With signing of the Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism at the United Nations in New York on 29 September, Myanmar has taken another step forward to fight terrorism.
The signing is also an important step in strengthening international cooperation and the counter-terrorism architecture of the UN.
The key goals of the document are giving an impetus to the practical implementation of the wide range of international obligations on counter-terrorism and establishment of the wide global coalition for a world free of terrorism by 2045.
It is expected the document will be the foundation for strengthening international instruments and cooperation in the fight against terrorism which also remains a threat in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. This threat could have “grave consequences” not just for Myanmar but also for other countries in our region and beyond.
The provocative terrorist attacks of October 2016 and August 2017 have affected the course of our earnest endeavor to build a peaceful, fair and prosperous future for all people in Rakhine State.
The attacks were launched by the ARSA terrorist group.
The danger of terrorist activities, which was the initial cause of events leading to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine, remains real and present today.
The attacks opened a chapter of fear and instability that led to a large outflow of displaced to Bangladesh. International attention has been focussed on the outflow and overlooked the broader picture of the various reasons, immediate as well as longstanding, that brought about the displacement.
Resolving the issue in Rakhine State is an important component of our democratic process. Our government has consistently exerted all efforts to bring peace and development to Rakhine State which is facing terrorist threats.
The attacks were premeditated, well-organized and designed to invoke fear among the inhabitants, to incite violence and to attract international attention.
The Government, despite the attacks, continued with its efforts to seek sustainable solutions for Rakhine State. So far, 81 out of 88 recommendations made by the Advisory Commission in August 2017 towards achieving lasting peace and stability in Rakhine State have been implemented.
Within hours of the release of the Advisory Commission’s final report, ARSA terrorists carried out simultaneous attacks on 30 police outposts and one army battalion headquarters.
No doubt, the ARSA attacks of 2017 were not only against the security forces but also against various communities inhabiting Rakhine State.
We hope that the Code of Conduct would be the foundation for strengthening international instruments and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.