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Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the 25th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice under Agenda item 4

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the

25th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Under Agenda item 4.

Thematic discussion on criminal justice responses to prevent and counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the financing of terrorism, and technical assistance in support of the implementation of relevant international conventions and protocols

As delivered by the Head of the Delegation, Mr. M. Hassan Soroosh Y.

Vienna, May 24, 2016

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to express my sincere congratulations to you and other members of the bureau on your election during this 25th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. I am confident that under your able stewardship, our deliberations in the framework of this year’s agenda will yield successful outcomes. I would also wish to thank the Secretariat for the timely preparation of the documents and for the excellent arrangements. Let me also thank the distinguished panelists for their excellent presentations, sharing their views on the topic.

This year’s thematic discussion is very timely and highly relevant to our collective efforts towards international peace and stability. Countering terrorism as an important area of focus within the United Nations including under the Crime Congress and the CCPCJ remains one of the most pressing issues of our time. Terrorism in its various forms and manifestations continues to threaten the security and stability of our societies with associated huge loss of lives as well as damages to infrastructures, resources and the overall economic growth and development.

The recent terrorist attacks across the globe are testimony to the fact that terrorism recognizes no boundary, religion or nationality and remains transnational in its nature. Evidence also shows a growing link between terrorism and various forms of organized crime including illicit narcotics, in some parts of the world, adding to the complexity of this menace.

Mr. Chairman,

For many years now, Afghanistan has remained the prime victim of terrorism and the battle front against this menace. Afghanistan continues to pay the highest price and to sacrifice and suffer the most in fighting terrorism. Every few days, dozens of innocent people including women and children lose their lives in various forms of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. In a recent single terrorist attack in Kabul on April 19th, more than 60 innocent people lost their live and over 300 people were injured, among them many women and children.

On its part, the Government of Afghanistan has undertaken a broad set of efforts over the past few years – including under the justice sector reform – to improve the institutional and legal frameworks required for effectively countering terrorism.  Along with accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC); the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the three drug-related conventions, Afghanistan has also joined an increasing number of international counter terrorism instruments.

The enactment of the new Law on Combating Financing of Terrorism, the new Anti-Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Law as well as the new Law on Extradition are recent examples of our efforts in the area of legislation. Furthermore, the institutional and operational capacities in countering terrorism in Afghanistan have considerably improved over the past few years, including the capacity of our National Security Forces. The Government of Afghanistan also attaches great significance to judicial cooperation at various bilateral, regional and international levels and has recently signed extradition agreements with a number of countries in the region.

 

Mr. Chairman,

As has long been argued, combating terrorism can only be effective when it is pursued under a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach and in this context, addressing socio-economic factors; financing of terrorism, terrorist sanctuaries as well as the growing links between terrorism, narcotics and other forms of organized crime should remain on top of our counter-terrorism agenda at all levels. Many terrorist groups continue to enjoy safe havens where they are trained, financed and equipped.

Addressing the socio-economic factors including poverty is crucial in countering the appeal of terrorism. In particular, youth unemployment that creates a sense of marginalization conducive to extremism and subsequently exploitation by the terrorist groups needs to be addressed. Therefore, security and law enforcement measures need to be taken along with measures to promote development and social inclusion.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Given the transnational nature of terrorism, international cooperation remains key in addressing various aspects of terrorism and in this context, we believe that the efforts by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and by Member States need to be further integrated and coordinated.

Intensified efforts are required  to strengthen border cooperation, information sharing and judicial cooperation including in the areas of extradition and legal assistance at sub-regional, regional and international levels as well as to improve the capacity of the criminal justice officials with a view to respond more effectively to the threats posed by and challenges associated with terrorism.

As highlighted in the Doha Declaration, counter-terrorism capacity building remains crucial in addressing this menace including in the implementation of the relevant international instruments.

We highly value the Joint Plan of Action between Afghanistan and UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) for the Implementation of Technical Assistance Activities to Support the Efforts of Afghanistan in the Area of Preventing and Combating Terrorism as an important technical assistance framework for strengthening the legislative and institutional capacities to prevent and combat terrorism in Afghanistan. Areas under the Joint Action Plan, namely the protection of victims, countering the financing of terrorism as well as fighting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are among the important priority areas in these counter-terrorism efforts. Furthermore, work is underway to include important topics such as countering extremism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) in the next phase of the Joint Plan of Action.

In conclusion, let me reiterate that we appreciate the approach being pursued in the provision of such technical support which gives due attention to national ownership with a view to meet the specific needs and priorities of Governments in preventing and combating terrorism.

Thank you!

 

 

 END

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) undertakes efforts to counteract drugs, crime and terrorism by promoting health, justice and security. It adopts an integrated approach in dealing with drugs, crime and terrorism. It also promotes regional security and cooperation by mainstreaming criminal justice into peacekeeping and peace-building operations. The PM of Afghanistan engages with UNODC in various areas, such as crime, terrorism, strengthening of law enforcements, human trafficking, yet the main focus area represents the fight against illicit drugs. Afghanistan has benefited from legal and technical assistance to prevent terrorism, to combat international crime and human trafficking. The UNODC Country Programme on Afghanistan represents a large-scale, long-term effort in tackling the illicit drugs problem in Afghanistan by seeking to eradicate illicit crops and create alternative sustainable livelihoods.

The United Nations International Development Organization

The United Nations International Development Organization is a specialized agency of the UN that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The Organization has two core functions: firstly, to act as a global forum and generate and disseminate industry-related, secondly, to provide technical support and implementation projects. Afghanistan became a member of UNIDO in 1985 and since then it has benefited from global expertise and experience to address complex development challenges. The Afghan PM regularly attends meetings at the UNIDO headquarters and actively participates in meetings and decision-making processes.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

With 57 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. It puts the political will of its participating states into practice through its unique network of field missions. Its comprehensive view of security covers three dimensions: the politico-military, the economic and environmental and the human. Since 2003 Afghanistan became a partner for co-operation to the OSCE. Thus Afghanistan, as one of OSCE’s Asian partners, benefits from shared experience of the OSCE in a number of areas, such as a new security paradigm, conflict prevention, applicability of confidence-building mechanisms, human dimension security and anti-trafficking.

The International Narcotics Board

The International Narcotics Board (INCB) is responsible for monitoring and supporting Governments’ compliance with the international drug control treaties and was established in 1968. It is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the UN international drug control conventions. The UN 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs establishes strict controls on the cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush, cannabis plant and their products, which the Convention describes as ‘narcotic drugs’. The INCB works to strengthen and monitor the control system established under the 1961 Convention. The PM of Afghanistan works closely with INCB, seeking to emphasize the need for shared responsibility in the efforts undertaken to address the world drug problem. It benefits from recommendations in how to improve drug control efforts and strengthen shared responsibility principles.

The International Atomic Energy Agency

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the world’s center for cooperation in the nuclear field. It was established in 1957 as the world’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ organization within the UN family. The agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. The PM of Afghanistan works with the IAEA for safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. It strives to make a contribution to international peace and security and this way meet the Millennium Goals for social, economic and environmental development. Afghanistan joined the IAEA in 1957 with the aim of fostering the exchange of scientific and technical information on peaceful uses of atomic energy. Technical Cooperation is the highest priority in Afghanistan’s cooperation with the IAEA. As a mineral rich country with a complex geological structure, Afghanistan regards the Agency’s assistance in mine exploration and exploitation through utilization of nuclear techniques as highly important.

The International Anti-Corruption Academy

The International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) became an international organization in March 2011. It represents a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Republic of Austria, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and other stakeholders. Its aim is to overcome current shortcomings in knowledge and practice in the field of anti-corruption. Members of IACA include all UN Member States and international organizations, which have signed, ratified or acceded to the IACA Agreement. The PM of Afghanistan engages with IACA in research on structural reforms and attends tailor- made trainings, all of which represent opportunities for knowledge transfer and networking.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. The treaty has a unique and comprehensive verification regime to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. The International Monitoring System consists of hundreds of facilities which monitor the planet for signs of nuclear explosions. Afghanistan was the 169th state to sign the CTBT and the 105th to ratify it in 2003. The PM of Afghanistan in Vienna works closely with CTBT in order to ensure that all nuclear safeguards are in place in Afghanistan and is fully dedicated to strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.