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I would like to thank Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, and Mr. Weixiong Chen, the Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, for their valuable briefings.
The United Arab Emirates places great importance on countering extremism and terrorism in accordance with international law. The international community has made progress in the war against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, including the killing of its leader last week. Yet, the recent Secretary-General’s report indicates that threats by Daesh still exist and are dangerous, especially as the group spreads in several African countries. Terrorists continue to exploit security and political gaps and exacerbate the difficult humanitarian conditions to expand their influence.
As the recent developments in Afghanistan have raised international concerns about the possibility of becoming a hotbed of terrorism and a destination for foreign terrorist fighters, we affirmed the need to ensure that Afghanistan will not be used as a safe haven for terrorists or threatening the stability of neighboring countries.
No country or region is safe from terrorism. These cross-border threats cannot be eliminated without unity and concerted international efforts. Therefore, I would like to focus on the following points:
First, there must be zero tolerance for terrorist acts and groups that undermine international stability and target innocent civilians. Recently, my country witnessed heinous terrorist attacks carried out by the Houthi militia against civilians and civilian infrastructure in flagrant violation of international law. As such, we urge countries to coordinate, exchange information, and impose international sanctions on terrorist groups to force them to stop any behavior that threatens international peace and security.
Second, we must continue to develop strategies and laws on both the national and the international level. These strategies should also take into consideration the local and regional contexts. In this regard, Hedayah Center collaborates with more than 100 countries to prevent extremism and terrorism, including by assisting in establishing national plans tailored to national contexts.
Third, advanced technology is a double-edged sword. Therefore, we must take the necessary measures to prevent terrorist groups from exploiting advanced technology to finance or carry out their operations. At the same time, we must harness technology and artificial intelligence to protect societies from extremism and terrorism. In this context, my country continues to confront Daesh’s extremist narrative and to develop counternarratives, sending a clear message against Daesh through our co-chairmanship with the UK and US of the Communication Working Group of the Global Coalition against Daesh. This is done through exchanging experiences with countries, developing multifaceted strategies, and cooperating with relevant institutions. Additionally, Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi continues to counter Daesh’s false allegations by launching several awareness campaigns, including the “Africa Against Extremism” campaign, which aims to prevent Daesh from penetrating the African continent and expanding there.
Finally, we must take the necessary preventive measures to protect peoples from extremism and terrorism by promoting the values of peaceful coexistence, empowering women and youth, and increasing our efforts towards achieving sustainable development goals.
Efforts to bring stability and rebuild the liberated areas in Syria and Iraq must also be intensified. As a co-chair of the Stabilization Working Group within the Global Coalition alongside the US and Germany, my country has contributed more than $170 million to support these efforts by rebuilding the infrastructure and historical sites, building national capacities, and encouraging the safe return of internally displaced persons.
In conclusion, the UAE believes that we are stronger united. Harnessing our energy and efforts together will help us to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and achieve stability and prosperity for the peoples.