Dear fellow delegates and honourable chair,In his recent speech, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said: “Combating the global threat of terrorism, without compromising our respect for human rights, is one of the most difficult and challenging issues of our time. Nothing justifies terrorism – no cause, no grievance”.Terrorism is unquestionably one of the major global problems that humanity is facing right now. In the modern age, because of globalization and advancement in technologies, the plague has geographically spread as never before. Unfortunately, the number of terrorist attacks taking place all around the world dramatically increased in the past two decades: last year, over 11,000 terrorist attacks happened in more than 100 countries, leading to over 25,000 deaths and 33,000 people injured. And Singapore is no exception. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, in the last 2 years Singapore was specifically targeted by many radical groups and the terrorist threats from ISIS were heightened. In 2016, ISIS was linked to several attacks across South-east Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
In 2017, two ISIS plots to attack Singapore were detected and successfully thwarted by the authorities. Singapore is aware of the countries which are continually countering severe terrorist attacks every day and showing resilience to them, and it would always do its best in contributing to wipe out this plague. As Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, stated that “they terrorists have not succeeded so far, but one day they may breach our safety net and enter Singapore, so we need to be prepared”, ?Singapore is committed to the fight against terrorism while respecting the human rights articulated in the United Nations Human Rights Declaration of 1948. Singapore has developed a vigorous strategy to deal with terrorism threats. Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and Inter-Ministry Committee on Terrorist Designation (IMC-TD) were formed to combat terrorism financing and the designation of terrorist organizations, respectively.
The IMC-TD is the qualified authority responsible for identifying organizations and people for designation as terrorists according to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373. Singapore joined the US-led anti-ISIS coalition in 2014 and formed the Army Deployment Force in 2016 to respond promptly to potential terrorist attacks that could take place in Singapore. The SGSecure movement was also launched in 2016 to train the community to prevent and deal with terrorist attacks. CCTV, covering over 10,000 blocks of public houses and car parks, was expanded to shared areas such as town centers, walkways, and bus stations. New laws were introduced to require building owners and organizers of major events to fulfill security measures – such as CCTV systems that meet key technical standards and venue screening.
Overall, Singapore strongly condemns all acts of terrorism and is committed to the fight against terrorism. At various fora such as the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Commonwealth, Asia-Europe Meeting and Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Singapore has played a constructive role to strengthen international counter-terrorism efforts. Singapore believes that practical cooperation between countries, especially between front-line law-enforcement and security agencies, is the most effective means of achieving tangible progress in countering terrorism.