Counter-Terrorism Committee urges States to “ensure zero tolerance to terrorism

The Counter-Terrorism Committee held a special meeting on 28 September to mark the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 and urged “all Member States to ensure zero tolerance towards terrorism and take urgent action to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and other international and regional organizations shared their views on counter-terrorism during the day-long event at UN Headquarters in New York. Their opinions on progress made so far in the implementation of resolution 1373 and the future work of the Committee were captured in the outcome document the Committee approved at the end of its special meeting.

Speaking at the opening session, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that "the adoption of resolution 1373 was a milestone in the strong leadership of the UN in combating terrorism globally." It came close to two weeks after the September 2001 attacks on the United States, a turning point in the fight against terrorism.

The United Nations had worked for decades on the issue, but “the nature, intensity, coordination and sophistication of those horrendous attacks brought home the need for urgent and concerted action to collectively combat the scourge of terrorism,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Chair of the Committee.

Resolution 1373 is one of the important tools the United Nations has developed to tackle this global threat. Among other things, it requires all States to criminalize terrorism, deny terrorists safe haven and financial support, and cooperate with other States to bring terrorists to justice.

In the past decade, “the international community has vigorously responded to the call to rise up to the unprecedented challenges posed by terrorism,” Ambassador Puri said.

At the Committee’s special meeting, participants highlighted positive developments, such as the increase in the number of States that have ratified the international treaties against terrorism, established financial intelligence units, and introduced new systems of border security. Speakers also said that international cooperation is stronger today than 10 years ago.

However, more needs to be done to fully implement resolution 1373. In the outcome document, the Committee stressed the importance of States complying with their obligations. To be effective, one of the actions States should take is to develop comprehensive strategies to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

As Mike Smith, head of the Committee’s Executive Directorate, said: “Issues such as education, humanitarian support and good governance are important for their own sake, but they are also relevant to our work and should be taken into account in broader, more comprehensive and integrated strategies to address terrorism.”

This page was last updated on: 26-Oct-2011 3:41 PM EST