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Statement at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Threats to International Peace and Security

Threats to international peace and security: Linkage between international terrorism and organised crime

Statement by Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason

Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations

New York, 9 July 2019

Thank you Mr. President,

Let me begin by thanking Peru for organising this important debate and for your continued leadership in strengthening our understanding of the linkages between international terrorism and organised crime, both of which have grown substantially in scale and threat in the last twenty years.

Mr. President, we are here because debates such as this matter. A vitally important step in countering these twin threats is to better understand the nature and scope of the links that exist between them. We must do more to deepen our understanding together, here at the UN, in our governments and across civil society.

Mr. President, drawing from your useful concept note, allow me to make four brief points.

First, it seems like a truism but it’s a fact that, fuelling both terrorism and organised crime, are the complex, evolving global systems of money laundering and terrorist financing. We have no hope of addressing this individually. A coordinated approach is key to effectively tackling it. Ireland’s response brings together a range of Government Departments and Agencies, including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Irish police, our Criminal Assets Bureau and Revenue Commissioners. But we need more.

The Security Council must also play its part. We were pleased to co-sponsor the French-led Resolution 2462, setting out a comprehensive approach to combat the financing of terrorism. As ever, the challenge now is to move from rhetoric to implementation.

Second, we know that organised crime groups and terrorist organisations are increasingly recruiting from the same pool of largely marginalised, often vulnerable people. Prisons are particularly fertile recruiting environments. Petty criminals and members of organised criminal groups are often radicalised. Police training and the meaningful involvement of women and youth are crucial in combatting that.

Third, multilateral engagement and collaboration are a sine qua non to effectively countering these threats.

My country Ireland, sees a central role for the UN in leading the coordinated and inclusive response of member States guided by The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. We believe we ought to make a concerted effort to increase the visibility and effectiveness of UN activities on counter-terrorism.  As a candidate for a seat on the Security Council for the term 2021-22, we believe two things.  That this indeed is a threat to our collective peace and security and second, as such, that this Council can and must play a central role in understanding and combatting the links between terrorism and organised crime.

As a member of the European Union, we would like to acknowledge the important work undertaken by EUROJUST in improving judicial cooperation in countering organised crime and terrorism. We also greatly value the work of Frontex and Europol and the support they offer in facilitating information sharing amongst EU member States.

Mr. President,

Finally and importantly, we strongly believe that counter-terrorism measures, especially cross-border information-sharing, should never undermine our obligations under international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law. Civil society play a crucial role and we encourage further efforts to strengthen this partnership. Put simply, building and maintaining trust between public, private and non-governmental organisations is the bedrock upon which we must take this fight forward.

This Council, UNODC, UNODA and the UN system as a whole, possess a wide variety of tools to combat these threats. Our job is to ensure that we put them to use. My country, Ireland, reiterates our unwavering commitment to engage actively with partners here at the UN and, hopefully with the support of this house as a Security Council member in the near future, we will work actively to address the threats. We believe that we owe this to the countless victims. 

Thank you.

 

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