Speech by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to the UN Security Council on countering terrorism

04.05.2012 - Speech

On May 4, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle delivered the following speech at the UN Security Council in New York on countering terrorism.

-- Check against delivery --

Mr President,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you and the Republic of Azerbaijan for assuming the presidency of this Council for the month of May. Let me thank you for convening today's debate on the threat to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

Over the past decade the Security Council has shown remarkable resolve in countering terrorism. Significant resolutions have been passed. Member states have adopted effective counter measures.

Our sanctions regimes have weakened terrorists’ resources. As Chair of the Al-Qaeda- Sanctions Committee Germany remains committed to working with all Member states to confront the threats posed.

Although we have been successful in disrupting terrorist structures, we must not relent in our efforts. Recent attacks in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Iraq are evidence of terrorists’ persistence.

Terrorism cannot be associated with a certain ideology, religion or ethnic affiliation.

The threat of international terrorism is evolving. And we must adapt our responses to the new patterns.

In consequence, Germany strongly advocates a further strengthening of international cooperation and capacity building. Mr. Secretary-General, we thus welcome your most recent report on the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Mr President,

Let me make three points.

First, strategies and measures to counter terrorism must always be based on the respect of human rights and the principles of the rule of law. These are the core values of our United Nations.

Our measures need to be effective. But they are self-defeating when they jeopardize the very principles they aim to protect. We cannot protect our values by sacrificing them in the same effort.

Second, the sanctions regimes of the United Nations need to be a leading example for fair and transparent procedures. Countering of terrorism and adherence to the rule of law are mutually reinforcing goals.

For several years Germany has been advocating improvements in this field We attach great importance to the office of the ombudsperson who, in the framework of the Al Qaeda sanctions regime, is mandated to receive de-listing requests from individuals. We commend the ombudsperson, Mrs. Kimberley Prost, and this Council, for the work done so far.

We encourage the Council to continue on this route and to consider options for further enhancing fair and clear procedures when implementing counter-terrorism measures.

Third, the face and methods of international terrorism are changing. The internet is increasingly abused by terrorist groups for incitement and recruitment.
In Germany, a terrorist group went unnoticed for many years as it used the internet to plan vicious attacks and recruit supporters.

In response, we need to reduce virtual hiding places for terrorists and we need to counter incitement. Identifying effective measures whilst ensuring full respect for fundamental freedoms is a challenge for all of us.

We support the pilot projects of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.

More needs to be done in this field. We will only succeed if the whole international community works together.

Mr President,

Let us take advantage of today's debate to send a strong message of our determination.
We will counter the threat of international terrorism collectively.
We will adapt our instruments to address the evolving nature and the root causes of terrorism.

Only enhanced civil liberties, economic prosperity and a chance for political participation can counter the appeal of terrorism in the long run. The basis for all our actions is the rule of law and the respect for human rights.

Thank you, Mr President.

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