General Assembly: 88th plenary meeting, 75th session

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30-Jun-2021 03:12:53
General Assembly adopts resolution calling for stronger action against new, emerging threats, as speakers assess progress in advancing global counter-terrorism strategy.

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Delegates Also Authorize $6.37 Billion for 12 Peacekeeping Missions in 2021/22

Calling on all States to address new and emerging terrorist threats through investigations, information exchanges and cooperation, the General Assembly today held a debate on counter-terrorism and adopted a related resolution, and also approved more than $6 billion for 12 peacekeeping missions for the 2021/22 fiscal year. (See Press Release GA/AB/4368.)

The Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution titled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: seventh review” calling upon Member States to take appropriate measures to address the new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief.

By the terms of some of the resolution’s 119 operative paragraphs, the world body stressed the significance of a sustained and comprehensive approach, including through stronger efforts, where necessary, to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, bearing in mind that terrorism will not be defeated by military force, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone.

The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States, to develop a greater understanding of the motivations, objectives, organization and the threat posed by such groups within the global terrorist landscape, including new and emerging threats, and to help to build, upon request, effective counter-narratives, capacities and strategies.

Taking up the Secretary-General’s latest report on activities in the Organization in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (documents A/75/729 and Corr.1), the Assembly held a debate, with more than 20 Member States sharing experiences and raising concerns about current trends.

Delegates thanked Oman and Spain for their efforts and guidance in steering the intergovernmental process towards drafting the resolution, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the review process. Some representatives said the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy reflected new and emerging threats, while some called for enhanced cooperation to help States to effectively address such threats as online recruitment, aircraft hijacking and terrorist financing flows.

Turkey’s delegate, speaking also on behalf of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia, underlined the critical benefit and importance of the United Nations timely, adequate and effective delivery and facilitation of counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States upon their request. Indeed, even with positive developments since the last review in 2018, terrorism and violent extremism persists in threatening collective security, he said. As such, the international community must act with determination and ingenuity, working more closely to address this increasingly complex threat.

Saudi Arabia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), recalled the challenging negotiation process, and commended efforts to achieve a consensus. Highlighting several new additions to the resolution, including a recognition of such trends as the rise of hate speech, Islamophobia and attacks on cultural sites, he said counter-terrorism efforts should never be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group. As such, he called on all United Nations entities to mainstream the name “Da’esh” to describe the terrorist group that is neither Islamic nor a State, welcoming the resolution for reflecting that distinction.

The representative of New Zealand, also speaking for Australia and Canada, said that despite progress, the Global Strategy’s current volume, compared with three operative paragraphs in 2006, threatens a loss of coherence. Indeed, the difficult negotiations reflect divergent approaches to combating terrorism, he stated, also expressing concern at resistance to including language to enhance transparency and improve the monitoring and evaluation of United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.

On other matters, the world body adopted, without a vote, 18 resolutions, recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), including the approval of a $6.37 billion budget for the following peacekeeping operations: the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

The Assembly adopted a resolution approving a $510.25 million budget for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by a vote of 133 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States), with no abstentions. It also adopted several resolutions approving budgets for among other things, the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi (UNLB), the United Nations Regional Service Centre in Entebbe and the peacekeeping support account.

Delivering statements during the counter-terrorism debate were representatives of Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Jamaica, United States, Japan and Colombia. A representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, also delivered a statement.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 2 July, for a high-level meeting on middle-income countries. It will continue its debate on counter-terrorism at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 July.
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