New York

04 May 2012

Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council open debate on Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts

I extend a warm welcome to H.E. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.


I thank the Security Council Presidency of Azerbaijan for this timely debate.


Next month, the General Assembly will conduct the third review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted six years ago.  The issues we discuss today can contribute to a good outcome of that review.


Terrorism is a significant threat to peace and security, prosperity and people.


The international community continues to pursue a robust and comprehensive response. 


Collective efforts have disrupted attacks and disabled terrorist networks.


But recent attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen demonstrate that the threat is still formidable.


Terrorist organizations continue to look for new havens, adopt new tactics and seek new targets.


Today, I would like to make three points.


First, we need to focus special attention on conditions conducive to spreading terrorism.


In the Sahel region, for example, instability and violence have recently risen, in part as fallout from developments in Libya.


The fact-finding mission I sent last December has provided a valuable assessment of the situation in the Sahel and the impact of the crisis in Libya on the region, along with recommendations for mobilizing international support, building capacity and improving coordination among key stakeholders.


Second, we must pursue the integrated approach to terrorism and violent extremism embodied in the Global Strategy.


That means countering the appeal of terrorism, strengthening capacity building and protecting human rights as a central part of our response.


It means resolving differences peacefully, providing education and job opportunities, promoting development and inter-cultural dialogue, and addressing the grievances that terrorists exploit.


And it means promoting respect for human rights and respect for the rule of law, which are integral to any sustainable counter-terrorism approach.  This Council and the General Assembly have both endorsed this principle.


Countering terrorism also means recognizing and alleviating the suffering of victims.


My third point is actually a request.


I urge Member States to make full use of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. 


The bodies created by this Council have played a critical role in the Task Force: these include the Counter-Terrorism-Committee Executive Directorate, the Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee and the Expert Staff of the 1540 Committee.


The Task Force is a valuable tool for creating an integrated response for capacity building and for sharing best practices.




In combating terrorism, the international community must also work as one.  This is why I hope that Member States will decide to create the position of a United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to promote better coordination, collaboration and cooperation among all players.


The newly established United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, within the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office, serves a critical role in supporting Member States in all areas under the four pillars of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.


I am grateful for the contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to create the Counter-Terrorism Centre, and I would like to encourage all of you to contribute to our efforts.


I will be participating in the Advisory Board meeting of the Centre in early June.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


By working together – from strengthening law enforcement to tackling the underlying drivers of extremism – we can greatly reduce this major threat to peace and security.


I wish you a productive debate.


Thank you, Mr. President.