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Greece, Australia call on UN Member States to agree to global pact on terrorism

Greece, Australia call on UN Member States to agree to global pact on terrorism

A comprehensive global convention against terrorism must be concluded as soon as possible, the representatives of Greece and Australia told the General Assembly today, calling for the issue to be a priority among United Nations Member States.

Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis said the convention, which is the subject of ongoing negotiations between Member States, “would be a valuable addition to the counter-terrorism legal framework.”

He added that Member States must also do all they can to fully implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which the General Assembly adopted last year.

Mr. Valinakis, who was speaking at the annual high-level debate, stressed that any global counter-terrorism measures must conform to international human rights standards and fundamental freedoms.

He said the UN should be strengthened as part of efforts to contain terrorism and deal with major threats to security.

“In the face of all these threats and challenges that transcend State borders, we need a more comprehensive concept of collective security based on respect and justice as requirements for peace, as well as solidarity as a condition for security, entailing a commitment from all to promote sustainable development.”

Ambassador Robert Hill, the Permanent Representative of Australia, said a global convention “would provide a solid foundation for international cooperation.”

Talks among Member States on a draft treaty have been progressing at the UN for years, but have stalled on a number of issues, including the precise definition of terrorism.

Mr. Hill stressed that the international community must help countries that fight terrorism, especially “fledgling, democratic States. We must help these States to establish strong democratic institutions and accountable government structures – as State weakness can allow terrorism to fester.”

He also called on UN Member States to fully implement all Security Council resolutions relating to freezing the assets of terrorists.

“Terrorist organizations must be starved of their funds and support,” Mr. Hill said.