I would of course like to thank the Turkish presidency of the Security Council for having organized this debate. We have all been or could be affected by terrorism, as France found several days ago with the kidnapping of five of its citizens in Niger.
France would therefore like to see the United Nations play a greater role in combating terrorism. Much has already been done in that regard. Since 1963, we have adopted 16 international instruments on the subject. In the early 1990s, the Security Council began to address this issue, which poses a serious threat to international peace and security. A sanctions regime was imposed on Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Thanks to the willingness of Member States, we now have the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, for which the General Assembly has just reaffirmed its support.
However, the character and aspects of the threat continue to change, given its complex roots specific to each regional situation. We refer here to roots and not to causes, much less to justifications. However, the international community should make no mistake about the fact that terrorism is inexcusable in every instance and circumstance. That principled position should not inhibit us from seeking to understand the roots of the phenomenon of terrorism so as to better adapt the tools we have developed to confront it.
In that regard, I feel it important to underscore one of the most significant developments in terrorist networks that we have seen in some years — their tendency towards regionalization. Rather than a decentralized, amorphous grouping, we are now seeing movements that are independent of one another, each with its own recruitment methods, logistical and financial resources, political aims and raison d’être, which require particular and appropriate responses. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb, a group representing a regional destabilization strategy through cross-border activities, is one of the clearest examples of that evolution. We need to come up with a response that takes such an evolution into account.
We have recorded success against terrorist networks, but more must be done. All States must ratify and implement the 16 relevant international legal instruments. Negotiations on the comprehensive counter-terrorism convention, a potential cornerstone of international cooperation, must be concluded. The fight against terrorism led by the security forces and the judicial authorities must be pursued in respect for human rights and the relevant international instruments. That is a condition for the legitimacy and effectiveness of the fight against terrorism.
Technical assistance must underpin the joint activities of intelligence services, police authorities and judicial bodies. It should help all States to meet their commitments. Poverty and the lack of development prospects are the breeding ground for terrorism. United Nations programmes must continue to take that element into account.
We must promote genuine regional strategies in response to the destabilization efforts of terrorist networks. The increase in transnational organized crime, which the Council has already debated, is a significant factor in spreading terrorism in that it weakens the capacity of States to respond. Our Organization must remain mobilized against that scourge. In that regard, I would cite the example of drug trafficking as proof of that, whether in Central Asia or West Africa.
Lastly, we must give our full support to the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force entrusted with coordinating all the Organization’s counter-terrorism work. We must also support the work of the Group of Experts set up to support the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), which is responsible for keeping the consolidated list of individuals and entities linked to Al-Qaida and the Taliban up to date.
That is our vision — giving the international community the means to address, in strict respect for democratic principles and human rights, a threat that all States face today.