NEW YORK: Pakistan has welcomed the creation of the new UN Counter Terrorism Office and congratulated Russia on the appointment of Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov as the Under Secretary General for the newly established office.
Expressing this in a meeting of the Advisory Board of the UN’s Counter Terrorism Center, Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that she hoped the new office will bring better coordination and coherence across the UN system on counter-terrorism.
She said Pakistan expected the new office to play an important role to improve coordination in counter-terrorism related capacity building assistance to the Member States, at their request, as well as in the balanced implementation of the UN’s Global Counter Terrorism Strategy across its four pillars.
She said Pakistan looks forward to working closely with the new office and will provide all possible assistance to the new Under Secretary General in the implementation of the mandate provided to him by the General Assembly.
The new UN Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT), was established following the adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution by consensus on 15 June 2017. Its creation represents the first major reform of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to be implemented since his assumption of office.
On 21 June 2017, the Secretary General appointed Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, the Russian Ambassador in Vienna, as the Under Secretary General to lead the OCT.
Pakistan is a member of the Advisory Board of the UN’s Counter Terrorism Center, whose recent meeting reviewed the UN body’s work.
Speaking in the meeting, Ambassador Lodhi emphasised the need for the UNCCT to develop a greater understanding of various terrorist movements, their specific motivations, objectives, organisations and modus operandi. She said that “We cannot build an effective response without such understanding.”
The Pakistani envoy appreciated the UNCCT’s work and stated that it had played an important role in developing programs and projects for enhancing capacity and capabilities of the Member States to respond to the growing threat of terrorism at global, regional and national level.
She told the participants of the meeting that since its inception the UNCCT had come a long way, and had worked to create synergies within the UN bodies by adopting an “all of the UN” approach. The UNCCT’s wide-ranging programs including border security and management, assistance to member states in terrorist designations and assets freezing, youth empowerment initiatives and various other programs have helped build the technical capacity of Member States in combating terrorism.
Going forward, she said, it is also important that the UNCCT’s projects and programs keep pace with the rapidly evolving and multi-faceted threat posed by terrorist and extremist ideologies. In this regard, it is important that member states are encouraged to take the initiative in identifying their specific needs, which could then be addressed by the UNCCT through close coordination and consultation with the respective states.
Apart from Pakistan, the members of the Advisory Board include Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, US, and the EU (as guest member).