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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN General Assembly Debate on 8th UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review

2023-06-22 23:50

Mr. President, 

China aligns itself with the statement made by Venezuela on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations. We commend the important role played by the permanent representatives of Canada and Tunisia as co-facilitators in facilitating consensus among all parties on the GA resolution on the 8th review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and appreciate the efforts by the UNOCT for the GCTS review and for organizing activities of the counter-terrorism week.

Terrorism remains a prominent challenge that threatens international peace and security. As the Secretary-General’s report notes, the threats from Da’esh, Al Qaeda and their affiliated terrorist organizations have shown no signs of abating. Some terrorist organizations active in the Middle East continue to spread and expand in Africa and Asia and have colluded with local terrorist organizations, posing a serious threat. The drivers of terrorism have become more diversified and the root causes of terrorism have yet to be effectively addressed. 

In the face of the complex and grave counter-terrorism situation, it is urgent to strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation. China supports the UN in playing a central coordinating role to stay at the helm, identify the right problems, coordinate actions, and take a multi-pronged approach to promote synergy among the international community against terrorism, so that our world will be safer with people of all countries enjoying a more tranquil life. 

First, the fight against terrorism cannot remain only in words, but must be translated into political will and concrete actions. There is no good or bad terrorism. There must not be double standards in counter-terrorism, much less selectivity, focusing only on combating terrorist organizations threatening oneself while turning a blind eye to terrorist organizations that harm other countries, or even whitewashing them as a tool to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. 

Second, the response to terrorist threat cannot remain superficial, but must focus on eliminating the root causes that breed terrorism. Wars, conflicts, and turbulent security situations fuel violent terrorist activities, and deprive people of basic living space. Terrorists collude with transnational criminal organizations, increasing terrorist threats across the board. Military action alone cannot eradicate terrorism. Counter-terrorism efforts must address both symptoms and root causes, respect the leading role of the countries concerned, and eliminate the root causes of terrorism through a comprehensive approach that eliminates poverty, increases employment, respects the diversity of civilizations, and enhances social inclusion. 

Third, support for member states’ counter-terrorism efforts should focus on capacity building. Developing countries face the double challenge of inadequate counter-terrorism capacity and resources. UN counter-terrorism resources should be pivoted towards countries on the forefront of counter-terrorism. When helping developing countries step up counter-terrorism capacity building, focus should be given to priority areas identified by recipient countries, and the agendas and goals set by assistance providers must not be imposed upon them. The UN should strengthen the coordination of extra budgetary counter-terrorism resources, allow more funds to be used to step up counter-terrorism legislation, judicial, and law enforcement capacity building in developing countries, and support countries in enhancing their comprehensive capacity to prevent the cross-border movement of terrorists and combat Internet terrorism, so that counter-terrorism assistance can produce tangible results. It is hoped that the UN Africa counter-terrorism summit to be held next year will make positive contributions to greater support from the international community for counter-terrorism efforts in Africa. 

We need to pay great attention to the security situation in Afghanistan. Terrorist organizations such as ISIL-K, Al Qaeda, and ETIM are not only wreaking havoc in Afghanistan, but also move to China and Central Asian countries to carry out activities, seriously threatening regional peace and security. All parties should jointly combat the terrorist organizations listed by the Security Council and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a gathering place for all kinds of terrorist organizations. 

Mr. President, 

China has always been helping other developing countries, especially African countries, step up their counter-terrorism capacity building through bilateral and multilateral channels, including providing support for counter-terrorism projects of the UNOCT and other agencies through the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, and has been stepping up regional counter-terrorism cooperation under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization framework. We are ready to work with all countries to follow the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, jointly combat terrorism, a public enemy of the international community, and continue to make positive contributions to international counter-terrorism cooperation. 

Thank you.

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