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7782nd Meeting (AM)

Security Council Calls on Member States to Address Threats against Critical Infrastructure, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2341 (2017)

Speakers in Day-long Open Debate Stress Need to Strengthen Partnerships, International Cooperation, Information Sharing

The Security Council today called upon Member States to address the danger of terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure, adopting a related resolution before holding a day-long open debate on that subject.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2341 (2017), the Council encouraged all States to make concerted and coordinated efforts — including through international cooperation — to raise awareness and expand knowledge of challenges posed by terrorist attacks, so as to be better prepared for such attacks.

Also by that text, the Council called upon all Member States to establish criminal responsibility for terrorist attacks aimed at critical infrastructure and to explore ways to exchange information and enhance cooperation in preventing, mitigating and responding to such incidents.  It encouraged the United Nations, Member States and regional and international organizations to share good practices and measures in managing the risk of terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure — a term covering bridges, power lines, airports and nuclear power plants, among other facilities.

Briefing the Council after the adoption, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, said: “As our world becomes increasingly interconnected through travel, commerce, communications and cyberspace, we become more vulnerable to attacks by technologically savvy terrorists seeking new ways to spread fears.”  Emphasizing the regional and global implications of a terrorist attack on critical infrastructure, she said the international community must come together and be more creative, proactive and effective in confronting that risk.

Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), also underlined the interconnected nature of today’s critical infrastructure.  He warned that conflict-zone methods involving simultaneous active-shooter incidents, armoured vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, home-made explosive vests and hacking attacks could be honed for use in city streets and against key facilities.

Hamid Ali Rao, Deputy Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said that a recent attack on a chemical facility in the Iraqi city of Mosul vividly illustrated the threat all too well.  Responsibility for protecting infrastructure must be shared equally by industry and government, he emphasized, noting that the chemical industry already understood the need to prevent misuse of chemicals and protect chemical plants.

Chris Trelawny, Special Adviser on Maritime Security and Facilitation to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), put the spotlight on inter-agency cooperation at seaports, while also emphasizing the importance of a well-coordinated, risk-based preventative strategy to counter threats as varied as cargo theft and potential terrorist access to vessels.

Olli Heinonen, Senior Adviser on Science and Non-Proliferation at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, underscored the risk of nuclear terrorism, warning that physical installations as well as shipments could be targeted.  Terrorist organizations were becoming more sophisticated, he said, citing a recent report by Conflict Armament Research that emphasized ISIL’s ability to attract skilled engineers.  Such groups could potentially recruit people with nuclear skills and bring an “insider threat” to nuclear installations, he explained.

In the ensuing debate, many speakers emphasized the key role of private-public partnerships in securing critical infrastructure, as well as prospects for States exchanging know-how and best practices.  However, several stressed that while international cooperation was welcome, it remained the responsibility of each nation to ensure the security of its own critical infrastructure.

Speaking today were Foreign Ministers as well as other senior officials and representatives of Ukraine, Italy, Kazakhstan, Sweden, France, Senegal, Japan, Ethiopia, Uruguay, United States, Egypt, United Kingdom, China, Russian Federation, Bolivia, Estonia, Slovakia, Peru, Colombia, Iran, India, Israel, Romania, Belgium, Argentina, Turkey, Cuba, Iraq, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kuwait, Venezuela (also on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Jordan, Algeria, Syria, Netherlands, Brazil, Afghanistan, Morocco, Poland, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Latvia, Maldives and Haiti.

Also addressing the Council were speakers representing the European Union delegation, the Holy See and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 3:46 p.m.

Adoption of Resolution

By a unanimous vote, the Security Council adopted resolution 2341 (2017).

PAVLO KLIMKIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Council President for February, said the resolution was a decisive step towards global preparedness for terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure and strengthening international cooperation in that regard.  He encouraged participants in today’s debate to discuss in detail their priorities, challenges, current efforts and best practices vis-à-vis protection of critical infrastructure.


MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, said infrastructure networks and systems that once functioned independently were now interlinked, and an attack on one sector could therefore affect others, leading to disruptions and widespread chaos.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate recognized the danger of Da’esh and other groups carrying out such attacks, and given how many facilities and networks operated across borders, a terrorist attack on infrastructure would almost certainly have regional and global implications.

Strategically, the international community must come together and be more creative, proactive and effective in responding to the threat, including by developing strong public-private partnerships, she said, emphasizing the need for three key steps.  First, vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure must be mapped at all levels and in all sectors.  Second, international, regional and national actors should cooperate on prevention and — in the event of an attack — on mitigating its effects.  Third, it was crucial to build the capacities of States in such areas as risk assessment, preparedness and emergency management, as well as responses fully in keeping with international human rights norms and standards.

The United Nations stood ready to help Member States, she said, noting that the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force had established the Inter-agency Working Group on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure, including Internet, Vulnerable Targets and Tourism Security.  Various projects intended to help Member States were under way, encompassing many areas, United Nations entities and partners, she said, while stressing that primary responsibility in that regard lay with Member States.  “As our world becomes increasingly interconnected through travel, commerce, communications and cyberspace, we become more vulnerable to attacks by technologically savvy terrorists seeking new ways to spread fears,” she said, encouraging the Council to pay greater attention to that critical threat.

JÜRGEN STOCK, Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), spoke by video teleconference, saying that the consequences of an attack could be far-reaching given the interdependence of infrastructure across different sectors and industries.  A single point of failure could lead to the disruption or destruction of multiple vital systems, and that created an appealing target for those intent on causing harm, he emphasized, warning that the use of conflict-zone methods involving simultaneous active-shooter incidents, armoured vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, home-made explosive vests and hacking attacks could be honed for use in city streets and against key facilities.

Protecting support systems called for strengthening critical-site security through improved emergency-preparedness standards and procedures.  INTERPOL’s vulnerable targets team had been working with Member States in West Africa to enhance the physical security of laboratories hosting dangerous pathogens and protect them against terrorist attacks.  Furthermore, it continued to urge member countries to protect their borders and counter terrorist mobility.  Drawing attention to the 63 per cent increase in the number of foreign terrorist fighter profiles, he said it was simply unprecedented in such a sensitive area, and stressed the importance of remaining vigilant and increasing efforts to interdict certain materials and tools before they could become the next weapon.

In that context, he continued, INTERPOL worked closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to mitigate the illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials through training in monitoring and detection, and cross-border operations.  In addition, it encouraged inter-agency and international collaboration as a force multiplier.  The exchange of information, detection of urgent threats and best practices on identifying vulnerabilities was crucial, he emphasized.  “Together, we can build a global infrastructure security toolkit and incident-response mechanism based on real-life operational experience.”  In parallel, the international community could test itself with plausible scenarios that might be faced in the future, he added.

HAMID ALI RAO, Deputy Director General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), noted that 2017 marked the twentieth anniversary of that body’s founding.  He explained that while not a counter-terrorism entity, the OPCW was recognized as a forum contributing to anti-terrorism efforts, to the credit of its States parties.  Since 2009, it had been expanding its cooperation efforts to enhance global chemical security, in such areas as risk assessment, capacity-building and the creation of a rapid-response team able to deploy on short notice, at a State party’s request, in the event of a chemical terrorism incident.  The OPCW was also working with the global chemical industry to ensure against trade in chemicals for purposed banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention, he said, emphasizing the importance of security along the chemical supply chain.

Noting the enormous costs that chemical accidents could incur, he stressed that potential damage would be multiplied by incidents caused by those wishing to do harm.  The recent attack on a chemical facility in Mosul vividly illustrated the threat all too well.  Responsibility for protecting infrastructure must be shared equally by industry and government, he said, adding that the chemical industry understood the need to prevent misuse of chemicals and protect chemical plants.  Calling for enhanced inter-agency cooperation and a comprehensive global response system, he recalled the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the OPCW and the World Customs Organization intended to strengthen national and international controls on trade in toxic chemicals.  The private sector had played a pivotal role in the OPCW’s work with Syria’s chemical weapons programme, he noted, pointing out, however, that despite progress, its work in Syria was not complete and, regrettably, chemical weapons use continued in that country.

CHRIS TRELAWNY, International Maritime Organization (IMO), said his organization focused on what the civil maritime industry — both shipping and port sectors — could do to protect themselves against maritime security threats, including terrorism.  It also assisted Governments in implementing security measures to protect global maritime trade.  Its main focus was on preventive security through a continuous risk management process, which included procedures for deterrence.  Special measures to enhance maritime security included the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, which offered a risk-based framework for both maritime security and wider application. 

Unlike on ships where a safety culture could evolve relatively easily into a security culture, he said the security structure of ports was far more complex, involving various Government, law enforcement and private actors.  While many countries viewed ports as critical infrastructure, without clear national and local legislation, policies and direction coordinating all those activities, security responses were, at best, fragmented.  Essential to the success of port and port facility security regimes — whether for countering theft or preventing access to ships by terrorists — was a well-coordinated, risk-based preventive strategy.  “The absence of port and port facility security committees is an indicator of a lack of interagency cooperation, and thus poor port facility security”, he said.

He went on to say that, since 2001, IMO had developed a range of guidance, self-assessment tools and training materials for the protection of ports, ships and offshore installations.  As threats had evolved, IMO’s focus on reactive efforts to counter terrorism had been replaced by an emphasis on proactive measures to prevent that scourge.  Stressing the need to focus on opportunities offered by the shipping sector, he said port safety and security was increasingly important — and marketable.  That maritime security and maritime law enforcement were viewed as departmental issues — for the navy, coast guard, or police — rather than a multi-agency issue was a main obstacle, as those agencies often competed for scarce resources.

Going forward, he said it was vital for Governments to ensure oversight by establishing advisory committees as a vehicle for inter-agency cooperation.  Effective security systems required effective procedures, appropriate equipment and trained, motivated people.  States should adopt a multi-agency, “whole of Government” approach to security, including the protection of critical infrastructure, he said, underscoring the need to assess threat, risk and vulnerability and calling for both contingency and resilience planning.  Viewing the protection of transport systems and infrastructure as an enabler of economic development was also crucial.

OLLI HEINONEN, Senior Adviser on Science and Non-Proliferation at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, said the risk of nuclear terrorism had been heightened by the increased use and spread of nuclear technology, as well as the shipment of nuclear and radioactive material.  Those two developments, in turn, meant that more physical installations and shipments could be targets for terrorist attacks or theft.  Terrorist organizations were becoming more sophisticated, he said, pointing to a recent report by Conflict Armament Research, which emphasized that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) was able to attract skilled engineers to its production activities.  It was critical not to ignore the possibility that such groups could also recruit people with nuclear skills and thus bring the “insider threat” to nuclear installations.

At the same time, he said, the international community should not confine itself to traditional ways of thinking about how such acts could occur.  Threats of nuclear terrorism came from many sources, ranging from sophisticated and well-financed terrorist organizations to nuclear smugglers and hackers capable of launching cyberattacks.  In response, the international community must be prepared to address those threats from different angles and under varying scenarios.  Prevention and cooperation in response to nuclear and radiological accidents and incidents were essential in mitigating risks and remedying consequences. 

For its part, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) played a pivotal role in providing the necessary platform for international cooperation in developing safety and security standards, guidelines, training and assistance, he emphasized.  While each State was responsible for nuclear safety and security within its territory, Governments also must be prepared for accidents, emergencies and incidents impacting their borders, efforts that entailed handling emergencies arising from transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials through or near their territories.  There were a number of ways that States could combat nuclear terrorism, he said, which included closer collaboration between nuclear safety and security approaches and changes to the roles of both IAEA and the United Nations.


PAVLO KLIMKIN, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, urged States to implement a strategy that assigned responsibility for protecting critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks.  Its primary goals should be to counter such attacks and prevent their repetition by identifying perpetrators.  Ukraine’s efforts to develop a national legal framework for the protection of critical infrastructure had become particularly important amid a series of terrorist attacks in recent years.  Since 2015, Government agencies, as well as critical national infrastructure — including regional power grids and financial institutions — had been targets of malicious software attacks.  Unknown hackers also had attacked Kyiv airport and the Ministry for Defence.  Their objective was to down Ukraine’s financial system, weaken its defence capabilities and destabilize society. 

It was obvious that Ukraine had been deliberately targeted by organized external cyberterrorists, he said, stressing that their attacks could be as devastating as those through conventional warfare.  “We’ve been hurt but, as a result, have grown more resilient,” he added.  Cooperation between public and private stakeholders was critical, as was an open exchange of information about threats and risks to critical infrastructure.  It was also vital to enhance the self-protection, mutual assistance and self-empowerment of individuals and organizations that could be adversely impacted.  He advocated intensifying cooperation at the national, regional and international levels and establishing both early warning and rapid response mechanisms against terrorist attacks.

VINCENZO AMENDOLA, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, said terrorist attacks on airports in Brussels and Istanbul, as well as Da’esh operations in Iraq, had demonstrated how ruthless terrorist groups could be.  “It is a transnational threat and needs a transnational answer,” he added, emphasizing that critical targets must be identified and cross-border synergies enhanced.  Stressing the importance of international dialogue, partnership, capacity-building and engaging public opinion, he noted that connections were sometimes stronger than borders, urging Member States to be aware that threats against one country could affect others.  A broad understanding of online attacks was also required, as was the ability to recognize when terrorists hijacked network spaces.

AZAMAT ABDYMOMUNOV, Deputy Secretary, Security Council of Kazakhstan, said that while infrastructure protection was the responsibility of State authorities, there was need for joint public- and private-sector efforts as well as close cooperation with international and regional organizations.  Nuclear safety was a key collective responsibility, he said, explaining that Kazakhstan was striving to promote an international legal framework to ensure the safe handling of nuclear materials.  The country was vigilant in protecting its critical infrastructure, including the former Semipalatinsk test site, with the active assistance of its partners, he said, adding that Kazakhstan was also securing radioactive sources that terrorists could use to manufacture “dirty bombs”.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) said that his country, cognizant of terrorist threats, was taking the necessary steps, noting that all public agencies were required to undertake a security analysis to identify critical infrastructure within its remit and assess potential risks.  The purpose of Sweden’s critical infrastructure policy was to raise awareness, build resilience and prevent attacks, as well as to increase cooperation among all relevant stakeholders at the regional and international levels.  Underscoring the importance of joint exercises and training, he said that Sweden’s Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Council brought together various actors to increase national capacity.  In addition, it had launched a national system for mandatory reporting of information technology incidents by all Government agencies.  Sweden also supported several European Union programmes aimed at protecting critical infrastructure in the region, including efforts to build disaster and risk management capacity in the Balkans and Turkey, he said.

ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said that today’s meeting sent a united and strong message for the fight against global terrorism.  Recalling the 2016 airport attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, he said there were many examples of such actions against critical infrastructure.  The fight must be conducted on several fronts while ensuring respect for international law, he said, welcoming the unanimous adoption of the resolution submitted today.  For effective results, it was critical to prevent terrorist attacks, he said, emphasizing, however, that such actions could not be undertaken in isolation.  Member States and international organizations must exchange information, knowledge and experience, he said, stressing the equal importance of cooperation between the private and public sectors.

FODÉ SECK (Senegal) welcomed the adoption of resolution 2341 (2017), describing it as “without a doubt” an important step forward in addressing emerging threats to international peace and security.  Given the interconnected nature of critical infrastructure, constant vigilance was needed, while bearing in mind the specificities of each country, he emphasized.  Strengthening private-public partnerships was also key, he added.  Outlining his country’s initiatives to ensure aviation and maritime security, he said West Africa had seen an increase in terrorist attacks, including cyberattacks, in recent years, as well as the proliferation of small arms and light weapons originating from Libya.  It was essential that Africa not become the weak link in terms of protecting and securing critical infrastructure, he said, underlining that implementation of resolution 2341 (2017) must be consistent with that of others adopted in the counter-terrorism framework, including resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2250 (2015).

KORO BESSHO (Japan) said his country had enhanced security for public transportation, large event facilities, international seaports, nuclear plants and embassies.  Protection of nuclear plants from terrorist attacks was also important due to the possibility of particularly devastating effects.  Information was essential and Japan exchanged data with its foreign counterparts in various ways.  Japan also had enhanced cybersecurity in cooperation with the private sector, having enacted a law last April prohibiting unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, from flying over critical facilities, embassies and nuclear plants.  “Our experiences attest to the importance of multiple streams of efforts,” he said, adding that international and public-private cooperation were vital.  Two weeks ago, the Government had decided on a new international assistance package that would be used to facilitate the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions through various projects, including one to counter cyber-attacks on critical financial infrastructure.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said that in light of the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism, the vulnerability of critical infrastructures to terrorist attacks was a source of great concern, adding that the devastating economic and security impact of such actions were too ghastly to contemplate.  Public institutions, private businesses, factories and industries, roads and bridges, shopping malls and sport centres had increasingly been targeted for attacks aimed at disrupting normal economic activities.  Given the current volatile times, the possibility of such terrorist actions was not remote, he emphasized.  “There is a need to build national capacity to prevent and react to potential risks and threats.”  The role of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force would be critical in following up closely and helping efforts by Member States to protect critical infrastructure.

ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), expressing concern about the potential damage that attacks against critical infrastructures could cause, emphasized the need to develop the capabilities of States’ and to adopt regional and international responses.  In relation to cyber threats, it was critical to make legislative updates as needed, foster coordination between the public and private sectors, and raise public awareness.  Noting that many States lacked resources and practical experience, he emphasized the importance of providing them with technical assistance upon demand, stressing the need for countries and regions to share experiences and best practices, thereby enhancing capacity and responsiveness to such threats.

CHRISTOPHER KLEIN (United States) said that for most people, critical infrastructure was everywhere and nowhere.  They did not give much thought to their daily use of bridges, power lines and server rooms.  Talking about protecting critical infrastructure, therefore, meant talking about what underpinned daily life in the modern era.  It was an issue that could not be tackled in isolation, he said emphasizing that the question was how Member States could reduce risk.  In the United States, private companies owned most of the critical infrastructure, and protecting it was therefore a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors as well as individual citizens, he said.  The Department of Homeland Security was constantly working on private-public partnerships, and the United Nations could help by collecting information among Member States and disseminating best practices.  Resolution 2341 (2017) should provide the impetus for Governments to collaborate and share lessons learned, he stressed.

AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), emphasizing that the protection of critical infrastructure should be accorded priority in counter-terrorism efforts, drew attention to specific parts of resolution 2341 (2017), including those requiring each State to determine what constituted critical infrastructure.  Its implementation would be vital, he said, stressing that it was high time to hold accountable those riding roughshod over Council resolutions and those involved in sponsoring terrorism.

MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said terrorists sought to destroy societies, and critical infrastructure represented attractive targets for such cynical groups.  “We need to increase vigilance and show them we are ready to defend,” he said, noting that the resolution underlined the importance of exploring ways to assess vulnerabilities and encouraged all to consider possible preventive measures.  In tackling terrorism, it was essential to focus on preparation, protection and partnerships, he said, emphasizing that protection plans must be comprehensively developed and tested.  He pointed out that with 3 billion people travelling by air every year, airports faced too many risks, and urged Member States to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization in addressing that threat.  However, preparation and protection would fail without cooperation across all relevant sectors, he warned, adding that it was equally important to share information and best practices.

LIU JIEYI (China) said critical infrastructure had been targeted by terrorist groups and must be protected against a growing and diverse number of threats.  It was critical to synchronize efforts at the national, regional and international levels, share intelligence and support law enforcement.  While States bore the primary responsibility for protecting their infrastructure, joint action was necessary to determine and assess risks, strengthen capacity and build early-warning systems, he emphasized.  The United Nations must play the leading role in addressing risks, he said, adding:  “States must stick together to crack down on terrorist organizations.”

EVGENY T. ZAGAYNOV (Russian Federation) said combating terrorism must be an absolute priority for the Security Council.  Drawing attention to the increasingly sophisticated forms that terrorism had adopted, he recalled that his delegation had placed several initiatives before the Council, including measures to combat the supply of resources to terrorists and measures to combat Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).  However, several terrorist threats remained without a coordinated response, he said, pointing out that his delegation had submitted a draft resolution on combating the spread of terrorist ideology over the Internet, which emphasized that Council decisions should aim at creating added value and achieving concrete results.  He called on Council members to work together in developing an effective joint response to ISIL, Jabal al-Nusra and Al-Qaida, emphasizing that the threat posed by those groups had not diminished.

RENE FERNÁNDEZ (Bolivia) said he was renewing his country’s firm commitment to fighting terrorism, while reiterating that terrorism should not be linked to any religion, nationality or ethnic group.  Resolution 1373 (2001) reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty and political independence of all States and emphasized the importance of implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, he recalled.  It was up to each State to determine what constituted critical infrastructure and how it should be protected, he said, encouraging the Counter-Terrorism Committee to facilitate technical assistance, capacity-building and awareness-raising assistance, as well as dialogue with regional and subregional organizations.

SVEN MIKSER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, aligning himself with the European Union, said a common goal was to ensure that security was not a “luxury item”, but a commodity available to all.  Critical infrastructure vulnerabilities were exacerbated by a high dependence on information and communications technology in an increasingly interlinked world.  As the target of a large-scale cyberattack in 2007, Estonia recognized the importance of tackling related issues as part of its national security architecture.  Resilience, requiring close private-sector involvement, was key, he said, stressing that information sharing must be a two-way street, with Governments doing their part to share best practices and threat warnings with businesses.  Emphasizing civil society’s important role, he recalled the contribution of Estonia’s volunteer cyberdefence league in handling the 2007 attack.

Indeed, he said, countries must map out their critical infrastructure and cross-border dependencies to strengthen their national cybersecurity.  No State alone could face cyberthreats and international cooperation was crucial for preventing worst-case scenarios, he said, adding that Estonia would continue to share its best practices.  All-inclusive cooperation was the foundation of resilience, he said, underlining the importance of the Convention on Cybercrime, the only binding international instrument of its kind, and calling on all countries to adopt policies that fostered an open, resilient cyberspace.  Prevention was the only means for avoiding radicalization and recruitment to terrorist organizations and eliminating threats to critical infrastructure.  In that vein, he supported the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA (Slovakia) supported efforts to improve critical infrastructure protection by assessing vulnerabilities, developing plans to eliminate those vulnerabilities and preventing terrorist attacks.  International treaties to address the problem had had limited impact, as they had been unable to hold signatories accountable.  Enhanced information sharing combined with a mandate to swiftly and accurately release information would provide a foundation for designing a protocol to address future attacks.  It was vital to support Member States in the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  Establishing mechanisms to facilitate better sharing of best practices was crucial, as was strengthening the capacity of both the public and private sectors.  Combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering must also remain a priority, he added.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said the protection of critical infrastructure must be a priority for all to preserve and protect the well-being of societies.  Peru had been attacked by terrorists a number of times, he said, noting that infrastructure was an attractive target given its vulnerability.  The Government had created a special response team to identify potential attacks and assess risks.  However, acting alone would not be enough to tackle that phenomenon, he said, emphasizing the importance of sharing good practices, lessons learned and intelligence, as well as providing technical assistance to those needed.

MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said coping with terrorist threats was a main policy focus, given the country’s history of internal conflict.  Colombia had suffered from terrorist attacks which had destabilized institutions, she said, noting that, on multiple occasions, terrorists had targeted transport, oil and water infrastructure.  For effective results, it was critical to ensure cooperation between the Government and security services, as well as with regional and international partners.  Equally important was to share intelligence and lessons learned.

GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran) said terrorist acts were proliferating at unprecedented levels and no country was immune.  Critical infrastructure was becoming an increasingly attractive target, as seen in recent attacks by Da’esh and other groups, he said, emphasizing the dire need to protect such facilities.  However, although attacks in Turkey, Iraq, Belgium, Afghanistan and some African countries targeted critical infrastructure, the collective punishment or brutalization of peoples under foreign occupation should not be overlooked.  While calling for stronger collective political will to engage in international cooperation on counter-terrorism, he stressed that any fight against terrorism must be carried out in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.  The central role of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations would help in building capacity and enhancing counter-terrorism efforts, he said.

SYED AKBARUDDIN (India) said that while protecting critical infrastructure was primarily a national responsibility, threats of attacks against an international stock market, a major dam, a nuclear power plant or other facilities had much wider implications, far beyond national borders.  The global nature of information and communications technologies called for an international vision and policy coordination, he said, noting with concern the dearth of international instruments addressing cyberspace threats.  Warning that current international law was not well-positioned to support responses to cyberattacks, he said today’s debate was an opportunity to ask important questions.  “Can we look at options for strengthening international law against terrorist cyberattacks?” he asked.  “Are we ready for a collaborative prevention approach to address terrorist cyberattacks against critical infrastructure?”  That would require a “global neighbourhood watch programme” as well as trust, he said, noting that there was a deficit of the latter.  Noting that international law relating to terrorism had evolved largely as a result of States reacting to terrorist violence, he said that he hoped that would no longer be the case, emphasizing that the resolution adopted today must be the first of many steps in the right direction.

DAVID YITSHAK ROET (Israel) said that for his country, today’s debate was not a theoretical one.  To its north, Israel faced Hizbullah, whose Secretary-General had threatened in 2016 to attack ammonia-storage tanks in Haifa, he recalled, adding that, to the south, the country faced Hamas, which had attacked Ben Gurion airport in 2014.  Wherever there was terror, there was Iran, the leading State sponsor of terrorism, he said, calling upon the Council to respond to that country’s violations of resolution 2231 (2015).  Terrorists recognized that attacks on critical infrastructure could be more devastating than attacking the target country, he said, emphasizing that the only way to combat such threats was to “stay ahead of the game”, remain vigilant and anticipate the perpetrators’ next step.  Through its high-tech security culture and joint private-public cyber ventures, Israel had successfully fended off threats against its private and State systems, he said, pointing out that the country had become expert in counter-terrorism and was proudly sharing its knowledge with other Governments around the world.

JOÃO PEDRO VALE DE ALMEIDA, European Union Delegation, stressed the importance of working together to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure.  The European Union Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats covered such facilities, including in the energy and transport sectors.  Further, the European Commission had funded more than 120 projects under the Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism and other Security-Related Risks Programme.  Efforts also focused on enhancing the capacity of the public and private sectors to prevent attacks and react to threats, he said, citing the VITEX 2016 exercise, the first European Union-wide effort focused on the effects of large-scale critical infrastructure failure.  The Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network was an Internet-based multilevel system for States to exchange critical infrastructure protection ideas, studies and good practices.  He urged the United Nations to boost cooperation in the area of securing and protecting critical infrastructure, adding that the Union would collaborate with its partners to combat the threat of terrorism.

ION JINGA (Romania) said the global challenge at hand required a concerted response, with the United Nations playing its key coordination role.  Recalling examples of attacks on critical infrastructure in Spain, Syria and Iraq, he said Romania had, in 2011, created a national strategy to protect its critical infrastructure.  Yet, such efforts depended on collaboration with State authorities, the private sector and civil society.  Further, Romania had established in 2013 a national cybersecurity strategy, with projects partnering with 27 organizations in 14 European countries, and had invested in prevention efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism.  Expressing support for United Nations initiatives, he said counter-terrorism efforts should be strengthened.

PASCAL BUFFIN (Belgium) said prevention was key in protecting infrastructure, adding that modern methods, including training for security sectors, were needed.  Authorities should also develop systems for crisis management.  For its part, Belgium had created a centre for cybersecurity to respond to crises.  Efforts should be scaled up with conferences, drills and training to establish public-private partnerships to tackle threats.  Drafting emergency plans should be encouraged, he said, underlining the importance of European efforts that depended on networks and cooperation.  The United Nations should play its role, including through its Counter-Terrorism Task Force, as well as bolster its actions and identify gaps in protecting infrastructure.

MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN (Argentina) said terrorism could only be tackled using a comprehensive approach, such as the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  There was a clear need for greater cooperation among agencies and bodies within and between countries.  States must identify and create strategies while working with other Governments to tackle those threats.  A plan of action must identify critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, he said, outlining Argentina’s efforts in that regard.  Further, the international community must ensure that those using information and communication technology for criminal purposes were brought to justice.  Multilateral action through the United Nations would allow the world to respond effectively to such threats.

BERNARDITO CLEOPAS AUZA, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said recent conflicts in the area of ancient Mesopotamia had had a devastating impact on ancient ethnic, religious and cultural minorities.  The destruction of the infrastructure critical to the survival of those communities — such as schools, hospitals, water supplies and places of worship — had become a strategy to annihilate them.  Recalling that the international community was obliged to protect civilians and their critical infrastructure, he said more effective and lasting protection measures against terrorist attacks must be based on policies that rejected the unfettered pursuit of profit and narrow geopolitical interests.  He urged weapons-producing nations to limit and control the manufacture and sales of weapons and ammunitions.  The international community must also address the role of organized crime in the sale or barter of arms capable of destroying critical infrastructure.

GÜVEN BEGEÇ (Turkey) said his country had been a victim of attacks on its critical infrastructure, notably Da’esh’s targeting of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport last year.  The Kurdistan Workers’ Party had carried out attacks on dams, pipelines, health services and both public and private institutions, including schools and hospitals.  Faced with such threats, Turkey had taken measures to protect people and infrastructure alike, placing particular emphasis on energy infrastructure through the establishment of a committee for pipeline security.  Emphasizing the importance of cooperation, he urged the United Nations to work with international and regional partners and stressed the need to protect soft targets, such as religious centres, tourist sites, hotels and restaurants.

ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO (Cuba), associating herself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said her people continued to bear the scars of terrorist acts, financed and carried out from abroad.  The Government had never allowed — and would never allow — Cuban territory to be used to carry out, plan or finance the terrorist targeting of any other State.  She condemned double standards and selectivity in combating terrorism and warned against using the pretext of combating such behaviour to meddle in the internal affairs of another country.   Crucial infrastructure was now exposed to threats in the area of information and communications technologies and responding to them would require the cooperation of all Member States.  She underscored the need for a legally binding instrument in line with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

MOHAMED ALI ALHAKIM (Iraq), emphasizing that terrorism should not be attributed to a religion or geographic region, said efforts must stop attacks online and on the ground.  Many attacks had been supported by those in other States, creating a reality where there were no borders.  Efforts to combat terrorists must recognize that Da’esh and other such groups had implemented cyberattacks, recruiting foreigners to conduct those actions.  In Iraq, attacks had targeted bridges, telecommunications towers and oil pipelines, increasing the cost of development projects because of rising security costs to protect construction sites.  Targeting oil facilities was among the most serious attacks affecting Iraq’s economy and infrastructure, he said, stressing that joint efforts were needed to address such threats.

MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said terrorist attacks threatened populations and the environment.  The overwhelmingly transnational nature of most threats to critical infrastructure meant that regional and subregional cooperation must be bolstered.  Bangladesh had been working with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and various United Nations entities to tackle a range of security threats.  Such capacity-building work would make all stakeholders better aware of existing international legal and normative frameworks.  He urged the Counter-Terrorism Committee to consult with national and regional actors while taking stock of Member States’ efforts with a view to drawing on evidence-based information.  There was also a need to facilitate information sharing and technology transfer.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said national resolve and collective endeavours must lead the way to ensuring security.  Pakistan’s resilience had been tested many times, she said, emphasizing that a multi-pronged strategy had helped to destroy terrorist organizations and constrain their ability to carry out lethal attacks. Externally supported terrorists had become a grave threat.  State control of infrastructure and efforts to identify areas of concern were important, as was a global response to deter and defeat terrorism.  Identifying threats and developing partnerships were among the initiatives needed.  Further, the global community must understand the threat; efforts must not be reduced to targeting a religion or a race.  Addressing the root causes of terrorism, including the denial of self-determination and the marginalization of groups, was one way to better understand the growth of that scourge.

KRISZTIAN MESZAROS, Civilian Liaison Officer of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the United Nations, outlined several ways member nations were addressing threats to critical infrastructure.  They were doing what was necessary to build resilience to attacks, particularly by forging regional and international partnerships.  Member nations were also involved in strengthening organizations seeking to combat terrorism.  Working with the United Nations and its various agencies, NATO aimed to bolster resilience to hybrid threats through training and engaging partner nations, as well as through partnerships with the private sector.  He underscored the need to foster shared responsibility, expertise and best practices in the protection of critical infrastructure, stressing that NATO was ready to share its experiences.

MANSOUR AYYAD SH A ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) said his country had suffered from the terrorist targeting of religious institutions, recalling that during the 1990 Iraqi occupation, oil sites had been hit.  Noting that Kuwait had taken protective measures to combat such attacks, he said terrorism must not be linked to any religion or nationality; efforts to combat it must comply with international law.  He emphasized the importance of fortifying dialogue among countries and regional and international organizations to draw upon best practices.  He urged Member States to draw upon the expertise of United Nations specialized agencies, stressing that critical infrastructure was a target for terrorists and urging Governments to develop plans to address that threat.  Despite that ISIL continued its attacks, that group and others were losing ground.  Collective action was required to rebuild critical infrastructure, he stressed, condemning terrorism and reiterating the need to abide by international law in the fight against terrorist groups.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said terrorism was a major threat to the international community and a flagrant violation of international law.  Terrorism could not be linked to any civilization or religious group, and as such, combating it must not be used as an excuse to meddle in States’ internal affairs.  Terrorist groups had always sought to destroy critical infrastructure.  He supported enhanced international partnerships to fight terrorism in strict adherence to international law and respect for human rights and freedoms.  Resources provided by the United Nations to Member States could be useful in their work to combat terrorism and protect critical infrastructure, he said, reiterating the Movement’s commitment to combatting terrorism under United Nations auspices.

Speaking in his national capacity, he said Venezuela had always condemned terrorist attacks.  Combating terrorism required the international community to part with double standards, he said, stressing that terrorism gained ground because Governments meddled in the internal affairs of other States, which then led to the collapse of national institutions.  The international community could also no longer overlook the targeting of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.  Stressing that hospitals, drinking water sources and roads had been indiscriminately hit during the 2015 bombardment of Gaza, he said policies of interventionism and occupation had created a breeding ground for extremist fighters, who then morphed into terrorist groups.  The international community had the tools to prevent and combat terrorist attacks, he said, stressing the need for agreement, to be followed by action and warnings against discrimination and profiling.  Venezuela stood in solidarity with countries whose citizens had been placed on travel ban lists; such actions were counter to combating terrorism.

SIMA SAMI BAHOUS (Jordan) said resolution 2341 (2017) would help to increase protection for critical infrastructure.  Terrorism continued to pose a grave threat to international security, amid the growing use of foreign fighters, she said, emphasizing that the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and national plans must lead the way.  Further, a mechanism to build capacities to protect infrastructure should be developed, as should information-sharing initiatives.  Expressing support for the Secretary-General’s effort to establish a counter-terrorism office, she said the related working group should further its efforts within international initiatives.  Investing in human resources was key, particularly with regard to youth, she said, noting that Jordan had made efforts to uproot terrorism and was working with international partners, as cooperation was the only way to succeed in that endeavour.

MOHAMMED BESSEDIK (Algeria) said the struggle against violent extremism and terrorism must also include the fight against xenophobia and Islamophobia.  That struggle required a high level of vigilance and mobilization.  For its part, Algeria had taken significant measures to protect public and private infrastructure through coordinated action with security forces, and had sought to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts at national, regional and international levels.  The battle to be waged must occur on a daily basis in all areas, including political, institutional, economic, religious and social.  Any hope of success required the active involvement of all national institutions, societal stakeholders and citizens.  Algeria would remain engaged in efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism at all levels.

MOUNZER MOUNZER (Syria) said terrorism was a global challenge and the United Nations should play its role.  Terrorism had, for six years, targeted Syria, including its roads, railroads and the Internet, with support from known countries.  Historical sites also had been destroyed in cities including Palmyra and Idlib.  Some States had imposed sanctions, affecting in particular the education and health sectors and, more broadly, the economy.  Governments using the United Nations as a platform to discuss the humanitarian tragedy facing the Syrian people were the very ones causing their suffering.  Recalling the numerous letters sent to the United Nations containing details on the damage to civilian infrastructure caused by the international coalition’s military operations and airstrikes, he appealed to the Organization to help the Syrian people.

KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union and expressing support for Italy’s statement, said that in his country, the protection of critical infrastructure was part of the national security strategy.  The Netherlands had chosen a general approach that assessed risks in a manner that made it easier to prioritize threats.  With the help of public and private actors, the Netherlands had compiled a complete list of critical infrastructure, which contained two categories of vital processes.  Having one list and two categories allowed for a more effective and efficient allocation of means.  While national efforts were important, an effective response to terrorist threats could never be solely national.  A first step towards an international response was greater sharing of information and know-how, which the Council rightly encouraged in its resolution.

MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil) said his country had updated legislation to recognize preparatory acts of terrorism and recruitment of foreign terrorist combatants, as well as simplified procedures to block access of terrorists listed by the Security Council.  Because critical infrastructure was a preferential terrorist target, the international community must improve the security of information and communications technology.  Use of the Internet and social media by terrorist groups illustrated the evolving nature of the challenge, he said, emphasizing that efforts to guard against such transgressions must respect the freedom of expression and right to privacy.  Repressive measures were crucial, but would not suffice to eliminate terrorism.  Border control, air and maritime security and law enforcement must be coupled with efforts to address structural factors conducive to terrorism.  “We must be wary of rhetoric that fuels xenophobia and prejudice,” he said, reiterating Brazil’s commitment to a multidimensional response to that threat.  Cooperation and dialogue within the United Nations would enhance the capacity to achieve the desired results.

MAHMOUD SAIKAL (Afghanistan) said his country had been a victim of global terrorism for over two decades.  Just last week, a suicide bomber had attacked the Supreme Court, killing 21 people, including several female judges, prosecutors and Court employees who were simply returning home after work.  Terrorists also threatened economic and development infrastructure projects in which Afghanistan had invested heavily.  The cycle of violence in Afghanistan was not a home-grown phenomenon, he said, emphasizing that the roots of violence lay elsewhere, emanating from a strategic design to advance an ill-fated political agenda, which served no one and defied international law.  Despite a difficult security environment, the country was making steady progress towards lasting stability. 

OMAR HILALE (Morocco) said recent attacks on airports, trains, nightclubs and restaurants had demonstrated that terrorist groups were ready to exploit any security breach.  Even mosques, synagogues and churches were not safe from such macabre acts.  Terrorist groups had a huge capacity to adapt and change, which required effective means to secure infrastructure, including through the adoption of international legislation.  Terrorism was a global phenomenon requiring an international response.  For its part, Morocco had strengthened its borders, rolled out plans for de-radicalization and was involved in regional and subregional information-sharing.  He also described various conferences in which Morocco had participated on the importance of targeting nuclear terrorism.

BOGUSŁAW WINID (Poland) said that in the modern globalized world, threats easily crossed borders, with terrorists infiltrating vulnerable energy and transportation hubs.  While protecting infrastructure was the primary responsibility of national authorities, there was room for closer international cooperation.  Poland was ready to share its experience and had partnered with neighbouring nations, including through Poland-Ukraine efforts on chemical and transportation infrastructure.  Protecting critical infrastructure entailed increasingly international aspects, he said, outlining such initiatives as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) framework on travellers’ security and protecting energy infrastructure.  Public-private partnerships were vital in such efforts, he added.

MARC-ANDRÉ BLANCHARD (Canada) said Member States must work together in coordinated efforts amid attacks on physical assets, information technology systems, networks and services essential to health.  For its part, Canada was working to leverage its critical infrastructure networks to share information and strengthen resilience against terrorist attacks.  The National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure outlined a collaborative federal, provincial and territorial approach to mitigating the full range of risks and threats.  It aimed to build partnerships, implement an all-hazards risk management approach, and advance the timely sharing and protection of information among partners.  Underscoring the need for legal and regulatory frameworks to address terrorism, he encouraged United Nations agencies to incorporate those efforts into their needs assessments in support of Member States’ capacity building.

SHAHARUDDIN ONN (Malaysia) said that while States bore the responsibility to protect critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks, the owners of private and corporate assets must also address security needs.  It was therefore vital that Governments and businesses shared intelligence and information on threats, vulnerability and measures to mitigate the risk.  Further, the proposal to establish an Office of Counter-Terrorism headed by an Under-Secretary-General was a positive step towards enhancing the coordination of global efforts.  At the national level, an audit team was tasked with monitoring the security of critical infrastructure to detect any non-compliance and advise the operator.  Related national legislation included the National Security Council Act 2016 and the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act 1959.

CAITLIN WILSON (Australia), expressing support for Ukraine’s initiative to mobilize international cooperation to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure, said Governments must adopt sustained mitigation efforts.  Australia’s Critical Infrastructure Centre, established in January 2017, embraced a coordinated approach to managing security risks, using an intelligence-led prevention and preparedness regime and private-sector partnerships.  Similarly, the Australian Cyber Security Centre worked to deter and prevent incidents against critical infrastructure, including by terrorists.  Tackling those threats required concerted public-private partnerships around the globe.

JĀNIS MAŽEIKS (Latvia), expressing concern about attacks on transportation systems, telecommunications networks, energy infrastructure and water supplies, said protection was of paramount importance.  In Latvia, protection measures reflected the common approach established by the European Union and contributed to the unification and protection standards for critical infrastructure.  Latvia had established a cross-sectoral commission tasked with regular identification and assessment of existing and potential critical infrastructure as a way to improve safety and security.  In addition, national and European critical infrastructure had a contact point who facilitated information exchange with national security institutions.  To strengthen public-private partnerships and build capacity, internal security institutions held regular training seminars and on-site workshops for both private and public entities.

AHMED SAREER (Maldives) said efforts to improve the security of critical infrastructure must be part of broader counter-terrorism initiatives.  Underlining a need for coordination, especially for small countries, he said Maldives had developed a robust institutional framework for taking a “whole of society” approach to countering terrorism and violent extremism.  Its National Counter-Terrorism Centre, established in 2016, was leading all State institutions in work to safeguard tourist resorts, sea ports, airports and major economic infrastructure.  As small island developing States faced magnified threats, capacity-building and the exchange of best practices were crucial to an effective response.  The transnational and multisectoral nature of terrorist groups required bolstered bilateral, subregional, regional and global efforts.  “Just as threats posed by terrorism to all parts of our societies, including critical infrastructure, continue to evolve, so too must the methods with which we are to respond to these threats,” he said.

DENIS RÉGIS (Haiti), describing the United Nations counter-terrorism architecture as a priority for the international community, said it contributed to global efforts to eliminate attacks against critical infrastructure.  Pointing to emerging threats, he expressed regret that the spread of information and communications technology had strengthened the possibility of such terrorist attacks.  For effective results, it was important to improve security conditions and protect vulnerable targets, he said, while noting that such efforts had fallen short.  But momentum was far from being stalled.  Member States, as well as regional and international organizations, must step up efforts to facilitate information exchange and provide technological assistance to those in need.


The full text of resolution 2341 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1373 (2001), 1963 (2010), 2129 (2013) and 2322 (2016),

Reaffirming its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in accordance with the United Nations Charter,

Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level,

Reaffirming that terrorism poses a threat to international peace and security and that countering this threat requires collective efforts on national, regional and international levels on the basis of respect for international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,

Stressing that the active participation and collaboration of all States and international, regional and sub-regional organizations is needed to impede, impair, isolate, and incapacitate the terrorist threat, and emphasizing the importance of implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS), contained in General Assembly resolution 60/288 of 8 September 2006, and its subsequent reviews,

Reiterating the need to undertake measures to prevent and combat terrorism, in particular by denying terrorists access to the means to carry out their attacks, as outlined in Pillar II of the UN GCTS, including the need to strengthen efforts to improve security and protection of particularly vulnerable targets, such as infrastructure and public places, as well as resilience to terrorist attacks, in particular in the area of civil protection, while recognizing that States may require assistance to this effect,

Recognizing that each State determines what constitutes its critical infrastructure, and how to effectively protect it from terrorist attacks,

Recognizing a growing importance of ensuring reliability and resilience of critical infrastructure and its protection from terrorist attacks for national security, public safety and the economy of the concerned States as well as wellbeing and welfare of their population,

Recognizing that preparedness for terrorist attacks includes prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery with an emphasis on promoting security and resilience of critical infrastructure, including through public-private partnership as appropriate,

Recognizing that protection efforts entail multiple streams of efforts, such as planning; public information and warning; operational coordination; intelligence and information sharing; interdiction and disruption; screening, search and detection; access control and identity verification; cybersecurity; physical protective measures; risk management for protection programmes and activities; and supply chain integrity and security,

Acknowledging a vital role that informed, alert communities play in promoting awareness and understanding of the terrorist threat environment and specifically in identifying and reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement authorities, and the importance of expanding public awareness, engagement, and public-private partnership as appropriate, especially regarding potential terrorist threats and vulnerabilities through regular national and local dialogue, training, and outreach,

Noting increasing cross-border critical infrastructure interdependencies between countries, such as those used for, inter alia, generation, transmission and distribution of energy, air, land and maritime transport, banking and financial services, water supply, food distribution and public health,

Recognizing that, as a result of increasing interdependency among critical infrastructure sectors, some critical infrastructure is potentially susceptible to a growing number and a wider variety of threats and vulnerabilities that raise new security concerns,

Expressing concern that terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure could significantly disrupt the functioning of government and private sector alike and cause knock-on effects beyond the infrastructure sector,

Underlining that effective critical infrastructure protection requires sectoral and cross-sectoral approaches to risk management and includes, inter alia, identifying and preparing for terrorist threats to reduce vulnerability of critical infrastructure, preventing and disrupting terrorist plots against critical infrastructure where possible, minimizing impacts and recovery time in the event of damage from a terrorist attack, identifying the cause of damage or the source of an attack, preserving evidence of an attack and holding those responsible for the attack accountable,

Recognizing in this regard that the effectiveness of critical infrastructure protection is greatly enhanced when based on an approach that considers all threats and hazards, notably terrorist attacks, and when combined with regular and substantive consultation and cooperation with operators of critical infrastructure and law enforcement and security officials charged with protection of critical infrastructure, and, when appropriate, with other stakeholders, including private sector owners,

Recognizing that the protection of critical infrastructure requires cooperation domestically and across borders with governmental authorities, foreign partners and private sector owners and operators of such infrastructure, as well as sharing their knowledge and experience in developing policies, good practices, and lessons learned,

Recalling that the resolution 1373 (2001) called upon Member States to find ways of intensifying and accelerating the exchange of operational information, especially regarding actions or movements of terrorist persons or networks; forged or falsified travel documents; traffic in arms, explosives or sensitive materials; use of communications technologies by terrorist groups; and the threat posed by the possession of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups and to cooperate, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks,

Noting the work of relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations, entities, forums and meetings on enhancing protection, security, and resilience of critical infrastructure,

Welcoming the continuing cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts between the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in particular on technical assistance and capacity-building, and all other United Nations bodies, and strongly encouraging their further engagement with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system,

“1.   Encourages all States to make concerted and coordinated efforts, including through international cooperation, to raise awareness, to expand knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed by terrorist attacks, in order to improve preparedness for such attacks against critical infrastructure;

“2.   Calls upon Member States to consider developing or further improving their strategies for reducing risks to critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks, which should include, inter alia, assessing and raising awareness of the relevant risks, taking preparedness measures, including effective responses to such attacks, as well as promoting better interoperability in security and consequence management, and facilitating effective interaction of all stakeholders involved;

“3.   Recalls its decision in resolution 1373 (2001) that all States shall establish terrorist acts as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations, and calls upon all Member States to ensure that they have established criminal responsibility for terrorist attacks intended to destroy or disable critical infrastructure, as well as the planning of, training for, and financing of and logistical support for such attacks;

“4.   Сalls upon Member States to explore ways to exchange relevant information and to cooperate actively in the prevention, protection, mitigation, preparedness, investigation, response to or recovery from terrorist attacks planned or committed against critical infrastructure;

“5.   Further calls upon States to establish or strengthen national, regional and international partnerships with stakeholders, both public and private, as appropriate, to share information and experience in order to prevent, protect, mitigate, investigate, respond to and recover from damage from terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure facilities, including through joint training, and use or establishment of relevant communication or emergency warning networks;

“6.   Urges all States to ensure that all their relevant domestic departments, agencies and other entities work closely and effectively together on matters of protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks;

“7.   Encourages the United Nations as well as those Member States and relevant regional and international organizations that have developed respective strategies to deal with protection of critical infrastructure to work with all States and relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations and entities to identify and share good practices and measures to manage the risk of terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure;

“8.   Affirms that regional and bilateral economic cooperation and development initiatives play a vital role in achieving stability and prosperity, and in this regard calls upon all States to enhance their cooperation to protect critical infrastructure, including regional connectivity projects and related cross-border infrastructure, from terrorist attacks, as appropriate, through bilateral and multilateral means in information sharing, risk assessment and joint law enforcement;

“9.   Urges States able to do so to assist in the delivery of effective and targeted capacity development, training and other necessary resources, technical assistance, technology transfers and programmes, where it is needed to enable all States to achieve the goal of protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks;

“10.  Directs the CTC, with the support of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) to continue as appropriate, within their respective mandates, to examine Member States efforts to protect critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks as relevant to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) with the aim of identifying good practices, gaps and vulnerabilities in this field;

“11.  Encourages in this regard the CTC, with the support of CTED, as well as the CTITF to continue working together to facilitate technical assistance and capacity building and to raise awareness in the field of protection of critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks, in particular by strengthening its dialogue with States and relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations and working closely, including by sharing information, with relevant bilateral and multilateral technical assistance providers;

“12.  Encourages the CTITF Working Group on the Protection of Critical Infrastructure including Vulnerable Targets, Internet and Tourism Security to continue its facilitation, and in cooperation with other specialized United Nations agencies, assistance on capacity-building for enhancing implementation of the measures upon request by Member States;

“13.  Requests the CTC to update the Council in twelve months on the implementation of this resolution;

“14.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.