‘We must be more vigilant than ever,’ Guterres says on first International Day to prevent violent extremism

© Photo: UNODC. Many countries continue to face terrorism threats.

United Nations, 11 February 2023

With extremist groups expanding their reach, the international community cannot let up its guard against terrorism, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Sunday.

The appeal came in his message to mark the first-ever International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism, established in December by the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Guterres 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.

Fertile ground for hate

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 are becoming more dangerous by the day and now represent the top internal security threat in several countries, as well as the fastest growing.

Prevention and inclusion 

Countries must act to confront the challenge through prevention, and by addressing the underlying conditions that drive terrorism in the first place.  

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,” said the Secretary-General.

The original article appeared here.

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