Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday described terrorism as an “affront to humanity” and called on the international community to not lower its guard against it.
His remarks marked the first-ever ‘International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism’.
The UN chief described terrorism as an “affront to humanity as it undermines the values that bind us together”.
Terrorism also threatens collective efforts to promote peace and security, protect human rights, provide humanitarian aid, and advance sustainable development, Guterres said.
“We must be more vigilant than ever,” he said, noting that “terrorist and violent extremist groups are finding fertile ground on the internet to spew their vicious venom”.
He said neo-Nazi, white supremacist movements were becoming more dangerous by the day and now represented the top internal security threat in several countries, as well as the fastest growing.
“Countries must act to confront the challenge through prevention, and by addressing the underlying conditions that drive terrorism in the first place, he added.
He highlighted the importance of inclusion and ensuring that counter-terrorism strategies reflect a wide array of voices — especially minorities, women, and young people.
“Human rights must be at the core of all counter-terrorism policies,” he added.
“Today and every day, let us work together to build more peaceful, inclusive, and stable societies in which terror and violent extremism have no home,” the secretary general said.
In a resolution passed in December, the UN General Assembly had decided to declare February 12 as the ‘International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism’ in a bid to raise awareness for the threats linked to violent extremism.
The resolution “reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group”.