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New York, 19 September 2011

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege to join you for the opening of the Secretary-General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, and to welcome the high representatives and senior experts from capitals to this Symposium. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for this honour in addressing you today.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Our world is afflicted by the menace of terrorism. Acts of terrorism undermine the very principles and ideals on which our Organization was founded, and challenge our national efforts towards security and prosperity.

Terrorists are committed to indiscriminate violence and use fear and brutality rather than peaceful means towards achieving their goals. Their methods have no basis or support in any faith, any national conscience or in any part of our global civilization.

All Member States have recognized the threat presented by terrorism, and the General Assembly has consistently taken the necessary actions to counter this perilous act. As the global legitimate decision-making body, the General Assembly is well positioned to take action on this issue. The General Assembly is also a very important venue for helping to establish partnerships between relevant stakeholders, share knowledge and of course develop international norms on counter-terrorism.

Notably, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by Member States by consensus, is a unique achievement of the international community against terrorism. The Strategy is a comprehensive and preventive approach that provides an integrated framework for Member States to follow. The implementation of this Strategy should be a high collective priority.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s Symposium is centred on the need for international cooperation against terrorism. This event comes at an opportune time, reminding us that we can only counter and defeat this threat if we work together and act on our collective commitment to implement the Global Strategy. We must take joint initiatives, share information, participate in collective threat assessments and provide much-needed assistance wherever required, to enable our nations to stand strong and united.

This Symposium also provides us an excellent opportunity to recommend measures to cover gaps in our counter-terrorism efforts, be they in the domains of law enforcement, capacity-building or human rights. It is only through focused, interactive discussion that we can achieve this objective.

It is also my hope that discussions today will contribute to moving forward the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

I encourage you to participate actively in the four substantive sessions of the Symposium. I would now like to invite the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his keynote speech.

Thank you.




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