UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
28 June 2012
Biennial Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
Statement by HE Ambassador Philippa King, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations
Australia very much welcomes the third biennial review of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy. And allow me express Australia’s appreciation for the strong leadership provided by Ambassador Ryshchinski and his team, in facilitating negotiations on this important, and consensus, resolution.
The fight against terrorism remains a critical priority for Australia. As we all know too well, terrorism continues to kill and maim innocent people; it damages property and infrastructure, fosters fear in local communities, undermines social and economic confidence and, in many cases, entrenches the forces of poverty.
Australia recognizes the unique and valuable role played by the United Nations in combating terrorism. We believe that the UN – as the only organisation with a truly global mandate, and which itself has been the target of devastating terrorist attacks – plays a key role in these efforts. The UN has the capacity to condemn and confront terrorism in all its forms, while helping to ensure global efforts are rooted in respect for human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
There have been a number of important achievements in the fight against terrorism since the last review of the Strategy, but the threat from terrorist groups has not diminished. Rather, it is evolving in new and challenging ways. It is showing itself to be innovative, adaptable and, above all, resilient.
Terrorists are exploiting instability in some parts of the world to expand their geographic reach. Terrorists are taking advantage of new technologies to coordinate their actions, spread their message and recruit new members. The challenge for us all is to ensure that international cooperation against terrorism adapts and innovates at least as quickly as the enduring threat we face.
Australia believes the need for the Strategy, and coordinated action by member States is as strong as ever. We welcome the focus that the UN is giving to countering the appeal of terrorism in our societies, including through initiatives such as the seminar convened yesterday. Australia will be drawing on the outcomes of this seminar in our work with regional partners, particularly in prison management.
Regional approaches to combat terrorism are crucial and we are pleased that member States have recognised the value of regional initiatives to implement the Strategy.
In South and South East Asia, Australia is working closely with partners to strengthen criminal justice systems and law enforcement capabilities, primarily through our support for the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation. We would like to acknowledge the leading role that Indonesia plays in the region in hosting the Centre, and more broadly.
Australia has also significantly increased our cooperation with countries in Africa, especially to address threats in the Sahel and Maghreb, providing anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing training, technical support on mutual legal assistance, and border management capacity building. We have integrated this support with poverty reduction initiatives in light of the strong nexus between security and development.
Australia supports the draft resolution that is before us today. We have been pleased with the high level of support for the Strategy expressed during the negotiations.
Australia commends the role played by the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate in helping support states respond to threats.
The Secretary-General recommended in his report to the General Assembly that a UN Counter-Terrorism Coordinator be appointed to further strengthen the coordination and coherence of the UN’s overall effort. Australia strongly supports this recommendation.
The appointment of a CT Coordinator would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of UN actions to implement the Strategy, and it would also reinforce the importance of the UN and its membership working together, based on universal principles, in the fight against terrorism.
Member States have expressed their desire to consider this issue in a timely manner. We look forward to this happening soon.
In conclusion, let me reiterate Australia’s unwavering support for the Strategy and its four pillars. We will continue to strengthen implementation of the Strategy in our national, regional and multilateral efforts.