Statement by Ambassador Baso Sangqu, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, at the Joint Briefing to the Security Council on Counter-Terrorism, United Nations, New York, 14 November 2012
South Africa acknowledges that in the last decade, significant work has been done in the fight against the spread of international terrorism. We will continue to work with the United Nations, African Union and other regional structures in order to uproot the scourge of global terrorism. The sophisticated challenges posed by the complex phenomena of terrorism require comprehensive and collaborative strategies. Having noted that, it is of paramount importance to address the fundamental causes of terrorism such as marginalized people living under occupation, socio-economic and political disparities. If these deep-seated issues are not dealt with they will continue to be a breeding ground for the manifestations and the spread of terrorism.
South Africa maintains that the United Nations should continue to lead international efforts to combat terrorism, in accordance with legal norms and human rights. South Africa believes that the success of the United Nations’ Global Counter Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) lies in effective and meaningful collaboration between the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), as well as co-operation amongst the 1267 (1999)/1989 (2011), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) Committees.
It has been an honour for South Africa to lead the work of the 1540 Committee for the past two years in the Council. We considered this to be a vote of confidence on the importance we attach to disarmament and non-proliferation and peaceful uses. We are even more heartened that South Africa will close its tenure, by among other things, hosting a Workshop on Implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004) for African States on 21 and 22 November and attending the Indian workshop on synergies between 1540 and nuclear security. In a sense, this is to the benefit and in service of the constituency that supported our membership to the Council.
South African underscores that the threat that non-State actors may acquire materials that could be used for nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or their means of delivery is a danger for all States. However, we are equally concerned about the lack of concrete and sustainable progress in the area of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). States have committed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction through the relevant multilateral treaties and conventions, yet these dangerous and indiscriminate weapons still threaten humanity through their very existence.
While many developing countries continue to implement their commitments under resolution 1540, it is important that we recall that the responsibility is with all members of the international community. The support of fellow States, as well as international organisations, is crucial to prevent non-State actors, including terrorists, from acquiring such weapons or their means of delivery.
We acknowledge the work of CTED with a specific reference to the efforts to strengthen the analytical tools for purposes of monitoring and assessment in order to ensure the effective implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005). It is crucial to continue revising the assessment tools such as the Overview Implementation Assessment (OIA) and the Details of Implementation Survey (DIS), which will enhance the work of the Committee through the assistance and collaboration of States. We took note of the CTED assessment conducted in different parts of the world to ensure the success of United Nations (UN) global counter terrorism efforts.
In addition, although significant work has been done to neutralize and eliminate the threats of Al-Qaida, we also acknowledge the evolving threats posed by Al-Qaida which has readjusted itself into smaller organisations scattered in different regions of the world.
We acknowledge the role of sanctions in supporting the global fight against terrorism. In this regard, we acknowledge the work done and the progress made by the office of the Ombudsperson. Transparency, fairness and due process remain critical aspects of this work. It is, therefore, important for States to collaborate to further strengthen the office of the Ombudsperson to ensure the continued application of these principles in the execution of its duties.
We believe that the UN should, through CTED and the CTITF, in cooperation with regional structures, could play a particular role with regard to the threat of terrorism in Africa, especially as it is playing itself out in Mali and the Sahel.
In conclusion, Mr President, South Africa remains committed to the implementation of the General Assembly’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and calls on all Member States to fulfil their commitments in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
I thank you.