By Prudence Arobani
New York – UN Secretary-General António Guterres has launched a new framework to coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors.
Termed the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, the framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 Organisational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation.
The Compact also aims to better serve the needs of Member States when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Compact’s Coordination Committee, at the UN Headquarters, in New York, Guterres warned that the impact of terrorism remained widespread.
“Despite recent successes against Da’esh and its affiliates, the threat posed by returning and relocating fighters, as well as from individuals inspired by them, remains high and has a global reach.
“This year’s Global Terrorism Index by the Institute for Economic and Peace, indicates that despite a 27 per cent fall in the number of deaths from acts of terrorism worldwide, the impact of terrorism remains widespread, with 67 countries experiencing deadly attacks.
“This is the second highest recorded number of countries in the past 20 years.
“The risk is higher when we consider less sophisticated attacks against soft targets that are difficult to prevent.
“We have also witnessed the rise of violent extremism, that is conducive to terrorism, in many different contexts,” the UN chief said.
According to him, an essential part of the prevention agenda is addressing root causes and grievances that are so often manipulated by groups.
“Terrorist organization like Da’esh and Al Qaida continue to twist religion to serve their ends.
“At the same time, neo-Nazi and far right groups are also using the Internet as a platform to mobilise support across borders, exploit economic anxieties, radicalize, recruit and carry out attacks.
“It is our duty to protect communities from violent extremist groups and their hate-speech whoever they are.
“Terrorists are also likely to use technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and 3D printing to facilitate new and innovative attacks.
“We must use our unique convening role to help countries design and implement approaches to this security challenge that these technologies represent,” Guterres said.
According to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, the Coordination Committee will oversee the implementation of the Compact and monitor its implementation.
The Coordination Committee also discussed strategic priorities for the next two years, based on the sixth review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant Security Council resolutions and UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate assessments as well as Member States requests for technical help.
The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Task Force will replace the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which was established in 2005 to strengthen UN system-wide coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism efforts.