Efforts by the Secretary-General to Counter Terrorism

Official portrait of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

As a result of the increase in violent attacks against civilians and United Nations personnel, along with the heightened focus of Member States on this threat, terrorism has become one of the main peace and security agendas of the Secretary-General. Through statements and reports, the Secretary-General has been consistently condemning all terrorist actions as unacceptable and unjustifiable. He has urged countries to take a united front against such violence and positioned the United Nations to assist Member States in their counter-terrorism efforts.

The Secretary-General established the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in July 2005 to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system.  Through the work of the CTITF, UN programmes, funds and specialized agencies with mandates relating to counter-terrorism have developed a programme of work with a number of initiatives to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. As one of the first concrete and practical outcomes of those joint efforts, the Secretary-General launched the Counter-Terrorism Online Handbook to Member States on 16 February 2007.

"Terrorism may be a gathering storm, but the international response is gathering steam. No cause or grievance can justify terrorism. Let me stress again the determination of the United Nations to rise to a global, cross-border challenge that seeks to do such harm to us all."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement to the Security Council,
27 September 2010

At the seminar on Reporting on Global Security and Terrorism held in New York on 18 May 2010, the Secretary-General stressed that the Millennium Development Goals held the key to improving global security from the ground up. Healthy, productive people, he noted, make healthy, productive societies, who resolve their problems through peaceful diplomacy rather than terrorism or war.

To contribute to the first review by Member States of the implementation of the Strategy on 4-5 September 2008, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon compiled a report on activities of the UN system in implementing the Strategy. The Secretary-General also convened a symposium on supporting victims of terrorism on 9 September 2008. For the second review of the implementation on 8 September 2010, the Secretary-General issued a second report on the activities of the UN system in implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.