|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts
First of all, I wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov and Acting Executive Director Chen Weixiong for their briefings just now. We appreciate the efforts made and work done by the UNOCT and CTED. We have also listened attentively to the statement of Ms. Franziska Praxl.
The briefings just heard and the latest report of the Secretary-General fully demonstrate that the threat of terrorism remains very grave, and there is still a long way to go before we can relax in international counter-terrorism efforts. Since the beginning of 2023, two vicious terrorist attacks have already occurred in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. And on January 30, another atrocious suicide attack occurred at a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan. All these attacks have caused heavy casualties and sounded another alarm to us. Terrorist forces such as Da’esh are making a comeback in Afghanistan and the region. We note with particular concern that the report of the Secretary-General stated that the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, also known as the Turkistan Islamic Party, a terrorist organization listed by the Security Council, is cooperating with ISIL-Khorasan, including in jointly publishing propaganda posters, exchange of personnel, and joint military operations. We call on the international community to combat all forms of terrorism with zero tolerance, and urge the Taliban in Afghanistan to take resolute and strong measures to prevent the convergence of terrorist forces in Afghanistan, so as to effectively protect the safety of Afghan people and foreign citizens living in Afghanistan.
We are equally concerned to see that the geographic spread and incidence of terrorist violence has increased in the whole African continent. The situation in the Sahel, in particular, has deteriorated significantly. At the same time, we have also seen that Mozambique, Nigeria, Mali, the DRC and other countries have actively taken actions to enhance counter-terrorism efforts and have achieved remarkable results. The deployment of troops by regional countries in Mozambique has greatly weakened the strength of Da’esh-affiliated groups. These efforts of African countries to carry out joint counter-terrorism operations are commendable. Relevant international partners should increase their support, particularly in terms of financing, equipment, intelligence, and logistical supplies to help African countries improve their counter-terrorism capabilities.
As pointed out by the Secretary-General in his report, decades of counter-terrorism have taught us that security responses alone are not sufficient. They must be accompanied by efforts that prevent new recruits from joining terrorist groups. In this regard, the UNDP published another investigation report a few days ago, which is even more thought-provoking. According to that report, in the Sahel sub-region, most of those joining extremist groups come from the most remote and underdeveloped areas. A quarter of those respondents said finding a job had become the main factor that motivated the locals to join violent extremist groups. This proportion is an increase of 92% over that of 2017. These facts and figures are astounding. Though poverty cannot be deemed the only root cause of terrorism, poverty and the associated economic deprivation are obviously important factors that breed terrorism. To eradicate the scourge of terrorism, the international community needs to make greater efforts to promote economic and social development. However, this is precisely the weakest part and the long neglected field in the entire international counter-terrorism cooperation network. After using military and security measures to curb the strength of terrorist groups, measures in the economic and development fields must follow as soon as possible. Otherwise, the hard-won counter-terrorism achievements may be lost. The international community should create a fair and favorable international economic, financial, and trade environment for the developing countries. International financial institutions should increase their inputs and support relevant countries in allocating more resources to poverty eradication, universal education, food security, public health, and other aspects of people’s livelihood, so that they can embark on the road of sustainable and inclusive development, to allow everyone, particularly the youth, to benefit from the development, and to fundamentally eliminate the breeding grounds of insecurity and terrorism.
We are approaching the eighth review of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. We hope the international community will take this opportunity to reaffirm its firm determination to jointly combat terrorism, share useful experience, resolutely rejects double standards and politicization, and stay committed to promoting the implementation of four pillars of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in a comprehensive and balanced manner. More attention should be paid to capacity building of the developing countries and the elimination of the root causes of the terrorism to inject confidence and impetus into global counter-terrorism cooperation, so that countries and peoples have suffered so much from terrorist activities will see hope again.
Thank you, Madam President.