Terrorism is the concern shared by the entire membership of the United Nations and the international community at large. My Delegation supported your decision to organize this Open Debate out of our understanding that broad participation by UN Member States in this debate contributes to the promotion of not only our common efforts in the fight against terrorism, but also their effectiveness. I thank Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate for his briefing. We appreciate his efforts to improve the organization and working methods of CTED, as reflected in the proposed changes contained in the Organizational Plan presented to the Council in document S/2008/80.
International terrorism continues to be one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. It constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, endangers the territorial integrity and stability of States, causes severe destruction to the infrastructure of many countries and horrifying losses and injuries to innocent people. Viet Nam has been consistent in its condemnation of terrorist attacks in whatever form, for whatever motive and by whomsoever, including those committed with the pretext of defending democracy and human rights. We uphold the view that the international fight against terrorism must be strengthened in a comprehensive and balanced manner, in compliance with international law, particularly the principles of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of States. Phenomena such as political, economic and social inequalities, double standards, selectivity as well as the use of force in international relations, all creating conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism need be addressed. And, so be root causes of international terrorism such as absolute poverty, political and social injustice… In the fight against international terrorism, the United Nations must continue to play a leading role, especially in promoting international cooperation and complementing Member States’ efforts.
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council adopted resolution 1373 (2001) stipulating concrete obligations that Member States shall undertake to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks. By the same resolution, the Council decided to establish the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to monitor the implementation of these obligations. The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) established by the Council in March 2004 and tasked to support CTC in performing its mandate of monitoring the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and continuing the capacity-building work that CTC had undertaken has completed its first three year mandate. My Delegation aligns itself with the conclusions by the Security Council as reflected in the Statements by the President of the Council contained in documents S/PRST/2005/64 of 21 December 2005 and S/PRST/2006/56 of 20 December 2006 respectively. Viet Nam has been supportive of CTED in its dialogues with Member States to identify ways of improving their counter-terrorism capacity and its efforts to provide them with technical assistance. In August last year, CTED undertook a visit to Viet Nam where it had fruitful discussions with Vietnamese counter-terrorism agencies. We are committed to continued cooperation with CTED, especially in the follow-up of the visit and in contributing to the work of CTC.
We concur with CTED’s assessment that there have been further developments in both the threat that terrorism poses to us and how we face these challenges. Much progress has been made in raising the awareness of Member States of their obligations under Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism, as well as of the need to promote international cooperation in this connection. Member States now look to the UN agencies for assistance to strengthen their capacity and expertise for effective implementation of their counter-terrorism obligations. Acknowledging CTED's crucial role in supporting CTC in its efforts to fulfill its overarching goal of ensuring full implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), Viet Nam will support the renewal of CTED's mandate spelled out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1535 (2004) for 3 years starting from 2008. We call for further emphasis by CTED on the guiding principles of cooperation, transparency and evenhandedness. We welcome CTC's decision to direct CTED in developing a more flexible approach to visits to countries, which would allow more focused visits tailored to the needs and situation of the country concerned. We encourage CTED to work out a more comprehensive strategy for engagement with donors to match their capabilities and programs with the capacity-building requirements of Member States. We welcome CTED’s readiness to participate in and support all relevant activities under the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including its more active involvement in the work of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
I thank you, Mr. President.