The threat of terrorism has forced Tunisia to double the budget of its military and security expenditures, Foreign Minister Khemais Jhinaoui told the United Nations General Assembly today, stressing that more international support was needed despite the Government’s efforts to stamp out the scourge.
Indeed, the world’s “hotbeds” of terrorism are fueled by poverty and war, and linked to organized crime, refugee flows and large-scale violations of human rights, and he called for a comprehensive global response to the terrorist threat.
On development, Mr. Jhinaoui said Tunisia has mainstreamed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its national plan for 2016 2020, also aligning its development priorities with African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063.’
Noting that Tunisia would present its first report on the implementation of the Goals at the next session of the UN Economic and Social Council High-Level Political Forum, he said it was critical to consider countries’ specific situations as they implemented those targets.
Indeed, reductions in financing to developing countries – especially those in Africa working to achieve those Goals – would have a negative impact. Tunisia had also signed the Paris Agreement, having committed to reducing its emissions by 41 per cent by 2030.
More broadly, he called for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict centred on the prompt establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Voicing concern about the conflict in neighbouring Libya, he said Tunisia is playing a mediation role, along with Algeria and Egypt. All solutions to that issue must be in line with Security Council resolutions and avoid creating a leadership vacuum, he added.