Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts: Combating the Financing of Terrorism’ (28 March 2019)

Madam President,

Terrorism remains among the most complex and imposing challenges of our time, claiming innocent lives, causing wide spread destruction, undermining social stability and disrupting state structures.

The recent terrorist attack in Christchurch demonstrated that terrorism cannot be associated with any faith, ethnicity or nationality. We express our solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand. Nine of the victims in this terrorist attack were from my country.

Madam President,

Pakistan has been the principal victim of terrorism, including that supported, sponsored and financed from abroad. We have lost tens of thousands of lives; many more have been injured.

But these losses have not diminished my country’s resolve to eliminate this scourge. It has in fact reinforced our will to fight until the last terrorist is eliminated from the country.

Pakistan has adopted a multipronged strategy to counter terrorism, which includes a military-led law enforcement campaign and a comprehensive plan. Our 20-point National Action Plan focuses as much on counter measures as on preventive approaches, including confronting the risks arising from terrorist financing.

By conducting the largest counter-terrorism operation anywhere in the world, deploying 200,000 of our troops, our security forces have turned the tide against terrorism.

Today terrorist incidents in my country are at their lowest in over a decade and a testimony to this success.

Madam President,

Pakistan fully supports international efforts to counter financing of terrorism and has therefore criminalized terrorist financing in accordance with the Terrorism Financing Convention.

One of the most important elements of our National Action Plan is countering financing of terrorism. Being a largely cash-based economy, Pakistan initially faced significant challenges in implementing this. However, over the last decade, we have overcome these obstacles mainly through:

Madam President,

While fully aligning Pakistan’s countering terrorism financing regime with FATF recommendations, particular attention is being paid to monitoring of non-profit organizations. My government has issued specific guidelines and enacted procedures for the auditing of accounts of non-profit organizations to ensure that no funds collected by any charitable organizations are at risk of being used for terrorist financing.

Through these counter financing of terrorism efforts, Pakistan has managed to achieve a seven-fold increase in the number of arrests, cases registered and persons convicted on charges of terrorism financing over the last year alone.

Madam President,

As we reaffirm the international consensus on countering financing of terrorism today, it is important to identify and plug the gaps. In this regard, it is important that current structures like FATF and the 1267 Sanctions regimes are not used as political tools by some to advance their geopolitical goals. There is also a need to make these institutions more inclusive of the wider membership in their decision-making processes.

Madam President,

Pakistan has always advocated that international efforts should be geared towards fighting not just the symptoms, but also the root causes of terrorism. Let me point out three specific gaps in the current approach:

Let me conclude by re-emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to combat and defeat terrorism and the need for international collaboration to achieve our shared objective

I thank you.