Statement delivered by Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council briefing on “Threats to International Peace and Security caused by terrorist acts’—
I thank the Secretary-General for this clear and exhaustive report and USG Feltman for his briefing. Some issues are worth being highlighted.
Daily brutal violent acts affecting civilians continue to occur. To this point, we strongly condemn the most recent terrorist attacks conducted in Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Egypt and Iran and express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
We are aware that this threat is increasing also by means of hate propaganda. Security Council resolution 2354 raised awareness throughout the international community that countering terrorism only militarily, or blocking its sources of revenue, is not enough: it is crucial that the credibility of their distorted interpretation of religion be undermined by effective and widely shared positive information and education, through a solid and durable co-operation with the private sector, Internet Service Providers and social media platforms.
We also recognize the importance of the private sector in fighting financial flows to ISIS, therefore we welcome the emphasis in the report on ongoing efforts aimed at strengthening multilateral CFT frameworks and national legislations and acknowledge the importance of providing the most exposed Countries with technical assistance and training programs.
We share the concern, highlighted in the SG report, over trafficking in human beings and in cultural property as a means of funding terrorist acts. Resolution 2347 on Illicit Trade and Trafficking in Cultural Property as well as resolution 2331, which condemns all forms of trafficking in persons undertaken by Daesh and other criminal groups are milestones of paramount importance in this challenge.
In this regard, we reiterate our strong condemnation for the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking that continues to endanger the lives of thousands of people along their journey through Africa and the Mediterranean Sea – made more appalling by its possible contribution to financing terrorism. In its constant efforts to combine security and solidarity, Italy remains committed to rescuing and assisting the thousands of migrants who reach our shores.
We acknowledge that ISIL / Da’esh will remain for a long time the most serious threat to the security of our Countries. While ISIL’s military defeat in Iraq and Syria is only a matter of time, International Community must remain vigilant on the one side by helping stabilizing and normalizing liberated areas, on the other side by countering and preventing the lingering global threat.
Stabilization of liberated areas in Iraq, together with reforms and reconciliation are the strongest antidotes to a resurgence of the terrorist threat. As for Syria, only a genuine political transition will allow to create the conditions for completely uprooting ISIL and other extremist and terrorist actors from the country.
In Libya, outstanding results have been achieved in the fight against Daesh; nevertheless, countering terrorism must remain a strategic priority. In order to make it more effective, we continue to support the solution based on unified security forces under the control of the Presidential Council. This would strengthen the legitimate institutional framework upheld by the LPA and the Security Council.
In perspective Daesh might turn into a more traditional terrorist and criminal organization, though with a still unique appeal and capabilities. The more the would-be caliphate disappears from the map, the more they might try to raise their profile through further terrorist attacks in our homelands. In this regard we welcome the emphasis in the report on returning and/or relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters. Indeed, regardless of the size of flows, we share the concern about the risks for FTFs returning to their countries of origin or to third country destinations.
Still, with reference to returnees, we appreciate the attention the SG’s report gives to legal aspects, stressing the centrality of a judicial response to terrorists’ criminal activities and the respect for the Rule of Law. We therefore believe that the most affected countries should receive technical and legal assistance in a timely and effective manner. Moreover, the experience gained in the Lake Chad Basin, highlighted in resolution 2341, should be considered a very good example for the development, on a larger scale, of strategies for returnee rehabilitation and reintegration.
We welcome the reference in the SG’s report to human rights-compliant approach in countering ISIL (Da’esh), which must remain a cornerstone of the International Community’s approach in countering terrorism. We cannot expect to build effective and credible counter narratives without a crystal clear record on upholding human rights and promoting fundamental freedoms, including when it comes to monitoring terrorist exploitation of ICT.
International cooperation is crucial to counter-terrorism. The United Nations must continue to play leading role in fostering law enforcement and judicial cooperation – including through its agencies and offices – to strengthen response to ISIL (Da’esh) at regional as well as global level. Full support therefore to the proposed establishment of a new office of Counter-Terrorism to increase effectiveness of UN assistance to Member States through enhanced coordination and streamlining. Likewise, Italy is closely following the implementation of resolution 2322 (2016) adopted on 12 December 2016. The ARRIA meeting held on 8 May 2017, dedicated to national central authorities represents one of Italy’s specific contributions to this end.