Thank you for convening our meeting today, and thank you also to Deputy Secretary General Voronkov, Acting Executive Director Chen, and Ms. Praxl-Tabuchi of the Global Center for their presentations.
"Terrorism is fundamentally the denial and destruction of human rights, and the fight against terrorism will never succeed by perpetuating the same denial and destruction." This observation by the Secretary General in 2017 still resonates today. It should serve as a guiding principle for all discussions on, and actions against, terrorism - in this Council and beyond. People around the world suffer from terrorist acts, which we strongly condemn in all their forms and manifestations. Yet we cannot respond with indiscriminate force: every terrorist threat has its own root causes and its own dynamics of radicalisation and violence. We must examine each context and always respect international law, in particular human rights, international humanitarian and refugee law, in all our efforts.
Switzerland is concerned about the recent developments in Africa and Central Asia described in the Secretary-General's report, especially in conflict zones and neighbouring regions. Already complex situations are becoming even more opaque with the emergence of new extremist and violent groups. But the continuing threat from ISIS is global in nature and extends far beyond these regions. Like many other countries, Switzerland is also affected: last month, a man who claimed to act in support of the Islamic State, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after stabbing a randomly targeted individual.
In order to face these challenges, we need to redouble our efforts and pursue a differentiated, gender- and age-sensitive approach to prevent and combat radicalisation and violent extremism in all its forms. The full and balanced implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy must remain a priority, addressing, amongst others, the root causes and ensuring the rule of law as a fundamental basis for our engagement. Civil society and human rights defenders, crucial partners in this task, must be able to operate in a safe and respectful environment.
Finally, we note the report's emphasis on the increasing use of new technologies by ISIS. With the Delhi Declaration, the Counter-Terrorism Committee has a good basis for further consideration of this issue. However, we cannot only see new technologies as a potential threat in this context. They also offer important economic, social and cultural opportunities that we can use to prevent and combat terrorism. In this respect, an inclusive dialogue with the private sector, academia and civil society is key. Furthermore, we must strive to use new technologies wisely, in accordance with international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Secretary-General concludes his report by stating that "[...] security responses alone are not sufficient. They must be accompanied by efforts to prevent new recruits from joining the ranks of the IS and other terrorist groups.” Switzerland agrees with this conclusion. The fight against terrorism and thus against the threat posed by the IS can only be successful if we look at the situation as a whole, taking into account all the factors that lead to radicalisation and violence. Thus, we can only succeed if we abide by the rule of law.
I thank you for your attention