Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during the UN Security Council meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts
We would first like to thank you, Mr. President, and the Ethiopian delegation for including today’s meeting in the Council’s September programme of work and for your efforts in preparing for it.
Exactly 16 years ago, on 28 September 2001, the Security Council adopted a core counter-terrorism resolution, resolution 1373 (2001). Today’s meeting is aimed at conducting a long-overdue analysis of the current situation with regard to the implementation of that resolution and the other Council resolutions that define States’ counter-terrorism obligations. In our view, today’s discussion is particularly essential in the light of December’s forthcoming review and extension of the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and the opinions expressed today will constitute an significant basis for drafting the relevant Council resolution before the end of the year.
The Russian delegation would like to thank Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, for his briefing, and to congratulate him on his first appearance in the Council. We are glad to see him here.
We are also grateful to Ambassador Aboulatta, Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, and to Mr. Scharia for their briefings and for presenting their approaches to the subject of today’s meeting.
As terrorist threats evolve, it is increasingly clear, among other things, that international as well as regional efforts to combat terrorism can hinge on how conscientiously individual States view their obligations. Breaches in counter-terrorism systems do not go unnoticed. Terrorists skilfully exploit such loopholes, and as they flee justice in one country they will inevitably pose threats to other States, especially neighbouring States. Unfortunately, national counterterrorism legislation is often still at a rudimentary stage even now. For example, the global survey of the implementation by Member States of resolution 1373 (2001) (S/2016/49, annex), prepared by CTED in 2016, points out that the legislation of numerous countries lacks the standards needed for the criminal prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters.
A number of countries have not established proper mechanisms for information exchange and interdepartmental coordination or adequate immigration and visa controls. Many are not connected to the relevant INTERPOL databases. There are also shortcomings where the suppression of terrorism financing is concerned. And unfortunately the list does not end there.
We have to take into consideration the fact that the type of terror taking centre stage at the moment does not require significant financial support. It is based on the threat posed by suicide bombers who are subject to potent propaganda. For example, all that is needed to stage an attack is a truck, and of course it is impossible to control such murder weapons. That is why we have to emphasize preventive measures and the fight against radicalization.
Against that backdrop, it is easy to see glaring inadequacies in the implementation of resolution 1624 (2005), on combating incitement to terrorism, including instances of public justification and even glorification. The global survey on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1624 (2005) by Member States (S/2016/50), for example, notes a number of factors that present obstacles to the prosecution of instigators of incitement and other terrorist accomplices, including the fact that in some States such acts are not criminalized or that there is inadequate enforcement of the “extradite or prosecute” principle.
We firmly believe that coordinated measures are urgently needed to identify and remove the terrorist content on the Internet through which propaganda flows and terrorists are actively recruited. We welcome the fact that last week, at the initiative of the United Kingdom, France and Italy, a special high-level event on this subject was organized on the sidelines of the general debate of the General Assembly at its seventysecond session. At the same time, it is paradoxical certain countries were previously been unwilling to cooperate on Russia’s draft resolution on combating terrorist ideology, which was focused on resolving these very issues.
We are convinced that in general we have to extract better results from the Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions, create a climate that demands more from States on the enforcement front and establish the conditions necessary for strengthening the capabilities of national counter-terrorism systems. We must always remember that Member States have agreed to comply with Security Council resolutions and implement them strictly, and that obligations based on the Charter of the United Nations prevail over all others.
During the previous renewal of the CTED mandate, in 2013, the Security Council underscored the key role of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate in ensuring the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). We are grateful to the Executive Directorate and to Mr. Laborde, its able leader for the past four years, for the effective work they have done since 2013.
We hope that this goal will be a top priority for CTED’s new Executive Director, Ms. Michèle Coninsx. We welcome her appointment and are confident that her experience as prosecutor and head of the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, Eurojust, will be what is needed in her new position.
Overall, in our view, against the background of the reform of the architecture of the United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, a new chapter is beginning for international efforts in the fight against terrorism. We look forward to close cooperation between the CTC and its Executive Directorate and the Office for CounterTerrorism.
We believe that the information that has emerged from CTED’s analytical work is an important indicator for States’ needs in the area of technical assistance. Ensuring its effectiveness therefore depends largely on the proper exchange of information, without excessive bureaucratization, between CTED and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism Office.
We believe that the upcoming review of the CTED mandate will be the right moment to consider how the Council can strengthen the effectiveness of the Executive Directorate, particularly given the significant amount of useful work that it has done during and after country visits. It seems clear to us, for example, that we should get better returns on the recommendations made based on their results. At the moment, it appears that CTED’s efforts are sometimes unfairly overlooked by States. That should be rectified.
In our view, there are reserves that the Counter-Terrorism Committee could harness to streamline its procedures in the preparation stages for country visits. We trust that the Executive Directorate will summarize the opinions expressed today by States and use the time remaining until the review of its mandate to take stock of the experience of previous years and come up with its own ideas in this regard.
We look forward to constructive collective work in the Security Council during the forthcoming review of the CTED mandate. Our common goal is to achieve the full and honest fulfilment of Security Council resolutions, which the Committee has the unique potential to promote.