Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Meeting

Ertuğrul Apakan 08.09.2010
Mr. President,

Turkey has aligned itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. I shall, therefore, limit myself to the following points, and share with you some of our views on this matter.

It is a pleasure for me to address the General Assembly on this very important issue.

First of all, I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for his opening remarks. Likewise, I wish to thank the Facilitator, Ambassador Abdulkalam Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, and his able team, for their unrelenting efforts in facilitating an agreement on the draft resolution of this session.

Mr. President,

Terrorism is a crime against humanity that violates fundamental human rights, particularly the right to life. It cannot and should not be justified under any circumstances. As a constantly evolving phenomenon, the threat of terrorism has proven to be extremely resilient by adapting itself to changing circumstances. Therefore, our fight against terrorism should be comprehensive and multi-dimensional. Moreover, the international community needs to work together in full harmony. This venue, the United Nations, is one of particular relevance in that respect, since it has always been at the forefront of efforts in advancing the global fight against terrorism.

In 2006, the General Assembly took a historic step by unanimously adopting the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It was a milestone in reaffirming the collective commitment of the international community to combat the common threat of terrorism. The institutionalization of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in December 2009 constituted another significant step in the same direction.

Today we will conclude the second review of the Strategy. We have had useful and constructive discussions in the course of the last few weeks to conclude the draft resolution. I believe this draft encompasses important points with regard to the coherence and coordination within the UN system and the interaction between the UN system and Member States.

The importance of greater cooperation among UN entities and the need to continue strengthening transparency are salient points in the draft resolution. We welcome the idea of having the secretariat of the Task Force provide quarterly briefings to the Member States. The new website to be developed by the Task Force will help to ensure that its work is made more accessible to the wider audience. In our view, interaction and dialogue between the UN system and Member States are critical for a more effective implementation of the Strategy.

Let me also underscore the references made, in addition to those on human rights, to due process and the rule of law while countering-terrorism. We are particularly pleased to have these elements in the draft, since compliance with the principles of due process and the rule of law enhance the solemn basis of our efforts, and also ensure better cooperation among Member States. This, in turn, will contribute to our ability to effectively combat terrorism.

Mr. President,

It is now time to focus on achieving concrete results. The necessary basis for effective action is there. It is incumbent upon members of the international community to contribute to the full and effective implementation of the Strategy in an integrated manner and in all its aspects.

In this regard, we would like to commend the efforts of Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, the Chairman of the Task Force, which is responsible for ensuring overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism endeavors of the UN system. We welcome the new initiative by the Task Force and a number of Member States to realize concrete projects aimed at promoting awareness and in-depth knowledge of the Strategy at the regional level in various parts of the world. We particularly find the regional approach of this initiative very useful. Taking this opportunity, I wish to mention Turkey’s decision to contribute to the workshops planned within the framework of the initiative.

Counter-terrorism should be a standing priority of the international community and of the agenda of the United Nations. The United Nations, and particularly the General Assembly and Security Council should continue to play a leading role in ensuring that we are prepared to combat terrorism. With this understanding, Turkey, in its capacity as the President of the Security Council in September, will hold a thematic meeting on counter terrorism on 27 September. We consider this meeting as another opportunity to assess the current threat posed by terrorism and lay out a forward looking approach for our future actions to eradicate this scourge once and for all.

Thank you.