Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council VTC on the 1267/1989/2253 Committee, 1373 Committee and 1540 Committee, November 23, 2020

23.11.2020 - Speech

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Let me, first of all, say a couple of words on counter-terrorism. Some colleagues have already raised the issue of right wing extremism and terrorism.

We welcome that CTED and CTC are keeping track of evolving trends and developments, including the threat posed by violent right wing extremism and terrorism. In this context, I would like to point out a recent study commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office on the issue of transnational connectivity and violent right wing extremism and terrorism. This is an issue that we take very seriously, and we are firmly committed to pursue this further and see an important role for the UN to play in this regard.

We encourage the committees and the UN experts to continue to put a very strong focus on, I believe, four principles in their counter-terrorism work. First of all, human rights. Counter-terrorism measures must never serve as a pretext for human rights violations. They are counterproductive to all efforts to sustainably eradicate the root causes of radicalization and terrorism. Let me express in this context that we are very concerned about what is happening in Xinjiang. And let me remind you of the declaration that Germany has presented in the Third Committee on behalf of 39 states.

The second principle that we believe is essential, is accountability and prosecution for terrorist crimes. That brings me to the principle of the rule of law and ensuring due diligence. In this regard, we commend the ombudsperson for the Al Qaeda/ISIL (Da'esh) Sanctions Committee, Mr. Kipfer-Fasciati, for his excellent work. Thirdly, international humanitarian law must be respected. Counter-Terrorism measures must not hinder humanitarian activities carried out by humanitarian actors based on humanitarian principles. Lastly, I would like to emphasize the importance of a gender dimension. The role of women both as the solution and as part of the problem. Women are crucial actors to address effectively the root causes of conflict and radicalization. They are at the same time also victims and survivors and in some cases even perpetrators.

On the issue of weapons of mass destruction: in this Council, we are currently discussing the terrible effects that use of weapons of mass destruction can have. Syria is just one example, where the Assad regime is using chemical weapons against its own population. This shows how important this issue is.

Now, let me turn to Resolution 1540. We welcome the progress made towards the implementation of the resolution since its adoption. However, to guarantee a full and effective implementation, it is ultimately important to assist those states requiring support. We therefore particularly welcome intensified cooperation of the committee on the panel of experts with UNODA's regional centers, as well as international organizations such as OPCW, UNODC and the IAEA. We regret that the ongoing comprehensive review has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that in preparing for an extension of the 1540 mandate, it will be worthwhile to think about how to best address threats stemming from new technologies. This, we believe, should be an element that we should take into account. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to a process that Germany has been organizing since 2012, the Wiesbaden Conferences. The Wiesbaden process raises awareness and furthers the exchange of information and effective practice and it promotes private sector engagement as the first line of defense, which is vital for successful non-proliferation in a globalized world.

In conclusion, Madam President, let me reiterate another core principle: working together to solve those problems that do not stop at national borders; international, regional and subregional cooperation remains vital, as does the collaboration with a variety of actions, including in particular civil society. A transnational threat can only be overcome when our response is unified.

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