Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the open VTC of UNSC members "International cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001)"
First of all, let me thank you for the initiative to convene this high-level meeting on issues related to implementation of resolution 1373 of the Security Council on countering terrorism that is turning 20 years in 2021. We appreciate the efforts of the Tunisian side in formulating a well-balanced Presidential Statement that once again reiterated relevance of the resolution and counter-terrorist measures of the Council that are based on this document. We welcome Head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov and Head of Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTED) Michele Coninsx. Russia appreciates your input in practical implementation of UNSC decisions and in today’s discussion. We also welcome Ms. Fatima Akilu.
Priority tracks of anti-terrorism, articulated in resolution 1373, were further elaborated in subsequent decisions of the Security Council. As the terrorist threat transformed, we gradually strengthened mechanisms of criminal prosecution of terrorists, countering financing of terrorism and combating propaganda of violence. For these purposes, we created bilateral and multilateral channels of cooperation and promoted exchange of information.
There is no doubt that establishment of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate was the landmark development on this way, as these bodies took responsibility for controlling implementation of UNSC specialized decisions at this track. Monitoring and unbiased assessment of states remain the key tasks for CTED experts. No other body of the UN system has or can have such authorities.
The UN has developed an up-to-date anti-terrorism architecture with UNOCT coordinating it. Russia stands for continuous strengthening of cooperation between UNOCT and CTED, which must focus on implementing anti-terrorist decisions of the Security Council, including resolution 1373. Also, it is important that technical assistance be provided to the interested states on the basis of CTC recommendations and upon consent of the recipient side.
As of today, increasing importance is ascribed to projects that aim at fostering border security, combating FTFs, countering the use of Internet by terrorists, and curbing channels of illegal arms trafficking. Our country supports these efforts, i.a. financially.
Unfortunately, terrorist threat does not abate. It remains one of the biggest challenges of today. The global community must channel its joined efforts to respond to this problem, and these efforts must be greater than those countries spend on sorting things out between each other.
Even amidst the pandemic that has surged the entire world, terrorists do not give up attempts to take advantage of the situation, blaming states for failing to withstand the crisis. Besides, there are still risks that new hotbeds of instability might occur, mainly caused by the activity of FTFs who return to their countries of origin from combat zones.
Therefore, implementation of resolution 1373 today is as relevant as 20 years ago. ISIL, Al-Qaeda, and affiliated branches inspire attacks in countries that until recently were considered “safety islands”. The situation is aggravated by the fact that those who commission a terrorist attack and even those who carry it out may be located on another continent. However, even given this level of uncertainty, there are states who neglect their obligations in the area of criminal prosecution of terrorists and refuse to cooperate with foreign partners. Sometimes they do so with reference to rights aspects. Making such references is unscrupulous and unacceptable.
Effectiveness of UN work largely depends on whether UN bodies stick to their mandates. At this point, the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies attach extra attention to rights aspects of countering terrorism, to the detriment of priority security-related tasks, though rights aspects are subject to attention of other UN mechanisms.
We commend the contribution of Tunisia to the work of CTC as its President. The year 2021 is going to be rich in events that directly relate to resolution 1373. We are to renew assessment tools, launch a new format of hybrid monitoring visits, and in the end of 2021 extend the CTC mandate. We expect these efforts to enhance efficiency of UN counter-terrorist efforts, i.a. through responsible inter-state cooperation, as envisaged by resolution 1373.