UNOCT: Year In Review 2021

Across the globe, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) leads and coordinates an all-of-UN approach to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, UNOCT scaled up its efforts to help Member States achieve a world free from terrorism by adapting and innovating to meet this challenging moment. In the unprecedented 2021 environment, promoting multilateral cooperation remained at the centre of UNOCT’s work.


UN Counter-Terrorism Centre

UNCCT promotes international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and supports Member States in implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

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Terrorists target the weakest links of border infrastructure. Implementing international standards and good practices of sound, modern integrated and cooperative border management contributes to stopping terrorist and illegal trafficking flows.

No country has all answers to cross-border challenges posed by returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters and dependents. International cooperation and exchange of good practices are key for principled prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration.

Preventing violent extremism conducive to terrorism is a crucial component to comprehensively addressing the threat. PVE requires multidimensional cooperation between Member States, civil society and international and regional organizations.

UNOCT stands in solidarity with victims of terrorism around the world and calls for unity to protect their rights and recognize the crucial role they can play in preventing terrorism and building stronger societies. The resilience of victims is an example for all of us.

Leadership, coordination and capacity-building are provided in support of Member States’ efforts to implement UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and take practical steps to prevent and counter terrorism.

Terrorists, as well as those they inspire, represent a major transnational threat. Detecting and disrupting the travel of these individuals and groups, and other high-risk criminals, is a priority for the international community, including the United Nations.

Mainstreaming gender considerations into counter-terrorism work makes preventive and responsive efforts more effective, helps to better understand the drivers of radicalization and recognizes the important role that women play in addressing the threat.

The transformative power of sports and its positive values bring us together. They also help address conditions conducive to terrorism by building community cohesion and resilience. At the same time, major sporting events are terrorist targets and need to be secure.

All countries agree that weapons of mass destruction and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials should not fall in terrorists’ hands. Concerted preventive actions are at the core of our response to this global challenge to international peace and security.

We provide leadership, coordination and capacity-building in support of Member States’ efforts to take practical steps to prevent and counter terrorism through a wide-range of activities, projects and programmes.

While new technologies have transformed our way of life for the better, their misuse by terrorists presents a growing challenge to the security of critical infrastructure and our own. Working together to prevent, protect and mitigate cyber damage must be a priority.

Human rights are a true recognition of our common humanity. They unite people, while terrorism thrives on divisions and represents the denial and destruction of human rights. When we protect human rights, we are tackling the root causes of terrorism.

The dynamic nature of terrorism financing is a crucial challenge to preventive efforts. Comprehensively addressing this evolving threat while upholding human rights and building multidimensional partnerships are priorities of our global programme.

Terrorist groups target young people. They exploit real or perceived grievances and use manipulative messages, including through new technologies to increase their reach across borders and cultures. If prevention is our goal, we need to engage with and invest in youth.

Under the leadership of the Under-Secretary-General, UNOCT is structured in five components to deliver high-quality support to Member States in our common goal to have a world free of terrorism.