Statement by H.E. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Naledi Pandor

UN Security Council 25 September 2019

Meeting on “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security: the contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in countering terrorist threats”

Minister Lavrov,

Let me start out by thanking Secretary-General Antònio Guterres for his briefing as well as expressing my appreciation for the briefings of Secretary-General Vladimir Imamovich Norov, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Secretary-General Valery Semerikov, of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and Deputy Executive Secretary Sergey Ivanov, of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Mr President,

This debate today affords us an opportunity to reaffirm the value of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations to address peace and security challenges, including the scourge of terrorism.

Terrorism continues to threaten our populations and deprive us of the genius and creativity of our children and youth. On the African Continent it has the potential to derail our collective efforts to bring about peace, security and sustainable development.

Continued terrorist attacks across the world have shown us that no nation or region is immune to its threat and there is no short-term solution to countering the threat of terrorism and its devastating consequences. If we are to triumph over this scourge we need, in addition to our national efforts, to strengthen international, regional and sub-regional cooperation and coordination efforts.  

Mr President,

A multilateral framework, anchored in the United Nations, remains critical to preventing and countering the diverse and evolving aspects of this threat. With near universal membership, the United Nations is best placed to foster cooperation across the globe, as well as in supporting Member States and regions to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy across its four pillars.  

The collective sharing of experiences and information and the adoption of best practices in dealing with our common threats, contribute positively to the development and enhancement of our capabilities. It also improves the effectiveness in addressing our specific contexts in countering terrorism.

Mr President,

Regional organisations are key partners of the United Nations in this important task. South Africa has consistently prioritised an enhanced strategic partnership between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations, not only in countering terrorism, but also in conflict prevention and resolution. As a member of this Council, my country continues to strive for closer partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. This takes into account the volume of African conflict situations on the agenda of the Security Council, as well as the growing threat of terrorism across Africa.

Different regions of the world experience the threat posed by terrorist groups and/or the return or relocation of foreign terrorist fighters, differently. We encourage the development of partnerships with regional organisations, given their understanding of local and regional dynamics and their understanding of what would be required to address the issue. In this regard the international community must find ways to support efforts by regional organisations aimed at fighting terrorism and violent extremism, including through sharing experiences and providing technical assistance and adequate resources for capacity-building.

Mr President,

As we ponder solutions to this awful threat, it is essential that we understand and address the root causes and conditions that give rise to terrorism. We should aim to seek political solutions aimed at resolving long-standing conflicts to create the conditions for stability and a better future over the long-term. We should seek to address the marginalization of some sectors of the population and address socio-economic and political disparities. More often than not, where there is conflict, there might also be a deficit of the rule of law, thus allowing terrorists the space to entrench themselves and expand their activities. We have seen this on the African Continent with the devastating effects of terror activities in the Sahel following the conflict in Libya associated with the flow of arms and the rise of terror groups.

Mr President,

The African Union has been proactive in dealing with the threat of terrorism as evidenced by its normative frameworks developed since 1999, primarily the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism and its related Protocol of 2004 as well as its counter-terrorism strategy adopted in 2015. Likewise, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) also adopted its counter-terrorism framework and strategy in 2015. At the domestic level, South Africa adopted its National Counter-terrorism Strategy in 2013, and has an accompanying Action Plan.

South Africa believes that, due to its very nature, it is difficult to defeat terrorism militarily or solely through the use of coercive measures. South Africa therefore remains supportive of counter-terrorism initiatives that focus on prevention measures, on addressing conditions that give rise to terrorism, on promoting dialogue, tolerance, diversity and understanding among peoples, cultures and religions.

South Africa will continue to work with all members of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and other relevant parties in addressing the scourge of terrorism and all its attendant manifestations at the regional and international level.

I thank you.


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