Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on the strengthening of the capability of the United Nations system to assist member States in implementing the United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy (22 February 2017)

Mr. Secretary General,

Thank you for your detailed presentation and the briefing.

You have witnessed first-hand the will, capacity and resilience of my country in combatting terrorism. We have been the principal victim of terrorism, having lost tens of thousands of lives. But this has only strengthened our resolve to continue our campaign until the last terrorist is eliminated from our country – a campaign that has entered a more intense phase as I speak.

Mr. Secretary General,

As we deliberate today on the UN's organizational set up on counterterrorism, let me assure you that my country will work with you and all Member States to improve coherence and cooperation across the UN System. (In this regard, we endorse the comments made by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the OIC.)

Today’s briefing is the first step towards implementing Paragraph 70 of the General Assembly Resolution 70/291, which called on the Secretary General to “review, in consultation with the General Assembly, the capability of the UN system to assist Member States, upon their request, in implementing the Strategy in a balanced manner, including by strengthening cooperation with other international and regional organizations and improving the mobilization of resources necessary for capacity building projects”. We believe that this provides clear guidance on the parameters of our work, as well as the manner in which this review process should proceed.

The same paragraph also goes on to state that the goal of this exercise is to “provide concrete suggestions” for consideration of the General Assembly. Ideally, what we would like to see from the Secretariat is a comprehensive analysis of existing problems and issues, yielding not one but more than one suggestion and option to address those problems and issues in a cost-effective manner.

Let me assure the Secretary General that my delegation will engage constructively and with an open mind to consider all viable options with a view to agreeing on the best solution.

Mr. Secretary General,

Pakistan and the OIC continue to believe that without addressing the underlying and root causes of terrorism, we will only be fighting its symptoms. We have always advocated that protracted unresolved conflicts, un-lawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation, denial of the right to self-determination and political and economic injustice, as well as political marginalization and alienation contribute to the spread of terrorism. Therefore, it is important not to delink terrorism from its political context.

As we deliberate on reforming the CT architecture, we also have to take into account initiatives being taken in the wider reform of the peace and security architecture. We note that ideas for separating CT from the department of political affairs come at a time when calls are being made to integrate CT in other areas of work.

Mr. Secretary General,

The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy remains the most comprehensive document to assist Member States in the elimination of terrorism. It remains the sole responsibility of Member States to implement it. This process should therefore focus on how best the UN system can meet the technical requirements, when requested by Member States. In this regard, we believe that the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any Member States remains fundamental, indeed sacrosanct.

My delegation appreciates this opportunity provided to us to present our initial views. We will of course provide detailed views at a later stage.

I thank you.