dangers at national and global levels. Indeed, the insidious activities of Al-Qaida and other groups was evident in, among other regions, the Arabian Peninsula, the Islamic Maghreb and the Horn of Africa, where they continued to sow instability, destabilize societies and obstruct delivery of humanitarian goods and services.
The diffuse nature of modern terrorism made it clear, she continued, that long-term diplomatic and economic initiatives were indispensible. “While we have made progress together, terrorist groups continue to adapt,” she said, noting that such groups continued to incorporate new measures, such as kidnapping, in their deadly arsenals. The international community must do much more to combat the scourge; with the threats ever more diffuse, the need for a comprehensive global strategy was more necessary than ever. While force was indeed often necessary, it was not nearly enough to comprehensively counter the threat of terrorism over the longer term. As such, it was necessary to adopt holistic strategies that incorporated development and socio-economic measures that could help counter extremism and stem the pipeline of recruits. Such broad action would, she said, ensure that all States were better able to counter the scourge of terrorism within their borders and regions.
The United States was doing its part to that end, training legal advisers and helping nations bolster their judicial capacities to deal with terrorism and to disrupt terrorist financial networks. In addition, the United States was also cooperating in the work of the Centre for Strategic Counter-Terrorism Communications, set up to disrupt and rebut extremist propaganda online. The United States would continue to work closely with United Nations efforts to ensure the necessary architecture was in place to address terrorism in the twenty-first century. The Organization had a critical role to play as a forum for collective action against terrorism, and she supported the call of the Secretary-General to appoint a counter-terrorism focal point. The United States looked forward to working with the Council and other Member States in promoting the Council’s anti-terrorism measures. At the same time, she encouraged all Member States to enhance their cooperation with civil society groups to ensure a cooperative and comprehensive approach.
MARIA DEL CARMEN SQUEFF, Undersecr etary for Foreign Affairs of Argentina, also advocated a comprehensive approach and stressed the priority role played by the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies. The Council should ensure the effectiveness of those bodies. In all cases, solving the problems should avoid consequences for the populations concerned. The new terrorism threats had led to the understanding of the need for solidarity. Counter-terrorism efforts must be strengthened in those areas where conditions existed for the scourge’s spread, particularly where the rule of law was not respected.
She said that neither religious nor ethnic differences, nor economic circumstances could justify terrorism. Rule of law with full social inclusion and dignified work counter-balanced terrorism. Argentina had tragically suffered State terrorism and its consequent human rights violations. That had led to a strengthening of State policies, particularly with regard to memory, truth, justice and redress, and it had galvanized support on the international stage for the progressive development of that concept. Argentina had supported the creation of a Special Rapporteur in the Human Rights Council, as well as the Convention on Enforced Disappearances. Argentina, as a victim of terrorism in 1992 and again in 1994, was convinced that the scourge must be fought in the framework of rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms, including due process and human rights.
Terrorism was made worse by its capacity to undermine public institutions and domestic security, and actions to counter it must correspond to the risks a country faced, he said, pressing for greater emphasis on prevention. In Argentina, that responsibility fell to the Ministry of National Security. The Security Council must continue efforts through its relevant bodies to promote international cooperation in that regard and, as part of that endeavour, judicial cooperation in terms of both extradition and legal assistance. He urged Member States to incorporate and apply in their internal legislation international legal instruments and United Nations resolutions to ensure that those accused of terrorism did not benefit from “legal vacuums”. Work must be augmented on speedy and effective mechanisms to freeze funding and dismantle the economic structures that support terrorist organizations. Argentina had drafted a law to implement the relevant Council resolutions, particularly the provisions to freeze funds.
KOFI ESAW, Minister, Senior Adviser to the President for diplomatic matters and cooperation of Togo, said that, unfortunately, the tireless efforts to deal with terrorism had not achieved the hoped-for results. Terrorism was taking better advantage of technologies and the financial resources flowing from crimes of all kinds, including illicit drug trafficking and ransom payments. Terrorists also had a propensity to operate through business and non-governmental organizations, which further complicated efforts to counter the phenomenon. As the threats became more complicated, States were forced to spend much more to combat them, at a time when they were dealing with numerous pressing challenges, such as fighting poverty and implementing sustainable development objectives.
He said it was important to get a handle on the various manifestations and mutations of terrorism, in order to do a better job of fighting it. It was also vital to know more about its motives and motivations — what prompted individuals to “flirt” with terrorism. He suspected that was generated by social vulnerabilities and frustrations, particularly among young people, who were prepared to offer their services in order to survive. Development and security interacted as causes and consequences of terrorism, and it was also important to recall that terrorism often enjoyed the leaven of extremism and religious sectarianism, used as an affirmation of a criminal group’s views. One motivation could be the globalization of economies and societies, whereby States were competing with, and even defeated by, private interest dominated more and more by profits than values of human dignity. Unfortunately, the financial and economic crises of the last few years had dug a deeper hole between rich and poor and provoked frustration, despair and even the loss of the will to live. That vulnerability was exploited by terrorist groups as they recruited members.
However, he said, even if poverty, discrimination and prejudice “nourishes” terrorism, there could be no justification for it, since there were frameworks for dialogue, negotiation and compromise. But, given the scope of terrorist acts with often catastrophic consequences for States and regions — as was the case for the Sahel, including Mali and Somalia — the international community must remain mobilized. He welcomed the United Nations counter-terrorism efforts and strategy, and felt revisiting the approach allowed it to be updated in line with the changing face of terrorism. Togo also fully supported the work of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the committees spawned by relevant Council resolutions. His country had always made counter-terrorism a major priority and taken on the various legal instruments adopted under United Nations auspices, as well as by regional organizations, such as the African Union. Given the impact of poverty, inequality and intolerance on the spread of terrorism, he was convinced that the security and jurisdictional dimensions of countering it could only be effective if such factors as good governance, development, strengthened dialogue among civilizations and peaceful resolution of disputes were also taken on board.
YASHAR ALIYEV, Special Envoy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said his country had been a repeated target of terrorist attacks. Indeed, the activity of well-known State-sponsored international terrorist groups, “whose ideology is based on historical and religious prejudice and hatred, is a serious threat to Azerbaijan’s national security and the security of the region as a whole”. His Government had repeatedly drawn attention to such threats and had called on all States to combat the scourge in all its forms, including through the establishment of a more coordinated and comprehensive United Nations approach. Azerbaijan had consistently taken steps to implement its respective obligations and contribute to the global fight against terrorism. With that in mind, he noted that his county would be hosting in early March an international Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism, co-organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
He said that that Conference would bring together Heads of State and Government, as well as ministers and heads of international organizations and members of civil society and academia, with the aim of initiating in-depth discussions on the challenges posed by terrorism and how they could be surmounted. The Conference would also aim to promote relevant international cooperation and generate concrete ideas and technical assistance proposals towards strengthening national capacities. Speaking more broadly, he said that the changing nature of terrorism was extremely worrying, requiring a comprehensive international approach to counter it. While major steps had been taken in that regard under the auspices of the United Nations, a number of areas continued to require constant attention, including the situations in conflict-affected territories, especially those under foreign military occupation, which provided fertile ground for terrorist and other non-State actors to use violence to achieve their goals.
He said that the accumulation of weapons and ammunition on such territories posed the risk of proliferation to such illegal actors. While recognizing the significance of addressing all conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, he stressed the need to intensify conflict resolution efforts on the basis of international norms, especially the respect for territorial integrity. Calling for cooperation on helping States address “capacity gaps” in the fight against terrorism, he also stressed that the war on terrorism must not be used to target any particular religion or culture. To that end, all States must support the various initiatives carried out by, among others, the Alliance of Civilizations. Azerbaijan was a member of that initiative’s Group of Friends and was actively engaged in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
EUGÉNE-RICHARD GASANA, Minister of State in Charge of Cooperation, Rwanda, strongly condemned all forms of terrorism. Rwanda had ratified the 14 universal anti-terrorism instruments. It had embraced the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its action plan. Rwanda had ratified the Organization of African Unity’s 1999 convention on preventing and combating terrorism. He commended the anti-terrorism work of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee and of the African Union. Rwanda would continue to engage with global, regional and bilateral partners to prevent and combat terrorism. Effective steps to counter and prevent terrorism required adequate national legal and institutional frameworks, rooted in the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights. Rwanda had implemented the recommendations of Council resolution 1373 (2001) through such frameworks and a national counter-terrorism committee equipped with a national focal point and members of different national security organs, as well as through a functional counter-terrorism unit within the Rwanda National Police.
Rwanda also had adopted laws to prevent and penalize money-laundering and financing of terrorism, he said. The Rwanda National Police’s Financial Investigation Unit operated within the National Bank of Rwanda. Rwanda was a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group and the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation. Both operated in line with resolution 1373 (2001). He expressed particular concern over terrorism in Africa. He condemned Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Ansar Dine and other Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb-affiliated organizations in Mali and North Africa, Boko Haram in Nigeria and other terrorist groups on the continent. Conflicts and statelessness in several African countries provided a “fresh breeding ground” for terrorism. It was no coincidence that terrorists regularly attacked peacekeepers and threatened troop-contributing countries. Resolving conflicts on the continent was an absolute priority to bring peace and stability in the present, and prevent widespread terrorism and its spread.
It was crucial to address terrorism’s root causes, he said. Terrorism in the Arab world was a reminder of the urgent need to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Attention must be paid to terrorist groups that changed names and acronyms upon being classified as terrorist, and later masqueraded as political organizations. A case in point was the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It had been a product of the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda, which, upon being blacklisted, changed its named and acronym, but retained all its terrorist characteristics.
GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said his country rejected all forms of terrorism. Preventive action was needed within the framework of international cooperation. The United Nations played a fundamental role through conventions, protocols and strategies. As noted by the Global Strategy, terrorism must not only be addressed within the realm of defence and security. The sources of tension over ethnic, religious and ideological differences must also be addressed. A special role must be given to the virtue of tolerance. At the same time, counter-terrorism measures must not be used as a pretext to violate basic human rights. In that regard, adoption of a comprehensive terrorism convention was long overdue. Such a convention would help prevent impunity for those that committed terrorist acts; facilitate cooperation and mutual legal aid among States to bring to justice perpetrators of terrorist acts; offer a definition for terrorism, allowing for its universal criminalization; and fill existing gaps in the Council’s work, particularly in Committee 1373 and the measures applied by the sanctions committees.
He was concerned with terrorism’s link to transnational organized crime. Criminal cartels operating in Latin America and terrorist groups both had absolute disdain for human life. Already, terrorists joined cartels to finance their violent acts. In the future, the cartels could join terrorist groups as a way to accumulate illicit wealth. He stressed the need for a comprehensive, holistic approach to address the complex phenomenon and said greater coherence of efforts was needed among the different United Nations entities tackling terrorism. The efforts of the Council’s diverse subsidiary bodies to combat terrorism were too decentralized. He expressed doubts over the level of coordination between the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the various Secretariat departments. Council members should begin discussing among themselves whether there was enough internal coherence to carry out the work of the various sanctions committees.
GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) expressed his condolences for the terrible attacks in Pakistan last week. Good intelligence, strong law enforcement and prosecution were not enough to tackle terrorism. Its drivers, narrative and processes of radicalization must also be targeted. Prevention and strengthened cooperation and coordination within and among States were crucial. States had succeeded considerably in prosecuting terrorists and degrading major terrorist networks. For example, in Southeast Asia, Indonesia had prosecuted more than 600 terrorists since the 2002 bombing in Bali. That shared success in law enforcement had exposed that prisons were in many cases a weak link in counter-terrorism efforts. Terrorists continued to recruit and plan attacks from prisons. It was vital to effectively manage and rehabilitate extremist detainees, share best practices and develop common strategies. Australia, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries were using the work of the Global Counterterrorism Forum to develop regional approaches. Societies must be strengthened in order to reject the violent extremism that fuelled terrorism.
To do that, everyone must have a voice and access to education and work, he said, noting that youth unemployment was one of the greatest vulnerabilities of all regions. Promoting values such as tolerance, understanding and dialogue within and between religions and cultures and respect for diversity could help communities resist the terrorists’ message. The rule of law must be strengthened and there must be equality before the law in order to remove a potential grievance often exploited by terrorists. States must be innovative in using modern telecommunications to promote those values. The Alliance of Civilizations and interfaith dialogue were still crucial. States must strengthen collaboration with regional networks. The Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation had trained more than 12,000 officers, building understanding of the common challenges and diverse needs of the region, strengthening personal relationships and developing a sense of common purpose. More regional facilities like the Centre were needed. He called for the appointment of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator.
KIM SOOK ( Republic of Korea) said that over the past decade, the international community had made concerted and cooperative efforts to achieve progress in countering terrorism, such as significantly weakening Al-Qaida’s core operatives in Afghanistan. Still, the threat of terrorism remained serious, and Al-Qaida was still a source of concern, especially as its regional affiliates expanded their spheres of influence in such regions as Northern Mali and the Southern Arabian Peninsula. The threat of home-grown terrorism was also increasing, he said, adding that terrorist organizations were becoming more sophisticated, bolstered by new information and communications technology, and were including in their deadly arsenals such acts as kidnapping and piracy.
Since no State could counter terrorist activity alone, it was imperative for the international community to improve its cooperation in areas such as law enforcement, information sharing and the combat against terrorist financing. In all that, it would be crucial to strengthen the capacities and preparedness strategies of all Member States, he said, stressing the role played by the United Nations in that regard. He went on to acknowledge and welcome the Organization’s efforts, including through the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the relevant task force. The Republic of Korea also supported the Secretary-General’s call for the appointment of a counter-terrorism coordinator. He went on to stress that military efforts alone could not effectively eradicate terrorism and such measures must be backed by efforts to enhance socio-economic and environmental conditions. “We need to deal with the diffusion of violent extremism by marginalized groups. We need to solve unemployment problems and expand educational opportunities,” he said, in that regard, and added that collective efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals would be a “big step” in the overall strategy to counter terrorism.
MARTIN BRIENS ( France) said that with the evolution of terrorism, the international community must now confront “all kinds of shadowy organizations”, including from Al-Qaida, which harmed the security of entire regions. He was thinking, in particular, of the Sahel and Horn of Africa. Those groups exploited regional weaknesses and could be the “rear guards” targeting neighbouring States. Indeed, they could jeopardize the very existence of a State. The Council, in resolution 2085 (2012), had emphasized the importance of the situation in northern Mali, including for the Sahel and international community overall. Since the text’s adoption, the problem had intensified, and France had responded to a request by the Malian authorities to “deal with it”.
He urged the international community to show unity and solidarity in the face of the terrorism threat and to avoid any legal vacuum. In that, it was vital to effectively implement existing instruments and adopt long-term strategies. The United Nations must establish a permanent legal framework and define, for once and for all, their obligations to combat terrorism. Relevant Security Council resolutions had established obligations in that regard and called for a whole range of actions. Additionally, the United Nations promoted cooperation and, through its Strategy, sought to bring together existing mechanisms and strengthen coordination among States and organizations. A comprehensive approach was needed both to eliminate terrorism and to prevent its spread.
Terrorists’ access to funds must be blocked and security policies must be established to beef up fragile States, which were often most vulnerable to the scourge’s spread, he continued. Those policies should be accompanied by development and good governance programmes. The international community, for its part, must assist those States in that and regional strategies should also be established. That was the approach of the European States in the Sahel — one part security and one part development. Capacity-building and rule of law promotion were also essential components to combat terrorism.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said Brazil was a long-time supporter of global anti-terrorism efforts. It had always condemned terrorism in all its forms. The concept of repudiating terrorism was enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution and was a guiding principle of Brazil’s foreign policy. Terrorism must be addressed through a holistic approach, taking into account its diverse underlying causes. Development and inclusiveness were key tools for combating terrorism. An advocate of the interdependence between peace, security and development, Brazil commended the approach in Pakistan’s concept note in that regard. Brazil fully supported the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Focusing on prevention meant promoting democratic values, international cooperation for social and economic development, as well as political, ethnic and religious tolerance. Counter-terrorism should never justify disregard for basic individual rights and the rule of law. The fight against terrorism must be in compliance with international law and human rights law.
She encouraged the Council to continue reflecting on ways to strengthen due process within the 1267 and 1989 sanctions committees. The work of the Ombudsman was a valuable tool for increasing fairness when considering requests for delisting. Cooperation and capacity-building were essential for fighting terrorism. Many countries had the political will to implement the Council’s pertinent resolutions, but they lacked the necessary capacity to do so. She lauded the fact that capacity-building was a top priority for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre. She commended the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in facilitating technical aid to Member States, and for the organization of regional workshops and seminars. There was no excuse for terrorist acts. The Council had a duty to condemn such acts and work coherently and universally to prevent the spread of terrorism.
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL (Egypt), in his statement on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the OIC Group, whose members were themselves prime targets of terrorist acts, was very much aware that terrorism was one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. He outlined four tenets he believed would improve the United Nations’ and Member States’ efforts to combat terrorism, if they were applied. First, the evolving nature of terrorism called for effective regional and international cooperation. Second, all terrorist acts had to be fought within a single legal concept, and should avoid double standards. Thus, criminalizing all acts of terrorism regardless of their motivation had to be accompanied by pursuing all perpetrators of terrorist acts under due process of law, whether they were individuals, groups or States. Third, there was need for a comprehensive approach in criminalizing incitement to terrorism; and Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) was an important step in that regard.
Fourth, it was not enough to rely on security and legal measures alone to eradicate terrorism. He believed the most effective way to fight terrorism was to eliminate its root causes. To that end, the international community needed to work collectively towards resolving existing protracted conflicts; recognize and fulfil the legitimate right of peoples to self determination; and also assist the efforts of all nations towards poverty eradication. He also noted the OIC Group’s concern about the instances of intolerance, discrimination, profiling, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, religious hatred and violence against Muslims, as well as the denigration of their religion and its symbols, including the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad that occurred in many parts of the world. Such acts contradicted international human rights norms, he declared, adding: “We condone the freedom of expression that respects diversity and combats the myth of clash of civilizations; not the one that is used to incite hatred, or to target one specific religion or culture and deepens ignorance and disregard towards the other.”
At the national level, he said the best response to terrorism came with the Egyptian revolution in January 2011, when the country proved in a practical way that change could occur by peaceful means. The real defeat of extremist terrorist ideologies had no occurred with the use of force through Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, but rather it had happened in Tahir Square with the success of the Egyptian revolution in institutionalizing peaceful change.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal) said terrorism was a “dangerous and complex” phenomenon requiring holistic and cooperative counter-measures. Indeed, “effective and sincere” international cooperation and collaboration was vital to disrupting terrorists and their networks. Senegal, therefore, supported all activities that would bolster coordination among all States. The Global Strategy remained the most comprehensive framework to achieve comprehensive positive results against the scourge. The Strategy must be implemented without selectivity, including in the area of information-sharing. In addition, the framework of legal measures adopted and enacted by the Security Council was also vital to the global combat against the scourge.
For its part, Senegal had undertaken strenuous measures to bolster its border controls and airline security, among other national measures. Senegal remained seriously concerned by the situation in the Sahel, which made clear the ongoing and ever-changing threat posed by terrorism. With that in mind, he welcomed the Council’s recent actions to help Mali regain control of all its national territory. Looking beyond his region, he expressed support for the Secretary-General’s proposal to appoint a global counter-terrorism focal point and stressed the need for Member States to proceed swiftly towards the elaboration of a comprehensive international anti-terrorism convention.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) lauded the initiatives to make the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy more effective and believed that a comprehensive, holistic approach was the only way to tackle terrorism sustainably. He stressed the need to evenly implement all four pillars of the Strategy. At the same time, it was argued that the strategy was so broad in nature that concrete progress could only be made in specific areas. He wanted to address a few specific topics. First, effective action to counter the financing of terrorism was a key to weaken the operational capacity of terrorists. It was a top priority for Liechtenstein to ensure that its financial centre was not used for criminal activity. Strong domestic legislation that required all financial intermediaries to exercise due diligence, backed by Government institutions such as financial intelligence units with the necessary resources and capabilities to follow up on reported suspicious transactions, was vital for success. Since its inception 12 years ago, Liechtenstein’s financial intelligence unit had assisted other countries in establishing and training their own units.
Further, Government responses to terrorism must adhere to applicable human rights laws and international humanitarian law, he said. As some applicable rules of global law were rather general in nature and required that a Government’s action be proportional to their goals and balance competing interests, the United Nations could do more to advise Member States how to strike a crucial balance and share best practices for doing so. Governments must also consider to what extent extreme counter-terrorism measures could fuel more terrorist violence, or otherwise undermine the rule of law and good governance. Also, he commended the Council’s efforts to make fairer and clearer the procedures for sanctions’ listings related to entities associated with Al-Qaida. The Council should apply the lessons of that process to other sanctions regime. Finally, he stressed the need to conclude the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the delegation of the European Union, said an integrated approach combining prevention and responses to terrorist threats and attacks was essential. The Union worked closely with the United Nations to implement the Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Preventing terrorism by stopping its terrorist radicalization and recruitment was a Union priority. He called for a greater focus on addressing the conditions conducive to its spread and for new approaches involving various tools and non-traditional actors. Efforts should include aid to victims and their families. Victims and victims’ aid groups could help prevent terrorist radicalization and send a message of non-violence and reconciliation. The Union had a range of measures aimed at cutting off terrorists’ access to funding. It was committed to implementing the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations. Relevant United Nations resolutions and Council of Europe instruments played an important role in countering terrorist financing. Civil society, which had a key role in countering terrorism and violent extremism, must be safeguarded against abuse by terrorist networks. Towards that end, Member States and civil society should share best practices.
Counter-terrorism must be carried out in full compliance with democratic values, human rights and the rule of law, he said. Within the framework of the Assembly’s high-level meeting in September on the rule of law, the Union pledged to develop operational guidance to ensure adherence to international humanitarian law when implementing counter-terrorism projects with third countries. The Union would continue to support the consolidation of State institutions, the justice system, police forces and customs to strengthen security and the rule of law. The Union welcomed the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Rule of Law Group and it would actively take part in creating in Tunis the Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law.
JULIET HAY ( New Zealand) said that despite a low threat of terrorism, the Government was vigilant to possible terrorist threats in the country from disaffected or alienated members of the community. Its coordinated national approach, carried out in consultation with the community, was rooted in prevention. New Zealand had strengthened its legal framework to criminalize involvement in terrorism and it had created innovative social approaches to divert young people from violent extremism. Community policing, strategies to engage minorities and religious groups, a strong focus on interfaith dialogue and initiatives fostering community trust in the National Police had helped to combat radicalization and violent extremism. New Zealand had zero tolerance for violence or other serious crimes. Communities were engaged to address the underlying causes of antisocial behaviour and to prevent vulnerable groups from terrorist recruitment. That strategy had succeeded considerably in preventing terrorist acts. New Zealand was supporting a new programme by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate on the practical use of community policing in countering violent extremism. Beginning this year, the programme would seek to enhance the capacity of police officers in South Asia and Southeast Asia to recognize possible extreme violence tendencies at an early stage. New Zealand would continue partnering with the Organization’s counter-terrorism entities to prevent terrorism financing through the use of cash couriers and by strengthening criminal justice and law enforcement.
SAIFUL AZAM ABDULLAH ( Malaysia) aligned his statement with those of Iran’s representative on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and Egypt’s representative on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation. Terrorists were comprehensive in carrying out their acts. The international community’s response must be equally comprehensive. Terrorism’s root causes must be understood and tackled through inclusive political and development efforts that fulfilled socioeconomic needs. “In short, we need to win the hearts and minds of the people to counter terrorism effectively,” he said. Human rights standards must be maintained when countering terrorism. Towards that end, last year, Malaysia repealed the 1960 Internal Security Act and introduced the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act. Further, while supportive of such efforts as the Alliance of Civilizations, he believed that the real problem today was not between people of different faiths, but rather between the extremists and moderates of all faiths and cultures. Thus, he called for a Global Movement of the Moderates to drown out the voices of extremism. Moderates must be the only dominant voice in the mainstream. Such a move would help eradicate terrorism. Moderation was also the best response to countering incitement to violence and extremism.
HALIT ÇEVIK ( Turkey) said that his country, like so many others, had not been spared the scourge of terrorism. He recalled the recent attacks in Pakistan and condemned terrorism in all its forms. He said that since terrorism was a multi-faceted phenomenon, it could only be effectively addressed through a broad spectrum of activities carried out at all levels. “We need to redouble our efforts to enhance cooperation and coordination both at the United Nations and among its Member States, as well as relevant international, regional and subregional organizations,” he continued, stressing that such cooperation must lead to the identification of measures that countered the scourge of terrorism and closed off legal loopholes and implementation gaps.
Like other speakers, he stressed that law enforcement measures alone could not comprehensively counter terrorism, and said that every effort must be made to assist States in enhancing national capacity, the greatest challenge faced by many countries. Also important was bolstering regional and subregional cooperation, as building new partnerships, enhancing institutional capacities and developing cooperative networks would have an enduring impact on collective efforts. In addition, effective implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions also remained essential in the effort to comprehensively combat terrorism. Finally, he stressed that continuing and enhancing the ongoing dialogue among civilizations was vital, especially towards preventing the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures. Broadening such dialogue could help counter the forces that fuelled polarization and extremism, he said, recalling that the Alliance of Civilizations, which had been launched by Turkey and Spain, aimed to facilitate harmony and dialogue by emphasizing common values among all cultures.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said it was a painful reality that today, terrorists struck the University of Aleppo, targeting the students as they sat for their midterm examinations. That cowardly act killed 82 students and wounded 162 others. Syria had constantly warned that the terrorist armed groups in his country always took advance of a Security Council meeting to perpetuate their terrorist acts, and that was indeed what had happened today — “perhaps for the tenth or twentieth time since the crisis in my country began.” Despite the recognition of the terrorist groups committing horrific crimes in his country, some affiliated with Al-Qaida, there were still some State policies supporting them by providing financing and offering them political and media support. Today, armed terrorist groups also attacked homes in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood, killing and wounding the women and children there. The Arabia channel, considered to be the “operations room” for such acts, actually broadcast news of that act before it actually happened and reported it as a blow by terrorist groups against the Syrian regime.
His delegation, he said, had repeatedly called on the Council for “more logic and wisdom”, and it had warned of the dangers of terrorists flowing into Syria, he said. It had demanded that countries supporting those terrorist groups stop doing so, and called on the Council and others to assume their responsibilities. However, countries with influence had thwarted any concrete action to combat terrorism in Syria, and prevented the Council from issuing even press statements that would have condemned the attacks that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrians. The question to be asked was for whose benefit Western nations had mounted the wave of demands for legitimate reform in the Arab world, diverting those nations, forging alliance with extremist Islamist organizations, which, once in power, removed their masks and started searching for bases in countries that had not previously known such groups. He also asked who benefited from the smuggling of Al-Qaida prisoners and detainees to Syria, with funding and support from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and “a specific political group in Lebanon”. Finally, he wondered how the Council could condemn terrorism in Mali while condoning those same attacks in Syria.
MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN ( Bangladesh) called the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006 a watershed moment in the global fight against terrorism, and asked for its transparent and comprehensive implementation. He condemned all forms of terrorism and said his Government had been following and would continue to follow a “zero tolerance” policy on terrorism and extremism. Bangladesh was of the view that the four pillars of the Strategy and the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to support its implementation were important steps. A party to all 14 universal anti-terrorism instruments, Bangladesh also ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Further, the Government supported the United Nations’ work in the effective implementation of Security Council resolution 1267 (1999); had banned all terrorist groups blacklisted by the 1267 Committee; and was keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity, he stated. He cautioned, however, that there had to be distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle against foreign occupation, and right to self-determination, as outlined in the Charter of the United Nations. “Any attempt to wrongfully associate terrorism with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group should be avoided,” he asserted. He added that for the Global Strategy against Terrorism to succeed, its root causes, such as economic disparity and deprivation, political subjugation and exclusion, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, among others, had to be addressed in that discourse. He called on the United Nations to lead that discourse.
MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE (Iran), speaking as Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that terrorism was a common threat to the entire international community, and his delegation had long supported decisive efforts to counter that scourge whenever and wherever it was carried out. Indeed, counter-terrorism strategies should be immune to political motivation and double standards. They should be based on international cooperation and strengthened coordination, with the United Nations in the central role. He said that the Movement called for a transparent, comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and agreed to participate in future meetings on ensuring such implementation. The Movement also called for enhanced engagement of member States in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, to ensure that body’s transparency and provide feedback on the Strategy’s implementation.
Continuing, he said that the Movement considered that terrorism could not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation. The brutalization of such peoples should continue to be denounced as the “gravest form of terrorism”. The Movement also would continue to denounce the use of State power to suppress people who were exercising their inalienable right to self-determination and struggling to expel foreign occupiers. He went on to reiterate the Movement’s call for the convening of an international United Nations summit on formulating an international response to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including identification of root causes. It also reiterated the need to complete the elaboration of a comprehensive counter-terrorism convention. Concluding, he said that the Movement believed that more action and political will were needed to improve existing counter-terrorism measures and initiatives, including those set up by the Security Council and the General Assembly. Such improvements would ensure that global activities would be carried out in a coordinated, transparent, accountable and consistent manner.
DESRA PERCAYA ( Indonesia) said that his country was among those that had suffered the devastating impact of terrorism and it, therefore, recognized the imperative of ensuring concerted national action against the scourge and a robust global framework that was versatile, cooperative and sustainable. He went on to welcome the third biennial review of the Global Strategy this past June and stressed that that mechanism was a powerful tool for enhancing and coordinating worldwide anti-terrorism efforts and providing relevant assistance to Member States. He reiterated the Non-Aligned Movement’s call for enhanced engagement by member States in the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, as outlined in the review process. Such an approach would help countries better monitor and assess the work of the Task Force and to provide relevant guidance.
He went on to express his delegation’s support for a comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism that encompassed human rights and the rule of law. At the national level, Indonesia had enacted several legal measures aimed at countering terrorism, including one law that had led to the arrest, since 2003, of some 600 terrorists. Building on its steady progress, the country had continued to strengthen its relevant law enforcement institutions towards enhancing their capacity to deliver timely and effective results. Through the establishment in 2010 of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency, Indonesia was addressing not only the legal and technical aspects of the scourge, but also addressing equally important social aspects, he said. Concluding, he stressed the need to tackle the root causes of terrorism, through, among other measures, promoting dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding, as well as through the empowerment of moderates. Terrorism should not be associated with any culture or religion, and the international community must work to dismiss attempts to “profile” particular civilizations.
KAZUO KODAMA ( Japan) said that more comprehensive responses were needed to prevent and eliminate international terrorism, and that it was also necessary to address all aspects of the scourge at national and global levels. In that effort, it was necessary to consider the differing capacities and needs of specific States, including, among other situations, socio-economic conditions that could foment extremism. He said there was also a need to promote dialogue among neighbours and regions, and to ensure the participation of civil society in all such national initiatives. States that had been successful in achieving solid results in the area could share their experiences with others, thus contributing more broadly to capacity enhancement.
In addition to enhancing its own capacity, Japan, he said, had been conducting bilateral and multilateral dialogues and consultations. It had been making full use of its own knowledge and contributing to international efforts by dispatching counter-terrorism experts and holding seminars, particularly in South East Asia, focusing on such issues as immigration control, aviation and maritime security, cooperation in law enforcement, and countering terrorist financing. He went on to highlight the recent Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan and Japan’s efforts to ensure the parties in the Philippines pressed ahead with the implementation of the Mindanao peace process as examples of Japan’s commitment to the international effort to address all aspects of the issue. Specifically on terrorist financing, he said that Japan welcomed that the special meeting in November of the Counter-Terrorism Committee had focused on that issue and had provided Member States and relevant organizations the opportunity to discuss experiences and challenges in that area. Japan, for its part, was making steady progress, including through updating the measures targeting terrorist financing discussed at that meeting.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) said that the scourge of terrorism undermined peace, democracy and freedom, and endangered the foundation of democratic societies. Indeed, it was a threat that recognized no border, ethnicity or religion. India had faced the scourge for more that two and a half decades, and the entire region had borne the brunt of the activities of the world’s major terrorist actors, including, among others, Al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud Daawa, and elements of the Taliban. In addition, over the years, terrorists and their networks had begun to globalize, expanding both their outreach and the scope of their activities. “They recruit in one country, raise funds in another, operate in still others, and were waging asymmetric warfare against the entire international community,” he said, adding that the nexus between terrorist and organized criminal networks was now well established, with terrorist financing, drug trafficking and illicit arms trading now intertwined in a “complex toxic relationship”.
He went on to recall that he had had the privilege to Chair the Counter-Terrorism Committee during 2011-2012, and his delegation had aimed to provide renewed momentum to the global counter-terrorism effort and to promote a culture of “zero tolerance” towards the scourge. During his delegation’s chairmanship, the Committee had held three special meetings, including one that had focused on suppressing and preventing terrorist financing. As for broader United Nations efforts, he said that India had long believed that while much progress had been made, the Organization needed to strengthen the normative framework of its Counter-Terrorism Strategy by adopting a comprehensive convention on the scourge. The international community must also strengthen enforcement measures aimed at destroying terrorist safe havens, their financial flows and support networks. Describing terrorism as “Frankenstein’s monster”, he said that fighting it required unrelenting and broad-based efforts.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that every roadside bombing, every suicide attack, and every act of terrorism began with words and thoughts of hate. They began with Al-Qaida websites that turned suicide bombers into Jihadi celebrities. They began with Hizbullah summer camps that used arts and crafts to glorify martyrdom and teach bomb-making skills to children. Combating terrorism required combating terrorists wherever they struck, yet also imperative was to attack terrorist infrastructure and “go after” those who supported and financed terrorism. True counter-terrorism must also begin by disrupting the “ecosystem of extremism” in which terror thrived. It meant advancing education that taught peace, not hate, and mutual understanding, not martyrdom. It meant speaking out against incitement and all forms of terrorism, even when it was “politically inconvenient”. That was “far from that reality”, however, as in too many corners of the planet, and in this Council, some States justified certain terrorists, while condemning others.
He said Israel appreciated the work of the United Nations counter-terrorism bodies. It continued to share its knowledge and experience through years of combating terrorism, and it was working closely with many States and regional organizations to advance counter-terrorism cooperation. However, “it takes a network to beat a network”. Criminals are supporters of terrorists, and many States, including in this Chamber, work hand in hand with them, as well. Iran stood chief among those nations. Across Africa, Iranian weaponry had become the tool of choice for some of the region’s bloodiest insurgencies and terrorist acts. In Gaza, Iran was funding, training and arming Hamas. It had also help Hizbullah to build its arsenal to unprecedented levels in Lebanon. The Council could not turn a blind eye to those States that supported and armed terrorists, who must be held accountable for the violence they had spread and the lives they had taken.
ZAHEER LAHER ( South Africa) said his delegation continued to support measures that placed the United Nations at the centre of multilateral counter-terrorism efforts. South Africa was also of the view that international initiatives must be comprehensive, including through addressing collateral concerns such as development. He said that his Government continued to believe that the Global Strategy was the most credible and relevant international mechanism for countering terrorism which enjoyed widespread political support of all Member States. Nevertheless, the international community must recommit to addressing the conditions that bred terrorism, and in that regard, the United Nations must step up its efforts to help resolve long-standing conflicts in accordance with international law, and to adopt strategies that limited political exclusion and social marginalization.
He said that the international community’s otherwise commendable counter-terrorism measures must be carried out with due care, as well as appropriate planning and foresight. “We remain mindful that the lack of an appropriate response or political will to address long-standing conflicts will impact negatively on our collective efforts to root out terrorism,” he said, noting in that regard the unintended consequences of weapons proliferation in the Sahel in the wake of actions taken by the international community in that subregion in 2011. The prevailing situation had given rise to a resurgence of terrorist networks, destabilizing countries in the region and making them more vulnerable to terrorism in the future. He reiterated the need for the international community, especially the United Nations, to tackle the root causes of terrorism, as well as factors that inflamed passion and resentment, or contributed to the spread of the scourge.
JORGE VALERO BRICEÑO ( Venezuela) restated his country’s categorical condemnation of any terrorist act. It had spearheaded efforts to counter that scourge, as demonstrated by its adherence to countless instruments and successful policies and initiatives to control the financing of terrorists and money-laundering. In May 2012, the organic law against organized crime and the financing of terrorism law had been enacted, with the objective of preventing, investigating, prosecuting, criminalizing and punishing those crimes. Venezuela endorsed all steps taken within the context of the Global Strategy, which recognized that countering terrorism was the prime responsibility of Member States and should be undertaken in the context of cooperation and norms of international law and international humanitarian and human rights law. Terrorism took many forms, but among the most reprehensible was State terrorism. It was practised, not only by non-State actors behind the scenes, but by State actors, in the full light of day. The Palestinian case revealed the double standard of some countries’ efforts to combat terrorism, and the Council’s inaction in that regard was deplorable.
USMAN SARKI ( Nigeria) said that the complexity and evolving nature of the threat, as well as the diversity of the conditions conducive of its spread, required a multifaceted and sustainable response at national, regional and global levels. Terrorists exploited instability and took advantage of new technologies, including mobile telephones and the Internet. The world had to rise to that challenge, which was why Nigeria had taken certain measures to neutralize the threats. He drew attention to its terrorism prevention amendment bill of December 2012, as well as to the adoption of a three-pronged strategy aimed at addressing social and economic grievances and promoting political and religious dialogue; restructuring the banking sector and strengthening relevant institutional bodies on the “front line” of the fight; and signing regional counter-terrorism treaties. A project in the Sahel was expected to galvanize Member States, and international and civil society organizations to attain the common objective of defeating terrorism. Nigeria was a member of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and would work within that and other frameworks to attain the common objective of blunting the dangers and threats posed by terrorist movements and organizations.
BYRGANYM AITIMOVA (Kazakhstan) said her country, convinced that no nation in the world could adequately address contemporary challenges alone, particularly those of terrorism, attached great value to cooperation on counter-terrorism, and supported all international and regional efforts in that direction, including the implementation of the main provisions of the United Nations Global Counter–Terrorism Strategy at the national and regional levels. Consequently, Kazakhstan was an active participant in the Anti-Terrorism Centre for the Commonwealth of Independent States, the regional Anti-Terrorism Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as the measures undertaken by the Organization of Collective Security treaty in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
She said her country was also undertaking counter-terrorism measures in accordance with the Individual Partnership Action Plan with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in addition to being engaged in ongoing dialogue and collaboration with the European Union. The country also supported the international community’s efforts to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism; and attached great importance to international cooperation and the implementation of steps to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists. As experience had shown that terrorism could not be prevented by force alone, it was necessary to promote sustainable economic development and education, she said.
GUILLERMO RISHCHYNSKI ( Canada) said that his Government continued to recognize the obligation of all States to prevent terrorist groups from training on their territory and from crossing international boundaries to carry out operations in other States. That principle applied equally to the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Iran, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Pakistan, he said, noting that his Government had recently added the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force to its list of terrorist entities. Canada had taken that step because that group had provided arms, funding and paramilitary training to terrorist groups such as the Taliban, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, among others. “Indeed, dubious networks thriving in ungoverned spaces, at the confluence of State and non-State actors, must be confronted for what they are, wherever they aspire to accomplish hegemonic ambitions,” he said.
The ongoing threat of terrorism compelled all countries to work more closely together, united in purpose and coordinated in practice, to combat radical sectarianism, which manifested in the lives of the innocent through acts of unmitigated terror. To that end, he said that the Global Strategy was a valuable tool for combating international terrorism, and noted that Canada had participated in the review of that mechanism last year and continued to serve in its role as facilitator of the General Assembly’s annual resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism. He went on to note that Canada had launched a national counter-terrorism road map last year, aiming, among others, to prevent individuals from participating in terrorism and denying terrorists the means and opportunity to carry out their activities. Combating terrorist financing was another key aspect of Canada’s national approach, as was responding to the needs of victims of terrorism. Specifically on that matter, he said that through a recently introduced act, Canada was providing victims with the means to seek justice by holding perpetrators and those who supported them, including the States, accountable for their actions.
ARTHUR KAFEERO ( Uganda) recalled that in July 2010, his country had been targeted by a “cowardly” attack perpetrated by Al-Shabaab, resulting in the deaths of some 78 people and the wounding of some 200 others. Uganda continued to face threats from Al-Shabaab and other groups, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Allied Democratic Forces, all of which shared links to Al-Qaida. Condemning all forms of terrorism, he said that Uganda supported the full implementation of the Global Strategy. The Government had also adopted regional and national measures aimed at preventing the scourge. In that regard, Uganda had strengthened its relevant cooperation through frameworks such as the East African Community, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
Turning to the increased level of sophistication of terrorist networks and the strong, clear links of such networks to other organized criminal enterprises, he said that it was necessary for the United Nations to support implementation of counter-terrorism strategies that served the mutually supporting and symbiotic relationships between the two. “Our collective efforts should aim at denying terrorists any havens, eradicating sources of terrorist financing, reducing State vulnerabilities and enhancing preparedness and response capabilities,” he said. By way of conclusion, he stressed that priority attention should be given to preventing terrorist acts, through the implementation of a comprehensive approach that addressed such fundamental vulnerabilities as economic depravation and weak State structures. Such comprehensive actions would deprive terrorists of their recruiting grounds and improve the ability of States to counter the activities of terrorist actors.
GAREN NAZARIAN ( Armenia) said that the enormous threat of terrorism and its implications required the coordinated action and support of various United Nations counter-terrorism bodies and those of other intergovernmental agencies dealing with transnational crimes. Armenia had developed effective multilateral cooperation in the fight against transnational crime and international terrorism, in such areas as legal reforms, improved law enforcement capacity, border control and intelligence. Unilaterally, it had adopted practical and effective border control measures and demonstrated a strong interest in acquiring more such technology. But, the close borders with some of its neighbours in a very sensitive area discouraged cooperation.
The conflict in the South Caucasus was unresolved, but it was no excuse for the accumulation of enormous amounts of weapons, often in violation of international treaties, he said. Further, terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle for self-determination, and he condemned the use of State power and mercenaries to suppress that inalienable right. Given that conditions conducive to the spread of international crime included, among others, prolonged conflicts, awareness programmes were vital; dissemination and broadcast of hate speeches at the State level incited terrorism, and must be replaced by tolerance and dialogue.
ZAHIR TANIN ( Afghanistan) said his country had lived with terrorism for more than two decades. It was not too long ago that Al-Qaida and affiliated groups used the territory, not only as a site for brutal attacks against the Afghan people, but as a staging ground for terrorist attacks around the world. Since the fall of the Taliban 11 years ago, Afghanistan had made important headway, but despite that progress, terrorism and insecurity remained serious challenges. The country’s counter-terrorism approach, central to its national strategy, was being carried out by national security institutions. Operationally, scores of terrorists and “enemy combatants” had been captured and brought to justice. Through intelligence gathering, hundreds of terrorist plots in various parts of the country had been subverted.
Operating with increased capability, the security forces were increasingly taking charge of combat operations nationwide, including counter-terrorism operations, he said. Insecurity and terrorism not only threatened Afghanistan, but the wider region and, with Pakistan, his country had enhanced cooperation in several areas. It was also party to 13 international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols and relevant ministries, and Government agencies were working closely to implement national legislation.
FERNANDO ARIAS( Spain) said that terrorism must be condemned firmly and completely, and no justification of any kind must be accepted. Combating it required cooperation from the police and the courts. However, the economic and social circumstances in certain parts of the world created fertile ground for violent radicalization. That required the development of new strategies, which explored the link between security and development. What was occurring in Mali was a good example of what happened when citizens did not find a framework of security and development. Prevention required the development of inter-cultural dialogue and a fight against fanaticism. The Global Strategy must evolve and include responsible interaction between local communities and police forces, and grant special attention to social integration at the local level. Spain was distributing educational material in schools to help develop pluralism and believed it was also necessary to spread messages throughout the Internet that “discredit terrorism and that strip away the glorious and generous image, which is presented in many forums”.
CHARLES NTWAAGAE (Botswana), aligning himself with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement, said his country joined the international community in condemning acts of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations wherever, however and whenever their occurred. The fact that terrorism was a violent form of transnational crime that thrived on proceeds of crime, ranging from illegal trade to money-laundering, meant that the common resolve of the international community was needed to provide an effective global response and action. Therefore, Botswana believed that the international community needed to move a step higher in its concerted efforts against acts of terrorism, and consolidate all the existing 13 multilateral conventions and protocols in order to intensify and harmonize action against the scourge. Above all, it was important to strengthen the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Botswana also believed that development of strong institutions of governance, promotion of the rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights served as a useful foundation for countering terrorism. At the national level, the country had established a National Counter-Terrorism Committee with the mandate of ensuring implementation of counter-terrorism strategies, he explained. In that regard, there had been steady progress in legislative reforms and strengthening the capability of the security apparatus to combat terrorism. They included the drafting of a comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation to deal with the threat of terrorism, the creation of new institutions, such as the Directorate on Intelligence and Security, the Financial Intelligence Agency and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority. Multilaterally, the country continued to intensify collaboration and cooperation in the fight against terrorism at the subregional, regional and international levels.
THOMAS GURBER ( Switzerland) expressed condolences to the victims of the recent attacks in Pakistan, and of our terrorist attacks worldwide. He condemned terrorism and rejected any association to race, ethnicity, civilization, nationality or religion. He subscribed fully to a comprehensive approach to combat it, which was best reflected in the Organization’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Creation of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator in the near future would enable the Strategy’s system-wide implementation. Switzerland’s national Counter-Terrorism Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs chaired an Interdepartmental Group on Counter-Terrorism involving more than 30 agencies. Since its launch in 2007, the International Process on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, to which Switzerland was a member, had held several global and regional meetings. Together, with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Process was planning another meeting of global counter-terrorism focal points in Geneva in June with a special focus on the conditions conducive to terrorism’s spread and regional cooperation to better understand what motivated terrorists. However, Government efforts alone could not prevent and end terrorism. As the threat became more diffuse, civil society should be better integrated into those efforts, including academia, religious organizations and others. For example, they could be relevant in kidnapping for ransom situations, when paying a ransom was not an option for the Government. Civil society actors could play a significant role in preventing and countering kidnappings for ransom and for ensuring the safe release of hostages.
GEIR PEDERSEN (Norway), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said preventing terrorism required a comprehensive political, economic, legal and military approach with short-term and long-term measures. Respect for human rights and the rule of law was the starting point. In that regard, it was vital to strengthen the capacities of the judiciary, police and border control. He lauded the 30-month extension of the mandate of the Ombudsperson for the Al-Qaida sanctions system and encouraged all Member States to fully support his Office. The Nordic countries had made voluntary contributions through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, CTED, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other United Nations entities to help Member States counter the scourge. He called for further efficiency and avoiding overlap, as well as improving coordination with the Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism. He welcomed the proposal to appoint a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator. He supported the close cooperation between CTED and the Financial Action Task Force to prevent terrorism financing. He urged all Member States to implement the Task Force’s practical recommendations. States must clearly state the scope and applicability of counter-terrorism laws and measures, so they did not undermine access for humanitarian aid and actors.
MOHAMED KHIARI ( Tunisia) reaffirmed his delegation’s condemnation of all forms of terrorism and its commitment to comprehensive efforts to combat the scourge in line with international law. Tunisia continued to face threats posed by terrorism and was seriously concerned by the activities of terrorists and terrorist networks operating in the Sahel and other regions. Tunisia was committed to national counter-terrorism measures and it had also acceded to international treaties and continued to shoulder its responsibilities under the Global Strategy.
He said that his Government was committed to ensuring that all efforts aimed at combating terrorism adhered to international human rights law. The scourge was not associated with certain groups or religions and, indeed, it affected all nations and people. Tunisia was committed to ensuring that the architecture of the United Nations was strengthened and enhanced, especially those that could help bolster national capacities to combat terrorist financing and the use of new information communication technologies by terrorists. A comprehensive approach to countering terrorism must include the participation of all actors.
FERNANDO ALZATE ( Columbia) said terrorism was a threat to international peace and security and all States must, therefore, strengthen their efforts to combat it in a coordinated manner. Colombia continued to stress that there was no justification for terrorism and appealed to Member States to ensure effective implementation of the global measures that had been agreed to prevent and eradicate the scourge. The General Assembly must be the central norm-setting body in the area, while the Security Council and its subsidiary organs must continue efforts in the legal sphere. Overall, the pillars of the Global Strategy must be implemented and all such measures must be based on the rule of law and human rights. The United Nations must facilitate national capacity-building, he said, adding that Member States must also ensure that countries had in place proper mechanisms to provide assistance to victims of terrorism.
Continuing, he said that disrupting terrorist financing was a major element of the overall global effort to prevent and eradicate terrorism. He said that Colombia continued to do its part, and at the end of the month, it would host a conference aimed at assisting countries in building their national capacities. Colombia would also continue to work multilaterally and bilaterally to ensure that the international community implemented a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.
PALITHA KOHONA ( Sri Lanka) said the Organization must grapple with terrorism and aim to end or dramatically lessen the human suffering and misery it caused. Sri Lanka served as Chair of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism, which aimed to conclude a comprehensive convention on terrorism. Sri Lanka was a party to several global conventions aimed at suppressing terrorism; had taken legislative steps to suppress terrorism; and was committed to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It had formed mutual legal assistance agreements with Pakistan, Thailand and Hong Kong. It was a party to the Regional Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism and the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It trained law enforcement and judicial officers at home in intelligence and information sharing, investigation, and analysis, and partnered with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate on a training workshop in Colombo.
A victim of terrorism for almost three decades, Sri Lanka learned early the value of confronting terrorism’s links to international trafficking, money-laundering, weapons smuggling and cyber crime networks, he said. It had worked closely with Australia to address human smuggling. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorists had received ready funding from sympathizers abroad and coerced terrified civilians to contribute to their cause. Even during Sri Lanka’s post-conflict phase, pre-existing networks in transit and developing countries continued to exploit human misery. Prosecution of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fundraisers and arms procurers continued. Since the conflict ended, Sri Lanka had focused on rehabilitation, reconstruction, reintegration and reconciliation. It had re-established democratic processes and held local Government elections in former conflict areas, as well as set up a Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. More than 11,000 former combatants had been rehabilitated and allowed to return home.
RODOLFO REYES RODRIGUEZ ( Cuba) said his Government condemned all forms of terrorism and likewise condemned any actions aimed at encouraging, supporting, financing or concealing any act, method or practice of the scourge. Cuba had an “impeccable” record when it came to combating terrorism; it had never, nor would it ever, allow its territory to be used to carry out, mastermind or finance terrorist acts against any country. He said that Cuba had adopted and implemented legislative, administrative and institutional measures aimed at preventing and suppressing terrorist activities. Such legislation had also enhanced border protection and surveillance, judicial cooperation and State-level adherence to international anti-terrorism legal instruments.
He said the international community must not accept that certain States committed acts of aggression and interference in the internal affairs of other States under the pretext of “an alleged fight against terrorism”. Neither should the international community accept that certain States carried out unilateral acts that contravened the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the principles of international law. He said that Cuba had been a victim of terrorism and some 3,400 people had been killed over the past half century, most through actions that had been organized and financed by the United States and carried out from within that country’s territory. In addition, he said that Cuba reiterated its denunciation of “the most notorious terrorist in the Western hemisphere”, Luis Posada Carriles, who walked freely in the United States under the protection of that country’s Government. Yet, at the same time, the United States continued to hold against their will five innocent Cuban anti-terrorist fighters. He reiterated his country’s demand for the release of those five, who had only been seeking to obtain information on terrorist groups operating in Miami.
YOUSSOUFOU BAMBA (C ôte d’Ivoire), speaking on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the terrorism in the continent was most active in West Africa and the Sahel. Identifying a global approach to counter terrorism was the foremost concern of ECOWAS member States. Since the start of the crisis in Mali last year, ECOWAS had drawn the international community’s attention to the threat to regional and international peace and security posed by terrorist groups in that country. It was pleased at the adoption of resolution 2085 (2012), which authorized the deployment of the African-led international support mission to Mali. Everyone knew that the intent of terrorists in Mali was to turn that vast territory into a safe haven for terrorist groups and organized crime and to use it to recruit, train and launch operations across the world “and then withdraw in total impunity”. The most recent attacks in southern Mali last week posed a “direct, genuine and immediate threat to regional and international peace and security”, and were an “imminent danger” to Mali’s territorial integrity. ECOWAS leaders would convene an urgent meeting on 19 January. France’s intervention was “absolutely legitimate” as it was in response to an explicit request for assistance and was in line with resolution 2085, he added.
ABDALLAH AL-MOUALLIMI ( Saudi Arabia) said his country was a leader in the fight against terrorism. Saudi Arabia had acceded to 14 regional and global agreements and conventions to counter terrorism and financing for it, and had implemented the assets freeze and travel ban imposed by Council resolutions, as well as the arms embargo against persons on the consolidated list of the Council’s sanctions committee. It cooperated closely with other countries to combat terrorism, especially through the sanctions committees for Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Last year, Saudi Arabia gave $500,000 to support the work of the Council’s Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1540 (2004) to control and prevent the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery to non-State actors. Saudi Arabia’s support for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre in Riyadh illustrated its commitment to collective actions and to preserving global peace and security. He called on the international community to cooperate with the Centre.
Saudi Arabia had taken several important national steps and security safeguards to combat and limit terrorism, such as establishing new security departments specialized in counter-terrorism; enacting and amending laws to combat it; and tightening restrictions on the manufacture, possession and sale of weapons. It had also tightened border controls to prevent the infiltration of terrorists and weapons smuggling. It also set up a rehabilitation centre to counsel repentant terrorists and reintegrated them into society, which had become a role model for eradicating terrorism’s root causes and its ideology. It was vital to eradicate terrorism’s causes, namely occupation, oppression, ethnic cleansing and depriving people of their right to self-determination. The acts of the Palestinian people and others under occupation could not be classified as terrorism, as they were a form of self-defence against systematic State terrorism.
Taking the floor a second time, the representative of Turkey said his delegation wished to refute unfounded statements and accusations made against his country by one delegation. Turkey would categorically reject those statements and would continue to stand by the Syrian people, who must be the masters of their own future.
Also taking the floor, the representative of Iran said that the delegations representing both the Israeli regime and Canada had separately made some unfounded accusations against his country. As for the Zionist regime, which was responsible for so many reprehensible crimes, Iran would not try the Council’s patience by enumerating them. That regime’s cyber attacks against Iran and its assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist were but two examples. As for Canada, he categorically rejected that representative’s malicious allegations against the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, an “important segment” of the Iranian defence forces. It was a pity that Canada, through its narrow-minded policies, had again used the Council as a forum to air its national concerns. Iran was a victim of terrorism and some of the main perpetrators of those heinous acts against Iran — with their hands saturated with the blood of thousands of innocent Iranians — were hiding in Canada. Canada itself was hiding, internationally and within the Security Council, to obscure its policies.
The Council then adopted the presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/1), the full text of which reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
“The Security Council notes with deep concern that terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security, recalls all its resolutions and statements on counter-terrorism, reiterates its strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, and expresses its determination to combat by all means terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
“The Security Council stresses that any terrorist acts are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation.
“The Security Council stresses that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States and international and regional organizations to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat.
“The Security Council recognizes that terrorism will not be defeated by military force or security forces, law enforcement measures, and intelligence operations alone, and underlines the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including, but not limited to, strengthening efforts for the successful prevention and peaceful resolution of prolonged conflicts, and also promoting the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, tolerance and inclusiveness.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of the continued implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated and balanced manner and in all its aspects and takes note of the third review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly in 2012.
“The Security Council reaffirms that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, and underscores that effective counter-terrorism measures and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort, and notes the importance of respect for the rule of law so as to effectively prevent and combat terrorism.
“The Security Council also reaffirms that Member States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, and shall also give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any State against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization.
“The Security Council emphasizes that continuing international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations in an effort to prevent the indiscriminate targeting of different religions and cultures, and addressing unresolved regional conflicts and the full range of global issues, including development issues, will contribute to strengthening the international fight against terrorism.
“The Security Council reiterates the obligation of Member States to refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in or associated with terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups, consistent with international law, and eliminating the supply of weapons.
“The Security Council reiterates the obligations of Member States pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) including the obligation to refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.
“The Security Council underlines the continued need to take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and terrorist organizations, reiterates Member States’ obligations in this regard, including effective implementation of such measures, and acknowledges the important work of the United Nations entities and other multilateral organizations, in particular the Financial Action Task Force.
“The Security Council recognizes the need for Member States to prevent the abuse of non-governmental, non-profit and charitable organizations by and for terrorists. The Security Council also calls upon non-governmental, non-profit, and charitable organizations to prevent and oppose, as appropriate, attempts by terrorists to abuse their status. The Security Council recognizes that terrorists sometimes abuse the non-profit status of organizations, including facilitating terrorist financing. As these abuses are addressed, the Security Council recalls the importance of fully respecting the rights to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression and association of individuals in civil society. In this regard, the Security Council takes note of the relevant recommendation of the Financial Action Task Force.
“The Security Council recognizes the need to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and terrorist organizations, including from the proceeds of organized crime, inter alia, the illicit production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and their chemical precursors, and the importance of continued international cooperation towards that aim. In this regard, the Security Council takes note of the Declaration of Regional Ministerial Conference on Counter-Narcotics held in Islamabad from 12 to 13 November 2012.
“The Security Council notes the early achievements of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) since its establishment and its cooperation with the United Nations entities and subsidiary bodies. The Security Council notes the publication of “the Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector”; “Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders”; and “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists”.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of an effective criminal justice response to terrorism and underlines the importance of strengthening cooperation among Member States and with United Nations entities and subsidiary bodies with a view to enhancing their individual capabilities, including by supporting their efforts to develop and implement rule of law-based counter-terrorism practices.
“The Security Council is deeply concerned that incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism and intolerance poses a serious and growing danger to the enjoyment of human rights, threatens the social and economic development of all States, undermines global stability and prosperity, and that this threat must be addressed urgently and proactively by the United Nations and all States, and emphasizes the need to take all necessary and appropriate measures in accordance with international law at the national and international level to protect the right to life. In this regard the Security Council emphasizes the importance of building community resilience against incitement including by promoting tolerance and dialogue.
“The Security Council recognizes the challenges faced by Member States in the management of terrorists in custody, and encourages Member States to collaborate and share best practices regarding the management, rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorists in a secure, well-managed and regulated custodial environment in which human rights are respected. In this regard, the Security Council notes the work of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and other United Nations agencies.
“The Security Council takes note of the opening of the international center of excellence on countering violent extremism, in Abu Dhabi on 14 December 2012.
“The Security Council expresses concern at the increased use, in a globalized society, by terrorists of new information and communication technologies, and the Internet, for the purposes of the recruitment and incitement as well as for the financing, planning and preparation of their activities and underlines the need for Member States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources to incite support for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law.
“The Security Council reiterates its call to Member States to enhance their cooperation and solidarity, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks and encourages Member States to strengthen cooperation at the regional and sub-regional level, noting also the particular benefits to be derived from cross-regional collaboration and training of law enforcement professionals, judges and prosecutors. The Security Council also notes the importance of close collaboration within and between all agencies of government and with international organizations in combating terrorism and its incitement.
“The Security Council recalls the crucial role of the Counter Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED) in ensuring the full implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) and underlines the importance of capacity-building and technical assistance with a view to increasing the capabilities of Member States for an effective implementation of its resolutions, encourages the Counter Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED) to continue to work with Member States, at their request, and to assess and facilitate technical assistance, in particular, in close cooperation within the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), as well as with all bilateral and multilateral technical assistance providers and welcomes the focused and regional approach of CTED aimed at addressing the counter-terrorism needs of each Member State and region.
“The Security Council notes with appreciation the activities undertaken in the area of capacity building by United Nations entities, including the CTITF, in coordination with other relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations to assist Member States, upon their request, in implementing the Strategy, and encourages the Task Force to ensure focused delivery of capacity-building assistance.
“The Security Council recalls applicable international counter-terrorism instruments, stresses the need for their full implementation, renews its call on States to consider becoming parties, as soon as possible to all relevant international conventions and protocols, and to fully implement their obligations under those to which they are party, and recognizes Member States’ continuing efforts to conclude negotiations on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
“The Security Council expresses support for the activities of the CTITF to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter terrorism efforts of the United Nations system, and the full participation, within their mandate, of relevant Security Council subsidiary bodies in the work of the CTITF and its working groups, and notes the work carried out by the United Nations Counter Terrorism Centre within the CTITF Secretariat, in accordance with the General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/10.
“The Security Council recognizes the continued need to enhance the visibility and effectiveness of United Nations counter-terrorism activities and to ensure greater cooperation, coordination and coherence among United Nations entities, with a view to maximizing synergies, promoting transparency and greater efficiencies and avoiding duplication of their work and takes note of the recommendation by the Secretary-General, for Member States to consider, to appoint a United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and, in this regard, looks forward to the discussions on this initiative, including within its deliberations on further improving cross-institutional coherence of the United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.
“The Security Council reiterates the need to increase ongoing cooperation among committees with counter-terrorism mandates established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), 1988 (2011), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) and their respective groups of experts.
“The Security Council considers sanctions an important tool in countering terrorism, and underlines the importance of prompt and effective implementation of relevant sanctions measures. The Security Council reiterates its continued commitment to ensure that fair and clear procedures exist for placing individuals and entities on sanctions lists and for removing them, as well as for granting humanitarian exemptions. The Security Council recalls the appointment of the Ombudsperson in the Al-Qaida sanctions regime and procedural improvements in the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regimes.
“The Security Council expresses its profound solidarity with all victims of terrorism and their families, stresses the importance of assisting victims of terrorism, and providing them and their families with support to cope with their loss and grief, recognizes the important role that victims and survivor networks play in countering terrorism, including by bravely sharing their experiences and speaking out against violent and extremist ideas, and in this regard welcomes and encourages the relevant efforts and activities of Member States and the United Nations system, including the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
“The Security Council recognizes that development and security are mutually reinforcing and are vital to an effective and comprehensive approach to countering terrorism, and underlines that a particular goal of counter terrorism strategies should be to ensure sustainable peace and security.”
* *** *For information media • not an official record