"The fight against terrorism requires an organized, firm and united response" [fr]
« Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations
in maintaining international peace and security : The contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in countering terrorist threats »
Statement by Mr Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE
Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Security Council Ministerial Meeting - 25 September 2019
Let me begin by thanking the Secretary-General, the representatives of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States for their briefings on the actions of their respective organizations.
Terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security today. That threat persists. Despite the loss of its territorial foothold, Da’esh, to name but one terrorist group, continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security, particularly through its affiliates and the attacks it continues to inspire. The fight against terrorism is therefore at the heart of the Council’s action. It requires an organized, firm and united response from States and the international community as a whole and cannot be effective unless it fully respects human rights, in line with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the 193 Member States.
In that regard, the United Nations has a major and growing role to play at the global level, which requires:
• first, the creation of norms and obligations to ensure that States have robust counter-terrorism mechanisms;
• secondly, the adoption of sanctions to deprive terrorist groups of the means to carry out attacks;
• and, finally — and this is what brings us together today — the strengthening of international and regional cooperation to encourage States to collaborate further and exchange good practices.
At the regional level, Central Asia continues to face significant economic, political and security challenges, as noted earlier. The deteriorated security situation and political uncertainty in Afghanistan are, obviously, destabilizing factors, especially for its neighbours. I say that because I remember our recent visit to Tajikistan. Our Tajik friends, who took in French contingents when we were in Afghanistan, must know that we will stand by them in the face of these challenges, and the same applies to the other States of the region. The risk of terrorism spares no one today and often thrives in a context of social frustration, particularly among young people who may be tempted by radicalization.
This fragile context makes cooperation essential among all the actors in the region, particularly States and international and regional organizations, whose Secretaries-General I welcome today. The United Nations has an important role to play in encouraging such cooperation, as demonstrated by the Organization in May at the regional conference of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism on the crucial issue of combating the financing of terrorism through drug trafficking and organized crime.
The work of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia must also continue. Its activities were welcomed by Sheikh Al Sabah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, and Mr. De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, and we associate ourselves with those words. Supporting the countries of the region in developing national responses to such challenges and encouraging them to strengthen regional cooperation are priority objectives.
The European Union, as a regional organization, also fully participates in the fight against terrorism, particularly in Central Asia. Over the past decade, we have developed important border management programmes, namely, the Border Management Programme in Central Asia, and counter-narcotics programmes, such as the Central Asia Drug Action Programme. A few months ago, in June, we adopted a new Central Asia strategy, which explicitly seeks to strengthen our counter-terrorism cooperation to prevent violent extremism and radicalization by addressing the root causes. The European Union is therefore fully engaged and committed and intends to continue its efforts in the area of regional cooperation. Moreover, we may extend to Afghanistan certain dialogue and cooperation frameworks established with the Central Asian countries.
Young people and education are another significant area of work under the new European Union strategy.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the synergies between the United Nations and regional organizations in the fight against terrorism work. It is up to us, as Security Council members, to support them. Rest assured that France will fully play its role in that regard.