– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia[*], the Candidate Countries Turkey, 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 and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
Thank you very much for organising this timely and important briefing.
Let me start by expressing our appreciation to the Committees’ Chairs for their extensive updates and summary of actions and initiatives taken during the last six months.
The recent attacks in Boston, Iraq and Libya were a dreadful evidence to the fact that terrorism remains one of the major global threats. These were unjustifiable acts of terror which serve as yet another grim reminder that the terrorist threat remains real.
This is why the fight against international terrorism shall remain one of our highest priorities as it should continue to be a priority for the United Nations. Therefore, work of all three Committees is of vital importance as it contributes to the prevention of, and the response to terrorist threats.
We are committed to the idea that the scourge of terrorism can only be overcome by democratic measures which remain in compliance with the Rule of Law. Terrorism needs to be fought as a crime by the law and within the law with full respect to due procedures and fundamental rights.
We welcome the fact that the Security Council has taken significant steps to further reinforce fair and clear procedures in the Al Qaeda sanctions regime. We take this opportunity to commend the Ombudsperson’s work and reiterate our support to her unwavering efforts. We welcome the adoption of resolution 2083 (2012) which introduces some additional important changes to the Al-Qaida sanctions regime, in particular extending the mandate of the Monitoring Team and the Ombudsperson, making their work more effective and transparent.
We reiterate our call upon all Member States to extend full cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsperson in each and every case.
We welcome the work of the 1373 Committee, in particular the vast array of C-T endeavours and activities. In the period of concern, we have participated with great interest in a number of events focused on countering the financing of terrorism, for instance in the special meeting focused on strategies regarding preventing and suppressing terrorist financing held in November 2012 here in New York. Within the same subject field, a briefing on preventing abuse of the non-profit sector for the purposes of terrorist financing (7 March 2013) followed by a dedicated event on March 15 focused on protecting non-profit organizations from being exploited by those seeking to finance terrorism were of great importance.
With regard to state capacity building that is another crucial aspect of the fight against terrorism, we welcome the conference on border-control cooperation in the Sahel and the Maghreb, which took place in Rabat from 13 to 15 March 2013 and was organised by the CTED, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Government of Morocco. We actively participated in this important and successful event.
As mentioned previously, we stress that all counter-terrorism efforts must be in compliance with the Rule of Law, including international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. Therefore, we welcome efforts aimed at underpinning this notion, for example the event entitled “Combating Terrorism: The Pursuit of Justice Through Cooperation” which was organised by the Committee on April 5.
Last but not least, we thank the Committee and CTED for the last week’s briefing on revised documents and procedures related to the assessment of UN Member States’ implementation of Security Council resolutions related to counter-terrorism. It was a very useful presentation of new improvements to the organisation of reports so as to make them clearer, more transparent and more useful.
Mr. President, now I would like to share a few comments regarding the 1540 regime.
The risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors remains a significant threat to international peace and security. We should spare no efforts to increase our capacity with regard to proliferation prevention and to this end, the work of the 1540 Committee remains of vital importance. This goal requires a truly multi-stakeholder approach and therefore we commend events like the UNSCR 1540 Civil Society Forum – Opportunities for Engagement that took place in Austria on 8 – 10 January 2013, as well as the Committee’s engagement in 1540 workshops engaging civil society organised in Pretoria and Bangkok.
We also highlight additional events organised by the Committee all around the world in recent months, including workshops in Riyadh and Minsk as well as participation in numerous CBRN-related events, amongst others in Washington, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Rome.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations for organising last month a comprehensive high-level event on “Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to non-State Actors: the Implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004) in the Arab World” that we had the pleasure of participating in.
I would like to conclude my intervention by underlining that our resolve to defeat terrorism must never weaken or falter. All acts of terrorism are criminal and reprehensible, wherever they took place and whoever committed them. Therefore, active promoting of counter-terrorism policies and actions must remain a priority for the UN and its Member States.
I thank you.
* 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.