Despite some significant successes in degrading the capabilities of and defeating terrorist groups around the world, unfortunately the threat of terrorism persists. We have seen ongoing attacks both in countries on the frontline of the struggle against terrorism and elsewhere. The recent trendline in South Asia has been particularly worrying.
No region or country can be complacent in confronting the threat of terrorism. In New Zealand our efforts remain guided by the need to take a comprehensive, multi-faceted and long term approach.
Domestically, we are continuing work to strengthen our national counter-terrorism framework in three main areas.
We have overhauled our anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing regime to bring it into compliance with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force. New legislation was passed last October and is now being implemented across the public and private sectors.
Our Government is moving forward with designations of terrorist entities not listed by the United Nations under Resolution 1267. While the threat of terrorist activity in New Zealand remains low, we wish to support the building of a global bulwark that shuts down terrorist activities wherever they might occur. In February our Prime Minister announced four such national designations, and work is underway on further cases.
We are also working to achieve full compliance with the international counter-terrorism legal framework by ratifying the four instruments to which New Zealand is not yet party. We have legislation before our Parliament to ratify the 2005 maritime terrorism instruments, and legislation is being drafted to implement fully the 2005 nuclear terrorism instruments.
Within its region, New Zealand continues to support its Pacific Island neighbours in meeting the challenges that they, like many other small developing states, face in meeting their international counter-terrorism obligations.
New Zealand values the continued efforts by UN counter-terrorism agencies to engage with Pacific Island States to encourage and support compliance, and to ensure that UN initiatives and requests are carefully coordinated to avoid unnecessary duplication. We remain committed to supporting these activities, including through the provision of funding to the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for its programme of assistance to the Pacific. We also look forward to welcoming the United Nations counter-terrorism committees to the next Pacific Forum Working Group on Counter-Terrorism in early June.
In Southeast Asia, New Zealand is closely engaged with key partners both bilaterally and regionally on a range of counter-terrorism interventions. Our Police are helping to build capacity amongst law enforcement counterparts in the region through training and the provision of equipment. New Zealand also supports a range of regional and multilateral initiatives aimed at countering extremist messages and recruitment into terrorism.
New Zealand strongly supports the Council’s efforts to ensure that the measures it employs to combat terrorism are effective, transparent and fair, and that the lists of entities and individuals subject to such measures remain accurate, relevant and actionable.
We therefore commend the refinements to the 1267 Committee’s sanctions regime agreed in Resolution 1904 last December. The increased rigour and transparency these measures will bring to the work of the Committee once fully implemented promise to both enhance the Committee’s deliberations and to ensure its work enjoys the broad support necessary to enable effective implementation.
In this regard we would also stress the importance of the Committee’s ongoing efforts to complete its review of the names on its Consolidated List. While considerable progress has been made on this task to date, the Committee requires the full cooperation and support of Member States if the review is to be completed by the 30 June this year as mandated in Resolution 1822. Full and timely responses to the Committee’s requests for information and assistance will help ensure this ambitious deadline can be met.
The 1540 Committee’s work remains as important as ever as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction-related materials continue their illicit activities around the world. New Zealand was pleased to participate in the comprehensive review of the 1540 Committee and we look forward to working with the Committee on helping to implement the recommendations in our region. I am pleased to announce that New Zealand will be co-sponsoring a workshop in July for Southeast Asian countries on the implementation of Resolution 1540 obligations.
Finally, New Zealand applauds the United States’ initiative in hosting a successful Nuclear Security Summit last month. The Summit focussed political attention at the highest levels of government and industry on the threat of nuclear and radiological materials getting into terrorists’ hands. New Zealand is committed to helping implement the outcomes of the Summit through targeted bilateral and regional engagement in the Asia-Pacific and through broader international initiatives.