Name: Sophie Garonzik
Topic: Combatting Terrorism in Southeast Asia
The delegation of Iraq advocates for the elimination of terrorism and its destructive violence and hostility toward individuals across the globe, both internally and in Southeast Asia. The United Nations chooses not to universally define terrorism, for “terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, or ethnic group.” However, any group that exercises terrorism possesses a common strategy and goal: the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population to thereby bring about a particular political objective. In recognition of the dangers and brutality that stem from terrorist activities within our own borders and abroad, Iraq aims to work together with the international community to combat terrorism internally and globally.
As a result of Southeast Asia’s attempt to modernize its region and the growing influence of radical Islamic political dominance, the rate of terrorism in the Southeast Asian region has increased drastically. Both “mainland” and “island zone” countries within the Southeast Asian region face a variety of revolutionary movements and violent political extremism, initiated by groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Laskar Jihad, Front Pembela Islam, Kelompok Banten, and other radicals. These groups seek religious and political dominance, regardless of the intimidation, torture, terror and murder they implement to obtain that dominance, with many having ties to the Al Qaeda network. The growing influx of Christian refugees into Southeast Asia poses a threat to these extremist groups, prompting them to take violent political action. The action taken by terrorist groups has grown so exponentially that the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, has called Southeast Asia a “key recruitment area for ISIS.”
Historically, the existence of various extreme religious groups within Iraq has created an environment filled with intimidation, violence, takeovers, hostility, and terrorist activity. After the defeat of the Sunni Muslim government of Saddam Hussein and the resulting conflict among various groups struggling for power, the creation of militant groups inspired by Al Qaeda, such as ISIS or ISIL, has led to the use of terrorism and violence as a means to force others to adapt to their extreme ideologies. The creation of a caliphate within Iraq, the destruction of Iraqi land and places of worship, and the deaths of thousands of Iraqis based on their religious and political beliefs have led to years of struggle and strife within our borders. Iraq has been working with the United States, members of the European Union, and the United Nations to overcome these struggles. Most recently, we recaptured Mosul, thus weakening the stronghold of ISIS and its followers. Nevertheless, we are not free from the terrorist activities of ISIS; recent...