UN system should be more transparent: AUS

Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia’s Mission to the United Nations (UN) stated that on behalf of Australia, I would like to thank the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Tunisia for their active facilitation of this significant resolution. In particular, I would like to thank the Permanent Representatives of Canada and Tunisia for their efforts to protect Australia’s interests.

In addition, I want to express my gratitude to Undersecretary-General Voronkov for his leadership on the issue of counterterrorism within the United Nations system. We applaud the work of the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism and the organizations that make up the United Nations Global Compact to put the Global Counterterrorism Strategy into effect.

Terrorism and violent extremism continue to be a menace to communities worldwide, despite the fact that some beneficial achievements have taken place since the seventh review of the GCTS.

Terrorist organizations do not recognize national boundaries, and with the help of the internet, they may operate on a worldwide scale.

Because of this, global cooperation and collaboration are essential to attaining our counterterrorism goals and maintaining the safety of our citizens.

When the GCTS was initially implemented, the international community collaborated to coordinate a unified global effort to combat terrorism and preserve lives. That was seventeen years ago.

During the seventh review of the GCTS, Australia expressed their satisfaction with the inclusion of wording on the significance of preserving human rights while fighting terrorism. They also expressed their satisfaction with the understanding that our counterterrorism measures can sometimes have a negative impact on the communities that they are attempting to protect.

In essence, we were aware that counterterrorism actions could, on occasion, make the factors that contribute to radicalization worse.

In addition, Australia expressed its approval of the inclusion of terminology pertaining to gender analysis. In doing so, Australia acknowledged the need of understanding the varied causes and effects of terrorism in order to develop more efficient prevention and intervention strategies.

In this context, Australia applauds the creation of the Gender and Human Rights Unit in the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UN Office of Counterterrorism), and the Australian government has high hopes that the unit would promote a gender-sensitive approach throughout the UN’s counterterrorism efforts.

In the eighth review, efforts were made to develop our frameworks for understanding and responding to the gender dimensions of terrorism, particularly how notions of masculinity play a role. Australia expressed its appreciation for these efforts and welcomed them.

We were dismayed to learn that the General Assembly was unable to reach a decision with which everyone agreed.

The work done by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion as well as protection of human rights along with fundamental freedoms in the context of fight against terrorism is greatly appreciated in Australia.

We are particularly grateful to her for shedding light on the shrinking space available to civil society as a consequence of measures taken to combat terrorism.

When it comes to effectively combating violent extremism, Australia’s perspective, which is supported by our experiences both locally and globally, is that a comprehensive approach to society as a whole is essential.

Civil society has the most in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the local community, as well as the most effective, community-specific solutions.

Australia is in agreement with the belief that the United Nations system ought to be open and accountable, as well as effective, efficient, and consultative.

We applaud the efforts being made by the United Nations Office for Counterterrorism to formulate strategic strategies as well as to increase monitoring and evaluation.

Especially as we get closer to the GCTS’s 20th anniversary, Australia is looking forward to the establishment of an outcomes framework that may be utilized across the entire UN system to assist stakeholders in completely evaluating the implementation of the GCTS.

Independent oversight of the integration of rule of law, human rights, and gender as cross-cutting features across the activity of the United Nations is something that Australia would have liked to have seen. We were really sorry that we were unable to reach a consensus on this matter.

In another three years, Australia will participate in the ninth review of the GCTS, and the country has high hopes that the General Assembly will be able to provide a significant response to the constantly shifting nature of the terrorist threat.

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