Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – With terrorism posing a complex, constantly evolving and multi-faceted threat, law-enforcement agencies gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York in search of a comprehensive, inclusive, and effective multilateral response.
The day also marked the start of the UN’s Third Counter-Terrorism week.
Addressing the delegates “at the forefront of a great global effort”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that terrorism affects every region of the world, while preying on local and national vulnerabilities.
“Poverty, inequalities and social exclusion give terrorism fuel. Prejudice and discrimination targeting specific groups, cultures, religions and ethnicities give it flame,” said the UN chief, adding that criminal activities like money laundering, illegal mining, and the trafficking of arms, drugs, stolen artifacts and human beings, help fill terrorist coffers.
Since terrorism festers in complex crises with no region immune, the response to the threat needs to be multilateral and coordinated, said Mr. Guterres – citing some key UN tools that can help combat the scourge.
He said there were four priority areas where the counter-terrorism community should direct its efforts.
Firstly, he said the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy needed strengthening. This week, the General Assembly is expected to adopt by consensus a resolution reviewing the Strategy.
The second area of focus needs to be prevention, which means addressing the underlying conditions that lead to terrorism in the first place – such as poverty, discrimination, disaffection, weak infrastructure and institutions and gross violations of human rights.
This means “more than just foiling attacks and disrupting plots”. It is also necessary to ensure that counter-terrorism strategies and measures reflect all communities, constituencies and voices.
He commended Iraq and other Member States working to repatriate nationals from the camps – and reiterated his call for all Member States to accelerate the pace of repatriation as an urgent priority.
Finally, he called for more sustainable financing for counter-terrorism efforts.