Fighting terrorism: "heart of the Security Council’s work" [fr]

Briefing on fighting terrorism and the implementation of resolution 1373 - Speech by M. François Delattre, permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council- 28 September 2017.

" Terrorism is one of those global threats that require a global response." François Delattre, 28 September 2017.


At the outset, I should like to warmly thank our briefers, beginning with the Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov. We have already had the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Voronkov and to offer him France’s fully support for his initiatives, but today I once again reiterate our most sincere wishes of success, as this is his first briefing before the Security Council.I would also like to thank Ambassador Amr Aboulatta for his briefing and for the leadership shown by his country at the helm of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
Finally, I wish to express France’s gratitude to Mr. David Scharia for his briefing on the outstanding action led by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and to take this opportunity to emphasize that France eagerly looks forward to the arrival in New York of the new Executive Director, Ms. Michèle Coninsx.Terrorism currently is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security.

Naturally, the fight against terrorism is at the heart of the Security Council’s work. It requires an organized, firm and united response on the part of States and the international community as a whole. Today, I will focus on two main
observations — first, on the essential role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism, and secondly, on the role of the Executive Directorate and the Counter-
Terrorism Committee, in particular. While it is primarily up to States to adopt the
measures and mechanisms necessary to combat terrorism, the United Nations also has a major and growing role to play. Terrorism is one of those global threats that require a global response, and the United Nations therefore has as an invaluable mission in that regard. The United Nations is not working from a blank page. To date, it has fulfilled three key functions in the fight against terrorism.First, standards and obligations must be developed to allow States to establish robust counter-terrorism mechanisms. A number of important thematic Security Council resolutions have been adopted since 2001 to that end, particularly over the past three years, covering many aspects of counter-terrorism, such as financing, anti-propaganda campaigns and foreign
terrorist fighters.

Secondly, the adoption of sanctions aimed at depriving terrorist groups of the means to commit attacks, such as the regime pursuant to resolution 1267
(1999). The United Nations has developed important know-how in that field.

Lastly, the strengthening of international cooperation and dialogue to encourage States to work together more effectively and to exchange good practices is obviously an essential point and a key priority for all of us.
With the rise of Da’esh in 2014, the terrorist threat has significantly evolved. The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and the wide scale use of the Internet and social networks for recruitment, funding and calls to action have given a new dimension to the threat, which is now truly global. Combating terrorism has therefore become a new frontier for the United Nations among other major global challenges, such as climate change and migration.

The United Nations therefore has both the obligation and the responsibility to ensure that its response is well adapted to the threat. In that regard, the establishment of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the appointment of an Under-Secretary-General at its head, dedicated to this issue, represent a real breakthrough. France welcomes that development and hopes that it will improve the coherence of the United Nations work in this area and increase its visibility.I turn now to my second comment, which concerns the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, as the concept note encourages us to lend closer attention to resolution 1373 (2001).

At the core of the new counter-terrorism architecture, the Counter-Terrorism Committee must continue to fulfil two essential functions both of which are equally
The first involves raising States’ awareness of developments with regard to the terrorist threat. The Committee can carry out that work only with the support of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, which has considerable expertise in that area at its disposal. I would like to commend today the excellent work that the CTED teams are carrying out. The issues on which it is working are very much in line with France’s priorities, including countering terrorist propaganda, especially on the Internet, and the financing of terrorism, among others.

Through President Macron’s commitment, France is playing a major role in addressing those two issues. In that regard, France, along with the United Kingdom and Italy, organized on the sidelines of the General Assembly a high-level meeting on the use of the Internet by terrorists groups. The first of its kind, that meeting allowed us to strengthen dialogue with Internet companies. As President Macron underscored, that represented a major step, but we must go even further. He also announced that France will hold an international conference on the financing of terrorism in early 2018. We, of course, also encourage CTED to pursue its work in both of those areas.

The second function of the Committee as implemented by CTED is to assess how the States implement the relevant resolutions. That type of assessment is essential. France encourages all States to accept visits by the Executive Directorate so that it can audit their counter-terrorism systems and come up with optimum recommendations. For its part, France received its last visit by CTED in 2015 and drew important lessons. Since that time, numerous administrative and legislative measures have been adopted so as to strengthen our counter-terrorism systems. Moreover, it is essential that, based on those assessments and recommendations, technical assistance programmes can subsequently be designed and implemented by the relevant United Nations entities. In that particular regard, close cooperation between CTED and the new Office of Counter-Terrorism will be crucial.Terrorism is now one of the major global challenges that States can no longer face alone.

As President Macron reminded us at the General Assembly last week , France believes that multilateralism is not only the right way to react in terms of legitimacy, but also in terms of effectiveness, so as to respond to those challenges.

Dernière modification : 19/07/2018

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