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STATEMENT In Response to the Address by the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov

04.10.2018

  as delivered by Ambassador Arman Kirakossian, Permanent Representative of Armenia, at the 1196th Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council

October 4, 2018

 

Mr. Chair,

 

We would like to warmly welcome Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, Ambassador Vladimir Voronkov to the Permanent Council and thank him for his address.

 

Armenia strongly values the cooperation of the UN and OSCE in addressing transnational threats particularly terrorism and in this regard we are pleased to be guided by the global perspective of fighting terrorism, something that have been just presented to us by Ambassador Voronkov.

 

There are three points on which we would like to elaborate in this regard.

 

First, there is a broad consensus in the OSCE on the imperative of addressing security threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters. As result, we have OSCE commitments which are related to the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2170 and 2178. Those commitments clearly identify terrorist entities such as ISIL, ANF and Al Qaida associates as recruiting forces of foreign terrorist fighters. As result of defeat of these groups there is a clear threat of return of foreign terrorist fighters. It goes without saying that this return may endanger peace and security in their countries of origin as well as in the conflict areas. Religious solidarity which is often a subject manipulation in conflict situation in the OSCE area can provide new causes for terrorist foreign fighters.

 

Therefore, we find it important to address this threat through further commitments related to combatting phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.

 

Second, as a result of activities including mass atrocities perpetrated by above-mentioned terrorist entities the entire societies face hardships which may amount on particular cases to humanitarian disasters. Rehabilitation of victims of terrorism is an important humanitarian endeavour. Armenia has been providing humanitarian assistance to affected populations on the ground particularly in Syria and will make further concentrated efforts in this regard.

 

Third, as we contemplate on our humanitarian response to the victims of terrorism we should not forget that antiterrorism efforts do not provide a license for human rights violations.

 

Systematic extrajudicial killings, incarceration of journalists and restriction on civil society cannot be justified by fight against terrorisms in OSCE area. All restriction should be legal, proportional and necessity driven in the clear context of fighting terrorism and in line with international human rights and humanitarian law. We see also apparent need to strengthen our commitments on upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of fighting terrorism.

 

In conclusion, we would like to thank again Ambassador Voronkov and wish him every success in his responsible mission.

 

Thank you