Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States on “Addressing Terrorism through Reinvigorated Multilateralism and Institutional Cooperation”

Must read

June 19, 2023

Thank you Mr Undersecretary for inviting me today for the opening of this important week.

Thank you Mr Secretary-General and Mr President for your insightful introductory remarks.

The European Union has a deep commitment to multilateralism. As the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said in the Security Council a year ago: “In a globalised world, there is no ‘faraway’. Everything is close to everyone. A war or major security crisis in one region affects everyone.”

These words are also true when we talk about the threat of terrorism. The EU believes that international cooperation and effective multilateral institutions are key if we want to address an evolving and more geographically diffuse terrorist threat worldwide.

Terrorism is a global threat that requires a global and concerted answer. The multilateral system, with the UN at its core, is uniquely placed to discuss how to address this threat.

This coming Thursday, the General Assembly will adopt, by consensus, the 8th review of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy. I am hopeful that our joint efforts – for which I am grateful to everyone involved, in particular to our able co-facilitators – will yield results again. The review is a concrete deliverable of our multilateral effort, which will guide our cooperation in the next two years and enhance international, regional and national efforts to counter terrorism.

Our support to UNOCT and to all other relevant UN entities, and our EU-UN Global Threats Facility, further illustrate the value we place in our strategic partnership with the UN and our close cooperation on counterterrorism policies.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum that the EU is co-chairing with Egypt adds to the global architecture to counter terrorism. One of our main objectives as GCTF co-chair are counterterrorism policies that are responsive to the real and most pressing needs of frontline states, in addition to gender-responsive CT policies and a geographical focus on Africa.

Overall, it is essential that our common counterterrorism efforts translate policy into operational tools. To be truly effective, they must respond to the real and most pressing needs of the states and regions that are most affected. And they must also take account of the following:

They need to respect human rights, be gender-responsive, and in line with international law. They need to be inclusive and that means involvement of civil society in an open and safe way. CT interventions, in order to be effective must take a whole-of-society response to the threat of terrorism. Civil society organisations are key, which is why the EU created a 1,5 billion EUR programme to support their work worldwide. I am hopeful these principles will be reflected in the Secretary-General’s initiative for a new Agenda for Peace.

A whole-of-society approach is also key to effective efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. Addressing the root causes of violent extremism is only possible if we address all parts of society, and importantly if we make a more conscious and sustained effort to include more women and girls in our approach. Here, I would like to extend my particular thanks to our special guests today (Ms. Narmatova Dilnora and Ms. Siddikova Zukhrabonu) for their personal account and for reminding us why we assemble here this week: We are here to find a common and effective response to countering the scourge of terrorism. The perspective of victims is fundamental.

The number of discussions and events this week and their wide range of topics show the breadth of the terrorism threat, but also the breadth of our efforts to address it, and the manifold actors that are involved in addressing it. The EU remains deeply convinced that strengthening the institutional framework will deliver immediate results toward effective and efficient multilateral cooperation in counterterrorism. This way we can all ensure that the UN continues to deliver its counterterrorism efforts in a collaborative and coordinated manner, so that they can develop their full potential towards our common objective – a joint and targeted response to countering the scourge of terrorism that is based on our common fundamental values.

I look forward to the rest of this week’s discussions on our continued engagement on these issues. Thank you.

More articles

Latest article