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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on Counterterrorism

2021/02/10

Mr. President,

China thanks USG Voronkov and Executive Director Coninsx for their briefings and welcomes the report submitted by Secretary General Guterres.

According to the SG’s report, ISIL has not given up its attempt to regroup in Iraq and Syria, and may increase its operational capacity worldwide this year, causing more threat to international peace and security. Even during the pandemic, terrorists in the conflict zones of Africa, Afghanistan, and other areas are still moving around and orchestrating attacks. International fight against terrorism has a long way to go.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 1373 and the establishment of the Counterterrorism Committee, as well as the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the UN global counterterrorism Strategy. Looking back at global counterterrorism cooperation, we should recognize that it is necessary to completely root out terrorist organizations including ISIL; all countries should adhere to multilateralism, strengthen international cooperation, and build the broadest possible united front against terrorism. Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind, and there's no good or bad terrorists. We must abandon double standards in the fight against terrorism. In order to give full play to the central role of the United Nations, the UNOCT and CTED should continue to support member states in their work related to protection of victims, counterterrorism financing, border control, counterterrorism advocacy, and de-radicalization campaigns, and assist them in fully implementing the relevant Council resolutions, as well as the United Nations global counterterrorism strategy.

In the context of the continued COVID-19 pandemic and facing the evolving challenge of terrorism, the international community should have new tools that are flexible and effective. It is necessary to be highly vigilant against terrorist forces that incite and advocate terrorist activities by taking advantage of the opportunities or loopholes brought by the pandemic. The internet is an important battlefield in the fight against terrorism. Terrorist organizations such as ISIL are still undertaking rampant illegal online activities, such as spreading extremist ideologies, inciting terrorist activities, recruiting and funding for terrorism. The international community must strengthen cooperation and not let the internet become a free haven for terrorists.

The protracted issue of ISIL-associated personnel poses a serious humanitarian and security challenge. All parties should take up their responsibilities under international law. The council should come up with a political line of thinking and legal framework for addressing the issue as soon as possible, so as to push forward repatriation by countries of origin. China welcomes the positive measures taken by UN agencies, such as the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, in assisting relevant countries to repatriate FTS and their families, especially women and children stranded in Iraq and Syria. China supports relevant countries in sharing useful experiences with the United Nations and its member states to promote best practices for addressing the problem of foreign terrorist fighters and gradually build positive momentum.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that we must address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism, and integrate political, economic, judicial, social and other measures in striving to eradicate the root causes conducive to terrorism and extremism. The international community should pay more attention to the issue of development, especially that of youth, education and employment. Promoting the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is essential in our global counterterrorism effort.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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