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 68th UNGA on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism” [agenda item 110] New York, October 08, 2013
Allow me to congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the sixth committee..
I assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation throughout the work of the committee. My Delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement and the OIC respectively. We also wish to thank the Secretary General for his annual report on measures to eliminate international terrorism.
We would like to reiterate that Bangladesh unequivocally condemns terrorism and rejects it in all its forms and manifestations. Bangladesh has a “zero tolerance policy of terrorism” and under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has waged an uncompromising battle to root out the evils of communalism, extremism and terrorism from within our society. We reaffirm that no cause or motivation can justify resorting to
the diabolical acts of terrorism. Those who choose to pursue that devious path of terrorism do not have faith in their own agenda and actually serve to delegitimize their cause in a misguided manner.
It is an undeniable fact that terrorism today, 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 therefore a watershed achievement in the global fight against terrorism. Bangladesh fully supports the strategy and calls for the strategy’s transparent and comprehensive implementation.
The implementation of 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 appreciate Saudi Arabia’s initiative to set up the United Nations Center for Counter-Terrorism and welcome its recent contribution of 100 million US dollars to support and strengthen the capacity-building functions of the Centre.
As I mentioned earlier, under the present government Bangladesh has been relentless in her efforts in countering terrorism. Good news is Bangladesh did not experience any terrorist attack during the last five years. 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, providing job opportunities to the youth, women’s empowerment and the propagation of secular and moderate cultural values, creating a mindset of tolerance, friendliness and love and respect for others in line with our ‘culture of peace’ resolution.
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. Last 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.
In partnership with the CTITF, Bangladesh organized 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 within the regional mechanisms, including 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 efforts under BIMSTEC Counter-terrorism Convention.
Bangladesh fully supports the early conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The convention should include a comprehensive consensus definition of terrorism and make a clear distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle against colonial domination, 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.
The convention should also address the root causes of terrorism including economic disparity and deprivation, political subjugation and exclusion, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, neo colonialism and double standards, oppression and injustice of all kinds, and absence of fair enforcement of rule of law, among others.
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. We believe that terrorism, intolerance and conflicts emanate from a mindset of hatred and intolerance and a culture of peace to create a mindset of tolerance, friendship and respect for others would promote greater understanding among peoples and tolerance of differing views.
One effective way to address terrorism is, therefore, to promote a culture of peace and unity in diversity. In order to defeat terrorism in this increasingly globalized world, we need more than ever before harmony, understanding and mutual respects for all cultures and peoples and accept their diversities.
I thank you.