Security Council Briefing: Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts

Statement by H.E. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren,
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 8 February 2018

Mr President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands thanks the Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General Mr Voronkov for their leadership. And we also like to thank your staff, as well as CTED and the Monitoring Team, for their work in composing the update report on the threat posed by ISIS.

As was pointed out by other Council members before me, the report indicates that the threat posed by ISIS and its affiliates remains real. The women, men and children around the world, who have fallen victim to atrocious acts by ISIS, are the sad reminder of that.

Mr President,

Please allow me to focus on three important elements:

  • The threat;
  • Accountability;
  • And additional action.

Threat

First, on the threat. Although Raqqa has been liberated and ISIS has lost territories in Iraq and Syria, the myth of ISIS has not been unravelled. Less territory doesn’t necessarily mean more security. In countries like Yemen, Egypt and Mali, the threat posed by ISIS remains high, as pointed out in the report. Also in Afghanistan, ISIS affiliates continue to commit attacks.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is concerned about the increasing number of returning and relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their families from Syria and Iraq to other conflict zones.

Mr. Voronkov just mentioned the adaption to a global network of motivated individuals. ISIS remains a threat to all of us.

That’s why we must increase our efforts to prosecute and detain Foreign Terrorist Fighters. However, we can only stop terrorists if we spot terrorists. In December, the Council adopted resolution 2396 on returning and relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters. One of the key elements of this resolution is the obligation to collect Passenger Name Records to enhance the detection of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. We encourage Member States to make a top priority of developing the capability for this and the UN to provide assistance where needed.

Accountability

Mr President,

Enhancing detection of terrorists enhances prosecution of terrorists. This brings me to my second point: accountability.

For those men and women who commit terrorist acts, our message is clear: accountability is neither optional nor negotiable. All victims deserve justice.

To that end, we support the ongoing work and objectives of the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism for Syria, as established by the General Assembly. With regards to Iraq, resolution 2379 requests the formation of an investigative team to support domestic efforts to hold ISIS fighters accountable for their actions.

We call for the swift establishment of the terms of reference of that team. And we underline that domestic efforts should be pursued in accordance with international law and UN best practices. We continue to call on both countries to become party of the Rome Statute or accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC.

Additional action

Mr. President,

Let me turn to my third and final point: additional action by the UN and its Member States.

It is essential that countries lacking the necessary capacities to implement resolutions receive technical assistance. Their security is our security.

CTED plays a crucial role in assessment and analysis of those needs. The Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomes the role that you, Under-Secretary-General Mr. Voronkov, and your office play in the subsequent coordination of capacity building.

Prevention is key in the work by all UN entities involved. Member States should be provided the tools to create an environment that balances repressive and preventive counter-terrorism measures. To make our fight against terrorism and violent extremism sustainable, we must better understand root causes and involve local communities in addressing them.

Mr President,

In conclusion, we welcome the progress made in the fight against ISIS and complement the UN for its valuable contribution to that end. However, we have a long road ahead of us to further diminish the threat and achieve full accountability.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to do its share, including as an active member of the Global Coalition and as a strong supporter of the UN.

Thank you.

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