|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
94th & 95th Meetings (AM & PM)
Member States Condemn Abductions, Attacks in Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan,
as General Assembly Begins Review of Counter-Terrorism Strategy
As the General Assembly began its fourth review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy today, Member States condemned the recent terrorist attacks and the abduction of Turkish diplomats in Iraq, as well as the attacks in Nigeria and Pakistan, calling for a deepening of international cooperation and a full and balanced implementation of the Strategy’s four pillars.
The Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey said that the recent horrific attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant did not just have broad security implications for that country, but for the region and the global community by establishing, once again, the transboundary nature of the growing terrorism threat. The Global Strategy’s success depended on Member States’ implementation of all four pillars, which could be aided by using existing tools and mechanisms effectively.
An international instrument was needed, stated the representative of India. Saying that terrorism had “metastasized like a virulent form of cancer into a transnational monster”, he pointed out that Member States had been negotiating a legal instrument since 1996. They could not afford their usual “glacial pace” to put that instrument into place. The time had come to agree to bridge differences in defining what terrorism was.
Liechtenstein’s delegate also called for greater international cooperation, stating that if Member States wanted to do more than respond to the symptoms of terrorism there needed to be a “true commitment” to cooperate fully in all relevant organs, in particular with the Security Council, which had been unable to effectively address a number of violent conflicts partly due to the threat or use of the veto.
“Terrorism will not be defeated by military force, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone,” said the representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The Strategy should be updated regularly, as its success depended on a balanced implementation of its four pillars. Rejecting any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, he expressed OIC’s strong commitment to the implementation of the Global Strategy in a uniformed, sustained and comprehensive manner.
The Global Strategy’s fourth pillar, said the representative of France, needed to be strengthened, as the rule of law and human rights remained the best guarantee in fighting terrorism. The upcoming inauguration of an international rule of law and justice fund would allow Western and Northern African States to address terrorism.
Morocco, stated its delegate, abided by the tenets of Islam and rejected terrorist groups’ extreme views. Among that country’s many regional activities in Northern Africa and the Sahel region, it had established an African religious initiative that taught African imams moderation, tolerance and coexistence. With a goal to assist African countries in developing their potential, and spread moderation and tolerance, those imams would return to their countries and become trainers themselves.
Opening the session, Michel Tommo Monthe ( Cameroon), Assembly Vice-President, speaking on behalf of Assembly President John Ashe, also underscored the importance of supporting victims as a key aspect in the fight against terrorism. The Organization had recently launched the United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, brought into fruition by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and he called upon Member States to support that initiative so that victims’ voices could be heard. The international community must come together on that issue, he stressed.
Also addressing the Assembly was the Minister for Territorial Administration and Security of Burkina Faso.
The representatives Costa Rica (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Algeria, Indonesia, Spain, Philippines, United Republic of Tanzania, Russian Federation, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Colombia, Canada, Peru, China, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Cuba, Israel, Senegal, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also spoke.
A representative of the European Union Delegation also spoke.
Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of Iran and Israel.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on 13 June to continue its debate on the United Nations counter-terrorism regime.
The General Assembly met this morning to hold a debate on the Organization’s counter-terrorism regime and consider the Secretary-General’s report on “the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: activities of the United Nations system in implementing the Strategy” (document A/68/841). It also had before it a resolution on the matter.
MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE ( Cameroon), Assembly Vice-President, speaking on behalf of Assembly President John Ashe, said that the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was a comprehensive policy framework that, through its four pillars, provided guidance to Member States to combat terrorism. Voicing hope that the fourth Review would lead to a balanced implementation on the ground, he underscored that the primary responsibility for addressing terrorism belonged to Member States.
The Secretary-General’s report, he said, focused on worrying trends in how terrorists operated and how terrorism could spread through the exploitation of political turbulence and weak governance; Internet abuse; and through groups’ evolution from centrally controlled outfits to a diverse set of loose networks. The report also noted that longer-term success in the Global Strategy would depend on fuller implementation of pillar I and IV.
He recalled the interactive dialogue convened by Mr. Ashe on addressing conditions, where participants exchanged information on counter-radicalization, among others. Through partnerships with multiple stakeholders, including civil society, such actors had the ability to penetrate vulnerable and marginalized sections of society and engage directly with communities and leaders, and contribute to socioeconomic development. Civil society organizations were often the first to identify emerging threats.
He noted that support for victims of terrorism must also be a key aspect, and the international community must come together on that issue. Recently launched was the United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, which the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force had brought to fruition. He called to all Member States to contribute to the Portal. The Task Force served as a vital framework to promote coordination and to better assist Member States. Further, it offered unique opportunities to seek synergies and leverage resources for the Organization’s work around the world and contributed to national and regional efforts.
The fourth Review, he said, gave new impetus and urgency by the growth of terrorism in several parts of the world. In a changed and compelling international context where terrorism demonstrated it respected no national borders, the international community needed to be united, vigorous and purposeful in its responses. The Review would set the direction for the next two years and the tenth anniversary of the Global Strategy. Therefore, it was an opportunity to make the United Nations more relevant in the fight against “this destructive and deplorable malady confronting our world”.
JEROME BOUGOUMA, Minister for Territorial Administration and Security of Burkina Faso, said the Secretary-General’s report outlined advances countries had made in implementing the Global Strategy. His Government supported the full implementation of the Strategy and reaffirmed its support to the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. The Sahel subregion had become a haven for terrorism, with such groups using the proceeds from transnational organized crime to finance their activities. Condemning the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram, he noted that his country had joined almost all universal conventions and protocols to combat terrorism. Burkina Faso had spared no effort to ensure implementation of the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, and participated in the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.
In 2013, Burkina Faso had coordinated various regional activities, he said, including a workshop on combating violent extremism, whose conclusions had led to a Programme of Actions for the region. At the national level, it had adopted legislative provisions to enhance border control structures, however a lack of financing and technical means often did not allow the structures involved in combating terrorism to play their roles. He expressed hope that the Review would strengthen cooperation to implement the Global Strategy. “This fight is communal,” he said, urging the international community to remain mobilized.
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, and expressed OIC’s strong commitment to the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a uniformed, sustained and comprehensive manner. “Terrorism will not be defeated by military force, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone,” he said. The Strategy should be updated regularly and its success depended on a balanced implementation of its four pillars. He rejected any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.
Expressing concern at the increase in kidnapping and hostage taking, he underscored that the payment of ransoms funded terrorist activities, strengthening their ability to carry out attacks. He warned against attempts by non-United Nations entities to categorize States with regard to the financing of terrorism. He requested all United Nations bodies to address the issue of financing of terrorism in an impartial, non-political manner. He rejected the unilateral elaboration of lists accusing States of allegedly supporting terrorism. Transparency and coordination of United Nations counter-terrorism entities should be enhanced, as should engagement by States with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
GEORGINA GUILLÉN-GRILLO (Costa Rica), speaking for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), reiterated her unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, emphasizing the need for redoubled efforts to implement all four pillars of the Global Strategy. She welcomed the efforts by the Task Force Office to enhance coordination by drawing up a matrix of all projects being carried out by the 31 related entities. Counter-terrorism measures must be conducted in strict observance of international law, as only those adopted in line with the United Nations Charter could garner broad international support. Actions taken outside the international legal framework were unjustifiable and illegal.
She then highlighted the “right to privacy” whose protection was crucial in safeguarding against the abuse of power. The negative impact that State surveillance and/or interception of communications could have on such human rights was of grave concern. She strongly rejected the use of information and communication technologies in violation of international law, saying that any interference or restriction on the right to privacy should be regulated by law, and subject to oversight and appropriate redress. The unilateral elaboration of blacklists that accused States of allegedly sponsoring terrorism were strongly rejected. Regional and subregional groups should strengthen their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should carry out capacity-building and provide technical assistance to her region.
MARA MARINAKI, European Union Delegation, supported the key role of the United Nations in the prevention of and fight against terrorism in full compliance with international law and human rights. As respect for human rights and the rule of law was essential to all components of the Global Strategy, she was disappointed not to see more language relating to that important pillar in the resolution. The Union’s integrated approach to counter-terrorism combined prevention, protection and the pursuit of and response to terrorist threats. It was based on criminal justice, promotion of the rule of law and protection of human rights.
Security sector reform was crucial for the implementation of pillar II of the Global Strategy, she said. Financing of terrorism, and crimes, such as money-laundering, should be given more attention in such reform. The nexus between security and development must be mainstreamed throughout national policies, while the phenomenon of radicalization could be best addressed through the engagement with non-governmental organizations, women, civil society and victims’ groups. Expressing support for a more focused role of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre in the implementation of the Global Strategy, she encouraged more coordination of United Nations actions with other multilateral and regional initiatives, such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.
KAMEL REZAG BARA ( Algeria) associating himself with OIC, said the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy should be flexible to new responses to evolving challenges. He called for a comprehensive implementation of its four pillars, while stressing the importance of consolidation and cooperation on regional platforms and the exchange of best practices. He commended the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and its focus on building Member States’ capacities to combat the scourge. He called for the swift appointment of a coordinator, as that would be another effective mechanism. Key aspects of Algeria’s national efforts included the recent Reconciliation and Peace Pact, which had been endorsed by public referendum. The restoration of peace and stability had put “an end to a national tragedy, and social and economic stability was being advanced, opening new vistas for youth and encouraging productive investments. Despite ongoing reforms to promote rule of law and democracy, he sounded the alarm once again on the issue of financing terrorist groups and negotiating with kidnappers with ransom demands.
ERDOGAN ISCAN ( Turkey) said that the Foreign Minister had to return to address recent developments in Iraq, owing to the recent horrific attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which had broad security implications for that country, the region and the global community. That group had 3,000 heavily armed militants operating in Mosul and its vicinity. Displaced people were numbering approximately 500,000. At the launch of the attack, Iraqi security forces had fled the region and those responsible for protecting the Consulate General had abandoned their posts, according to the Iraqi Government. The Consulate had been seized, causing the departure of the Consul General, 49 staff and family members, including infants. In addition, 31 Turkish citizens had been taken hostage in the Gyarah region. The Iraqi Government, international organizations, including the United Nations, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had been informed, and efforts were under way to secure the safe return of all.
Those attacks, he said, had established, once again, the transboundary nature of the growing terrorism threat. The Global Strategy’s success depended on Member States’ implementation of all four pillars, which could be aided by using existing tools and mechanisms effectively. Unfortunately, the terrorism threat had proliferated ideologically and geographically, and had become less predictable and more atrocious. However, because more was now known about the dynamics of that transnational threat, collective capabilities to combat it had been enhanced considerably. On a national platform, Turkey continued to align its counter-terrorism legislation with international instruments. The new Countering Financing of Terrorism Law — introducing a mechanism for asset freezing — and its Implementing Regulation had been put into force. Turkey also continued to engage in regional and international efforts, including as co-chair of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, an informal and consultative international platform.
HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia) said that his country, as a victim of terrorist attacks, was taking the fostering of dialogue one step further, by facilitating exchanges between convicted terrorists and moderate clerics under a de-radicalization programme. To sustain the initiative, the Government had outlined a “blueprint” and national programme that incorporated rehabilitation, reintegration and re-education. Preventing and suppressing the financing of terrorism, as well, was a critical part in countering terrorism. It was important States had the capacity to identify, freeze and seize assets of individuals or entities affiliated with terrorist organizations, and in that regard, Indonesia had enacted legislation that laid down the necessary foundation in order to do so. As well, to support capacity-building of States, the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, a prominent training centre, had trained more than 15,000 law enforcement officers from 70 countries.
GONZALO DE BENITO ( Spain) expressed solidarity with Turkey over the terrorist acts committed in Mosul. The draft resolution referred to upgrading the struggle against terrorism, which was a global threat, characterized by a proliferation of local groups with regional influence, alongside terrorists acting on their own. No country was immune to the risks, he said, citing the Sahel, Mediterranean, eastern Africa and a resurgence of terrorism in Nigeria that could spread to central Africa. Spain supported an integrated approach and enhanced international cooperation. The multilateral framework was the best response to address the scourge, he said, urging coordination among United Nations bodies, especially the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Counter-Terrorism Centre. Noting the Internet’s role in radicalization and recruiting, he said: “We must respond with vigilance, while maintaining civil and political rights.” He welcomed the Task Force’s new Internet portal in that context.
RAFAEL SEGUIS (Philippines) said that while his country had faced terrorist threats over the last decade, it had seen several successes, citing the 23 March 2013 release of an Australian national by the Abu Sayyaf group 15 months after his abduction and the 4 December 2013 release of a Jordanian journalist. On 23 February, a Filipino-Algerian filmmaker was recovered less than one month after being kidnapped, while just yesterday, a joint military-police force had captured an Abu Sayyaf leader wanted in the United States; he had acknowledged receiving Al-Qaida funds to commit bombings. Further, an anti-terrorism law was being strengthened, while three draft bills — notably on chemical and biological weapons — were being pursued by Congress. Such measures aimed to address the Global Strategy’s first pillar. The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention on Counter-Terrorism offered legal tools to fight terrorism, while respecting the rule of law.
PEREIRA SILIMA, (United Republic of Tanzania) underscoring that combating terrorism required concerted action and cooperation among Member States, said that his Government had sought to ratify and implement relevant global and regional instruments, as well as national legislation. Dealing with the conditions that spread terrorism, as stated in pillar I, was the best means to prevent the recurrence of such activities. On a national level measures had been taken to strengthen the prevention and prosecuting transnational crimes. However, he noted that on the issue of proliferation of small arms and light weapons and its relevance in terrorist acts, especially in Africa, that issue in the draft resolution had “not attracted the deserving attention” it required. He reminded Member States that easy access to those weapons, coupled with their misuse, was frequently fuelling terrorist acts.
ASOKE KUMAR MUKERJI ( India) joined other Member States in expressing shock at the recent attacks on a diplomatic post of Turkey in Iraq. He pointed out that since 1996, when Member States began negotiating a legal instrument, terrorism had “metastasized like a virulent form of cancer into a transnational monster”. The international community could not afford its usual “glacial pace” to put that instrument into place. There existed a major legal lacuna that would enable effective international cooperation in the prosecution of terrorism. When terrorism was unanimously acknowledged as a major international threat, and could not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, the time had surely come to agree to bridge differences in defining what terrorism was. He emphasized for all Member States to agree to conclude the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism by the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations in 2015.
ALEXANDER ZMEEVSKY ( Russian Federation) emphasized the need to counter extremist ideology and eliminate the conditions that fostered terrorism, making use of civil society and business in that regard. He supported maintaining the “well-balanced” format of the Global Strategy, saying that State cooperation had become all the more important. States should interact more with civil society, but support of non-governmental structures in counter-terrorism activities should not contravene the principle of sovereignty. National and global efforts should expand to the prevention of radicalization, he said, citing the problem of citizens of various countries fighting with terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaida, in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Mali and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Terrorist groups were being formed by, for example, “veterans” of the Syrian conflict. The Russian Federation had worked on that topic in the context of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and urged a systematic approach, which featured information exchange and enhanced border controls. He urged international cooperation to prevent the use of private military and security companies from recruiting and training terrorists for deployment to conflict zones. He called for implementation of measures to combat the use of foreign terrorist fighters, stressing the need to ensure security and promotion of fundamental rights.
STEN ARNE ROSNES ( Norway) noted that, since the last review the threat of terrorism had not been reduced, but was evolving in new and challenging ways. On a national level, his country had just adopted its first National Counter-Terrorism Strategy based on five terms, including: prevent, protect, deny, cooperate and respond. Norway had also ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, thus ratifying all international conventions related to terrorism. On a global level, his country had provided voluntary contributions through the Task Force and the Executive Directorate, among other Organization entities. Concerning the impact of counter-terrorism measures on principled humanitarian action, closer cooperation between the humanitarian community and donor States was needed. In addition, the growing number of foreign fighters in areas of instability and conflict was causing a negative impact on an “already fragile situation”. Three Norwegian citizens had just been indicted for terrorist activities on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria. International cooperation was necessary to address that issue of foreign fighters.
ALEXANDRE GARCIA ( France), associating himself with the European Union, said international terrorism was growing more diffuse and violent, and he strongly condemned the use of religion to justify it. “These are not jihadists,” he said, “they are criminals”. Condemning the kidnapping of 200 girls in Nigeria, he expressed concern that volunteers were joining terrorist groups in conflict zones, which also threatened their countries of origin. France welcomed the resolution’s call for increased cooperation to eliminate that phenomenon. The United Nations was an important actor for mobilizing State action and strengthening coherence. He supported the Global Strategy’s implementation, underscoring the need to fulfil its fourth pillar by increasing related projects, as the rule of law and human rights remained the best guarantee in fighting terrorism. He also welcomed next week’s inauguration of an international rule of law and justice fund, which would allow western and northern African States to address terrorism.
STEPHAN HUSY ( Switzerland) said that at the recent conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), conclusions on key topics had been made, including recommendations, among others, for a “no-ransom policy”. In that regard, closer cooperation between States was needed. Capacity-building was needed for practitioners, networking among experts, public-private dialogue and cooperation. At the tenth anniversary of the Global Strategy the United Nations and Member States should prepare a world counter-terrorism report that assessed the risks and challenges posed by terrorism, as well as the responsiveness and capabilities of the Organization to act accordingly. The Task Force should provide an action plan for the transparent and balanced implementation of the Strategy and the achievement of set goals. The United Nations and Member States should coordinate with other international organizations and forums, and engage with civil society and the private sector towards establishing the conditions that prevent radicalization and violent extremism. Lastly, the four pillars should be implemented in a balanced and concerted manner, with focused efforts on preventive aspects.
Mr. CHULUKHADZE ( Georgia) said his country had carried out all measures to address the conditions conducive to terrorism, as well as prevent and combat its spread. It had cooperated with international and regional organizations and was a member of such coalitions as the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF). Capacity building of law enforcement agencies was among Georgia’s top priorities, and in 2013, it had reorganized its Counter Terrorist Centre to strengthen its activities. Russian-occupied territories of Georgia represented a major challenge for his Government, as those areas could serve as harbours for terrorists. On radiation security, Georgia aimed to prevent the smuggling of radioactive materials through its borders with the use of detection equipment on all major highways and roads. His country was party to 13 global anti-terrorism conventions, and bilaterally, had concluded agreements with 21 countries. In 2014, the Parliament had criminalized certain terrorist acts.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) commended the biennial review’s emphasis on the “perspective of victims”, and expressed hope the new United Nations online Portal would make a contribution to support those victims of terrorism. In addition, those victims needed to be given a stronger voice in the international community’s efforts to combat terrorism. “They are the ones who can send the most powerful message against the terrorist’s message of violence,” he stated. Noting the recent news of the “brazen” kidnapping at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, he urged that the international community to act with greater resolve to fight the scourge. The United Nations response to global terrorism reflected more on the state of the Organization as a whole, and Member States, if they wanted to do more than respond to the symptoms of terrorism. There needed to be a “true commitment” to cooperate fully in all relevant organs, in particular with the Security Council, which had been unable to effectively address a number of violent conflicts partly due to the threat or use of the veto.
MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ ( Colombia), associating herself with CELAC, condemned the attacks on the Turkish consul in Iraq, as well as the attacks in Nigeria and Pakistan. Comprehensive action must be adopted that kept in mind the changing forms of terrorism, and the different countries, religions and cultures, in which those acts occurred. “No area of the world is free from terrorism,” she declared, adding that success in defeating it would depend on the integrated, balanced implementation of the Global Strategy. The first pillar should be strengthened in addressing the conditions that spawned terrorism, although none of those justified such acts. As for ransom payments, more information was needed since the victim risked losing his or her life and or freedom. That person’s human rights must be protected, she said, stressing the importance not to convert the victim into a criminal. Further, the fight against terrorism must be in strict compliance with international law, specifically those on human rights and refugees. Launching the Portal was progress towards visibility and care for the victims. She also called for the adoption of a convention on that matter, no matter the difficulty.
OMAR HILALE ( Morocco), condemning the terrorist attacks in Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan, said that nothing could justify them. Terrorist networks were also engaged in transnational trafficking of weapons, people and drugs, which required a response on all platforms, nationally, regionally and internationally. Among domestic efforts, Morocco had been proactive in strengthening legal and criminal codes and making them interactive, along with a preventative aspect that engaged political, economic and education reforms. Democratic reforms, with human development at its centre, were enabling Morocco to develop an appropriate response to extremist violence. Among the many regional and national initiatives, including those in Northern Africa and the Sahel region, Morocco had also started an African religious initiative that taught African imams moderation, tolerance and coexistence, as his country abided by the tenets of Islam and rejected the extreme views presented by terrorist groups. The goal was to assist African countries in developing their potential, and spread moderation and tolerance, as those imams would return to their own countries and become trainers themselves.
GUILLERMO RISHCHYNSKI ( Canada) expressed solidarity with Turkey over those 49 diplomats and 39 citizens held in Mosul, and called for their immediate release. The Global Strategy had “come a long way” over the last eight years. The Facilitator’s role required an adroit handling of sensitive negotiations, he said, commending the current and previous Facilitators and urging an expanded foundation and depth of the Strategy. States had made strides in combating terrorism. However, efforts should be redoubled to confront that scourge through greater coherence, avoiding duplication and working together in more effective ways, both regionally and multilaterally.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA ( Peru), associating himself with CELAC, expressed solidarity with Turkey over the situation in Iraq. Peru had strengthened civilian safety, making it clear that people deserved to be free from violence. The country worked with terrorism victims in the areas of mental health and housing, and had provided reparations for those with physical or mental disabilities. New information technologies had offered a favourable context for transnational networks. Since 1996, Peru had promoted collective action in the Organization of American States (OAS). It was party to 17 anti-terrorism treaties and had supported related Assembly resolutions. A small group of people in Peru wanted general amnesty for terrorists who had been sentenced by Peruvian courts yet had refused to renounce the Shining Path ideology, which had been used to justify their crimes. In sum, he said Security Council resolution 2129 (2013) recognized the need for States to prevent the wrongful use of non-governmental organizations by terrorists.
WANG MIN ( China) condemned the recent kidnappings in Iraq and urged for the immediate released of those being held. There should be “zero tolerance” towards terrorism. No country should practice a double standard, using self-interest to shelter terrorists. Terrorists were taking advantage of information and communication technologies to assist them in conducting their activities. He urged full implementation of resolution 2129 (2013). Combating terrorism should be done in line with the United Nations Charter. It should never be linked with any one country, region or religion. Fighting terrorism required addressing its causes and symptoms, and States should focus on the root causes of terrorism through balanced implementation of the Global Strategy. The United Nations should advocate a clear standard on “right and wrong”, scaling-up cooperation and capacity-building. Urging cooperation between the Assembly and Council subsidiary bodies, he noted China’s willingness to exchange information in the areas of legislation, enforcement, and extradition and repatriation of terrorist suspects.
PAIK JI-AH ( Republic of Korea) said the most effective means to combat terrorism was to achieve the United Nations goals of strengthening peace and security, promoting development and adhering to human rights and the rule of law. In addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, he urged easing of marginalization, promoting dialogue and integrating ethnic and religious minorities. Deterring the illicit flow of weapons was another important task and he looked forward to the “pivotal” role of the Arms Trade Treaty in that regard. Defending porous borders and breaking terrorist networks required transnational efforts. Denying terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction should be integral to a collective strategy. His country had raised awareness about promoting international cooperation to stem the malicious use of information and communication technology, as well as provided assistance to improve countries’ ability to combat terrorism.
Mr. LERENA ( Argentina) said that because of terrorist attacks in 1992 and 1994 in his country, Argentina was the first to call for clear definitions of international cooperation. Multilateral frameworks, such as the United Nations, the Secretary-General and all relevant bodies were the most appropriate conduit to prevent and eradicate terrorism. Nonetheless, it was crucial that stakeholders’ actions kept with the principles of human rights and were in line with the work of the United Nations. All actors needed to be committed to the struggle and act effectively together, not competitively. Argentina was committed to the rule of law and the Charter, among others. There could be no certain exceptions that enabled or allowed the violation of human rights. Policies respecting human rights and social inclusion were indispensable cement, as stated in pillar I. No transnational crime or group could be successful in a society that had high levels of peaceful social justice. Given recent events, every country must develop its own capacity in the face of the threat with the support of the international community. That way the first pillar would be strengthened.
PHILIPPA KING ( Australia) said that the recent events in Nigeria, Pakistan and Iraq demonstrated the complexity of terrorism today. The rapid growth in kidnap for ransom and hostage taking by terrorist groups to finance their operations or gain concessions was among the most serious of global challenges. There was growing evidence that payment of ransom dramatically increased the amount in ransom and the further targeting citizens, thus perpetuating the problem. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Special Meeting later this year would be an important opportunity to discuss that item. On tackling the phenomenon of “foreign fighters”, States and communities could marginalize the appeal of fighting in a foreign country by improving understanding of the consequences of joining the conflict, and encouraging people to pursue alternative non-violence avenues to assist affected populations in those countries. She also said that the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee continued to ensure that its sanctions targeted the contemporary nature of the threat, as seen by the recent addition of Boko Haram and three splinter groups of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb to the list, as well as giving Al Nusrah Front its own entry.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil), associating himself with CELAC, voiced solidarity with Turkey over the abductions in Mosul. He welcomed the resolution, which had brought to the fore elements of “contemporary relevance” to the United Nations, while reiterating the Assembly’s central role in fighting terrorism. Reaffirming Brazil’s holistic approach, he said fighting terrorism must not take place at the expense of due process or human rights. Terrorism would be defeated only when the United Nations replaced a “culture of reaction” with one of prevention, which considered the structural causes of exclusion and marginalization. Such a shift should focus on the interdependence among peace, security and development. He welcomed the text’s reference to the right to privacy. States should adopt a balanced approach to addressing challenges presented by information and communications technologies. Complexities arising from the use of remote-controlled killing technologies, and their extraterritorial deployment, usually in violation of airspace sovereignty, should not be underestimated.
DOCTOR MASHABANE ( South Africa) strongly condemned terrorist acts, and supported the approach that placed the United Nations at the centre of multilateral efforts. No country could address terrorist threats on its own and that terrorism could not be defeated by military means alone. The resolution to be adopted ensured a “dynamic, holistic and multifaceted” approach to countering terrorism within the framework of human rights and international law. The test of the Task Force’s value would be its impact on the ground, which was especially relevant for developing countries. He welcomed its matrix of projects and activities, which would allow resources to be allocated where most needed. Since the last Strategy review in 2012, South Africa had adopted a national counter-terrorism strategy, which provided a “comprehensive and proportionate” response, and continued to work with organizations established by the Constitution to foster social, cultural, religious and linguistic dialogue.
Mr. LOPEZ IBARRA ( Mexico) said that the Global Strategy had become a genuine instrument that had helped States in strengthening their capacity to combat terrorism. However, the diversification of terrorist groups utilizing new technology to target vulnerable groups, such as young people, was of great concern. On a national platform, Mexico had made considerable progress in social inclusion, reducing extreme poverty, and establishing universal access to health service, among others. Stressing that security and development should not be an obstacle in the fight against terrorism, he expressed concern about certain technologies, such as drones, which had an impact on human rights. At the same time, he expressed solidarity with victims of terrorism. The launching of the portal was welcomed and a step forward in demonstrating the direct impact terrorists had on communities. Nonetheless, no effort would be enough if international schemes did not promote accountability and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.
RAJA REZA RAJA ZAIB SHAH ( Malaysia) said that his country had ratified 9 of the 13 international conventions and protocols and was taking the necessary measure that would enable acceding to the remaining treaties. Its domestic legal framework was also being enhanced, ensuring that, while safeguarding national security, the rights of its citizens would be upheld. Malaysia’s Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism had, to date, conducted 137 capacity-building programmes, attended by local and foreign participants, and worked with other countries and international organizations. While all four pillars required equal attention, greater attention needed to be directed to pillar I. He pointed out that his Government was continuing various measures to eradicate hard core poverty, and ensure the population enjoyed equitable economic growth, among other endeavours. In response to extremists who were “missing their faith” and killing innocent civilians, the Prime Minister was continuing his call for a “Global Movement of Moderates”, a “silent majority” of moderates appalled by the acts of terrorism. It was a call for “rational, peace loving people of all races, cultures, and beliefs” to make their voices louder and drown out the voices of hate and extremisms perpetuated by a handful.
DOUGLAS WILSON ( United Kingdom) called the recent kidnapping of Turkish nationals “despicable cowardice”. The international response to terrorism must be anchored in prevention, human rights and respect for the rule of law. The pursuit of development was also essential. The terrorist threat had become more fragmented and diverse, making the Global Strategy vital in demonstrating a clear international direction. This year’s review focused on ransom payments to terrorists, which had become a predominant funding activity for such groups. That cycle must be broken. Also, an unprecedented number of people were travelling to conflict zones to fight with terrorists. He urged giving people safe and effective channels to make humanitarian contributions to those affected by conflict. States must disrupt the flow of foreign fighters by enhancing information-sharing and border management, efforts supported by a criminal justice response. The United Nations must improve its coordination and information-sharing, and the Counter-Terrorism Centre could play a significant role in the implementation of capacity building. It must also partner with bodies, such as the Counter-Terrorism Forum.
OSCAR LEÓN GONZÁLEZ (Cuba), associating himself with CELAC, said the United States Department of State had published its country report on terrorism, repeating — for the thirty-second time — its arbitrary designation of his country as a nation that co-sponsored terrorism. That action violated international law and discredited his Government. He rejected the manipulation of the terrorism issue to justify the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on his country. Cuba had never been used, nor would it welcome terrorists, nor finance or perpetrate terrorist acts. He condemned any terrorist act anywhere, regardless of the motivations. Cuba had suffered terrorist acts organized, financed and executed from the United States. He took issue with double standards that contravened international law. States required more information on the idea to create a post of Coordinator, an issue that could only be decided by consensus in the Assembly. He emphasized that States must abide by their international obligations to find and extradite terrorists without exception. Cuba supported efforts consolidating the Assembly’s central function towards the full implementation of the Global Strategy.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) prayed for the release of the Turkish nationals who had been kidnapped in Iraq. He cited various reports of terrorism, including those taken hostage in Mosul, gunmen who had opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, and hundreds of girls kidnapped in Nigeria. “We have failed to stand up to terrorism”, he said. Terror groups preyed particularly on nations weakened by instability and intolerance. In Iraq, militants had taken control of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, while in Syria, Sunni and Shiite combatants were fighting Iranian-backed Hizbullah guerrillas in a conflict fuelled by Iran, the world’s primary terrorism sponsor. Israel had been under constant terrorist threat for 66 years, and as such, had become a counter-terrorism specialist, having developed technologies and tools unmatched by any other country, which it used to keep its citizens safe. Israel’s legal system had evolved to uphold freedoms enshrined in its Declaration of Independence. He urged cutting off terrorists’ funding and dismantling their networks.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal), associating himself with OIC, said that the review of the pillars had led to contrasting results. Measures to eliminate root causes deserved specific attention. In Africa, jihad was one of the continent’s most pernicious forms of terrorism. The activities of those groups had led to transnational criminality, especially in the Sahel. The lack of capacities to control criminal activities required an adoption of measures to combat all forms of discrimination and eradication of poverty. In Africa and beyond, there was an urgent need for policies in combating poverty that should be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda. Dialogue and tolerance promoting mutual respect between all cultures, beliefs and religions should be developed. On a national platform, his Government had implemented a three-part strategy. Among components in that strategy was an early alert system from security and intelligence forces, and the modification of the national criminal code and legislative system, as well as the ratifying of international and regional instruments. A new type of terrorism was emerging because of the lack of international cooperation and the use of technology by terrorist groups. The United Nations must reinforce efforts, with the Task Force strengthening its core activities in a balanced manner that respected human rights and international law.
TALAIBEK KYDYROV ( Kyrgyzstan) said that terrorism could only be successfully fought through international cooperation. His country supported all measures within the United Nations framework, which must be implemented within the principles of Charter. It was the only multilateral structure that could fight against the menace. The Global Strategy provided a solid foundation. Progress had been made, but the undiminished incidents served as a constant reminder that more needed to be done. To that end, the Task Force and the Centre were essential. Terrorism could not be overcome by the use of force. Conditions must be addressed. On a national platform, his Government was improving the social and economic environment, enhancing education, job creation, fighting corruption and strengthening law enforcement. There was a low capacity in resources, however, and it was important Member States help build capacity. Highlighting several regional initiatives, he underscored that national action, no matter how effective, could never be sufficient without regional and international cooperation.
Mr. AL MAL ( Qatar) condemned the kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in Mosul, and noted that his country had implemented all provisions of the Global Strategy to strengthen State capacity and respect human rights. He drew attention to legislation that criminalized terrorism in all its forms and Qatar’s accession to international conventions. Qatar had concluded bilateral agreements and implemented all international and regional resolutions. Further, it had worked with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, whose 2013 visit to Doha had led to a seminar on the Global Strategy, in which experts from the Directorate, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) had made recommendations to combat terrorism. In addition, Qatar was preparing a strategy focused on the judicial, economic, social and legal aspects of combating terrorism, and had established a centre for peaceful dialogue. Qatar’s Constitution respected international human rights conventions.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan), associating himself OIC, urged intensified efforts to tackle the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, as well as to build capacities and ensure respect for human rights. Economic and social development must be promoted. He welcomed new elements in the resolution, such as State compliance with the United Nations Charter in the use of remotely piloted aircraft, in particular its principles of distinction and proportionality. Pakistan deterred terrorists primarily by military means, having allocated resources for the development of areas hardest hit by terrorism. It had deployed more than 158,000 troops along its border with Afghanistan and set up 1,707 border posts to ban Al-Qaida and Taliban members. It was committed to intensifying international cooperation in security, police and financial matters. It was party to 11 universal and two regional counter-terrorism instruments. There should be no impunity for terrorist acts. Theories of violent extremism should be debunked, while education and the media should be used to “banish the darkness” in which terrorism grew.
PALITHA T.B. KOHONA ( Sri Lanka) said it was vital that negotiations on the comprehensive convention on terrorism be finalized, so that a consensus in a critical area of responsibility of the world community could be accomplished. The international community must institute a firm policy on fundraising and recruitment to prevent the spread of terrorism. It was a misguided approach to nurture former terrorist sympathizers who had, for reasons of expediency, adopted a gentler appearance. In his country, where terrorism had “loomed” for many years, immense progress had been made in reconstruction, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation. Sri Lanka had resettled approximately 300,000 internally displaced people, reunited thousands of families, rebuilt towns, restored roads and electricity and revived the economy of the former conflict affected areas. The Government had made significant investments in education and health care. The almost complete demining of farm and village land had allowed people to resume their livelihood. Further, following the conflict, steps were taken to reintegrate areas controlled by terrorists into the democratic process. Although, after the conflict, the military had assisted the police with the enforcement of law and order, it had since relinquished its role as a law and enforcement body and had handed over control completely to the police, local governmental bodies and civil groups. That disengagement was a crucial step to the return to normalcy. Effective governance in all areas of the country was now observed and maintained.
Right of Reply
The representative of Iran, responding to unacceptable “fake” remarks made about his country, said it should not be a surprise that a representative of a terror regime had accused his nation, which had lost thousands of its people over 35 years due to the heinous terrorist attacks sponsored by elements of that regime. He cited the killing of Iranian scientists in that regard. There was no doubt that such a regime was responsible for aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and turning millions of Palestinians into refugees. Its network of State terrorism had deadly operations around the world. He regretted that the floor had been given to those behind the most horrific terrorist acts of our time and who had employed terrorist techniques against Palestinians. He considered the statement a tactic to divert attention from the criminal activities that terror network had committed.
The representative of Israel, addressing remarks by his Iranian counterpart, said Iran was the greatest State sponsor of terrorism. There had been thousands of victims of Iranian terrorism, and it was no secret that the Iranian regime was behind them. It used terrorism as a tool for foreign policy and destabilization of the Middle East. Iran should look in the mirror and address its own serial human rights violations, rather than making baseless accusations against his country.
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