General Assembly meeting on Counter-terrorism

As delivered

Remarks by Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, at the General Assembly meeting on Counter-terrorism

27 July 2017


PGA addresses the GA. 2. Appointment of a member of the Joint Inspection Unit [item 115 (h)] (a) Note by the Secretary-General (A/71/991) (b) Note verbale dated 24 July 2017 from the Permanent Mission of Myanmar (A/71/992)Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

This week, the world has once again witnesses horrific terrorist attacks, this time targeting internally displaced persons camps in Nigeria; a crowded marketplace in Pakistan; and civil servants commuting to work in Afghanistan.

These cowardly attacks have killed hundreds of innocent people, devastated the lives of thousands. They serve as tragic reminders to us all of the scale of the challenge we face in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Let us never surrender to the idea that these are just statistics or that there is any kind of justification for this aberration in
human behavior. Every decent tenet of human philosophy and religion, of human rights thought and principle, of law, science and culture, abhors terrorism and violent extremism.

It was in this conformity of spirit, and with an understanding  of urgency required that the General Assembly last month adopted resolution 71/291 to establish the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.

Presented by Secretary-General Guterres, this initiative marked an important step in strengthening the United Nations’ capability to assist Member States to counter terrorism, prevent violent extremism, and implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Since then Ambassador Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov has been appointed to head the new Office of Counter-Terrorism. I congratulate him on his appointment and am confident that he will enjoy the full support and cooperation of us all in this vital role.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s General Assembly meeting is an important next step in our efforts to pursue the successful implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and enhance the United Nations’ role in combatting terrorism and preventing violent extremism.

It is through sharing knowledge and increasing international cooperation that  global efforts to take decisive and effective action will be enabled.

It is by strengthening existing partnerships and forging new connections among all stakeholders that we will resist the spread of hate and intolerance that feeds the beast of violent extremism.

And it is by faithfully implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and by bringing the full weight of the United Nations system to bear that we will rid the world of terrorism.

Let us do all this in fidelity to the memory of the countless innocent victims of terrorism and violent extremism. May they rest in peace and may we bring this historical scourge to an early end.

This, after all, is the least we can do to honor and support the victims of the senseless acts of terrorism that have plagued our world for far too long.

I thank you.