Thank you very much for this opportunity to address you today.
I thank our Chairman, Ambassador Al-Mouallimi, for his able leadership, and I thank all the members for your wise guidance over the past three years. I was pleased to renew the tenure of all members for another three years. This will ensure continuity going forward.
When I addressed this Board in Jeddah in April 2012, I spoke about how terrorism was ruining lives and deferring hopes for peace.
Since then, we have seen this menace grow even more deadly.
Every day, ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations are threatening innocent civilians in seemingly new and more gruesome ways. I am deeply disturbed that these dangerous groups continue recruiting members of our societies, including mostly young people.
I am consistently addressing concerns about terrorism in my discussions with leaders around the world. Just last week, I addressed terrorist threats in the Horn of Africa in meetings with top leaders from countries I visited there.
We have seen intense engagement by Member States, including the Security Council summit convened by President Obama on the problem of foreign terrorist fighters in September. Its adoption of resolution 2178 (2014) provided useful guidance to the United Nations on how we can support Member States.
World leaders understand that we must mobilize a stronger global response. That is the mission of the UN Centre.
I take this opportunity to again express my sincere gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for donating $100 million for the Centre in August.
With that remarkably generous donation, the Centre is now able to intensify our drive to counter terrorist forces.
When I met with King Abdullah this summer, we agreed that the new funds should be used to help Member States build their own badly needed capacity to respond to terrorism. We will strive to recruit top-notch experts in the field. Our goal is to transform the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre into a centre of excellence serving the world.
I have shared my Vision for the Future Role of the UNCCT with the Advisory Board. In a moment, Mr. Feltman will elaborate on its six priorities.
One key challenge is to broaden donor support.
I urge Member States to look for opportunities to support the Centre financially by co-funding projects and by making available national expertise for joint capacity building efforts.
I am grateful for the recent contributions made by Member States. I thank the United States for contributing $1.5 million. I thank Germany for providing an Associate Expert. And I thank the United Kingdom for donating more than $100,000.
These contributions represent a good start. I hope that other Member States, in particular those on this Board, will also now come forward with their own contributions.
The Centre is already having a tangible impact in such critical areas as addressing the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, countering the financing of terrorism, and improving border control.
The Centre has doubled its rate of implementation of projects.
Most are carried out in close cooperation with a broad range of entities that are part of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. Through the CTITF, the Centre will continue to make the best possible use of the great expertise available throughout the UN system.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy offers the best comprehensive approach to terrorism.
I appreciate the very positive response to the Vision Statement I have already received from the Chairman.
With so many lives at stake, I will be closely following this Centre’s progress. I thank the Advisory Board, under the able Chairmanship of Ambassador Al-Mouallimi, for your guidance and support and look forward to seeing what more we can all do together on this crucial issue moving forward.