5 September 2008
Press Release
Note No. 6170

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

Secretary-General convenes first United Nations event to support victims

of terrorism, at Headquarters 9 September

United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening a day-long symposium on supporting victims of terrorism, at United Nations Headquarters on 9 September.  The symposium’s aim is to provide a forum to assist Member States in their commitment under the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to “strive to promote international solidarity in support of victims and foster the involvement of civil society in a global campaign against terrorism and for its condemnation”.

The symposium, the first in United Nations history to address victims of terrorism, follows the 4 September General Assembly meeting when Member States recommitted themselves to implementing the Strategy, which they adopted two years ago, on 8 September 2006.  In the Strategy, countries place major emphasis on the victims of terrorism and call for putting in place national systems of assistance that would promote the needs of victims and their families and facilitate the normalization of their lives.

The symposium will be an opportunity for victims to voice their needs and views, for countries to share with one another their experiences and best practices in supporting victims, and for a dialogue to begin among Member States, victims and civil society on how States, international organizations and civil society can better address the needs of victims of terrorism.  The event should also help to put a human face on the costs of terrorism and highlight the steps being taken to build solidarity with and support for victims.

All Member States, as well as regional and subregional organizations, are invited to participate.  Other invitees will include victims, experts, and civil society. Participants will represent various geographic regions, cultures and religions and a diversity of experiences.  The participants will also have a record of constructive engagement with Governments and civil society in support of victims.  Invitations were made in consultation with victims’ organizations, civil society and Member States.

The symposium will open with introductory remarks from the Secretary-General, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and a victim representative.  This will be followed by a panel discussion on “Identification of key issues for governments, victims and civil society” in the morning.  The second panel session, to be held at 3 p.m., will look at “Collaboration and best practices”.  The symposium will conclude with remarks from representatives of the Secretariat, participating Governments and victims.

The Symposium will begin at 9 a.m. on 9 September in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to media with limited seat availability in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.  A video-link will be set up for those that cannot be accommodated in Conference Room 3.

The Secretary-General, along with several victim representatives, will hold a press briefing at 12 noon in Room S-226.

For more information:  general information on United Nations actions against terrorism:  http://www.un.org/terrorism/; activities on assisting victims of terrorism:  http://www.un.org/terrorism/workgroup3.shtml.

For further information or inquiry, please contact Luis Jiménez-McInnis at e-mail:  jimenez-mcinnis@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record