Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts, 28 September 2017, New York.
I would like to begin by joining others in welcoming Under Secretary-General Voronkov to the Council for his first briefing. Let me also thank Ambassador Aboulatta and Mr David Scharia for their briefings about the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate respectively.
In his address to the General Assembly last week, the Secretary-General identified terrorism as one of the seven threats and challenges that are undermining our efforts for peace and a better world. He also noted, however, that "counter-terrorism efforts have disrupted networks, reclaimed territory, prevented attacks and saved lives." Nonetheless, it is clear that if we are to overcome the threat to our societies from terrorism, our work must be intensified, not least in the area of international cooperation.
The transnational nature of many terrorist operations make the prevention of terrorist acts by any one country alone more difficult. We therefore welcome the Secretary-General's decision to establish the UN Office for Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) as the first of his reform initiatives. We look forward to working with you, Under Secretary-General Voronkov, going forward. Sweden greatly appreciates the work of the UNOCT, the Counter Terrorism Committee and the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate.
CTED's expert assessments and work to facilitate member-states' implementation of this Council's counter-terrorism resolutions is essential. UNOCT's ongoing work to ensure implementation across all four pillars of the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as well as its bolstered capability to deliver capacity-building assistance to member-states are also invaluable supports of national efforts.
Special attention is needed with regard to the multiple roles played by women in relation to terrorism, including those of perpetrator, supporter, facilitator, victim and preventer. Each of these roles requires different approaches and strategies as part of our fight against terrorism. It is important that CTED continues its work on promoting the role of women in countering terrorism and violent extremism.
We recognize CTED's important work on developing thematic work streams on issues such as gender, and its inclusion in assessments, dialogues and analytical products. This thinking must also be mainstreamed into UNOCT's work. Sweden will continue to propose that references to women, peace and security as well as women's role in regards to terrorism and violent extremism are included in relevant Council products, including in the new CTED mandate.
As we said yesterday during our debate on aviation security, there is no room for complacency in the fight against terrorism. The terrorist threat is always evolving and attacks over the last year, including in Stockholm, have shown that we need to be constantly vigilant. We must keep working to improve our counter-terrorism efforts. Sweden is committed to this work and to also working together with our EU partners to this end.
In the broader context, we also need to ensure continued efforts to prevent radicalisation to violent extremism and terrorism from emerging. This work should be aligned with our common UN counter-terrorism strategy as well as the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE). The newly created UN Office of Counter Terrorism will be instrumental in the implementation.
Sweden has, inter alia, supported work by UNDP on the prevention of extremism, including the recently released "Journey to Extremism" report. This report clearly shows that supporting the social sectors in a participatory way at the local level, creates hope and a sense of belonging that counters violence and disruption. Inclusive societies, education, growth, and globalization are central to these prevention efforts. Fully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can deliver this inclusivity, which is needed to help prevent violent extremism and should be seen as integral to our efforts.
Let me conclude by stressing that the measures we take against terrorism always must comply with international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.