G8 Statement on Strengthening the UN's Counter-Terrorism Program
St.Petersburg, July 16, 2006
1. We, the Leaders of the G8, renew our pledge of solidarity in the continuing struggle against the world-wide scourge of terrorism. At Gleneagles, we denounced all terrorist acts as criminal for which there can be neither excuse nor justification. We agreed to respond resolutely to bring terrorists to justice wherever they are. And, we renewed our commitment to work with partners in the United Nations (UN) and in other international and regional fora.
2. At Evian, we recognized the key role of the UN in the global fight against terrorism and committed to strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of its efforts. In that regard, we agreed to support the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in a variety of ways to broaden its reach and enhance its effectiveness. Recognizing that developing successful capacity to fight terrorism was essential for all countries, we also created the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) to focus on building political will and coordinating capacity building assistance while working closely with the CTC. We look forward to working to expand such coordination activity with other partners.
3. Today, in St. Petersburg, we reiterate our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, clearly and resolutely. As the only truly world body, the UN is the sole organization with the stature and reach to achieve universal agreement on the condemnation of terrorism. We call upon the Secretary-General to continue to use the unique international stature of his office to reinforce this point.
4. A comprehensive response to the urgent threat of terrorism must be a core focus of the UN. While the Security Council should continue to play its crucial role, as illustrated by the adoption, since Gleneagles, of resolutions 1617, 1624 and 1673, other UN organs, organizations and bodies must strengthen their efforts as well, thus, contributing to the broader counter-terrorism effort through capacity building, education, economic development and by addressing the facilitating factors that may breed terrorists. Countering terrorism, state-building and development are mutually dependent and mutually supporting. Counter-terrorism should be addressed across the UN system in a coherent and coordinated way. Thus, we welcome the Secretary-General's commitment to help achieve this. Enhanced UN counter-terrorism capacity will have far-reaching benefits. It will reduce the likelihood of conflict and social unrest and contribute to increased foreign investment, good governance and long-term development.
5. Since 2001, the number of UN counter-terrorism-related programs has grown considerably with overlapping monitoring and capacity-building efforts. More should be done to integrate the disparate programs, and we specifically take note of the work initiated by the Secretary-General in this area. We pledge to work with the UN to ensure that each of its programs is results-focused and calibrated to maximize its impact and that subsidiary bodies and their staffs are streamlined and engage with each other and with other relevant international bodies with increased cooperation and systemic coherence.
6. In the 2005 World Summit Outcome document, we, along with the other Heads of State and Government, emphasized that the UN must do more "to assist States in building national and regional capacity to combat terrorism" and recognized that "many States continue to require assistance in implementing relevant Security Council resolutions." We warmly welcome the emphasis on capacity building in the Secretary-General's recommendations for a global counter-terrorism strategy. The UN must make the best use of limited resources by focusing on the most vulnerable States and identifying and meeting priority needs, working with the donor community. It must engage proactively specialized organizations and agencies, with particular regard to ICAO, WCO, IMO, as well as relevant regional organizations and international financial institutions. We call upon the CTC, relying on its Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, to take those steps necessary to make their work more relevant and accessible to both the donor and recipient communities.
7. We observe that, too often states do not comply with their obligations under UN Security Council counter-terrorism resolutions. We call for the Council and its counter-terrorism bodies to redouble efforts to ensure universal compliance. We agree with the Secretary-General that there must be standards of accountability - against which the compliance efforts of each State can be measured with a view to ensure the implementation of the international counter-terrorism obligations. We encourage the UN to develop such concrete standards. Keeping in mind the primary responsibility of the member States to ensure implementation of their counter-terrorism obligations, we reaffirm our commitment to such implementation and call upon all States to meet their obligations.
8. In order to help States meet their obligations under UNSC counter-terrorism resolutions, we encourage the Council, including through its CTC, 1267 and 1540 committees, to endorse on an expedited basis the counter-terrorism-related recommendations developed by international bodies such as IAEA, ICAO, IMO, and WCO, as well as the FATF, and, most importantly, we support the development of best practices in areas in which none currently exist.
9. The international conventions and protocols related to terrorism adopted by the UN and its specialized agencies have established an important legal framework for international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts. We welcome the efforts of the UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch to provide States with technical assistance to enable them to join and implement these instruments. Much more work remains to be done, however, as less than one-half of the UN membership has ratified all twelve of the basic international instruments currently in force. We call on States to redouble their efforts on an urgent basis and to do so, whether or not they are a party to regional conventions.
10. At Gleneagles, we welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, initiated by the Russian Federation. We call upon all States to ratify this instrument and look forward to its early entry into force. We reiterate our call for the UN General Assembly to conclude swiftly the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which will complement the broad legal framework set out in Security Council resolutions and the other international conventions and protocols related to terrorism. It is time to conclude this negotiation.
11. We welcome efforts by the UN General Assembly to prioritize its work on counter-terrorism. We commit to work constructively with all UN Member States in concluding our deliberations on the UN strategy as soon as possible. In particular we welcome the emphasis on concrete and practical contributions the UN system is capable of making to the global fight against terrorism and on coordination of donor activities with the United Nations, to ensure resources are effectively invested where they will have the greatest impact in providing further deterrence to terrorism .
12. We recognize that international cooperation to fight terrorism must be conducted in conformity with international law, including the Charter and relevant international conventions and protocols. States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law.
13. As G8 Leaders, we pledge the sustained commitment required to identify and counter the terrorist threat, and to work together to strengthen the UN's counter-terrorism efforts. We seek to ensure that the UN makes a significant and long-lasting contribution to the global counter-terrorism effort with the ultimate goal of eliminating the terrorist threat. We call upon all States to join us in this crucial endeavor.