Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, observed on 21 August:
Today, we remember and honour all victims of terrorism. We stand by those who grieve and those who continue to endure the physical and psychological wounds of terrorist atrocities. The impact of terrorism on victims can last a lifetime and reverberate across generations. Traumatic memories cannot be erased, but we can help victims and survivors by seeking truth, justice and reparation, amplifying their voices and upholding their human rights.
This third International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism takes place while the world is in turmoil. The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we live and interact with each other. Vital services for victims, such as criminal justice processes and psychosocial support, have been interrupted, delayed or ended while Governments focus attention and resources on fighting the pandemic. Many memorials and commemorations have been cancelled or moved online, hampering the ability of victims to find solace and comfort together. And due to current restrictions, the first-ever United Nations Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism has been postponed until next year.
Remembering the victims of terrorism and doing more to support them is essential to help them rebuild their lives and heal. This includes our efforts to work with parliamentarians and Governments to draft and adopt legislation and national strategies to help victims. We must continue to support victims’ associations in their invaluable work. We must ensure that those who have suffered are always heard and never forgotten. The United Nations stands in solidarity with all victims of terrorism — today and every day.