Statement by H.E. Mrs. Marina Kaljurand, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Settlement of Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and Countering th
Mr President, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Like many nations, Estonia is gravely concerned about the recent wave of aggressive terrorism and violent extremism. Following President Obama’s initiative, we gathered here last September to discuss various threats posed by terrorists and especially by ISIL and to stress the global and comprehensive role of UN to counter terrorism and radical extremism. The main outcome of this meeting was the adoption of the Security Council resolution 2178 with the purpose to cut funding of terrorist groups, as well as recruitment and travel of the foreign terrorist fighters. Today we can take stock of the implementation of this important resolution. In Estonia, the inclusion of the terms and requirements of the resolution into our national legislation is by now almost completed.
Our common aim is to establish peace and security in Middle East and North Africa by effectively countering terrorist threat in the region, caused by ISIL and other terrorist groups. Yesterday we held the summit of the international coalition to counter ISIL. This reflects the dedication of the international community in addressing the terrorist threat. We welcome this approach, as ISIL is without any doubt the biggest and most complicated terrorist threat to peace and security in MENA region and beyond. We have to stop this aggressive and brutal movement, which kills innocent people and causes great waves of refugees.
While stressing the need of international cooperation to counter ISIL, we should effectively use our resources and capabilities and avoid dangerous parallel tracks. Estonia supports the existing coalition and its working groups. Cooperation must continue in this framework. Terrorism needs a global, unified and consistent response. Only intensive, close and well-coordinated cooperation between nations and international organisations can bring concrete results.
It is also clear that long term stability and eliminating any kind of manifestation of terrorism and violent extremism in Middle East and North Africa can be achieved only by addressing the ongoing tensions between different non-extremist political, ethnic and religious groups. In Syria, Libya and Yemen, a key for a more effective fight against ISIL and other extremists would be political solutions to the ongoing conflicts. For that to happen, we have to support ongoing UN efforts.
There is one more aspect to add. It’s true, that today all these phenomena often appear in the broader Middle-East, where Islam as religion is unfortunately used to conceal terrorist goals. But we have to address the concern more widely – UN as a global player should keep its general approach to tackle terrorism and violent extremism everywhere it emerges; to address terrorism in all forms and manifestations, regardless of its religious, political, historical or ethnical background and motivation.
To conclude, I would like to stress, that Estonia welcomes the work of UN Secretary General in the field of counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism, especially for preparing an “Action Plan on prevention of violent extremism”, and of UNCTED inter alia for organising throughout the year a full set of international meetings on this subject.
Thank you for your attention.