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UAE calls for zero tolerance policy towards terrorism to restore stability in the Middle East

NEW YORK, 27th June, 2018 (WAM) -- The UAE called for a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism in all its forms including those who commit and support terrorism and reiterated its commitment to working with its regional and international partners to confront extremism and terrorism in order to restore stability in the Arab region at the UN General Assembly.

Salem Al Zaabi, Head of the UAE National Counter-Terrorism Committee and Head of the UAE Delegation to the UN High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, welcomed the adoption of the resolution of the Sixth Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which called for Member States to take critical measures to counter-terrorism in all its forms.

In a statement delivered yesterday before the United Nations General Assembly on the item 'Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism', Al-Zaabi stated that crises in the Middle East were caused by terrorist and extremist groups who were supported and funded by certain governments, and highlighted the catastrophic consequences resulting from the spread of terrorism and extremism in the region, including a massive loss of life and the displacement of civilians.

He noted that despite progress achieved by the international community in defeating terrorist groups and confronting security threats, further progress was required, particularly in the Arab region. To that end, he stressed the importance of preventing terrorist groups from recovering from their losses.

Al Zaabi highlighted the international community’s commitment to preventing and suppressing the financing of terrorism, and to criminalise the intentional provision or collection of funds to commit acts of terror. He emphasised that Member States financing terrorist groups and violating their obligations under this strategy undermined the international community’s efforts to eradicate terrorism. Consequently, he called for joint action and measures to hold those Member States accountable.

The strategy addressed concerns regarding the increased use of information and communication technologies by terrorist groups and their supporters. In this regard, Al Zaabi reiterated the UAE’s firm position against media platforms that serve as a podium for terrorist and extremist propaganda, chiefly those claiming validity whilst inciting violence and being supported by Member States.

Al Zaabi also stressed the need to differentiate freedom of expression and opinion from hate speech, as the latter provokes violence and the spread of extremist and terrorist narratives. He called for exposing those platforms and demanding their closure to protect people from the dangers of terrorist discourse.

Additionally, Al Zaabi addressed efforts the UAE has undertaken to counter-terrorism and extremism. The UAE is party to 15 regional and international agreements to combat terrorism and has implemented legislation to prosecute terrorists, counter terrorist financing, and criminalise acts of defamation of religions and hate speech.

At the conclusion of his statement, the UAE representative highlighted the UAE’s participation in the Global Coalition Against Daesh and noted that the UAE is an active member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker