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New York, 12 May 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Terrorism presents horrible dangers and consequences. Terrorism hits blindly. In various parts of the world, the menace of terrorism continues to resurface regularly, wreaking havoc, destroying lives, inflicting pain and instilling fear to ordinary people. We see horror in the eyes of all the victims of terrorism around the world.

The international community has demonstrated its unequivocal and resolute stand against this scourge, and the role of the United Nations in countering international terrorism is a crucial one. For several decades, and particularly since the attacks of 11 September 2001, the UN system has adopted a number of important measures against international terrorism, which today form the bedrock of international action against terrorism.

The General Assembly has contributed to counter terrorism with the promotion and adoption of several conventions and resolutions on the issue. Among those resolutions, it is worth emphasizing here the one containing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288), which was adopted through consensus by the General Assembly in 2006, and re-affirmed by all Member States in 2008 (A/RES/62/272) and again last year (A/RES/64/297). I further encourage the Member States to make substantial progress on the finalization of the negotiation of the comprehensive Convention on terrorism.

We should never forget that the Global Strategy is the first document in which the entire membership expressed a clear position on the strategic approach to counter-terrorism. In fact, the four pillars singled out in the Plan of Action provide the international community with a holistic, comprehensive and preventive framework against terrorism.

The key challenge is the effective implementation of the Strategy. While Member States have the primary responsibility for its implementation, the support of the UN system in this effort is indispensable. I would like to acknowledge the critical role of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) in this respect.

The Task Force has a wide range of activities. It is particularly important in ensuring coordination and coherence within the UN system to support Member States and further the implementation of the Strategy on the ground. The Task Force is providing the Member States with tangible and substantive policy input through its working groups. It is also contributing to strengthening the UN’s partnership with key international organizations in this area.

The Task Force further serves as the forum in which Member States should share their views on what the Task Force does and how it does it, and to formulate suggestions on how to improve its work. Thus, we should consider this briefing today as an opportunity for deeper engagement between Member States and the Task Force on the implementation of the Strategy.

The interactions between Member States and the Task Force are essential to enable the international community to achieve its common objectives against terrorism and the Task Force may, as appropriate, play a more active and substantive role in supporting Member States in the implementation of all the Pillars of the Strategy.

The Charter of the United Nations calls upon us to save our future generations from war, and to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights. Terrorism is one of the biggest threats to the purposes and principles of the United Nations as enshrined in the Charter.

The UN Global Strategy provides a roadmap. Member States and UN institutions must work together for its effective implementation. Through the Strategy, we can together achieve our aims against the scourge of terrorism.

The Task Force is an essential element in this endeavor. I commend the Task Force for the work done so far and I call it to continue to be such a valuable instrument for the international community. I look forward to a meaningful exchange of views today with the hope to ever improving our resolution and effectiveness in countering terrorism.

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