Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for strengthening collective efforts to combat terrorism, which he called “one of the greatest security challenges of our time.”
In a message to the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, held on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Mr. Ban noted that the threat of terrorism continues to grow in much of the world.
“Extremism and radicalization in the Sahel are affecting national and regional stability. In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, people no longer know what it means to live without fear of terrorist attacks,” he stated.
“Just this weekend, hundreds died in Baghdad, Nairobi and Peshawar. Conflict zones provide fertile ground for terror groups to emerge and gain strength, as we currently witness in Syria.”
The message, delivered by Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), described today’s meeting as a valuable opportunity to review collective efforts and build on existing partnerships to jointly address terrorism.
Mr. Ban noted that, since its launch two years ago, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum has undertaken an “impressive” repertoire of work. “Its regional and thematic working groups have brought much-needed focus to priority issues, mobilized funding, improved capacity-building coordination and helped share best practices.”
“The United Nations welcomes our partnership with the Forum and looks forward to collaborating more closely,” said Mr. Ban, who invited all participants to consider how to further build on existing cooperation.
The proposed Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience, he added, can make an important contribution to implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by providing much-needed resources to local organizations that are critical to addressing the conditions that help spread terrorism.
Adopted by the General Assembly in September 2006, the Strategy is based on four pillars: tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN system in that regard; and ensuring respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.
Next June, Member States will conduct the fourth biennial review of the Strategy, which provides the model for international counter-terrorism cooperation.