Pakistan calls for enhancing transparency of the UNSC sanctions regime

Pakistan backs restructured UN’s counter-terrorism strategy targeting Islamophobia

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UNITED NATIONS- Pakistan conveyed to the UN General Assembly Tuesday that the revised Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) it adopted by consensus last week “quite rightly” calls for addressing new and emerging terrorist threats on the basis of xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia.

“One of most important purposes of the GCTS review is to keep the strategy relevant and contemporary in the light of emerging new threats and evolving trends of international terrorism, ” Aamir Khan, Pakistani Deputy Permanent Representative, said in the course of the seventh review of the strategy, pointing out that Pakistan had suffered the most at the hands of terrorism

First adopted in 2006, the GCTS is an international normative and operational framework against global terrorism, which is reviewed and updated bi-annually in view of emerging trends in global terrorism. It consists of four “Pillars,” that focus on conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; measures to prevent and combat terrorism; build states’ capacity to fight terrorism; and ensure respect for human rights in this regard.

The Pakistani representative said, “Today one of the most concerning emerging trends in global terrorism is in the form of terrorist attacks on the basis of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, Islamophobia or other forms of intolerance, by violent nationalist, supremacist, far right, and other such groups and ideologies.”

Unfortunately, he said, the coronavirus pandemic had further exacerbated this threat, with such terrorist groups capitalizing on the pandemic to spread hatred and conspiracy theories, including through internet and social media platforms.”

While explaining Pakistan’s position on the adopted strategy, Aamir Khan said it quite rightly recognizes with deep concern the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence directed against members of religious and other communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia and other such prejudices.

He hoped that the upcoming report of the Secretary-General will take a comprehensive overview of the emerging threats in this regard.

“In order to address the root causes of terrorism, it is imperative for the international community, in particular, the UN Security Council, to address situations of prolonged unresolved conflicts, foreign occupation, and denial of the right to self-determination, the Pakistani representative said.

“History bears testimony to the undeniable reality that the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination results inevitably in perpetuation of violence and conflict.

“Aggressors, colonizers and occupiers often attempt to justify their suppression of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom by portraying them as ‘terrorism’.

“We, therefore, welcome that the adopted resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to take measures to resolve prolonged conflicts, as well as to end foreign occupation in order to address conditions conducive to the spread of international terrorism.”

Pakistan, he said, has been and will continue to call for necessary changes in the global counter-terrorism architecture and the UN Security Council sanctions regime to end stigmatization of followers of certain religion as well as to broaden the scope of such measures against new and emerging threats, including on the basis of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, Islamophobia or other forms of intolerance.

At the same time, he reiterated Pakistan’s call for enhancing the transparency of the UN Security Council sanctions regime, as well as addressing the deficiencies in the global counter-terrorism architecture and norm building, particularly as a result of the regulatory landscape being developed under the Council’s umbrella through adoption of Chapter VII (enforcement) resolutions.

Throughout the negotiations, he said Pakistan has maintained its principled position that all the activities of the United Nations Counter-terrorism (UNOCT) should be funded through the regular UN budget, and the UNGA should give full autonomy and a central role to the UNOCT to implement its mandate.

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