Statement by the Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee Agenda Item-111: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism (03 October 2018)

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation, I congratulate you and members of the Bureau on the assumption of your offices. We assure you of our full support.

Pakistan aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism and extremism remain one of the most complex and imposing challenges of our times.

Terrorist acts have caused widespread death and destruction, sowed seed of chaos, destabilized state institutions and undermined social order.

Pakistan unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism against those seeking the right to self-determination.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism for the last forty years. We have lost much blood and treasure in our campaign against terrorism.

But terrorists and their evil acts have never shaken my country’s resolve and determination to continue the fight to defeat it.

Through our successful multi-pronged approach, Pakistan has been able to dismantle and dislodge terrorist sanctuaries from its soil.

The principal threat from terrorism that Pakistan faces today is primarily supported and perpetrated from beyond our border.

In order to deal with this threat, my country has now embarked upon implementing a comprehensive border management system along our western border.

This border management system will enable us to prevent the cross border movement of militants, stop the illegal smuggling of arms and check illicit drug trafficking while at the same time facilitate trade through improved border crossing facilities.

Mr. Chairman,

The hard-earned stability that Pakistan enjoys today has been attained through a comprehensive approach against terrorism.

No terrorist movement can be defeated by military means alone. All elements of national power have to be deployed to eliminate this scourge.

In our campaign against terrorism we have sought to adopt a ‘whole of society’ approach through involvement of community leaders at the local level to develop effective counter narratives, implementation of our National Action Plan with a special focus on youth development programs, enhanced regional cooperation and abiding by our international obligations.

In this process, Pakistan has gained valuable experience in countering terrorism.

We are ready to share our experiences and expertise with other member states.

Mr. Chairman,

The United Nations enjoys a unique position to build consensus among member states to deal with the diverse challenges posed by terrorism and extremism.

The UN CT architecture reform process, which resulted in the creation of the UN Office of Counter Terrorism, has already yielded positive results. We appreciate Under Secretary General Voronkov’s achievements as the head of UN-OCT in the past one year.

Similarly, through its resolution 2395, the Security Council has given a robust mandate to the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and established direct linkage between the working of the UN Office of Counter Terrorism and CTED.

All these measures have strengthened the UN’s ability to assess implementation of various UN resolutions by member states.

What is lacking now is a similar robust capacity building mechanism to assist member states in implementation of their obligations. To improve this structure, we will have to address two main issues:

Mr. Chairman,

Attention also needs to be paid to address the root causes of terrorism, including well-acknowledged drivers of radicalization, which lie in political injustice, economic and social marginalization and exclusion and the breeding grounds spawned by long festering and protracted conflicts.

Chronic instability due to conflicts and military interventions has provided fertile ground to terrorists to recruit followers and spread their ideology. Terrorists and their supporters are obviously able to find save havens in ungoverned conflict areas.

While the UN is focusing on improving technical measures, it is my country’s firm believe that we will never be able to defeat extremist ideology unless we deal with the geopolitical dynamics which fuel terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan fully supports the OIC position on a consensus-based Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). The proposed Convention must be consistent with International Humanitarian Law and clearly differentiate between acts of terrorism and the legitimate struggles for self-determination of people living under foreign occupation.

The malicious attempts by those who seek to manipulate the international consensus against terrorism to justify the suppression of people struggling for their right to self-determination must never be permitted to succeed.

Without a holistic approach, we will be fighting only the symptoms and not the underlying causes of this deadly phenomenon.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan considers the UN and in particular the General Assembly as the primary institution for international norm-building and norm-setting in the area of countering terrorism.

However, lately we have witnessed a proliferation of informal forums to evolve and launch new ideas and themes. These ideas are then brought to the General Assembly to be rubber stamped.

The role of General Assembly should not be undermined through such actions and forums. We hope that the resolution will bring further clarity on this issue as well.

Mr. Chairman,

For the last 3 years, the General Assembly has only technically updated this very important resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism. This year, we must strengthen this consensus while adding new elements that also address neglected ones.

In conclusion let me reiterate Pakistan’s commitment to cooperate with the international community to work jointly to counter terrorism.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.