Your Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad and President of the Security Council,
I thank you, Mr. President, for convening this open debate on “Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime”. We commend you for the choice of this particular topic, at a time when terrorism and violent extremism continue to challenge the resolve and efforts of the international community. I thank Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, for his briefing and for his able coordination of UN system initiatives against terrorism and transnational organized crimes. I also thank Ambassador Antonio Tete, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, for his briefing and Rwanda aligns itself with his statement on behalf of the AU.
We have noted that, despite various findings on the intersection between terrorism and transnational organized crime in the last decade, there isn’t a dedicated Security Council forum to discuss both topics jointly. As Rwanda, we believe that effective strategies to tackle one should be responsive to the strategies to tackle the other.
Organized crime such as wildlife trafficking in the Central African region, in particular the Central African Republic, maritime piracy, drug trafficking in northern Mali, kidnapping for ransom, illicit trade of charcoal involving Al- Shabaab, illegal mineral trade by armed groups, including the genocidaire FDLR in the DRC, as well as oil smuggling by ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, has become a lifeline for terrorist organizations. Even more worrying is the contribution of organized crimes to the instability of countries emerging from conflict and to the collapse of fragile states. In Africa, this is true from the East to Western African coasts, where organized crime has undermined governance and accountability structures, creating a breeding ground for terrorist organizations.
It is important that we enhance capacity of national law-enforcement and counterterrorism institutions and ensure a strong coordination and collaboration of all stakeholders, if we are to succeed in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. In this regard, I hope that the Secretary-General report, requested by the just-adopted resolution 2195, will enable this Council to make a comprehensive assessment of the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, consider its impact on conflict prevention and conflict resolution efforts, particularly in Africa; and make concrete proposals on effective measures required to deal with this issue.
We welcome the Nouakchott Declaration, adopted yesterday, during the first Summit of countries participating in the Nouakchott process on the enhancement and the operationalization of security cooperation and the operationalization of the African Peace and security Architecture in the Sahelo-Saharan Region. This Declaration stressed the importance of exchange of information and intelligence in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. In this respect, the collaboration of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) and the Committee on Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) is critical to eradicate both scourges on the African continent.
Border security and management remains one of the core challenges for countries facing the most imminent threat of terrorist attacks, particularly in Africa. Therefore, the lack of adequate capacity to effectively control border security and management easily fuels transnational organized crime and unhindered movement of terrorist groups, with their negative impacts on State authority and sovereignty. In this context, it is encouraging to note that the Matrix of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) on UN Counter-Terrorism Projects features prominently important projects addressing the issue of border security and management globally and on the African continent.
However, more work needs to be done, including by this Council. We need to use existing Security Council mandates and tools to analytically address organizational and operational connections between networks of transnational organized crime and those of international terrorist organizations. This exercise could provide opportunities to disrupt global criminal activities and pre-empt terrorist operations. To achieve this, inter-states and regional cooperation assistance would be crucial, since it would require among other issues, information sharing and common methods of intelligence gathering and analysis.
Organized crimes and terrorism have plagued some of the areas the UN has deployed its peacekeeping or special political missions. And in most cases, these missions have neither the mandate nor the required capacities to deal with these scourges. This is the case for AMISOM in Somalia and MINUSMA in Mali. It is therefore critical to tailor specific UN peacekeeping mandates to specific situations, taking into account of the scope of terrorism threat. Meanwhile, we look forward to the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Peacekeeping Operations that was appointed by the Secretary General. We believe that the Secretary-General Report, expected mid- 2015, would guide the Council on ways to reorient its focus for its future peacekeeping operations mandates, taking into consideration new emerging threats, including terrorism and violent extremism.
Finally, Mr. President, we believe that this debate should remain open for future in-depth exchange between the Council and Troop and Police Contributing Countries, considering the political landscapes and geographical presence of UN peacekeeping operations throughout the world.
I thank you.