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Statement by H.E. Mr. Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia at the Security Council Open Debate on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”


Mr. President, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,


I thank the U.S. presidency and President Obama for the initiative to convene this meeting to address the threat to peace and international security by terrorism, with particular focus on the Foreign Terrorist Fighters. Like many nations, Estonia is gravely concerned about the recent wave of aggressive terrorism and violent extremism, which crosses state boundaries and poses a threat to countries far from conflict zones. Therefore, today’s discussion at the highest political level here at the Security Council is most timely.


We should agree on further means and ways of cooperation to fight the phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The appalling wave of violence by the ISIL and Al Nusrah Front is supported by the influx of radicalized foreign fighters. They pose a real threat, not only there, but also in their countries of origin after returning home. The repercussions of the same phenomenon are visible also in the Sahel region. Terrorism in all forms and manifestations is unjustifiable regardless of the motivation.


Mr. President,


Terrorism needs a global response. Only intensive, close and well-coordinated cooperation between nations and international organisations can bring results.


There are many different ways to fight terrorism. Direct action has to be taken against terrorists’ safe havens. This can include military strikes as demonstrated by the recent actions against ISIL. Travelling of the fighters to and from such havens must be prevented. Globally we have to block the financing of terrorism and close all their channels of support. We have to identify and sanction individuals and groups sponsoring terrorism or facilitating and financing the recruitment of foreign fighters.


Another important track to minimizing the threat of terrorism is to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. These range from strengthening legal systems to reducing poverty and tackling the development-security nexus. We can more effectively counter terrorism by addressing it as a horizontal cross-cutting issue. We are satisfied by the manner in which UN and EU Counter-Terrorism strategies are taking this approach forward.


Mister President,


The outcome of our discussion today enables Member States to address this growing threat within the context of respect for international law and human rights.  Therefore Estonia, as a co-sponsor, fully supports the swift implementation of the new Security Council resolution on Foreign Terrorist Fighters.


It is crucial for all nations and relevant international organisations to provide necessary resources and mechanisms to implement these measures. Estonia is fully committed to this. We have to tackle terrorism and violent extremism as quickly as we can and where-ever it emerges, to avoid its further spreading.


Thank you for your attention.


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