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Statement by H.E. Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, on the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001
2011-09-12 08:38:32

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. These horrendous acts of barbarism constituted an affront to all civilized societies. Subsequent attacks in Bali, Mumbai, Beslan, Madrid, Moscow, Norway and elsewhere serve as painful reminders that terrorism is a universal scourge which can afflict everyone indiscriminately, irrespective of their background, economic standing, ethnicity and religious creed, including those that the terrorists claim to represent. Our most sincere sympathies are extended to all the victims of terrorism, their families and friends.

The 9/11 attacks were designed to trigger social collapse and to undermine our core values and beliefs in free and open societies. Ten years on, we can safely determine that this terrorist objective has abjectly failed. Our beliefs in human rights, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, diversity and social inclusion are too strong and deep-rooted to be undermined by fear and prejudice.

Tackling terrorism requires a multi-faceted strategy. The criminal-justice approach based on the rule of law is at the cornerstone of our endeavors to dismantle terrorist groups and prevent further attacks. At the same time, the terrorist narrative must be adequately challenged. Countering radicalization and violent extremism are of paramount importance and the role of civil society and local actors is fundamental in these efforts. The root causes of terrorism must also be effectively addressed, by providing adequate opportunities for economic development and social justice.

Terrorism is a universal problem which requires that the world stand together to tackle it. This was evidenced by the adoption by consensus of the United Nations Global Strategy to Combat Terrorism during the 2006 General Assembly. We consider the multilateral approach and the United Nations as the focal elements in our efforts to combat terrorism and we will spare no efforts to actively support the full implementation of the UN Global Strategy to Combat Terrorism throughout the globe. We will also continue our work to ensure the full implementation of all UN Security Council Resolutions, UN Conventions and Protocols relating to terrorism and we strongly support the conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and its entry into force.

The European Union has adequately responded to the challenge posed by terrorism by adopting and implementing multi-faceted strategies. In 2004 the European Council created the post of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and subsequently adopted the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was followed by separate strategies on radicalization and recruitment, terrorist financing and media communication.

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