Terrorism is a criminal act that destroys the lives of innocent persons. Norway joins other countries in condemning terrorism regardless of where, when, why and how terrorist acts are committed. International terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and we need an integrated and long-term approach to fight it effectively.
Norway has made the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law a particular priority in its overall approach to counter-terrorism. We are convinced that democracy, freedom of speech, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as well as openness, understanding and tolerance, are all crucial in preventing the emergence of terrorism.
A broad approach to counter-terrorism is at the core of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. This is why we are firmly committed to the Strategy and hope that it will be implemented as fully and effectively as possible. As you know, the Strategy was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 and was confirmed by consensus in 2008 and 2010. This unity of purpose is very encouraging. It is only by means of a concerted global effort and closer international cooperation that we can counter international terrorism and its global effects. The Secretary-General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, held here in New York on 19 September, provided an opportunity for fruitful discussions on how we can further improve our efforts in this field.
The UN Counter-Terrorism Task Force, the CTITF, was established to coordinate the implementation of the UN Strategy by all relevant UN entities and Interpol. The CTITF has functioned well, but we must continue to strengthen its role in capacity-building and international coordination and implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Norway has worked closely with the CTITF on de-radicalisation programmes, and we have supported UNODC’s capacity-building activities in the legal sphere.
Most of our support to the CTITF, equivalent to approximately 2 million USD since 2008, has been channelled through the “Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism” project, I-ACT. This project seeks to coordinate UN counter-terrorism efforts at country level and to build real capacity in the partnering countries, beginning with Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The threat of terrorism is still with us, and we have seen in recent years how important it is to approach it on the basis of regional and local conditions. Preventive action should also emphasise the regional approach. The I-ACT project is unique in the sense that it aims both to achieve full implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and to ensure that there is a well-coordinated UN system at country level. We believe progress has been made, and we stand ready to continue our support to I-ACT.
Fighting terrorism must remain a key priority for the United Nations, and the UN must continue to be at the heart of the international community’s efforts to combat terrorism. Norway is firmly committed to the implementation of all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and UN conventions. We also consider it very important to strengthen procedural rights for individuals who are listed as terrorists and therefore subject to sanctions. I should therefore like to commend the Council on its continuous focus on these issues, and in particular on the adoption of resolution 1989(2011), as this resolution strengthened the mandate of the Ombudsperson and further reduced the possibility of failure to consider delisting requests.
Norway attaches great importance to the adoption of a comprehensive convention against terrorism. We are still of the opinion that the facilitator’s proposal could provide a basis for consensus. This item has
been on the Committee’s agenda for a long time, and we hope that states will show the necessary flexibility and political will to move this process to a conclusion.
We also believe that a high-level conference on terrorism could provide an excellent opportunity for taking stock of the efforts to fight terrorism and for identifying needs and the resources available to assist states in implementing the comprehensive convention. We therefore look forward to the convening of a high-level conference as soon as the convention has been successfully adopted