Speech by Minister Tuomioja at the High-level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism

Statement by H.E. Mr Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland at the High-level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism, United Nations, New York, 28 September 2012.

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Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finland actively participates in the development of the international normative framework on counter-terrorism. We have consistently reminded that all measures against international terrorism must comply with international law, including human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law.

We strongly support the broadest possible ratification of the universal conventions and protocols of the United Nations against terrorism. We also wish to underline the importance of effectively implementing these conventions. Needless to say, this applies also to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism – a cornerstone in our international efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.

We also highly appreciate the valuable and professional work of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It has assisted States in becoming parties to the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to international terrorism as well as implementing them.

One of the objectives of the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism is to step up international cooperation in relation to combating the threat of nuclear terrorism. It is still one of the most challenging threats to global peace. I cannot emphasize enough, due to the global nature of terrorism, that the capability to effectively fight terrorism requires broad, continuous and wide-ranging cooperation. This principle of broad and effective cooperation is also vested in our own national counter-terrorism strategy.

Mr. Secretary-General,

Internationally, both practical operational cooperation between authorities and political influence within the framework of international law are essential. An excellent example of practical operational cooperation is the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Another good example is the work and commitment of the G8 Global Partnership to prevent proliferators, terrorists and other nonstate actors from acquiring any kinds of weapons of mass destruction. We support the practical and valuable work done by both of these initiatives.

High level political discussion is also needed. We appreciate the Nuclear Security Summit process initiative launched by the United States in 2010. This initiative raised nuclear security to the highest level of the international political agenda. One of the main goals of this process is to promote commitment to international conventions and initiatives. Since the beginning of the process we have made significant progress. It is crucial to continue the implementation of our commitments and strive to find new practical measures to strengthen security, and prevent nuclear terrorism.

Mr. Secretary-General,

Let me emphasize that Finland remains fully committed to preventing nuclear terrorism. We will continue to do our utmost, both nationally and internationally, to fight this terrible threat to global peace.