The principles of France’s counter-terrorism action
France is determined to fight terrorism in all its forms, whoever the perpetrators may be, and endeavours to strengthen international cooperation in diplomatic, judicial and law enforcement matters with its partners in the UN, the European Union, the G8, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and other regional cooperation forums.
Counter-terrorism action is based on a number of principles:
· condemning terrorism in all its forms, whoever the perpetrators and whatever their motives;
· working at the same time to end the human, political and social tragedies on which terrorism feeds;
· emphasising that uncompromising action against terrorism is compatible with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
· taking an approach based on criminal justice and law enforcement, save in exceptional circumstances;
· avoiding any reductionist confusion of terrorism with organised crime, while recognising the links (especially of a financial nature) which may in some cases exist between the two.
The global threat which terrorism represents requires a global response and global cooperation
At the United Nations, except in the Security Council, which deals with matters relating to terrorism as a threat to international peace and security, France endeavours in the General Assembly to strengthen the international legal norm.
Technical assistance is the necessary adjunct to the international community’s normative action in the United Nations framework. It also reinforces our message of solidarity and shared responsibility between all countries confronted with a common enemy, while providing the authorities with the most advanced resources and technologies to help foil terrorist operations. For example, France is contributing to capacity-building in countries in the Sahel by helping to create anti-terrorist units in Mauritania and Niger so that those countries have the necessary methods and resources to set up a criminal justice system capable of dealing with the terrorist threat.
France spares no effort in seeking to step up dialogue and cooperation within the European Union framework, where a number of practical projects are under way, aiming in particular to build capacity in the countries most exposed to the terrorist threat. France encourages coordination between Member States in international forums, especially the United Nations. It also contributes to the development of dialogue on the subject with leading partners (United States, Russia, EU associate countries, Mediterranean countries, Nigeria, Pakistan and India in particular).
France considers that the G8 can play a helpful driving role in this sphere. The 25 recommendations on counter-terrorism were adopted under the French presidency in Paris in 1996. They cover improved anti-terrorist cooperation and capabilities, deterrence and the prosecution and punishment of terrorists; asylum, border controls and travel documents; extension of the scope of treaties and other international agreements; terrorist financing; and improved exchanges of information. The recommendations constitute the reference framework for the political impetus we intend to give to counter-terrorism diplomacy.
France takes an active part in the work of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, which aims to support the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, facilitate regional, interregional and global cooperation and encourage a community-based approach to counter-terrorism.