Terror teams should not be allowed to make use of fragilities brought on by COVID-19: UN chief

United Nations, July 6

Terror teams such because the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and their regional associates should not be allowed to take advantage of the rising “fissures and fragilities” as a result of psycho-social, financial and political stresses laid naked by the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated on Monday.

“It is too early to fully assess the implications of COVID-19 on the terrorism landscape. But we know that ISIL, al-Qaeda, their regional affiliates – as well as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups – seek to exploit divisions, local conflicts, governance failures and grievances to advance their objectives,” Guterres stated.

Speaking on the opening of the digital Counter-Terrorism week, he stated the ISIL is constant its efforts to “reassert” itself in Iraq and Syria, whereas 1000’s of overseas terrorist fighters battle within the area, search to have interaction in battle elsewhere, or linger in momentary detention whereas their members of the family stay stranded.

Guterres voiced concern that the pandemic has additionally highlighted vulnerabilities to new and rising types of terrorism, equivalent to misuse of digital expertise, cyber assaults and bioterrorism.

“Like the virus, terrorism does not respect national borders. It affects all nations and can only be defeated collectively. So we must harness the power of multilateralism to find practical solutions,” he stated.

Outlining the important thing precedence areas required for motion in counter-terrorism, the UN chief stated there’s must deal with the unfold of terrorist narratives by way of pandemic-sensitive, holistic approaches.

“Psycho-social, economic and political stresses associated with COVID-19 have risen dramatically. Terrorists must not be allowed to exploit those fissures and fragilities,” he stated.

The week-long discussions intention to supply a platform to debate the strategic and sensible challenges of countering terrorism in a world pandemic surroundings and can see participation from civil society representatives, personal sector, girls and victims of terrorism.

Guterres stated the trade of views and concepts this week will feed into subsequent yr’s High-Level Counter-Terrorism Week, together with the seventh biennial evaluation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the 2nd Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism companies of Member States, and the inaugural Congress of Victims of Terrorism.

The UN chief additionally careworn on the necessity for the worldwide neighborhood to maintain up the momentum within the combat towards terrorism, saying it will embody persevering with to put money into nationwide, regional and world counter-terrorism capabilities, particularly for nations most in want of help.

Nations should additionally carefully monitor evolving terrorist threats and evolving developments and be revolutionary of their responses. “That means ensuring we have the right technology, tools and concepts to stay ahead of terrorists,” he stated.

He additionally underscored the significance of making certain that counter-terrorism responses are at all times gender delicate – recognizing the violent misogyny on the coronary heart of so many teams – and shield and promote human rights.

“Counter-terrorism laws and security measures cannot be an excuse to shrink civic space, curtail freedom of association and deny other fundamental rights. Full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law is essential,” he stated.

Guterres stated nations even have a collective accountability to facilitate the repatriation of overseas nationals, significantly girls and youngsters, from camps in Syria and Iraq, the place the chance of COVID-19 is worsening the already dire safety and humanitarian circumstances.

UN Member States additionally must strengthen data sharing to be taught from the experiences and good practices of others within the COVID-19 safety panorama, he stated, including that high quality capability constructing help to Member States will stay an necessary pillar of the United Nations counter-terrorism work.

“We must commit to do more and better. As in every other area of our mission, our work will be assessed by the difference we make in people’s lives.” PTI


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