New York, 9 August 2022
I thank the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, Mr. Voronkov, the Acting Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Mr. Chen, and Mr. Martin Ewi of the Institute for Security Studies for their presentations.
Mexico notes with particular concern the active presence of both Daesh and Al-Qaida in Africa. According to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index, terrorist deaths in the Sahel have increased tenfold since 2007, making it the new “epicenter of terrorism.” This is compounded by other complex phenomena such as high population growth, lack of water and food, climate change and the weakness of the rule of law.
This index highlights that in 2021, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 48% of the total global deaths from terrorism. Four of the nine countries with the highest increase in terrorism-related deaths are also located in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
These numbers are worrying and highlight the growing need to implement measures that are consistent with international law, in particular international humanitarian law and human rights, to comprehensively address the threat posed by the scourge of terrorism. We reiterate that the abuses that are incurred by invoking Article 51 of the Charter to use force against terrorists are inadmissible and a violation of international law. The situation in Afghanistan is also of concern to us. In 2021, Afghanistan was the country with the highest terrorism impact index. We reiterate the need for us to ensure that Afghanistan is not used as a platform or “safe haven” by terrorist groups.
All of the above reinforces the importance of having a more effective preventive approach with an emphasis on sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, paying special attention to the protection of women, children and minorities in general.
The reconstruction of the social fabric contributes to creating the necessary conditions to prevent the phenomena of radicalization, especially within the most vulnerable groups of society. In conclusion, we would like to thank the Secretary General and the teams of the Counter-Terrorism Office and the Executive Directorate for having heeded Mexico’s request by incorporating for the first time in its report a reference to the role played by masculinities in terrorist groups and the way in which terrorist groups and networks interact with society. As we have repeatedly mentioned, this dimension is indispensable for adopting more effective approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism that leads to terrorism.