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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2012

67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - Measure to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement by Giles Norman Counsellor (Legal Affairs) Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, 8 October 2012

Mr. Chairman,

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

Eleven years after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, we are reminded far too often that while our capacity to counter threats on all fronts has increased significantly since these attacks, the threat of terrorism persists and evolves.

Mr. Chairman,

CANZ countries are strongly committed to the fight against international terrorism in all its forms and applaud the United Nations’ involvement on this issue. Only a few months ago, the General Assembly concluded the third biennial review of the 2006 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy after a debate which, despite some divergent points of view, was productive and results-oriented. All agreed that an effective response to terrorism must be global in scope. Canada was honoured to have been involved as coordinator, and CANZ welcome the work of all involved member states. In reaffirming the Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the General Assembly charted a clear path forward and entrenched its four-pillar approach to the suppression of terrorism, which includes addressing the conditions that spread terrorism, preventing and combating terrorism, capacity-building and respecting human rights and the rule of law.

In addition, CANZ countries welcome the emphasis given in the Secretary-General’s April 2012 report on the implementation of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy to the issue of supporting victims of terrorism. These persons have been subjected to shocking instances of violence through no fault of their own and are left with physical and emotional pain beyond imagining. The response of all communities should be to support victims of terrorism in every way possible. CANZ endorse the various efforts undertaken in the review period on this issue.

CANZ countries particularly salute the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and their role in promoting the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Continued collaboration between all organizations within and without the UN will ensure we achieve our common counter-terrorism goals.

Mr Chairman,

CANZ countries commend the Member States which have taken steps in the past year to ratify and implement the various instruments dealing with terrorism.  Nevertheless, a comprehensive convention on international terrorism, which would bind together the existing framework into a single system and deny safe haven to terrorists, still eludes the international community. We maintain our hope that agreement can be achieved and welcome the continued efforts of the Sixth Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee and of the Working Group to this end. Of course, until these efforts bear fruit, we strongly urge all States to demonstrate their commitment to concerted action against international terrorism by becoming a party to existing counter-terrorism instruments.

Mr Chairman,

Preventative and capacity-building measures must not be forgotten in our common struggle against terrorism. Improving our capabilities and adopting measures to cut off financing are essential to successfully eliminating terrorism. To this end, CANZ countries continue to engage in regional counter-terrorism cooperation and capacity-building with states that oppose terrorism but lack the immediate means to resist it, and through our involvement with the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) and its regional bodies, we work to deny terrorists’ access to necessary resources.

Mr. Chairman,

CANZ countries will continue playing an active role in planning, developing and implementing the measures which will ultimately end the use of terror and intimidation in support of politics, religion or ideology. These measures must be undertaken collectively and in the fullest respect of international law to ensure their effectiveness and legitimacy.

After decades of hard work, we live in an era thankfully free of the kind of global inter-state war that drove our forbearers to found the United Nations. The great challenge of our time is international terrorism, insidious, unpredictable and destructive. In reprising its role as coordinator of this resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism, Canada looks forward to working with other Member States to relegate the scourge of international terrorism to the dustbin of history.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:49 NZDT