H.E. SYED MOHAMAD HASRIN AIDID
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON AGENDA ITEM 114:
MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
AT THE SIXTH COMMITTEE OF THE 75TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 7 OCTOBER 2020
At the outset, allow me, on behalf of my delegation, to congratulate you on your election as Chair of the Committee.
2. Malaysia aligns itself with the statements made by the representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Cambodia on behalf of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
3. Malaysia records its appreciation for the Secretary-General’s report as reflected in document A/75/176, which allows us to be updated on various measures undertaken by Member States and international organisations with regard to the prevention and suppression of international terrorism and information on cases caused by terrorism.
4. Malaysia welcomes the convening of the Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week, organised by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) on 6-10 July 2020. We are heartened to note that the importance of multilateralism and a shared sense of common purpose and unity to address global threats of terrorism were underscored time and again. We look forward to the convening of the second (in-person) Counter-Terrorism Week, including the seventh biennial review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the Second High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, and the first Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism next year.
Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)
5. Malaysia remains flexible and supportive to the issue of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations. We reiterate that the Conference would serve as an important way forward to address the challenges handicapping global counter-terrorism efforts, and its convening should not hinge on the conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). In view of the ongoing pandemic situation, we support convening the high-level conference soonest as the conditions allow.
6. Malaysia continues its support for the Sixth Committee to establish a working group to finalise the conclusion of the CCIT. We also support all dialogue and efforts to resolve outstanding issues during the intersessional period.
CT/PVE during the COVID-19 pandemic
7. Malaysia shares the concern that the COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate an already complex, evolving and increasingly localised terrorism threat. Measures imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic like the movement control orders may have negatively impacted the operational activities of terrorists. However, they may have also exposed the general public to the danger of online radicalisation and recruitment.
8. At the recently concluded General Debate, my Prime Minister reiterated the importance of winning the “hearts and minds” in the psychological war against terrorism. He also underlined the imperatives of transparent communication, good networking, and greater intelligence cooperation at the national and international levels to counter terrorism and radicalisation during this pandemic. He further underscored that effective communication strategies at all available channels must be prioritised to ensure that misinformation and disinformation is countered, without infringing respective domestic laws.
9. Malaysia has undertaken continuous vigilance on online activities as part of our counter-terrorism efforts. The Southeast Asia Regional Centre on Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) continues to engage with youths and speak to them on the dangers of radicalisation – creating ‘mental firewalls’ to block radical ideologies from penetrating their psyche. Malaysia is also joining New Zealand and France in the Christchurch Call to Action which seeks to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
10. We continue to focus on detection and prevention measures to stay ahead of local Daesh supporters and sympathisers. Stricter control of international borders contributed significantly to the reduction of movement of foreigners into Malaysia, hence giving advantage to counter-terrorism efforts in hindering suspicious entry of foreign terrorist fighters as well as other extremist elements. Malaysia also remains vigilant to the emerging threats of cyber-attacks against critical national infrastructure and bioterrorism, and will continue to enhance our efforts against this scourge.
11. Finally, Malaysia reiterates its commitment to work within the United Nations framework in the efforts to prevent and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Although much work remains, rest assured of Malaysia’s cooperation in discussions at this General Assembly as well as our commitment to see a world free from terrorism.