January 15th, 2013 by Afghan Mission
On Tuesday the 15th of January, the Security Council held an open debate on a comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism. Terrorism is a global threat to peace, security and stability in all parts of the world. Given the complex challenge posed by terrorism throughout the world, United Nations Member States convened to express their views, experiences and ideas on how to tackle terrorism with a comprehensive, coordinated and consistent approach at the national, regional and international levels.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began the debate by addressing the Council, he called for a “focus on conditions that feed terrorism as part of a comprehensive strategy against the scourge.” The Secretary-General made it clear that, “no grievances can ever justify terrorism…and that there is a need for dialogue and understanding and the importance of information technology in countering the messages of hate and radicalization.” He also called on the international community by saying, “we have to drown out shrill appeals to intolerance and extremism with sound calls for compassion and moderation, we have to replace the terrorist narrative with messages of peace, development and human welfare.”
Following the Secretary-General’s remarks, Security Council members then expressed their countries counter-terrorism policies and approaches along with the comprehensive international tactics that have been effective and plans for going forward to counter the sophisticated and ever changing nature of terrorist threats. The open debate was chaired by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar of Pakistan, which holds the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of January.
H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, delivered a statement on Afghanistan’s comprehensive approach to countering-terrorism and the affects that terrorism has had on the country. “Afghans have lived with and suffered from terrorism for decades… the Afghanistan’s territory was used by Al-Qaeda and affiliate groups not only as a site for brutal attacks against the Afghan people, but as a staging ground for terrorist attacks around the world,” he said. Ambassador Tanin made it clear that since the fall of the Taliban, “Afghanistan has made important headway in its fight against terrorism, and in transforming into a more peaceful, stable, and democratic society.”
Throughout his statement, Ambassador Tanin touched on a range of topics; the serious threat that terrorism still poses on Afghan society, the current approach and strategy of the Afghan Government to counter terrorist attacks, the importance of regional cooperation and coordination , and the important role that the Security Council and the United Nations have played in countering terrorism.
The debate emphasized a needed focus on the important topic of counter-terrorism. Over 50 member states spoke at the debate, including high-level officials from a handful of countries showing the importance placed on this issue by the international community.