Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts - Security Council, 9221st Meeting

Preview Language:   Six Official
15-Dec-2022 02:26:45
States must address drivers of radicalization, technology use by terrorists, speakers tell Security Council, urging comprehensive approach to tackle transnational threat.

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(p)States must address the drivers of radicalization and counter terrorist use of technology, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today, as members highlighted the need for a consistent, comprehensive approach to tackle the transnational threat posed by terrorism before adopting a presidential statement on the matter.(/p)

(p)Through that text (to be issued as document S/PRST/2022/7), the 15-nation organ emphasized that the threat of terrorism is affecting an increasing number of Member States across most regions, which may exacerbate conflicts and undermine affected States’ security, stability, governance and socioeconomic development.(/p)

(p)The Council reaffirmed that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, noting that failure to do so contributes to increased radicalization and fosters a sense of impunity. nbsp;Further, it underscored the importance of whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approaches, along with the need to promote tolerance and coexistence to counter terrorist narratives.(/p)

(p)Through the statement, the Council also expressed concern over the threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, terrorist financing, the movement of terrorist groups and organized crime, highlighting Member States’ obligations to address these issues. nbsp;Further, it urged Member States, pursuant to resolution 2664 (2022), to take into account the potential effects that measures designed to counter terrorist financing may have on exclusively humanitarian activities.(/p)

(p)Additionally, the Council underlined the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, recognizing that a comprehensive approach to defeating terrorism requires national, regional, subregional and multilateral action. nbsp;It also expressed concern over the increased use of information and communications technologies for terrorist purposes, recognizing the need to strengthen cooperation in countering the same.(/p)

(p)At the outset of the meeting, Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, briefed the Council that, despite leadership losses by Al-Qaida and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), such groups and their affiliates have continued to exploit instability, fragility and conflict to advance their agendas — particularly in the Sahel and West, Central and Southern Africa. nbsp;Further, he expressed concern that the de facto authorities in Afghanistan have failed to sever long-standing ties with terrorist groups sheltering in that country despite the Council’s demands.(/p)

(p)Against that backdrop, he stressed that there is no better and more-efficient remedy to the threat posed by terrorism than prevention, noting that history demonstrates the limits of merely responding to imminent or actual terrorist acts without addressing the conditions that lead to them. nbsp;He therefore urged that counter-terrorism measures be employed in tandem with initiatives to address the drivers of marginalization, exclusion, inequality, injustice and lack of opportunity.(/p)

(p)Weixiong Chen, Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, then told the Council that, as ISIL/Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates become increasingly decentralized, the threat has become diffuse and diverse in nature. nbsp;Further, such groups have forged strong links across borders and built robust networks, exploiting virtual platforms to exchange views, radicalize, recruit and support one another both financially and operationally. nbsp;He stressed, therefore, that criminal-justice actors have a critical role to play in addressing these threats in a meaningful manner, also detailing the Committee’s efforts to help Member States counter terrorists’ use of new and emerging technologies.(/p)

(p)Anjali Vijay Kulthe, Nursing Officer at the Cama and Albless Hospital in Mumbai and a survivor of the 26 November 2008 terror attack in that city, recounted her experience of saving the lives of 20 pregnant women and their unborn babies as armed terrorists stormed the antenatal care unit in which she was working at the time. nbsp;Recalling her subsequent testimony against the lone surviving terrorist, she said that his sense of victory still haunts her today. nbsp;She emphasized that the sponsors of the 26 November attacks remain free even after 14 years have passed, calling on the Council to bring the sponsors to justice and give closure to the victims’ families.(/p)

(p)In the ensuing debate, many Council members underlined the need to counter terrorism through a comprehensive response that addresses the root causes of the phenomenon — in effect, fighting terrorism through development. nbsp;Steps must also be taken to counter terrorist use of technology, they said. nbsp;Members also expressed concern over the misuse of counter-terrorism measures to repress human rights and freedoms, while others underscored the need for States to take a consistent approach when tackling this threat.(/p)

(p)Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister for External Affairs of India, underlined the need to address double standards, as the same criteria are not applied when sanctioning and prosecuting terrorists. nbsp;Sometimes, it seems, the ownership of terrorism is more important than its perpetration or its consequences. nbsp;He added that combating threats arising from the misuse of new and emerging technology is likely to be the next frontier in countering terrorism.(/p)

(p)Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister for Culture and Youth of the United Arab Emirates, echoed those points, stressing that the Council cannot focus on certain terrorist groups to the exclusion of others as the geographical scope of terrorism is expanding. nbsp;Terrorist groups have proven their ability to exploit technological advances, she noted, calling for terrorism in all its forms to be addressed through comprehensive, multilateral strategies that focus on prevention.(/p)

(p)Ramses Cleland, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, also underscored that differential treatment of terrorist groups undermines efforts to combat terrorism. nbsp;Spotlighting the need to leverage technology against cyberterrorism, he reported that Ghana’s national strategy for prevention and suppression of terrorism places special attention on protecting human rights while combating terrorism.(/p)

(p)On that point, Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, said that respect for human rights and the rule of law are vital to preventing the growth of radicalism and extremism. nbsp;Underscoring that the most-effective way to counter terrorism is to prevent it, he said that, unless the Council addresses the root causes of the phenomenon, it will forever be addressing the same security challenges. nbsp;The Council must heed the calls of its African partners, act on the clear link between climate change and instability, and partner seriously with civil society, he added.(/p)

(p)Also speaking were high-level officials of the United States, United Kingdom and Kenya, along with representatives of Norway, France, Albania, China, Russian Federation, Mexico, Brazil and Gabon.(/p)

(p)The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 12:33 p.m.(/p)
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