I have the honour to speak on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, as well as Australia.
Despite our collective progress, terrorism remains a challenge for all countries. Terrorist groups remain as determined as ever to cause fear and harm and the challenge of terrorism is evolving.
Successes in counter-terrorism efforts have been offset by the rise of new terrorist groups. The threat from terrorism is now more diffuse, with the proliferation of al-Qaeda inspired groups and self-radicalised individuals dispersed over a wider geographic area, making them harder to detect and pre-empt.
Greater cooperation at the regional and international levels is needed now more than ever to strengthen our collective hand against this challenge.
We must be steadfast in our commitment to tackle the ongoing and evolving threats of terrorism and we, CANZ, reiterate our commitment to do all that we can to address this serious global challenge.
The global community has at its disposal robust international legal frameworks and universal legal tools to build cooperation to fight terrorism. CANZ values all counter-terrorism conventions and protocols of universal application, and urges States to become parties to and implement these conventions.
Closing the remaining gaps in the counter-terrorism legal framework is vital to this process. Accordingly, CANZ welcomes the recent adoption of the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Beijing Protocol Supplementary to the Convention to the Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft as an important advancement for counter-terrorism by addressing new and emerging threats to civil aviation.
We will continue to work for the conclusion of a comprehensive convention on terrorism and welcome the efforts of the sixth Committee and in the Ad Hoc Committee in these efforts.
CANZ supports the unique capacity of the United Nations to condemn and confront terrorism in all its forms.
We commend the United Nations on its efforts to provide leadership and coordination among member states.
The Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) has provided useful guidance to countries. Australia and Canada were pleased to provide assistance for the CTED workshop in East Africa and workshops for South Asian countries in Dhaka and Colombo. The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Taskforce (CTITF) continues to provide useful linkages. Strong coordination and coherence across the UN system enables the effective allocation of resources. We welcome efforts by the United Nations to institutionalise the CTITF’s Office and offer our continued support. We also commend the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its Terrorism Prevention Branch, as a relevant and valuable organisation.
The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy continues to serve as a useful guide for international counter-terrorism efforts. We commend member states and the UN on the successful completion of the second biennial review of the Strategy. The outcome of the review reinforced the pre-eminence of the Strategy, and the importance of efforts to implement the Strategy. We urge all States to bolster their efforts to implement the Global Strategy.
CANZ supports UN Security Council counter-terrorism efforts and advocates for the timely and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1373. We are encouraged by reforms to the UN Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, including the recent appointment of the Ombudsperson for delisting. Along with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee, the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee plays an important role in counter-terrorism at the UN. We acknowledge ongoing efforts to designate terrorist groups.
The terrorism threat in the Asia-Pacific region is real. CANZ is heavily engaged in regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, working in concert with our neighbours to address this serious threat.
It is integral in the fight against terrorism to develop effective legal frameworks across our region. Law enforcement and security agencies need effective tools to fight terrorism, while ensuring these laws and powers are balanced by appropriate safeguards and are accountable in their operation. Strengthened legal frameworks support a collective response to terrorism. CANZ efforts are aimed at building sound criminal legal infrastructure and governance frameworks, thereby contributing to strengthened regional stability and security, and to the implementation of the United Nations counter-terrorism legal instruments.
We encourage the UN to find ways of streamlining reporting obligations on implementation for small states. Simplification of the system will encourage more regular feedback. In turn, this will assist the UN and other organisations to target assistance to where it is most needed.
CANZ is also deeply concerned about the threats posed by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organisations in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These organisations have demonstrated their will and capability to conduct attacks beyond national borders, and pose a real threat to regional and international security. CANZ will continue to work with partners to share information and enhance counter-terrorism capacity coordination efforts in these areas of concern.
It is not enough to suppress terrorist acts – preventing the financing of terrorism must also be a focus of global action. We know that terrorism can be financed through the diversion of funds gathered in legitimate activities or through profits derived from illegal activities such as drug trafficking, extortion and financial crime.
CANZ encourages the strengthening of legislative, regulatory and other measures to prevent and combat terrorist financing as active members of the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) and the FATF regional-style bodies, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, and the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF), among others.
CANZ will continue to work closely with other nations to develop robust and effective counter-terrorism measures and to create an international environment that is hostile to terrorism – an environment that enforces globally-recognised counter-terrorism norms, consistent with international law.
Only through broad-based and resolute action can we achieve this.