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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2009

Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, Agenda item 106: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement on behalf of CANZ by H.E. Jim McLay, Permanent Representative, Tuesday 6 October 2009

Mr Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of Australia and Canada, as well as New Zealand.

Terrorism remains a real and deadly threat to communities around the world, and has directly affected citizens from CANZ countries.  The 17 July hotel bombings in Jakarta, which killed and injured innocent civilians, reminded us again of this global menace; as did yesterday’s suicide bombing of the UN World Food Program office in Islamabad.  

Against that background, we welcomed last year’s United Nations initiative in convening a commemorative event for the victims of terrorism.  As we seek to prevent further attacks, it is important that we do not forget those who have lost their lives and their loved ones to terrorism. 

We, members of CANZ, reiterate our strong commitment to taking all necessary measures to address the threat of terrorism.  It is essential that these efforts be comprehensive and coordinated at both regional and international levels.

In this regard, CANZ supports the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as an important guide for international counter-terrorism efforts.   We urge all States to continue their efforts to implement that Global Strategy, to meet their obligations under the three, key counter-terrorism-related Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540, and to support the work of the committees established by those resolutions.

To this end, CANZ strongly supports UNSC Resolution 1822, which directs the 1267 Committee to improve its procedures for the listing and delisting of terrorist entities.  In particular, we support the work carried out by the Committee to review all names on the Consolidated List of terrorist entities by June 2010, and to improve its delisting procedures. These changes will help ensure a greater level of transparency and accountability. 

CANZ reiterates the importance of ensuring that the efforts of UN counter-terrorism bodies are well coordinated and coherent; and we support the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in actively pursuing this objective.

Meeting international counter-terrorism obligations is challenging and can place significant burdens on small developing States, such as those of the Pacific Islands Forum, which face multiple security challenges with very limited governmental resources.  We call on the Security Council to be mindful of these special circumstances, and we urge UN agencies to adopt a practical approach in their dealings with these countries.  We particularly welcome the work of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in assisting with drafting national counter-terrorism legislation and in developing a comprehensive, online database of related legal resources and tools.

The multilateral system has been effective in setting international standards for effective responses to counter-terrorism.  CANZ values the 16 universal counter-terrorism instruments, and urges all States to implement these conventions and protocols; and we support the current work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation to develop protocols that will update the Hague and Montréal Conventions. 

Mr Chairman:

Closing the remaining gaps in the international counter-terrorism legal framework is vital; and CANZ therefore urges renewed efforts to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  Such a convention would demonstrate an unambiguous, global, political commitment to criminalise all terrorist acts and facilitate cooperation in prosecuting the perpetrators of such atrocities.  Adoption of a comprehensive convention would build on existing, sector-specific conventions and protocols and allow us to address the increasingly diverse threats and methods of terrorism that are faced globally.  We therefore welcome the efforts of delegations in this Committee, and in the Ad Hoc Committee, to resolve the key outstanding issues.

Mr Chairman:

While there has been some success in disrupting terrorist activities in the Asia-Pacific region, the Jakarta bombings and other incidents demonstrate the need for vigilance and on-going cooperation.  CANZ is committed to continuing its programmes for providing assistance in building counter-terrorism capacity, particularly for those states that find themselves at the frontline of the struggle against terrorism.

Australia’s counter-terrorism capacity-building efforts are focused in South-East Asia.  Australia is working collaboratively with its Southeast Asian neighbours on a wide range of CT issues including law enforcement, legal frameworks, terrorism financing, transport security and border security. Australia has an International Legal Assistance Unit dedicated to working with Asian, Pacific and African countries to develop legislation implementing international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols and related Security Council Resolutions. 

New Zealand has dedicated programmes to fund counter-terrorism initiatives in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  These programmes support the development of law enforcement capability and the drafting of national legislation, including that which might allow ratification of the universal counter-terrorism instruments. 

Mr Chairman:

CANZ will continue to work, at domestic, regional and global levels, to overcome the grave threat of terrorism.

We reiterate our support for the UN system, as a vital element in coordinating the international response to terrorism; we stand ready to provide support and assistance to States in meeting their international obligations; and, above all, we stand firmly and unequivocally alongside those who are committed to taking all necessary measures to address and contain the threat of terrorism.

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