Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate briefing to the Security Council on the Republic of Iraq

30 May 2018 Statement of Ms. Michèle Coninsx

Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General
Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)

Madame President,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is my great honour and pleasure to address the Council today, alongside Under-Secretary-General Vladímir Voronkov and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jan Kubiš.

I wish to begin by conveying my deepest respect for the Government and people of Iraq, for their continued determination and resilience to overcome the scourge of terrorism.

I also wish to express my continued and unwavering support for all the victims of terrorism in Iraq, as well as their families.

The Under-Secretary-General and I were able to witness the remarkable determination of the Iraqi people at first hand, in both Baghdad and Fallujah, during our recent high-level consultations with the Iraqi Government.

The consultations were conducted in accordance with the respective mandates of the Office of Counter-Terrorism and CTED, and within the framework of the strengthened coordination between the two Offices called for by the Council in its resolution 2395 (2017).

Our discussions focused in part on the facilitation and provision of tailored capacity-building assistance to Iraq, on the basis of the priority needs identified by the Committee in accordance with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

I would also like to thank the Iraqi authorities, and the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, Ambassador Mohammad Hussein Ali Bahr Aluloom, for the hospitality extended to us during our visit and for their continued willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with us on a broad range of issues.

Madame President,

I now wish to inform the Council about the recent efforts of CTED to assist Iraq in the area of counter-terrorism.
Acting on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, CTED conducted an assessment visit to Iraq in September 2015.

The visit report was endorsed by the Iraqi Government in March 2016 and subsequently adopted by the Committee.

At that time, Iraq’s response to the terrorist threat was primarily military in nature.

In an effort to assist Iraq to combat terrorism also in non-military areas —particularly in the post-conflict phase — CTED identified 33 key recommendations on ways to strengthen its overall response.

Recognizing that Iraq had the capacity to implement several of those recommendations, the Committee noted, nonetheless, that Iraq would benefit from receiving technical assistance in 16 priority areas.

Those areas included legal and judicial matters, counter-financing of terrorism, law enforcement and border control, and countering radicalization and incitement to commit terrorist acts.

The 16 priority needs were identified on the basis of CTED’s long-term dialogue and partnership with Iraqi counter-terrorism officials.
They were formulated in accordance with the international best codes and practices of our partner organizations, including INTERPOL, WCO, ICAO, UNODC, and others.

In follow-up to the visit, we have endeavoured to make the findings of the visit accessible to as many donors and implementing partners as possible.

And this approach marks a significant turning point in our engagement with Member States.

For the first time since its establishment, the Committee held two informal meetings on Iraq for donors and partners, in March 2016 and May 2017, respectively.

The meetings enabled the Committee to follow-up on progress achieved since the 2015 visit and to take stock of recent developments and continued challenges.

This approach has since been emulated for Afghanistan.

Since the two informal meetings, CTED has returned to Iraq on several occasions in an effort to ensure that the discussions held at Headquarters continue to reflect the situation on the ground.

These various activities have been organized in close cooperation with UNAMI and have also involved Iraqi Government officials, as well as representatives of the donor community, international and regional organizations, and other United Nations entities.

The focus of our efforts has been to facilitate the integration of the Committee’s recommendations into the existing or planned programmes of our implementing partners.

We are determined to ensure that our partnership with the Iraqi Government is complemented by close cooperation with UNAMI and that our work on counter-terrorism is fully complementary with UNAMI’s overall mandate.

I wish to thank the Iraqi Government for its continued commitment to this process.

And I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Special Representative and his team for their invaluable cooperation.

Madame President,

Throughout our engagement with Iraq - whether in New York, Baghdad or Fallujah - Iraq has retained full ownership of the assistance facilitation and delivery process and has continued to endorse the 16 identified priority areas.
Our implementing partners and organizations have also continued to share and update information concerning their current and planned efforts; areas in which they continue to require financial support; and areas in which they might be able to partner with other implementing agencies and stakeholders.

All this information is entered into a matrix, which is designed to ensure full transparency for our partners in Iraq, New York, and other relevant capitals.

This process helps us not only to avoid duplication and overlap, but also to develop new partnerships.

An example in this regard was our recent facilitation of a legislative drafting workshop organized by the Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC.

The workshop led to the development of draft counter-terrorism legislation that has been submitted to the Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Committee for subsequent consideration and adoption by parliament.

I wish to reiterate the need for Iraq to actively manage the adoption of counter-terrorism legislation in accordance with the relevant international standards, in order to ensure that the perpetrators of terrorist acts are brought to justice in accordance with human rights and the rule of law.

The CTC is currently considering ways to strengthen its assessment process and follow-up mechanisms, pursuant to paragraph 9 of Council resolution 2395 (2017).

And I firmly believe that the example of CTED’s engagement with Iraq will be very useful to the Committee’s work in that area.

I am convinced that this historic joint mission, and our follow-up mission, organized by UNOCT, provides and effective model for our future engagement with Member States.

Madame President,

We are grateful for the continued efforts of all implementing partners that have helped Iraq to achieve such encouraging progress in implementing some of the Committee’s priority recommendation.

We urge them to continue their efforts and to encourage other partners to join with the Committee, CTED and the Iraqi Government in their efforts to strengthen Iraq’s counter-terrorism capacities in the areas identified by the Committee.

I wish to assure the Council that CTED will continue, in close cooperation with the Under-Secretary-General’s Office of Counter-Terrorism and UNAMI, to engage closely with its implementing partners to determine the most effective ways to support Iraq. We must spare no effort in sustaining and strengthening our collective support for the Government of Iraq and its people.

Our joint visit was unique in its approach and I hope it will be unique in its impact as well.

We are determined to ensure that we and our implementing partners continue to act as “One UN”; that our efforts continue to be aligned; and — most importantly — that those efforts continue to have a direct and tangible impact on Iraq and on the lives of the Iraqi people, who have suffered so greatly from the ravages wrought by ISIL and other terrorist groups.

Our aim is to ensure transparency, accountability, and impact on the ground. We are determined to do everything in our power to ensure that there are no more victims of terrorism.

Thank you, Madame President.

Last modified on Saturday, 02 June 2018 02:59

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