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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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9/23/2014

New York, 23 September 2014 - Secretary-General's message to the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum Fifth Ministerial Plenary Meeting [delivered by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs]


I am pleased to convey my greetings to the Fifth Ministerial Plenary of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.  Let me begin by thanking all participants for partnering with us in implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy; to Turkey, for having shepherded the General Assembly resolution in June; and for your resolve to move our collective efforts beyond reaction towards prevention of ever more complex terrorist threats.

The General Assembly has called for closer cooperation between Member States, the United Nations and other international organizations and forums like the GCTF. Allow me to point to three opportunities for greater collaboration:  countering the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters; addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; and assisting especially affected regions.

First, recent events involving terrorist groups, such as ISIL, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and others, undermine the core values of the United Nations.  I welcome the initiative of President Obama to convene a Summit Meeting of the Security Council tomorrow devoted to countering terrorism and addressing the rise of foreign terrorist fighters.  I hope the Council will adopt strong and decisive measures to enable Member States to address this growing threat within the context of respect for international humanitarian law and human rights. For its part, the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre has launched a major project on this challenge.

Second, the Hedayah Centre and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund underscore the priority of addressing conditions that are conducive to the spread of terrorism.  Both the United Nations and the GCTF have focused on addressing kidnapping for ransom and on building stronger national criminal justice systems. I welcome the adoption of the various GCTF Memoranda, which provide good practices and guidance and help support the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Third, with respect to assisting regions such as the Sahel that have seen especially notable rises in terrorist activity, we are cooperating closely in addressing the growing threat . With groups choosing fragile regions as their bedrock, concerted efforts are needed not only to stabilize the regions concerned but also to prevent a further export and destabilization of other countries. 

The United Nations is making progress in further enhancing coordination and coherence through more than 200 capacity-building projects being implemented by the 34 Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force entities.  Such activities will also enable a stronger partnership with the GCTF and help ensure that our actions lead to sustained impact on the ground. We are determined to provide all States, especially those at the frontline, with the assistance they need to counter this menace effectively and in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.

Terrorism presents a great challenge to our collective principles and values. I am confident that together we can surmount these challenges through close coordination and complementarity in our work.


Statements on 23 September 2014