– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland† and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
International terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The European Union strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We consider terrorist acts as unjustifiable criminal acts that should be prevented, prosecuted and punished.
The fight against international terrorism remains one of our highest priorities and should continue to be a priority for the United Nations.
This fight should be guided by fundamental democratic values, human rights, well functioning institutions and good governance. All measures taken in preventing and countering terrorism must respect the principle of the rule of law, and be taken in compliance with international law including humanitarian law, international human rights and refugee law. In tackling terrorism, EU Member States pursue a civilian law enforcement approach on the basis of criminal justice and the rule of law while protecting human rights.
More emphasis must be placed on the prevention of terrorism by examining and addressing conditions conducive to its spread. We need to look beyond governments to involve all actors, including civil society, social networks, journalists, women, youth organisations and media.
The EU welcomes the Secretary Generals’ Report on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (document no. A/66/762). We support its recommendations, including the creation of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator; the development of national and regional strategy implementation plans; the enhancement of capacity-building efforts; the promotion of international cooperation; and the strengthening of international solidarity with victims of terrorism.
The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is a touchstone for the EU and its Member States, with regard to both their national efforts and in their world-wide partnerships. We welcome and support the UN’s work to contribute to its implementation worldwide.We attach great importance to the Strategy’s global counterterrorism framework, which prescribes a holistic approach to tackling terrorism: including not only law enforcement and other security measures, but also respect for human rights addressing the underlying conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
We commend the Secretary – General for organising the High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism on 28 September 2012. This meeting was an opportunity for Member States to reiterate their commitment to counter nuclear terrorism in accordance with the relevant legal instruments and Security Council resolutions.
We are committed to the full implementation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on counter-terrorism. The European Union fully and actively supports the Security Council Committees established pursuant to Resolutions 1267/1989, 1373, 1540, which are at the heart of the United Nations’ response to terrorism. We emphasize that sanctions are an important tool in the international fight against terrorism and underline the importance of prompt and effective implementation of relevant sanction measures. We welcome the fact that in the framework of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the Security Council has taken significant steps to further reinforce fair and clear procedures in UN sanctions regimes. In this regard, we commend the work of the Ombudsperson. We also particularly commend the enhanced role of her Office under resolution 1989 (2011), which makes a significant contribution to ensuring fair and clear procedures for individuals listed pursuant to that sanctions regime. We look forward to the forthcoming renew of the mandate of the Ombudsperson, in December, and we support further enhancement to the Ombudsperson Office.
The EU has established excellent cooperation with the UN in all its actions in the fight against terrorism, in particular through a specific political dialogue on counter-terrorism cooperation. The EU will continue to intensify its cooperation with the UN at all levels. The EU supports the activities of CTITF and CTED, and is looking forward to activities undertaken by the recently established UN Counter-Terrorism Center. We have also been working in close collaboration with other actors in the UN system such as the WHO to strengthen risk management and laboratory practices for biological materials. We also commend the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the technical assistance it provides to States to support the implementation of the UN counter-terrorism conventions and protocols and the strengthening of capacity of the national criminal justice systems, and the UNICRI for its work on promotion of national self-reliance and the development of institutional capabilities. It is critical to ensure that the UN system is joined up in its efforts to prevent and combat terrorism so we encourage the UN system to reinforce and maximize its internal coordination, including at field.
We are committed to maintaining effective systems to prevent the financial system from being abused by criminals and terrorists and welcome the adoption of revised international standards by the FATF in support of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
We stress the importance of respecting the rights of victims of terrorism and call upon Member States and relevant UN entities to promote measures to ensure solidarity, assistance and compensation for the victims of criminal acts and for their families.
The EU and its Member States are key providers of counter-terrorism capacity building, supporting projects with a specific focus on rule of law, criminal justice and preventive measures. In offering assistance, we know there are no one size fits all solutions and that ensuring local ownership and commitment is crucial.
We have established CT strategies addressing external and internal security issues. In our cooperation with other countries and regions, the EU has started to develop comprehensive CT strategies building on national and regional CT approaches and therefore ensuring ownership and participation. In particular, the EU has established a dedicated strategy focusing on security and development in the Sahel, and is working on a strategic framework for the Horn of Africa, and a specific strategy with Pakistan.
We are convinced that EU cooperation with third countries in counter terrorism is best to be addressed through multilateral mechanisms and at the regional level.
We call upon all Member States to ratify and implement all UN counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, which form the legal basis for international efforts to fight terrorism.
The EU remains engaged in the negotiation process of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and committed to its successful conclusion. In this regard, we would like to recall the readiness to consider the 2007 proposal without further modifications. This however presupposes that other delegations are willing to accept the 2007 proposal as is.
Finally Mr Chairman, we will only defeat terrorism if we adopt a comprehensive and global approach to addressing its causes and manifestation. This will require strong political will and active international cooperation. But together, we can realize our hopes of a world free of terrorism.
*Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
†Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.