Ambassador Chris Lu
US Representative for UN Management and Reform
New Delhi, India
October 29, 2022
Thank you, Chair. I first thank the Government of India and the Committee on Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for hosting and organizing this important meeting. I particularly welcome the participation of a range of partners from civil society and the private sector. Their input is critical to countering the use of emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.
As we heard from Secretary Blinken yesterday, the American people express our condolences and solidarity with the people of India on the fourteenth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks and we reiterate our call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice .
At the heart of our joint counter-terrorism effort is the need to protect lives. The victims of terrorism remind us of our collective responsibility to prevent acts of terrorism everywhere in the world, and to hold terrorists accountable.
Today’s Special Meeting builds on previous commitments and strategies. In line with Pillar 4 of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, we must ensure that efforts to combat terrorism respect human rights.
In addition to the importance of upholding human rights in the fight against terrorism, the United States is pleased that today’s outcome document recognizes the importance of gender as a broad issue for counterterrorism. The role of gender in counter-terrorism is multifaceted. To that end, I highlighted the CTED report earlier this year on Masculinities and Violent Extremism.
Turning to the terrorist threats we face, an April 2020 trend alert from CTED found a 320 percent increase in what the United States calls racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, or “REMVE” globally with recent years. We welcome the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum’s (GCTF) new REMVE Policy Toolkit adopted last month as a recommended set of whole-of-society and whole-of-government responses to this emerging international terrorist challenge.
We call on Member States to use a wide range of tools, in respect of human rights, to combat REMVE transnational threats, including stepping up information sharing, using terrorist sanctions authorities, preventing terrorist travel, and diplomacy be used to raise public awareness.
Let me turn to the three themes of this Special Meeting.
Over the past year, attacks involving armed Unmanned Aerial Systems have increased. Around the world, terrorists and other non-state actors have used UAS to attack critical infrastructure, and military and diplomatic facilities. We should continue to share best practices, building on existing efforts such as the GCTF’s “Berlin Memorandum on Best Practices for the Counter-Terrorist Use of UAS”.
Regarding emerging financial technologies related to terrorist financing, we recognize the ongoing work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), including its discussions with the private sector on virtual assets and other emerging technologies.
Innovations in cyberspace have benefited some of our joint efforts and shared interests, including advancing counter-terrorism. However, the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes poses a major challenge to international counter-terrorism, cyber security and digital governance.
The United States continues to be proactive in countering terrorist content online, respecting the freedom of expression that is consistent with our Constitution and our longstanding support for a secure, open, reliable, trustworthy, and interoperable Internet. This includes voluntary collaboration with private technology companies. For example, we encourage companies to improve and enforce their terms of service to ensure that their platforms are not being used to host terrorist or violent extremist content.
The United States, however, condemns the use of counter-terrorism as an excuse to stop, jam or disrupt communications services. These actions undermine freedom of assembly, association and peaceful expression, interfere with access to essential services, and have a negative impact on the economy.
In conclusion, while this Committee has made many important contributions to global counterterrorism efforts, our work is not done.
As we continue to address threats from Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and their affiliates, including through nominations in the 1267 Committee, we will also need to increase our collective effort to identify foreign nationals who remain in risk of repatriation of terrorist predators in camps such as. al-Hol, in north-east Syria.
We must continue to build the political will and capacities of member states to strengthen law enforcement and judicial systems, improve threat intelligence sharing, enhance border security, counterterrorism funding, and strengthen counterterrorism efforts. The United States stands ready to partner with other Member States in a way that promotes human rights and the rule of law and fosters pan-UN and societal approaches.
Before I finish. I must respond to the false claims made by the Russian Federation which seem to deflect their own wrongdoing. His attack in Ukraine is illegal and must stop.
Thank you again to the Government of India and CTED for your work in hosting and organizing this important event.