I am pleased to send greetings to this important meeting. The threat of terrorism continues to grow in much of the world. Extremism and radicalization in the Sahel are affecting national and regional stability. In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, people no longer know what it means to live without fear of terrorist attacks. Just this weekend, hundreds died in Baghdad, Nairobi and Peshawar. Conflict zones provide fertile ground for terror groups to emerge and gain strength, as we currently witness in Syria.
Today’s Ministerial Plenary is a valuable opportunity to review our collective efforts and build on our partnerships to jointly address one of the greatest security challenges of our time. I appreciate the co-chairmanship of the United States Secretary of State and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.
Next June, Member States will conduct the fourth biennial review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. I intend to issue a report prior to the review proceedings that will identify progress and key challenges for participants to discuss.
Since its launch two years ago, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum has undertaken an impressive repertoire of work. Its regional and thematic working groups have brought much-needed focus to priority issues, mobilized funding, improved capacity-building coordination and helped share best practices. The proposed Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience can make an important contribution to implementing the Global Strategy by providing much-needed resources to local organizations that are critical to addressing the conditions that help spread terrorism.
The United Nations welcomes our partnership with the Forum and looks forward to collaborating more closely. I invite all participants to consider how to further build our cooperation.
The work of the United Nations to combat terrorism has been greatly enhanced by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. Its 31 entities are streamlining procedures and methodologies to provide coherent and effective capacity-building to Member States. The establishment of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre and the potential of additional resources add to the importance of examining how to enhance collaboration between UN counter-terrorism partners and this Forum.
The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy provides the model for international counter-terrorism cooperation, and I appreciate the emphasis that the Forum has placed on its implementation. The Strategy’s four pillars provide a complete policy framework that affirms our belief that terrorism must be countered through preventive measures, capable law enforcement, capacity-building and due respect for human rights. Our collective efforts should reflect this conviction.
I look forward to seeing the United Nations and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum build a stronger, closer partnership. In that spirit, I wish you a productive meeting.