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Ladies and gentlemen, let me express my sincere gratitude to the Turkish government for hosting this important event and to you, Secretary Clinton and Minister Davutoglu, for preparing and leading our session.
I warmly welcome the first participation of Tunisia in the GCTF ministerial meeting, and I congratulate foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem for his remarks and his commitment to work with all of us in addressing the common challenge of fighting terrorism. Thanks to the determination that democratic institutions and the rule of law can assure to our societies.
Madame Chairperson and Mister Chairman,
Terrorism continues to be a threat worldwide. Over the last few months, my country has been the victim of acts of terror. Terrorists could have spread even more death and sorrow, if other brutal plots had not been disrupted by prevention and international cooperation.
Prevention and international cooperation are all the more necessary since the nature of terrorism is continuously changing. New threats come from home-grown terrorists and “lone wolves”, some of them radicalised and recruited through the Web. And we are increasingly concerned about the revival of trans-national anarchic extremism, which thrives on the social consequences of the global economic crisis.
On a worldwide scale, substantial progress has been made in the fight against Al Qaeda. However, this network is still the main terrorist threat. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have become channels for the spread of violence stretching from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa and reaching far beyond the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
Regardless of their inspiration, terrorist groups take advantage of instability and benefit from piracy, hostage-taking and illicit trafficking in drugs and arms. Our task is to break this nefarious link, in particular by targeting the financial flows that fund terrorism through trans-national organised crime.
If we want to succeed, we must continue to work together, sharing good practices and coordinating technical assistance. I therefore welcome this second ministerial meeting within the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. Our gathering today confirms our determination to tackle terrorism with a long-term, inclusive and action-oriented approach aimed at fully implementing the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
In less than nine months, the Forum has demonstrated a great capacity to reach consensus and deliver results. We have overcome cultural and technical differences to draw up innovative common lines of action in sensitive fields.
The Rabat Memorandum has provided us with a codification of judicial cooperation principles centred on human rights and the rule of law.
The Rome Memorandum on Prison Rehabilitation is another tangible outcome. It is the first international soft law compendium aimed at fostering and facilitating States’ efforts to counter violent extremism through de-radicalization in prisons. Let me remind that the Rome Memorandum was also facilitated by the research carried out by the UNICRI offices in Turin and Lucca.
Madame Chairperson and Mister Chairman,
now that we have our common framework, we stand ready to move on to phase-two: capacity building. Italy is committed to shaping new projects informed by the guidelines set by the memoranda of Rabat and Rome and the priorities identified by the geographical working groups. We have been giving our contribution to the work of the groups on the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. We will also continue to do so through bilateral projects with some of the partners around this table. And we are ready to further develop these partnerships with other interested countries.
A specific ground for cooperation is related to training and border control, where my country has developed a significant experience. In Afghanistan, Italy is active in promoting institution building and rule of law. To address terrorist threats, an efficient and reliable justice sector is of fundamental importance. We are ready, therefore, to support a Justice and Civilian Security Training Academy and intend to participate in its activities. We also welcome the forthcoming International Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism, to be based in Abu Dhabi, and look forward to cooperating with it.
As regards border management, we have offered Libya an advanced system of control and management of its land, sea and aerial borders. The system is based on new technologies, training and capacity- and institution-building activities. In order to make it operational, the Libyan and Italian authorities have just signed a memorandum of understanding. We stand ready to help Libya contain new risks coming from its southern frontiers.
More cooperation among international fora is crucial. Terrorism is a global scourge for which we need global responses and close coordination between the GCTF and the UN. We welcome the fact that the draft resolution on the revision of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy recognises the work of this Forum. It is another acknowledgement of the Forum’s key role in the fight against terrorism.
Thank you for your attention.