Code of Conduct
Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism
Recalling the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions A/RES/72/123 of 7 December 2017 and A/RES/72/284 of 26 June 2018, which noted the importance of continuing to strive towards achieving a world free of terrorism,
WE, THE MEMBER STATES OF THE UNITED NATIONS LISTED BELOW,
Standing united in strengthening global efforts to prevent and counter the persistent scourge of terrorism in all forms and manifestations as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and has negative impacts on sustainable development and humanitarian space; reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is aimed at the destruction of lives and properties, human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, at threatening the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the security of States, hampering development, including but not limited to destroying infrastructure, harming the tourism industry, diverting foreign direct investment, impeding economic growth and increasing security costs, and at destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments; and stressing therefore that the international community should further prioritize counter-terrorism, inter alia, take the steps necessary to enhance cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in a decisive, unified, coordinated, inclusive and transparent manner;
Reaffirming that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed; unequivocally condemning in this regard in the strongest terms all of them along with methods and practices of terrorism, inter alia, the incitement of terrorist acts that remains a persistent threat in many States around the world; and repudiating attempts at the justification or glorification of terrorist acts that may incite further terrorist acts;
Reaffirming also our commitment to take measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including but not limited to prolonged unresolved conflicts, dehumanization of victims of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, lack of the rule of law and violations of human rights, ethnic, national and religious discrimination, political exclusion, socioeconomic marginalization and lack of good governance; while recognizing that none of these conditions can excuse or justify acts of terrorism;
Reaffirming our determination to continue to do all that we can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation, confront oppression, eradicate poverty, promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development, global prosperity, good governance, human rights for all and the rule of law, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures;
Reiterating withal that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and its ideology cannot and should not be associated with any religion, faith, confession, culture, civilization, nationality or ethnic group;
Reaffirming the role of the United Nations guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter, including on questions related to international peace and security, in coordinating efforts on preventing and countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations at the global level;
Renewing our unwavering commitment to strengthening cooperation to this end, inter alia, by fostering dialogue and exchange of best practices at the international level, especially at the General Assembly; taking into account the importance of utilizing comprehensive and coherent national, regional and international approaches in such efforts; encouraging therefore relevant United Nations entities, international and regional organizations to enhance, in accordance with their mandates and in line with our national priorities, interaction and support to building capacity on this track, in particular, through funding, technical assistance and greater coordination between donor and recipient countries; and in this way, contributing to reinforcing national and regional ownership and the implementation of international obligations;
Committing our adherence to the Charter and other sources of international law, inter alia, international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian laws, in efforts to prevent and counter terrorism, in particular, conduct anti-terrorist operations; and recognizing that failure to do so could contribute to increased terrorist recruitment and incitement;
Stressing the importance of “whole-of-government" and “whole-of-society" approaches and cooperation with media, civil and religious society, private sector and educational institutions in order to enhance dialogue, broaden understanding;
Recognizing our primary responsibility and our leading role as Member States of the United Nations to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS);
Reaffirming further our determination to make every effort to reach an agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism (CCIT);
Recognizing that the voluntary accession to any relevant international instrument by all of us would make it possible to cooperate and ensure convergence on actions to be taken;
Considering it imperative to establish a Code of Conduct to guide our actions individually and collectively based on the principles of the UN Charter, inter alia, through cooperation, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as national stability and security,
PLEDGE THE FOLLOWING THROUGH THIS CODE OF CONDUCT:
1. We express our commitment to implementing the principles and provisions of this voluntary and non-legally binding Code of Conduct, without prejudice to our legal obligations. We commit to abiding by all relevant international obligations under existing international conventions and United Nations resolutions on terrorism to which we are party by allocating the necessary political will and human and material resources and seeking further assistance, when needed, in this regard. We also encourage States that have not done so to consider becoming parties to the existing international conventions and protocols against terrorism, and implementing them.
2. We reaffirm the duty to refrain from planning, organizing, instigating, promoting, executing, assisting, facilitating, financing, arming, harbouring terrorists, inciting or otherwise supporting directly or indirectly acts of terrorism. We also pledge to take all necessary measures to ensure that our territories are not used for planning, promoting, organizing, executing, initiating, assisting, financing, harbouring or participating in terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within our territory directed towards the commissioning of such acts. We urge all States to ensure no tolerance for terrorism, regardless of the targets or motives and stress the inadmissibility of supporting directly or indirectly terrorist groups in order to achieve political or geopolitical aims.
3. We pledge to support action by the General Assembly and Security Council aimed at preventing and countering terrorism. We encourage the Secretary-General to take measures, pursuant to international law, to address all conditions conducive to terrorism, both internal and external, in a balanced manner, as set out in the GCTS, and express desire to take into account such an assessment by the Secretary-General. We pledge to deploying holistic counter-terrorism measures and systematic preventive steps to terrorism and terrorist activities, in accordance with our obligations under international law, in order to:
a) suppress the recruitment of terrorists;
b) address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including those returning or relocating, particularly from conflict zones, to their countries of origin or nationality, or to third countries.
c) strengthen our legislative framework, including measures to improve extradition and prosecution to bring perpetrators to justice;
d) intensify our law and order capabilities, and criminal justice responses;
e) curb the financing of terrorism;
f) secure borders against infiltration by terrorists;
g) intensify efforts towards surveillance and monitoring, inter alia, of new information and communication technologies (ICTs), while abiding by the rule of law;
h) develop prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration, as well as deradicalization programs;
i) safeguard critical infrastructures and cultural heritage against terrorist attacks;
j) prevent terrorists from acquiring and using small arms and light weapons, as well as weapons of mass destruction;
k) counter terrorist ideologies and narratives;
4. We pledge to take comprehensive approaches, inter alia, to:
a) adhere to the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of any State;
b) contribute to the successful prevention and resolution of conflicts;
c) eradicate poverty, ensuring inclusive economic growth and sustainable development;
d) ensure good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law as relevant and effective measures to prevent marginalization and discrimination that can become vulnerabilities exploited by terrorists;
e) develop context-specific, comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism strategies, taking into account, as appropriate, the concerns of the youth as vulnerable groups;
f) take into account gender aspects in counter-terrorism, while ensuring the participation and leadership of women and women's organizations at all stages;
g) promote dialogue towards intercultural understanding and respect for all ethnic groups, religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures;
h) ensure primary responsibility of Member States in countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and continue dialogue and cooperation with segments of society, inter alia, civil and religious, the private sector, media, educational institutions, communities, women and youth groups;
i) enhance solidarity in support of victims of terrorism and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.
5. We reaffirm that preventing and countering terrorism require intensified collective efforts at the regional and international levels. We therefore pledge to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism among ourselves, in accordance with our obligations under international law, through inter alia, sharing data and information, providing mutual legal assistance and prosecuting perpetrators or handing them over to their respective countries or the State where the act was committed, on the basis of the principle of extradite or prosecute, in accordance with our internal laws, multilateral agreements and arrangements and ensuring that the refugee and asylum status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts. We commit that any such measures we take will comply with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and our obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.
6. We note the importance of intensifying regional cooperation and coordination among us in such areas as, inter alia, intelligence and information sharing, enhancing border security, strengthening legal and criminal justice response, cooperating in extradition and mutual legal assistance, providing mutual exchanges and support, as appropriate, as well as exchanging best practices.
7. We pledge to take measures to prevent and counter the use of the ICTs, including the Internet, by terrorists and their supporters, for the purposes of committing, inciting, recruiting for, funding or planning terrorist acts. We further pledge to cooperate in order to develop and implement effective counter narrative strategies with a view to curb dissemination of terrorist propaganda and promote peace, tolerance, coexistence and respect, to discourage all forms of hatred, vilification and terrorism. We also commit to advancing cooperation between us and regional organizations, and partnerships with the private sector and civil society in order to raise awareness and address the issue of the use of ICTs, including new technologies, for terrorist purposes, as well as their potential for countering the spread of the forgoing menaces. We further commit that any such measures we take will comply with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and our obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
8. We underscore the urgency of concerted action by the international community to fight against terrorism and address conditions conductive to its spread, and call on the United Nations to spearhead efforts to build a united front against terrorism, acting in accordance with international law, in a decisive, unified, coordinated, inclusive, accountable and transparent manner. In turn, we commit to:
a) implementing the GCTS, as well as considering implementing the recommendations that have come from the subsequent Strategy review resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly through the development and realisation of regional and national plans in order to put into action all the four pillars of the Strategy in an integrated and balanced manner;
b) create potential for reinforcing complex, multifaceted and case-specific relationship of counter-terrorism and development, where appropriate and in line with existing mandates; utilising revamped regional approach, where relevant; as well as strengthening coordination within the United Nations, in particular, its modus operandi in the Headquarters and on the ground, to increase the effectiveness and ensure greater transparency and accountability;
c) further strengthening, with a view to ensuring that national counter-terrorism policies and practices are consistent with counter-terrorism obligations, our cooperation and coordination with the United Nations and its relevant entities, while collaborating with them to the fullest extent in the realization of their mandates, inter alia, the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre;
d) strive towards finding consensus on reaching an agreement to conclude the CCIT at the earliest convenience, while recognizing our valuable dialogue and efforts towards resolving any outstanding issues;
9. We establish through this Code of Conduct a coalition of partners striving towards achieving a world free of terrorism. We pledge to strive towards achieving a world free of terrorism by the Centenary of the United Nations.
10. We appeal to all stakeholders to support our efforts to intensify cooperation and implement our commitments. We also invite all other Member States of the United Nations to express their commitment to this Code of Conduct.
New York, 28 September 2018
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