SC: Arria on transnational activities of terrorist groups

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Trine Heimerback in the Arria Formula meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by transnational activities of terrorist groups, 31 August 2022.

Let me start by expressing Norway's sympathies to all those who were harmed in the terrible attack against Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, and to all who tragically lost their loved ones including in the Norwegian-Somali diaspora. This is just another sad proof of why today's Arria meeting is timely, and we thank Kenya and UAE for convening us. And let me also thank the briefers for their remarks.

As we have heard today, the threat from transnational terrorism is growing- both in extent and complexity- as al-Qaida, ISIL, and their regional affiliates continue to exploit local grievances and conflict dynamics to radicalise and recruit.

This trend poses a challenge to traditional counterterrorism efforts, and requires us to think critically and creatively about our response.

First and foremost, we should regard counterterrorism as a component of a broader political and development strategy. Such a strategy should be regionally integrated, conflict-sensitive, human-rights based, and address conditions conducive to terrorism. And that is political marginalization, social inequality, and lack of economic opportunity.

One example, would be the challenges in Somalia. They are multidimensional and require a comprehensive approach to address security, political, and governance issues. This means that constitutional reform, strengthening of federal and state institutions, and steady progress on the implementation the Somalia Transition Plan are key to success.

A focus on good governance is particularly important. When authorities retake control from Al Shabaab, they should quickly build legitimacy by providing essential services, including basic health care, education, justice, and water. Investing in the reliable and equitable provision of essential services is crucial to building local resilience, preventing the recruitment and use of children, and delegitimizing violent extremism.

Further, and more generally, Norway encourages institutional innovations to address terrorism’s transnational component more effectively.

In this, we would welcome three steps:

First: a deeper cooperation between the UN and regional organizations. One possibility is to conduct regular consultations between CTED and its counterparts in organizations such as the African Union and the Regional Commissions.

Second: to further explore cross-border mechanisms to coordinate national responses. The upcoming Joint Strategic Assessment of Security and Governance in the Sahel could consider the experiences of AMISOM/ATMIS, as well as the Multi-National Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad area, and the G5 Sahel Joint Force. These models should be refined and developed.

Third: strengthen implementation of Council resolution 2370 to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons, including uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS).

We look forward to the upcoming Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in India to further explore this issue.


To conclude, Norway underlines that our counterterrorism response must be transnational, attuned to regional dynamics, and support cross-border cooperation.

They must also be guided by a broader political strategy for peace, development, and human rights.