Switzerland thanks Indonesia for organizing this open debate. We welcome the first report of the Secretary-General on the issue of linkages between terrorism and organized crime.
Terrorist organizations and transnational criminal networks exploit and benefit from a lack of good governance and rule of law, porous borders, high levels of corruption and weak and inefficient democratic institutions and law enforcement. In such situations and in many of today’s armed conflicts and other situations of violence, terrorism and transnational organized crime can flourish and fuel each other.
While there is a global recognition that there are links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, the nexus is undeniably complex and very diverse. We welcome the fact that this important issue is now on the agenda of the Security Council. Efforts at the global level must be enhanced.
Switzerland would like to highlight the following three priorities in this regard:
First, all efforts to tackle terrorism and transnational organized crime must be made in full compliance with international law, including international human rights law as well as international humanitarian law. They need to be in conformity with the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and non-discrimination. Given the growing convergence between terrorism and transnational organized crime, criminal justice responses need to take this nexus into consideration and use operational methods and legal instruments that have proven to be effective. Switzerland reiterates the Secretary-General’s call on Member States to adopt human-rights based approaches to address these crimes.
Second, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) represents an important platform on this topic. Together with Nigeria Switzerland co-chairs the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group of this forum and leads an initiative that focuses on the criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism, transnational organized crimes and international crimes. An Addendum to the Hague Good Practices on the Nexus should be adopted next September by the GCTF. It provides guidance and recommendations on how to strengthen the criminal justice approach and to improve the capacity of law enforcement officials and prosecutors to successfully detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes that sit at the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, while respecting international law and in particular human rights obligations.
Third, corruption and terrorism must be addressed in a more connected manner. Resolution 2482 (2019) is explicit that counter-terrorism must include the fight against corruption. We call on the Security Council to dedicate more attention to it. More research on the linkage is needed in order to better address the risk in an appropriate manner. Therefore, Switzerland worked with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) to better analyze the connection between corruption, terrorism and terrorism financing. One conclusion is the importance of having an enhanced criminal justice and law enforcement approach, as corruption enables terrorist financing by exploiting links with organized crime groups.
When terrorism and transnational organized crime intersect, violence can escalate and armed conflicts and other situations of violence can intensify. This has thus a negative impact on international peace and security. Breaking this cycle necessitates the engagement of the entire international community and we call on the UN and all member states to intensify their efforts.