As Terrorists Exploit Online Platforms, Sixth Committee Delegates Urge Holistic, Global Collaboration with Governments, Civil Society, Internet Providers

GA/L/3593
8 October 2019
Seventy-fourth Session, 3rd & 4th Meetings (PM)

As Terrorists Exploit Online Platforms, Sixth Committee Delegates Urge Holistic, Global Collaboration with Governments, Civil Society, Internet Providers

International Community Incapable of Exchanging Information, Implementing Resolutions on Terrorism, Syria’s Representative Says

With international terrorist groups increasingly turning to online platforms to spread messages of hate, influence potential recruits and coordinate attacks, delegations today underscored that a holistic, global response was crucial in combatting the threat, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the Secretary‑General’s report on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/74/151).

The representative of Mongolia emphasized that with online advertisements for violence spreading instantly over the globe, social media networks are being widely used for recruitment, brainwashing, provocation and instigation.  The international community must focus on capacity‑building assistance and share best practices to respond to this growing threat.

Canada’s representative, also speaking for Australia and New Zealand, stressed that such responses must include efforts to prevent and remove terrorist content online.  The attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch in New Zealand underscored the need for collaborative efforts between Governments, online service providers, civil society and non‑governmental organizations to counter terrorist use of the Internet.

These efforts, said the representative of the Maldives, are vital in this inter‑connected world, as “an attack on one country can have a knock‑on effect on societies around the world.”  Condemning the use of Islam — a religion of peace — to spread terror and fear, he pointed out that it is always innocent civilians who bear the brunt of terrorism’s devastating impact, be it at a mosque in Christchurch, a church in Sri Lanka or in conflict situations around the world.

Speaking for the Non‑Aligned Movement, Iran’s representative insisted that such violence not be attributed to any religion, nationality or ethnicity nor be conflated with struggles for self‑determination.  Underlining that the misrepresentation or misinterpretation of religion by terrorist groups to support their ideologies must also be addressed, he called upon States to take up the growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters.

Echoing that, the representative of Syria stated:  “If you had listened to our warnings, we wouldn’t today be in the position of stopping foreign terrorist fighters.”  These fighters were being used for political and economic blackmail, but Damascus was refusing to allow them to remain in its territory.  More so, the international community was seemingly incapable of activating early‑warning systems, exchanging information and honestly implementing resolutions on terrorism.

Nonetheless, Zambia’s representative, on behalf of the African Group, urged the world to focus on its ultimate vision of sustainable development.  Addressing conditions such as youth unemployment and the shrinking of critical resources due to climate change could prevent the growth of ideologies at their source.  A security‑based response to terrorism is “only one strand in a wider tapestry” to defeat this menace, he stressed, calling for the finalization of the draft comprehensive convention.

The representative of the European Union, also calling for States to make every effort to conclude the comprehensive convention on international terrorism, advocated for a “whole‑of‑society” approach in response to terrorism.  Governments should facilitate coordination between local and national authorities and civil society to counter radicalization and violent extremism, and non‑profit organizations working on gender‑related issues, women’s rights and the protection of children should be allowed to operate freely.

At the beginning of the meeting, Chair of the Sixth Committee, Michal Mlynár (Slovakia) recalled that yesterday the Committee had been unable to adopt its programme of work due to delays in visas being issued.  (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3592.)

“We have invested a lot of good effort and time”, he noted, including high‑level consultations with concerned parties and the office of the President of the General Assembly.  The Sixth Committee then decided to approve three agenda items today — concerning terrorism, criminal accountability and rule of law — and at the end of its debate on those topics on Friday, 11 October, adopt the remaining programme of work.

Also speaking today were representatives of Saudi Arabia (for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), Cambodia (for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Norway (also for Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden), Israel, Nicaragua, Morocco, Singapore, Egypt, Kuwait, Argentina, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Sudan, Qatar, Colombia, the Russian Federation, Gambia, Honduras, Thailand and Venezuela.

The Sixth Committee will next meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 9 October, to continue its consideration of measures to eliminate international terrorism.

Statements

ALI NASIMFAR (Iran), speaking for the Non‑Aligned Movement, condemned terrorism in all its forms — including when States are directly or indirectly involved — as unjustifiable in all cases.  Terrorist acts threaten States’ territorial integrity and stability and endanger national, regional and international security by destabilizing legitimate governments, adversely affecting economic and social development and destroying physical and economic infrastructure.  However, terrorism should not be equated with the struggle of peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation for self‑determination.  Further, it should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnicity and these attributions should not be used to justify profiling of terror suspects or intrusion into individual privacy.

Urging all States to fulfil their international obligations to combat terrorism, he said he rejected any such measures imposed or threatened by any State against any Non‑Aligned member State under the pretext of combating terrorism or to pursue political aims.  He also rejected the unilateral preparation of lists accusing States of supporting terrorism, as this constitutes a form of psychological and political terrorism.  He called upon States to address the growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, to counter the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of religion inherent in terrorism’s narrative and to address the root causes of terrorism.  He also urged that all States respect human rights and freedoms while countering terrorism and that the Security Council streamline its listing and delisting procedures through an independent, transparent and permanent ombudsman.

LAZAROUS KAPAMBWE (Zambia), speaking for the African Group and associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, pointed to 82 terrorist attacks recorded in Africa in the last half of March alone.  Terrorism affects every sector of the global economy, and therefore all States are obligated to implement relevant international legal instruments, facilitate the exchange of accurate terrorism‑related data and adopt effective counter‑terrorism measures.  Urging countries either directly or inadvertently supporting terrorist activities to refrain from such acts and join the clarion call to end this threat, he also called for the finalization of the draft comprehensive convention.

International terrorism has continued to evolve through its extensive Internet presence and use of social media to gain unprecedented access to potential recruits, he continued.  The Security Council must fulfil its mandate to ensure global peace and security and assume its responsibility to allocate adequate resources to fight terrorism in Africa.  The security response is “only one strand in a wider tapestry” to defeat terrorism, but the world must not lose focus on its ultimate vision of sustainable development.  Youth unemployment, actual or perceived exclusion or marginalization and the shrinking of critical resources due to the adverse effects of climate change provide fertile soil for corrupt ideologies to flourish.  Therefore, a holistic response to terrorism is needed, he emphasized, adding that the financing of terrorism also demands urgent attention.

ABDULMAJEED ABDULRAHMAN M. ABABTAIN (Saudi Arabia), speaking for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemned all acts of terrorism, irrespective of motivation, form or manifestation.  Such acts endanger the territorial integrity and stability of States while also undermining human rights.  Rejecting any association of terrorism with any religion, faith or race, he recalled recent statements by some world leaders who associated Islam with terrorist organizations and condemned all and any attempts to link that religion with the threat.  Such attempts play into the hands of terrorists, he said, calling for a comprehensive approach that addresses root causes, such as festering international disputes and political marginalization.

Reiterating the need to distinguish between terrorism and the right of people to resist foreign occupation, he said he hoped that the Committee could reach a consensus on the draft convention on terrorism by resolving outstanding issues.  Those include matters related to the legal definition, particularly the distinction between terrorism and the legitimate right to self‑determination.  International laws duly observe this distinction and the various General Assembly resolutions also endorse this position.  He also strongly condemned hostage‑taking and resultant demands for ransoms and political concessions and called on States to cooperate in prosecuting terrorists and preventing safe havens.

SOVANN KE (Cambodia), speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), underscored that international terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly elaborate in their coordination and execution as their perpetrators seek to maximize deadly impact on peaceful societies.  Citing evolving terrorist practices, he stressed the importance of keeping the United Nations Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy and its four pillars relevant through its seventh biannual review during the General Assembly’s current session.  In combating this threat, all measures — including all relevant resolutions — safeguard and protect fundamental freedoms and respect international human‑rights law.  Further, any such actions must respect the principles of independence and sovereign equality of all States and not associate terrorism with any race, religion, nationality or ethnicity.

ASEAN is committed to eliminating both regional and global terrorism, and has set up systems enabling law enforcement to respond effectively to crisis situations, he continued.  Its Communication and Coordination Protocol for Crisis Management enables information and intelligence‑sharing between ASEAN members and provides assistance in cases of large‑scale attacks.  All States should enhance their information‑sharing methods to provide technical assistance and exchange best practices along with capacity‑building measures.  He also stressed the importance of continuing deliberations on the draft comprehensive convention to achieve consensus on the instrument.

DANIELA GAUCI, the European Union delegation, said that the Organizations’ Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy, as well as relevant Council and Assembly resolutions, are at the heart of the Union’s prevention of violent extremism efforts as it works to enhance effective means to tackle both the internal and international dimensions of this threat.  Further, the Union is working with countries in the Middle East, North Africa, in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and the Western Balkans, as well as increasing efforts in Central, South and South‑East Asia to help build capacity and find common arenas of cooperation.

Voicing support for a “whole‑of‑society” approach, she stressed that by embracing human rights and rule of law, Governments can create an enabling environment for local and national authorities and civil society to counter radicalization and violent extremism.  States should ensure that activities by non‑profit organizations, including those working on gender‑related issues, women’s rights and the protection of children are not unduly restricted, she said, calling on Member States to make every effort to conclude the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.

CATHERINE BOUCHER (Canada), also speaking for Australia and New Zealand, said that collaborative efforts between Governments, online service providers, civil society and non‑government organizations focused on protecting a free, open and secure Internet are crucial in addressing terrorist use of the Internet and online hate.  In the wake of the March attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch, online platforms should accelerate efforts to prevent and remove terrorist and violent extremist content.  She urged Member States to implement Council resolution 2396 (2017) as better coordination on border protection, information‑sharing and detection makes it difficult for foreign terrorist fighters to travel to conflict zones.  The evolving and sophisticated use of block‑chain technology to mask the movement of illicit funds also requires immediate attention. 

While the international community has succeeded in depriving Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) of territory in Iraq and Syria, the group is expanding its influence in Afghanistan, sub‑Saharan Africa and South‑East Asia, she continued.  Al Qaida also remains a threat, as does returning foreign terrorist fighters and their families.  Successful rehabilitation and reintegration of those not subject to arrest and prosecution requires the coordinated involvement of Governments and civil society.  These approaches need to be trauma‑informed, age‑ and gender‑appropriate and address the complex needs that stem from witnessing or experiencing violence.  Terrorists must be brought to justice.  Governments, civil society and the private sector must share best practices and lessons learned in the areas of prosecution and correction for those who can be charged and tried, as well as in the areas of monitoring, rehabilitating and reintegrating those who cannot be tried.

MONA JUUL (Norway), also speaking for Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, stated that attacks in Christchurch, Norway and other Member States demonstrates that terrorism is neither stopped by borders nor linked to any specific ideology.  This threat requires a global response.  A shared definition of terrorism would enhance the international community’s ability to combat it and she called on all States to reach agreement on the draft comprehensive convention.  She also pointed to the Group of Friends of Preventing Violent Extremism’s efforts to put preventing violent extremism — including violent right‑wing extremism — and the role of women in terrorism on the Organization’s agenda.  The international community must employ a holistic approach to prevent terrorism and violent extremism — one where women, youth and local communities play an important role.

The role that women play in terrorism and violent extremism must be understood, she continued.  For their part, the Nordic countries contribute to relevant research projects that show women not only play an instrumental role in terrorist organizations — as campaigners, recruiters, financiers or perpetrators — but also in countering violent extremism.  The global threat of terrorism is most effectively solved, in the Nordic experience, by sustainable, local solutions.  Community leaders, school teachers, youth representatives and municipal workers are the first line of defence against those who instigate hate and discord.  All State measures to counter terrorism must comply with international law, including human‑rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law, she added.

SARAH WEISS MA’UDI (Israel), noting that new technologies and social media were being used to spread and incite hatred and violence, also condemned the phenomenon of using innocent civilians as human shields to couch terrorist activities and provide safe havens.  She expressed her support for Security Council resolution 2462 (2019), which calls upon Member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and to refrain from providing any form of support to terrorists.  Highlighting her country’s adoption of an innovative, comprehensive anti‑terrorism law in 2016, which criminalizes the circles of influence that provide material and other support to terrorists and terrorist acts, she highlighted Israel’s close cooperation with the Counter‑Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the United Nations Office of Counter‑Terrorism.  She also reiterated her country’s support for a comprehensive convention on international terrorism that would adopt a “zero‑tolerance” approach to terrorism in all forms and would underline that no cause or grievance could ever justify or excuse terrorism in any form or manifestation.

HERMIDA CASTILLO (Nicaragua), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the United Nations has a historic responsibility to guarantee international peace and security.  Condemning terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism, he expressed support for the drafting of a convention on terrorism and called on all States to show flexibility.  Nicaragua is committed to implementing the four pillars of the Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy and will participate in its review next year, he said, highlighting his country’s efforts to improve its national, institutional and legal frameworks to combat terrorism, including by the adoption of a law against money‑laundering.

HASSAN LASRI (Morocco), highlighting the crucial role of the United Nations Office of Counter‑Terrorism, said the growth of terrorist organizations represented an unfortunate turning point in humanity’s history.  Calling for robust cooperation, he noted that Morocco and the United States, under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, have established an initiative to address home‑grown terrorism.  The two countries also kicked off a joint initiative to improve the capacity of different countries to prevent terrorist travel.  At the regional level, Morocco is active in border security and information‑sharing, he said, adding that because of the unstable regional security situation, his country finds itself a major target.  Therefore, the country is actively developing strategic alliances in diplomacy and security as well as enhancing social inclusion.

LUKE TANG (Singapore), highlighting the measures his country has taken to combat terrorism, reported that Singapore established the Infrastructure Protection Act to protect critical infrastructure.  New large‑scale developments are now required to incorporate security measures at the design phase.  To ensure and enhance cooperation and information‑sharing at a regional level, Singapore hosted the Southeast Asia Counter-Terrorism Symposium in 2018.  Additionally, Singapore is party to 14 universal counter‑terrorism agreements and organized the inaugural Police Specialist Conference in 2018, where law enforcement agencies from different parts of the world exchanged views on policing issues and international cooperation.

Mr. ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, OIC and the African Group, said that despite the plethora of national and international legal instruments, 19 of them universal, the international community still needs to make more headway in its work for a comprehensive convention on terrorism.  Calling for a conference to be held on the subject, he said that while it is necessary to strengthen law enforcement agencies and address the financing of terrorist groups, it is also crucial to tackle poverty and respect human rights.  Tackling the extremist ideologies that lead to terrorism is an important preventive measure, he said, noting that mosques in his country are working to correct erroneous interpretations and counter‑discourses.

SUKHBOLD SUKHEE (Mongolia) said that his Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Counter‑Terrorism, organized capacity‑building workshops in Ulaanbaatar for law enforcement agencies.  On a regional platform, his country organized a High-level Inter-Regional Conference on 'Whole‑of‑Society‑Approach' to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization.  Along with bilateral agreements with Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and China, Mongolia also joined the "Code of Conduct to Achieve a World Free of Terrorism" initiated by Kazakhstan, as well as "Christchurch Call to Action" initiated by New Zealand.  This year the world experienced the most glaring examples of the use of digital technology by terrorists.  In this digitalized era, with encrypted communications, advertisements for violence can spread all around the world in a minute, he pointed out, noting that social media networks are being widely used for recruitment, brainwashing, provocation and instigation.  The international community must diversify its actions, share best practices and build the capacity of law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts.

Tahani R. F. A. Alnaser (Kuwait), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and OIC, condemned terrorism as an unjustifiable act that should not be linked to any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.  International measures to combat terrorism should respect human rights and the rule of law.  Such measures should also work towards sustainable development and good governance to address conditions leading to the spread of terrorism, including poverty and xenophobia.  Pointing to the suffering in the State of Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Libya, she urged the world to dry up sources of terrorist funding and implement relevant regional conventions.  For its part, Kuwait has sponsored various Security Council resolutions to prevent this financing, address the relationship between organized crime and terrorism and hold Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) accountable for its crimes.

MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) emphasized that terrorism undermines the values and principles of States, democracies and freedom and requires an integrated, cooperative response from the international community.  His Government continues to fight terrorism in the wake of the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy and the 1994 attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, both in Buenos Aires. Argentina has also bolstered national laws to assist victims of terrorism — especially women — and to freeze terrorist assets and has facilitated the secure exchange of early warnings of terrorist threats and other relevant information in the region.  To date, Argentina has ratified 14 international counter‑terrorism conventions and works to adapt its national law to its international obligations.  South‑South cooperation is an important counter to international terrorism, he said.

SOLOMON KORBIEH (Ghana), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement and the African Group, welcomed the measures and legislations put in place by Member States and inter‑governmental organizations to address terrorism across the globe.  However, the question was whether these efforts countered the shifts in the methodology and modus operandi of terrorist groups.  Urging Member States to continue efforts to strengthen regional and international cooperation, for timely information‑sharing and border security enhancements, he spotlighted the League of Arab States’ calls to address the financing of terrorism and the falsification of identity and travel documents.

He also expressed concern about the growing incidence of terrorism in West Africa and the Sahel, affirming his Government’s commitment to fight the menace.  Ghana is making progress in countering money-laundering and other transnational organized crimes through the passage and amendment of legislation, policy measures and upgrade of institutional infrastructure.  Further, recalling the Global Maritime Security Conference that was recently held in Nigeria, he said he hoped the Conference will provide a common platform for the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

PHILIP DIXON (United Kingdom), aligning himself with the European Union, said that while ISIL/Da’esh may have lost territory, its ideas and networks have not lost their potency.  Terrorists motivated by extreme right‑wing or racially and ethnically‑driven ideologies have confirmed that terrorism has no single identity, religion or nationality.  Welcoming the increased focus on the protection of principled humanitarian action in the Security Council’s most recent counter‑terrorism resolutions, he encouraged other States to work with the Counter‑Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.  While the Internet continues to provide unprecedented opportunities for growth and development, it also offers terrorists a platform to share their evil ideologies, he said, voicing support for the “Christchurch Call to Action” initiative.

AMAL MUDALLALI (Lebanon), noting that terrorism instils in individuals a constant state of fear, said this shared affliction should propel the international community to continue its global cooperation, based on the four pillars of the Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy, relevant Council resolutions and other international law standards.  Her country has long suffered from a multitude of terrorist attacks, she said, adding that its territorial sovereignty and socio‑economic stability have been scarred by such violent acts.  This has led Lebanon to join several counter‑terrorism conventions, including the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which, in turn, led to a considerable rise in the number of terrorism‑financing convictions issued by Lebanese courts.

OMER MOHAMED AHMED SIDDIG (Sudan), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, the African Group and OIC, said that his country plays an active role in regional efforts to combat terrorism.  The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is one of the main international frameworks that Sudan uses to bring its national legislation in line with international standards.  Underscoring the importance of an inclusive and balanced approach, he stressed that the primary responsibility for implementing the Strategy should be borne by Member States.  Sudan has turned a new page in its history, he said, underscoring that the country will clamp down on terrorism and boost human rights through an intelligent partnership between the Government and different sectors of society.

MOHAMED HAMAD S. J. AL-THANI (Qatar) urged States to implement the four pillars of the United Nations Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy and to address the root causes of and conditions of terrorism and violent extremism.  In regard to a comprehensive convention, he stressed that the definition of terrorism should not be linked to any religion, ethnicity or culture and must differentiate the term from struggles for self‑determination.  To do otherwise allows terrorist organizations to propagate their narratives.  On a regional platform, Doha has given $75 million over the past five years to the United Nations Office of Counter‑Terrorism and further plans to spend $5 million to set up a global centre in the city that will address the behavioural roots of violent extremism.  Noting the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, he also called for international cooperation to dry up sources of terrorist funding.

AMMAR AL ARSAN (Syria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, called for preventive diplomacy, emphasizing that the international community seems incapable of activating early warning systems, exchanging information and honestly implementing Council and Assembly resolutions pertaining to terrorism.  The cycle of terrorism is repeated every decade due to the stubborn position of some countries that use terrorism as a political weapon.  “If you had listened to our warnings, we wouldn’t today be in the position of stopping foreign terrorist fighters,” he said, adding that his Government refuses to allow these fighters to remain on its territory as they can be the means for a political or economic blackmail.  The agreement for the formation of a constitutional committee in his country is part of the fight against terrorism, he said, calling for more support from the international community.

JAIRO ANDRES PAREDES CAMPAÑA (Colombia), reaffirming that the fight against terrorism must be in line with international human rights standards and resolutions, said that addressing terrorism holistically means enhancing international cooperation.  It is especially crucial that all Member States adopt measures to stop terrorism financing.   Citing several relevant Security Council resolutions, he said that these obligations are being flouted by the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, which is providing assistance and a refuge to various terrorist groups.

MIKHAIL I. SHABALTAS (Russian Federation) emphasized that the international community is dealing with the large‑scale expansion of terrorism and called for counter‑terrorist cooperation without double standards, hidden agendas or any violation of international law.  Terrorists remaining in Syria from the defeat of ISIL/Da’esh should be transferred to their countries and tried in those national courts according to international laws, he said, adding that Governments should avoid the temptation of ignoring those laws.  Collective efforts to fight terrorism, including introducing improvements in extradition mechanisms and in the interchange of information between States should be addressed.  More so, terrorists have received military‑grade weaponry from donors, he said.  Warning against the transfer on non‑lethal materials to terrorist organizations, he highlighted the latest trend of weaponizing unmanned autonomous vehicles.  In addition, he asked for the unification of efforts and standards to counter the expansion of terrorist propaganda on the Internet.

ABDUL GHAFOOR MOHAMED (Maldives), recalling the recent terror attacks on places of worship in neighbouring Sri Lanka, said that in this inter‑connected world, “an attack on one country can have a knock‑on effect on societies around the world”.  Condemning the use of Islam, a religion of peace, to spread terror and fear, he said that it is always innocent civilians who bear the brunt of terrorism’s devastating impact, be it at a mosque in Christchurch, a church in Sri Lanka or in conflict situations around the world.  Welcoming the collaboration between world leaders and technology companies to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, he also voiced support for the “Christchurch Call to Action” initiative.  The establishment of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is a watershed moment in responding to terrorism and violent extremism online, he added.

AMADOU JAITEH (Gambia), associating himself with the African Group and the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that terrorists have assassinated innocents, desecrated mosques, churches and synagogues and vandalized cemeteries.  They were “merchants of evil” with no respect for the sanctity of life.  His Government’s commitment to the fight against terrorism is illustrated by its ratification of international treaties against terrorism and the legislations it put in place to counter money‑laundering and human trafficking.  Terrorism can prevent the attainment of the United Nations and the African Union development agendas, he stressed, calling on leaders of all faiths to denounce the actions of uninformed individuals with appalling narratives.

YOLANNIE CERRATO (Honduras), commending the Secretary‑General’s report for providing information about legal resources available to combat international terrorism, called for wide‑ranging international cooperation at different levels.  As a founding State of the United Nations, her country is committed to international peace and security and is a State party to several treaties and conventions on terrorism.  Agreeing with other delegates that called for a high‑level conference on the draft comprehensive convention against terrorism, she said that the activities of armed groups and criminal gangs have repercussions for the protection of human rights.  Therefore, their linkage with terrorism must be analysed holistically, she said.

NATTHAKIT SINGTO (Thailand) aligning himself with ASEAN, said his country is working to strengthen its domestic legal frameworks and measures to prevent and counter terrorism, including establishing a new law at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction‑related items, including dual‑use items.  Calling the 2007 ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism the region’s key legal framework to combat terrorism, he welcomed the adoption of the terms of reference for the ASEAN “Our Eyes” initiative as an important intelligence‑exchange platform.  Also emphasizing the importance of international cooperation, he reported that his country hosted the fourth Regional Counter‑Terrorism Financing Summit along with Australia and Indonesia.

Mr. PEREZ (Venezuela), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations while reaffirming that terrorism cannot be associated with any ethnic group or religion.  Terrorism has had an adverse impact on economic and social development, he said, noting that his country has been recently impacted by these criminal events that were then minimized in the international media.  Recalling the foiled assassination attempt on President Nicolas Maduro in 2018, he said the main mastermind of that crime is a Venezuelan citizen who is living freely on Colombian territory despite requests to that country’s authorities to extradite him.  Calling on Colombia to abide by its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions, he also condemned the daily economic terrorism of the United States through its illegal economic sanctions.  Such measures represent new tactics of terror and intimidation, he said, underscoring that “there are no good or bad terrorists”.

For information media. Not an official record.