Speech by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the second plenary meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Istanbul

07.06.2012 - Speech

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Dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Secretary Clinton and Minister Davutoglu for co-chairing this second plenary meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

In recent years, international co-operation in combating terrorism has led to remarkable results. Thanks to dedicated international cooperation, numerous terrorist attacks were averted.

The attentive work of intelligence services prevented an assault on civilian aviation in Yemen last month. But only a few days later, a suicide bombing killed almost a hundred Yemenite soldiers.

These shocking attacks clearly show us the continuous threat posed by terrorist groups and networks. Although we have been successful in disrupting terrorist structures, we must not relent in our efforts. The threat of international terrorism is evolving. And we must adapt our responses to the new patterns.

In this context, last year’s launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum marks an important step to complement the international architecture.

From the beginning, Germany has supported the concept of the Global Counter-terrorism Forum. We continue to see the Forum first and foremost as an action-oriented group. Tangible results and sustainable capacity building are the key to secure the Forum’s success.

Germany remains committed to support the Forum's two priority areas, namely strengthening rule of law institutions and countering violent extremism. Germany will continue to contribute financially and with human resources.

Effectiveness in countering terrorism and adherence to the rule of law are mutually reinforcing goals. Therefore strategies and measures to counter terrorism must always be based on the respect of human rights and the principles of the rule of law.

Strengthening the legal regime against terrorism has been the focus of German support since 2003. In 2012, Germany provides project funding of about 13.4 Million Euro for rule of law.

Acknowledging the threat of rising violent extremism, Germany is currently funding a wide range of projects in this area. We highly appreciate the creation of the “Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism” in Abu Dhabi. Germany will consider supporting the Centre by seconding short-term and long-term consultants.

We are also ready to support the creation of a Justice and Civilian Security Training Academy and hope that progress can be made quickly. I particularly thank the government of Tunisia for his readiness to host the Academy.

Germany remains committed to its active partnership in the Global Counterterrorism Forum. You can count on German support.

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