1/3/2005
Press Release
SG/SM/9744


FATE OF TERRORIST ATTACK SURVIVORS TOO OFTEN NEGLECTED, SECRETARY-GENERAL


SAYS IN MESSAGE TO BOOK LAUNCH MEETING


Following is the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the meeting to launch the book “The Trauma of Terrorism”, delivered today by Danilo Türk, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs:


In the vital debate about how best to respond to terrorism and prevent further attacks, the fate of those who survive terrorist attacks is too often neglected.  Too often, they are either ignored altogether, or paraded as totems or “martyrs”, proving the iniquity of one side in a conflict and (at least by implication) the virtue of the other.


Yet, these are people with real injuries -- some physical, some mental.  They are entitled to treatment, to compensation, and above all to respect, as individuals whose rights have been violated, and whose voice should be heard.  We at the United Nations are especially conscious of this, since many of us were injured or traumatized in the attack on our headquarters in Baghdad the year before last.


Dr. Yael Danieli is a distinguished clinical psychologist and a long-standing friend of the United Nations.  She has devoted much of her life to dealing with the trauma inflicted on those who suffer or witness violence in different contexts.  I commend her and her fellow authors for focusing our attention today on the victims of terrorism, and I wish you a successful meeting.


* *** *