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Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum Opening Speech by H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, 27 September 2013, New York

Thank you Secretary Kerry,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Distinguished Colleagues,

First of all, I would like to reiterate our condemnation of the terrorist attack occurred in Kenya. Among others, Turkey was also affected. A Turkish citizen, Elif Yavuz, who was working there for a humanitarian purpose was murdered. This was a cowardly attack. Likewise, I would like to pay tribute to the Canadian diplomat who was killed there. Needless to say, there were other attacks in Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan which we all condemn and show solidarity with all friendly nations.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the Secretary Kerry, for his expression of condolences for the death of the Turkish guard who lost his life during the attack to the American Embassy in Ankara last February. Indeed, similar challenges necessitate closer cooperation against ever growing scourge of transboundary terrorism.

At the inaugural meeting of Global Counter Terrorism Forum which was held two years ago in New York, we declared that this Forum was established to act as a platform to share unique experiences and channel national contributions into joint civilian led counter terrorism efforts, in close coordination with the UN.

I believe we can state that today, thanks to our collective endeavors, we have covered significant ground, particularly in identifying areas and gaps that require enhanced cooperation and priority focus, as well as addressing some of these.

These joints efforts which have built up within the 5 Working Groups of the GCTF, began to yield concrete and visible results. First and foremost we are pleased to observe that the multi agency dialogue among experts that are involved in counter terrorism, intensified and deepened. In that regard we are pleased to note that capacity of GCTF to serve as a network of networks of counter terrorism experts and practitioners grow.

Secondly, we note with satisfaction that our cooperation through the GCTF enables us to address a wide range of aspects of countering terrorism that have been endorsed by the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. These include among others countering violent extremism and radicalization, enhancing investigations of terrorist crimes, empowering victims of terrorism, capacity building for countering terrorism finance as well as strengthening rule of law in the fight against terrorism.

I would like to thank the UN officials present here today, for their engagement in the Forum’s activities and once more underline the importance we attach to sustaining this synergy between the UN and the Forum.

The GCTF facilitated and amplified discussions in countless workshops and seminars that were held by UN counter terrorism organs, regional and national bodies in different parts of the world such as Bogota, Addis Ababa, Brussels, Rabat, Manila, Oran, Nairobi, Riyadh and Geneva. This geographic breadth combined with the single focus on countering terrorism and the flexible approach which we encourage, has given the GCTF a cutting edge.

The Good Practices documents which we endorsed in our previous meetings in İstanbul and Abu Dhabi and the ones that are before us today, are tangible results of these multi-faceted discussions. We can state that these documents reveal our collective wisdom and capacity. Further, with these documents we testify to our sincerity for sharing our experience. In my capacity as the co-chair, I thank all contributors who enabled this frank exchange.

I would also like to acknowledge here the contributions of the Hedayah Center since its foundation last year as the first International Center for Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi. We believe it is now well positioned to complement national and international efforts to explain and prevent the phenomenon of violent extremism. We call all GCTF members to make use of this center.

Distinguished colleagues,

While we welcome all these achievements of the GCTF that are complementary to our efforts in other fora, we also have to acknowledge that the global threat from terrorism is constantly and unpredictably evolves. Unfortunately, it does not seem to diminish.

Some statistical data indicates that terrorist incidents around the globe quadrupled in the decade since 9/11. The developments in the past year revealed that the threat from terrorism disseminates geographically.

Furthermore, the groups involved in terrorism benefit from the violent and turbulent conflicts for recruitment and disseminating their sick narratives. New trends such as the threat from self radicalized individuals, growing exchange among locally active terrorist groups and the increase in the number of attacks on economically or otherwise sensitive infrastructure require dexterity in our responses.

These facts compel us not only to enhance coherence, complementarity and agility of our existing counter terrorism measures but also to develop new approaches and tools. While new approaches do not necessarily mean ignoring the lessons we had learned, they require political will, structural capacity and most importantly the support of our people, who trust us, the Governments, to provide for their security. I am confident that our cooperation in the GCTF could harness this support. In that regard, we believe the initiative of our US Co-chair regarding the establishment of a Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience is an exemplary effort.

I believe our cooperation within the GCTF brings us closer in taking concrete action against the scourge of terrorism and remaining true to our common values while pursuing our national and international interests.

I take this opportunity to once again underline Turkey's full commitment to the GCTF. In our capacity as the Co-chair we are dedicated to strengthen the international cooperation for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestation. To this end, we shall continue our efforts through encouraging initiatives by all of our GCTF partners and facilitating a flexible, open minded dialogue. We look forward to sustain our efforts for another term as co-chair with your valuable support.

Thank you.