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Statement by Ambassador H.S. Puri Permanent Representative of India and Chairman, Counter Terrorism Committee at the UNS's Symposium on International Counter Terrorism Cooperation

New York

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for inviting me, in my capacity as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, to participate in this Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation.

Terrorism today constitutes the most serious challenge to international peace and security. Some States, including my own country, have been victims of this scourge for several decades. The horrific events of 9/11 terrorists attacks in this city, where the United Nations is headquartered, brought home to the western world its devastating consequences and changed the world profoundly thereafter.

Today, terrorists are not only truly globalised, but are also waging an asymmetric warfare against the international community.

They recruit in one country, raise funds in another and operate in others. They have global logistical and supply chains; they have developed transnational financial systems; they use the latest and most sophisticated technologies and have command and control mechanisms that are able to operate across continents on a real-time basis.

Mr. Chairman,

Confronted with this global menace, the United Nations has developed a reasonably good legal framework aimed at countering terrorism and enhancing national, regional and sub-regional cooperation in this regard.
States have been obligated, among other actions, to criminalize terrorist acts, deny terrorist safe havens and financial resources, and ensure that terrorists are brought to justice and cooperate with other States to bring terrorists to justice.

On its part, the General assembly has adopted the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy which is a unique and universally agreed strategic framework to counter terrorism.

Further, the Security Council has created a network of subsidiary bodies including the 1373 Committee (CTC), the 1540 Committee, and the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, which are supported by expert bodies that are entrusted with the task of overseeing the implementation of relevant counter-terrorism resolutions adopted by the Council.

Despite these substantive achievements, there has been no let up in terrorist violence and the world continues to confront the challenge emanating from the epicenters of terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

The central requirement of an effective counter-terrorism strategy is the necessary political will to squarely face the challenge of terrorism.

No cause or grievance could justify terrorism and we need to adopt a holistic approach that ensures zero-tolerance towards terrorism.

Where States have the institutions and capacities, they must clamp down on terrorism. The States which do not have technical and institutional capacities, especially in failed states, the international community should assist in building their capacities to counter-terrorism.

Concerted international efforts are required to identify and expose the linkages that exist between terrorists and their supporters and to destroy terrorist safe havens, their financial flows and their support networks.

The Security Council resolution 1963 (2010) as well as the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy recognize that terrorism will not be defeated by military means, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone. The States need to implement the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner in all its four pillars.

Our normative framework of international conventions and protocols is still incomplete and riddled with loopholes. There has been a long delay in adopting a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. I hope we will be able to adopt this Convention soon. This would help us in developing a legal and normative basis for an effective counter-terrorism cooperation framework.

Mr. Chairman,

We can do more to improve our collective efforts. Technical assistance, capacity building and sharing of best practices are vital components of successful collective strategies.

We need to further strengthen international cooperation amongst practitioners - prosecutors, police officers, judges, and immigration and border officials through sharing and developing best practices in counter terrorism efforts. I am happy to note the important strides made by UN entities including the CTITF and CTED in this area.

The specialized international and regional organizations have also an important role to play in building an understanding of the terrorist threat; in facilitating international cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism, especially through the provision of technical and related assistance.

At the national level we need to develop strategies that restrict the emotional and political space available to terrorists to carry out their propaganda. We must support all efforts to enhance dialogue between and amongst civilizations, ethnicities, and religions, and evolve a culture of tolerance, compassion and respect for diversity, especially amongst the young.

In addition, efforts should be made to develop comprehensive and integrated national counterterrorism strategies that fully comply with the rule of law; fully respect the dignity and human rights of all; and reach out to, and actively involve all parts of society and all communities. Such strategies must also effectively address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism including radicalization and recruitment for terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to inform this august gathering that the Counter-Terrorism Committee will be commemorating the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1373 (2001) and establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on September 28, 2011. The Committee will also adopt an Outcome Document highlighting the progress achieved in implementing Resolution 1373 during the last 10 years and providing a roadmap for the future. This will be a major landmark in providing strategic direction to the work of the Committee aimed at strengthening capacity of States in their counter terrorism efforts. I encourage all delegations and stakeholders to attend that event in order to unequivocally convey our common resolve to battle terrorism.

Thank you.