Summary: 28 June 2012, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Ms. Mara Marinaki, Managing Director Global and Multilateral issues, European External Action Service, at the Third Review of the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy
I am honoured to deliver on behalf of the European Union and its Member States our contribution to the third review of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland† and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
The EU pursues a civilian approach addressing counter-terrorism globally on the basis of criminal justice and the rule of law while protecting human rights. The EU condemns terrorism unreservedly in all its forms and manifestations.
What unites us is our determination to step up our collaboration and achieve a more effective international effort to prevent and fight terrorism. And also a desire to increase mutual understanding and trust. Both these objectives are important.
Deepening the international consensus and enhancing international efforts to combat terrorism remain key objectives for the EU. The EU fully supports the UN's key role in the prevention and fight against terrorism and promotes compliance with recognised international standards.
The EU fully appreciates that the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy expanded the global counterterrorism framework to include not only law enforcement and other security measures, but also measures to ensure respect for human rights and to address underlying conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, such as prolonged unresolved conflict, rule of law problems, violations of human rights and social, economic and political marginalization. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy contains a complete set of measures which must be implemented in its entirety. As such it offers an opportunity to recalibrate all our efforts and develop more balanced responses to the threat of terrorism by bringing together security, rule of law, development objectives and the protection of human rights.
The review of the implementation of the UN Global CT Strategy in 2012 is an important step forward. The EU appreciates the Report Secretary Generals' on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (document no. A/66/762). The EU fully shares the recommendations made by the Secretary General's Report (Chapter VII) also and therefore endorses in particular: 1. Appointment of a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator; 2. Developing national and regional Strategy implementation plans; 3. Enhancing capacity-building efforts; 4. Promoting international cooperation; and 5. Strengthening international solidarity with victims of terrorism.
The UN has a unique international role and the UN strategy is of fundamental importance for the EU and Member States, in the context of both their own national efforts and in their world-wide partnerships. The implementation of the Strategy should be pursued. As highlighted at the UNSG Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, 19 September 2011, greater efforts are required particularly in the field of the prevention of terrorism. The EU believes in the importance of supporting countries that encounter difficulties in confronting terrorism, to strengthen their CT capacities. That is why the EU and its Member States will enhance their CT capacity building measures.
The focus on implementation and international cooperation serves to underline the importance and added value of national and regional CT-strategies. The EU‡ and its Member States have established their own CT strategies addressing external and internal security issues. In our cooperation with other countries and regions, the EU started to develop comprehensive CT strategies building on national and regional CT approaches and therefore ensuring ownership and participation.
The EU encourages states and regions to adopt CT-strategies. The EU supported the UN efforts in promoting the establishment of regional CT strategies in Central Asia. The CTITF should continue its coordination efforts to promote the implementation of agreed national and regional CT strategies. Comprehensive national and regional CT strategies are vital to combine all the necessary efforts, external and internal security aspects, law enforcement, criminal justice, rule of law, prevention which includes countering violent extremism, and the protection of human rights together with the involvement of civil society. Close cooperation of the state's institutions with citizens and private companies can give us a broader perception of the perils endangering our lives and thus improve our countermeasures. Therefore the role of civil society and public-private partnership while countering terrorism is an important aspect to be taken into consideration. The increased importance of the civil society and public-private partnership should be reflected in the Resolution.
Measures taken to counter terrorism must be in full compliance with human rights obligations, in accordance with international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law, and international humanitarian law. Human rights should form an integral part of national, regional and international counterterrorism strategies. Grave violations of human rights can create conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. We remain convinced that effective counter-terrorism and the promotion and protection of human rights are mutually reinforcing and linking with development.
Often the places where assistance is most needed are those accused of the gravest human rights violations. These concerns are becoming increasingly acute for states as they undertake to build counterterrorism-related justice sector capacity in third countries with considerable risk that enhanced capacities may be employed in a manner that is inconsistent with human rights obligations. The core challenge lies in mitigating and strengthening capacity to reduce those risks by raising awareness and enhancing implementation of human rights standards and norms in practice. Specific programming related to capacity building initiatives by the European Union and Member States, and partners in third countries in this field prove to good practices, both in terms of general guidance to inform counterterrorism and human rights capacity building. The EU reiterates its strong support to the work of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
The EU continues to stress the importance of respecting the rights of victims of terrorism. Terrorism is a crime directed at society as a whole, and society as a whole needs to show solidarity with those who suffer from it. Victims are the best witnesses of the futility of the violence with which terrorists seek to impose their will, and the EU would like to express its solidarity with all who suffer as a result of terrorism. The EU calls upon Member States and relevant UN entities to promote international solidarity in support of the victims of terrorism.
Externally the EU promotes confidence building through regular counter-terrorism and security political dialogues and assists countries in need in their efforts via capacity building measures. The European Union is increasing its support for CT capacity building measures. In 2009 the EU developed its first comprehensive counter-terrorism programme which includes the implementation of the UN standards and in particular the implementation of the UN Global CT Strategy in priority region. In its wider assistance programmes the EU also addresses the nexus between development and security.
The EU also welcomes the establishment of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) which aims at promoting the implementation of the UN Global CT Strategy and reinforces the UN's efforts in that respect. The GCTF fosters multilateral CT cooperation, builds confidence and trust and promotes CT capacity building. The European Union is co-chairing with Turkey the GCTF Working Group on Horn of Africa and we have started with identification and coordination of capacity-building measures in particular to support law enforcement cooperation, and capacities to tackle terrorist financing.
The EU and its Member States have experienced directly the benefits of closer coordination on the prevention of, and the fight against, terrorism. Based on our experience we would like to thank the UN for its efforts to increase the coordination of its CT related policies and actions. The EU encourages the UN to enhance its coordination efforts. Therefore the European Union fully supports the UN Secretary General's proposal to consider the establishment of a UN counter-terrorism coordinator.
The EU welcomes the fact that the UN CT Centre is starting its operations and in doing so will deliver a substantive contribution to promoting the implementation of the UN CT Strategy through the CTITF. We encourage the UN CT Centre to seek synergies with other relevant actors as to maximize the impact of its programmes.
The European Union and its Member States have a particular commitment through the Lisbon Treaty to support the United Nations and an international system based on the rule of law, They will continue to strongly support international Counter Terrorism cooperation, and the promotion of UN standards on counter-terrorism including the protection of human rights and promotion of the rule of law.
*Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
† Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.
‡ The EU established its CT strategy and implementing CT Action Plan in 2005 building around four headings: prevention, protection, pursuit and response.