– 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.
We are grateful to Pakistan, as President of the Security Council, for organizing today’s timely and important debate looking at the counter-terrorism measures from a comprehensive perspective.
International terrorism poses a very significant threat to peace and security. This is why the fight against international terrorism remains one of our highest priorities and should continue to be a priority for the United Nations. We are convinced that an integrated approach, combining prevention of, and the response to terrorist threats and attacks is essential.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) is central for the EU and its Member States, with regard to both their national efforts and in their world-wide partnerships. In accordance with the relevant international legal framework, as it evolves, we work hand in hand with the UN on the implementation of the Strategy and 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, and the Rule of Law.
Preventing terrorism by addressing and stopping terrorist radicalization and recruitment is a priority for the EU and its Member States. We agree that more emphasis must be placed on the prevention of terrorism by examining and addressing the conditions conducive to its spread. In order to achieve this goal, one has to consider new approaches with a variety of tools and look beyond traditional actors on the governmental and law enforcement levels while engaging inter alia with civil society, social networks, journalists, women, youth organisations and media.
In addition, assistance to victims of terrorism and their families should also be an element of Counter-Terrorism efforts. We believe that victims and their associations can contribute to preventing terrorist radicalization and sending messages of non-violence and reconciliation.
Countering the financing of terrorism is a core component of the EU’s strategy. As terrorists and their supporters constantly modify their ways to raise, move and gain access to funds, we need to adapt instruments and measures to deprive them from the possibility to engage in criminal activity.
The EU has developed a range of measures that aim at cutting off terrorists’ access to funding, and we are committed to the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). We actively contribute to the work of the Task Force as well as to the implementation of the FATF Recommendations in the EU. In addition, we highlight that relevant UN Resolutions and Council of Europe instruments play an important role in countering terrorist financing.
The active involvement of civil society is a key element in an effective countering of terrorism and violent extremism. Non-governmental organisations represent a valuable resource in this context. With a view to safeguarding the integrity of non-governmental organizations against abuse by i.e. terrorist-networks, including in the field of terrorist-financing, the sharing of relevant best practices among Member States and with civil society could be of great value and should be encouraged.
We take this opportunity to stress yet again that counter-terrorism measures can only be effective when consistent with a judicial approach and within the law. Counter-terrorism measures need to be carried in full compliance with fundamental democratic values, human rights and the Rule of Law.
In the framework of the pledges made at the UN General Assembly High-level meeting on the Rule of Law on 24 September 2012, the EU pledged to develop operational guidance to ensure the consideration of human rights, and where applicable international humanitarian law, in planning and implementation of counter-terrorism assistance projects with third countries.
The EU will continue to support the consolidation of state institutions, justice, police and customs to strengthen security and the Rule of Law with a view to reducing the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and cross-border criminal activity such as the trafficking of drugs and human beings.
Hence it is important to strengthen international cooperation and the criminal justice systems of UN Members to be able to prosecute terrorist suspects effectively. In this context the EU welcomes the Global Counter Terrorism Forum Rule of Law Group and will actively take part in establishment of the Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law in Tunis.
Although the core of the action on counter-radicalization and recruitment is, and should remain, at the national level, regional and international cooperation is needed to help coordinate national policies and share good practice. In this context, we welcome the establishment of the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi.
We also take this opportunity to welcome the recent adoption of resolutions 2082 and 2083, introducing some important changes to the Al-Qaida and Afghanistan sanctions regimes, in particular extending the mandate of the Monitoring Team and the Ombudsperson, making their work more effective and transparent.
I would like to conclude my intervention by stressing that we have no doubt that no act of terrorism can be justified or sanctioned by any religion, belief, ideology or culture. Neither should any of these be associated with terrorism. We must continue efforts to foster understanding amongst people of all cultures, religions or beliefs and, in this regard, we stress our commitment to the aims and work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. As a counter to extremism and terrorism, we must stand firmly behind the values that unite us, underline the shared profound respect for people of all religions and beliefs, and discourage the language of prejudice, hatred and intolerance, as well as violence.
* 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