New York

10 February 2015

Deputy Secretary-General's Concluding Remarks at Open Briefing Organized by the Counter-Terrorism Committee [As Delivered] ]

Allow me to begin by thanking you Madame Chair, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate for having organized this important and timely briefing. I believe that the attendance in this room is a sign of the great interest among Member States to come to grips of this global threat.            

Je tiens aussi à saluer la présence de Son Excellence Madame la Ministre de la justice de la France. Merci, Madame, de nous avoir rejoints aujourd’hui pour nous faire part de l’expérience de votre pays dans la lutte contre le terrorisme.

Les attaques terroristes perpétrées récemment au Nigéria et à Paris et les actes barbares de l’ISIS – ou plutôt  «Daech » – démontrent de façon très claire que nous devons rester vigilants, déterminés et solidaires.

The international community must remain united in countering this threat.  I can assure you all that the United Nations remains determined to work closely with Member States to strengthen capacities to prevent and combat terrorist groups and violent extremism.

In our responses to the threat, let us be aware that these extremist groups want to spread fear by competing in brutality.  They seek to divide.  They aim to polarize. 

In our responses we must not fall into their trap.  We must stand fast for the values that are the cornerstones of the United Nations and of democratic societies.  We must continue to be guided by our fundamental belief in human rights, and the principles of due process and the rule of law.

The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy makes clear that States cannot afford to deal with countering terrorism in isolation, or solely through military action which is sometimes necessary.  A truly effective response must leverage the resources of the international community and look at all aspects of the problem, including the underlying factors leading to the recruitment of new terrorists. 

The threat posed by terrorism can seem overwhelming, particularly to States with a weak criminal justice system. 

Several United Nations entities -- coordinated through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force -- seek to strengthen national criminal justice systems.  They do so by providing technical assistance and specialized training to criminal justice practitioners.  This aims to enable them to respond to the complex nature of terrorist crimes in an accountable and transparent manner. 

Recently, the United Nations organized training for Nigerian law enforcement and security officials in upholding human rights and the rule of law while fighting Boko Haram.  A number of United Nations entities are developing a capacity-building programme under the umbrella of the CTITF Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is no standard, no universal solution to the complex and global threat of terrorism.  While continuing to strengthen our cooperation, we must also take into account the context of each Member State and region. A worrying factor in several cases is the destructive interaction between organized crime and terrorism, as well as the linkage being established between extremists groups.

It is now crucially important to let every terrorist and terrorist group hear the same message from Member States, the United Nations, organizations and partners everywhere: the world stands united in denouncing and rejecting your atrocities.  We will not accept to have societies living in fear and division.  We will build a world of rule of law in which terror has no appeal, and no place.  We will more determined than ever stand up for our common humanity.  These are fundamental principles.  Nothing you do to destruct, destabilize and destroy can take these values away from us.

Thank you, Madam Chair.