STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR AKIO SUDA,
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GLOBAL COUNTER TERRORISM STRATEGY
THURSDAY, 4, SEPTEMBER 2008
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
On behalf of my government, I would like to express our gratitude for your leadership in promoting discussion on counter terrorism. I would also like to express our deep appreciation for the effort made by the Secretary-General in the area of counter-terrorism. Our appreciation also goes to Ambassador Rosenthal of Guatemala for his valuable contribution in facilitating informal consultations on the outcome of the plenary meeting.
As we all recognize, combating terrorism is a complex and challenging task for international community, which requires enduring engagement and comprehensive approach.
The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, adopted at the General Assembly two years ago, provides us with the fundamental basis for cooperation. It reaffirmed the strong will of all Member States to combat terrorism. It also provides a significant guidance for concrete actions to be taken by Member States, the United Nations, and other regional and international bodies. In the past two years, all stakeholders have made serious efforts to take necessary measures and, as a result, substantial progress has been made. It is an opportune time, therefore, to examine the implementation status of the Strategy and discuss how to further strengthen our counter terrorism efforts under the Strategy. Japan welcomes also the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the UN system in implementing the Strategy.
The four pillars identified in the Strategy are all important elements of counter terrorism. To effectively prevent and combat terrorism, we need to cooperate on all of them. All stakeholders have their respective roles to play, but no need to say, member states have primary responsibility to take necessary actions within their capacity.
Before and after the adoption of the Strategy, Japan has been actively engaged in combat against terrorism nationally as well as internationally. Let me outline our recent activities in relation with the implementation of the UN Strategy.
Japan believes it is essentially important, in the medium and long term, to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. They are problems of good governance, the rule of law, education, and poverty. Japan is cooperating in capacity building of law enforcement, supporting self-help efforts for good governance, assisting the improvement of legal system and socio-economic infrastructure in numerous countries.
We are also promoting programs of dialogue among civilizations and religions. Further, we are looking into the importance of extending support to those local areas that are seriously affected by poverty and vulnerable to violent extremism. The assistance in improving education and meeting the needs of communities in such vulnerable areas could help restore a sound community which is free from influence of terrorists.
Regarding measures to prevent and combat terrorism, Japan has been taking a wide range of domestic as well as international measures. For instance, last year we introduced the biometric identification system at the immigration control, and it has proved to be very effective. We are also taking numerous steps in response to the Secure and Facilitated Travel Initiative (SAFTI), which was agreed at the G8 Summit in 2004. Needless to say, Japan has been taking necessary actions to fully implement the relevant Security Council resolutions including those relating to the freezing assets and deportation.
To talk about the international conventions and protocols against terrorism, Japan has already concluded thirteen conventions and protocols including the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Furthermore, in order to encourage other countries to become a party to these conventions, since 2003, Japan is hosting annually a seminar on the promotion of accession to the international counter terrorism conventions and protocols. This seminar is participated by Asia Pacific countries and conducted in cooperation with the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch.
Our cooperation in capacity building ranges from technical assistance to grants of equipment and from law enforcement to border control and transport security. Besides bilateral cooperation, Japan has been actively engaged in cooperation with countries within regional frameworks such as ASEAN and APEC, and had worked out various concrete projects. In addition, since assuming the presidency of G8 this year, we are trying to achieve closer coordination between the Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) and the CTED by matching specific needs of recipient countries advised by the CTED with available resources of the CTAG countries.
Japan also welcomed the initiative of Switzerland in setting up an international process of discussion on Global Counter Terrorism Cooperation, and hosted one of its workshops in Tokyo in June this year. At the workshop, it was widely shared that close coordination between the UN agencies and regional organizations and between traditional actors and non-traditional actors was essential to effective assistance of capacity building.
We all support the United Nations to play the central role in the international fight against terrorism. While every Member State should continue to contribute to this join effort, with its resources, we expect the United Nations for its part to fully mobilize its organizational strength, and variety of resources and expertise.
In this respect, I would like to make a few points:
(1) The roles and activities of the main actors in counter terrorism such as the CTED, CTITF, and UNODC should not overlap but rather complement each other to make the most of their limited capacities and resources.
(2) We should seek for possible cooperation and information sharing with other UN bodies and agencies even if their mandates are not directly related to counter terrorism, since the comprehensive approach we are taking under the Strategy needs to address such issues as poverty, education, culture, and human rights.
(3) To achieve these ends, the CTITF should play the central role in information sharing, and also concentrate on its core mandate of coordinating the activities of the different UN organs concerned.
Finally, I would like to stress again that the primary responsibility of implementing the Strategy rests with Member States. Japan is determined to continue its fight against terrorism and prepared to participate in further discussion on the implementation of the Strategy.
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