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Vladimir Voronkov (2nd left), Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, addresses the regional conference in Vienna on challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters.

Foreign fighters: ‘One of the most serious dimensions’ in global counter-terrorism struggle

Over the past few years, ISIL and Al-Qaida terrorist fighters have posed an “unprecedented threat to international peace and security”, the UN counter-terrorism chief said on Wednesday in Vienna, at the close of a joint UN- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) regional conference on addressing challenges posed by terrorists who have gone to fight overseas. 

UN News

Cross-cutting efforts to build up security across Somalia

Al Shabbab terrorists continue to undermine security across Somalia as the government tries to build up its institutions and make the country more economically self-sufficient.

That’s according to the head of the UN Assistance Mission there (UNSOM), Michael Keating, who spelled out that “a multi-dimensional effort to build an accountable, affordable State” is well underway.


Refugees “often the first victims” of terrorism: UNHCR

When considering how terrorists sometimes abuse the asylum system, it must be remembered that refugees are “often” their first victims.

That was the warning from Volker Turk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, at the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

He was one of the panellists speaking at a briefing of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee on Wednesday.

Matthew Wells reports.

Duration: 3'11"

UN Photo/Manuel Elías

“Blood money” of trafficked women now “lifeblood” sustaining terrorists

The “blood money” of women and children has become part of the “lifeblood” that sustains terrorists in places like Syria and Iraq, the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict has said.

Zainab Bangura briefed members of the UN Security Council during an open debate on trafficking in persons in conflict countries on Tuesday.

The billion-dollar trade ranks as the world’s most profitable crime, after illicit trade in drugs and arms, the UN says.

Priyanka Shankar has the details.

Duration: 3'16"

UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file photo)

Victories against ISIL in Iraq “unifying” people

A series of victories against terrorists in Iraq is a “unifying factor” for the conflict-ridden country, according to the UN’s most senior representative there.

Areas which had been held by the ISIL terrorist group, also known as Daesh, have been retaken and show, according to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Ján Kubiš, that Iraqis are capable of defeating terrorism with the support of the international community.

Basma Baghal has been speaking to Mr Kubiš.

Duration: 4'36"

UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Hateful ideology” behind Paris terrorist attacks

The terrorists who carried out the multiple deadly attacks in Paris last Friday were promoting a “hateful ideology” according to a United Nations independent expert.

The attacks which left 129 people dead were claimed by the ISIL terrorist group, also known in Arabic, as Daesh.

The Islamist group controls large areas of Syria and Iraq and has begun carrying out atrocities in other countries, such as France and Lebanon.

Karima Bennoune is the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.

Cristina Silveiro asked her to characterize the attacks.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Defeating terrorists on the battlefield is not enough

Defeating terrorism militarily is only the beginning of the global fight against violent extremism, US President Barack Obama said at a UN summit on Tuesday.

Terrorist groups like ISIL in the Middle-East have gained the allegiance of smaller militant groups like Boko Haram, in West Africa in the past year, raising fears that extremism is growing fast.

Leaders from many of the countries directly affected by terrorism spoke at the summit, which took place on the fringe of the General Assembly.

© UNESCO/F. Bandarin

Protecting cultural heritage from terrorism: an “imperative for humanity”

It’s an imperative for humanity, to prevent the destruction of the world’s heritage by terrorists, and the trafficking of cultural treasures, said ministers launching a new partnership at the UN on Sunday.

The foreign ministers of Jordan and Italy were joined by leaders of UN agencies who are working together to prevent the further destruction of historical sites and sale of artefacts by extremists, around the world.

Matthew Wells reports.

Duration: 2'48"