Statement by Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, on the second review of the UN Global Counter- Terrorism Strategy (8 September 2010)

Mr. Chairman,

We wish to express our deep appreciation for the efforts made by the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, H.E. Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Facilitator of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review consultations, aimed at reaching a consensus resolution on the Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

2.     Pakistan delegation associates itself with the statement made by Syria on behalf of the OIC Group.

Mr. Chairman,

3.     The threat posed by terrorism is today both local and global. Due to an accident of history and geography, Pakistan is in the frontline of the global campaign against terrorism. Pakistanis, who are not only victims of terrorism but also of natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, are determined to rid Pakistan and the world of the scourge of terrorism. We cooperate daily with friends and allies to implement all the four pillars of the Strategy. Pakistan has deployed more than 120,000 security forces along our border with Afghanistan. We have set up 938 border posts to interdict Al-Qaida/ Taliban members. We have captured hundreds of Al-Qaeda operatives, including most of its top leaders. Our cooperation has pre-empted several terrorists' plots.

4.      We have lost the precious lives of a number of our security personnel in anti-terrorist operations. We have made sacrifices in blood and treasure in the war against terrorism. History, geography and now climate have pushed us against the wall and we have no option but to win the war and make the counter-terrorism strategy a success for the sake of our own people and peoples of the world.

5.      Pakistan fulfills its international obligations, particularly its commitment to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, with great responsibility. We have ratified 10 out of 13 UN Conventions relating to terrorism. Besides, we are signatory to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000 (Palermo Convention). In its efforts towards ratification of UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, Pakistan has enacted a landmark Anti Money Laundering Bill. A Financial Monitoring Unit has been established in the State (Central) Bank of Pakistan to monitor suspicious financial transactions. Pakistan is implementing the comprehensive international standards embodied in forty recommendations on money laundering and nine special recommendations on terrorist financing of the Financial Action Task Force.

6.      Pakistan is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering. We are party to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol on Terrorist Financing. Representatives of Pakistani Police and prosecutors took part in three-day workshop, conducted by the United Nations in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in November 2009. In June 2010, Pakistan actively participated in a workshop in Colombo for senior-level police officers and prosecutors to consider specific issues that arise in counter-terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

7.     Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever, and for whatever purposes. Terrorism should not be associated with any religion, race, ethnicity, faith, value system, culture or society. No religious tradition or doctrine could be depicted as encouraging or inspiring acts of terrorism.

8.     Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to strengthen mutual cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Only through a coherent and coordinated approach the international community's fight against terrorism will yield effective results. To achieve this objective, Pakistan supports a comprehensive strategy and its balanced implementation to combat terrorism that must address the root causes of terrorism including prolonged unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation, denial of the right of peoples living under foreign occupation to self-determination, political and economic injustices, and political marginalization and alienation.

Mr. Chairman,

9.     During the last four years since the adoption of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, we have realized that the S trategy in itself will be of little value unless it is transformed into action by an effective implementation mechanism. The Strategy needs to be implemented in a comprehensive manner and in all its aspects. Neither any pillar of the Strategy should be given preference over its other pillars nor should a part of any pillar be given priority over other parts of the same pillar.

10.     We are of the view that the implementation of the Strategy in the following areas would serve the purpose of the second review and consensus on the document of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy in the first place:

    i)     First, one pillar of the Strategy highlighted the need to settle the prolonged unresolved conflicts. Any breakthrough in addressing the long-standing conflicts would go a long way in making our counter-terrorism efforts more effective.

    ii)     Second, the Strategy also addresses the unjust defamation of certain religions. The unfair and bigoted portrayal of Islam and Islamic beliefs adds fuel to the fire of extremist and terrorist strategies and exacerbates the divergence in attitudes and perceptions between the Islamic and the Western worlds. In this increasingly globalized world, we need more than ever before, understanding, harmony and building of bridges among all cultures and peoples.

    iii)     Third, the Strategy also addresses the need to promote economic and social development as the means to arrest and eliminate extremism and terrorism. Socio-economic marginalization is among one of the conditions conducive to spread of terrorism. The promotion of balanced socio-economic development in the regions, where extremism exists, should be a high priority for the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

11.     Pakistan considers the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its four pillars as an evolving document and an ongoing effort, and not as a stagnant, dead document that does not reflect changes around it. Only change is the permanent aspect of reality. The Strategy must be updated and revised substantively and regularly in the light of new changes in the world.

12.     The consensus resolution on the second review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has highlighted the need to ensure the observance of the rule of law and due process in the implementation of the Strategy. To this end, we would like to express our support for the continuation of reform in the procedures of the Security Council Committees to ensure due process . We welcome the recent efforts made by the Council in this regard.

13.     We welcome the idea of enhancing dialogue among Member State counter-terrorism officials to promote international cooperation as contained in OP 11 of the second review resolution. We fully support the Global Counter-Terrorism Initiative in this regard. We thank those who showed understanding of the idea and appreciate the support extended to us on this issue across the spectrum. The idea of Global Counter-Terrorism Initiative has matured now and needs to be translated into action. We want to assure the CTITF of our continued support for the designing and implementation of the project.

Mr. Chairman,

14.     We have taken note of the Report of the Secretary General entitled, “United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: activities of the United Nations system in implementing the Strategy” contained in document A/64/818. We welcome the emphasis of the report in paragraph 138 on the holistic response to counter terrorism. We also welcome the recognition of the need in paragraph 11 for the peaceful resolution of conflicts to strengthen global efforts against terrorism.

15.     However, the reference to UNESCO's role in the revision of curricula and text books with the aim of “removing misinformation or embedded prejudices or stereotypes” in paragraph 22 of the Report needs to be seen carefully in the context of the debate during the original Strategy negotiations in 2006. We are not sure whether “embedded prejudices and stereotypes” can be defined in an objective manner particularly in the area of social and cultural studies.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.