I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
Countering terrorism and addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism are international issues which require a global response. Terrorists have no concerns with national boundaries. Terrorists do not respect fundamental human rights and freedoms. Terrorists do not speak for any one culture or religion. The European Union supports the United Nations (UN) as the only truly global forum to counter terrorism and recognises that the UN has a key role in mobilising the international community to combat this scourge. The European Union also stresses that all measures against terrorism must respect the rule of law and be in compliance with international law, in particular international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law.
By adopting the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by consensus on 8 September 2006, the General Assembly and the Member States of the UN demonstrated their unity and resolve in combating terrorism. The EU is committed to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in cooperation with all Member States of the UN.
Implementation needs positive action. It will not happen otherwise. EU Member States understand that active engagement is essential for the Implementation of the Strategy. The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), established by the Secretary General in July 2005 aims to ensure a consistent effort to counter terrorism, across the UN system. The responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy lies with the Member States.
The EU acknowledges the important work the Task Force is undertaking in this regard. It is crucial now to consolidate further the Task Force. In this context, the question of appropriate funding of the CTITF Unit, through the regular UN budget, needs to be addressed. The EU is committed to consider solutions to ensure the Unit will be provided with the necessary resources to carry out the tasks entrusted to it regarding the implementation of the UN Strategy.
The adoption of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy was a significant achievement. Now we must ensure its full implementation by all States, including by reaching an agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism as soon as possible.
The EU continues to be committed to reaching this goal, thus contributing to a deeper international consensus on the normative framework of the fight against terrorism.
We thank the facilitator Maria Telalian for her tireless efforts in organizing consultations towards reaching a consensus on the outstanding issues of the negotiations.
We welcome this session of the 6th Committee as a new opportunity to join efforts aiming at the conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention. In our view this should be now the main focus of the work in the 6th Committee.
As to the issue of convening a High Level UN Conference on Counter Terrorism, our position remains unchanged. This issue is for consideration following an agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism.
Last July the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism entered into force. It is an important legal instrument in the fight against terrorism which resulted from our collective work and commitment in this Committee. We trust, like the SG in his report on the work of the Organization, that we will be just as determined to finalize the comprehensive conventions as we have been in addressing this challenge.
There is no easy solution to the elimination of international terrorism. The problem requires a multi-pronged approach.
The 16 UN counter-terrorism conventions and protocols constitute the legal core for anti-terrorist measures. Universal adherence to these instruments is essential for the consistency of measures taken by the Member States as well as for the facilitation of international co-operation.
The EU urges the Member States to ratify or accede to and implement all 16 conventions and protocols. In this context, the EU commends UNODC and its Terrorism Prevention Branch for its important work in delivering technical assistance to States to adhere to and implement these conventions.
Security Council resolution 1373 and the other counter-terrorism related resolutions including on incitement of terrorism 1624 are also at the heart of the UNs response to terrorism. The European Union will continue actively to support and co-operate with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the other relevant Security Council committees, notably the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540. We recognise that many States continue to require assistance in implementing these resolutions.
Our multilateral action to fight the scourge of terrorism goes further. Promoting peace requires a culture of dialogue. Only in this way will we overcome the tensions, prejudices and above all the ignorance on which terrorism feeds.
Todays European identity is a multiple one, reflecting manifold and pluralist influences. The European Union is committed to promoting dialogue and understanding, and striving for universal appreciation of different religions, cultures and beliefs. The EU will continue its efforts to strengthen dialogue and promote mutual understanding between cultures and civilisations, and welcomes the work of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, initiatives such as the Alliance of Civilisations and the Interfaith Dialogue, as well as efforts undertaken by UNESCO in this field.
Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Our condemnation of terrorist attacks is unequivocal and our message to those who seek to impose their views on others through the use of indiscriminate unlawful force is clear. Acts of terrorism are unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
Thank you Mr Chairman
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.