– As delivered –
Statement by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
21 August 2020
His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
His Excellency Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General in the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism,
My dear sister PR of Afghanistan, co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Victims of Terrorism and our Moderator, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
I thank the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism for inviting me to this important event. The International Day of the remembrance of, and tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism presents the international community with a moment of reflection, and an opportunity to honour the memories of the innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of terrorist acts around the world.
Today we stand with the families of the victims, and the survivors of terrorism ,and we salute your resilience. Terrorism, in all forms and manifestations, can never be justified. Acts of terrorism everywhere must be strongly condemned. Seventy-five years ago, the leaders of the world committed to a future of peace, where “we the peoples” would, “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours and… unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”.
In upholding these words of the Charter of the United Nations, we commit to combating terrorism in full compliance with established international norms. The General Assembly adopted resolutions to curb the scourge and has worked to establish and maintain peace and security around the world, and uphold the freedoms and human rights of the people we serve. We have worked to strengthen cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism, to address impunity, and to pursue accountability for the perpetrators and supporters of acts of terrorism.
Together we will combat hate speech, xenophobia, and all of the early indicators of extremism which lead to terrorism. Let me assure you, the General Assembly will not cease in its search for peace until everyone, everywhere is free from fear. To the survivors of acts of terrorism who join us today, I thank you for your courage in speaking out about your experience. On this International Day, we re-commit to amplifying your voice, supporting your needs, and upholding your human rights.
We must further strengthen national and international mechanisms to support you and your families to ensure your full recovery, rehabilitation and re-integration into society through long-term multi-dimensional support, including physical, psychological, social and financial support. In recognizing the different effects of terrorism on men and women, we need to adopt a gender-sensitive approach in supporting victims.
Today we stand with the families of the victims, and the survivors of terrorism ,and we salute your resilience. Terrorism, in all forms and manifestations, can never be justified. Acts of terrorism everywhere must be strongly condemned.
It is crucial that we safeguard the rights of women who have survived acts of terrorism, particularly for displaced women and those living in fragile contexts such as conflict situations. You have survived unimaginable trauma and pain, but do not let it define you: your story does not end with the word ‘victim’. You are indeed survivors.
Together we can ensure that you live a full life defined by dignity and freedom. You are not alone in this journey. You are not forgotten. The United Nations General Assembly and the entire UN Family, are, and will continue to be with you every step of the way.
I wish you and your families all the best for the future.
I thank you.