Bosnia and Herzegovina in UN address calls for comprehensive strategy against terrorism

Speaking on a wide range of issues before delegations gathered at Assembly’s annual debate, he emphasized that extremist ideologies characterized by absolute disregard for life are seriously undermining the fundamental values and achievements of civilization.Yet, limited military responses as the only instrument in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations have only yielded short-term results.“Along with the decisive, thorough, dedicated and well-coordinated military action, there has to be a comprehensive strategy and holistic approach to combating violent extremism and terrorism, in order to address the root causes of this phenomenon,” Mr. Covic suggested.Further in this regard, he flagged reducing poverty and inequality, improving education and providing opportunities to the young generations as “extremely important, even crucial.” On the other hand, he said that eliminating the effects of prejudice and xenophobia in our societies and communities remains essential in countering the spread of violent extremism ideology. Mr. Covic stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the full implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the activities of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, whose past activities, he noted, are already showing results in strengthening of intergovernmental cooperation and improving the capacity of individual Member States in this area.Turning to the situation in Syria, he said that until recently, the crisis had been a challenge for the Middle East. But now it has spread to other regions including Europe. “Several days ago, the refugee and the migrant crisis of the Syrian people arrived to the borders of our country and reminded us that the events of another place, another region and the events at our own borders are closely intertwined and inseparable in this global environment of today,” he said.He emphasized that the current refugee crisis is multiplying each day and effective solution must be deployed immediately.On European integration, Mr. Covic said that through the Stabilization and Association Agreement signed between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina, he was hopeful that his country would gain candidacy status.“I assure you of the very strong belief present in Bosnia and Herzegovina that our experiences and lessons learned in our past can help and must be offered as an increased contribution to solving numerous challenges on both regional and international level,” he asserted.“We attach great importance to regional cooperation, and we are fully committed to building good relations with our neighbours on the basis of the principles of friendship and openness. We are aware that this is the only way to stability in that region of Southeast Europe, often turbulent in the past. Full European perspective of all countries in the region is possible only on these foundations,” he added.Moving on to climate change, he told the Assembly the effects the phenomenon has had in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past year, when devastating floods had forced people out of their homes. “Unlike many other parts of our planet, Bosnia and Herzegovina is rich in large quantities of clean potable water, which is becoming increasingly invaluable and a rarity in the world we live in. This fact, however, is something we can no longer take for granted, especially after realizing how helpless and weak we are before the forces of nature, after countless abuses we have been subjecting the nature to,” he added.He also expressed hope that participating countries at the Climate Change Conference in Paris redouble their efforts in order to reach a legally binding Universal Climate Change Agreement.