International Day of Victims of Terrorism: 20 August 2021
International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, 21 August 2021
The fourth commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism will take place this year on 20 August 2021. It occurs twenty years after the 9/11 attacks and during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected people around the world. The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on victims of terrorism, as it has denied them the healing benefits of social connectedness and peer support, ability to attend in-person memorial events, exacerbated the effects of their earlier trauma, or resulted in loss of yet another loved one.
The theme of International Day is “Connections”, as victims have had to find creative ways to stay connected while being isolated from each other, from their families, friends, and communities during the pandemic. It is important for the international community to connect and stand in solidarity with victims, for Member States to connect to learn from each other and share good practices, ensuring that victims needs are met, and their rights upheld.
An online high-level event entitled ‘Surviving Terrorism: The Power of Connections’ will be held with the participation of the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres and will features testimonies from victims of terrorism and closing remarks from Under-Secretary-General Mr. Vladimir Voronkov.
A short film “Surviving Terrorism: The Power of Connections” will be launched, which features testimonies of victims and survivors of terrorism from across the world reciting a collective ode and sharing why connections is important. This will be followed by an interactive webinar discussion featuring victims and victims’ associations to discuss the importance of connections and how to strengthen the rights and needs of victims.
This event is organised in collaboration with the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism.
- Watch the event live on: UNWebTV
- For more information, follow us on Twitter (@UN_OCT) or visit the United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal
The General Assembly, in its resolution (A/RES/72/165 (2017), established 21 August as the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism in order to honour and support the victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and protect the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The primary responsibility to support victims of terrorism and uphold their rights rests with Member States. The United Nations has an important role in supporting Member States to implement Pillar I and IV of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy through standing in solidarity and providing support to victims, capacity building assistance, establishing networks of, and offering support to, civil society organizations, particularly victims of terrorism associations, and encouraging Member States to promote, protect and respect the rights of victims. The United Nations has been working to provide resources, mobilise the international community and better address the needs of victims of terrorism.
In April 2020, mandated by GA resolution 73/305, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres published his report on the ‘Progress of the UN system to support Member States in assisting victims of terrorism’ (A/74/790).
The last four outcome resolutions of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy review (A/RES/66/282, A/RES/68/276, A/RES/72/284, and A/RES/75/291) have all emphasized the important role of victims in countering terrorism, promoting international solidarity in support of victims, and preventing violent extremism as well as recognising and upholding their human rights.
Since the sixth review, developments at the international, regional, and national levels have increasingly demonstrated that support to victims has moved beyond symbolic solidarity towards a more robust engagement to advance their rights and needs. This is reflected in the establishment in 2019 of a Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism and General Assembly resolution A/RES/73/305 on the enhancement of international cooperation to assist victims of terrorism.
The seventh review resolution, adopted on 30 June 2021 (A/RES/75/291) notes the importance of upholding the rights and supporting the needs of victims of terrorism, in particular of women, children and those affected by sexual and gender-based violence committed by terrorists. It encourages all Member States to develop national comprehensive assistance plans for victims of terrorism and their families to address the immediate-, short- and long-term needs of victims of terrorism.
The resolution further welcomes the first Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, and encourages the Office of Counter-Terrorism, through the Global Victims of Terrorism Support Programme and the UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, to continue to raise awareness on victims of terrorism and the promotion and protection of their rights. This includes further strengthening the capacity of, and providing technical assistance to, Member States to assist victims of terrorism and strengthening their engagement with relevant civil society and private sector organisations, which can play a valuable role in assisting and supporting victims of terrorism.