Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres said yesterday that the recent despicable attacks in Kenya, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, among others, are tragic reminders of the global reach of the scourge of terrorism.
Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres
Speaking at the Official Launch of the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programat UN Headquarters in New York,Guterres said that these attacks underscore the need to work closely with partners across the United Nations system and beyond.
He said the Office of Counter-Terrorism was established in 2017 with the aim of strengthening international counter-terrorism cooperation; expanding multilateral networks for sharing information to detect, identify, disrupt and prosecute terrorists and for ensuring that Member States most affected by terrorism have the capacity to tackle this evolving threat.
The UNSG said that over the last seven years, there has been a dramatic movement of terrorists to and from conflict zones around the world.
“Just two years ago, we estimated that over 40,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 110 countries may have travelled to join terrorist groups in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq,” he said.
The UNSG added that following the territorial defeat of ISIL, many terrorists are trying to return home or relocate to safe havens or other troubled parts of the world.“Many are well trained and could carry out future terrorist attacks. Others hope to radicalise and recruit new followers to their cause. They, as well as those they inspire, represent a major transnational threat. Detecting and disrupting these terrorists and other high-risk criminals prior to them carrying out an attack is a high priority for the international community,” he added.
He said the program will help Member States collect, process and share travel data with other competent national and international authorities, with full respect for privacy and other fundamental freedoms.
“We know that policies that fully respect human rights are essential in tackling violent extremism.
This information sharing will enhance the abilities of Member States to effectively detect, prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences, including their related travel,” he said.