The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) is pleased to be an observer member of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism (the Group), which was launched by the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. António Guterres on 25 June 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General said “The launch of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism is an important step to address all these challenges (of terrorism). Through its leadership role at the United Nations, this group can ensure that victims’ voices are heard, their rights protected, and their recovery and rehabilitation needs addressed.”
The Group is the initiative of the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan and Spain to the United Nations, and the current membership includes 24 Member States, two regional organisations, and UNOCT and UNODC as Observer members (please see list below).
The Group seeks to promote a comprehensive approach towards the promotion and protection of the human rights of the victims of terrorism and to advocate their diverse needs in the short, medium and long-term. It will seek a balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy with a focus on Pillar I and IV, as well as other relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
In line with these goals the Group of Friends will aim to:
- Promote the importance of protecting the rights of victims of terrorism and providing them with proper support, assistance and rehabilitation, including through international solidarity, consistent with international law;
- Promote the implementation of relevant UN resolution related to supporting victims of terrorism;
- Give victims of terrorism a voice at the international level;
- Promote the role of victims of terrorism and their families in countering and delegitimizing the terrorist narratives including through education;
- Raise awareness of the needs of victims, in particular women and children, and their families;
- Promote the establishment of sustainable systems to assist victims of terrorism;
- Share best practices and lessons learned related to existing frameworks at the national and regional levels aimed at protecting victims of terrorism and their families, including regarding the provision of legal, medical, psycho-social and financial support;
- Raise awareness on the work done by UN entities to support victims of terrorism including in the framework of the Victims of Terrorism Support Programme;
- Commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism in an appropriate manner.
Also speaking at the launch, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism welcomed the initiative and recognised it as “an important milestone in our work to support those that have been injured, traumatised or have lost their lives during terrorist attacks.”
Members of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism: Afghanistan, Spain (Co-Chairs) Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Observer members: UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Read remarks made at the launch:
Under-Secretary-General’s remarks: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/ctitf/sites/www.un.org.counterterrorism.ctitf/files/190625_USG_remarks_GoF_Victims_of_Terrorism.pdf