All protocol observed.
I am greatly honoured to address this High Level Ministerial Session of the United Nations International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter Terrorism.
This Conference offers our country an opportunity to reflect on its successes, challenges and aspirations with regard to the implementation of human rights compliant and gender responsive programmes in the context of counter terrorism.
Botswana is committed to implementing and progressively improving measures taken against terrorism while upholding the rule of law as well as promoting and protecting the rights for all vulnerable and special groups like refugees, women and children.
To that end, Botswana is signatory to six (6) of the nine (9) core United Nations human rights treaties and conventions.
Furthermore, the Constitution of Botswana contains the Bill of Rights and safeguards among others, the right to dignity, equality, non-discrimination and protection by the law.
In addition, Parliament of Botswana enacted the Counter Terrorism Act of 2014, the Data Protection Act of 2018 and the Draft Civil Aviation (Advanced Passenger Information/Passenger Name Records) Regulations (2021).
Botswana recognises the role of non-state actors in contributing to the development of national and international policies aimed at entrenching best practices.
Consequently, Government has developed and commenced the implementation of the following counter terrorism programmes in partnership with the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism:
i. The Countering Terrorist Travel Programme (2020) which is aimed at complying to the Security Council Resolutions 2178, 2396 and 2482. Botswana is the first country in Southern Africa to adopt this Programme;
ii. The Aviation Security Threat Assessment Models Programme (2020) which is incompliance with Security Council Resolution 2309 and Annex 17 of the Security of the Chicago Convention. I am proud to announce that Botswana is the first Member state to successfully test and operationalize the Threat Assessment Models Programme;
iii. Global Fusion Cells Programme (2020) for which various key stakeholders in Botswana are currently receiving training;
In conclusion Chairperson, Botswana reiterates her commitment to the global fight against terrorism. There is indeed a necessity for support for Botswana to build capacity to ensure meaningful engagement and safe participation of diverse civil society groups and actors in the area of counter terrorism, in line with the United Nations Guidance Note: Protection and Promotion of Civic Space.
All protocol observed.