Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC open debate “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: combating the financing of terrorism”

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC open debate “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: combating the financing of terrorism”

Check against delivery

Mr. President,

At the outset let me join the previous speakers and thank the French Presidency for convening today’s open debate and the briefers for providing us with valuable presentations on the topic.

While fully aligning with the statement of the European Union delivered today, I would like to make the following comment in my national capacity.

I will focus my remarks on two main issues proposed by the Presidency for our debate but will start with the one regarding the adaptation of the international response to the changing nature of the terrorist threat.

Recently a number of important developments took place with a view to advance new counter-terrorism standards as well as to further consolidate and amplify international counteraction to this threat. The momentum was used to introduce a more nuanced approach to combating the financing of terrorism. In this regard, we welcome a unanimous adoption of resolution 2462 (2019), which was co-sponsored by 51 states, including Ukraine. We believe this resolution will be another practical tool at our disposal to reinvigorate a global response to the financing of terrorism, taking into account constantly evolving methods and tactics by terrorists and their sponsors. Indeed, we are witnessing growing challenges related to abuse of legitimate financial institutions and businesses, emerging of new payment methods as well as the use of non-profit organizations for transferring funds for terrorist purposes. In addition, it provides particular measures to assess and address the potential risks associated with innovations in financial technologies, products, and services.

Despite the efforts undertaken to counter terrorism, including legal, diplomatic and military measures, more should be done to eradicate this phenomenon, which has become rampant at the regional and global levels, with a particular focus on underlying causes of terrorism. Therefore, the following measures are still needed to be further strengthened, namely:

— to enhance States’ capacities in collecting credible evidence of terrorist activities;

— to introduce a more universal criminalization of the actions of all perpetrators, organizers, mentors, and sponsors of terrorism; and

— to ensure the ultimate prosecution and punishment of those who provide funding for terrorist activities in any form and by any methods;

— to promote cooperation between Government and the private sector, involving social media; and to raise awareness about the existing risks in this area as well as financial flows with links to terrorist activities;

— to ensure effective international cooperation and mutual assistance at the level of financial intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

These efforts should be based on relevant international legal instruments, including Security Council resolutions as well as recommendations elaborated within the framework of the Financial Action Task Force.

This brings me to the issue of compliance with the international obligations in the counterterrorism area. It is crucial to ensure effective implementation of all international instruments in combating terrorism in force including the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Unfortunately, not all states respect their international obligations in this area. For example, by joining the Terrorism Financing Convention, states have pledged to suppress the financing of terrorism, but in reality, we continue to witness the opposite from some states, which has already caused tragic consequences, including in my country.

For already half a decade the policy of terror has become one of the key elements of the hybrid aggression, meanly and shamelessly launched against my country in 2014 in a blatant violation of fundamental international norms and principles, including the key counter-terrorism obligations.

The reports of the OSCE SMM and the UN Human Rights Mission in Ukraine confirm the continuous inflow of ammunition, weaponry, and fighters from the Russian Federation into the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. These military assets are delivered either openly, or under the guise of the so-called “humanitarian convoys”. With this and other Russian support, the illegal armed groups attacked MH17, taking nearly 300 innocent lives; with this and other Russian support, almost 13 thousand people were killed in Donbas, while nearly 1,6 mln. people were forced to leave their homes.

In the temporarily occupied Crimea, the aggressor state is discrediting international efforts — including those of this Council — to counter terrorism by producing fake accusations of terrorist activities and by illegally sentencing innocent people. Just few days ago, on the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the General Assembly resolution “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, the Russian occupation authorities have yet again chosen the so-called “Hizb ut-Tahrir” case — already used to fabricate cases against Crimean Tatar activists and their subsequent convictions — as a pretext for punitive actions against them.

Considering that Islamic extremism had never been part of the history of the Crimean Peninsula before the Russian occupation, the frequency with which the occupational authorities are using this accusation to justify their searches and detention of Crimean Tatar individuals strongly suggest that it is a pretext for discrimination. Thus, such actions constitute a blatant violation of the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination by the Russian Federation.

Those and other facts of violations of international legal framework prove, time and again, that combating the activities of individual terrorists and terrorist groups will be insufficient if the problem of State-sponsored terrorism is not effectively and comprehensively addressed. The issue of bringing to account not only individuals and organizations but also those states responsible for organizing, financing or otherwise supporting terrorist activities should be duly dealt with. The sanctions imposed on the aggressor-state should be maintained and further strengthened. The perpetrators of the heinous terrorist acts must be brought to justice.

I thank you.