H. E. Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
At the United Nations Security Council
27 September, 2010
Mr. President, let me, too, begin by commending your initiative in convening this important and timely debate. Our conversation this morning no doubt builds on the meeting of 17 June 2010 held in Istanbul, which your Government also convened. I welcome the presence of the Secretary General at this meeting and thank him for his illuminating statement.
We welcome the significant progress that has been made in the global fight against terrorism since the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001), and we note in particular the commendable efforts of the Council’s three counter-terrorism committees established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) in ensuring the full implementation of the relevant resolutions and improving their working methods and interactions with Member States.
The most recent terrorist bombings in Mogadishu, in Vladikavkaz in Russia, in Zahedan in Iran and Kampala in Uganda, not to mention the scores of attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, are stark reminders of the currency and enormity of the challenges of terrorism. We know now that the absence of effective counter-terrorism measures, compounded by weak legislative and financial controls and inadequate policing of lengthy maritime and porous land borders, provide a platform for terrorist activities. Indeed, countries with weak institutional capacity are the most vulnerable to infiltration by terrorism networks.
In West Africa, the illicit but extensive trade in small arms and light weapons imported into the region by non-State actors, in collaboration with unscrupulous foreign arms producers and suppliers, facilitates terrorist activities. We therefore wish to reiterate our call for an effective international response, including the elaboration of an arms trade treaty to complement the Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as the activities of the ECOWAS Small Arms Unit.
To support the implementation of international counter-terrorism resolutions, States would need to develop national legislative and institutional measures anchored in human rights, due process and the rule of law. Pursuant to this goal, the Nigerian Parliament is considering a bill on the prevention of terrorism that addresses these issues. We have also established a national focal point that comprises four counterterrorism centers to strengthen our efforts to combat terrorism. We welcome in this context the efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, through the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism initiative, to support counter-terrorism activities in Nigeria. We commend the efforts of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) in facilitating the trilateral contacts among donors, international technical assistance providers and countries requiring such assistance.
We support the continued collaboration and coordination of CTED with other United Nations agencies, within the framework of the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force. CTED should explore additional means through which States and regional organizations could be assisted to deliver more on border controls, information exchanges and intelligence-led policing. We also commend the efforts of technical assistance providers that have collaborated with the countries of the West Africa sub region to combat terrorism.
The fight against terrorism cannot be left to one country or region. It requires collective, concerted and coordinated global action for maximum effectiveness. Such an approach will require the Council to take into account measures to enhance the implementation of several counter-terrorism resolutions. Greater regional and international cooperation, as well as better coordination among relevant actors, should be promoted. The establishment of country-specific regional hubs as centers of focus is also a necessity. Needless to emphasize is the importance of crosscutting institutions and self-sustaining transfers of knowledge aimed at bridging existing knowledge gaps.
Of crucial importance is the need to address the capacity challenges of States and their institutions in an integrated manner, including measures to address the economic, social and political conditions conducive to the existence and spread of terrorism. The adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly was a positive development in that regard. We urge the Council not only to consider a similar approach, but also to support the elaboration of a comprehensive international convention on terrorism.
The strong support provided by African Governments to global anti-terror campaigns needs to be strengthened by enhanced collaboration at both the bilateral and multilateral levels, in particular in the extradition and apprehension of African terrorists.
I would like to conclude by reiterating our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. I urge the international community to muster the necessary political will to confront the challenge, as nothing can justify the murder of innocents. We support the draft presidential statement that will be adopted at the end of this debate.