Care for victims of terror to challenge narrative of hatred: UN chief

Vastavam web: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for global support for the victims of terrorism and their families, stressing that it is a “moral imperative” to protect their rights and amplifying their voices will help to challenge the narrative of hatred that terrorism aims to spread. Recognising the impact of terrorism on the lives of ordinary people worldwide was the focus yesterday to mark the first International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution last December and proclaimed August 21 as the annual day to honour and support victims and survivors of terrorism. Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security, and Guterres pointed out that the UN, too, is regularly targeted.

He recalled that this week marked the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the organisation’s compound in Baghdad in which 22 people were killed, while some peacekeeping operations are under constant threat. Although more countries are being affected by terrorism, the UN said most victims can be found in just a handful, namely Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria.

“But after terrorist attacks, we rarely hear about those who were killed and injured; the ordinary women, men, girls and boys, who were going about their daily business when their lives ended or were changed forever,” Guterres said. The UN chief said the international day therefore serves as a reminder “to stop and listen to the victims and survivors of terrorism, to raise up their voices and recognise the impact terrorism has on their lives.”

He said terrorism is one of the most challenging issues today and a serious threat to international peace and security. “From Tajikistan to the United Kingdom, from Baghdad to Barcelona, these ruthless attacks have shaken us all to the core. No country can consider itself immune, with almost every nationality in the world falling victim to terrorist attacks,” he said.