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Homeland Security

Continuing our efforts to combat global terrorist threats

Statement by Ambassador James Roscoe at the Security Council Meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts

9 February 2022

Many thanks indeed Mr President, and I would like to begin by also thanking Under-Secretary-General Voronkov and Acting Executive Director Chen for their informative briefings today. We also welcome the evident collaboration between your two teams, both in the preparation of this report and the delivery of your mandates. The work of the Monitoring Team, UNOCT and CTED in analysing and helping states to tackle the ever-changing terrorist threat is an indispensable part of combatting global terrorism. We also welcome the Secretary General's report on the global terrorist threat.

Mr President, recent events have reminded us of the continuing threat of terrorism and underline the importance of this debate today.

The January attack in North-Eastern Syria was a sobering reminder that despite its territorial defeat, Daesh continues to pose a threat in Iraq, and Syria and beyond. We condemn that attack - in particular, we share the concern of Mr Voronkov at the taking of children as hostages. The international community must hold firm in its determination to counter and defeat Daesh. That is why the UK is a committed member of the Global Coalition against Daesh, and co-leads its counter-propaganda efforts.

Alongside this, we provide significant humanitarian and stabilisation support to liberated areas of Iraq and Syria.

Mr President, we also continue to seek justice and accountability for Daesh. Those who have fought for or supported Daesh should face justice for their crimes in the most appropriate jurisdiction. In this regard, we welcome the emphasis on battlefield evidence preservation set out in the report. It's our view that often justice will be best served in the region where the crimes were committed, and any such justice mechanism must respect human rights and the rule of law as well as ensure fair trials and due process.

Mr President, we must continue to be alert to the threat elsewhere in the world. The context in Afghanistan has changed, and we welcome the Taliban's commitment to tackle terrorist groups, and urge them to ensure that Al Qa'eda, and Daesh affiliates and other terrorist groups do not raise funds or plan attacks from Afghan territory.

And the threat continues to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, as we've heard again today. The UK provides security, stabilisation and humanitarian assistance in many of the affected countries to help them tackle the threat, build stability and support affected communities. But much more needs to be done.

Terrorist groups continue to incite and recruit supporters around the world, particularly now using social media and encrypted online platforms, and as the SG's report makes clear, this has been exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic - as set out so clearly by Mr Chen just now. So it is right that this Council, as it came together at the end of last year to reaffirm the important work of CTED and renew its mandate, also encouraged a new focus on these technologies.

Finally, we must all ensure that we protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as we go about this work. We welcome CTED's ongoing efforts to engage civil society and the emphasis Mr Chen placed on their involvement with other partners, including the examination of gender and masculinity in terrorism prevention.

Mr President, we are committed to working together to continue the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism in a manner that protects human rights and upholds international law. Thank you.

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