Thank you, Mr. President,
I would like to thank the Mozambique Presidency for bringing the attention of the Council on this crucial matter and you Mr. President for chairing this meeting. I thank the SG and President Assoumani for their important remarks.
Despite undeniable success, and continued and sustained efforts, terrorism remains an acute threat to international peace and security. In particular, reports of terrorist activities increasing and spreading in African continent are a matter of deep concern.
Only in 2022, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 48% of global terrorism deaths, while the Sahel is home to the world’s fastest growing and most-deadly terrorist groups. Boko Haram alone has displaced more than 3.4 million civilians across the region.
Wherever terrorism has printed its deadly marks, it has put a break on the development and prosperity, with ripple destabilizing effects in many other areas across the continent and beyond.
That terrorism is currently wreaking havoc mostly in Africa, it does not mean that it is an African problem only. What we are dealing with is a global problem and it requires a continued global attention and a global response, coordinated and cooperative.
We applaud the great resilience that governments across the African continent have shown in dealing with terrible forms of terrorism, coordinated and systematic attacks with devastating consequences for the local communities.
We support the initiatives taken by the African Union and believe coordination and cooperation remain vital. Only a robust, comprehensive and inclusive approach, based on the rule of law will help not only fight terrorism but also provide a clear alternative to terrorist networks and their treacherous appeal.
Experience has shown that in fighting terrorism there are no quick fixes with patchy solutions. Therefore, the deployment of private military companies and other mercenaries is not the solution; they have most often generated adverse effects becoming part of the problem. Fighting lawlessness with more lawlessness is a misconception; it will only make matter worse.
Because to successfully fight terrorism we need to deal with the root causes. It requires good and responsible governance; laws and the rule of law; professional and independent justice; it requires to respond to the people need’s, fight poverty and ensure basic services which will help cut terrorist local anchorage; it requires to respond to legitimate grievances, invest in and protect values based on rights for all, including national minorities; It also needs transnational cooperation, transparent and coordinated strategies and not reliance on merchants of death pretending to protect life in Africa by destroying it with impunity.
We note with appreciation that over the past two decades, the UN has expanded and deepened its engagement in counterterrorism. Yet, the pervasive nature of terrorism and its change of tactics call for a stronger regulation and normative framework, to preserve and consolidate gains, preserve shared norms and universal values against the worst of enemies. To fight terrorism effectively, we need an inclusive, multilateral and principled approached.
Allow me to highlight what we consider as some key aspects.
First, prevention must be at the heart of our collective efforts to fight terrorism. The use of force to eradicate terrorism is unavoidable but it can never be enough or the only tool. Ideology cannot be countered by weapons alone; however powerful and effective the use of force may appear to be. It requires to deal with grievances and multiple deprivations that make large numbers of people fall fray to the hateful and violent ideology of terrorism. We should heed SG’s call for a new agenda for peace which recognizes the root causes of terrorism and the structural, comprehensive strategy of addressing them.
Second, we should always keep in mind the mobile nature of terrorist organizations. When they are perceived as terminated in one place, they pop up in other more vulnerable environments, like neighboring regions or countries. This explains why only a small percentage of terrorist groups have ‘ended’ as a result of military force. In the very same vein, the fight against terrorism must follow the law in all circumstances. It cannot be conducted at the expense of basic right, as it will prove counterproductive and ultimately self-defeating.
Third, we need a multilateral counter-terrorism strategy that is fit for the digital age. Our fight against terrorism must involve new methods and technologies applied in the cyberspace, where, as demonstrated more than once, cyber attacks have equally devastating consequences in the real world.
In closing, Mr. President, let me reiterate that it is through continued collective action, by building trust and resilience, ensuring sustainable development and the rule of law, protecting human rights and acting in an inclusive and gender-sensitive manner, we will be able to successfully fight terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and wherever it occurs and make terrorists and their ideology less appealing to vulnerable and needy people.
Albania supports the 8th review of GCTS and looks forward to meaningful discussions in this process. We must build on the best and successful examples and the lessons learned to find new and effective solutions to abdicate terror everywhere.
I thank you!