Terrorism cannot be overcome without respect for human rights and the 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 for preventing the emergence of terrorism.
Preventing terrorism requires a comprehensive and long-term approach. We must make use of a broad range of measures, including political, legal, economic and as a last resort military means. And we must maintain a long-term perspective. This is at the core of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Norway is fully committed to the Strategy and hopes that it will be implemented fully and effectively. The political will is clearly there. The Strategy was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 2006. This unity of purpose is very encouraging, since it is only by means of a concerted global effort that we can counter international terrorism and its global effects.
It is important to underline that the responsibility for 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 overlaps or gaps. Therefore, Norway welcomes the proposal to appoint a United Nations counter-terrorism coordinator, responsible for strategy coordination, coherence and implementation.
The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force plays an important role in coordinating UN efforts to assist the Member States in implementing all four pillars of the Global Strategy. Norway supports the work of the Task Force both politically and financially. In particular, the CTITF initiative Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism (I-ACT) has given positive results in terms of coordination at country level. We also support the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch.
Mr Chairman, one topic of particular interest to my delegation is the need for adequate procedural guarantees for the individuals and organisations listed by the 1267/1989 sanctions committee. It is true that Council has come a long way, and in this regard we commend establishing the institution of the Ombudsperson. Nevertheless, we call on the Council to continue this positive trend with the aim of facilitating improved implementation of the sanctions by Member States.
Mr Chairman, Norway attaches great importance to the anti-terrorism cooperation within the Financial Action Task Force – the FATF. In June this year, the last plenary meeting of the FATF was held under the Norwegian Presidency. Over the last year, four countries have been removed from FATF’s regular follow-up process as a result of the positive action they had taken to strengthen measures to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism. Furthermore, in February 2013, the FATF adopted a new methodology for assessing compliance with the revised FATF Recommendations. The new round of mutual country evaluations will have a stronger emphasis on effective implementation, rather than focusing on technical compliance.
Norway continues to attach great importance to the adoption of a comprehensive convention against terrorism. We take note of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee and hope that all Member States now will show political will and the necessary flexibility to bring this process to a conclusion.
In concluding my statement, I would like to inform you of two important steps taken by Norway to combat terrorism.
First, in relation to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which entered into force in 2007, the necessary amendments to Norwegian law were made in 2012, and the Government decided on 14 June this year to request the Parliament’s consent to ratify the convention.
Second, and as a concrete follow-up to the terrorist attacks in Norway in July 2011, the Norwegian Government has adopted its first comprehensive national counter-terrorism strategy. The strategy identifies a broad set of measures with focus on terrorism prevention in general, strengthened cooperation, protection against terrorist attacks and response to terrorist incidents.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.