Debris at the UN Headquarters complex in Algeria destroyed by the 11 December terrorist attack.
Terrorism remains a major challenge to international peace, stability and democracy - and therefore also to the development and prosperity of nations. The threat posed by international terrorism is evolving and becoming more diffuse, and our response to it as an international community must therefore evolve.
While UN efforts have improved, there is still scope for better coordination along the various UN counter terrorism bodies - and between the other parts of the UN system and UN Member States, to help governments develop and implement their own national counter terrorism strategies.
The UK believes that the UN's work to build the counter terrorism capacity of member states, led by bodies like the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), should complement efforts between member states. The UN has a role to play in filling gaps which could otherwise be exploited by terrorists, their financiers and supporters. And while terrorism can affect any State, the UK favours focusing resources on assistance to the most vulnerable countries where possible.
The UN's Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, unanimously reaffirmed by the General Assembly in September 2010, recognises the importance of addressing such "conditions conducive" to terrorism. And to that end, UN agencies such as UNDP and UNESCO must play full and active roles as members of the UN's Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
Terrorists are adapting, and becoming more opportunistic. The growing trend in kidnapping for ransom is one example of how. The UK believes that we must act to prevent kidnap ransoms becoming a significant source of terrorist finance. Security Council resolution 1904, adopted in December 2009, explicitly confirmed that it is illegal to pay ransoms to those whom this Council has sanctioned because of their connection to Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
The most lasting and devastating impact of terrorism is on its victims, their families and communities. The UN can provide a platform for victims of terrorism from all over the world, to give them a voice and help others derive strength and inspiration from their courage. Their stories remind us that terrorism is an assault on all humanity.