UN Under-Secretary for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov lauded Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism.
He said he came to Egypt to discuss one of the world’s greatest challenges today – the scourge of terrorism.
“The threat is of course not new, and Egypt has, unfortunately, a long and proven experience on the frontline of international efforts to combat terrorism,” said Voronkov at a ceremony organized by the diplomatic club of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Saturday evening.
He paid tribute to the courage and sacrifices of the Egyptian people who are showing determination and resilience.
He also extended his heartfelt compassion and solidarity with the victims of terrorism in Egypt.
“Nothing can ever justify terrorism. Terrorism is an affront to human dignity. The fight against terrorism should therefore bring us all together,” he said as quoted by a press release by the UN Information Center in Cairo.
The fight against terrorism in Egypt, in Belgium, in Russia, in Indonesia, in Trinidad and Tobago or anywhere – should matter to everyone. No country can claim immunity, either from the threat itself and its potential proliferation – or from the devastating social, economic, cultural and humanitarian consequences of terrorism today, he said.
Daesh has suffered a series of devastating military setbacks in Iraq, Syria and the southern Philippines.
Yet, it is not the time for complacency. Daesh and its affiliates continue to pose a significant and evolving threat around the world, and so does Al Qaida and its affiliates, he added.
Voronkov said terrorism remains an unprecedented threat to international peace, security and development.
As conflicts have grown in intensity and number over the past decade, terrorist attacks have increased and spread, destroying societies and destabilizing entire regions.
The threat from terrorism transcends cultures and geographical boundaries and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group.
The threat of terrorism is constantly evolving. We need to stay at least one step ahead to anticipate, prevent and counter new attacks. Terrorists are not sitting idle. They are actively on the look-out for the next blow they can inflict, the new opportunity they can exploit.
New technologies in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, drones and the Internet have the potential to deliver great benefits to people around the world. However, the darker side of these technologies allows the most poisonous of ideas to flow encrypted across borders at the touch of a button or the tap of a tweet.
We need to remain united and focused to counter these emerging threats.
He saluted the leadership demonstrated by Egypt during its Chairmanship of the Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee on 2016-2017. A number of crucial resolutions were adopted by the Council during these two years to upgrade the counter-terrorism responses of Member States.
Adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy provides a comprehensive blueprint to guide Member States’ efforts to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism conducive to terrorism.
The Global Strategy is reviewed every two years to ensure it is aligned with Member States’ needs in response to this rapidly evolving threat. The next review will take place in June 2018.
The UN official said the United Nations Secretary-General has made preventing and countering terrorism one of his top priorities. He has emphasized two key themes in his vision of the fight against terrorism, within a framework based on human rights and the rule of law: first – promoting international cooperation and second –prevention in the spirit of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
To help translate this vision into practice, the Secretary-General’s first reform initiative was to create the Office of Counter-Terrorism to provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts.
Building on this, the Secretary-General signed two weeks ago the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, to further strengthen the coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism work of thirty-six different United Nations entities, plus INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization.
Our focus now is to strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation by ensuring a new spirit of partnership to address the deficit in cooperation at the global, regional and national levels.
There is an urgent need for governments and security and law enforcement agencies to collaborate and consult far more effectively in fighting terrorist groups, in accordance with all their obligations under international law.
It is time for a new era of practical cooperation and information-sharing to deny terrorist any opportunity, any vulnerability, any chance.
To play its part, the United Nations Secretary-General will convene a High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States on 28 and 29 June. The Conference will aim to enhance cooperation, the exchange of information in a timely and secure manner, and develop new and innovative ways to tackle terrorism.
n the coming month, the Member States of the United Nations will review the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The review and the High-Level Conference will be held back to back during the last week of June—the first “counter-terrorism week” ever held at the United Nations.
Prior to the review of the Strategy, the Secretary-General will issue a report sharing his assessment of the work achieved by the United Nations and recommendations to strengthen the response of the international community.
I hope that the review will not only maintain but reinforce international consensus against terrorism and set a clear direction for all our common efforts over the next two years.
To fight terrorism is a direct responsibility of a sovereign State. While acknowledging this primary national role, at the United Nations we are committed to increase our support to Member States, at their request, in scope, effectiveness and impact. We are ready to up our efforts. (MENA)