I would like to thank the Secretary-General for an informative report on the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and recommendations on the way forward.
Terrorism cannot be overcome without respect for human rights and rule of law. This must be the starting point for all our efforts against terrorism. Democracy, freedom of speech, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are all crucial to prevent the emergence of terrorism. The terrorist attacks in Norway last July demonstrated that no society can take these values for granted.
Preventing terrorism requires a comprehensive and long-term approach. We must make use of a broad range of measures, including political, economic, legal and military means. And we must maintain a long-term perspective. This is at the core of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and this is why Norway not only supports the Strategy but has made the implementation of the Strategy by all UN Member States the core of our long term counter-terrorism policy.
It is important to underline that the responsibility of implementing the Global Strategy lies with the Member States. The United Nations has an important role to play in coordinating counter-terrorism efforts at global, regional and country level, and in assisting member states in their implementation of the strategy. However, there is a need to further strengthen cooperation and coordination among UN entities to increase efficiency and avoid overlap or gaps. Therefore, Norway welcomes the proposal to appoint a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator, responsible for strategy coordination, coherence and implementation of the Strategy.
The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force is tasked to coordinate UN agencie’s and other international organization’s efforts to assist member states. In particular the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism - I-ACT - framework has given positive results in coordination at the country level. Norway supports the Task Force both politically and financially and is pleased to be associated with the I-ACT Project.
Let me conclude by making two brief points.
First, we must recognize the important role victims of terrorism can play. Not only in countering the appeal of terrorism, but we should also listen to the victims and be guided by their experiences when formulating counter-terrorism policies. Victims of terrorism should be treated with dignity and respect.
Second, I would also like to note that the Civil Society provides valuable input on many political areas. Hence it plays an important role also in the implementation of the Global Strategy. Norway thus strongly supports a stronger role for the Civil Society, both internationally and in individual Member States, on all four pillars of the Strategy. For that reason, we should encourage the Civil Society to increase its engagement and should establish mechanisms for such engagement in relevant areas.
Thank you, Mr. President.