Mr. President,

Switzerland would like to thank Tunisia for the organization of this open debate on this important topic.

There are anniversaries that one would prefer not to celebrate; but who could have predicted in 2001 that the terrorist threat would increase and diversify to such an extent? From then on, the structures put in place in 2001 have been long-lasting, have been able to evolve and will in all likelihood continue to exist. We should therefore be pleased with the responsiveness and constancy that the international community has shown within the UN in the fight against terrorism. In that context, Switzerland would like to commend the remarkable work and commitment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate.

Switzerland would particularly like to underscore the importance of the Committee, through the country visits carried out by its Executive Directorate, in its role of making recommendations and collecting good practices, thus contributing to ensuring the conformity of national legislation with international law, in particular human rights and international humanitarian law. Switzerland, the first country to have agreed to share its assessment, can only encourage the other countries visited to do the same in order to promote the dissemination of good practices and the establishment of appropriate national legislation.

The creation of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, followed shortly afterwards by the establishment of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, are major developments towards greater coherence and effectiveness of UN action in the fight against terrorism. These new structures contribute to the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, also as a coordinated support to Member States.

If Switzerland were to illustrate only one aspect in this brief statement with regard to the trends, challenges and opportunities for the Security Council in the fight against terrorism and particularly in the context of this anniversary, it is once again the essential element of respect for international law, and in particular human rights and international humanitarian law, that it would like to highlight. Switzerland welcomes the willingness of the Committee and its Executive Directorate to examine this issue further, in particular by preparing a report on the implementation of counter-terrorism measures in accordance with international humanitarian law and on the impact of those measures, particularly with regard to combating the financing of terrorism, on neutral and impartial humanitarian commitments under international humanitarian law. Switzerland would like to recall in this context that both international and national counter-terrorism measures must be designed in such a way as to avoid any criminalisation of humanitarian activities provided for by international humanitarian law.

We conclude by affirming once again that the legitimacy and effectiveness of measures against terrorism inevitably depend on respect for international law.