"Not Forgotten: Stories of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism" - An Online High-Level Event to Commemorate International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism

Preview Language:   English
21-Aug-2020 01:55:33
The third commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, featuring a short film on remembrance followed by an interactive discussion with a panel of victims, victims’ associations, and experts.

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The impact of terrorism on victims can “last a lifetime and reverberate across generations”, the UN chief said on Friday during the virtual commemoration for International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.

In remembering and honouring all victims of terrorism, Secretary-General António Guterres said the UN stands by those who grieve and those who “continue to endure the physical and psychological wounds of terrorist atrocities”.

“Traumatic memories cannot be erased, but we can help victims and survivors by seeking truth, justice and reparation, amplifying their voices and upholding their human rights”, he stressed.

This year’s commemoration takes place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, when vital services for victims, such as criminal justice processes and psychosocial support, have been interrupted, delayed or ended as Governments focus attention and resources on fighting the pandemic.

Moreover, many memorials and commemorations have been cancelled or moved online, hampering the ability of victims to find solace and comfort together.

And the current restrictions have also forced the first-ever UN Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism has to be postponed until next year.

“Remembering the victims of terrorism and doing more to support them is essential to help them rebuild their lives and heal”, said Mr. Guterres, including work with parliamentarians and governments to draft and adopt legislation and national strategies to help victims.

The Secretary-General vowed that “the UN stands in solidarity with all victims of terrorism – today and every day” and underscored the need to “ensure that those who have suffered are always heard and never forgotten”.

General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande saluted the resilience of terrorist survivors and called the day “an opportunity to honour the memories of the innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of terrorist acts around the world”.

“Terrorism, in all forms and manifestations, can never be justified”, he stated. “Acts of terrorism everywhere must be strongly condemned”.

Mechanisms for survivors must be strengthened to safeguard a “full recovery, rehabilitation and re-integration into society through long-term multi-dimensional support”, stated the UN official.

“Together we can ensure that you live a full life defined by dignity and freedom. You are not alone in this journey. You are not forgotten”, concluded the Assembly president.

Closing the event, Vladimir Voronkov, chief of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, maintained that victims represent “the very human dimension of terrorism”.

While acknowledging the “terrible reality of terrorism”, Mr. Voronkov flagged that the survivors shine as “examples of resilience, and beacons of hope, courage and solidarity in the face of adversity”.

In reaffirming “our common humanity”, he urged everyone to raise awareness of victims' needs and rights.

“Let us commit to showing them that they are not alone and will never be forgotten”, concluded the Counter-Terrorism chief.

At the virtual event, survivors shared their stories while under lockdown, agreeing that the long-term impact of surviving any kind of an attack is that the traumatic experience never really goes away. The event provides an opportunity for victims to urge the international community to strengthen their rights and address their needs, even during global health emergencies. It seeks to build on and consolidate these efforts, and translate them into practical and sustainable actions at the national level, shaping the way forward on local and cross-border commemoration efforts, and on developing comprehensive national assistance plans that address the need of victims of terrorism for communal support, remembrance, and even redress.

This event is organized in collaboration with the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism.

For further details please see SOURCE below.
UN NEWS
International Day of Victims of Terrorism
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2554446