|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
With Global Response to Terrorism ‘Gathering Steam’, Secretary-General, in Remarks
to Security Council, Urges Focus on Root Causes, Information-Sharing, Human Rights
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Security Council’s open debate on countering terrorism, in New York, 27 September:
I thank the Turkish Presidency of the Security Council for its initiative in convening this debate, and I extend a warm welcome to His Excellency Foreign Minister [Ahmet] Davutoğlu. And I also warmly welcome distinguished ministers who are participating in this very important Council meeting.
Terrorism poses a grave threat to international peace and security. Many of the countries around this table have first-hand experience of this menace. So many attacks, so many lives lost and families destroyed. The United Nations has been targeted, too: from Iraq to Pakistan, from Algeria to Afghanistan.
Terrorism may be a gathering storm, but the international response is gathering steam.
Over the past five years, the United Nations has expanded its counter-terrorism activities, increased inter-agency coordination and enhanced partnerships with a wide range of international and regional organizations.
Joint initiatives with Member States in many regions — including the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and South and Central Asia — have shown that there is much we can do.
Countering terrorism demands a broad approach:
First, we must continue our efforts in the fields of security and law enforcement. That includes measures to further deprive terrorists of financial resources and mobility, and to prevent them from acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction.
Second, other areas deserve more attention. Education, development, intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention all have growing relevance in addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
Third, we must do more to understand the reasons people are drawn to violence, so that we can do more to prevent others from following that path.
Fourth, we need to continue strengthening the legal regime, building on existing international counter-terrorism instruments and relevant resolutions of the Security Council. The value of these measures, and of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, lies in their consistent and equal implementation.
Fifth, we must improve the way we share information and best practices. That means establishing national focal points and regional networks, and mobilizing civil society, the private sector, and the media.
No counter-terrorism approach would be complete without a full commitment to human rights and the rule of law. Both the Security Council and the General Assembly have consistently endorsed the protection of human rights as an integral component of any effective counter-terrorism policy, and I welcome the attention the Council has devoted to this topic.
Several States – including those that have been victimized by terrorism – are eager to implement their obligations under the counter-terrorism frameworks but lack the resources and other capacities to do so. Capacity-building is, therefore, a priority for the United Nations.
Considering the gravity of the situation in the Sahel-Maghreb region, I am committed to working with the region’s leaders on strengthening State capacity for counter-terrorism. In Central Asia, the United Nations is already working on capacity-building in the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice and international cooperation.
I would also like to stress the importance of supporting victims of terrorism.
You will recall that two years ago, we held a very moving seminar here at Headquarters at which many victims of terrorism spoke about their experiences.
On 8 October, again here at the United Nations, we will screen “Killing in the Name”, a documentary that not only highlights the plight of terrorism’s victims but also, we hope, will help empower them and others towards greater levels of engagement in bringing an end to such crimes.
With respect to the Security Council itself, I welcome the enhanced coordination between the Council’s subsidiary organs and partner entities in the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
All of us should broaden engagement with bodies that deal with measures listed under Pillar 1 of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, such as the Alliance of Civilizations. The Alliance of Civilization is a central part of the UN’s response to extremism and intolerance — a necessary voice of moderation to counter the incitement and hate that are such prominent parts of terrorism’s playbook.
No cause or grievance can justify terrorism. Let me stress again the determination of the United Nations to rise to a global, cross-border challenge that seeks to do such harm to us all.
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