Thank you Mr President,
First of all, as has been said by my friend the French President, I would like to extend my condolences to the families of all the victims of terrorism. And I fully support what my colleagues the British and Australian Prime Minister and the King of Jordan have just said: using religion to justify acts of barbarism is the worst thing to do.
I would like to thank you for having taken the initiative to convene this Security Council Summit. It is an opportunity to affirm the full commitment of Luxembourg to counter the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters. It is a threat that has increased in recent months. It concerns us all, as was explained to us by our Secretary-General a while ago.
The distinguished speakers that preceded me have clearly described the problem. For Europe and for my own country, the threat emanating from foreign terrorist fighters is a matter of growing concern. At present, it is estimated that thousands of foreign fighters have joined terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the Al-Nusra Front or Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, particularly in Syria and in Iraq. When they return to their countries of origin, these terrorist fighters continue to present a danger. The arrests of numerous fighters in the Middle East and in Europe, the recent atrocities committed in Arsal in Lebanon, and the terrorist attack perpetrated against the Jewish Museum in Brussels on 24 May 2014, are examples which attest to the fact that the threat is real.
To counter this threat, there is no magic formula. Since we are all concerned, it is obvious that we must all act together. The response of the international community and the Security Council needs to be commensurate to this challenge. In this regard, I welcome resolution 2178, which we have just adopted unanimously, at the initiative of the United States, and which Luxembourg has been honoured to co-sponsor.
As for the actions we should undertake going forward, I see three priorities.
First, we must intensify our efforts to prevent radicalization to terrorism and to counter violent extremism. Why and how does a young person whose record was flawless yesterday become a terrorist tomorrow? In Europe, a “Radicalisation Awareness Network” has been put in place by the European Commission, in order to support of local communities. This network connects first-line practitioners who are in direct contact with targeted individuals or vulnerable groups of population, in order to exchange experiences and best practices. This network is part of the prevention strand of the European Union counter-terrorism strategy. It should be strengthened. This is a long-term effort we intend to pursue, including when my country assumes the Presidency of the European Union during the second semester of 2015.
Second priority: we must make every effort try to prevent those who want to leave to fight with terrorist groups from traveling to conflict zones. To this end, we need to strengthen the exchange of information and cooperation among Member States. The European Union is actively working on this. We also need a sufficiently robust legislation, to put it in place in order to ensure that foreign terrorist fighters can be effectively prosecuted and brought to justice. In Luxembourg, the incitement to commit a terrorist act, terrorist recruitment or the creation of a terrorist group, as well as terrorist training constitute criminal offences. My Government is already working on updating the criminal code, also in order to fully take into account the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, in accordance with the provisions of the resolution we have just adopted.
Third priority: we must redouble our efforts to dry out the sources of financing of foreign terrorist fighters. As an international financial centre, Luxembourg is conscious of its special responsibilities in this regard. My country has adopted a full and consistent arsenal of legislative and regulatory measures in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, and we are paying particular attention to their effective implementation. These measures fully take into account the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, called FATF.
I would like to conclude by stressing a point I believe is essential: respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law need to be an integral part of our counter terrorism strategy if we want it to achieve its aim. All the measures we take to counter the threat of foreign terrorist fighters must respect international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. Otherwise, we would only heighten the sense of injustice and impunity which fuels radicalization and the spread of terrorism.
This morning, before the General Assembly, dear President Obama, you asked the world to join in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Faced with these killers who have no regard for our human values and do not hesitate to recruit children for their dark cause, we must be steadfast in upholding the values upon which the United Nations have been founded.I thank you for your attention.