2020 Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week

2020 Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week, July 6-10


The Second Counter-Terrorism Week at the United Nations was anticipated to take place from 29 June to 3 July 2020 at the UN Headquarters, New York. This 2020 Counter-Terrorism Week was planned to include the Seventh Biennial Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the first ever United Nations Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, as well as the Second United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and following the decision of the General Assembly to postpone the review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to its 75th session, the entire 2020 Counter-Terrorism Week is postponed.


Countering Terrorism in a Global Pandemic Environment

The Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week will be held from 6-10 July and convened under the overarching theme of “Strategic and Practical Challenges of Countering Terrorism in a Global Pandemic Environment”. 

The event will be launched on Monday 6 July 2020 at 10:00 am (New York time) with an opening two-hour high-level session titled “Post COVID-19 World: Contours and Pivot Points and Benefits of Multilateral Collaboration.”

Thereafter, the Week will include nine additional webinars and interactive discussions focusing on priorities such as bio and cyber terrorism, high-risk threats and trends, addressing the plight of victims of terrorism, flagship UN counter-terrorism programmes, human rights and counter-terrorism, countering the financing of terrorism, youth-led initiatives to build resilient societies, and civil society and media perspectives to prevent violent extremism, among others. 

The event will provide an opportunity to bring Member States, United Nations entities, thought leaders, civil society representatives and other stakeholders together to exchange views, through strategic and expert-level online events, on what the new circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the counter-terrorism landscape.

The Opening, UNCCT Expo Launch and Closing sessions will be webcast live on: https://webtv.un.org

The full programme is also available here.


Conference sessions 

The 2020 Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week will consist of ten (10) webinars and interactive discussions, including: 

Date Session

Monday, 06 July
10 AM – 12 PM

The Opening Session  
Post COVID-19 World: Contours, Pivot Points and Benefits of Multilateral Collaboration (concept note)

Watch the recap on UN Web TV

Key Note Address:

Distinguished Speakers

  • Mr. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU Commission Vice President (statement)
  • Mr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations 
  • Mr. Kais Kabtani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations, Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (statement)
  • Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (statement)
  • Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond, Head of Digital Cooperation and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary (statement)
  • Ms. Ăsa Regnér, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women; and
  • Mr. John Frank, Vicepresident for UN Affairs, Microsoft


  • Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) (opening statement) (watch it on UN Web TV)
  • Ms. Sarah Franck, Junior Professional Officer/Associate Expert, UNOCT 
Monday, 6 July
12:30 PM – 2 PM  

Interactive Discussion I
Emerging Threats: Responding to the Threat of Bio and Cyber Terrorism  (concept note)

Tuesday, 7 July
9 AM – 11 AM

Webinar II
The Global Scourge of Terrorism: Assessment of High-Risk Threats and Trends, including the rise of Violent Extremism and Hate Speech in a Pandemic Environment (by Invitation only).

Tuesday, 7 July
11:30 AM – 12:15 PM 

UNCCT Virtual Expo Launch (concept note) (video)

Distinguished Speakers

  • H.E. Mr. Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations and Chair of the UNCCT Advisory Board  
  • Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, UNOCT, and Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, UNCCT


  • The distinguished speakers
  • Dr. Jehangir Khan, Director, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre


  • Ms. Amani Alkhiami, Associate Expert – Strategic Communications, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre 


Watch the Launch

Explore the Virtual Expo

Wednesday, 8 July
9 AM – 11 AM 

Webinar III
Addressing the Plight of Victims of Terrorism in a Challenging Environment (concept note)

Wednesday, 8 July
11:30 AM – 1 PM

Interactive Discussion III 
Global programmes on Countering Terrorist Travel, Returning Foreign Terrorists Fighters (FTFs), including their Prosecution, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (concept note)

Thursday, 9 July
9 AM – 11 AM 

Webinar IV 
Protecting and promoting Human Rights as a cornerstone of building resilience against terrorism  (concept note)

Thursday, 9 July
11:30 AM – 1 PM

Interactive Discussion IV 
Prevention of Violent Extremism and Strengthening Social Cohesion: Investing in Youth-led and Youth-driven Initiatives to build Resilient Societies  (concept note)

Friday, 10 July
9 AM – 11 AM 

Webinar V 
Civil Society and Media Perspectives on Preventing and Countering Terrorism in a Pandemic (concept note)

Friday, 10 July
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM 

The Closing Session 
Member States’ Counter-Terrorism Priorities in the Post COVID-19 Environment – Synergies and Complementarities between the COVID-19 and Counter-Terrorism Agendas (concept note)

Watch the recap on UN Web TV


  • Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, UNOCT (closing statement)


  • Hon. Mr. Nathan Sales, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State (statement)
  • H.E. Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President, Inter-Parliamentary Union (statement)
  • H.E. Thomas Greminger, Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, African Union (statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations (ASEAN Chair) (statement)
  • Ms. Alison August Treppel, Executive Secretary, Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, Organization of American States (statement)
  • Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (statement)


  • H.E. Mr. Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations (statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Zhang Jun, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (statement)


2020 Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week Expo

#UNCCT launched its 1st Virtual Exposition on 7 July 2020 during #VirtualCTWeek. The #UNCCTExpo takes visitors on an interactive digital journey, exploring the Centre's history and its capacity-building efforts. 


2018 Counter-Terrorism Week

The UN Secretary-General convened the first UN High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, on 28 and 29 June 2018 at United Nations Headquarters. The overarching theme for this Conference is “Strengthening international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism”. 

UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 8 September 2006. The strategy is a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. The General Assembly reviews the Strategy every two years, making it a living document attuned to Member States’ counter-terrorism priorities.