UK Foreign Secretary’s UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee speech

Madame Chairman, your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The first thing I’d like to do is thank India, our hosts, and Dr. Jaishankar for his keynote address.
You are correct that countries must increase their national and international efforts to combat terrorism. The United Nations and an effective CTC play important roles in this endeavor.
A beautiful memorial honoring the victims of the 2002 Bali bombing is situated just outside my workplace in London. 202 victims from over 20 nations, including 23 from the United Kingdom.
When terrorists attacked London in 2005, one of the 52 individuals they killed was biochemical graduate Neetu Jain, 37, who was born in Delhi.
Moreover, the victims of the 2008 assaults on Mumbai, whom we commemorated yesterday, came from every continent.
Terrorism is a worldwide issue and a global concern, so I am extremely thankful to Foreign Minister Jaishankar for utilizing India’s Security Council Presidency to focus on this vital topic and progress his eight-point plan.
The relationship between the United Kingdom and India is vitally essential to me. And I’m excited to advance our CT collaboration this weekend. Let me now turn to the technological advancements that provide terrorists with new options against which we must defend.
Terrorists have gone from disseminating shaky voice recordings from the depths of Tora Bora to worldwide online recruitment and incitement operations to live-streaming attacks in barely twenty years. And internet instigation and racialization of weak individuals in other places, who have subsequently used simple rental vans as weapons of terror. Therefore, we must continue to collaborate to combat online extremist ideology.
In 2015, we established the Counter Daesh Communication Cell in London in collaboration with the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates government. We have collaborated with governments, civil society, and communities to counter Daesh’s propaganda.
Additionally, we collaborate with the G7 and the Global Internet Forum to combat terrorism. And we continue to press tech companies, including some of the largest players on the internet, to crack down even more on extremist online content.
The same technologies that fuel the virtual world also power the physical world. However, both are exploitable. The best-intended technology can be repurposed for the worst purposes.
In Abu Dhabi’s Ambassador’s Garden in January of this year, I witnessed the UAE’s Air Defence System intercept Houthi missiles. And just a few weeks prior, three people were killed by drones in Abu Dhabi. During Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, critical national infrastructure and civilian targets are currently being targeted by drones. Thus, from the United Arab Emirates to Ukraine, relatively inexpensive and unsophisticated unmanned aerial systems to those with military specifications are used to inflict terror, death, and destruction.
This is why we have sanctioned three Iranian military commanders and one Iranian company involved in drone supply, and why we must do more to prevent terrorists from acquiring these technologies.
The United Kingdom launched its Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy in 2019 and is funding the development of new anti-drone technologies.
And through the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, we are working to ensure that we all do more to prevent terrorists from misusing drones.
Internet has also provided terrorist organizations with murky new ways to conceal their finances and sustain their operations. We collaborate with the private sector and international partners to comprehend and stop the financing of terrorism, notably in Somalia and North Africa. We have made combating illicit funding a central component of our engagement with international partners such as the United Arab Emirates. In November, we look forward to India’s “No Money For Terrorism” conference.
This is important work. The threat posed by terrorism has not disappeared. We are aware that a restrictive response will simply make the problem worse.
And if we are to ensure the safety of our people, we must comply with human rights and continue to collaborate with industry and all sectors of our communities to refute hate myths.
To counter radicalization. To penetrate into networks. To thwart schemes. And to deprive terrorists of the funds and emerging technologies they would employ to destroy the United States.

»UK Foreign Secretary’s UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee speech«

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