|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Any Strategy for Combating Terrorism Must Recognize Victims’ Rights, stresses
Secretary-General at General Assembly launch of Portal
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the launch of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force web portal, in New York today:
I thank you, Mr. President [John Ashe], for your leadership and initiative to organize this important event on counter-terrorism. Mr. President, if you allow me, I’d like to say a few words about the kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in Mosul, Iraq.
I was shocked to hear that these terrorists have kidnapped the Consul General of Turkey and many diplomatic officers who are working in Mosul. This is totally unacceptable. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am condemning in the strongest possible terms such a terrorist attack against diplomatic officers.
No such terrorist attack against diplomatic officers and civilians can be justified under any circumstances, under any reason. I’m urging the Government of Iraq and broadly the regional countries and the whole international community to be united to bring all these perpetrators to justice and to do all possible to have these diplomatic officers released safe and sound as soon as possible.
As we are discussing [this] very important topic this morning at the United Nations, I cannot express any further my shock.
Yesterday, I issued another very strong statement condemning these terrorist attacks against Mosul, Iraq. Only after one day this happened again. Therefore, I’m urging that the whole international community must be united. We have to show strong commitment and solidarity to all these terrorists.
And again, I count on [you], Mr. President, [for] your leadership, and all the members of the United Nations, [for] your continued commitment and leadership. Let’s work together to eliminate these terrorist attacks.
Again, ladies and gentlemen, I thank distinguished high-level representatives from Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Spain, Turkey and the United Republic of Tanzania for their participation.
This Interactive Dialogue comes at an opportune time as a precursor to the Fourth Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which commences tomorrow. It gives me pleasure to note that my report on the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has been well received by Member States. Many important recommendations of my report have been included in the draft resolution to be adopted at the end of the Review. A strong consensus-based resolution will set the direction of the UN’s work in countering terrorism going forward.
We meet in the immediate aftermath of yet another brazen terrorist attack. I offer my condolences once again to the families of the victims of the terrible assault at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. We see again the vital importance of strengthening national and international counter-terrorism efforts.
Today we focus on how best to support victims of terrorism. It is fitting that we have with us here today Jason Pronyk, who is sitting with me and Mohammad Younus, here sitting together with us. They are all UN staff members who were severely wounded in the 2003 attack on our Canal Hotel Headquarters in Baghdad.
While the Global Strategy is a comprehensive and strategic plan of action, it is clear that more effort needs to be directed at combating the conditions that give rise to terrorism. Nothing can justify terrorism. No grievance or no cause can justify terrorist acts. But terrorism thrives when conflicts continue to simmer, or where rights are systematically violated, or where discrimination is institutionalized, or where there are few prospects of a secure and stable livelihood.
Our shared challenge is to ensure that terrorists do not find fertile ground to promote hate and intolerance. That means increasing our focus on de-radicalization, the rehabilitation of former terrorists and skills development for young people. Recent initiatives and conferences have generated a wealth of best practices and recommendations, and I urge all States to use those ideas to the fullest.
Any balanced and comprehensive strategy for combating terrorism must recognize that victims of terrorism are entitled to our support. Far too often, victims are left to suffer in silence as the world around them moves on even as their own lives have been upended. This only exacerbates their trauma. We must do more to protect the rights of victims of terrorism and provide the services they need.
The United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, developed by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office, is a major step in that direction. The Portal is a resource for thousands of victims, their families and communities, Governments and civil society organizations. It aims to promote understanding of the diverse needs of victims, and to offer guidance for addressing those needs effectively and comprehensively.
The launch of the Portal is meant to energize global efforts to support victims of terrorism. I thank the Government of Spain for its generous contribution towards its development. I encourage other Governments to contribute and help us to realize the Portal’s full potential.
We must collectively do more to ensure that our voices of compassion and tolerance are louder and have more impact. This will be critical to defeating terrorism and to making the world a safer place.
I wish you all a productive meeting.
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