I thank the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their hospitality.
I want to express my deep gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous support to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, a support without which the Centre, would probably never have been able to be born.
And I thank Ambassador Al Mouallimi for his able chairmanship of this Advisory Board.
This meeting is an opportunity to look at how the Centre can enhance its capacity-building assistance to Member States to counter the evolving threat of terrorism.
Under Secretary-General Voronkov will brief you shortly on progress in implementing the Centre’s 5-Year Programme.
As conflicts have grown in intensity and number over the past decade, terrorist attacks have increased and spread, destabilizing societies and entire regions.
This is why I established the Office of Counter-Terrorism, which includes the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre, to provide strategic leadership and effective coordination to the UN system.
And it is why I recently launched the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Compact, which I signed with the heads of 36 UN entities, the INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization.
As we look ahead, I want to make three brief points.
First, we need a sustained focus on prevention.
Military and security measures against terrorism are important, they are essential, but we also need to address the underlying conditions that are conducive to young men and women being lured by terrorism and violent extremism.
No one is born a terrorist, and nothing justifies terrorism, but we know that factors such as prolonged unresolved conflicts, lack of the rule of law and socioeconomic marginalization can all play a role in transforming grievances into destructive action.
Second, the Centre should continue to meet the changing needs of Member States for counter-terrorism capacity-building support. The Centre’s programmes and projects must evolve accordingly.
The forthcoming review by the General Assembly of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy will be an opportunity to take stock and keep pace.
We have an obligation to ensure and to show that we are effective. I am glad that the Centre is working with the Office of Internal Oversight Services to complete an audit covering strategic planning, funding arrangements, and project management.
This, along with the Board of Auditors’ financial audit, will allow us to learn from our experiences in terms of what works and what does not.
Third, we need to continue to expand and diversify the Centre’s donor base to ensure sustainable and predictable funding.
The Office of Counter-Terrorism is engaging Member States to mobilize additional resources so the Centre can meet the growing expectations and demands from countries most affected by terrorism.
As Advisory Board members, you can also play a key role in encouraging donors.
In June, I will convene the first United Nations
High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States.
The aim is to strengthen multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation through new global, regional and bilateral partnerships.
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre has already made an important contribution in this regard and we must ensure that its future activities will be even more impactful in response to the priorities of the Member States.
I look forward to hearing your views on how we can continue to work together to defeat terrorism so future generations can enjoy more peaceful and prosperous lives.
Shukran. Thank you.