– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Let me first warmly welcome you, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the Bureau. We are confident that you will conduct the discussions of the Ad Hoc Committee in a very competent and efficient manner. We would also like to thank the coordinator, Maria Telalian, for continuing her efforts to bridge the gap between the different positions expressed until now and towards reaching a consensus on the outstanding issues in the negotiations. We assure you and the coordinator of our full support for your efforts.
Terrorism is one of the most serious threats the international community has to face and the fight against international terrorism is one of the priorities of the European Union. We categorically condemn all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivations, committed wherever, whenever, by whomsoever. We believe there can be no justification for terrorism in any form. We welcome the international consensus in this matter as reflected inter alia in the United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy.
The European Union wishes to stress that all measures taken to combat terrorism must be in compliance with international law, in particular international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law. All measures against terrorism must respect the rule of law.
We are of the view that UN conventions and protocols on terrorism play a fundamental role in the fight against terrorism. We therefore call on all States to ratify and implement without delay all existing international conventions and protocols on terrorism.
As we stated on many occasions in the past, most recently during the Sixth Committee last fall, the development of an international legal instrument such as the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is an important endeavour of the international community to strengthen the international legal framework aimed at combating terrorist acts. Such a convention would coherently supplement the existing body of international law on terrorism.
It may be recalled that the Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 2012 on measures to eliminate international terrorism, in its paragraph 26 provides that the future meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee “shall be decided upon subject to substantive progress in its work.” In the absence of such progress, a pause in the negotiation might be considered.
We would be interested in hearing other delegations’ views on the text circulated by the Coordinator for discussion.
Regarding the issues of the high-level conference we continue to believe that this question should be discussed after we have reached an agreement on the Convention.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.