New Zealand welcomes these reports from the UN counter-terrorism committees. In responding to the threat of global terrorism, the United Nations, through the work of the General Assembly, the Security Council and UN agencies, is best placed to coordinate international efforts. The UN Global Strategy on Counter-Terrorism, the 16 international counter-terrorism instruments, and UNSC Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 provide the framework for these efforts.
New Zealand is very encouraged by the significant work the 1267 Committee has done pursuant to Resolution 1822 to improve the procedures for listing and de-listing terrorist entities. In particular, New Zealand welcomes the concrete steps that have been put in place to review all names on the consolidated list by mid-2010, and the work that is underway to make narrative summaries of the reasons for listing entities available on the Committee’s website. These initiatives, along with the other measures mandated by Resolution 1822, will do much to improve the listing process, and to increase public confidence in the UN Counter-Terrorism framework.
New Zealand’s approach to countering terrorism continues to be guided closely by the UN framework. The spread of terrorist attacks and the globalisation of terrorist networks confirm that no region or country can be complacent when it comes to taking measures to combat terrorism. This principle underlies New Zealand’s commitment to building counter-terrorism capability in the small island states of the Pacific region.
Pacific Island countries face particular challenges in meeting international counter-terrorism obligations. The political will is clear, but resources are limited. New Zealand continues to assist these countries meet the requirements of the international counter-terrorism agenda, and we are encouraged by the progress they have made in improving counter-terrorism legislation, policy and operational capability in the Pacific.
We welcome the work of UN counter-terrorism agencies in the Pacific. In the last month, New Zealand has co-sponsored two regional workshops arranged by the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs on 1540 implementation and by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) - Terrorism Prevention Branch on maritime counter-terrorism. New Zealand hosted a workshop on radioactive source security and safety under the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism that complemented the 1540 event. Next week, New Zealand will convene the annual Pacific Working Group on Counter-Terrorism which is the primary forum for counter-terrorism policy discussions in the region. The Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, UNODC and the 1540 Committee have been invited to participate in the Working Group meeting.
In Southeast Asia, New Zealand continues to support a number of counter-terrorism capacity building initiatives both bilaterally with key partners and regionally. New Zealand has provided additional financial assistance to the UNODC and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) for their projects in both Southeast Asia. We are also continuing our programme of counter-radicalisation activities aimed at preventing recruitment into terrorism, particularly in the areas of media, education, and youth.
Domestically, New Zealand remains determined to take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorism to ensure that our country is neither a target nor a source for terrorist activity. We continue to improve our legislative, policy and operational capabilities in line with international standards and obligations, including prioritising work to ratify all 16 international counter-terrorism instruments.
Last month New Zealand welcomed a team of experts from the Financial Action Task Force and the APG who undertook a mutual evaluation of New Zealand’s approach to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. This is a priority issue for the New Zealand Government and new legislation is currently being prepared to ensure New Zealand is fully compliant with FATF recommendations.
We look forward to a visit to New Zealand in July by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. This provides a valuable opportunity to ensure New Zealand’s domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts are coordinated with the UN framework.
it is important to recognise the threat of international terrorism requires a comprehensive, multi-layered and long-term response. New Zealand remains steadfast in its commitment to this response including supporting our regional partners on the frontline of this struggle.