Terrorism victims must never be forgotten: UN Secretary-General

Tuesday August 18, 2020

Secretary-General António Guterres has underscored UN solidarity with all victims of terrorism and urged people everywhere to ensure they are never forgotten.

Fati Yahaya fled to Cameroon after escaping armed insurgents in Nigeria.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Fati Yahaya fled to Cameroon after escaping armed insurgents in Nigeria.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

His comments come in a message for the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, this coming Friday, which has been observed since 2017.

“The impact of terrorism on victims can last a lifetime and reverberate across generations. 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 said.

Commemorating during a crisis

This year’s commemoration occurs as countries continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were more than 21.5 million cases worldwide as of Monday, and nearly 767,200 deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

As the UN chief observed, the crisis has changed how people are living and interacting, with many memorials and commemorations for the day either cancelled or moved online.

The UN has also been affected as the first-ever UN Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism has been postponed until next year.

Rebuilding and healing

“Remembering the victims of terrorism and doing more to support them is essential to help them rebuild their lives and heal”, said the Secretary-General, who highlighted UN efforts to help parliamentarians and governments draft and adopt relevant legislation and national strategies.

“We must continue to support victims’ associations in their invaluable work”, he stressed.

“We must ensure that those who have suffered are always heard and never forgotten. The United Nations stands in solidarity with all victims of terrorism – today and every day.”


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