Statement by H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Plenary of the Sixth Committee of the 67th UNGA on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism” [agenda item 105] New York, October 08, 2012
I join the previous speakers in congratulating you and other members of the Bureau on your well-deserved election. I assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation. My Delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the NAM and OIC groups respectively. We express our appreciation to Secretary General for his annual reports on measures to eliminate international terrorism (A/67/162 and Add.1) and technical assistance for implementing international conventions and protocols related to terrorism (A/67/158).
Terrorism, both in its magnitude and diversity, is one of the gravest challenges not only to international peace and security but also to human security. The adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006, vide the UNGA resolution 60/288, was a watershed achievement in the global fight against terrorism. Bangladesh fully supports the strategy; in fact Bangladesh was the facilitator of the resolution regarding review of this strategy in 2010. Bangladesh always calls for the strategy’s transparent and comprehensive implementation. We are also in the process of drafting the country’s first National Counter Terrorism Strategy in line with the Global Strategy.
The four pillars of the Strategy and the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) to support its implementation were important steps. We are pleased at the gradual institutionalization of the CTITF. We share the view that all the efforts on counter-terrorism under the auspices of the UN should be transparent and implementation should be strengthened and we are pleased to observe that Member States are now being briefed at regular intervals by the UNSC-CTC, CTED. We appreciate Saudi Arabia’s initiative to set up the United Nations Center for Counter-Terrorism, which, we believe, would promote international cooperation.
Now let me briefly narrate some of the significant efforts by Bangladesh in countering terrorism that contribute to the implementation of the four pillars of the Strategy:
Pillar I: Measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism: A party to all 14 universal anti-terrorism instruments, Bangladesh also ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Our government is also currently implementing a national counter radicalization strategy through imparting education, women’s empowerment and the propagation of secular and moderate cultural values, creating a mindset of tolerance, friendliness and love in line with our ‘culture of peace’ resolution.
Pillar II: Measures to prevent and combat terrorism: The Government of Bangladesh supports the work of UN in the effective implementation of the Security Council resolution 1267 (1999). We have banned all terrorist groups blacklisted by the 1267 Committee and are keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity. This year our national parliament passed the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act-2012’. The Government had enacted country’s first ever Money Laundering Prevention Act in 2009 which was updated in 2012 to make it more stringent, to include suspicious transactions and predicate offences for addressing terrorist financing.
Pillar III: Measures to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in this regard: Bangladesh feels privileged to have partnered with the UN CTITF, a ‘Regional Workshop on the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in South Asia’, in Dhaka on May 16-17, 2012. Bangladesh is also engaged in efforts to combat terrorism with other SAARC countries, through ratifying the ‘SAARC Regional Convention on Terrorism including its Protocol’, which allows legal cooperation on countering terrorism and its financing. We also initiated regional counter-terrorism under BIMSTEC Counter-terrorism Convention.
Pillar IV: Measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism: Bangladesh is party to almost all the universal human rights instruments – a testimony to her commitment to promote and protect human rights. As a member of the Human Rights Council since its inception in 2006, Bangladesh remains engaged in constructive dialogue with the international community in espousing the cause of human rights.
I call for early conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. My delegation is of the view that in this Convention the definition of terrorism should be crafted in such a way that no terrorist activities, whether sponsored by a state or a non-state actor, are spared.
There should be a clear distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle against colonial domination and foreign occupation, and right to self-determination as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Any attempt to wrongfully associate terrorism with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group should be avoided.
For the global strategy against terrorism to succeed, its root causes including economic disparity and deprivation, political subjugation and exclusion, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, unfair treatment, absence of fairness and climatically induced loss of livelihood must be addressed in this discourse.
UN should lead and steer the global discourse and action on counter-terrorism. National capacity building, application of non-prejudiced rule of law and fair justice and training of CT personnel of developing countries and LDCs such as Bangladesh, must remain high on the agenda of the UN and the partners for effective combating of terrorism by all states.
Bangladesh condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Our government has been following and will continue to follow a “zero tolerance” policy towards terrorism and religious extremism. Bangladesh pursues a value driven foreign policy that promotes peace, democracy, secularism, freedom, human rights, good governance and social justice, a culture of peace and non-violence, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogues as well as ethnic and religious tolerance to combat extremism and upholds multilateralism. We would continue to champion innovative socio-economic interventions including attainment of UN MDGs, sustained economic growth, social safety nets for inclusion, micro-credit based livelihoods for women, women-empowerment, education and job creation for all and a strong legal-institutional regime to counter causes of extremism and terrorism. Let us renew our vows once again today to unite against terrorism and save innocent lives and succeeding generations from the scourge of this unacceptable act of cruelty in all its forms and manifestation.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.